WDTV - Unable to Play MKV's from Media Server

First time poster…

Tech specs:  WDTV Live Hub  in a networked evironment.  Firmware completely up to date.  Able to play all file formats  on the WDTV player IF the files are local.  Cannot play MKV’s from networked media server.  Media Server:  Windows 7 Pro, 64 Bit, WMP 12 with codecs for MKV.


I have used WDTV’s for a couple years now and think they are great.  I got tired of continually transferring large files to the hard drives of multiple WD’s in the house so I bought a new computer to be used a media server for house and have the WDTV’s all networked.  I got my media libraries all set up and the WD’s are able to see the file locations…or so I thought.  I noticed that several files were missing.  Turns out all the MKV files were not showing on the WDTV. 

After much reading on the web I figured out that with a media server, the files are being decoded on the media server and unfortunately not by the WDTV.  WMP did not have the codecs installed to play MKV’s.  I installed the codecs and MKV’s can play on the media server’s WMP AND the MKV files are showing on the WD player.  That should be it, right?? 

NO.  I now get a message on the WD that it is unable to play the selected file and to read the user manual for supported file formats.  I notice in WMP that the MKV files do not show any file information like length, bit rate, etc.  From WMP if I use the “Play To” command and select all files, all MKV files show as attached below:


I would appreciate any / all help.  I’ve wasted hours on this now.  Thanks!

Sidenote:     Why does Windows need to decode the files???   Why can’t WDTV just find the files and play them from the networked location???   I have tried unsuccessfully to set up basic HOMEGROUP MS network.  Nowhere in the WDTV setup can a network password be entered???  No network locations show under windows shares except the other WDTV on the network.

Please post the full TEXT output of MEDIAINFO for such a file.


The problem is on ALL MKV’s

General Unique ID                                : 209218167280620592673227624231474191177 (0x9D65F40D46558DDEB1DAFF699F2E5B49) Complete name                            : U:\Movies\Avatar\Avatar.mkv Format                                   : Matroska Format version                           : Version 2 File size                                : 8.69 GiB Duration                                 : 2h 58mn Overall bit rate                         : 6 985 Kbps Movie name                               : Avatar.2009.EXTENDED.Cut.1080p.BluRay.DTS.x264-AdiT Encoded date                             : UTC 2010-11-26 05:19:22 Writing application                      : mkvmerge v3.4.0 (‘Rapunzel’) built on May 15 2010 09:38:20 Writing library                          : libebml v0.8.0 + libmatroska v0.9.0

Video ID                                       : 1 Format                                   : AVC Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec Format profile                           : High@L4.1 Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes Format settings, ReFrames                : 5 frames Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC Duration                                 : 2h 58mn Bit rate                                 : 5 336 Kbps Width                                    : 1 920 pixels Height                                   : 1 080 pixels Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9 Frame rate                               : 23.976 fps Color space                              : YUV Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0 Bit depth                                : 8 bits Scan type                                : Progressive Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.107 Stream size                              : 6.64 GiB (76%) Writing library                          : x264 core 98 r1649 c54c47d Encoding settings                        : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:-3:-3 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=8 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=32 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=2 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=0 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=6 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / weightb=1 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=25.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00 Default                                  : No Forced                                   : No

Audio ID                                       : 2 Format                                   : DTS Format/Info                              : Digital Theater Systems Codec ID                                 : A_DTS Duration                                 : 2h 58mn Bit rate mode                            : Constant Bit rate                                 : 1 510 Kbps Channel(s)                               : 6 channels Channel positions                        : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz Bit depth                                : 24 bits Compression mode                         : Lossy Stream size                              : 1.88 GiB (22%) Language                                 : English Default                                  : Yes Forced                                   : No

Text #1 ID                                       : 3 Format                                   : UTF-8 Codec ID                                 : S_TEXT/UTF8 Codec ID/Info                            : UTF-8 Plain Text Title                                    : English (forced for Na’vi) Language                                 : English Default                                  : Yes Forced                                   : Yes

Text #2 ID                                       : 4 Format                                   : UTF-8 Codec ID                                 : S_TEXT/UTF8 Codec ID/Info                            : UTF-8 Plain Text Title                                    : English (Full) Language                                 : English Default                                  : No Forced                                   : No


Anyone have any ideas? 

I am having the same problem.

It seems like the WDTV Live units just let you browse to CIFS share, but these new WDTV Live Plus try to dummy it down and makes things “more simple”, but have taken all of the advanced options in the process.

Also having this issue same setup, WDTV Live newest firmware.  I have been forced to use Media Server as well, since it seems that Windows 7 is extremely tricky to get regular file sharing working correctly.  I have tried tons of registry edits and still have not been able to get it to show up, while my old Windows XP box just shows up no problem not even trying, Windows 7 has been extremely annoying and I was hoping to make life easier with WDTV Live.  Its very odd only MKV files do not play via Media Server.  If anyone from WD is listening perhaps a firmware update can make our lives easier without trying to tweak the heck out of Win7.  Also its ALL MKV formats, I have pretty much 1 of every variety amongst my 1000s of videos.

Slykster, Does your media server support Network Shares? If it does, you might be better off using Network Shares rather than Media Server (DLNA).

Personally I’ve found that if I try and play an MKV with a DTS passthru encoded in it then it will lock up my WDTV Live Plus to the point of needing to restart it to get any other movie to play.

My understanding is that if WMP12 will play a file natively, i.e. in Windows 7 “as is” then it will stream the format. A good check is to look at a detailed file listing in Windows explorer, if it understand a video format it will tell you its length in hours minutes and seconds. If it can do that then WMP12 will stream it. That doesn’t include mkvs so I don’t think its possible. As suggested you can use the network shares in Windows 7, which I do without problems but I see others have problems with network shares.

May I suggest that you remux your mkv to mp4 (I use myMP4Box GUI), it just alters the container, the video and audio remain the same. WMP12 will then stream the mp4 file. I have had trouble with files that have mp2 audio but changing them to AAC will work in mp4 files. The biggest drawback for me with mp4s is that text subtitles don’t seem to be supported by WDTV Live, whereas support for mkvs is excellent.


This topic awakened my interest in trying to get MKV work and stream from WMP12. I uninstalled the few extra codecs I had installed (xvid, ac3filter, ffdshow) and decided to try shark007s windows7 filters. (shark007.net) It installs these and more if you wish but provides an all encompassing interface for all settings, there’s also 64 bit addons too. After installing the basic pack and reinitialising my windows media library I can now stream MKV files from my windows 7 PC to my WDTV Live.

Hope this helps someone


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thanks for the Headsup on this… MKV’s were the only thing i couldn’t getting working with the PLAYTO option…

I am still not able to stream mkv files over wireless network…have tried serviio and window media player with sharkys codecs…i have wireless network n with 300mbps . wdtv live is about 5 m away. Any help would be appreciated. My files are on the laptop running win 7