What should I convert my files into for the best quality on WD TV Live?

Greetings.

I have a Panasonic 1080 TV, a Synology disk station for file storage, and WD TV Live to play files from Synology.

I ripped all my DVDs recently into MKVs using DVDFab.  Most of them seem to work just fine but whatever I download in MP4 format usually refuses to play (though sometimes does play).  I read something about some 7.1 audio issues or whatever.  I am not too much of an expert on this.

I would like to find an easy-to-use batch software (like DropFolders, maybe, but I don’t know what settings to use) to convert all different video files I have into something WD TV Live can understand and play without problems.

Any good ideas for me?

Thanks in advance.

greg

Welcome to the forums.

MKV is the best format for the Live – MKVMerge (4.0 or earlier – later versions have issues) is usually best for conversion of MP4 to MKV.

I personally like Handbrake for my MKV conversions of my DVDs I have ripped.  I retain AC3 Audio as a passthru option.  MKV is a great “wrapper” and every converted DVD has run without a glitch on my WDTV Live  Also, no video/audio sync problems.

I’ll chime in here as well with my own experience of the mkv format. I, too, convert all my DVDs as mkv files, using AC3 passthru for the audio option. I use Handbrake to perform the conversion. I think it’s a versatile container that delivers performance and optimum compatibility (I know, it sounds like a shameless plug). Anyway, The WD TV Live plays these files without a problem. And even though I’ve never tried it, you can also place more than one movie in the mkv container. Don’t know the purpose of that, but it sure makes for a forward-thinking format.

Mike, I tried MKVMerge seems to not work.  At least version 4.2.0 that I downloaded.  I mean it converts everything to MKV but then it won’t play.  Where do I get version earlier than 4.2.0?

Also, what about other formats (I think I have a few M2TV or whatever that WD TV won’t play, either).

As I said, you need to use version 4.0 or earlier of MKVMerge - a search of this forum or the web will reveal where to find it.

However, if you go into both the video and audio track options and turn off header compression even the later versions will work (but you will need to remember to do this each and every time).

If you won’t want to re-encode then other formats will probably need a tool like ffmpeg to convert (but it’s command line driven so you need to be comfortable with that).  As others have mentioned here, Handbrake is the best encoding tool around, and what I use for all my DVD and blu-ray needs.  As long as it reads your file (and you use the High Profile preset but change the output type to MKV) it can convert just about anything to playable with the Live.

Jackster wrote:
[…]  And even though I’ve never tried it, you can also place more than one movie in the mkv container. Don’t know the purpose of that, but it sure makes for a forward-thinking format.

It allows you to place related videos into one program (one MKV file).  Nice for portability and archiving.  You can add pictyres, audio, videos, etc… into one MKV.  VLC and other players allows for switching between different video tracks in am MKV the same way you switch between audio tracks.  WD units do not support this cool feature of switching between different video tracks in an MKV.

gregfridman wrote:
I would like to find an easy-to-use batch software (like DropFolders, maybe, but I don’t know what settings to use) to convert all different video files I have into something WD TV Live can understand and play without problems.

You could use makemkvcon.exe from the MakeMKV package.

Don’t visit that link, it’s crappy Aunsoft converter again.