I've been having some image bugs on a few mkv videos I've been watching lately on my BD player.
Just to refresh on what I do, I use my LG BD390 BD player to play mkv files, networking from my computer as a media center or playing DVDs , SL and DL, with the MKVs burnt on them.
As such I have had to run around some bugs that happen on both playing fashions or just when playing the DVDs. A bug that happens on both is when video & audio have header strippings, which the player refuses to play. That one is easy to resolve with a new merge.
Another bug that eventually happens is with some DTS audio tracks, which play intermittently. That is very rare to happen in network playback, but is very common when the files are played from an mkv file. On both case it's solved converting the DTS track onto a Dolby one, with it's maximum 640 bitrate.
But the image bugs I haven't been able to solve yet. Some of them plain pixelization, which is probably related with file size and compression. Others are more troublesome, as they make video and audio play intermittentegly.
The latter are the ones I want to talk about. I think I traced the bug to an incapacity of my player to read very high bitrates. Using Bitrate Viewer I could see that this problem seems to happen on places where bitrate goes over 50K.
Merging does not solve the issue, so apparently a complete conversion seems the only way around it. Am I wrong?
The only program I have using for HD video conversions that has proved practical and good quality is Xilisoft Video Converter. But I would appreciate you to suggest other options that you found to be good quality too.
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Last edited by carlmart; 5th Sep 2012 at 08:16.
Bit rate playback problems were very common on DVD players when the first players could play Divx/Xvid files. So yes, it's quite possible that your player has limitations on the bit rates it will play on MKV files. DTS takes a lot of processing power and Dolby does not, so playback issues involving DTS have been common since the Divx/Xvid days too. If your player has a limit on bit rates, yes, you will have to re-encode.
Xvid4PSP can also do H.264 encodes.
Stop using DVDs and switch to USB drives, network shares, or DLNA.
I do use network shares, but I like to keep my DVD discs collection separate from each other. And the risks of all failing at once is nil, meanwhile that is a potential problem on any HDD of any kind .
When you burn high bitrate video to a DVD-R disc (or DVD+R or DVD+R DL etc.) there is a point where the overall bitrate (video+audio) gets to be too high and the disc can't keep up. So even if your media player can handle high bitrates you will get stuttering in playback (and possible image break up etc.) when reading off of a DVD disc.
The solution would be to copy the MKV from the DVD to your computer then either try streaming it from the computer to your blu-ray player or copy it to a USB Thumb Drive. I can put high bitrate video on a USB Thumb Drive and play it back A-OK on my Sony PS3. This included one video (which I used as a test) that was H.264 @ Level 4.1 and it had bitrate spikes to 50,000kbps at several points. Couldn't be played from a DVD without break-up. Played back fine from the USB stick.
So anytime you want to play a MKV that you have on a DVD disc you have to:
1.) Copy to your computer and play it from that using DLNA or whatever streaming your blu-ray supports
2.) Copy to your computer then USB stick and play from USB stick (plugging it directly into your blu-ray player)
This stuttering I am describing is happening through my DLNA streaming.
What you are suggesting, OTOS, wouldn't be practical at all, copying from the disc to computer or USB stick and playing off them. It's not certainly an option for me.
What I do believe is that some of my problems might be related to the streaming player, that is my LG BD player. There might be others, more recent, that have less issues, both when playing from stream or MKV files on DVD.
For instance, the Oppo BDP95, who plays all types of optical discs and also streams, might have better firmware than the LG does. LG got to a certain update and then abandoned it, not solving some issues the player has.
It's a known fact that high bitrate video, like that found in a 720p/1080p MKV, can cause stuttering when you play it back directly due to the drive not spinning fast enough. I'm not making this shit up. It is documented.
Not all will do it. It depends on the spikes. Some videos don't have high enough spikes to cause an issue.
A USB Thumb Drive generally won't have that issue. You should at least try that method. I know your Blu-Ray player has a USB in and a 16GB USB Thumb Drive is only about $10 USD these days. It would be easier than re-encoding everything.
Just copy one movie to the stick, play it, delete it, and repeat.
I have a DVD collection that now probably exceeds 1,000 discs, probably with 95% or more recordings in mkv. Some 720p, some 1080p.
How would that work with USB thumb drives?
And then I would have to copy the stick to my computer every time I want to play it? Not very practical, don't you think? Time consuming too. A DVD DL is certainly cheaper.
What I do not understand is why we are discussing DVDs here, because I already said that this problem is happening on my streaming chain, no DVDs involved.
Well you won't have streaming trouble if you play it back from a USB stick and since your Blu-Ray player has that ... well ... it seems like a solution to me.
Granted it takes some time to copy from a DVD to a USB stick but doesn't take that long. How many movies you gonna watch in one day anyway? And if they are already on a HDD then all you have to do is copy it to the USB stick, plug it into your Blu-Ray player, and boom it will play without stuttering.
It's not worth the 10 - 20 minutes it takes to copy a movie to a USB stick if it means smooth playback? Makes more sense that re-encoding everything which takes HOURS per movie.
First of all let me tell you that I do appreciate your good intentions on recommending different options that I might have. Thank you for that.
But there are several reasons that won't let me follow your advice, at least on the main issue of using USB sticks.
My firm and probably sole intention is to make DVDs work as the principal media source for this application. So I am open to any suggestion that would solve the problems that might arise from using them. Not using DVDs is not an option.
I also said that this problem was happening on my stream playback, so there were no DVDs involved. In any case I tried what was suggested, and copied the mkv file to a Kingston USB stick. The problems remained, with glitches in audio on the higher bitrate parts, which is what I suspected might happen. I guess the player might have some limitations on playing higher bitrates from MKV files.
At the same time, I used Xilisoft's software to re-convert the video overnight, keeping same parameters. The resulting video has lower bitrate peaks and plays alright.
If you are wedded to DVD media then you have to encode (re-encode) with bitrates low enough to be read from DVDs. That could be as low as 10000 kbps (peak). You must also use settings compatible with what the player supports, ie, not too many reference frames, not too many consecutive b-frames, etc. End of story.
Believe it or not, the compromise is not that great, considering the big jump in quality from DVD video, even when reasonably well upscaled.
MKV files are a great advance when compared to BD discs, considering how good compressed avi files could get when compared with DVDs.
This player is quite forgiving with peaks up 50000 kbps and even a little bit more. Maybe that's why are rare the cases when I have this problem. Other settings I don't quite know, as there are not too many specs available from LG. It should be a question of trial and error.
Well if you are going to re-encode then you might consider using AVCHDCoder. This program will make a single layer or dual layer AVCHD for you (either 720p or 1080p) and it limits the bitrate spikes so it is DVD safe. I used MediaInfo to look at an encoding I made with it and it seems that it limits the Video Bitrate to 18.0 Mbps (the Average Bitrate in this case was around 10.0 Mbps but of course that will be different for different case situations).
Thanks, it sounds very interesting.
Once again, the bitrate spikes glitches do not happen only when playing from DVD, but also during streaming and from USB stick, as I tried today.
I have yet to see which spikes rate triggers the glitching problme, as I can get as high as 50K or 60K and things go fine.