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  1. Member
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    I'm wondering if anyone has experience with playing BD data discs on a BD player. In particular, which combination of container file, video codec and audio codec were used.

    Currently my files are in .mp4 containers. I'm pretty much set on using H.264/AVC for the video codec as this gives good compression and quality. The audio on my files originate in AC3 (dolby digital).

    I've looked at the specs of a few newer BD players and they seem to be inconsistent as to what combination of container/codecs they support.

    For example the Sony BDP-S1700 lists the H.264/AVC codec. Among others it accepts the MP4 and MKV containers. But it only lists the AAC codec for MP4. For MKV it lists AC3, DTS, LPCM, MPEG and AAC. So, it would seem that my current MP4 files wouldn't be playable because the audio is AC3. I would either have to remux to MKV or transcode the audio to AAC. Seems overly fussy to me and I wonder if this is really true.

    The Samsung BD-J5100 also only lists the AAC codec for MP4. For MKV it lists MP3, AC3 and DTS. Again, either remux to MKV or transcode the audio.

    The LG BP255 seems to be more forgiving or the specs are vague. It would appear that it accepts any of it's video and audio codecs to be in any of it's containers. The Panasonic DMP-BD93 seems similar.

    First I'd like to know whether the newer BD players actually play plain DB data discs (just a BD disc with container files burned and finalized). And then I'd like to find out which container / codec combinations work. I've only seen random mentions of this and the manufacturers specs aren't very detailed in this area.

    Bruce
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  2. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    Mp4 with ac3 has not that good support in standalone players. I guess mkv with ac3 is a better solution.


    BUt I only use a HTPC player that plays everything for my home cinema.
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    Yep - I guess I'll have to go with MKV / H.264 / AC3. I was hoping that most newer players would play most everything you could throw at them, but I guess not.

    I don't have an HTPC - I'd probably waste all of my time messing with it if I did. I have a TiVo Premiere.

    I currently have a bunch of TV shows that I've recorded from TiVo and stored on my PC's hard drive. In general, I transfer TiVo files to the PC, cut commercials with VideoReDo, and save and compress using Handbrake. Right now, I'm saving to .mp4 container files. The video is H.264/AVC (program stream) and the audio is AC3 (dolby digital). One hour shows that were originally about 5GB end up at about 1GB after cutting and compressing. I access these files from the TiVo via pyTivo server on the PC. This is all working well for me.

    Eventually my drive will fill up and I'll need to make more room so I plan to write sets of one or more seasons of a particular show to blu-ray to free up space. I can simply burn my existing files to a BD data disc and that will do the trick. But, I'd like to make it such that the disc is playable directly by a Blu-ray player. My old Sony BDP-480 BD player doesn't recognize BD Data discs but I'm still looking to be compatible with whatever I end up replacing it with in the future.

    Bruce
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    A new Blu-ray player from LG, Samsung, or Sony will probably support playback of video data files on BD, but there are too many Blu-ray players on the market to check what each one supports.

    The use of AAC audio in MP4 files was always permitted and is still preferred. AC3 was added to the MP4 spec later, but a lot of hardware players don't support it, so it is probably best to avoid that combination.

    Most Blu-ray player built-in media players support H.264/MPEG-4 AVC profile Main, High at Level 4.1, and no higher. Variable bitrate audio and video is fine. Varible frame rate video (Handbrakes's default) is generally a problem. GMC or Qpel are likely to be a problem too.

    The manual for the LG BP220 player I bought for my parents a few years ago is also little vague about what combinations are allowed. The manual implies AC3 in an MP4 file is permitted. That combination is allowed by the latest spec, so it could work in theory, but I have not tried it. The manual also implies MPEG-2 video or AVC video in an AVI container is OK, but most here would say those combinationa should be avoided. The manual does say specifically that An AVI file containing WMV 9 video is not supported.
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  5. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    I have a cheap Samsung BD-F5100 Blu-ray Disc Player and it plays my converted BD and DVD MKVs (H.264/AC-3) BD data discs with no problems.
    The MKVs also play with my WD Live box. Most of them were converted with RipBot for BD and Vidcoder for DVD.

    I store my converted MKVs on a video server and back them up to Verbatim 50GB BD discs. The original BDs and DVDs are stored in a closet.
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    Thanks to you all for the info.

    Most Blu-ray player built-in media players support H.264/MPEG-4 AVC profile Main, High at Level 4.1, and no higher. Variable bitrate audio and video is fine. Varible frame rate video (Handbrakes's default) is generally a problem. GMC or Qpel are likely to be a problem too.
    I saw that I was getting variable frame rate, even though the source was constant. I modified my handbrake cli command to include --cfr and now the results are constant.

    Here's my handbrake cli command:

    Code:
    C:\Program Files\Handbrake\HandBrakeCLI.exe -i "C:\VideoWorkspace\Feed the Beast - Screw You, Randy (103_06_14_2016).mpg" --angle 1 -o "C:\VideoWorkspace\Feed the Beast - Screw You, Randy (103_06_14_2016).mkv" -f mkv --decomb --crop 0:0:0:0 --loose-anamorphic -e qsv_h264 -q 22 --cfr -E copy --audio-fallback ac3 --encoder-preset=balanced --encoder-level="4.1" --encoder-profile=high --verbose=1
    I don't know what GMC and Qpel are. From looking around they seem to be something that shows up in MediaInfo. Here's mediainfo on the resultant MKV file:

    Code:
    General
    Unique ID                                : 34825132736073739544818646003052715806 (0x1A33139BC101F8F83EEE992A16201F1E)
    Complete name                            : C:\VideoWorkspace\Feed the Beast - Screw You, Randy (103_06_14_2016).mkv
    Format                                   : Matroska
    Format version                           : Version 2
    File size                                : 1.03 GiB
    Duration                                 : 42mn 53s
    Overall bit rate                         : 3 446 Kbps
    Encoded date                             : UTC 2016-06-15T13:34:43Z
    Writing application                      : HandBrake 0.10.5 2016021100
    Writing library                          : Lavf55.12.0 / Lavf55.12.0
    
    Video
    ID                                       : 1
    Format                                   : AVC
    Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile                           : High@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames                : 1 frame
    Format settings, GOP                     : M=3, N=24
    Codec ID                                 : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
    Duration                                 : 42mn 53s
    Bit rate                                 : 2 993 Kbps
    Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
    Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
    Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
    Frame rate mode                          : Constant
    Frame rate                               : 23.976 (24000/1001) fps
    Color space                              : YUV
    Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
    Bit depth                                : 8 bits
    Scan type                                : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.060
    Stream size                              : 918 MiB (87%)
    Default                                  : Yes
    Forced                                   : No
    Color range                              : Limited
    Color primaries                          : BT.709
    Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
    Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709
    
    Audio
    ID                                       : 2
    Format                                   : AC-3
    Format/Info                              : Audio Coding 3
    Mode extension                           : CM (complete main)
    Format settings, Endianness              : Big
    Codec ID                                 : A_AC3
    Duration                                 : 42mn 53s
    Bit rate mode                            : Constant
    Bit rate                                 : 384 Kbps
    Channel(s)                               : 6 channels
    Channel positions                        : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
    Sampling rate                            : 48.0 KHz
    Frame rate                               : 31.250 fps (1536 spf)
    Compression mode                         : Lossy
    Stream size                              : 118 MiB (11%)
    Title                                    : Surround
    Default                                  : Yes
    Forced                                   : No

    I didn't see anything about GMC or Qpel there.

    On a related note, I'm assuming it's best not to transcode the audio from AC3 to AAC, but is this really true? It ends up being smaller and I really can't hear much, if any, difference when I'm listening through normal TV speakers.

    Bruce
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    Qpel = Quarter-pixel motion. GMC = Global motion compensation. Both are encoding options for H.264/AVC, but video encoded using these options requires more computing power to decode, so hardware-based media players don't tend to support them.

    If you are going to use an mp4 container for your video, then converting from AC3 to AAC will improve compatibility. Yes something will be lost, but many people will never hear the difference.
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  8. Member
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    FWIW, if you really want to keep AC3 audio, Handbrake supports using MKV instead of MP4. You can use mkvmerge to remux existing mp4s to mkv without any converting/re-encoding. Remultiplexing is almost as fast as copying a file.
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    Earlier, I did change my handbrake script to produce MKV files. I was contemplating the best way to convert all my existing MP4 files to MKV. I'll take a look at mkvmerge - sounds exactly like what I need. Thanks.

    Bruce
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    mkvmerge seems to work fine - even has a command line mode. Only problem is all my existing MP4 files still have variable frame rates so I'll need to transcode to fix that. I'll see if I can come up with a minimal handbrake script to set the frame rate constant and output to a MKV file.

    Bruce
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