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  1. Member
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    Hi, total newbie here with limited experience. Is it possible to tell if a video has a codec that is not compatible with my TV? Up until about 2 years ago, almost all MKV files would play, but since then there is an ever increasing quantity that won't play due to Video Codec not compatible
    I get that the H.265 won't play, but I am having a lot of h.264 files which don't play.
    I have updated the software on the TV (Samsung... but maybe 5 years old).
    I have MediaInfo installed, but I don't see differences between the good and bad, but maybe I am looking at the wrong stuff. Appreciation of any insights in advance.
    I have Handbrake, but the conversions take forever and chew up my limited resources on an old computer, so spotting them before they get to the TV would be a big help. She who must be obeyed takes delight in letting me know my limitations in the cinema room....TT
    Last edited by ttkooau; 12th Nov 2019 at 17:10. Reason: extra info
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    get a streaming media device to plug into your tv like a chromecast, firestick, roku, anything. then you can install a player like vlc on it that will play anything shared on your local network over wifi.

    tv sets almost never like mkv files. mp4 is more to their liking as it's the audio in mkvs that usually can't be played by a tv alone.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  3. Member
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    @aedipuss.

    Thanks for that, it's a good thought. It would save all of the hassle. Cheers TT
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  4. Check your TV's manual to see what h.264 Profile and Level are supported (Format Profile in MediaInfo). You'll probably see something like Main@3.2 or High@4.1. That is supposed to be indicate the properties of the video (settings used to create it, limits on certain features):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264#Profiles
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264#Levels

    Most players outside a PC don't support High10, High 4:2:2, or High 4:4:4. High10 has become more popular in recent years as it is less susceptible to banding.

    MediaInfo only reports what's flagged in the header -- any program can write anything it wants there. So its report is not always accurate.

    Another property that limits many players is the max number of reference frames. The higher the reference frames the more memory a device has to have to decompress the video. Many devices are limited to 4 or 5 reference frames. The h.264 spec supports up to 16.

    Also the max number of consecutive B frames. Many devices are limited to 2 or 3. The h.264 spec supports up to 16.
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  5. also nowadays we have 10bit h254 which does not play on old tvs too
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  6. Member
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    @teodz1984 @jagabo
    Many thanks for the info

    So complex, but going with the vlc idea, it's updated regularly so it is probably going to keep up with the ever changing landscape of codec etc.
    Thanks all for quick replies, this forum fixed the issue in a morning.... been grappling with it for months

    TT
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  7. TVs are primarily TVs. If they have a media player it's just to fullfil a bullet line in the marketing materials. A standalone media player's entire existence is for playing media -- so as a rule they are much better at it. Chromecast, Firestick, and Roku out of-the-box don't support playing media files off network shares. Their primary support is for internet streaming. It can be a struggle to get them to access network shares. I use a Raspberry Pi with Kodi (XBMC) for playing media from a NAS. But even cheap Android TV boxes with Kodi are fine for streaming video from a USB drive.
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  8. Member
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    Hi jagabo,
    Can these devices you mention access files on the pc shared through the Windows media DLNA server ?
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  9. I know the Roku comes with a DLNA player -- I use it occasionally.
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