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  1. I have an older shut-in friend and he has a Panasonic TV, TC-P50S60. I have some older westerns that he would like to see and I can use a USB stick in his TV.

    I've learned a lot so far. I know that the TV will not play any x265 or XVID files.

    I've given him some files where VLC reports the codec as H.264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (avc1). Some of these will play correctly and some won't, typically larger and more recent files. I'm beginning to think that files from a BlueRay disk won't work and generally DVD rips will, but I'm not even sure of that. If I take a unplayable file and convert it with VLC to XH264 mp3 (mp4) it will play correctly. But that's a tedious process.

    What I would like to do is determine if a H.264 - MPEG-4 AVC (part 10) (avc1) file will play on his TV or not before I take it to him. Any suggestions?

    I'll need a better tool to look inside a file, and then some knowledge about what is likely to be more successful.
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    Use mediainfo to identify your files.
    RTFM from the tv to exactly know what will play.

    As a resort you can convert movies to a format that the tv will play but yes that is a tedious process.
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  3. I come up against this issue with friends/relatives all the time, and honestly it isn't worth the effort and aggravation of re-encoding files to suit the specific preferences of individual TVs. We are doing these people the favor of providing material for their entertainment, I don't think it unreasonable to ask them to purchase a player compatible with a wider variety of files than their built-in TV circuit. Second-hand blu ray players (and even some budget-priced new ones) with a USB port will play a much wider array of file types with less fuss than most TV ports (aside from relatively new 4K TVs, and even those can be a PITA, esp Panasonic).

    The sort of video files we're talking about come in a bewildering range of specifications: the individuals creating them don't always follow proper procedure for maximum compatibility with older devices like your friends' decade-old plasma TV. Panasonic hasn't published the precise file parameters of what the built-in media circuit of the TC-P50S60 can and cannot handle, not even in the service manual (aside from generically stating it will play "MKV, MP4, M4V, AVCHD, FLV"). So unless you want to play whack-a-mole with each file I'd suggest finding one file that plays well and just converting all the others to that same spec. Alternately, use a utility like Handbrake to convert each file to the old Apple TV preset, which is broadly compatible. Tedious, and loses quality: do yourself a favor and find your friend a cheap BluRay player that simply plays anything you throw at it. Note budget BD players cannot handle x265: for that you'd need a more expensive UHD-spec player.
    Last edited by orsetto; 16th Feb 2021 at 13:08.
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    Originally Posted by orsetto View Post
    I come up against this issue with friends/relatives all the time, and honestly it isn't worth the effort and aggravation of re-encoding files to suit the specific preferences of individual TVs. We are doing these people the favor of providing material for their entertainment, I don't think it unreasonable to ask them to purchase a player compatible with a wider variety of files than their built-in TV circuit. Second-hand blu ray players (and even some budget-priced new ones) with a USB port will play a much wider array of file types with less fuss than most TV ports (aside from relatively new 4K TVs, and even those can be a PITA, esp Panasonic).

    The sort of video files we're talking about come in a bewildering range of specifications: the individuals creating them don't always follow proper procedure for maximum compatibility with older devices like your friends' decade-old plasma TV. Panasonic hasn't published the precise file parameters of what the built-in media circuit of the TC-P50S60 can and cannot handle, not even in the service manual (aside from generically stating it will play "MKV, MP4, M4V, AVCHD, FLV"). So unless you want to play whack-a-mole with each file I'd suggest finding one file that plays well and just converting all the others to that same spec. Alternately, use a utility like Handbrake to convert each file to the old Apple TV preset, which is broadly compatible. Tedious, and loses quality: do yourself a favor and find your friend a cheap BluRay player that simply plays anything you throw at it. Note budget BD players cannot handle x265: for that you'd need a more expensive UHD-spec player.
    Absolutly true That is why i have a mediaplayer (libreelec) to get rid of the mess, it plays almost everything.
    Last edited by jan5678; 17th Feb 2021 at 04:18.
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  5. Orsetto, you are exactly right and that's great advice. I'm going to do what you suggest, thanks. Except there's no way this old dude will spend a dime. I owe him big so I'm going to find ways.

    Jan, the manual is completely useless as Orsetto points out.

    I'll look inside some of the playable / unplayable files and see if I can find any clues. But these are so complicated, I expect this is a dead end for a newbie.

    Thanks to everyone that responded.

    ..
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  6. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    There are 2 common issues that cause most tv players not to play videos,the first is the Format profile is set to high for eg 4.2 and above where as 4.1 or lower is need,the next issue is the fps is set too high such as 1920x1080 at 60 fps where most tvs can only play at 30fps.the format profile can be fixed with out re-encoding but the fps issue has to be re-encoded.

    If theses issues have been fixed but still cant be played then there's more problems with the file that make it not worth fixing unless its an important family video.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    I have a Micca media player that plays almost everything except HEVC video. It is a sound and reliable device. Easy to use and flexible. You can get it on Amazon.
    I have a two terabyte HD connected to it with 800 movies (mp4.) It connects to your TV's HMDI input. It plays other formats as well.
    Last edited by pepegot1; 16th Feb 2021 at 17:15. Reason: added info
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  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Well i have an xbox one that plays everything.Maybe that would be good for the op or even a ps4 would play everything.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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    Get an Android Box for <$50 and be done with it.

    You're trying to fit square, rectangle and oblong pegs into a round hole. The time and effort spent whittling away at non-compliant videos is a waste.
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    Originally Posted by Truenorth179 View Post
    I'll look inside some of the playable / unplayable files and see if I can find any clues. But these are so complicated, I expect this is a dead end for a newbie.
    ..
    With mediainfo the items you should look for is "Format profile" and "Frame rate".

    Once you've found a working profile and level you could convert non-working videos with something like this:

    Code:
    ffmpeg -i input.mp4 -vcodec libx264 -vprofile high -vlevel 4.0 -crf 18 -acodec copy output.mp4
    Frame rate conversion is trickier and the proper method depends on the source.
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  11. You guys are great, thanks so much. I got handbrake and mediainfo and I'm running a bunch of tests on the panasonic tv. I'll have some insight in a couple of days. Compatibility seems to have a lot to do with Format and Format Profile. All the files I've tested are frame rate 23.976 and not all will play so it's not the frame rate. The truth lies in The Profile. I'll update this is a few days.
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  12. Originally Posted by Truenorth179 View Post
    Except there's no way this old dude will spend a dime. ..
    Yep, been down that road a few times! Usually ends up in a figurative staring contest: if I blink first (get fed up enough with transcoding), I either buy them a player myself or try to find ways to persuade them to get one.

    Originally Posted by pepegot1 View Post
    I have a Micca media player that plays almost everything except HEVC video. It is a sound and reliable device. Easy to use and flexible.
    Which model has been working well for you? I've tried three different samples of the Micca Spec II from three different vendors (including Micca direct sales) and each one had unacceptable video IRE error (way way too dark: indoor and night scenes are total murk vs the same USB files played thru a BD player). The size, price and feature set would be an ideal solution for this thread topic, but the IRE issue kills it for me. If your model has normal video levels, I'd risk giving the Micca brand another try...
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  13. If you can access your videos via WiFi (NAS, Windows shares) the Chromecast with Google TV is a good choice. US$50. It's a little less desirable if you need wired ethernet, you need to get the Ethernet adapter, US$20:

    https://store.google.com/us/product/chromecast_ethernet_adapter_gen_2

    The Raspberry PI 3B was my favorite media player but the new Chromecast has replaced it. There are apps for all the major commercial streaming sites and some light games (there's not enough memory or CPU/GPU power for serious gaming). But I use it mostly with Kodi. It plays pretty much everything including DVD ISO and VIDEO_TS folders (with menus, though I've only tested a few, I don't have any BD ISO to test). AVI, MP4, MKV, MPG, TS, M2TS... MPEG2, Xvid/Divx, AVC, HEVC, up to 4K, lots of ancient codecs like MP42, huffyuv, etc. It even plays DV AVI files (this is the first device I've found that plays that, outside a computer). One of the few things I've found it doesn't play is the AV1 codec (I assume VVC won't work either). Deinterlacing and upscaling are good. There are lots of reviews at Youtube. Oh, the remote is functional but a little too sparse. I'd prefer a few more transport controls, etc. And it's too slippery. I think I'll get a non-slip case for it soon.
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  14. Thanks to everyone here, especially orsetto, johns0 and zing269. I used vlc and handbrake to create some tests. The format is important, the Panasonic TV will definitely not play HEVC, or XVid files. Handbrake converted a bunch of files to MKV and AVC for the tests. Profiles tested were main@L3.1, high@L4, high@L3.1 and main@L4. All of these played fine and all the files had a frame rate of 23.976.

    Resolution didn't seen to matter. The TV played 1918/1080 fine.

    I have an older i5 laptop and I set it up to convert files for him. It can do a dozen over night and I don't mind doing that for him. Being retired and having the virus lurking around makes for "nothing better to do".

    ..
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