Reliably converting .mkv format for playing on the BW

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Reliably converting .mkv format for playing on the BW

Postby SimonB » Wed Sep 26, 2007 11:57 pm

Guys,

I have 10 episodes of a TV show totaling 22GB's in .mkv format and I am trying to convert it to a format that I can play to the BW. I have success in the past with Mediacoder, but aren't having much luck this time. Is anyone an expert at this that I can chat with? I'm getting no sound and jerky playback via the BW and VLC doesn't even play on the PC.

Here's the MediaInfo data:

General #0
Complete name : <cut>
Format : Matroska
File size : 2.19 GiB
PlayTime : 1h 13mn
Bit rate : 4276 Kbps
Encoded date : UTC 2007-08-14 17:23:56
Writing application : mkvmerge v2.0.2 ('You're My Flame') built on Feb 21 2007 23:40:55
Writing library : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1

Video #0
Codec : MPEG-4 AVC
Codec/Info : MPEG4 ISO advanced profile
PlayTime : 1h 13mn
Width : 1280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Aspect ratio : 16/9
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Language : English

Audio #0
Codec : DTS
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Sampling rate : 48 KHz
Language : English

Cheers,

Simon....
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Postby Neon Kitten » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:13 am

Since Matroska is just a "container" for a standard H.264 video stream and accompanying audio (or so I am told), I would hope that support on the BW for the mkv format is coming in the not-too-distant future...

In the meantime, though, try the doom9.net forums for advice on conversion options.
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Postby SimonB » Thu Sep 27, 2007 12:37 am

Neon, wouldn't you know it - just after I posted that, I thought "I'll have another bash" and made a 2 minute and then a 5 minute transcode to .avi. All worked fine. Beautiful sounds and loverly 6 channel DTS. Am now running a full transcode and will see what the results are in the morning.

I've saved the settings as a preset, just in case :P

Thanks anyway!
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Postby peterjcat » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:16 am

Simon -- did you manage to keep the video in H.264/AVC or did it transcode into something else (eg regular MPEG4)? I haven't been able to get the BW to play H.264/AVC in an AVI but if you've done it I might try some other ways.
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Postby SimonB » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:55 am

peterjcat wrote:Simon -- did you manage to keep the video in H.264/AVC or did it transcode into something else (eg regular MPEG4)? I haven't been able to get the BW to play H.264/AVC in an AVI but if you've done it I might try some other ways.

Hi peterjcat, no, I was using XviD as the format, with AVI as the container. Interestingly, when I got up this morning and looked at the version of the entire file that I transcoded with EXACTLY the same settings as the 2 and 5 min ones, the audio's about 2 seconds behind the video. Damnit. So, it must be the BW, me thinks. I am converting half of the entire file now and will see what it does tonight when I get home.

Like Neon Kitten, I am hanging out for direct Matroska support!

Simon....
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Postby peterjcat » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:04 am

SimonB wrote:
peterjcat wrote:Simon -- did you manage to keep the video in H.264/AVC or did it transcode into something else (eg regular MPEG4)? I haven't been able to get the BW to play H.264/AVC in an AVI but if you've done it I might try some other ways.

Hi peterjcat, no, I was using XviD as the format, with AVI as the container. Interestingly, when I got up this morning and looked at the version of the entire file that I transcoded with EXACTLY the same settings as the 2 and 5 min ones, the audio's about 2 seconds behind the video. Damnit. So, it must be the BW, me thinks. I am converting half of the entire file now and will see what it does tonight when I get home.

Like Neon Kitten, I am hanging out for direct Matroska support!

Simon....

Ah righteo -- got me all excited there for a moment. I'm also hanging out for Matroska.
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Interesting observations...

Postby SimonB » Thu Sep 27, 2007 8:40 pm

Hi all,

As I mentioned yesterday, I came up with some settings that let me successfully convert files from .mkv format (h.264) to .avi (XviD) format but it appears that it only works for small files!

The 2 minute transcode worked fine on the BW, the 5 minute one worked fine, the 24 minute one didn't and neither did the full 1 hour 14 minute one.

These were all transcoded with exactly the same settings and play back fine on the PC using VLS, so I have no other option than to think it's the BW somehow.

I'm using a wireless connection, so I will connect up a wired connection to eliminate that over the weekend.

Simon....
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Postby dcw » Thu Sep 27, 2007 10:46 pm

I've experimented with Mediacoder & Avidemux, and sometimes I get a result & sometimes not.

Avidemux seems to work OK for files under 4GB, but sometimes has an audiosync issue.

Dave.
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Postby muzzlightbeer » Fri Sep 28, 2007 3:33 pm

I've been using VisualHub and converting matroska to .MP4 and I make sure that the H.264 Encoding tickbox is ticked.

Seems to work fine, but takes over 4 hours to convert a 45 minute program.
Mission successful!
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Postby SimonB » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:42 pm

muzzlightbeer wrote:I've been using VisualHub and converting matroska to .MP4 and I make sure that the H.264 Encoding tickbox is ticked.

Seems to work fine, but takes over 4 hours to convert a 45 minute program.

I'll try with MP4 and see what result I get. MediaCoder says 37 mins for my 38 min segment of file.

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Postby SimonB » Sun Nov 18, 2007 2:17 pm

Hi all,

Just in case anyone else is interested, I have been persevering and persevering with this one and think I've found the solution. I'm just converting a 2.2GB file, so will know when I've done it but the answer seemed to be the following:

When using MediaCoder (latest version is 0.6.0 build 3980) untick the 'Frame Rate' option on the 'Picture' tab. I found that hint on the MediaCoder forum.

The other settings that I use are to leave the 'Audio' tab alone (select 'Copy Audio') and choose 'Quality Based' at 90, with the 'Format' of XviD and a container of AVI. The rest is left at default.

Finally, it would appear, I get audio in sync with video, even with big files (touch wood).

Simon....
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Postby dcw » Sun Nov 18, 2007 8:08 pm

SimonB wrote:Hi all,

Just in case anyone else is interested, I have been persevering and persevering with this one and think I've found the solution. I'm just converting a 2.2GB file, so will know when I've done it but the answer seemed to be the following:

When using MediaCoder (latest version is 0.6.0 build 3980) untick the 'Frame Rate' option on the 'Picture' tab. I found that hint on the MediaCoder forum.

The other settings that I use are to leave the 'Audio' tab alone (select 'Copy Audio') and choose 'Quality Based' at 90, with the 'Format' of XviD and a container of AVI. The rest is left at default.

Finally, it would appear, I get audio in sync with video, even with big files (touch wood).

Simon....

Well done Simon! Thanks for the tip.

Dave.
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Postby SimonB » Sun Nov 18, 2007 11:11 pm

dcw wrote:
SimonB wrote:Finally, it would appear, I get audio in sync with video, even with big files (touch wood).

Well done Simon! Thanks for the tip.

Back to the drawing board. Got home and the movie and 3 episodes that I'd set to convert while I was out all had their audio delayed by several seconds. Dammit.

I give up. Maybe when (if) the BW supports MKV container decoding directly, it will work.

Simon....
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Postby netmask » Mon Nov 19, 2007 9:23 am

I've only got a a couple of very short MKV files so I can't say this will work for a movie length file but I what I did was use VSO ConvertXtoDVD to convert them to DVD format and then I just joined up the VOB files. No loss of sync and looked good. You could then if you wish convert the VOB file to AVI or any other format. :)
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Postby Neon Kitten » Mon Nov 19, 2007 4:18 pm

netmask wrote:I've only got a a couple of very short MKV files so I can't say this will work for a movie length file but I what I did was use VSO ConvertXtoDVD to convert them to DVD format and then I just joined up the VOB files. No loss of sync and looked good. You could then if you wish convert the VOB file to AVI or any other format. :)


Major problem with that: a HD MKV file (720p or ever 1080i) will be downgraded to 576i maximum, which kind of defeats the point of having the larger, higher-quality file in the first place :)

My MKV solution until the BW supports it is to run files through "PS3 Video 9" to turn it into a legal H.264 MP4 without re-encoding the video, and then I stick them on an external USB drive and watch them on the Playstation 3 ;)
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