MKV support...best solution? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 06:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I use my xbox 360 as a dedicated Media Extender. I have almost everything working except mkv playback. Right now I am using transcode360 and it does not work very well. If I pause video it never comes back and I am forced to delete the transcode360 buffer files....this also happens if I try to fast forward sometimes.

Is there a better way to play mkv files on my xbox 360 without having to convert them? I don't need 5.1 sound, this is just to watch stuff on the tv downstairs which uses the tv speakers. I prefer to keep media browser as well.
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post #2 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 07:13 AM
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Try PS3 Media Server (that is the name of the program). While its name implies it is only for the PS3, it works wonderfully on the 360. It transcodes (I think that's the right term) on the fly and you get great video and 5.1 audio - depending on the .mkv of course. I have an okay computer, so sometimes I have to let it run and transcode a bit in order to run without hiccups, but pausing it for a minute or two and I'm golden.

Here is the link: http://www.ps3mediaserver.org/

The only downside is that you cannot fast forward, rewind, and bookmark where you left off, but once you accept that, you get a great, free program that I think will get you what you need.

Once installed on your PC, it will show up under you "Videos" tab on the dashboard.
Hope this helps.
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post #3 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Billbofet,

Does this work under Xbox Media Center using media browser?
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post #4 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 07:18 AM
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Why not convert? Quality loss is usually a myth. Freemake does a great job and takes advantage of CUDA and DXVA to get the job done quickly. H264 with AAC play on the 360 and PS3 with no issues. The long-term hassles of transcoding just don't seem to be worth it.

Otherwise, TVersity works as long as you can get transcoding configured correctly...

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post #5 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I read somewhere that the Divx pro codec pack allows you to play mkv files on the 360....does this work well?

I would convert but that just seems like a huge pain to me. I have a bunch of stuff in mkv format and I can't imagine how long it would take to convert all my files. I just want a simple solution that will work in the Xbox 360 Media Center app (using media browser). I thought transcode 360 was my solution but its way to buggy.
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post #6 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 01:11 PM
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Download and install the Combined Community Codec Pack
on your htpc if you are having codec issues.

http://www.cccp-project.net/

I never got my 360 to play .mkv's natively.

BTW - I ditched my HTPC and the issus associated with serving large (3GB +) mkv files to the 360 via wired household LAN about a year ago.
My solution came in the form of a 50" Samsung LCD Monitor.
The Sammys will decode and play .mkv's flawlessly. The largest mine has played was an 8GB BRRip with 5.1 AC3*.

You put the .mkv on a NTFS formatted USB stick, plug in into one of the Sammy's 3 USB ports, wait for the built in media player to start and hit "play".
Easy peasy.


*It will output full 5.1 surround via optical but *only* if the audio is AC3. It doesn't playback DTS.
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post #7 of 30 Old 11-28-2011, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natas777 View Post

Billbofet,

Does this work under Xbox Media Center using media browser?

Sorry for the delay, but this only works in the main 360 dash under Videos.
At least as far as I know.
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post #8 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 04:52 PM
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I recommend ps3 media server.
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post #9 of 30 Old 11-29-2011, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by natas777 View Post

Hey guys,

I use my xbox 360 as a dedicated Media Extender. I have almost everything working except mkv playback. Right now I am using transcode360 and it does not work very well. If I pause video it never comes back and I am forced to delete the transcode360 buffer files....this also happens if I try to fast forward sometimes.

Is there a better way to play mkv files on my xbox 360 without having to convert them? I don't need 5.1 sound, this is just to watch stuff on the tv downstairs which uses the tv speakers. I prefer to keep media browser as well.

if you dont need 5.1 you're in luck because it's extremely easy, you can repackage mkv to an mp4 without needing the power or time it takes to re-encode, the only thing you lose by repackaging is 5.1 but it's automatically downmixed to 2.0, no video quality loss.

check out http://xenonmkv.ev98.net/

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post #10 of 30 Old 12-09-2011, 11:29 PM
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I just ran the system update and discovered that my 360 now plays MKV files!

My xbox had no issues with x264 encoded videos with AC3 audio. Files with AAC stereo audio played but had synching issues. The audio would glitch fairly often with the video speeding up to catch up to the audio.
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post #11 of 30 Old 12-10-2011, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomead View Post

I just ran the system update and discovered that my 360 now plays MKV files!

My xbox had no issues with x264 encoded videos with AC3 audio. Files with AAC stereo audio played but had synching issues. The audio would glitch fairly often with the video speeding up to catch up to the audio.

What? This is awesome news!! I'm assuming this is through the standard video player or the media center? I prefer to use tversity but I may need to change my setup if I can get .mkv support.

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post #12 of 30 Old 12-10-2011, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage11x View Post

What? This is awesome news!! I'm assuming this is through the standard video player or the media center? I prefer to use tversity but I may need to change my setup if I can get .mkv support.

I didn't do anything special. I put the MKVs in a shared folder on my PC desktop and used the standard video player (not media center) on the xbox.
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post #13 of 30 Old 12-10-2011, 05:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomead View Post

I didn't do anything special. I put the MKVs in a shared folder on my PC desktop and used the standard video player (not media center) on the xbox.

Is this ability to access a shared folder from the 360 new? How did you set yours up?...

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post #14 of 30 Old 12-11-2011, 12:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikepaul View Post

Is this ability to access a shared folder from the 360 new? How did you set yours up?...

hmm... I did not run the media center extender but I'm foggy on how I set it up... I am running win7. Going to network and sharing center in the control panel I have media streaming to the 360 allowed to access anything in my media library. I have a folder on my desktop that is included in the media library so it's a simple drag and drop to it to put stuff on the 360. Essentially it's the same way I stream music for playing custom sountracks within games.

When I go to the regular xbox video player my PC shows up in the list of sources to choose from. Choosing my PC shows me my shared media folders.

Sorry if I made it sound like something else. Still, I am not having issues playing MKV files this way unless they have AAC audio.

EDIT: Just to see if it made a difference I only just now set up the media center extender to see what would happen playing them in media center on the xbox. Media center plays the MKV files but they are glitchier and stutter whether they are the AC3 encoded files or the AAC ones (though it does it less so with the AC3 files). The regular xbox video player however has no issues with the AC3 encoded h264 MKVs.
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post #15 of 30 Old 12-11-2011, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomead View Post

I didn't do anything special. I put the MKVs in a shared folder on my PC desktop and used the standard video player (not media center) on the xbox.

After reading this I immediately tried it. I didn't have any luck with an .mkv file, but I may have to add it to the Media Player list so the Xbox knows it's there (happens all the time when adding new WMV files).

BUT... I did discover the Xbox now plays .M2TS files! This is huge news for me. I transcode h264 .mkv files to .m2ts to stream to my PS3. The transcoding takes minutes where reencoding to WMV takes an hour or so.

Don't everyone get too excited, though. The playback of the .m2ts file is far from perfect. You can see compression blocks, tears etc... In fact, it's down right ugly and definitely not a replacement for an HTPC or the PS3 in this regard. But, the ability to playback .m2ts files is THERE, and that's the first step. As long as Microsoft supports it. the playback will only get better. I recall when the Xbox first started supporting Divx, the playback quality was horrible. Now the Xbox breezes through any divx I throw at it.

Maybe this .m2ts playback support is Microsoft supporting HD cameras now (the standard HD files are .mts, which is more or less identical to .m2ts) because I seriously doubt it has anything to do with Blu-ray.

-David
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post #16 of 30 Old 12-11-2011, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nox View Post

After reading this I immediately tried it. I didn't have any luck with an .mkv file, but I may have to add it to the Media Player list so the Xbox knows it's there (happens all the time when adding new WMV files).

Yes, I often have to either wait or restart my PC for the xbox to see the files I've recently added to my media library. But the key is that you have to add it to your PCs library. I didn't test to see what happens when I run the files off of a memmory stick, which I intend to test in the near future.

That's cool about the M2TS files though. I never tested those.... I'll have to give it a shot.
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post #17 of 30 Old 12-12-2011, 06:35 AM
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PlayOn works well....has the same issues as other programs in that you can't FF or RW large files reliably. There are also buffering issues the larger the file is. Files in the 1-2gb range (standard size for a 1hr TV show) I can get by with starting playback, pausing it up front for about 2 or 3 minutes and it will play all the way through with no hiccups.
Larger files (full movie length) is hit and miss depending on size. I've run across a handful of HD files that simply will not play for more than 10 or 15 minutes without having to pause to buffer, play for another 15 minutes, pause to buffer etc. Yet to find a good solution for long HD files, but PlayOn works well for mid size MKV. Never any sync issues that I've found and the quality is great.

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post #18 of 30 Old 12-12-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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Never thought about using PS3 Media Server to stream to the 360.

Thanks for the info!
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post #19 of 30 Old 12-12-2011, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomead View Post

Yes, I often have to either wait or restart my PC for the xbox to see the files I've recently added to my media library. But the key is that you have to add it to your PCs library. I didn't test to see what happens when I run the files off of a memmory stick, which I intend to test in the near future.

That's cool about the M2TS files though. I never tested those.... I'll have to give it a shot.

Still no luck with .mkv on the 360 for me. What version of WMP are you using?

I have WMP12 and noticed that .mkv files can't be placed on the playlist like they could with WMP11 even with all the codecs installed. I've tried both 32bit and 64bit versions (as I'm running Win7-64bit). I'm assuming this is effecting them being shown on the Xbox.

-David
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post #20 of 30 Old 12-13-2011, 12:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nox View Post

Still no luck with .mkv on the 360 for me. What version of WMP are you using?

I have WMP12 and noticed that .mkv files can't be placed on the playlist like they could with WMP11 even with all the codecs installed. I've tried both 32bit and 64bit versions (as I'm running Win7-64bit). I'm assuming this is effecting them being shown on the Xbox.

I'm running win7 64bit and WMP12. Have you tried right-clicking the folder the videos are in and choosing "include in library" ? I'm at a loss for what I would be doing different.

If for whatever reason your Media Player isn't thinking the MKVs are actual video files it might not be including them in the video library which would potentially make the xbox not see it. That sounds like a codec issue.
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post #21 of 30 Old 12-13-2011, 11:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomead View Post

I'm running win7 64bit and WMP12. Have you tried right-clicking the folder the videos are in and choosing "include in library" ? I'm at a loss for what I would be doing different.

If for whatever reason your Media Player isn't thinking the MKVs are actual video files it might not be including them in the video library which would potentially make the xbox not see it. That sounds like a codec issue.

I tried this after you mentioned something, they show up and play in my WMP library, but still aren't shown on xbox.

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post #22 of 30 Old 12-13-2011, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by formulanerd View Post

I tried this after you mentioned something, they show up and play in my WMP library, but still aren't shown on xbox.

I imagine you guys did all the optional media updates on the xbox?

http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-US/Pr...c-56f951377aff
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post #23 of 30 Old 12-13-2011, 11:31 PM
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I figured out how to get them to play in WMC, but not straight from the dashboard.

It turns out to be a codec preference on my PC. I typically use K-Lite codec pack (full). Once I changed to Shark007's Windows7Codecs + x64component, the mkv files would play through WMC on the Xbox.

Like M2TS files, they are watchable, but are reduced in quality. They almost look less than SD quality. I'm not exactly sure what they are being displayed at, but it's definitely not HD. But, they do play.

I didn't test the audio for mkv or M2TS, so I'm not sure if it's 5.1, 2.0, or mono for either.

** Btw, anyone willing to uninstall their codecs to try Shark007's codecs, be aware they're a tad tricky to uninstall. He wrote a custom uninstaller that requires you to take ownership as administer through windows in order to run it. Even then, reinstalling K-Lite said Shark007's codec pack was still there.
EDIT: Also, beware that the install of Shark007's codecs asks to install TWO media bars on your browser: Ask.com and WeatherBug.

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post #24 of 30 Old 12-13-2011, 11:56 PM
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k-lite is old and crap... shark is always the way to go

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post #25 of 30 Old 12-14-2011, 12:16 AM
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yep... MKV's definitely play through the normal video player on the 360.


my setup:
windows home server stored mkv's (smb shares) > in windows 7 media player library > 360 video player connected to windows 7 machine.

you need to enable streaming on WMP (in video library there is a stream button, click it and select "automatically allow devices to play my media", then click more streaming options, next screen is self explanatory)

you need shark codecs, and you have to configure as admin for windows file associations (before installing shark, make sure you remove all codecs from your system, you dont need them)

also need the optional media update on xbox (i already had it, but reinstalled it).

after you set it all up, reboot both your computer where WMP is, and your xbox and boom, MKV on 360. no tversity, no transcoding, no ps3media server or plex.




of course you could hop on craigslist and buy a used apple tv 2 for $50, spend 10 minutes to jailbreak it, and have mkv support in xbmc without the need for a computer or windows media player (just need smb shares).. aTV2 is much smaller, and 100% silent, also draws much less power.

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post #26 of 30 Old 12-14-2011, 12:35 AM
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After looking at it again, It looks like 480p... I see quite a bit of compression, and mfpmp.exe on my host pc is running as a network service and is continually cycling between 0% and 75% (QX9650)... my guess is that it's transcoding on the fly behind the scenes (which is about what I expected).

trolling craigslist now for 2 more apple tv 2's.

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post #27 of 30 Old 12-14-2011, 02:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nox View Post

It turns out to be a codec preference on my PC. I typically use K-Lite codec pack (full). Once I changed to Shark007's Windows7Codecs + x64component, the mkv files would play through WMC on the Xbox.

Odd, because I'm using K-lite though I have both the regular and 64 bit codec packs installed.

Is that possibly why I have issues with the AAC encoded MKVs?

Also they played like crap in Media Center. The Media Center extender *will* do PC-side transcoding on the fly though. Not sure about what happens with the dashboard video player.
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post #28 of 30 Old 12-23-2011, 02:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awesomead View Post

Odd, because I'm using K-lite though I have both the regular and 64 bit codec packs installed.

Is that possibly why I have issues with the AAC encoded MKVs?

Also they played like crap in Media Center. The Media Center extender *will* do PC-side transcoding on the fly though. Not sure about what happens with the dashboard video player.

I honestly don't know. But, I can confirm that every mkv or m2ts file that can play looks like crap to me too. I don't think it's even worth trying to play these files using the Xbox.

In fact, I switched back to K-Lite. Something about Win7Codecs didn't settle well with my PC. Windows Media Encoder started choking and hanging with them, and audio was out of sync with nearly every video file I played. So, after HUGE issues trying to uninstall Win7Codecs, I think I've finally rid them from my PC.

-David
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post #29 of 30 Old 12-23-2011, 02:53 PM
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I haven't tried Shark recently but my experience way back when wasn't too good. It just broke too many things I had.

Since most anime places and most other things like K-lite, I went back to that.

I just use my WD TV devices for . Works with everything I found out there. No transcoding. No downloading "compatible with" versions.
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post #30 of 30 Old 01-03-2012, 02:48 PM
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A little news about MKV playback...

I upgraded K-Lite to the newly released set, and the playback through the Media Extension (presumably transcoding) is quite a bit better! In fact, it almost seems HD. I was playing a 1080p MKV and I didn't notice a loss in resolution. I did see some banding, but nothing like before.

Check it out.

EDIT: My mistake... the files that are being played are M2TS files. I have a directory with a mix of both file types, and thought I was playing mkv. But, at least M2TS files are playing nicely.

-David
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