Originally Posted by LBSources
Hello and Happy New Year everyone!
I'm looking for some help on getting my downloaded and ripped movies to play on my new Panasonic DMP-BDT215. After being led to this thread, I've read a lot and have tried most of the mkvmerge converts as described here, but with no success.
It recognizes .mkv files only, but it says it cant play them when I try to play the file.
I know I haven't offered much here, but based on what I've read, this shouldn't be this hard .. So the question is, what am I doing wrong?
Happy new years to you as well.
I'm afraid file playback on these players IS hard, as has been posted repeatedly here. But it's definitely possible, though some files easier than others. Whether it's worth it depends on each user. It works well enough for me, because I only play ota/cable recordings where I have control over how the files are created. Those with existing movie archives or downloading from internet often end up buying a dedicated media player instead.
For starters, I assume you're playing from USB or network drive since you're doing MKV. With these players, MPEG files can be played through DLNA alright, anything else it's best to convert into MKV and play through network drive (or USB).
Second, if you're playing from network drive, you want to eliminate network or sharing problems when testing file compatibility. Wired is better than wifi, USB even better - just until you know your files are working.
Run your files through MKVmerge as previously posted, making sure header removal is disabled under options (BEFORE you start adding files in MKVmerge). Read all the posts about MKVmerge you can find in this thread.
I've found the most compatible MKV files came from Haali. There is an optimization option that must be disabled, search for an earlier post I wrote about it. But it's not nearly as user friendly as MKVmerge.
Finally, if your Panny won't play your MKV files, even after being re-muxed by MKVmerge or Haali, it's because the actual encode is not compatible. (Haali and MKVmerge merely "repackage" in new MKV containers, they don't actually change the video or audio encodes. That's why they are fast and preserve the original quality).
In that case you have to re-encode using tools like DVDfab, AVC (Any Video Converter) or Handbrake. This will be much slower and also lose some video quality - but since the actual video and/or audio is encoded anew, you can basically make any file playable this way. Read posts by ktm911 for expert advice on this.
I don't think there is much more to say that hasn't already been covered extensively in this thread - particularly in posts from late October through early December. After hdmi/AVR connectivity and Netflix streaming, I think this must be one of the most covered topics in here.