RE: MKV movie file - Can the Video Encode Specs be the reason for file playback issues??? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 4 Old 03-21-2013, 09:19 AM - Thread Starter
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RE: Samsung Plasma PN60E6500

Great thread guys!

I have just purchased a Samsung 2012 Plasma.

So far (one month owning the rig) I've tested numerous MKV formatted movie files of various bitrates, FPS - all 1080p though. By and far, every movie I've attempted to play on the Samsung TV (PN60E6500 btw) has played flawlessly. All but 2 files.

I've researched and thus far am unable to explain my video playback issues with these 2 files. Both of these "problem" files are as follows:

14GB (1st movie), 15GB file size (2nd movie)
Video Bitrates: 12.8Mbps (1st movie), 14Mbps (2nd movie)
1080p for both
Audio codec: 1.5Mbps DTS Core (1st movie), 1.5Mbps DTS ES (2nd movie)
FPS: can't remember exactly.. prob between 24-30fps (both)

My question is as follows:

The above two files are the only ones I've had any sort of video playback issues with. In movie #1, this movie did not even begin playback. I copied this file onto a USB thumb drive, inserted directly into my TV's USB port for playback. Upon loading this movie, the "loading" indicator came on-screen for a long while (relative to the rest of the files I've tested... almost 10 seconds I would say). After the "loading" message, the TV never began playback, but, rather, turned itself off, then the Tv powered itself back on again - all on its own!

Tried to launch this movie twice, same exact result

Movie #2:
This movie, again, played off a USB thumb drive plugged into the USB port, DID begin video and audio playback. The problem with this file is that the STOP button my tv's remote was frozen! Meaning completely unresponsive - I could not choose to STOP playback when I wanted to. Ironically, the FF, RW and Pause buttons all worked! Furthermore, I let this movie play through to the end with success. After the movie finished and the end credits done rolling, I was expecting my plasma tv to simply stop playback and return me to the USB drive's sub folder menu whereby I can launch another movie. This did NOT happen. When the movie finished playback, the "Loading" indicator came onscreen (this time for only about 5 seconds)... then the TV shut itself off and powered back on again as per the movie file #1 in question.

I have been actively trying to find out the reason for these playback errors when I have come to the conclusion that it's probably a Video specification/compatilibity issue. I inquired into the Audio codec side of things and I've gathered that both DTS and DTS ES are playable with just a standard DTS Core processing ability. So audio is ruled out.

On the video end, every OTHER movie I've tried to play on my TV has played perfectly (and many of these videos that succeeded were in the same bitrate/FPS/resolution vicinity as the two problem files. All these movies were ~8Mbps-15Mbps video bitrate, all 1.5Mbps audio in DTS, all 8GB-15GB in file size and all 1080p, and believe these movies have FPS in the same general region.

So what is REALLY the issue? Upon looking up these two files, curiously, I found that only these two files that crashed my TV had Video encoding specifications denoted as:

x264, CBR, L4.1

Seems the other files that were OK did not have such detailed specs listed. They only listed more general specs - video / audio bitrate, resolution and FPS. They didn't specifically list the 3 above encoding specs.

I looked under my User's Guide and it lists clearly, different compatible video container formats with its maximum bitrate allowed, etc. From memory, I think the user's guide said this tv supports up to H.264 L4.1. Is this any indication?

Are there certain coding specs that differ from file to file even though they're all very similar in file size, bitrate, etc. that would have caused my tv to crash in the aforementioned examples?

What else could be the issue?
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-21-2013, 08:46 PM
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x264 has some encoding functions that could cause conflicts such as profile version 5, but it sounds like the decoder should handle these two files ok since they are 4.1.

CBR stands for constant bit rate so maybe the decoder can't keep up with data rates faster than 10mbps. While this rate isn't as fast as BluRay it is much faster than say a HD Netflix stream or most 1080p streams you would find online. Most of those are also VBR or variable bit rate to keep file sizes smaller so the decoder isn't working as hard.

Maybe try to encode the files using a program like Handbrake using the low complexity profile and passing the audio through as multi-channel AC3. This will drastically reduce the bit rate. 1080p takes a long time if you don't have a fast CPU so be prepared to wait.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-22-2013, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for that mate. Just curious.. so it sounds like CBR is generally a higher bitrate stream to process than VBR? Is this the case across the board?

And also, in your experience, would most full length movie files be encoded in CBR or is VBR more common?

You mentioned bitrate may be an issue. It's funny though, cuz I have attempted to play OTHER files in the exact same bitrate range (~12-14Mbps), file size ~12-15GB, 1080p, etc and these have worked fine! Also in my Owner's Manual, it lists bitrate compatibility up to 30Mbps for MKV! I did, however, notice that this list is divided into subcategories and remember that for some codecs (I think)... compatibility is only up to 8Mbps and the lowest one was for VOB (I think... recalling from memory) is supported only up to 4 or 6Mbps.

Could this be the issue?

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post #4 of 4 Old 03-22-2013, 12:48 PM
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CBR Video is not good for movies. It can result in stutters and pixelation in fast moving scenes it also wastes a lot of bits on slow and static scens. VBR video assigns bits as needed so a still shot uses very little and more can be used in action sequences. VBR Audio shouldn't be used because a lot of decoders can't handle it right and the audio goes out of sync.

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