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post #1 of 6 Old 01-25-2018, 05:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Simple Media Player For A Very Simple Job

Short version: I need a reliable media player that will read any/all kinds of container media files and output lossless PCM audio.

Long version: I have a dedicated cinema/entertainment room and recently we've started to form a Cinema Club and been making regular screenings among friends. The problem is, while I myself am speaking English at a native level, most of my friends are not. To enjoy cinema with them I need to either buy discs that have Turkish subtitles on them (which is very hard for Blu-Ray and nearly impossible for UHD Blu-Ray) When push comes to shove, I'm streaming files from my home server using Plex, but that opens a whole new can of worms like transcoding and lossless audio support. I have made a sizeable investment in my equipment and I don't want any of it to go to waste by butchering audio/video just in order to play it.

So, bear with me my last experiment in trying to play a mkv file with external subtitles from a USB stick.

After ripping a lossless video and audio file and compiling them to mkv using makemkv from my The Matrix Blu-Ray disc, I downloaded external Turkish subtitles set same filenames, placed it at the root of my USB drive. I played the file with vlc on all my computers and it perfectly played.

First I tried it with the PS4 - No success - The file didn't even show up at media player. And I'm being told that the PS4 does not support lossless audio streams from mkv files.

Second, Xbox One - The exact same thing.

Third, Panasonic DMP-UB900. Well I got the file to show up at least. When I tried to play it the player gave me an error like "This file cannot be played"

Fourth, my region A Sony BDP-S5200. The file cannot be read or something like that.

I even tried plugging it to my Denon AVR-X7200WA and Sony VPL-VW3200ES pathetically.

I had a WD TV back in the day and limitations aside, it was perfectly good at playing files from USB. What I need is something like it.

I don't care for any streaming, network etc. capabilities. If it can play my file it is good. There are a lot of Chinese obscurities at Amazon and I am lost in them. Someone said Nvidia shield? What about Fire TV? Is Roku good? The dreaded Apple TV? I am so lost in this...
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post #2 of 6 Old 01-25-2018, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktorpil View Post
Short version: I need a reliable media player that will read any/all kinds of container media files and output lossless PCM audio.

Long version: I have a dedicated cinema/entertainment room and recently we've started to form a Cinema Club and been making regular screenings among friends. The problem is, while I myself am speaking English at a native level, most of my friends are not. To enjoy cinema with them I need to either buy discs that have Turkish subtitles on them (which is very hard for Blu-Ray and nearly impossible for UHD Blu-Ray) When push comes to shove, I'm streaming files from my home server using Plex, but that opens a whole new can of worms like transcoding and lossless audio support. I have made a sizeable investment in my equipment and I don't want any of it to go to waste by butchering audio/video just in order to play it.

So, bear with me my last experiment in trying to play a mkv file with external subtitles from a USB stick.

After ripping a lossless video and audio file and compiling them to mkv using makemkv from my The Matrix Blu-Ray disc, I downloaded external Turkish subtitles set same filenames, placed it at the root of my USB drive. I played the file with vlc on all my computers and it perfectly played.

First I tried it with the PS4 - No success - The file didn't even show up at media player. And I'm being told that the PS4 does not support lossless audio streams from mkv files.

Second, Xbox One - The exact same thing.

Third, Panasonic DMP-UB900. Well I got the file to show up at least. When I tried to play it the player gave me an error like "This file cannot be played"

Fourth, my region A Sony BDP-S5200. The file cannot be read or something like that.

I even tried plugging it to my Denon AVR-X7200WA and Sony VPL-VW3200ES pathetically.

I had a WD TV back in the day and limitations aside, it was perfectly good at playing files from USB. What I need is something like it.

I don't care for any streaming, network etc. capabilities. If it can play my file it is good. There are a lot of Chinese obscurities at Amazon and I am lost in them. Someone said Nvidia shield? What about Fire TV? Is Roku good? The dreaded Apple TV? I am so lost in this...
Am assuming the goal here is to create a file that plays locally on your equipment so that they can see the subtitles? Or am I missing something? You already have Plex setup and I'm assuming you have a way of streaming this to your viewing device - or is that the element that is missing? If you have a smart TV then it may have a Plex client that you can use to view the modified file. Another alternative if you have it is to use one of your computers connected to your display, also some displays have a USB port that can play a media file directly from the stick. I would evaluate these possibilities before going to a separate streaming box

Room 1 system: Paradigm Reference Active 7.2 system, Anthem AVM50, Oppo BDP-103. Pioneer Elite 610HD. Room 2: Samsung 65HU8550 with SEK3500, Paradigm Monitor 5.1 system, Denon AVR-X2400H, Oppo BDP-203, Nvidia Shield, Apple TV 4k
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post #3 of 6 Old 01-25-2018, 09:35 AM
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Additionally, if you do have a device already that is receiving & displaying the file from your Plex server, you may want to try using MKVToolNix to merge the external subtitle file into the MKV container. It's possible that because it is an external file it could be ignored by some players.

See also: How to add subtitles to .mkv files using mkvmerge GUI - Read

Last edited by kryzchek; 01-25-2018 at 09:36 AM. Reason: formatting
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post #4 of 6 Old 01-25-2018, 10:18 AM
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The NVIDIA Sheild TV can output Multi-Channel LPCM, DTS-HD Master, Dolby TrueHD, etc from Plex. I'm pretty sure it's the only Plex Client that can do so... I know there are plenty that cannot (Roku, most SmartTV & Blu-Ray players, XBox One, PS4, AppleTV 4k, Amazon Fire TV 4k, etc). That said, most other devices will either playback the core DTS/DD or transcode to DD which (I would think) would be a reasonable compromise for the intended purpose.

As a bonus, the Sheild TV can also act as a fairly capable and low power-draw Plex Server that is capable of transcoding HEVC/H.265 files for any non-4K clients you may have around the house. This eliminates a lot of the Optimized Versions I was creating for HEVC/H.265 files so they would play smoothly on the 1080p Roku Express devices I have in the master bedroom and kids' rooms.

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post #5 of 6 Old 02-20-2018, 05:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Nvidia Shield it is then. Thank you.
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-02-2019, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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I know I'm resurrecting threads but I've just bought an Nvidia Shield TV. It is absolutely perfect in every way.



I've never thought that I would rip an Ultra HD Blu-ray with makemkv, stream it from my home server using plex media server, and play it back on the shield using plex app for android tv, and it would look and sound virtually indistinguishable (with HDR, Atmos and whatnot) from the real thing.



I ripped all my discs that don't have Turkish subtitles and that way we're not arguing for what to watch for an hour every time my friends come over.



The plex app is fast and responsive, has tons of options, and the nice convenience of online subtitles in every language.


The shield itself is a very capable powerhouse. I even found a way to stream my desktop directly. I recommend it to everyone.
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