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Wanted TV - MKV Support

Discussion in 'Home Cinema, Hi-Fi and Gadgets' started by Wozski, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Wozski
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    Wozski Member

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    [Nov 23, 2010]
    Im after a new tv that will play MKV files through its USB port.
    I have a 1TB HDD that it will be playing it through.
    Any ideas?
    Im after a 26" tv but im open to 32" if there arent any that play them??
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  3. FactionOne
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    FactionOne Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    [Nov 24, 2010]
    This can be a bit of an @rseache to be absolutely honest bud, there are an increasing number of TVs which (claim to) have MKV support; but exactly what that support runs to is rarely (if ever) specified.

    The problem is that MKV is essentially a container, a wrapper. Inside it are (normally) are at least two items - a video stream and an audio stream. As I'm sure you're aware, very often there are lots of items in the wrapper (in terms of multiple audio streams, subtitles etc.). The problem though, is that where as normally, anything on a shelf in the same wrapper will have the same contents; it doesn't work like that with digital AV files. The contents of two things inside an MKV wrapper can differ wildly.

    The range of different compression/encoding formats used for video and audio inside an MKV files is what makes finding the right telly to do it natively a bit of a nightmare.

    The issue is that not all tellies can cope with all the compression/encoding variance, in fact, very few can. There can be issues, even with commonly used HD video compression (the 264 variants), at higher bitrates; audio can be a stumbling block too, since not all sets will be able to natively downmix for example, a DTS encoded audio track.

    To be honest, the best thing I'd suggest is choose a decent set given all the standard factors you might consider: Size, Panel type, I/O connectivity, quality of upscaler (if you're ever likely to watch any SD video on it (*nods furiously*)), etc.; and then buy a separate, external USB-HDMI AV playout box (Popcorn and the like); they've got massive advantages in compatibility and performance, and of course development of fixes, improvements and new features doesn't just stop at the release date. I can count the number of television manufacturers who have any sort of MKV container support over USB natively, who really put effort into continuing development of software on 0 fingers. ;)

    Sorry, that's the second AV related question this week I've wafflled/almost ranted-on, my defence is that matters of AV tech are my 9-5 bread and butter.

    All the best,

    Rob.
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  4. Wozski
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    Wozski Member

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    [Nov 24, 2010]
    Rob thanks for your detailed account - i know where your coming from

    I HAVE seen a tv in richer sounds that will play MKV - a samsung model 32bc530 if memory serves me correct.
    I will prob invest in the wdtv live though....
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  5. thefloyd
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    thefloyd shine on

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    [Feb 24, 2011]
    ive got popcorn hour a100,its brilliant mate...
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  6. benr
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    benr Member

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    [Feb 24, 2011]
    I have Samsung ue32c5800... nice and thin and plays anything i throw at it. Never had a MKV or AVI not play
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  7. Wozski
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    Wozski Member

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    [Mar 9, 2011]
    I chose to get the samsung LE32C530. What a nice bit of kit it is too. I bought it for a steal. I have over 60 MKV's but it stumbles ona few.
    NOT SUPPORTED FILE FORMAT - is the most common error message i get.
    UNSUPPORTED AUDIO CODEC - is another.

    Any ideas how to overcome this?
    cheers
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  8. plezz
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    plezz Member

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    [Sep 15, 2011]
    have you looked at getting a media player? one of my mates has one - he says can either put MKV files on its own harddrive, or connect another HD to it via USB. the media player then just connects via HDMI and it takes care of most file types ( he has about 10 terrabytes of videos, films, tv shows etc and is yet to find something it wont play).
    #7
  9. plezz
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    plezz Member

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    [Sep 15, 2011]
    forgot to mention they don't cost much - 20-30 quid - are a lot more reliable in terms of what it will play.
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  10. Wozski
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    Wozski Member

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    [Sep 19, 2011]
    Funnily enough i have been looking at a media player for the lounge.
    What media player does he have?
    I have seen the wdtv live version for £70+
    It seems relaible
    The ones i haveseen for £30 have heard mixed reviews i.e filsm stopping at 1hour and not being able to play large data movie i.e 10gb+
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  11. Wozski
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    Wozski Member

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    [Sep 20, 2011]
    just an update on this.
    I just bought the wdtv live off ebay new for 65 bucks. quite pleased with that. will let you know what its like when I get it......
    #10
  12. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    [Mar 16, 2013]
    popcornhour A400 is awesome for a big TV... my old PCH-A110 played all MKV's at a canter.

    PCH-A110 is seven years old, PCH-A100 is even older!

    Steer clear of the Roku, I had the XS was utterly woeful for MKV support: it HAD to transcode over the LAN, so video quality was woeful (think video CD, 480i Mpg) and AC3/DTS (5.1) support was non-existent.... and it was unstable: £100 and I was so disgusted with it (and for the shop for refusing to take it back), so I gave it away - I couldn't sell it to somebody in good cosncience: my mum doesn't have TivO, so she uses the Roku to supplement her SkyHD and get some BBC iPlayer and genuine on-demand TV).
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
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