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Can HDR Fox T2 play MKV files

Discussion in 'HDR-FOX T2 Freeview Recorder' started by jack616, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. jack616

    jack616 Member

    Can someone give me a simple yes or no - can the Humax HDR Fox T2 be made to play "any" form of MKV file
    either off its own drive or from a USB plugged in drive?

    Thanks
     
    oijonesey likes this.
  2. brianmt

    brianmt Member

    DivX yes Mkv No . At least mine don't
     
  3. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    There is no simple yes/no answer - it depends on the contents of the .mkv file. I always used to find that US TV shows in .mkv format downloaded from usenet played fine. Then they changed the spec for encoding the files and now they don't. If a file won't play, try passing it through tsMuxer (quick - just a remux, not a recode). The resulting .ts file will play but you won't get transport control.
     
  4. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    For MKV (and AVI come to think) I would say Yes and No (I'm trying to be helpful Honestly). MKV is a container for a wide range of video formats, I have played SOME MKVs on the Humax successfully, Others don't, I have also heard that an MKV copied to the Humax will play but the same file streamed to the Humax won't
     
  5. jack616

    jack616 Member

    The reason I asked for a simple yes or no is becaue everywhere I've looked people keep saying "I have heard that..."
    Not once have I found a single example of an MKV file that plays or anyone stating what "design of MKV" does play.
    TS/M2TS files are of no interest BECAUSE of the lack of chapterisation etc.

    It seems clear that the Humax cannot play any MKV files but that people have some sort of fixation in wishing that it does.
    This is very time wasting.

    .If anyone KNOWS differently please use MKVInfo and upload the specs so we can all know.
    Thanks
     
  6. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    I have several MKV files that play fine. Here's the ffprobe output for one of them:

    Code:
    Input #0, matroska,webm, from 'file.mkv':
      Duration: 00:21:03.87, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 384 kb/s
        Stream #0.0(eng): Video: h264 (High), yuv420p, 1280x720, PAR 1:1 DAR 16:9, 23.98 fps, 23.98 tbr, 1k tbn, 47.95 tbc (default)
        Stream #0.1: Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5.1, s16, 384 kb/s (default)
    
     
  7. Zico Barton

    Zico Barton Member

    The Humax definately CAN play mkv files, I've played some myself.
    As someone mentioned above though I think it depends on the format of the contents of the mkv.

    I'll try and find the one that worked for me when I get home tomorrow and run it through mkvinfo
     
  8. oijonesey

    oijonesey Hummy.tv SEO Guru

    Ah a subject I've been trying to get my head around for a long time...

    For what it's worth I think the confusion in some of the answers may come from the fact that the Hummy can do a lot more off a disk drive (internal or USB) than it can across a network. Humax don't promise much in terms of files supported, I guess so that they can't get caught up in having to respond to queries, but we've all found it does more than the manual states it will do either in the form of file formats/containers or even just changing the file extension.

    The streaming capability is less because it only tries to comply with DLNA standards and they don't cater for much - it also (I think) matters what is serving up the content as some software seems to handle a wider range of input formats and do clever things to stream them out in a more compatible way. From my reading and experience over the last year I think the majority of the Yes answers are from those off of disks, and in the main the No answers were trying to stream. I accept that is not definitive, someone will no doubt have an example to contradict my generalisation, however it's worked as a guideline for me in my travels into video formats (started on AVForums some time ago Here (Click)

    That said your first post was clear enough - "any form of MKV file" and "off it's own disk or a USB" i.e. not streamed. The first part could be hard to answer if there's a wide range of flavours of MKV file but the second part I think at least af123 above has in some way proven.

    Apologies if you've already seen these but just in case you'd not seen it there are links to threads on video formats on the Information page here http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/faq-index-to-existing-informative-threads.400/ and one thread specifically mentions MKV that might help you http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/mkv-files.588/ (I've not re-read it but it does have what looks like the right title!!)
     
  9. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    I made a whole set of 720p .mkv copies of 'Band of Brothers' using Handbrake. They all play perfectly from the Hummy's hard disk.

    I just copied the first episode of the new series of 'House of Lies' and last week's episode of 'Law And Order: UK' on to the Hummy. Both usenet postings, both .mkv. 'Law and Order' plays perfectly, 'House of Lies' doesn't.

    All done purely in the interests of research, of course. For your information, this is the output from MediaInfo for House of Lies:

    General
    Complete name : F:\VIDEO\US_TV\House of Lies\House.of.Lies.S01E01.mkv
    Format : Matroska
    File size : 716 MiB
    Duration : 33mn 28s
    Overall bit rate : 2 989 Kbps
    Writing application : x264.exe
    Writing library : mkv2rls x264-tv version built on 2011. febr. 17

    Video
    ID : 1
    Format : AVC
    Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile : High@L3.1
    Format settings, CABAC : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames : 5 frames
    Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
    Duration : 33mn 28s
    Bit rate : 2 545 Kbps
    Width : 1 280 pixels
    Height : 720 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16:9
    Frame rate : 23.976 fps
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.115
    Stream size : 609 MiB (85%)
    Writing library : x264 core 120 r2120 0c7dab9
    Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=8 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=18 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=23 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=50 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=19.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Language : English

    Audio
    ID : 2
    Format : AC-3
    Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
    Mode extension : CM (complete main)
    Codec ID : A_AC3
    Duration : 33mn 28s
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 384 Kbps
    Channel(s) : 6 channels
    Channel positions : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
    Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
    Bit depth : 16 bits
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Stream size : 91.9 MiB (13%)
    Language : English

    and this for Law and Order - so what's the significant difference?:

    General
    Unique ID : 203794387050880037744980096456305496843 (0x99515F0A5DDFC2C2ADDBBCD1EB75530B)
    Complete name : F:\VIDEO\UK_TV\Law & Order UK\S06\law.and.order.uk.s06e01.mkv
    Format : Matroska
    File size : 768 MiB
    Duration : 46mn 19s
    Overall bit rate : 2 318 Kbps
    Encoded date : UTC 2012-01-06 22:16:06
    Writing application : mkvmerge v2.9.5 ('Tu es le seul') built on Jun 17 2009 16:28:30
    Writing library : libebml v0.7.8 + libmatroska v0.8.1

    Video
    ID : 1
    Format : AVC
    Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile : High@L4.1
    Format settings, CABAC : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames : 5 frames
    Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
    Duration : 46mn 19s
    Bit rate : 2 080 Kbps
    Width : 1 280 pixels
    Height : 720 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16:9
    Frame rate : 25.000 fps
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.090
    Stream size : 689 MiB (90%)
    Writing library : x264 core 120 r2120 0c7dab9
    Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=8 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=12 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=25 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=50 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=18.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00

    Audio
    ID : 2
    Format : AC-3
    Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
    Mode extension : CM (complete main)
    Codec ID : A_AC3
    Duration : 46mn 19s
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 192 Kbps
    Channel(s) : 2 channels
    Channel positions : Front: L R
    Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
    Bit depth : 16 bits
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Stream size : 63.6 MiB (8%)
    Language : English

    Text
    ID : 3
    Format : SSA
    Codec ID : S_TEXT/SSA
    Codec ID/Info : Sub Station Alpha
    Compression mode : Lossless
    Language : English
     
  10. jack616

    jack616 Member

    I've tried some with similar encoding but never got one to play (I'll give it another go) but
    I'm happy to take your word that these play. However no DVD disc I have has x264 video.

    This means that any DVD would need to be re-encoded taking about 4-6 hours or more per disc
    as would any file generated by the Humax box either SD or HD.
    Also there is no indication that chapters exist in the MKV files. Would that cause the Humax to choke
    even if it couldnt do anything with them?

    Those examples are impractical for anything but a one off example because of the time needed
    to re-encode them I suggest.

    However you have demonstarted that the Humax can read some MKV formats - so the question becomes
    why cant it read mpeg-2 inside the it?
     
  11. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    See here.

    I'm not sure why you're so concerned with making mkv files. If, for whatever reason, you want to recode some other media format to x264 you can do it with Handbrake or Freemake and use the mp4 output format: same size, same quality (same video stream!) and if you copy it back on to the Hummy, it will play. You can even use avi with an x264 video stream.

    As you say, recoding is time-consuming and unless you want to archive the material, just not worth the hassle. Of course, most media posted on usenet and in p2p groups is already in mkv format, which has become the standard format for internet sharing. It's annoying that much - but not all - of this will not play if copied to the Humax hard drive. That's down, I believe, to inadequacies in the Hummy's codec support which are unlikely to be remedied. However, you can play these files on the Humax in a rather limited fashion if you run them through tsMuxeR. Where a full transcode could take longer than the running time of the media file, re-muxing them to .ts format with tsMuxeR takes only a few minutes.
     
  12. jack616

    jack616 Member

    Yes fenlander - thanks for the suggetstion and I do use Tsmuxer to make temporary conversions - but the point is to get the files in a sensible format in the first place.

    I'm so concerned because I want to be able to use my files anywhere AND to be able to navigate them. Thats all.
    Not a lot to ask of a file on a disc really.
    Its pretty pointless having a file you cant navigate just because of a file wrapper. Why use the wrapper at all.
    The only file format that does anything close is MKV so thats what I've chosen - if there's something better tell me and I'll use that.
    MKV works fine on all 4 of my PC's and my TV and amazingly via my bluray disc player.
    So everything else is a time wasting confusion I dont want. Only the Humax can't do it.

    But just to test I've now tried encoding a couple of small files with handbrake using x264 and neither plays back. I have the latest versions of everything installed.
    I'll keep trying as I get time but right now I cant see why they dont play if the ones above do. I also tried downloading a couple of pirate
    MKV movies from the net and neither played.
    This suggests perhaps something different in some of the boxes maybe.

    Does anyone know how the media decoding is done? Is it by standard linux software or similar? Presumably they have some hardware support
    for mpeg2 but what of the other formats?
     
  13. Black Hole

    Black Hole Ron Glum

    As far as I know there isn't enough processing power on the box to do real-time decoding to video in software, it's all handled by hardware decoders and therefore limited to the algorithms that are supported by the existing hardware. There's probably no encoding support at all (at least my analogue PVR is capable of encoding analogue PAL video into DVD-compatible digital data in real time!).
     
  14. fenlander

    fenlander Active Member

    Just to check the obvious: the files you tried encoding were decrypted, I suppose? As this is not the modified firmware forum, I'm assuming that you copy the file to a usb drive? Copying directly to your PC via ftp does not decrypt it.

    Have you tried mp4 instead of mkv? I've found it to be more compatible with other devices.

    Having said all this to try to help, I must confess that I do not try to do much with Hummy files myself. I have a media PC connected to my system as well as a Hummy: I record SD programmes using Windows Media Centre on the PC and if I want to keep them I edit them in VideoRedo and save them as mpg files. Occasionally, I put them through Freemake and output them as mp4 - half the size and a reasonably quick recode. If I really want to keep a programme in HD I download it from the web. I'm fortunate to have a fast connection and the choice between a 5-minute download and a couple of hours of decrypting, editing and transcoding is really a no-brainer. Obviously, I have no problem with downloaded mkv files as I only ever play them on the media PC or a laptop. Early on, I did play with the idea of centralising everything on the Hummy. I changed my mind when I discovered how many downloaded files would not play and also just how good Splash Player Pro is for playing everything via the media PC.
     
  15. jack616

    jack616 Member

    Its always worth checking the obvious I agree. But yes I'm aware of the decription issues and methods. They wouldnt work as MKV or TS if they were encrypted.
    MP4 is no use as I have far too many DVD's to process to spend half a day each converting them (which is my prime concern ATT)
    The Humax it seems has this one big flaw in what is otherwise a very flexible piece of kit.
    It simply doesnt include MKV support.
     
  16. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

     
  17. Simon Anderson

    Simon Anderson New Member

    This is my first post so please excuse/correct any protocol errors.

    I have been messing around with this for a while as I like to download things on my PC and then watch them on my HDR FOX T2. It seems that the problem is not with the content since this can be copied to MP4 without re-encoding (except maybe having to recode the audio to AAC to comply with the MP4 container format).

    I therefore started to look at the Matroska container and why in some cases MKV files would play and in others they would not. It seemed to make sense that the Hummy would have been designed to comply with the Matroska container formats in use at a certain time but might be struggling with newer versions. My favourite video editing/reformatting tool, AVIdemux, is currently at version 2.6.2 and I have already found (to my annoyance) that files created with this version will not play. The change log for AVIdemux revealed that MKV support was introduced in V2.4.0 but the oldest version that I could find online was V2.4.4. I found that files created using this version would play but had issues with fast forward, rewind etc.. To cut a long story short it seems that V2.5.2 consistently creates files that will play well on the Hummy.

    Better still is the news that no recode is necessary (unless there is a problem with the content such as DTS sound). I can therefore load any downloaded MKV file (or indeed any other container with suitable content) into V2.5.2 of AVIdemux leave the video and audio set to copy, change the format to MKV and hit save to rapidly produce working MKV files every time!

    I realise that somebody here may find an exception or mistake but I hope you find this helpful.
     
    sceptic and af123 like this.
  18. af123

    af123 Administrator Staff Member

    Useful information, thanks. FWIW, I have found that every .mkv that I've ever downloaded has played without modification, albeit without trick play functions (which aren't important to me - I can still skip forward and backwards if necessary)
     
  19. Ezra Pound

    Ezra Pound Well-Known Member

    Good tip, I have added a note to the Wiki HERE
     
  20. Mike Somers

    Mike Somers Member

    Many thanks to Simon Anderson for the MKV tip. I downloaded Avidemux 2.5.2 from Sourceforge and experimented with a large file I had downloaded. I demuxed it with tsmuxer and converted the audio side from DTS to AC3 and then remuxed it with Mkvmerge. The completed file was transferred to my HDR Fox T2 and it did not play. I then ran it through Avidemux and transferred that to the Hummy and it played! I had previously tried MKV files unsuccessfully so I am delighted to find a way of playing files I have downloaded. Some of the TV programs I have missed can be found on usenet (usually MKV) so I can now add them to my hummy. Very convenient if I have missed one episode of a series. Previously I had converted to ts or m2ts with tsmuxer and used Avi2hdr to make the files playable, very time consuming.