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Can HDR Fox T2 play MKV files

OP
J

jack616

Member
The Humax is not designed to play MKV files and it doesnt.
What you are doing is creating non standard files that the humax can play despite labelling them mkv
Unfortunately your non-mkv files may play now on various devices - probably because they are set up
to examine actual content before playback but there is no guaranteed that will be universal.

Putting a fake MKV label on a file is storing up trouble for the future - for yourself and if
you upload it to the internet - for any one else. In such cases you are NOT playing back MKV files on the Humax because
the Humax is not capable of playing MKV files as previosuly explained.

This is a very bad practice that should not be done as its ends up wasting a lot of peoples time at later dates.
If you are transcoding just transcode it correctly to TS. The Humax and everything else then knows what it has.
TS muxer will convert mkv to TS in seconds. There is no need to confuse the issue.
 

Ezra Pound

Well-Known Member
I think you would need to define what a true MKV file is, are you saying that AVIdemux V2.5.2, Handbreak etc. produce fake MKV files?
 

fenlander

Active Member
Matroska is a container - it can contain all sorts of video streams, audio streams and subtitles. I don't think there is any holy script telling you what you may or may not put in a mkv file.

That said, there are certain standards that have been independently adopted by different groups and organisations. For example, many Usenet mkv downloads originate with a group known as the 'Scene' and they have a set of technical specifications that are rigorously enforced. Non-conforming posts are quickly 'nuked' and replaced. Many files posted on torrent sites are created by individuals who do not observe the same rules, making downloads from torrent sources less reliable.

Equipment suppliers like Humax, equip their kit to understand, not the matroska container, but a selected (by them) subset of stream formats that it may contain. Interestingly, a few years ago you could have relied on any Scene-originated mkv file to play perfectly on a Humax HDR-T2. Those were the days when a Scene rip of any US TV show would have been precisely 1.09GB in size. Why? - so you could fit four of them on a standard DVD-R. Then the group changed its rules and their new standard was not understood by Humax PVRs.

I personally find that the mkv container is a bit of a nuisance, precisely because it is so flexible in what it will contain. It is fine on a PC media player because these are easily updated or configured to read anything you may throw at them, but equipment like PVRs cannot do this because their limited decoding capabilities are hardware-based, rather than software-based. Before I gave up transcoding as a waste of time (and a bit OCD), I used to remux mkv files to mp4, keeping the original video stream and recoding the audio stream to AAC, if necessary. I used XVid4PSP to do this. Mp4 is much more widely compatible than mkv - and I see that there is a move away from mkv and towards mp4 on the web, especially for standard definition video files.

My advice: if you must transcode mkv to make it more universally playable, use mp4. Ultimately, mkv is a dead end.

I'll add one more point. One of the reasons I used to transcode mkvs was so that I could play them on my Hummy. They just looked better on the hummy than they did when played with VLC or some other PC-based media player. Then I discovered Splash Pro. Nuff said?
 
OP
J

jack616

Member
That's right you can put anything you like into it. That doesn't mean your playback device can get it back out again though.
And thats what the Humax can't do.

Ezra:
I did think I'd put this one to bed long ago - and did define it for you. perhaps I did it somewhere else.
There is a program that checks conformity to MKV standards on mosu's site somewhere or used to be.
Along with the full specs.
If you really want to understand you'd probably need to review ebml docs - try wikipedia - the pertenant informaton
to see what happened is in the history section. I just ahd a peep - it's still there.
MKV does not and will not play on these boxes. Anything that does play is not an MKV file no matter
what produced it.
It's that simple and you are storing up trouble using software that produces non conformant files of any sort.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
That's right you can put anything you like into it.

...That doesn't mean your playback device can get it back out again though.
And thats what the Humax can't do.

...Anything that does play is not an MKV file no matter what produced it.
These statements appear highly contradictory. If you can put any kind of steam into an MKV container, and we know that some streams inside an MKV container do in fact play on a Humax, then I do not understand how you come to your final conclusion.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and swims like a duck, then it is a duck.
 
It seems that there is more to the question posed in the original posting.
My objective is to be able to play episodes of TV programmes which I have missed or have taken to watching subsequently. Downton Abbey and Silent Witness are examples. I obtain these in the MKV format usually so making them playable and added to the appropriate folder on the Humax is ideal. They are exclusively for my own use so their wider use is irrelevant. I do sometimes use them via my Oppo disc player via the usb port and can chapertise the file to get back to the point at which I ceased viewing.
Whether it is a "Genuine" MKV file does not matter to me as long as it plays on all my devices, which they do.
 

Tell

Member
There was a good post sometime ago by somebody that went into the merits of using MKVMerge GUI v2.2.0 which fixes a number of MKV files that one comes across which don't normally play. You get rid of the subtitle file if any and settle on one audio track, then Bob is generally your Uncle in quite a few occasions. Normally you make the output file off the network and then copy back onto the Humax.

As explained by the original poster there is an enhanced header on MKV files these days that the Humax doesn't like, so the old version of this software (dated 4th March 2008) puts the playable header back on, whilst ditching sub titles and more than one audio sound tracks also makes these playable if they ever were going to play due to what MKV encapsulates which is playable and the Humax being fussy about subtitles and multiple audio sound tracks (it won't play DTS either but will play dolby digital 5.1). Generally the MKV files touted about on the internet can all be fixed by this method without massive transcoding probably because the boxes that they come from use a more modern MKV header, MP4 and dolby digital and can handle subtitles / multiple audio tracks that the Humax can't without a bit of filtering and re heading.

See post 39 of this thread which is the key... I see Jack was on this thread as well:

http://hummy.tv/forum/threads/mkv-files.588/page-2
 

jdtanner

New Member
I used to have terrible problems with mkv files, but found mkclean from the Matroska foundation sorted them all out.

Might be worth a go?
John
 

Tell

Member
Thanks John. I see that says command line, I might stick to the 2008 version of MKMerge but things aren't as dire with MKV files as people convey. Its only DTS sound where transcoding is required the others just need a bit of filtering to bring them down to what the Humax can handle.
 

Cancunia

Member
Reviving an old thread, just wondered if there are any updates to adapting MKV's to work on the T2? I've downloaded & tried AVIDEMUX 252 in my WinXP VM but it resulted in jumpy video & garbled audio, probably finger trouble on my part but was hoping there might be a newer, Linux based alternative. I have Handbrake working but converting takes about 1 min for every minute of video on my laptop.
 

Cancunia

Member
Not sure how to edit posts on here...
Update, I found this simple command line option using ffmpeg:
ffmpeg -i input.mkv -codec copy output.mp4

It's very quick.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
ffmpeg -i input.mkv -codec copy output.mp4
That will work as long as the codecs in the original .mkv are compatible with the .mp4 container and the HDR-FOX's ability to play them.

Not sure how to edit posts on here...
 

Cancunia

Member
That will work as long as the codecs in the original .mkv are compatible with the .mp4 container and the HDR-FOX's ability to play them.
Well, as it takes less than a minute to try, FFMPEG is worth a go. I also tried AVIDEMUX, it works just as well but takes a bit longer.

Any other options that people have come up with?
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
Any other options that people have come up with?
It has been established that HDR-FOX will play some .mkv, as long as the HDR-FOX supports the relevant codecs when within a mkv container. There is no possibility of changing that native behaviour, so for universal .mkv support there is no alternative but to either remux into another container (without re-encoding, possible using ffmpeg on the HDR-FOX command line exposed by Custom Firmware - either by Telnet or WebShell), or re-encoding if necessary (not possible on the HDR-FOX due to resource limitations).

Well, as it takes less than a minute to try, FFMPEG is worth a go.
It helps to know success is not assured. What would be better is if some enterprising individual were to compile a definitive explanation of how to find out what is in the .mkv, and list whether each combination will play natively or be successful if remuxed.
 

af123

Administrator
Staff member
What would be better is if some enterprising individual were to compile a definitive explanation of how to find out what is in the .mkv,
That bit I can help with, ffprobe. The other bit is collating experience. This one plays:

Code:
humax# ffprobe ./_Archive/Fallen.mkv
Input #0, matroska,webm, from './_Archive/Fallen.mkv':
  Metadata:
    encoder         : libebml v0.8.0 + libmatroska v0.9.0
    creation_time   : 2010-05-25T01:37:49.000000Z
  Duration: 00:44:02.69, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 1902 kb/s
    Chapter #0:0: start 0.000000, end 513.554700
    Metadata:
      title           : Chapter 1
    Chapter #0:1: start 513.554700, end 1029.486789
    Metadata:
      title           : Chapter 2
    Chapter #0:2: start 1029.486789, end 1570.193622
    Metadata:
      title           : Chapter 3
    Chapter #0:3: start 1570.193622, end 2090.338244
    Metadata:
      title           : Chapter 4
    Chapter #0:4: start 2090.338244, end 2642.688000
    Metadata:
      title           : Chapter 5
    Stream #0:0(eng): Video: h264 (High), yuv420p(tv, smpte170m/smpte170m/bt709, progressive), 720x480 [SAR 853:720 DAR 853:480], SAR 186:157 DAR 279:157, 23.98 fps, 23.98 tbr, 1k tbn, 180k tbc (default)
    Stream #0:1(eng): Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, 5.1(side), fltp, 448 kb/s (default)
    Metadata:
      title           : English
    Stream #0:2(eng): Audio: ac3, 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp, 192 kb/s
    Metadata:
      title           : Director's Commentary
    Stream #0:3(eng): Subtitle: subrip (default)
    Metadata:
      title           : English
 

chimeland

New Member
I transfer video to my server then play it on the Humax via the USB option (NFS). I got fed up chancing .avi and .mkv which invariably wouldn't play properly or at all, so I now change everything to MP4 before hand with ffmpeg (I use a BASH script I knocked up for convenience and because I can't remember all the options for ffmpeg!).

So basically it's normally just a full copy (-c:a copy -c:v copy) or a partial copy changing audio to 2 channel ac3 (-ac 2 -c:a ac3 -b:a 192k -c:v copy). However, the reason I'm posting is to point out that if you do need a full recode of the video then using NVENC with an nVidia card is so much quicker than just CPU. I use this as a general rule...

-filter:v format=yuv420p -c:v h264_nvenc -profile:v high -level:v 4.1 -preset slow -rc vbr_hq -2pass 1 -rc-lookahead 60 -b:v 1000k -c:a copy

It will need altering for any audio conversion and I've also found you can't copy subtitles (-c:s copy) with a .ts file. That bitrate is not very high either but suits my general purposes. I don't appear to have much control over an NVENC encode (in my limited experience) but I'd love to hear anyone else's feedback if they use it.
 
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