Jump to content



Photo

Play MKV files on Xbox 360 without transcoding


  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 BajiRav

BajiRav

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 04
  • Location: Xbox, where am I?
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
  • Phone: Lumia 920

Posted 04 April 2009 - 00:58

Windows 7 has native support for AVCHD which is nothing but H.264/AC3 inside a m2ts container. This means that Windows Media Center can now play these files natively.
Most MKV media that I have seen (personally I have just two MKV files) is H.264 with AC3 audio. So all I needed to do was change the container from mkv to m2ts. Since this method does not need any lossy transcoding, it is far easier and much faster. As long as your source is good, the result is pretty much guaranteed.

Required:
1. A decent spec PC with Windows 7
2. SmartLabs tsMuxer (freeware, no install required)
3. Xbox 360 :p with Media Center extender enabled.
4. MKV media with AVC/H.264 video and AC3 audio

Procedure:
1. Start tsMuxer and add your MKV clip in the input section
snip1.PNG
2. In the Tracks section check if you see expected tracks. I included the subtitle track but apparently WMC and WMP don't use it.
3. Did not do anything in the General track options setting
4. In the Output section select M2TS muxing and select desired location.
5. Now hit Start muxing button at the bottom.
snip2.PNG
6. Depending on your PC, it will take 5-10mins to perform a pass through conversion of the clip.
7. If all goes well, Windows Explorer will display a thumbnail for this. Try playing it in WMP and check if it plays without problems.
8. Now move the m2ts file to your Video library.
OR
8. Media Center has a special library called "Movie Library" that you can setup from its settings. e.g. e:\Movies. Move the m2ts file to this location.
9. Now give Windows Search enough time to index the new file. For me it was roughly 5mins.
10. Launch WMC from Xbox 360
11. Navigate to either Pictures + Videos>video library or Movies>movie library and play the file.

For me this worked without any problems at the very first attempt. I haven't experimented much with tsMuxer besides whatever I wrote above. This obviously will not work through the dashboard since Xbox 360 doesn't recognize the format (it did not show up in list for me). I am sure they will add the support soon because all consumer HD camcorders use m2ts(or mts) files. PS3 probably supports m2ts format already because of Sony's handycam connection.

Hope this helps people who have Windows 7 installed. I am using build 7057. Although Media Center can be shaky at times so YMMV. :/


#2 Revolution.

Revolution.

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 03-January 08

Posted 04 April 2009 - 01:01

yeah but whats the point, you might as well convert it to a format it understands..

cbb until they release native support for most formats..

but nice work doing all this work :)

#3 OP BajiRav

BajiRav

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 04
  • Location: Xbox, where am I?
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
  • Phone: Lumia 920

Posted 04 April 2009 - 01:03

yeah but whats the point, you might as well convert it to a format it understands..

cbb until they release native support for most formats..

but nice work doing all this work :)

I don't know when MS will support MKV - probably never, knowing how long it took them to do H.264. Besides this is much better than lossy conversion. IMO anyway.

#4 vetbangbang023

bangbang023

    Silent Veteran

  • Joined: 17-October 01
  • Location: Brooklyn, NY

Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:06

hopefully Windows 7 will actually connect via media center to my xbox. im one of the many who can't get it to work with Vista.

#5 +Audien

Audien

    Software Eng.

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 30-December 03
  • Location: Seattle, WA
  • OS: Windows 8.1/Mac OSX
  • Phone: iPhone 5S

Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:17

Can't try it atm but looks promising. Shame that MS is still behind the times with mkv support.

#6 I am Reid

I am Reid

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 03-November 05
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio

Posted 04 April 2009 - 03:30

My output file was only 720x480

#7 Konstanov

Konstanov

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 16-December 04
  • Location: Dallas|Volgograd

Posted 04 April 2009 - 15:03

Just buy Badaboom if you have a recent graphics card, it takes 15-30 minutes for my graphics cards to convert a .mkv file to .mpeg4 with the highest quality settings.

#8 limok

limok

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 20-May 04
  • Location: Manchester, UK
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • Phone: Galaxy S4, iPhone 5

Posted 04 April 2009 - 15:07

So if this works then theoretically you can stream unprotected Bluray AVCHD to the 360 using Media Center.

#9 vetgiga

giga

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 09-October 02

Posted 04 April 2009 - 15:35

How about DTS?

#10 +Audioboxer

Audioboxer

    Hermit Arcana

  • Joined: 01-December 03
  • Location: UK, Scotland

Posted 04 April 2009 - 15:40

IIRC it is not possible to stream AC3 5.1 or DTS to the 360 if you remux H264 content.

That's from the creators of MKV2VOB and PS3Media Server.

If you want AC3 5.1 I believe you have to transcode. DTS is just not possible full stop - It only works on the PS3 as the creators of the above applications found a way to trick the PS3 into sending the DTS sound track to your receiver untouched, so your receiver is actually decoding it, not the PS3. It's done by confusing the PS3 into thinking the track is 2 channel PCM, but when it actually reaches your receiver, your receiver knows its DTS and not 2.0 PCM.

If the 360 supported LPCM I believe they may have been able to do the same trick, but the 360 doesn't support HD audio.

People need to understand MKV support on either the 360 or PS3 wouldn't really change anything, it's just a container, codec support is what matters most. Containers can easily be changed.

From 3r1c (MKV2VOB)

There is no way to get x264+ac3 working on xbox 360.

There is 3 ways:
1. convert the ac3 to aac stereo and mux to mp4
2. convert the video to mpeg2+ac3.
3. convert the video+audio to WMV


With transcoding set to always and codec set to xvid, mkv2vob will create xbox360 playable files.
but it converts the video not the audio, this will take much longer then AAC conversion.
But with AAC you will only get stereo, with xvid you get to keep the ac3 5.1


So it's either/or - You can get 5.1 if you transcode video, but if you remux video you get stereo AAC.

Edited by Audioboxer, 04 April 2009 - 15:46.


#11 DanManIt

DanManIt

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 25-December 03

Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:18

i really wish microsoft would just add support for .mkv files

#12 bob21

bob21

    HP HDX User

  • Joined: 29-February 08

Posted 05 April 2009 - 03:22

I really wish people would stop using this crap.

#13 Vandalsquad

Vandalsquad

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 21-March 06
  • Location: Australia

Posted 06 April 2009 - 00:50

You make a point, but its good for anime... and which is why im guessing 90% of the people want the container supported including me.

#14 OP BajiRav

BajiRav

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 04
  • Location: Xbox, where am I?
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
  • Phone: Lumia 920

Posted 06 April 2009 - 14:46

IIRC it is not possible to stream AC3 5.1 or DTS to the 360 if you remux H264 content.

That's from the creators of MKV2VOB and PS3Media Server.

If you want AC3 5.1 I believe you have to transcode. DTS is just not possible full stop - It only works on the PS3 as the creators of the above applications found a way to trick the PS3 into sending the DTS sound track to your receiver untouched, so your receiver is actually decoding it, not the PS3. It's done by confusing the PS3 into thinking the track is 2 channel PCM, but when it actually reaches your receiver, your receiver knows its DTS and not 2.0 PCM.

If the 360 supported LPCM I believe they may have been able to do the same trick, but the 360 doesn't support HD audio.

People need to understand MKV support on either the 360 or PS3 wouldn't really change anything, it's just a container, codec support is what matters most. Containers can easily be changed.

From 3r1c (MKV2VOB)

So it's either/or - You can get 5.1 if you transcode video, but if you remux video you get stereo AAC.

Media Center is independent of the Xbox dashboard. That's why with Vista you couldn't play Xvid in WMC but you could do it in the dashboard. Windows 7 Media Center now supports AVCHD which is H.264 + AC3. I think I was able to play 5.1. I will check that later today.

#15 vetgiga

giga

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 09-October 02

Posted 06 April 2009 - 15:57

Media Center is independent of the Xbox dashboard. That's why with Vista you couldn't play Xvid in WMC but you could do it in the dashboard. Windows 7 Media Center now supports AVCHD which is H.264 + AC3. I think I was able to play 5.1. I will check that later today.

Your own screenshots show it downmixing to two channel AC3. (I think, I've never used either of those programs)

edit: Nevermind, it looks like its just demuxing and muxing it, not downmixing.

Edited by giga, 06 April 2009 - 16:03.