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Play MKV files on Xbox 360 without transcoding


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#31 roadwarrior

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:46

Yeah I'm just wondering because native video playback either off hard drive or streaming depends on the codecs your console supports, not your PC. The only time PC codecs matter is if you require to transcode a video on your PC first before streaming it.


Not quite correct. Many streaming programs also transcode in realtime as you are watching the video on your 360 (or PS3 for that matter). In those cases, it IS the codecs on your computer that matter, not the codec support on your console.


#32 +Audioboxer

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:48

Not quite correct. Many streaming programs also transcode in realtime as you are watching the video on your 360 (or PS3 for that matter). In those cases, it IS the codecs on your computer that matter, not the codec support on your console.


That's what I meant sorry, I didn't word it great.

The only time PC codecs matter is if you require to transcode a video on your PC first before streaming it.


I use PS3MS and it will transcode on the fly.

#33 profets

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Posted 24 April 2009 - 16:52

As a MCE, it remote desktops but then it has a dedicated video stream but it still depends on the codec support on the extender and renders UI on Xbox 360. If you install ffdshow codec on a Vista box, the MC on the computer then will play Xvid/Divx but the extender - Xbox 360 won't. I am equally confused but you can read more here.


interesting.. so what it seems is that an actual media center extender, like the one that is part of xbox360, really relies on the Media center computer for what it can play.. since win7 media center has additional codecs included natively, the media center extender is able to play those files when connected to a win7 MC computer?

i have a ps3 so always use it to stream any video. but i do have a 360 i should try it out with vista and 7 to see what its like.

#34 Briandl79

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 05:24

How do you create/encode those?


I don't I acquire them.

I have encoded some WMV's from MKV's in the past, it was pretty time consuming (I only did this for a few things I couldn't find already encoded in WMV and only available as MKV)

#35 Deihmos

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 16:00

I really wish people would stop using this crap.


I wish the same. Why would Microsoft support this? I doubt there is a single reputable company supports the mkv container. It seems kind of pointless since you can do the same with an mp4 container and that's widely supported by media extenders etc. Pirates are the one using pushing mkv for some odd reason.

Edited by Deihmos, 26 April 2009 - 16:06.


#36 daz-

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 19:17

I wish the same. Why would Microsoft support this? I doubt there is a single reputable company supports the mkv container. It seems kind of pointless since you can do the same with an mp4 container and that's widely supported by media extenders etc. Pirates are the one using pushing mkv for some odd reason.


Yea, its pretty annoying. Why bother creating another format/container, just what we need right? ogg, mp2, mp3, mp4, aac, mkv, wmv, wma, rm, ra, divx, xvid, avi, mov, m2ts, mpeg, mpeg2, ts blah blah blah..

I would be so nice if everyone standardized. All we need is WMV Corona / VC-1 / WM9 if you think about it. Its the most fully feature complete video/audio system. It supports 56k modems up to 50megabit archive quality, does mono voice, to 7.1 surround. Optimized for streaming and archiving. Has incredible video quality. Has a super fast and easy compressor which can also do live encoding/streaming. And is now almost universally hardware accelerated. If you have a DX8 or newer video card, you have full WMV acceleration with DXVA. My Athlon XP 2700+ with ATI X800XL 256, couldn't play a 720p h.264 at more than 1-2FPS. But it could fly on a 1080p WMV file. Im not a fan of locking into a proprietary format, so it would be nice if MSFT would open it up and loosen the licensing fees if there are any?

I do agree h.264 is great too, but it has its limits. It takes much longer to encode to it, and much more horse power to decode it. It took me months to be able to get my 8core Mac Pro (2.8ghz, 6gigs ram, Geforce 8800GT 512meg) to decode mkv's with h.264. Finally got it working with a new ffdshow. And mkv, h.264 and aac, or ac3, or DTS weren't designed to work together as well as WM9 was. They do work together, I'm just saying its not a fully integrated solution. Theres not official one stop encoder solution, and one device might support XYZ, but another doesnt support ZYX... If you get a WM certified device, it all works. I wouldn't mind seeing a good fully supported implementation of h.264 and a good audio codec stick around and compete, but 2 standard formats would be much nicer than the hundreds we have.

#37 +Audioboxer

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 19:29

Yea, its pretty annoying. Why bother creating another format/container, just what we need right? ogg, mp2, mp3, mp4, aac, mkv, wmv, wma, rm, ra, divx, xvid, avi, mov, m2ts, mpeg, mpeg2, ts blah blah blah..

I would be so nice if everyone standardized. All we need is WMV Corona / VC-1 / WM9 if you think about it. Its the most fully feature complete video/audio system. It supports 56k modems up to 50megabit archive quality, does mono voice, to 7.1 surround. Optimized for streaming and archiving. Has incredible video quality. Has a super fast and easy compressor which can also do live encoding/streaming. And is now almost universally hardware accelerated. If you have a DX8 or newer video card, you have full WMV acceleration with DXVA. My Athlon XP 2700+ with ATI X800XL 256, couldn't play a 720p h.264 at more than 1-2FPS. But it could fly on a 1080p WMV file. Im not a fan of locking into a proprietary format, so it would be nice if MSFT would open it up and loosen the licensing fees if there are any?

I do agree h.264 is great too, but it has its limits. It takes much longer to encode to it, and much more horse power to decode it. It took me months to be able to get my 8core Mac Pro (2.8ghz, 6gigs ram, Geforce 8800GT 512meg) to decode mkv's with h.264. Finally got it working with a new ffdshow. And mkv, h.264 and aac, or ac3, or DTS weren't designed to work together as well as WM9 was. They do work together, I'm just saying its not a fully integrated solution. Theres not official one stop encoder solution, and one device might support XYZ, but another doesnt support ZYX... If you get a WM certified device, it all works. I wouldn't mind seeing a good fully supported implementation of h.264 and a good audio codec stick around and compete, but 2 standard formats would be much nicer than the hundreds we have.


No.

H264 + DTS or TrueHD is the best combination, followed by AC3.

It's an open source format, Microsoft own WMV/WM9/WMA which makes encoding it even more of a pain in the ass as you have to use/pay for propitiatory software.

There's your biggest reason H264 and MKV are the most popular for rippers, it costs nothing to be able to encode. I encode my Blu Rays and can do one in roughly a days work.

E6600 @ 3.4ghz and 4GB of ram.

H264 is also DXVA compliant by the way, if you encode it correctly.

MKV is just the container, you can easily mux to other containers. The issue here is MS not supporting enough codecs/combinations with the 360, most other media servers like the PS3/Popcorn Hour/etc can easily play what's contained within MKV files.

If they've not been ripped to DXVA standards you may need to transcode or patch the H264 video stream, but that shouldn't be an issue if you're ripping your own movies as you just re-rip. If you're downloading you've got no real "right" to be moaning about anything :p

ps. Ideal scenario is not to encode anything at all, modern day Blu Rays are encoded in AVC, meaning you just rip the disc and the M2TS file will playback natively on many players, PS3 included. A lot of people still encode though as an untouched Blu Ray movie ranges around 25GB+ and the encode can be up to or even less than half the size for no real quality loss.

Edited by Audioboxer, 26 April 2009 - 19:38.


#38 OP BajiRav

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 19:43

^ H.264 is not open source. :p Assuming you used that term in the sense of "free software".

Patent licensing
In countries where patents on software algorithms are upheld, the vendors of products which make use of H.264/AVC are expected to pay patent licensing royalties for the patented technology[clarification needed] that their products use. This applies to the Baseline Profile as well.[5] A private organization known as MPEG LA, which is not affiliated in any way with the MPEG standardization organization, administers the licenses for patents applying to this standard, as well as the patent pools for MPEG-2 Part 1 Systems, MPEG-2 Part 2 Video, MPEG-4 Part 2 Video, and other technologies.

In 2005, Qualcomm, which was the assignee of US Patents 5,452,104[6] and 5,576,767[7], sued Broadcom in US District Court, alleging that Broadcom infringed the two patents by making products that were compliant with the H.264 video compression standard.[8] In 2007, the District Court found that the patents were unenforceable because Qualcomm had failed to disclose them to the JVT prior to the release of the H.264 standard in May 2003.[8] In December 2008, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court's order that the patents be unenforceable but remanded to the District Court with instructions to limit the scope of unenforceability to H.264 compliant products.[8]



#39 +Audioboxer

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 19:48

Fair enough :p

What I should have worded it like is its easy and free for me to encode to H264 with the likes of Handbrake/etc.

#40 bob21

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 20:04

Just for anyone thinking of purchasing a network media player like popcornhour and expecting flawless MKV playback think again even if your device can handle the container weather it can actually play the file is hit and miss. And even if the file plays get ready for audiosync hell and forced Chinese subtitles .

Save yourself a lot of time and effort , Get the video and audio bitrates from the MKV file and transcode it with those values . The rusult is a divx avi which has the same resolution, bitrate and filesize as the MKV file with noneof the horrendous compatibility issues .

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid .

#41 limok

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 20:13

I've gotten MKV's to play on the X360 via the 7 Media Center but the quality is degraded big time, it's like a watching a crappy video capture from a mobile phone.

#42 +Audioboxer

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 20:20

Just for anyone thinking of purchasing a network media player like popcornhour and expecting flawless MKV playback think again even if your device can handle the container weather it can actually play the file is hit and miss. And even if the file plays get ready for audiosync hell and forced Chinese subtitles .

Save yourself a lot of time and effort , Get the video and audio bitrates from the MKV file and transcode it with those values . The rusult is a divx avi which has the same resolution, bitrate and filesize as the MKV file with noneof the horrendous compatibility issues .

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid .


Yes, hit or miss if you're downloading MKVs off the internet.

Popcornhour requires DXVA compliant encodes which aren't in anyway any less quality, they're just encoded correctly. Something everyone's buddies in the scene did not do to start with on the whole (few groups did, most didn't), although I think DXVA compliancy is now a scene rule.

The scene lives on fastest to release wins, half these groups will sacrifice quality/compatibility in the effort of speed in getting the movie out. Once it's out and if not nuked, it can't be duped, not even by a better quality release. Encoding your own Blu Rays is the way to go if you want to avoid compatibility issues. Although as I said above I'm sure DXVA compliancy is now a scene rule, so most of you will be rejoicing if you have media servers.

Any sort of transcoding results in quality loss to some extent, can be minor, can be major.

Edited by Audioboxer, 26 April 2009 - 20:25.


#43 OP BajiRav

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 23:25

Just for anyone thinking of purchasing a network media player like popcornhour and expecting flawless MKV playback think again even if your device can handle the container weather it can actually play the file is hit and miss. And even if the file plays get ready for audiosync hell and forced Chinese subtitles .

Save yourself a lot of time and effort , Get the video and audio bitrates from the MKV file and transcode it with those values . The rusult is a divx avi which has the same resolution, bitrate and filesize as the MKV file with noneof the horrendous compatibility issues .

Avoid, Avoid, Avoid .

I don't have tools to and don't know how to encode WMV Pro. After WMV, only real option is H.264 in terms of quality/bitrate and pure MP4 solution of H.264/AAC is useless since my receiver/Xbox doesn't know 5.1AAC, then what is the option? H.264+AC3 = AVCHD ;) (or MKV - take your pick).
There is more to video quality than resolution and bitrate. :)

#44 damyang

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Posted 27 April 2009 - 21:46

I've gotten MKV's to play on the X360 via the 7 Media Center but the quality is degraded big time, it's like a watching a crappy video capture from a mobile phone.


Same here... All I've done to Win7 RC was installing Haali Matroska Splitter so I could play and see MKV in WMP 12 and WMC 7. XBOX360 played it, but the quality was like 'limok' mentioned before. I am confused now, because I don't know, should I be happy or should I be sad :)

I just want to avoid having another player / STB / whatever for streaming HD media from my PC, because XBOX ought to be just fine, only if MS would reprogram the console to play all possible video/audio formats.

#45 +Audioboxer

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 09:42

If the quality is different, WMP12/WMC must be transcoding the video....

If it's doing it on the fly, then it will most certainly depend on how powerful your PC is, but there should be some sort of settings somewhere?