No sound on newer MKV files?

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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby gastric » Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am

While I don't disagree about the cause of the problem, my personal disappointment is that there's been no programmatic fix. We're left with manually remuxing media. Which is extremely tedious for those of us downloading dozens (often more) of files weekly.

I've been using XBMC running on an old PC lately and have yet to have any problems playing media directly from network shares. No media server required (though I can use PS3 Media Server if I want), no remuxing, no un-RARing. It just plays everything without error. And I believe it uses MENCODER to do it's decoding, with the ability to offload processing to the GPU if you have a GeForce 8xxx series card. So apparently there is in fact a programmatic fix available somewhere. Just not in PS3 Media Server yet.
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby Coltaine79 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 2:42 am

gastric wrote:I've been using XBMC running on an old PC lately and have yet to have any problems playing media directly from network shares. No media server required (though I can use PS3 Media Server if I want), no remuxing, no un-RARing. It just plays everything without error. And I believe it uses MENCODER to do it's decoding, with the ability to offload processing to the GPU if you have a GeForce 8xxx series card. So apparently there is in fact a programmatic fix available somewhere. Just not in PS3 Media Server yet.


Can you elaborate on this method you are using? Am I to understand that it involves using an old PC as the rendering device (running Windows?) which is connected to your TV (DVI, HDMI) ?
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby gastric » Tue Oct 19, 2010 11:59 am

I'm not trying to detract from PS3 Media Server. It owes me nothing and has given me a couple years of flawless performance. At the time PMS+PS3 vastly surpassed anything else available, and was the ONLY reason I even purchased a PS3.

Here's more info on XBMC. It started as hacked firmware for the XBOX original and turned it into a fully functional media streamer/player, plus let you do other things. Worked great, but could only do SD playback due to hardware limitations. No 720P. Now it's been ported to Windows, Linux, and other platforms. Overall it's vastly superior to PMS+PS3 as it requires no media server running on the network, it can pull directly from the internet and LAN shares. However, it requires a beefy CPU, or better a NVidia 8xxxx GPU or better to do GPU decoding. Many people run them on ION based netbooks as they're inexpensive and small/quiet. I happened to have an old dual core (not Core 2 Duo) with a GeForce 8400 and use a DVI to HDMI adapter, and the optical audio out from the motherboard. Installed XBMC LIVE! to the hard drive, little quick configuration for accessing shares and setting audio out, and VIOLA! http://www.xbmc.org It's more complicated than using PMS+PS3 since the PS3 interface is extremely limited. But on the plus side you can now control and configure the GUI, get cover-art views in your media library, etc.
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby devildog93 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:18 pm

I still don't see how it is superior to PMS, nevermind "vastly".
Why not just ust VLC or Media Player Classic with Toslink optical cable. How is XBMC better than that.
The GUI with XBMC is MUCH more complicated than VLC, MPC and PMS, and is ugly as sin itself.

VLC can play anything....literally. I have also found PMS to play 99.99% of everything. So it has had a few issues with MKV as of late, but to state that XBMC is vastly superior just sounds like frustration.

If it works for you, I guess that's all that matters. But all that matters to me is being able to sit back with my Bluetooth remote, point it at my PS3 and browse and play literally thousands upon thousands of videos without issues, mostly with tsMuxer for the HD content (very little CPU usage). Having to learn XBMC is EXTREMELY painful. I have had it installed in my PC 3 times, and I have un-installed it 3 times.

Glad it works for you, but in my opinion, it is NOT a reasonable alternative to PMS, VLC or MPC, all of which work on nearly everything.

BUT......to each his own.
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby gastric » Tue Oct 19, 2010 4:49 pm

I'm not here to convince anyone of anything. I'm just stating my own personal opinions. :)

I'd actually prefer to continue using PMS+PS3 as it's what the entire family is familiar with at this point, and requires no additional hardware changes. But currently it can only play 30% or less of my downloaded material (nearly all movies fail, most TV shows fail) and as such requires too much manual labor. Yes, it's easy to re-mux. But at the end of the day I want to sit on my couch, turn everything on, and effortlessly watch my media just like I would if I had a DVR. Not click a show, watch it fail, run back to my office, re-mux, run back to the family room, then finally watch the show. Or run to the office before watching shows, manually figure out which shows need re-mux, then re-mux them, then watch the shows. With new shows downloading daily it's a real buzz kill as I'm sure you can imagine, including for my wife when she wants to watch shows, they fail, and I'm not home. I simply want a totally hands off HTPC which is exactly what PMS+PS3 has provided until recently.

Thus for me XBMC is superior for me because it plays everything without issue in contrast to PMS+PS3 which plays about 30% or less of my downloaded material these days. I personally prefer the XBMC GUI. You can have user accounts so the kids and only see kid-friendly shares not EVERYTHING. It's smart enough that if you click a MP3 audio file while browsing videos it'll actually play the audio. That little annoyance still gets everyone in the family occasionally when we're in the audio section trying to play videos and can't figure out why it won't play. Heh. XBMC even has little check marks next to the media you've already played which is great for serialized TV shows.

I was actually hoping the cheap WD HD TV LIVE would work, but it can't see or access RARed files, thus I need to manually un-RAR everything first. PMS+PS3 had that limitation when it first came out and I lobbied for that change, which was a huge time saver. I didn't get as far as researching 3rd party firmware for WD HD TV LIVE to see if that provides RAR visibility, but I didn't quickly see where it did. Which is too bad as they're under $100 and silent. My Mom uses one in her living room, and an old XBOX running XBMC in another room.

Thankfully, there's a growing amount of affordable options for home theater media playback these days, where 2+ years ago there wasn't much out there. Good times!
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby devildog93 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 5:23 pm

Wow, you have some serious issues if PMS is only playing 30%.

I use the approach of avoiding rarred files and sticking with sources that supply playable files and I can play 99.9% of my 3 TB library with PMS without having to manipulate files (100% if you count the occassional remux OR conversion if required).....and at least 60% of my HD material is in MKV form and I still have a high playback success rate.

I wish I could actually understand the point of XBMC and get past it's ugly GUI.....or even get a little grasp of it.

Like I said though, to each his own.

In fact, I just dl'ed it again. I don't see the advantage you are talking about. Wouldn't you still have to run to your PC all the time, grab your mouse and select the file you want to play. Or have your PC directly tied to your tv? How do you use your PS3 to playback with XBMC? Is it possible or is it only usable with HTPC? I dont' get it at all.

Comparing the 2 is like comparing apples to oranges.....and if I have to have my PC tied to my tv, I would rather use VLC media player or MPC or even Window Media Player.
I can't use my PS3 with my Bluetooth remote with it so comparing it to PS3 Media Server makes no sense to me.

Unless I am completely missing something.....and unfortunately, the ease of use, or lack there of makes me frustrated to the point that I want to delete the program.

If you could explain how you use it with your PS3 or remotely.....as you say having to run to your office (to remux or mess with files)is not acceptable, how do you use it "at your viewing" area? Please explain.

Can I go somewhere in my PS3 XMB and access XBMC? That is my question. I have yet to figure it out.

EDIT:
Check that......got the server to display, but I'll be damned if it will let me see or play shared files thru the XMB.

Glad it works for you.....I personally hate the f*cking program and it is gone again, and for the last time.

SO ignore my questions, I'll take my chances with PMS.
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby gastric » Tue Oct 19, 2010 6:16 pm

The way I currently have it setup XBMC is totally and completely unrelated to the PS3. It's a separate piece of hardware and software connected to my TV and receiver. Assuming I replace the PS3 with some other solution, XBMC or otherwise, then the PS3 will be used for games only.
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby Coltaine79 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:21 pm

devildog93 wrote:Wow, you have some serious issues if PMS is only playing 30%.


I tend to agree. I'm certainly not re-muxing 70% of my downloads, more like 20%. It's really just certain release groups which are using mkvtoolnix 4.0+ without changing the compression setting, while other release groups are aware of this issue and have set the setting so that it's PS3 friendly. I think in August there was a spike of releases which had the issue - then as the release groups determined the cause, they made appropriate changes to their "process".
This is all supposition of course, but it appears to match my observations. Just waiting for the last few holdouts to adapt so that their stuff is also "PS3 friendly".

I had no idea that some people were watching video files without UNRAR'ing the archives! I'm from the "watch-stuff-on-computer" world, and we tended to manually unrar and sort stuff. Then along came SABNZBD which automated that process.

Anyways, even with whatever limitations it has, PMS is doing a great job as my primary living room media player. And the PS3 itself is also doing a terrific "triple-duty" job as: (1) Blu-ray/DVD player, (2) game console, and (3) DLNA media player.

At this point I can't see myself buying a new PC just for living room use. I already have too many devices there (Xbox360, DTS Receiver, CD Changer etc.) and I already have an expensive high-spec computer in my office, so no desire to buy another one, even if it's just so I don't have to remux 20% of my downloads...
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby devildog93 » Tue Oct 19, 2010 9:29 pm

gastric wrote:The way I currently have it setup XBMC is totally and completely unrelated to the PS3. It's a separate piece of hardware and software connected to my TV and receiver. Assuming I replace the PS3 with some other solution, XBMC or otherwise, then the PS3 will be used for games only.


got ya. So basically the same as VLC connected to tv, just fancier gui and extra options. PC XBMC use seems fine.

But that's kinda my point. You can't compare the two. Basically HTPC vs PS3 media playback.

It is unfortunate that you are having such problems with PMS. :(

Hopefully all these issues get addressed.....and soon. ;)
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Re: No sound on newer MKV files?

Postby julienhi » Thu Oct 21, 2010 2:33 pm

this worked flawlessly. thank you. great to see a tutorial like this. you rock
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