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MKV files not recognized by WHS 2011 RC media sharing?

    Question

  • Hello all,

    Just installed WHS 2011 RC and configured media sharing.

    I am using DLNA  and WDTV Live for playback but none of the .mkv files are served by WHS 2011 (I can see them when they are served from Win 7 server with Tversity DLNA server).

    Do I need to install codec pack on WHS or something else is wrong?

    Thanks!

     

    BR,

    miskor

     

    Sunday, February 06, 2011 7:55 PM

Answers

  • Well

     

    Seems that WHS will never have official MKV support for streaming (It was a hope for the RC since the preview).

    WHS streaming is based on Media Connect wich by default is unable to stream MKV (of file format that WMP doesn't recognize)

    Under Win7 you can add Divx Pro codec so WMP can read and stream MKV. For WHS, look likes doesn't work (I tried...unsuccessfull).

     

     

    "I can see them when they are served from Win 7 server with Tversity DLNA server"

    Because Tversity DNLA server support MKV file... It's not Win7 the point, but the DNLA Server you used.

     

    You can try Tversity on WHS 2011, or and other one (like Twonky, PS3MediaServer, etc. )

    Monday, February 07, 2011 5:18 PM

All replies

  • Well

     

    Seems that WHS will never have official MKV support for streaming (It was a hope for the RC since the preview).

    WHS streaming is based on Media Connect wich by default is unable to stream MKV (of file format that WMP doesn't recognize)

    Under Win7 you can add Divx Pro codec so WMP can read and stream MKV. For WHS, look likes doesn't work (I tried...unsuccessfull).

     

     

    "I can see them when they are served from Win 7 server with Tversity DLNA server"

    Because Tversity DNLA server support MKV file... It's not Win7 the point, but the DNLA Server you used.

     

    You can try Tversity on WHS 2011, or and other one (like Twonky, PS3MediaServer, etc. )

    Monday, February 07, 2011 5:18 PM
  • Even when Windows 7 was in beta and a public release, I would always report "MKV/OGM files not reconigized as a video-type" and "no ability to change audio/sub tracks in MKV/OGM files" as a bug (I should not need an external splitter).   Frankly these formats are widely used and very flexible and its absurd that many "Media appliances" support these formats flawlessly and Microsoft simply refuses to extend support for them.  Heck I would convert all my MKV/OGM files to .WTV but microsoft simply refuses (asked many times in the WMF forum as well as support) to produce a whitepaper that explaines how to store "DVB/teletext(graphic)" subtitles in this format.

    The only thing I can say is keep reporting it as a BUG, not a requested feature but even then, they already make it perfectly obvious that they do not listen to the voices of this testing group.

    Monday, February 07, 2011 5:26 PM
  • That will seriously limit usage of WHS 2011 as media streamer for home! Today most of the media players on the market support this format and it is really strange why it is not supported by WHS 2011 / Media Connect application...
    Monday, February 07, 2011 5:27 PM
  • I haven't tried the RC yet. I will tried today..

    but what I did in vail MKV file does not support as well.  However,  WDTV live  setup and enable share folder via LAN from my WHS the WDTV live does detech network and what I did just access to that folder and play all my MKV Avi and all other files format Via WDTV. I will tried to see MKV will work with new version WHS via network sharing folder or noth.  But if Media Streaming via WMP that regardless how you set it up I dont think to work unless you have some codec installed

    Tuesday, February 08, 2011 5:34 PM
  • The issue is really beyond codecs, what we need is proper support for the WTV(Windows TV file used in Windows 7 and Windows Vista w/TV Pack) competitors like OGM/MKV.  The support we need is for selecting audio/video tracks/subtitles naively; codec support can be supplemented with proper WMF-based codecs.
    Monday, February 14, 2011 10:26 PM
  • I am able to stream MKV files after installing - what I consider to be the only truly stable an trustworthy codec "pack" - shark007. I'm not going be an advocate for shark007 or any other codec pack, as generally codec packs are bad things to install on any PC, much less a server, because they install a lot more than you might desire or be aware of. However, Shark007 is tried and true to work natively with Windows Media Player and doesn't install bloat.

    Bottom line - after installing the 32 bit and then 64 bit versions, I can stream MKVs over the Internet as well as my LAN. There do appear to be some issues with aspect ratio display; i.e. some 16:9 shows are displaying as squashed horizontally as if it thinks they are 4:3, but this is only over Internet streaming through the WHS web page.

     

    Sharky: http://shark007.net/

    • Edited by SDail Thursday, February 17, 2011 4:07 AM
    • Proposed as answer by SDail Thursday, February 17, 2011 4:08 AM
    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 3:50 AM
  • Sdail -> good news.

     

    I'll try this codec pack

    I've allready tried Divx Pro (wich work for MKV streaming under Win7) => unsuccessfull.

     

     

    The aspect ratio for internet streaming is a know issue, it's the silverlight streaming module wich cause that.

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 10:48 AM
  • Tested & Approuved :D

    no more need of twonky media server now :D

    Tuesday, February 15, 2011 4:29 PM
  • Twonky is still useful if you're willing to put in the effort to configure it. I've found PS3 Media Server to be a bit more user friendly and it work(ed) well with WHS v1 even to my Xbox360s (I don't actually own a PS3...). Either is still a good bet for ISO or full BluRay rips that you either haven't or aren't converting to MKV and/or MP4. Also, they don't have the aspect ratio issue.

     

    But I am glad we're on our way with MKV over Silverlight. Now if I could jsut figure out a way to stream from networked folders instead of just locally stored videos. All my home videos and rips are still on my WHS V1 and it would be nice to use that as the storage device and my WHS 2011 as the streaming device at least until WHS 2011 goes RTM.

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 4:06 AM
  • SDail,

     

    I've uninstalled CCCP (another codec pack that I've tried initially) and installed Shark007 codec pack (both 32 and 64-bit versions) but I do not see any difference - I am still unable to stream MKVs over LAN or Internet. I can see .MKV movies in the library but they can not be played out.

     

    Can you share with us your steps how did you make it work?

     

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 6:43 AM
  • there's a simple program out there called mkv2vob that will convert your mkv to a vob (which I then rename to avi) then it will play on vanilla whs 2011.
    Thursday, February 17, 2011 3:43 PM
  • I dont know about any1 else but i can no longer stream any files over the net wat so ever. i get an error relating to the file type regardless of the format its in. dunno if this if from the silverlight update i did earlier but i would guess that is the issue!!! any1 else getting this?

     

    ***EDIT***  fixed this issue however i have found that mkv files will not stream in 16:9 ratio and will only stream in 4:3 ratio which looks very strange. any1 found a fix for this? 

    Thursday, February 17, 2011 4:27 PM
  • Damn...

     

    Need to go back to Twonky!

    Even with the good codec pack Windows Media Streaming is unable to stream some MKV.

    It's a little bit disturbing by the way, some MKV show and play really fine, but other wont show anymore. I take a look ont the video/audio files infos and see nothing really different between those files !

    Tuesday, March 08, 2011 10:54 PM
  • MKV is nothing more than a flexible container format. Its not enough to have a splitter installed to handle it, you also need to support the codecs used INSIDE the particular MKV container. One common one is h264+AC3 audio (which only MKV and WTV supports..but WTV is unsupported by most tools,etc).
    Thursday, March 10, 2011 9:18 PM
  • Renaming them straight to wmv is best, no converting is needed. I personnally have a Samsung LEDTV with an integrated dlna client and was trying to find a way to have 1080@25 fps to play correctly when a friend who was experimenting on his side with a different tv pointed out that hooking the drive straight to the tv's usb port and accessing the file directly did the trick.

    Since I didn't want to unplug my drives everytime this happens, I was now looking for an network equivalent of doing this. So I began playing with dlna servers and found out they are all crap.. from tversity to ps3 media server and Samsung's own pcshare manager.

    So then I read about installing shark007 to make the files playable in wmp, thinking this would instantly grant possible sharing through windows media sharing service, to find out it didn't.

    After a bit of playing around I discovered that the "Play To" function would work and appear for wmv files and avi files but not mkvs.... All my files are mkvs!!!

    That's when I tried renaming one to wmv... IT SOLVED EVERYTHING! I have the play to function directly on the context menu of the file and it works everytime on every file, no matter what resolution or framerate or codecs it is. With what seems like 0 cpu usage as everything I have is divx/h264-ac3/dts and no transcoding is needed.

     

    Now the renaming to wmv thing is still bullshit cause that means that everything needed software-wise is present and working correctly on the computer and we are looking at a rather simple software limitation. However I don't think I'll figure this one out. I'll still try though!

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011 3:22 AM
  • You don't need WHS to actually decode the files and it doesn't need codecs.  MKV movies play fine on anything that supports them. I've streamed them to my desktops, laptops, HTPC's and Netgear media player just fine.   It doesn't need to play the files, just serve them.  If you can see them in windows explorer on other computers(finder on mac, you get the idea) then you can play them.

    Forget DLNA and media sharing. You don't need to install any special software on WHS at all.  

    You just open them on your computers on your network.  They won't play by default in windows machines but you also don't need a codec pack.  Just use Media Player Classic Home Cinema.  It's a free player and it plays everything.  No need to bother with codec packs. 

    Been using Windows Media Center with the media browser plugin to organize, display cover art and synopsis of movies and tv shows, and it will seamlessly launch MPC-HC, play your video and return you to media center when it's done. All seamlessly. Been streaming MKV's for years and have done it on both versions of WHS.  Also bitstreaming DTS-MA HD and TrueHD.

    http://www.mediabrowser.tv/gallery

    To stream to my Netgear NeoTV 550 I just had to setup sharing permissions correctly and off it went. No issues.

     

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 6:22 PM
  • Fandibus,

     

    What you are doing is not streaming, it is playing the  files from the cifs share as if it is local which is great if your device supports that AND you have a good link between your device and your server.  Viewing remote media over wireless on a cifs share for me on high bitrate videos is unusable.  Connected to a streaming service (I use Serviio right now for my mkvs) and it is fine. 

    Media streaming is also required for remote viewing which if you have mks files, you need WHS to support natively.

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 7:04 PM
  • fandibus ->

    what a good advice!!

    And please can you tell me now how you do it with a device that can  browse windows share on the network ??

    Maybe you should tell to Guys like Panasonic, Samsung or Sony that they sucks with their DNLA feature on the flat TV! None of these device can browse windows share, so how are we suppose to play files from the server ??

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 8:43 PM
  • fandibus ->

    what a good advice!!

    And please can you tell me now how you do it with a device that can  browse windows share on the network ??

    Maybe you should tell to Guys like Panasonic, Samsung or Sony that they sucks with their DNLA feature on the flat TV! None of these device can browse windows share, so how are we suppose to play files from the server ??

    Well if if panasonic, sony, etc let you browse windows shares it still wouldn't help if they don't build support in their devices to play these formats. I honestly don't see them doing that.

    To do it on a PC you just need a player such as the MPC-HC player I recommended. You can use codec packs but in my experience they can be problematic. 

    The xbox 360 can't do it as it doesn't support MKV's so you'd then have to install software on your sever for streaming.

    But on a WDTV HD, Netgear NeoTV 550, Dune, Boxee Box, and others it's just a matter of adding the server to it's list of media sources and playing the file.

    And as Alec pointed out HD video doesn't work well over wireless so you'll want a wired connection.

    Here is a good forum discussing HTPCs: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=26

    And here is for discussing other devices such as the ones I listed above: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39

    Wednesday, March 16, 2011 9:04 PM
  • Well if if panasonic, sony, etc let you browse windows shares it still wouldn't help if they don't build support in their devices to play these formats. I honestly don't see them doing that.

    Miss again !

    Panasonic Viera can play streamed MKV files (I do it on mine!), Samsung flat-TV can itoo AFAIK, etc.

    What if people dont want to use a extra HTPC/box for playing vidéos files while their connected TV can handle it ? You tell them to buy a extra device just for that ?

    They're some standard like UPnP-AV (DLNA) for such things and more and more flat-TV came with DLNA support with more and more file format supported. But know you'll need a DLNA server that can handle the file format you want. And it's technically so easy to do, that I though it so stupid when WHS (Windows Media Streaming) is unable to stream MKV without any hack... while you can find lot of third-party app (free par most part) that can do this very well.

    Once again, MS is far behind the rest of the world for little things, and there's no reason for that.

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 9:35 AM
  • Well if if panasonic, sony, etc let you browse windows shares it still wouldn't help if they don't build support in their devices to play these formats. I honestly don't see them doing that.

    Miss again !

    Panasonic Viera can play streamed MKV files (I do it on mine!), Samsung flat-TV can itoo AFAIK, etc.

    What if people dont want to use a extra HTPC/box for playing vidéos files while their connected TV can handle it ? You tell them to buy a extra device just for that ?

     

    Playing streamed files isn't what we discussed above.  In that case the server would be playing them or transcoding them on the fly to something the TV can play.  So really the TV isn't playing an MKV it's playing the transcoded video that began as an MKV.

    An HTPC also gives you a lot more flexibility.  In addition to my own local movies and TV shows I also get Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, Pandora, bluray player full HD audio and anything else I want to put on the box.  Sure, these TV's have more of these services built in too but not quite as elegant. 

    If people don't want to use an extra box then don't.  I'm not making anyone do anything. It all depends on a person's wants and needs.  

    I find it easier to not have to mess around with transcoding on the server(which also requires a more powerful server).  I want full on DTS-MA HD/TrueHD bitstreamed audio and server transcoding won't give me that on my receiver.  

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:10 PM
  • Playing streamed files isn't what we discussed above.  In that case the server would be playing them or transcoding them on the fly to something the TV can play.  So really the TV isn't playing an MKV it's playing the transcoded 

    What are you taking about !?

    When you stream file with DLNA there's no transcoding, it's not the server which play the file but the Media receiver, the DLNA client ! That's it and only it wich make the file decoding. 

    This is why not every device can play all the files format even with a server that can stream this format.

    You can make transcoding on the fly in some DLNA server, but that's not the point at all!

    DLNA is juste a way to make files accessibles without having to reach some network share, and deal with user rights. DLNA is more universal in th

    I think you must take a little bit of time to read some stuff about DLNA (UPnP AV) and how it work, starting with:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Living_Network_Alliance

     

    And we are not talking about having ore not a HTPC (and all the pro and cons), we are talking about the possibilities for WHS Media streaming to support MKV. And that include media streaming over the remote web access!

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 1:32 PM
  • I think we have a bit of a language barrier here. The op was talking about a WDTV which DLNA is not needed for mkv. It makes it convienient but it's not required. Streaming, as Alec pointed out, is playing the video on the server and then sending it to the device which is what is required if the client does not support certain audio/video/container formats. So even if WHS could use MKV in DLNA it doesn't help if the client can't play it. At that point you need transcoding. A quick search on panasonic viera tv says it doesn't support mkv and if that's true then you'd need transcoding on the server. Which is way I bring up these other devices and htpc's as you don't need DLNA or transcoders and it makes things easier. Depends on a persons needs.
    Thursday, March 17, 2011 5:52 PM
  • Once again: streaming is not playing video on the server and sending it to the client. 

    The client is the render device !

    When I play HD video stored on my WHS server with my Viera Flat TV I can monitor the CPU usage and the Network usage of the server. It's exactly the same usage via network share than via DLNA. If the server was the one which make the render I shall see a big CPU usage and my 100Mb/s should be saturate. Try to push an uncompressed rendered 720p video file over 100Mb/s network you'll see what I mean.

    Whatever is the way you access the file ont the server this is streaming!

    Streaming is juste reading a file which is not stored on the render device. When you read a file via network share this is streaming too.

    DLNA is just a other way to put the files on the network, and a another way for a device to find media file on the network. BTW, DNLA offer other features like device control  (you can launch playback on Device A from Device B , check "play to" feature on Windows 7).

    As for network share you need a server which share the files. For DLNA it's the same, you need a server for making media files accessible. The only major thing is that you need a DLNA server that can handle the media files, not for rendering them but only to be able to list them (and eventually access to the metadata into the file format), because the server create a media library and for that it need to access the file content.

    With network share you can only access to a file, with DLNA you can access to a medialibrary with metadata (tags like : Author, Date, etc )

    Transcoding it's just a way to give to the client a file format that it can render. I.e.: you have some wmv files that your client can't render, some (not all) DLNA server can transcode it on the file into Divx ou Mpeg file, then the client can render it. But the render is still not done on the server. The server just decode/recode on the fly the video.

    About the Panasonic Viera: it's not on the official spec, but it read MKV. I do it and I don't use transcoding. WHS Media streaming cannot transcode file, it doesn't have the capacity to do it. But with the good codec, which make MKV file discoverable by the media library indexing tool, I can see MKV files on the DLNA share et play them (not all because the viera support of MKV is not great).

    Some example:

    2 DLNA servers: WHS media streaming and Twonky Media server

    2 DLNA client: XBMC on a laptop, Viera Flat TV

    With Twonky (Transcoding deactivate) : Every files I put on the shared folders are reachable on the network. XBMC can play all the files, Viera can play some of them (some MKV pass, other don't)

    With stock WHS: Only the default windows supported files format  can be reachable by the client. XBMC or Viera see only the avi (Dvix or Xvid) files, some mpeg etc.

     

    WHS with some codec pack: Know the media library can access the MKV. Then Both XBMC and Viera can see allmost all the files on the DLNA share. XBMC can play all of them as with Twonky. Viera can still play only the file format it can render (some MKV, etc; the same as with Twonky).

    There's a worst format support with WHS even with codec pack than with Twonky, which can handle almost every kind of file format. But You're still limited by the hability of the client to render.

    With XBMC I can play MKV with embedded subtitles from WHS+codec not with Viera Flat TV

     

     

    Back to the initial topic: WD TV can render MKV file (on local store, on network share or via DLNA share, it's the same). The only thing you need at this point is a DLNA server that can read this file format. Yes you can either stream with basic network share, but then you'll have to handle user rights management and sometimes the client can't access to the files for these reason! With DLNA  there's no user rights to manage: All the files that the server can stream are available on the network for media renderer (Server can have device blocking/allowing feature).

    The real point here is the lack of a good MKV support for Windows media Stream, It's not so difficult to do but Microsoft did not dothe job, once again...

    Thursday, March 17, 2011 7:58 PM
  • Wow, has this topic gone all over the place. If you don't understand the difference between streaming and transcoding, please either ask, (preferably) do some research, but mostly don't offer incorrect advice.

    Streaming: continual transmission of a file over a network. As long as the network speeds are fast enough, you can stream it. NO CHANGE TO FILE.

    transcoding: on-the-fly conversion of a file to either a lower bit rate file of the same codec, or to another codec, or some combination of both.

     

    To earlier posters; as stated above an MKV is simply a container. You CANNOT just rename to WMV (sheesh, wwPhil). Why not just rename a .doc to a .xls, or .ppt? Shouldn't that work too? If the MKV is encoded with the correct MP4 and audio formats, it will be transcoded (if needed) and streamed using WHS2011 transcoding capabilities. I suggest using Handbrake and the Normal (under Regular) profile. I don't know what the limitations of WHS2011's transcoding are, so a higher profile may work. I use a modified Normal that I tweaked for Xbox360 via WMC use previously and they work fine through WHS2011, minus the 16:9 ratio display problem.

     

    Enchanter: sure, mkvtovob will work. It also re-encodes permanently the file giving you a lower quality file. I prefer on-the-fly (transcoding) so the original file is untouched.

     

    Le_Poilu: I agree with your points regarding transcoding vs, streaming except the WHS2011 does do both if required, and the correct codec(s) are installed. I'm fairly certain of this because the bit rate of the transmission is much lower than if I were simply streaming the file, and my CPU usage is much higher. This of course is probably not needed for the OP as discussed; I am not speaking of streaming it to a WD Live or any other DLNA device. I am speaking of watching the video via the Silverlight display in a web browser.

     

    fandibus: I see your point, and am a bit confused with the OP as well. He/she seems to need only to point the WD Live to the shared folder, as I do with my WHS v1 and WD Live. You don't need to use DLNA or transcoding with the WD-LIve; it can play back MP4 or MPEG2 files natively. 

     

    mradulovic: short of codec conflicts since CCCP is notorious for leaving crap on your PC even after uninstall, no great ideas. Maybe malformed MKV?

     

    tazire: Yeah, I mentioned the same thing when I finally got it to work and noticed the strange 16:9 squashing. No fix that I am aware of.


    Tuesday, March 29, 2011 3:33 AM
  • Le_Poilu: I agree with your points regarding transcoding vs, streaming except the WHS2011 does do both if required, and the correct codec(s) are installed. I'm fairly certain of this because the bit rate of the transmission is much lower than if I were simply streaming the file, and my CPU usage is much higher. This of course is probably not needed for the OP as discussed; I am not speaking of streaming it to a WD Live or any other DLNA device. I am speaking of watching the video via the Silverlight display in a web browser.

     

    You're right. When you use the remote web access and stream video through Silverlight there's transcoding. BUT: The transcode is made by silverlight on IIS, and only for the Remote web access.

    When you access video files through DLNA (Windows Media Sharing) on local network there's no transcoding at all.

     

    Silverlight is able to transcode and adjust bitrate on the fly for video streaming, depends on the bandwith. And it's because it's silverlight which do this, that we have the aspect ratio workaround.

    Wednesday, March 30, 2011 9:56 AM
  •  

    Strange as it may seem, renaming the MKV file on the WHS2011 to either a WMV or AVI does work. (And probably any other extension that WHS2011 supports with DLNA)

    Once the file is renamed, WHS2011 immediately supports the "Play To" to stream the renamed MKV video to a DLNA Digital Media Player, and also allows a DLNA Digital Media Player or DLNA Digital Media renderer to "see" the video on the WHS2011 and select and play it.

    The extension of the video file on the DLNA server (WHS2011) is inconsequential to the rendering of the video as the video header identifies it as a MKV video, and if the DLNA device can support MKV, the video is shown.

    It is rendered on the DLNA player as an MKV with languages, subtitles and chapters accessable and operational and no transcoding is required, plus the 16:9 aspect ratio is maintained.

    It's a simple exercise to try this. It definately works, so the Windows Media Connect on WHS2011 responsible for streaming simply needs to have support added for the MKV extension, and everyone would be happy. (No Codecs required on WHS2011)

    It may be just a simple registry hack required to add the MKV extension to aleviate the requirement to rename the MKV file, but I haven't tried this yet.


    Unfortunately, this renaming exercise does not allow the MKV to be "streamed" remotely via the Internet to a Silverlight Browser Window.

    Saturday, May 14, 2011 8:57 AM