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Blu-ray sourced MKV files freeze when DTS HD-MA track enabled

TheEdge 1,466 May 15, 2013 at 08:01 AM
A few weeks ago, I bought a Pioneer Elite BDP-62FD blu-ray player. If I tried playing MKV files (that I created from Blu-Rays using MakeMKV), nearly every file would hard freeze the player at a certain duration, so I took it back after being able to replicate the issue on a Best Buy floor display model (which told me that it wasn't just a random issue with my player). I ended up getting a Sony BDP-BX58, only to have the same issue. In the case of both players, I tried multiple hard drives (portable versus powered/USB 2 vs. USB 3). None worked.

On either player, if I take my Skyfall MKV -- full HD, full lossless audio -- and play it, the audio drops out when the female agent clips her passenger side mirror in the early chase scene and then about a second and a half later, it hard freezes at 2:48 into the movie. When I say "hard freeze", I mean so hard that I have to power cycle the player.

If I play the basic DTS track, I have no problems. However, It freezes at the EXACT same frame every time if I use the DTS HD-MA track. Interestingly enough, my el cheapo LG BP-125 plays it with no problem. I tried turning DRC off on the Sony (I'll explain why in a bit) and that didn't solve it. I tried having it output linear PCM instead of bitstreaming. That didn't solve it.

Last night, we tried watching Jack Reacher via a uncompressed 1920x1080 video, full lossless DTS HD-MA audio MKV. It froze around 4:3x into the movie when the sniper took the first shot. The audio dropped out and a second and a half or so later, the video hard froze. It worked fine if I just played the secondary audio track (plain ol' DTS), but it hard froze at the same spot every time when the HD lossless audio track was enabled.

The reason I tried turning off DRC is that I noticed the audio dropout and subsequent freeze happened when there was a loud noise (mirror being broken off in Skyfall, sniper shot ringing out in Jack Reacher). I thought perhaps the dramatic change in audio level was throwing it for a loop. No dice. Then I thought perhaps the player was just having problems processing all of the lossless audio, so I tried LPCM -- again, to no avail.

What program do most people use to convert Blu-Rays to MKV files (preferably maintaining full quality on both audio and video)? I've been using MakeMKV -- ditching the foreign languages, keeping all of the English audio formats, the thumbnail image and video (naturally) of the main feature and direct exporting. I thought it was the "preferred" program, but I'm wondering if there is something that MakeMKV is doing to create bad files (even though, again, my LG will play them).

I haven't tried anything other than Skyfall and Jack Reacher on my Sony player, but I know with the Pioneer Elite that I had, Skyfall froze, Tron Legacy froze, Bourne Legacy froze, etc. The only one that I had success with was Saving Private Ryan (at least for the first 25 minutes...didn't try any further with that).

If there is a program that you've had success making uncompressed video with lossless audio DTS-HD MA files, let me know. I'll give it a whirl and see if that fixes it for me.

Thanks!

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#2
Quote from TheEdge View Post :
Then I thought perhaps the player was just having problems processing all of the lossless audio, so I tried LPCM -- again, to no avail.
From what I can surmise, bitstream mode merely passes the audio directly to the A/V receiver (or Television) for processing, whereas in LPCM mode, the Blu-Ray player processes the audio before passing uncompressed PCM audio. In both situations, your Blu-Ray player is reading the lossless audio.

Loud sounds may require a greater bitrate than quieter sounds. If player is freezing, it may be due to the combined bitrate of the audio and video being greater than the Blu-Ray players can handle.

I recommend just using the standard DTS track rather than the DTS-MA audio track.

For Blu-Ray ripping, I use TS Muxer to demux all of the data from the Blu-Ray movie and I use MKVMerge with the MMG GUI front end. Then again, I rarely use DTS audio. I tend to convert all of my rips to AC3 5.1 at a bitrate of 448kbps.
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Shreddin'
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#3
Quote from kakomu View Post :
Loud sounds may require a greater bitrate than quieter sounds. If player is freezing, it may be due to the combined bitrate of the audio and video being greater than the Blu-Ray players can handle.
Thanks for the feedback. I thought about the whole "bitrate being too high" thing, and it might very well still be the case, but I found it interesting that two completely different manufacturer/model blu-ray players both had Skyfall freeze at the exact same frame.

Quote from kakomu View Post :
I recommend just using the standard DTS track rather than the DTS-MA audio track.
That was my workaround last night for Jack Reacher. Just watched the DTS track. But since I've got a nice receiver and decent speakers, I want to take full advantage of the audio I have whenever possible.
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#4
Quote from TheEdge View Post :
Thanks for the feedback. I thought about the whole "bitrate being too high" thing, and it might very well still be the case, but I found it interesting that two completely different manufacturer/model blu-ray players both had Skyfall freeze at the exact same frame.
There may be a standard bitrate ceiling for the chips that are used to decode audio and video. There probably aren't a ton of different hardware decoders out there and many of them may be similar.

Quote from TheEdge View Post :
That was my workaround last night for Jack Reacher. Just watched the DTS track. But since I've got a nice receiver and decent speakers, I want to take full advantage of the audio I have whenever possible.
Eh, I doubt you'll actually hear a difference between DTS and DTS-HD or DTS-MA, save for anything more than 6 channels.
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#5
Any particular reason you don't just watch the Blu Ray disc itself instead of ripping it...?
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Shreddin'
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#6
Quote from prozac4312 View Post :
Any particular reason you don't just watch the Blu Ray disc itself instead of ripping it...?
Yep -- it's convenient to have multiple titles on one hard drive. Select, click, load.

Instead of "open case, remove disc, eject previous disc, put previous disc away, insert new disc, wait for disc to load, wait for BD-Live crap to go away (I know, I can turn this off), navigate through menus, select movie."

Plus, when you have a toddler like I do, it's nice to be able to just stash your optical discs away. It's amazing how they think that discs are toys.
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#7
Your issue is the player, I dont think they are make to play uncompressed rip of blu ray. Best thing to do is find a media player. No issues here with makemkv ripping all my disc with HD audio playing on my Dune player and my HTPC.
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Shreddin'
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#8
To update -- for anybody who has experienced a similar issue...

Oz The Great and Powerful freezes about nine seconds in, so I tried creating a version with just the lossless audio. It still froze. Tried it with a "scene rip" that had just the lossless audio as well (to see if MakeMKV was the problem). It froze at the same spot.

Purchased a Micca EP100 player for about $70 from Amazon. Plays everything like a champ. No freezing on any of the movies I've had issues with. Plays the full MA-HD tracks. Fast forwards and rewinds with little to no lag. Great little player.
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#9
Quote from TheEdge View Post :
To update -- for anybody who has experienced a similar issue...

Oz The Great and Powerful freezes about nine seconds in, so I tried creating a version with just the lossless audio. It still froze. Tried it with a "scene rip" that had just the lossless audio as well (to see if MakeMKV was the problem). It froze at the same spot.

Purchased a Micca EP100 player for about $70 from Amazon. Plays everything like a champ. No freezing on any of the movies I've had issues with. Plays the full MA-HD tracks. Fast forwards and rewinds with little to no lag. Great little player.
I have a new Sony BDV N7100W 5.1 which is one of the best blu ray players and can reach to 4K. I have the same problem the mkv files which have audio DTS-HD.MA freezes at the first minutes! But not all of the them. For example I have "Metallica.Through.The.Never.2013.1080p.BluRay.DTS-HD.MA.5.1.x264" mkv file which HAS NO PROBLEM and plays absolutely excellent. On the other hand I have "Gravity.2013.1080p.BluRay.DTS-HD.MA.5.1.x264" which freezes in the first minute. The only difference that I have notice between the two DTS-HD.MA audio is the first one is in "Bit depth : 24 bits " the other one in in "Bit depth : 16 bits". Do you think that this is the problem?
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#10
I have a new Sony BDV N7100W 5.1 which is one of the best blu ray players and can reach to 4K. I have the same problem the mkv files which have audio DTS-HD.MA freezes at the first minutes! But not all of the them. For example I have "Metallica.Through.The.Never.2013.1080p.BluRay.DTS-HD.MA.5.1.x264" mkv file which HAS NO PROBLEM and plays absolutely excellent. On the other hand I have "Gravity.2013.1080p.BluRay.DTS-HD.MA.5.1.x264" which freezes in the first minute. The only difference that I have notice between the two DTS-HD.MA audio is the first one is in "Bit depth : 24 bits " the other one in in "Bit depth : 16 bits". Do you think that this is the problem?
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#11
Google and download mkdts2ac3.sh, convert the DTS audio to AC3 using following command, then it's playing fine.

mkvdts2ac3.sh --new --no-dts <your mkv file>
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#12
Spoke too soon. Altho hang is gone, FF, RW don't work. After FF, it'll just exit from playing.

Download tsMuxer and convert mkv to m2ts. m2ts plays wonderfully. FF, RW works well. Even subtitles are much better. DTS-HD audio stays as is - no need to convert to AC3
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#13
Quote from sirip View Post :
Spoke too soon. Altho hang is gone, FF, RW don't work. After FF, it'll just exit from playing.

Download tsMuxer and convert mkv to m2ts. m2ts plays wonderfully. FF, RW works well. Even subtitles are much better. DTS-HD audio stays as is - no need to convert to AC3
Ok, I have a sony BDV e690 player. Same kind of thing happens to me that some MKV files having DTS audio are played smoothly but some hang randomly in the first few minutes. So that means it is the audio that is causing the problem ? I used mediainfo to see and it says DTS (MA), but i have other same files which are played smoothly
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#14
Quote from TheEdge View Post :
Yep -- it's convenient to have multiple titles on one hard drive. Select, click, load.

Instead of "open case, remove disc, eject previous disc, put previous disc away, insert new disc, wait for disc to load, wait for BD-Live crap to go away (I know, I can turn this off), navigate through menus, select movie."

Plus, when you have a toddler like I do, it's nice to be able to just stash your optical discs away. It's amazing how they think that discs are toys.
vs learning how to rip, waste time on practice encodes, waste time encoding, find out player doesn't work, buy another player, and then likely have to recode to get it to work.

That's a lot of time and effort to save 3 seconds over a solution that works 100% of the time....
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Shreddin'
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#15
Quote from sd444 View Post :
vs learning how to rip, waste time on practice encodes, waste time encoding, find out player doesn't work, buy another player, and then likely have to recode to get it to work.

That's a lot of time and effort to save 3 seconds over a solution that works 100% of the time....
MakeMKV is nearly a one-click solution. Pop in the disc, select the track you want to rip and rip it. No "learning" or "practice encodes" (?).

Once I found Micca players (and/or WD TV Live players), I haven't had a lossless audio freezing issue since.

I now play my content on either of our TVs and can play our content to our iPhones/iPad anywhere in the house (or even on the go) through Plex.

Blu-Ray players/Blu-Ray discs can't do that.
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