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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 in Entertainment (3)
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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Shreddin'
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Original Poster
#16
Quote from azouritis View Post :
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?
Sorry that I'm just circling back. Not sure if it is a bit-depth or a bitrate on the audio (although a higher bit depth would probably lead to a higher bitrate).

I know that doesn't help much, but keep us posted. It sounds like you're onto something.
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#17
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....
There is a time factor involved in ripping movies, yes. MakeMKV is very simple and is a set-it-and-forget-it type of program, though, so the amount of time you actually spend at the computer while ripping is very low (a minute or so for most movies). Like most things in life, there's an option to spend a little effort up front to make the task easier later on. Only you can decide if the benefit is there for you. On top of that, there are additional benefits to ripping movies, like being able to stream them to multiple devices rather than just watching them on a single TV.

Quote from TheEdge View Post :
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.
Iagree

I was reluctant to get on the disc-ripping bandwagon, as, like sd444, I thought it was a waste of time and HDD space. However, once I started, I wondered why I waited so long. It's really nice to be able to choose a movie or TV show in Plex and have it show up on my TV (via Roku) or tablet. Only downside is I need more hard drives - never thought I'd fill a 2TB so quickly lol!
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#18
Quote from mmathis View Post :
There is a time factor involved in ripping movies, yes. MakeMKV is very simple and is a set-it-and-forget-it type of program, though, so the amount of time you actually spend at the computer while ripping is very low (a minute or so for most movies). Like most things in life, there's an option to spend a little effort up front to make the task easier later on. Only you can decide if the benefit is there for you. On top of that, there are additional benefits to ripping movies, like being able to stream them to multiple devices rather than just watching them on a single TV.



Iagree

I was reluctant to get on the disc-ripping bandwagon, as, like sd444, I thought it was a waste of time and HDD space. However, once I started, I wondered why I waited so long. It's really nice to be able to choose a movie or TV show in Plex and have it show up on my TV (via Roku) or tablet. Only downside is I need more hard drives - never thought I'd fill a 2TB so quickly lol!
+ learning about networking + paying for plex on each device/etc + etc + etc. Yes, ripping can be better but you're downplaying the time/money/energy involved in doing it.

I never said it was a waste of time. I only pointed out that some time will be wasted doing doing it versus assuming zero. Personally I think it is a waste to rip 60GB MKV bluray rips in h264. H.265 and 4k is right around the corner.
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#19
Quote from sd444 View Post :
+ learning about networking + paying for plex on each device/etc + etc + etc. Yes, ripping can be better but you're downplaying the time/money/energy involved in doing it.

I never said it was a waste of time. I only pointed out that some time will be wasted doing doing it versus assuming zero. Personally I think it is a waste to rip 60GB MKV bluray rips in h264. H.265 and 4k is right around the corner.
And I think you're overstating the time/money/energy involved. Yes, there is some time and effort involved. If you use Plex, there's some money as well (though there are free alternatives to Plex). But it is not as much time / effort as you're making it out to be.
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#20
Quote from mmathis View Post :
And I think you're overstating the time/money/energy involved. Yes, there is some time and effort involved. If you use Plex, there's some money as well (though there are free alternatives to Plex). But it is not as much time / effort as you're making it out to be.
No different than overstating "insert disc and press play."

Quote :
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."
Get real. It works all the time, every time. It doesn't freeze the audio. The last excuse was to stop kids from scratching them. Come on.... there's ulterior motives behind this i.e. if you can create legal backups, you're smart enough to increase your collection size by using netflix or other means...
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#21
Quote from sd444 View Post :
No different than overstating "insert disc and press play."

Get real. It works all the time, every time. It doesn't freeze the audio. The last excuse was to stop kids from scratching them. Come on.... there's ulterior motives behind this i.e. if you can create legal backups, you're smart enough to increase your collection size by using netflix or other means...
No, it doesn't work all the time. Like any product, there are some BD players which don't work quite correctly - whether the source video is a physical disc or a stream from your computer. I've had to return a BD player because it didn't always read the disc properly.

Creating legal backups doesn't take any technical prowess...nor does stealing illegal copies.

Some of us prefer the experience that is provided via Plex or other streaming setups; others prefer the experience that is provided with physical discs. Neither is wrong, and which setup is right for you depends on your personal preferences and situation. But trying to overstate the effort needed to setup a streaming solution is disingenuous on a help board, especially when the OP has already set up that streaming solution.
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#22
It could be caused by some of the watermarking/fingerpringing that's embedded in the audio of some discs. Sony devices are the least likely to play files that contain these watermarks.
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Shreddin'
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#23
Quote from sd444 View Post :
It doesn't freeze the audio. The last excuse was to stop kids from scratching them. Come on.... there's ulterior motives behind this i.e. if you can create legal backups, you're smart enough to increase your collection size by using netflix or other means...
Feel free to peruse many forms with many users having the same issue with full HD MKV files with lossless audio when playing on Blu-Ray players via a USB port.

And I've seen the video quality (and content selection) that Netflix has to offer. It's not for me...or many people for that matter.

Why buy a nice 55" LED TV and medium-to-high end 9.2 capable system just to stream Netflix? I want to preserve as much quality as possible.
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Shreddin'
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#24
Quote from jkee View Post :
It could be used by some of the watermarking/fingerpringing that's embedded in the audio of some discs. Sony devices are the least likely to play files that contain these watermarks.
The same files that I had problems with played fine on Micca media players and/or WD TV Live players.

I had a high end Pioneer blu-ray player (MSRP $400 with all of the bells and whistles in terms of audio/video processing/etc.) and it froze on it as well.
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Shreddin'
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Original Poster
#25
Quote from sd444 View Post :
+ learning about networking + paying for plex on each device/etc + etc + etc. Yes, ripping can be better but you're downplaying the time/money/energy involved in doing it.

I never said it was a waste of time. I only pointed out that some time will be wasted doing doing it versus assuming zero. Personally I think it is a waste to rip 60GB MKV bluray rips in h264. H.265 and 4k is right around the corner.
Plex cost me $3 on my iPhone and $3 on my wife's iPad. That's $6 total. That's less than a month of Netflix. I watch all of my content pretty much wherever or whenever I want -- music on the drive to/from work...movies in bed (we don't have a TV in our master bedroom)...additional programming via the "channels" (i.e. The Colbert Report and other Comedy Central content; Disney content for our daughter). Plex is about as simple as it gets.

And time? I pop my blu-ray in, run MakeMKV, select the tracks I want and it does the rest. I come back 20 minutes later and my file is waiting for me.

Also, I assume you don't mean that the rips turn out to be 60 GB. I can rip the content I know I will watch with the audio formats I want (I'll never need/use foreign languages). It typically ranges from 20 to 30 GB. Assuming an average of 25 GB, that's ~40 movies per TB (I know, I know...a TB <> 1000 GB).
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