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Old 19th December 2011, 22:59   #1  |  Link
Alloneword
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TV picky with certain files

I have a Sony KDL-46EX723 one of my main reason for getting this TV was the abilty to bung in an external 2TB drive to one of the USB sockets and convert some of my current DVD collection to avi files.

Now despite it saying it does not support it HERE it does play them as a norm, however I do have a few avi's that for some reason will not play, now these are ripped from R2 DVD's and as i say some play fine but ever now and then they refuse to play.

So does anyone know of an app or a way to find out why some are failing to play?


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Old 19th December 2011, 23:04   #2  |  Link
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Please describe the exact process used to convert the R2 DVD to AVI.
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Old 19th December 2011, 23:47   #3  |  Link
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Originally Posted by neuron2 View Post
Please describe the exact process used to convert the R2 DVD to AVI.
I ripped all the R2 DVD's to the HDD using DVD Decrypter (I know it's old but it works for what I need) in ISO format.
Then mounted those ISO's with DVDFab Virtual Drive then used DVD Decrypter again to rip them to individual episodes, then i used AutoGK v2.55 to convert to avi, each episode was set to 350MB and a CBR, and then hit ctrl f9 to make it 25fps, done that with about a dozen episodes and from that dozen 2 failed to play.


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Old 20th December 2011, 07:52   #4  |  Link
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You couldn't find a more complex way to do it? Why not rip single eps with DVDfab in batch mode to encode them with AutoGK? Most TVs' media players fall short when compared to standalone players when it comes to format support and I'd wager Sony crap with their stance for proprietary formats is no way better. That said, press CTRL+F9 to enable standalone compatibility mode in AutoGK to see if it makes a difference.
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Old 20th December 2011, 08:50   #5  |  Link
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The list is useless, it gives the impression that is says a lot but in fact this is nothing more than "fine tuned" standard marketing clauses.
It's the typical case when formats and codecs are mixed up together to give a false impression to the unaware customer. He'll notice the shortcomings only after the buy, and the chances to return the product are minimal, as Sony never promised 100% compatibility beyond the chart (which has only an informative value, not contractual).

For instance, since TS streams can carry, like AVIs, a lot of codecs, I see nowhere whether the typical NTSC DVD format, ie MPEG-2 video codec + AC-3 (Dolby) audio codec is supported. DD (AC-3) files are not mentioned in this table. It also lacks the explicit information whether DVB recordings, mainly MPEG-2 video + MP2 audio (MPEG 1 layer 2), are supported, again MP2 is nowhere listed.
Of course I expected to support Sony photocameras and videocamcorders (as Sony has a tradition in "inventing" various formats), but the lack of an explicit support for 2 of the most widespread formats is worrying.

As Chetwood said, instead of paying 150£ more for the playback capacities in a TV, better invest those money into a dedicated player, not only cheaper (see eg WD TV live) but also much more powerful and versatile. I mean, you don't expect the owner of the third largest film distribution chain to endorse piracy, do you?
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Old 20th December 2011, 09:17   #6  |  Link
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When you say they won't play, do they start playing then stop, stutter while playing etc. or does the TV not open the files at all?

If it's the latter try opening the problem AVIs with VirtualDubMod and resaving them as new AVIs (using Direct Steam Copy for the video) to see if it helps.
The Samsung Bluray player here is occasionally a bit picky when it comes to playing video types it should actually be able to play. I think remuxing the AVI fixed it at least one time.

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Originally Posted by Alloneword View Post
...and then hit ctrl f9 to make it 25fps....
There shouldn't be a need for that when encoding DVDs. The 25fps setting in hidden options is for reducing the frame rate of 50/60fps HD video.

Realistically, if you're encoding all the AVIs the same way, then if you can play one you should be able to play all of them. If you find the cause of the problem it'll be interesting to see what it is.

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As Chetwood said, instead of paying 150£ more for the playback capacities in a TV, better invest those money into a dedicated player....
It's not really that simple, at least in terms of paying $150 more....
There's generally no option to have the media player removed from the TV to have the price discounted by $150, and often the cheaper model lacks other features as well as the media player. Basically if there's a media player in the TV it's probably something of an extra bonus and can't hurt to at least test it out.

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I mean, you don't expect the owner of the third largest film distribution chain to endorse piracy, do you?
Well they certainly seem to be doing a spiffy job of it when it comes to their Bluray players. Mine's played everything I've thrown at it and if I recall correctly the list of supported file types seems to include all the ones it really supports, including Xvid/AVI.

Last edited by hello_hello; 20th December 2011 at 09:26.
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Old 20th December 2011, 10:25   #7  |  Link
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As Chetwood said, instead of paying 150£ more for the playback capacities in a TV, better invest those money into a dedicated player, not only cheaper (see eg WD TV live) but also much more powerful and versatile.
Well, if those TV won't be sold because they are more expensive with no other added features than the presence of a player, they'll get a reduction in price. So one will eventually get those at the price of a similar model but without the player. That is oversimplistic, but since the marketing depts. don't actually listen to the customers, just tricks them into buying, this is the only lever the customers have.

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.... when it comes to their Bluray players. Mine's played everything I've thrown at it and if I recall correctly the list of supported file types seems to include all the ones it really supports, including Xvid/AVI.
So, you're not happy with the PC playback of multimedia files, to resort to a standalone you criticised so strongly and factually not too long time ago? Is it something a standalone player might bring that a PC doesn't already have? No kidding ....

Quote:
I have a Sony KDL-46EX723 one of my main reason for getting this TV was the abilty to bung in an external 2TB drive to one of the USB sockets and convert some of my current DVD collection to avi files.
Since you own your DVDs (as opposed to having them already encoded in AVI) you can test several combinations of encoding parameters, until you'll find one that will satisfy your TV. Of course, you might be forced to reencode again these movies to suit the next TV (they won't last forever, some 5 years for Sony consumer models, depending on the usage pattern, of course), but this poses no problem I assume, you have the originals, a fast PC and all the time you need .
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Old 20th December 2011, 11:18   #8  |  Link
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Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
So, you're not happy with the PC playback of multimedia files, to resort to a standalone you criticised so strongly and factually not too long time ago? Is it something a standalone player might bring that a PC doesn't already have? No kidding ....
Well at least you've moved on from piracy red-herrings to worrying about my setup.
Yes, I'm perfectly happy with the PC as a media player. So happy, I've probably used the Bluray player in my room a handful of times, and then it was only while I was testing things. I'm yet to put a disc in it. The PC produces a more natural looking picture and it upscales way, way better.
When I bought the TV and Bluray player for my room I actually bought two of each. The second lot are in another room, and it's the second Bluray player which gets the workout. I'm not even sure why I bought the player for my room.... they were on sale at the time, we got a good package deal and the second player was fairly cheap so I thought "why not?" Might be handy for those rare occasions I want to watch something briefly and the PC's not running.
Whenever I walk into the other room and someone's watching a video I've previously watched, the first thought which pops into my head every time is "the picture quality's not as good". And it's not the TV, they're two identical models with the exact same picture settings. It's the playback device. The PC is simply better at it.

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Originally Posted by Ghitulescu View Post
Since you own your DVDs (as opposed to having them already encoded in AVI) you can test several combinations of encoding parameters, until you'll find one that will satisfy your TV. Of course, you might be forced to reencode again these movies to suit the next TV (they won't last forever, some 5 years for Sony consumer models, depending on the usage pattern, of course), but this poses no problem I assume, you have the originals, a fast PC and all the time you need .
Not to mention the fact the current TV won't play discs, and the next one is even less likely to.
The chances of being forced to encode them again to suit the next TV aren't terribly great. Unlike support for playing discs using many standalone devices, I don't think Xvid/AVI support will disappear any time soon. It sounds a bit like scaremongering to justify your own obsession with industry standard formats.

Personally, if the TV supports anamorphic h264 video properly, I'd be heading in that direction rather than converting to AVI, simply because the quality is better.
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Old 20th December 2011, 12:28   #9  |  Link
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Strange... Your TV is Divx-certified (so it theoretically supports the correct bitrates), and Divx 720p certified (support for even higher bitrates), so it should work.

First question: Are the files encoded with packed bitstream? If the files refuse to play at all (playback won't even start), it's usualy because of packed bitstream (packed bitstream is not part of the divx spec). My (divx certified) LG Optimus 2X, for example, refuses to play most packed bitstream AVIs.

To fix this, just open the avi file in question with avidemux. If the file is encoded with packed bitstream, avidemux will display a relevant message and ask you if you want to unpack it. If so, click "yes". Then click the save button.

This is the first thing you should try. If packed bitstream is not the problem, then...

Second question: Are you trying to play the files from USB/SD card? I am asking because on some players, when playing from USB/SD card, the maximum allowed bitrates are lower than the bitrates the Divx specification mandates. Try burning the files on a CD-RW or DVD-RW (without converting or anything), since CDs and DVDs are the only mediums "officially" supported by the Divx spec (my Sony DVD recorder can't play video files from USB at all).

If it still doesn't work, then the files are problematic (they are encoded with too high bitrates). To convert them to proper bitrates, use the method described here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKHX8FGKFgw or if even that fails, use Divx Plus Converter as a last resort (which always produces 100% divx-compatible files even at the highest resolution setting).

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I mean, you don't expect the owner of the third largest film distribution chain to endorse piracy, do you?
Irrelevant if the equipment is Divx certified. Just stick to the spec and everything will go fine. Also, the myth that Sony doesn't implement Divx well is not entirely true. My Sony recorder supports neat (yet mostly unecessary) features like Qpel and GMC, while my Toshiba TV DVD combo doesn't, and has better SRT subtitle support than my Toshiba TV DVD.

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Old 20th December 2011, 13:30   #10  |  Link
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Old 20th December 2011, 14:04   #11  |  Link
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PS: Guys, I think AllOneWord is looking for a solution to his problem, and is not interested whether Sony is an evil corp, whether external players are a better bargain that internet TVs, or if PCs are better than standalone players. It's surprising how things have deteorated in doom9 the recent years. All this forum is about nowdays is whining about the evil corps and arguing about topics like PC vs standalones etc
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Old 20th December 2011, 15:33   #12  |  Link
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He has the solution in post #7.
Quote:
Since you own your DVDs (as opposed to having them already encoded in AVI) you can test several combinations of encoding parameters, until you'll find one that will satisfy your TV. Of course, you might be forced to reencode again these movies to suit the next TV (they won't last forever, some 5 years for Sony consumer models, depending on the usage pattern, of course), but this poses no problem I assume, you have the originals, a fast PC and all the time you need .
The exact solution can him be told only by a person having the exact model of the TV (and the same FW).
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Old 20th December 2011, 20:40   #13  |  Link
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It's hardly a solution.

I wonder if the TV shipped with the latest firmware? The latest is only dated a couple of months ago. Not that it specifically mentions AVI, but you never know. According the file list Alloneword linked to Xvid in an AVI container isn't officially supported.

Personally I'd still be bypassing the problem by using x264/MP4 instead (it mightn't support MKV). Unless of course AVIs are needed to play the encodes on other devices. Better quality, and they should play fine.
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Old 20th December 2011, 23:26   #14  |  Link
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First off thanks to everyone who has taken the time to reply to my post.

I use the method i do as it saves some cash, why pay for something when freeware apps do the job just fine, I will and do buy software but only when freeware is not up to the job, hence DVDFab Virtual drive as it does what i need.

The avi's in question fail to play at all, no sound or no audio, hello_hello suggestion of using virtualdub has worked on the avi's i have that did not play to start with, so that's that one sorted for now, I'm going to run some more tests ove rthe next few days and see if i still get errors and if i do does virtualdub solve it.

Right now i am playing the files off 2 flash drives, one is 8gb micro drive and the other is a 16GB titanium drive, but in the long run i'll be running all files form a 2TB external drive.

I have no idea if i have latest firmware just yet to be honest, tell a lie just checked and yes it did come with latest version, I'm not going to spend any more money on it to be honest, I have some spare 2TB drives so they might as well get used, i'll be linking TV to the router (wired) so may just plug the external 2TB drive in the router and do it that one, once i have been able to sort this avi issue out.


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Old 21st December 2011, 10:11   #15  |  Link
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I use the method i do as it saves some cash, why pay for something when freeware apps do the job just fine, I will and do buy software but only when freeware is not up to the job, hence DVDFab Virtual drive as it does what i need.
I generally use RipIt4Me for ripping the disc (it uses DVD Decrypter to do the work) then DVDShrink to split it into episodes if need be (without shrinking).
I've never used DVD Decrypter to split discs into episodes as you are, but I'm trying to understand the reason for ripping the disc as an iso then splitting the iso into episodes. If DVD Decrypter splits the DVD okay, why not just do it directly from the disc and bypass the iso stage (with DVDFab running in the background if need be)?

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The avi's in question fail to play at all, no sound or no audio, hello_hello suggestion of using virtualdub has worked on the avi's i have that did not play to start with, so that's that one sorted for now, I'm going to run some more tests ove rthe next few days and see if i still get errors and if i do does virtualdub solve it.
I'm glad it work, although it'd be nice to know why it worked.
Did you use VirtualDub or VirtualDubMod?
The only thing I can think of which really should change when you resave the AVI is the interleaving. AutoGK gets VirtualDubMod to interleave the audio every two frames, whereas when you resaved the AVI it'd probably resave with the default of one frame, but whether that'd make a difference and why it only effected two AVIs I don't know.

I did think about the possibility of it being the matrix used when encoding. Depending on the compatibility option you use AutoGK doesn't use the h263 default, but if remuxing the video fixed the problem it seems to have ruled that out.
Maybe it was just some freak thing which won't happen again.

Last edited by hello_hello; 21st December 2011 at 10:28.
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Old 21st December 2011, 19:03   #16  |  Link
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I generally use RipIt4Me for ripping the disc (it uses DVD Decrypter to do the work) then DVDShrink to split it into episodes if need be (without shrinking).
I've never used DVD Decrypter to split discs into episodes as you are, but I'm trying to understand the reason for ripping the disc as an iso then splitting the iso into episodes. If DVD Decrypter splits the DVD okay, why not just do it directly from the disc and bypass the iso stage (with DVDFab running in the background if need be)?
If you want the truth it's to avoid having all my DVD's around my desk, I have tons of storage space (about 10TB) so fo example I'll just rip all my R2 over then i can put them back in there cases and back on the shelf otherwise my desk would look like blockbuster video or something.

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I'm glad it work, although it'd be nice to know why it worked.
Did you use VirtualDub or VirtualDubMod?
I used VirtualDub-1.9.11 64bit version as i said i have compared them in gspot and there almost spot (excuse the pun) on with each other, I'm at a loss as to why this is going on it happened again last night with some overnight encoding of some old Dad's Army (R2 again) but again run thorugh VirtualDub and it's now fine

As i say a huge to everybody for your help i'm very grateful.


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Old 21st December 2011, 20:55   #17  |  Link
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Just a thought....
Not that I ever had any problems with it, but I'm fairly sure at some stage I replaced the version of VirtualDubMod which AutoGK installs with the last available version. Maybe, if AutoGK does install an older version, you could try doing the same to see if it's any help? VirtualDubMod 1.5.10.2
If I did update it I simply over-wrote the old files with the newer ones.

That's the latest available on the Sourceforge page, although I did come across a version labelled 1.5.10.3 while I was looking for it. Why it's not listed on the VirtualDubMod project page, I don't know. http://www.videohelp.com/tools/VirtualdubMOD
Even though the page says 1.5.10.3 the download zip file is labelled 1.5.10.2 but the build number is different to the version on the Sourceforge page.
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Old 17th February 2012, 14:40   #18  |  Link
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The list is useless, it gives the impression that is says a lot but in fact this is nothing more than "fine tuned" standard marketing clauses.
It's the typical case when formats and codecs are mixed up together to give a false impression to the unaware customer. He'll notice the shortcomings only after the buy, and the chances to return the product are minimal, as Sony never promised 100% compatibility beyond the chart (which has only an informative value, not contractual).
IMO this is Matroska's fault, because they haven't produced an official list of streams and bitrates to be used with their container (but they do have a logo certification program, which is given if the device implements just the container). The perceived "advantage" of MKV that it has no officially defined streams and bitrates is actually a disadvantage when it comes to standalone support. Want to put Ogg Vorbis or Flac inside? Go ahead. Dirac or some other obscure video stream format? Please do it. Even if a device "supports" MKV and has an MKV logo, there is no guarantee it will play the aforementioned files. Being "just a container format" is not an excuse for not having a list of officially supported streams and bitrates. There should be an "MKV Home" profile. Fortunately, the Divx guys have done Matroska's homework and produced Divx Plus HD, which -surprise- is an actual format, with an official list of streams and bitrates. Ugly (bitrate is capped to 9Mbits), but a format nonetheless. Files encoded according to the Divx Plus HD standard play on all Divx Plus HD devices.

Expecting the average consumer to examine things like supported video/audio streams and bitrates when buying a device is unrealistic. This is why formats and logos exist. And why Matroska's logo certification programs does nothing but to mislead the consumer.

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He has the solution in post #7.
The exact solution can him be told only by a person having the exact model of the TV (and the same FW).
The exact solution is to tell him to follow the Divx Home Theater standard. If an avi file is compliant with Divx Home Theater, it will play on his Divx Home Theater-certified television no matter what. This is the point of having formats, so that you can make videos that play on a device, without having to own the exact model.

When someone has a problem with Divx avi's, i always tell them to try to unpack the bitstream, and if that doesn't work to re-encode as shown in the youtube link above. It always works, instead of trying to put the blame on the equipment.

Last edited by kurkosdr; 17th February 2012 at 15:17.
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Old 17th February 2012, 15:25   #19  |  Link
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Fortunately, the Divx guys have done Matroska's homework and produced Divx Plus HD, which -surprise- is an actual format, with an official list of streams and bitrates. Ugly (bitrate is capped to 9Mbits) and closed, but a format nonetheless. Files encoded according to the Divx Plus HD standard play on all Divx Plus HD devices.
Actually they guys from Rovi finally managed to get over the Divx stuff. And because they licence it, they certify the devices. The certification require a licence to be paid. The manufacturer pays it to Rovi, and people like me that don't use Divx still has to pay the price for a feature they don't use.

Probably the next step for Rovi is to "swallow" MKV as well.
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Expecting the average consumer to examine things like supported video/audio streams and bitrates when buying a device is unrealistic. This is why formats and logos exist. And why Matroska's logo certification programs does nothing but to mislead the consumer.
That's true. However I remember the days when a device came with at least one page with specs (noise levels, bandwidth etc etc). Today those pages are filled in with "small printings" (various legal consequences for you, as a customer, and various disclaimers for them, as manufacturers) and with desiderata (rich sound, digital quality, brilliant colours). Is the average consumer more dumb today than it was 20-30 years ago?

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The exact solution is to tell him to follow the Divx Home Theater standard. If an avi file is compliant with Divx Home Theater, it will play on his Divx Home Theater-certified television no matter what. This is the point of having formats, so that you can make videos that play on a device, without having to own the exact model.
I know this point. And what if the TV is not divx home theater certified?



I understand all the points you mentioned. But my point was different.

My point was that the companies abuse the system by inducing the regular people deliberately into confusion. Even if the MKV logo would have enforced the use of certain codecs and frame rates and frame sizes and so on, the average Joe still would have seen the logo and think that any MKV he produces himself or downloads will be accepted. Generally the standards cost money, from 50$ upwards. I doubt anyone considers buying several dozens of them to check every time what EXACTLY a logo or a trademark implies.

To illustrate my point, I'll give from memory (please be gentle ) the specs of an USB capturing device:
- PAL/NTSC compatible,
- up to 720x480 or 720x576
- up to 30fps
- MPEG-2/DVD compatible (sort of Save your precious VHS on DVDs).
The stick was still USB 1.1 (some years ago). Only after buying, the unlucky customer realised that all the info given were actually correct as such just misleading, the device could not support 720x480x30, not even encoded as MPEG-2, but either 320x240x30 or 720x480x15. The unhappy customers could not return the stick as nowhere in the specs was mentioned 720x480x30. The only possibility was to return the stick within the allowed days, if the dealer proposed this. Unfortunately this was far too short for the average Joe to realize this issue. The case is real.
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Old 17th February 2012, 19:12   #20  |  Link
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Even if the MKV logo would have enforced the use of certain codecs and frame rates and frame sizes and so on, the average Joe still would have seen the logo and think that any MKV he produces himself or downloads will be accepted.
Then he would come here, were he would be told he downloaded a bad file that doesn't conform to the common standard and be told how to fix/convert it (just like it happens for avi's where the most common standard is Divx Home Theater). But unfortunately, this can't be done now for mkv, because there is no common standard. Any mkv file is a legal file and any device that implements just the container is eligible for the MKV logo. Aka a total mess. There had been heated debates about whether DTS streams belong in mkv files, and there is basically no correct answer. Everyone does what he thinks it's best at the moment. Also, should we use AAC or AC3 for audio up to 5.1? Nobody can tell. I really hope people smart up and start demanding the Divx Plus HD logo, which unlike the MKV logo actually means something.

Quote:
To illustrate my point, I'll give from memory (please be gentle ) the specs of an USB capturing device:
- PAL/NTSC compatible,
- up to 720x480 or 720x576
- up to 30fps
- MPEG-2/DVD compatible (sort of Save your precious VHS on DVDs).
This can happen for every kind of device. From cars (for example discovering the auto transmission takes ages to shift) to kitchen appliances (stuff that breaks by looking at it). And yes companies have gotten more slimy than the past and more deceptive in their marketing and spec lists, in all industries. Read reviews, buy from brands you really trust. Don't rely just on the spec list. Spec lists are useful, but don't rely just on them.

Quote:
I know this point. And what if the TV is not divx home theater certified?
Then you are taking your chances. Many avi files that are encoded according to the common standard may not play properly. Not supporting the correct max bitrates is a common reason for lack of certification on a device (an exception being open devices like Boxee, but in such devices it's easy to find out what they support, unlike DVD players and TVs etc). Like them or not (i don't), Divx's certification procedures help reduce the amount of cheating by the companies. Sure the certification process may cost money which may be moved into the retail price, but it's usually some cents, and it's worth it because i know the newly purchased device is compatible with at least a certain kind of files. Instead, the MKV logo program actually helps companies cheat (with all the respect i have towards the Matroska group).

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