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Can't Play MKV Files In VLC!

Discussion in 'Multimedia' started by Firelight79, Mar 23, 2012.

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  1. Firelight79

    Firelight79 Thread Starter

    Mar 22, 2012
    I have heard that the VLC Player is one of the best open source media players out there, ESPECIALLY for HD Video files, so I must be doing something wrong.

    The Problem: I can not play MKV files with out experiencing several problems, such as grainy pixelated images, skipping, freezing, stuttering or slow motion videos. Here are two screen shots I took of how the video looks when it tries to play.


    Things I have tried:
    1. I have tried several different MKV files of different lengths that are unrelated to eachother to determine if it was just a corrupt file. It is not. To be honest, the files have had MUCH more luck in other media players, the best of which was "Freesmith". But it wasn't perfect and I am determined to get VLC to work properly.

    2. I have also tried 2 seperate versions of VLC hoping to solve the problem that way. I tried the newest version (2.0.1) first (installed and uninstalled it) and now have the older version (1.1.11) currently on my system, but neither have worked.

    3. I read in other online forums, from people who have had similar VLC issues, to try something that has actually worked for MANY people: Open VLC > go to Tools > Preferences > Input & Codecs > Under Codecs, go to where it says "Skip H.264 in-loop deblocking filter" and in the drop down menu to the right of that, where it by default is set to "None" change it to "All" > Save and Exit. But unlike the many people this has worked for, it did NOT work for me, same problem(s) persisted.

    The above is all I have found to even try, and as you can see, haven't had any luck with even one of these attempted solutions. Please help? Before you say it's JUST b/c my system doesn't have enough of whatever it needs to process HD files, understand it has before, a few years ago I was able to watch HD video's in VLC w/o problems. But I have replaced my hard drive since then so I had to reinstall it. If you have ANY suggestions of things I have not already tried please let me know as soon as possible. Thank you so much! You'd be a LIFE SAVER!:)

    My System Information:
    Microsoft Windows XP (Home Edition), Version 2002, Service Pack 3

    Dell Inspiron Mini (1011) Notebook
    Intel Atom
    CPU N270 @ 1.60GHz
    1.60 GHz, 0.99 GB of RAM

    Additionally, here is the "Media File Information", if this helps at all:

    Unique ID : 184058949022237836748664109832557270326 (0x8A7876D23C413022A06659D51D1B9536)
    Complete name : E:\ALL MOVIES AND TV SHOWS\MOViES\Twilight Eclipse Blu-Ray.mkv
    Format : Matroska
    Format version : Version 2
    File size : 6.55 GiB
    Duration : 2h 3mn
    Overall bit rate : 7 564 Kbps
    Encoded date : UTC 2008-11-12 01:23:42
    Writing application : mkvmerge v2.9.8 ('C'est le bon') built on Aug 21 2009 13:21:42
    Writing library : libebml v0.7.7 + libmatroska v0.8.1

    ID : 1
    Format : AVC
    Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
    Format profile : [email protected]
    Format settings, CABAC : Yes
    Format settings, ReFrames : 5 frames
    Codec ID : V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC
    Duration : 2h 3mn
    Bit rate : 6 057 Kbps
    Width : 1 280 pixels
    Height : 528 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 2.40:1
    Frame rate : 23.976 fps
    Color space : YUV
    Chroma subsampling : 4:2:0
    Bit depth : 8 bits
    Scan type : Progressive
    Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.374
    Stream size : 5.11 GiB (78%)
    Writing library : x264 core 107 r1772 c9dad9e
    Encoding settings : cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x3:0x113 / me=umh / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.20 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-3 / threads=12 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=0 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=23 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=2pass / mbtree=1 / bitrate=6057 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / cplxblur=20.0 / qblur=0.5 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
    Language : English

    ID : 2
    Format : DTS
    Format/Info : Digital Theater Systems
    Codec ID : A_DTS
    Duration : 2h 3mn
    Bit rate mode : Constant
    Bit rate : 1 510 Kbps
    Channel(s) : 6 channels
    Channel positions : Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE
    Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
    Bit depth : 24 bits
    Compression mode : Lossy
    Stream size : 1.31 GiB (20%)
    Language : English

    00:00:00.000 : en:00:00:00.000
    00:08:47.694 : en:00:08:47.694
    00:17:37.515 : en:00:17:37.515
    00:25:17.516 : en:00:25:17.516
    00:30:20.402 : en:00:30:20.402
    00:36:45.078 : en:00:36:45.078
    00:43:31.776 : en:00:43:31.776
    00:50:13.761 : en:00:50:13.761
    00:55:34.373 : en:00:55:34.373
    01:00:11.608 : en:01:00:11.608
    01:06:12.218 : en:01:06:12.218
    01:13:05.214 : en:01:13:05.214
    01:19:43.362 : en:01:19:43.362
    01:25:15.819 : en:01:25:15.819
    01:31:27.232 : en:01:31:27.232
    01:35:54.958 : en:01:35:54.958
    01:43:19.985 : en:01:43:19.985
    01:51:53.498 : en:01:51:53.498
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  3. Oddba11

    Oddba11 Jim

    May 12, 2011
    I've not used the newer versions of VLC. I'd suggest trying a different media player, KMPlayer and MPCHC are both free. It could also be corrupt files.
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Dec 9, 2004
    What did you use to rip this Blu-ray movie you own into an MKV file? That's where part of the problem is. The other part is that you're trying to play a high definition file on a crippled netbook with a low-powered processor and a puny amount of memory.
  5. Firelight79

    Firelight79 Thread Starter

    Mar 22, 2012
    Well like I stated in the beginning, this same "crippled" computer w/ a "low-memory powered processor" USE to play HD quality files w/o a problem in VLC. They were perfect! Even now I can get some to play in "Freesmith" is the best I've come across by adjusting the system defaults a little. But it's still a tad jumpy in places. The files didn't use to be so I know there is a way. I'm just not that computer tech savvy to figure it out on my own. I don't know a lot about codec's and the like, that's the type of expertise I am hoping to find HERE. As for the notebook, it's a Dell Mini, not some huge laptop with a giant screen and hard drive nor does it even have the capability to have that. And if it worked before it should theoretically be able to work again right?

    If you don't even have a suggestion for a possible solution then please do not reply. I appreciate SO MUCH any ideas that I could at least TRY though. I'm not ready to throw my hands up, say it's impossible b/c of my system and call it a day. Not when I know for a fact it has worked in the past.

    And to Oddba11, yes I have considered this as well. The Freesmith Player works best so far (although not perfect) but VLC USE to work even better for me. As for the files, they aren't corrupt b/c like I said it can play a whole lot better on FS Player and I've tried several different MKV files besides the one I gave the media information to above, they didn't fair well either. But thank you for the constructive suggestion! It was worth proposing :)

    If the files were JUST "jumpy" then I might be willing to chalk it up to my computer not being able to handle it. But the "pixelated" nature of the images above has to mean its a different type of problem right?
  6. kayare


    Apr 28, 2012
    I don't know if you have figured this out yet or not, but i found a solution that worked for me, and now I am able to play the files perfectly again. Firstly, uninstall everything to do with VLC. Then download a torrent file for an old version of vlc, i did vlc 1.0.3. Once its downloaded, disconnect from the internet. I tried downloading the older versions while still connected to the internet, and they didn't work. So once disconnected from the internet, install the downloaded torrent of the old version of vlc. Once installed, uncheck where it asks if it can check for updates every two weeks, as clearly the new version doesn't work for mkv's. Play your file, and like mine, it should be perfect. The difference is actually amazing, its quick and clear. I had become used to the jumpy slow version before it got so bad I couldn't even watch it. Hope that helps anyone with this problem!!
  7. Oddba11

    Oddba11 Jim

    May 12, 2011
    I don't know why you wasted so much time or created such a hassle. VLC is FREE and ALL older versions are available from the source: http://download.videolan.org/pub/videolan/vlc/

    With that said, yes, some versions work better than others. Hence the recommendation to TEST a completely different player.

    As for the OP. As noted, the PC in question is underpowered...especially for HD playback. So simply because other mkv files played fine, does NOT mean all mkv files will play fine. mkv is a container, there can be multiple codecs used within that container. In addition, the file specs will make a big difference. The primary things to watch are the resolution and the bitrate.

    Compare a working file to a file that doesn't work. Pay attention to the codec used, the resolution, and the bitrate. All three can greatly affect performance.
  8. kayare


    Apr 28, 2012
    I get what you are saying... BUT, for me in my experience, i tried to download the websites older versions, however after already updating to the new version, it just didn't work. The mkv files that played perfectly before, suddenly would not play at all.. even with an old version installed, it still showed the new version in the help/about.. now i am not all that technical, but was basically saying what worked for me to get these mkv files to start working again, was to get rid of vlc completely.. and by downloading a torrent file for vlc i was able to install without the internet connection, therefore no connection to the new version was kept.. however that happened.. as i do not understand it all that well. and wallah.. i could play them again.. and this seems to be a common problem that nobody has been able to solve properly as far as i can see looking online.. a lot of people don't understand about the codex etc, if they are like me... they just want a fix.. this is a fix.. hope it helps those who it helps.. thats all.
  9. Oddba11

    Oddba11 Jim

    May 12, 2011
    I'm just missing how your fix worked. The source of the files shouldn't matter, and if given the choice, I'd go with the files from the developer. The internet connection also shouldn't matter. If it worked for you, that's fine and I can't and won't dispute it. But I can't explain how it worked for you. But it sounds like a fluke.

    When reinstalling software to resolve issues like this, the key is the proper removal of the original install. Otherwise, any additional installation will quite often keep the settings/configuration of the original installation. If Add and Remove programs doesn't work completely (and it often does not), then I suggest using an app such as Revo uninstaller. A proper uninstall, reboot, and then a fresh install.
  10. naturalbeautyboy


    Dec 4, 2011
    Bigasoft MKV Converter provides an all-in-one solution to solve all the symptoms in playing and editing MKV video files.

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    Step by Step Guide at http://www.bigasoft.com/articles/how-to-play-mkv-files.html
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