Streaming video files

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Streaming video files

Postby telconamja » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:21 pm

I know that there are a few streaming channels, RoConnect, Roksbox and more. I know there is a limitation on Roku also that the player will only stream .mp4/.m4v files.

Does anyone know if Roku is looking at being able to stream a more current better encoded video file like .mkv ? I know the .mkv can be played over the USB channel and on RoksBox USB but there are a few Roku competitors out there that will play any video file you throw at it.

I have a video collection that I created of my own DVD's and BR disks that I have formatted as .mkv file which is more common these days and I do not feel like spending 6 months converting these to a far less quality encoding just to play them over the Roku player.

I hope they employ descent developers that keep up with the times so in the future when .mkv file are "phased out" they can send out an update with the newest format and encoding in a descent time frame.

I made the mistake of chatting with technical support on Roku and was pretty mush closed out of the live chat by the representative because they could not answer my questions. I really like the Roku box but with the limitations ofthe video formats and encoding, I may have to put my 2 Roku's on craigslist and purchase a competitors product.
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Re: Streaming video files

Postby nushmut » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:52 pm

Actually, Roku already supports the MKV container for H.264-encoded videos, period. MKVs do work when served through Roksbox, no transcoding needed.

Here are the supported codecs and containers which will work for playback over USB and over your LAN:

http://support.roku.com/entries/423946-what-media-file-types-does-the-roku-usb-media-player-channel-support
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Re: Streaming video files

Postby telconamja » Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:59 pm

I have read that page about 50 times and no where does it say that it will play .mkv files over the LAN through a streaming server. I would agree that the Roku plays .mkv file (limited and not the encoding that I have all of my video files converted to) but you can not stream them period. The .mkv contain can only be played over the RoksBox USB and, they have to be encoded specifically to their specifications not the most common encoding for video files in the past year or so. Also, I have encoded (per specifications on that page) a small .mkv file and sure enough, it was not able to be streamed but I could play it over USB.
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Re: Streaming video files

Postby nushmut » Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:16 pm

Just ran an MKV test in Roksbox, and it indeed failed to stream; I stand corrected!

Roku is mainly intended to be an internet streamer. If you need more liberal support for local streaming, you probably will want to purchase a different box. I personally don't expect to see codec or container support to change much in the near future, but that's just my opinion.
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Re: Streaming video files

Postby renojim » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:36 pm

If I remember correctly, they have said that MKV will be supported via streaming someday, but like all things they didn't say when.

-JT
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Re: Streaming video files

Postby krisbee » Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:38 am

As far as I know, .mkv is just a container - it can contain any codec combo, just like avi's. So, really, your encodes if they are already h264 (and if they are from blu ray rips, I imagine they are), and aac/mp3, then you could just copy the contents and change the container to a roku format. The process should take a minute or two per file, and would be real easy to set as a batch.

I find .mkv files to be a pain, myself, but I might be in the minority.

Or just wait around... Roku never promised to play everything - so any hacks that come up should be considered gravy.
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Re: Streaming video files

Postby nushmut » Wed Jul 13, 2011 8:27 am

krisbee wrote:I find .mkv files to be a pain, myself, but I might be in the minority.


Then we're in a mutual minority! I specifically ripped my discs into MP4 containers so I could have universal playback on all my devices. My Roku, iPod touch, and computer (obviously) can all handle the files. 5.1 where available, with mixdown tracks as a backup. DTS, while generally superior to DD because of lighter compression, is not worth sacrificing that universality for.
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Panasonic P42ST30 HDTV & BD-85 Blu-ray Player
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