Daily Archives: December 7, 2011

Common issues playing Matroska files with hardware players

One of the most common question I’m asked these days is something along these lines:

My file plays just fine on my PC (e.g. in VLC), but my hardware player cannot play the file.

There are several issues that keep repeating ranging from problems with seeking to the player outright refusing to play the file. The hardware devices are often media players, set top boxes or TVs.

The cause of these issues is almost always that the player in question only implements certain subsets of the Matroska specifications. Fortunately there are several options in mkvmerge and its GUI (mmg) that enable the user to fine-tune mkvmerge’s use of such features.

I’ve therefore taken the time to explain some of these common issues, how they present to the user, their root cause and possible workarounds a user can try in a FAQ entry called “Options for improving playback on players that don’t implement the full Matroska specification“. It’s well worth a read if trying to get your device to play nice.