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Old Sep 26, 2013, 06:40 PM   #1
idyll
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Streaming mkv movies to my TV without having to convert first?

Is it possible to stream mkv movies to my TV without converting them first?

What about 3d mkv movies that are about 4gb in file size?



I'm willing to buy any hardware or device needed to make this happen, don't have to be limited to an Apple TV.

If there is no wifi solution, please let me know of a device that I could plug my USB hard drive into and play the mkv movies that way.

Thank you!
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 08:32 PM   #2
Billy Boo Bob
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For AppleTV, I think you'll find that it has to be in a format that iTunes likes, therefore some sort of conversion will be necessary...

I've found that iFlicks will take an MKV and generate a quick M4V file... The video seems to passthrough (assuming it's x264) and the audio does some converting (for iTunes compatible). Set for "iTunes Compatible". Couple minutes for an MKV movie to convert... Not like the long time Handbrake or whatever will take.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 10:16 PM   #3
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I have been using Beamer running on my Mac and was worth it - never had an issue with all the MKV (including surround sound) files I streamed.

I am not sure about 3D though.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idyll View Post
please let me know of a device that I could plug my USB hard drive into and play the mkv movies that way.
For example - WD TV Live. Or any other multi-format media player, which are most of them.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 10:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albeik View Post
I have been using Beamer running on my Mac and was worth it - never had an issue with all the MKV (including surround sound) files I streamed.

I am not sure about 3D though.
+1 for Beamer. I never use Air Play anymore, this app is that good. It's a very simple app and does only one thing which is stream any kind of video to Apple TV and it does it remarkably well.
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Old Sep 26, 2013, 11:58 PM   #6
idyll
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Great advice! Going to try Beamer. With Beamer I can stream to any AppleTV I choose, correct? Is it pretty good with 4gb or larger mkv files?

Anyone have experience with 3d mkv files? I have problems playing them on my Mac let alone streaming them via wifi.. I found suggestions on changing VLC settings to get the 3d files to play but then I need to change the settings back every time I want to play a different file type such as avi.
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Old Sep 27, 2013, 12:27 AM   #7
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What do you mean by 3D mkv files? Are they SBS/OU or full-frame-3D?
Streaming the former is easy. I know of no solution to stream the latter, though.
E.g. Sony streams their 3D demo clips in double-framerate mode, but that won't work from external input, just inside their SEN 3D Experience app.
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Old Sep 27, 2013, 01:59 AM   #8
idyll
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Thanks! They are SBS/OU.

Know of a good player to play them in OS X by any chance? When I try to play them I get the same image side by side.
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Old Sep 28, 2013, 01:06 AM   #9
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Thanks! They are SBS/OU.

Know of a good player to play them in OS X by any chance? When I try to play them I get the same image side by side.
What do you mean to play in OS X?? This OS doesn't have 3D support whatsoever nor does any Mac have a 3D-display. Modern Macs with nVidia cards should be able to display 3D image via HDMI to external 3D display under Windows, though.
I use this SBS technique via my AppleTV. It's the 3D-telly that knows how to cut and strech this image properly for L and R eye. You need to switch the 3D-mode on your 3D TV set from normal to SBS or OU, according to source.
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Old Sep 28, 2013, 05:48 AM   #10
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What I use now is a Western Digital Media Player (No.1 on amazon)

What I don't like is that I transfer all my mkv-files to an external hard drive then plug it into the media player and play it from there

I know the updated model can play via wifi without a drive connected so basically like an apple tv with the beamer app included.

I'm thinking now to update either to the new WD wifi Media Player or the Apple TV. I read about lags when streaming mkv to the Apple TV (i don't use iTunes file formats and never will). Is that really noticeable while watching?

The other concern I have is that the Apple TV should receive a hardware upgrade soon, so is it wise to wait another month?
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Old Sep 28, 2013, 10:00 AM   #11
Che Castro
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Go with iflicks , it will turn your mkv into m4v in a minute , with metadata and will add the movie to iTunes for you

Last time I used Beamer it did not work too good with large 1080/720p files
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 12:34 AM   #12
idyll
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Thanks for all the help I received. I'll be using Beamer a lot and may even purchase the WD Media Player.

For anyone wondering, I was setting this up for a friend and we ended up going with Plex. http://www.plexapp.com/

This probably ended up being the best solution for him because all of his TVs are Samsung, so we installed the Plex app on them through the Samsung App store (free) and the Plex Media Server (free) on his Mac Mini. We put the movies on a Apple Time Capsule and told the Plex Media Server to get them from there.

The benefit of this is he can access his movies from any TV in his house using his TVs remote without having to go to his Mac Mini each time he wants to play a movie.
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 07:05 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by in4fun View Post
(i don't use iTunes file formats and never will)
Your .mkv's are probably mp4's, which is an iTunes file format.
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 07:22 AM   #14
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Subler is free and will remux/transcode mkv files into m4v that the Apple TV will recognise. It can handle files larger than 4GB as it has a 64-bit offset checkbox.

It's easy to use, and takes about 30 seconds to remux an mkv.
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 08:28 AM   #15
in4fun
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But that is still all just a compromise.

I want to download any movie file format and stream it straight to my TV without the need to convert anything - I don't care if it only takes a minute - it's an unnecessary step and inconvenient.

I already read about the other solutions to work around this like:

- airplay (not reliable and stuttering)
- beamer (more reliable but still stuttering once in a while)

I didn't invest thousands of dollars in a top notch plasma panel to work with a stuttering compromise, so I say goodbye to the current Apple TV and just go with Western Digital which has none of those issues.

I also don't want to downplay the downside of this which is not being able to mirror my computer desktop on my TV. But since watching movies is my main priority I think Apple TV is simply the wrong choice for now.

I will however check back for the rumored hardware update in October and see if Apple was able to fix the lags and stuttering.
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 10:26 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by in4fun View Post
But that is still all just a compromise.

I want to download any movie file format and stream it straight to my TV without the need to convert anything - I don't care if it only takes a minute - it's an unnecessary step and inconvenient.

I already read about the other solutions to work around this like:

- airplay (not reliable and stuttering)
- beamer (more reliable but still stuttering once in a while)

I didn't invest thousands of dollars in a top notch plasma panel to work with a stuttering compromise, so I say goodbye to the current Apple TV and just go with Western Digital which has none of those issues.

I also don't want to downplay the downside of this which is not being able to mirror my computer desktop on my TV. But since watching movies is my main priority I think Apple TV is simply the wrong choice for now.

I will however check back for the rumored hardware update in October and see if Apple was able to fix the lags and stuttering.
Beamer is not a compromise, but how iTunes should have been.
No remixing, no jailbreaking, just drag en drop (even additional subtitles). The stuttering is size-dependend, just stay below 5GB and your fine (note iTunes movies are about 3.5Gb on average, probably for the same reason).
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 10:33 AM   #17
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I got a kdlinks hd700 to replace my Apple TV. Plays about every format including mkv.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B008CBQSKU
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 10:46 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by rocknblogger View Post
+1 for Beamer. I never use Air Play anymore, this app is that good. It's a very simple app and does only one thing which is stream any kind of video to Apple TV and it does it remarkably well.
I downloaded the trial for Beamer and I like what I see. It takes forever for Handbrake to convert a MKV sometimes. Definitely going to give it a shot.

Jerry
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 01:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlrathke View Post
I downloaded the trial for Beamer and I like what I see. It takes forever for Handbrake to convert a MKV sometimes. Definitely going to give it a shot.

Jerry
Glad you like it. I think you'll be very satisfied. I've streamed some very large mkv files without any issues. All I can say is the larger files take a few extra seconds to load up. But other than that, love it!!!
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 02:40 PM   #20
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I have a samsung tv from 2011 and I can just plug in a usb drive with movies on it and can use the tv remote to play them. It plays .mkv, mp4, avi and a few more formats.
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 03:22 PM   #21
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Give Plex connect a try and you gonna love it. I used to have WDTV live , then moved on to ATV3 , tried Airplay movies , Beamer ,converting everything to Itunes using Handbrake , Iflicks , Subler, Mp4tools etc this all was so much work.
Now with Plex connect , I have to do nothing , it plays everything and has been enjoying it since couple of months now. Only thing is you will have to do a small hack of Trailers app. And then just direct your Plex server to Folders you keep you media.
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Old Sep 29, 2013, 04:06 PM   #22
Che Castro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlrathke View Post
I downloaded the trial for Beamer and I like what I see. It takes forever for Handbrake to convert a MKV sometimes. Definitely going to give it a shot.

Jerry
You don't need to convert the mkv if is h264
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Old Oct 2, 2013, 06:23 PM   #23
jlrathke
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You don't need to convert the mkv if is h264
I converted them to use with iTunes at a smaller size...an mkv over 2 gb or so was choppy during airplay...seems to work well with beamer, though...

Jerry
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Old Oct 3, 2013, 04:06 PM   #24
WDE87
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Is there a program similar to Beamer for Windows? I'm trying to play video to my ATV3 without converting, etc. Thanks
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Old Oct 3, 2013, 04:24 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by rocknblogger View Post
+1 for Beamer. I never use Air Play anymore, this app is that good. It's a very simple app and does only one thing which is stream any kind of video to Apple TV and it does it remarkably well.
I use beamer as well! Have not had any problems at all. The best thing is that you can try it out for free! Works fantastic! Never tried to play 3D movies with it though.
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