2007-10-28, 02:24 AM
I've noticed an HD format appearing on some internet files, denoted by the MKV filetype.
I did some browsing and as far as I can determine there are currently no DVD standalone players that support such files. Anyone aware of one?
However, I have also noticed that some new AV receivers have an ethernet connection, an USB port, and some even have WiFi. Again, my research indicates that these connections are only for "audio".
My PC decodes these MKV files without difficulty.
So how do I get the signal to my TV set where it should look much better?
Someone suggested building a Home Theatre PC. Anyone ever done that?
I am fuzzy as to whether or not my PC monitor (which is a 22-inch Graphics CRT) is showing me analogue or digital video. If it's showing me analogue, then perhaps I can somehow connect to my TV via component video? If digital, then I probably need a Firewire input on the TV? (I'm certain HDMI would vomit on such files.)
Anyone aware of a device which would solve this problem? (And why don't the Chinese have a $50 player which plays these files?)
2007-10-28, 02:56 AM
Wow. This a lot to respond to. mkv is a file container which can be used for many kinds of video and audio codecs. However, you are right that it is commonly associated with HD video using the x264 video codec and often a 5.1 digital audio codec as well.
I believe there are some stand-alone hd players with hard-drives but not sure if there are any with dvd drives. Your best bet is to play them off your pc.
I play hd mvk files on my macbook pro and output the video signal over dvi and the audio over spdif to my hdtv and home theater sound system.
If you have your crt monitor connected with a dvi cable (as opposed to a vga cable) and it has sufficient resolution then you could be viewing the full resolution, digital video of the mkv file. But, on a 22-inch monitor you won't really see the benefit.
I've never heard of a tv with a firewire input. You will want to connect your computer to your tv with either a dvi cable, or dvi to hdmi cable depending on what inputs your tv has and what outputs your computer has. Some laptops have hdmi out now but these are still rare. If you have neither then you will need to upgrade the video card on your pc to one with a dvi or hdmi output (the former is practically standard now). HDMI does not care what kinds of files are being played. As long as your mkv playing software (I recommend VLC player) can play mkv and output a video signal your tv should display it. You will need to make sure that the video card is configured to output the correct resolution for your tv.
To get digital audio, you may need to upgrade your sound card as well. Check to see if it has a digital audio output (spdif). Of course, you will need a receiver capable of accepting a digital audio signal.
So, you should check to see what kind of tv and sound system you have. Is it capable of accepting hd video and digital audio? And, what kind of video/sound card does your computer have? Do you have dvi and spdif out? If all these are true then you can get going.
2007-10-28, 04:14 AM
The MKV files I have watched are 720P and I have my monitor set at 1280 X 1024. It can be set to 1600 X 1200 @85 Herz. It's analogue. I have 5.1 audio on my PC too.
I don't like watching video on my PC though.
I believe that some TVs have Firewire connections. I also believe that in the U.S. the FCC has mandated that cable boxes be supplied with Firewire connectivity. I do have a D-VHS recorder with Firewire input and Component Video output. It records 1080i with DD5.1 from the Shaw HD box. So if I could output digital video via Firewire to this device, it might make to my TV via CV.
I have an old transmitter/receiver that allows wireless connections to my TV using RCA jacks. If there were a similar digital device with enough bandwidth that would be ideal.
However, I discovered this interesting PR release from Panasonic.
One Terabyte on a Blu-Ray standalone DVD recorder. It also mentions X264, but I doubt it will play MKV files. However, perhaps the MKV files could be converted to something these devices could play???
(I shall never purchase an HD DVD Player of any technology. Only a recorder and here they come unless the MPAA stops them. I have seen the Panasonic devices mentioned in the PR release for sale on the internet.)