What MKV are the requirements for direct play on Roku?

roku

#1

I have a Roku Ultra and Premier, I am using handbrake to convert from ISO to MKV. Can anyone recommend what codecs to use within the MKV container to allow direct play via the Roku PLEX app?


#2

For maximum compatibility...go with...

Container: MKV
Vid Codec: HEVC or H264 (level 4.1 or less, 5 ref frames or less on 1080p material)
Audio: AAC stereo and/or AC3 5.1 (I use AAC stereo in first slot...and a AC3 5.1 in the second slot)


#3

Hi DFury, thank you for the response! Everything makes sense but the comment "5 ref frames or less on 1080p", I am not sure what "5 ref frames" is, I am not familiar with that option in Handbreak. Also, these settings allow you to have direct play, i.e. no transcoding?


#4

There's a handy Handbrake Guide in my signature.

Nutshell:
Reference Frames are set in the 'Advanced' Handbrake area and are used to enhance file compression. Most untrained chimps that encode these days don't have a clue what they do and also don't know that if you use too many the file won't play on hardly anything - except VLC (designed to play any crap you throw at it).

Handbrake defaults to about 3 of them - so unless you're using that 'new and improved' (and mostly broken) version of Handbrake you should be fine. As you will see in my guide I recommend Handbrake Version 0.10.5 as it's not broken, loaded with umpteen User Profiles you don't need and still works just fine.

If Handbrake ever comes to their senses and develops a new version wherein one can actually encode a DVD properly with custom anamorphic settings I may consider upgrading both my version and the guide, but for the time being 0.10.5 is more than adequate.


#5

@mmueller3485 said:
Hi DFury, thank you for the response! Everything makes sense but the comment "5 ref frames or less on 1080p", I am not sure what "5 ref frames" is, I am not familiar with that option in Handbreak. Also, these settings allow you to have direct play, i.e. no transcoding?

Yes, those settings should allow you to direct-play on a Roku, provided that you have the bandwidth to play the resulting file. As JuiceWSA eluded too...I would highly recommend avoiding the advanced tab. I say that after trying for 2 years to perfect it. Trust the tune/speed settings. The only problem is that some x264 tune/speed presets can result in too many reference frames for the Roku. The animation tune, for example, can sometimes use as much as 16 ref frames.

You don't necessarily need to use the advanced tab to avoid that, though...in the "extra options" box in the video tab, put a "ref=5" (without the quotation marks)...that will set the max ref frames to 5. Of note, the Roku can handle up to 8 ref frames in 720p material.


#6

If you read and follow my guide Handbrake is bulletproof for Roku encoding - under version 0.10.5.

Bulletproof.

I use bit rate and the advanced tab due to the fact that constant quality and auto sliders produce wildly unpredictable files in both quality and size. Most of my Advanced Tab settings are the defaults, but is explained in painful detail when some slight variations are employed. Slight Variations.


#7

I use the 720P Film settings for remote stream (direct play) taken from rokoding.com


#8

I really appreciate all of the info! I just had time to read both the DVD and BluRay sections for Handbreak, very well written and the screen caps really help. I hope to start testing very soon.

JuiceWSA, you point out in your guide the HB 0.10.5, turns out I have 1.0.7 have you tried your settings on this version or do you still recommend installing the older version?


#9

The new version is loaded with crap you don't need and it's impossible to encode a DVD properly as they removed all the custom anamorphic settings.

I wrote the guide for 0.10.5 - I use 0.10.5 and I suggest you do to.
If you use that new crap - do so at your own risk - and you may as well flip my guide out the window. It tells you how to do stuff you won't find in their 'new and improved' HB Package.


#10

Sounds good, next step is to install older version and start converting! :)

Thanks again!