Why are movies not playing correctly from my WD Passport hard drive?

Colby Edrington February 20, 2012

I watch movies and TV shows on my external hard drive through my Samsung Blu-ray player, but the videos don’t play properly. Sometimes the pictures are distorted and the audio falls out of sync with the picture. Until I pause the video and play it again, then it corrects itself for 15 minutes, but the problem repeats.

The video files are high definition in .mkv. Am I using the wrong format? Do I need to reformat my hard drive? Can anyone help?

  1. sid manny
    August 22, 2012 at 1:52 am

    hard drive

  2. sean
    June 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    i use media players they seem to do the job, play all sorts of formats. there is some good ones out now.

    mt problem is i have been doing this for a while now with no problems. just now though my 500g Toshiba portable hdd is having some trouble. it will start playing a movie tv show what eva but then 30min into the flick it will just freeze.

    i have delinted everything re installed reformatted and even defraged it but still the same problem.

    is it time for the bin for this little girl. (its 2 years old)

  3. James Bruce
    February 20, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    Video formats are a complicated subject Colby, and unfortunately built-in TV media players are quite simple. While they may advertise being able to play MKV format files, the reality is that they're a very limited hardware based playback method. 

    The easy answer is: to play back HD MKV movies on your TV, plug it into a computer and use the computer as the playback device (free software like VLC will handle any format you throw at it), with the TV as the output. The more complicate answers:- They may be too high quality and your TV can't decode them fast enough- The audio may be in a strange format (MKV files are actually just an enclosure to separate video and audio track, each of which may be formatted differently - a computer will figure this out, your TV probably can't). - The hard disk may be too slow (USB 1.0 perhaps?)

    • Mike
      February 20, 2012 at 6:21 pm

      I agree with James here...

      Try playing back the files on a computer using VLC or your favorite media player application.

      If it works without the problems you mentioned it is (a) because the BD player doesn't have the processing power needed or (b) the MKV data format is not entirely compliant with what the BD player supports.

      If you get the same problem on a PC it is most likely the speed of the external hard drive you are using.

      * As for testing on a PC I suggest something other than a netbook or Intel Atom powered device. Those are also on the lower end for playing back HD material.

    • Colby
      February 20, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      thanks i think i will try a different format like .avi or something. I've been using my TV as the output from my computer, i just want to get some use out of my hard drive. your responses have helped me a lot

      • Jay.0
        February 21, 2012 at 12:49 am

        mpg avi mp4 wmv are the formats you can try.
        but the conversion may increase the size of output as mkv is a compressed format.

        you can also try to convert in mkv with different codec like divx, xvid etc using format factory.


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