How do you determine what parameters are needed by a DLNA renderer and server?

I have a Samsung TV that is a DLNA renderer. I also have a Western Digital NAS running Debian and have Twonky and MediaTomb 0.12.0 installed. The Samsung TV seems to have trouble playing some AV formats. I have tried copying streams with ffmpeg to different containers. In some cases, it seems that the DLNA Server affects the ability to play back. For instance, Twonky never seems to allow seeking, where as MediaTomb will depending on the AV file; typically only AVI's allow seeking with MediaTomb/Samsung Tv. I don't know whether the render or server is responsible.

In some cases, it appears that Twonky will not play files that MediaTomb will; Ie, the DLNA Server can give up on a media file. Most likely the media server gives up parsing/processing the media file; occasionally this has happened mid-stream.

I have mp4/x264 files that play and many that don't. Is there some suite of programs I can use to analyze the media files to determine how I need to transcode to ensure play back? I have tried the midentify.sh script with mplayer and ffprobe from ffmpeg. Maybe I haven't turned on enough options? Mainly some x264 encoded files have trouble playing. Xvid encoded files never have trouble playing. Hopefully it is possible to get MediaTomb to trancode the files on the fly, but I hope it is not the video stream. Is there something better than trial/error encodes? How can I help to zero in on encoding/container parameters that work?

What is the difference between DLNA and UPNP?
Samsung supported formats.

Edit: Page 34 of the UC6300 user's manual has a list of supported container formats, audio and video codecs, display resolutions and frame and bit rates.

For MP4 and AVI, apparently only 1920x1080 resolutions are supported. However, I have been able to play many videos at lower resolutions. 6-30fps is supported. Most encodes are ~24fps so that is not an issue. 8Mbps bit rate for all codecs except H.264BP/MP/HP which lists as 25Mbps (but I think must be 2.5).

AVI/MKV and MP4 supports the following audio codecs,

  1. MP3
  2. ADPCM
  3. AAC (MP4 only)
  4. AC3 (AVI/MKV)
  6. DTS core (AVI/MKV)

I typically use MP3 or AC3 with the spdif pass-thru to an amp.

AVI/MKV/MP4 supports the following video codecs,

  1. Divx 3.11/4.x/5.1/6.0 (AVI/MKV)
  2. XviD
  3. H.264 BP/MP/HP

Additionally, H.264 level 4.1 is supported. H.264 FMO/ASO/RS, VC1 SP/MP/AP L4 and AVCHD are not supported. GMC is not supported, H.263 is not supported. How do I translate this to midentify.sh or ffprobe output?

  • 1
    AVI doesn't properly support Main/High Profile H.264. – slhck Feb 3 '13 at 14:56
  • I was just posting what the manual says. It does explicitly list H.264 BP/MP/HP for AVI and MKV containers. Err, you say properly, I see. Thanks. – artless noise Feb 4 '13 at 1:31
  • This particular Samsung TV seems to have problems with the mkv container. Even some mp4 files give problems. Usually, an avconv -i file.mp4 -codec copy file.new.mp4 will make something playable. Many problems seem to be related to the container as opposed to the streams; I guess avconv is not touching the streams with copy. – artless noise Dec 12 '14 at 19:28

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