Aug 16, 2009

Samsung TV USB Media Player: Tips and Troubleshooting

I recently bought a Samsung LCD HDTV LN52B630 and it's a great TV (fortunately I paid a lot less than what Amazon is selling it for). One of the best features of Samsung's LCD and Plasma TVs is the ability to play video files directly from a USB memory stick or hard drive. This feature is alternately referred to as USB Movie 2.0 or Wiselink. Sure, you could buy a TV without this and then add on something like WDTV or Roku but that's an added expense and one more remote to clutter things up. Samsung has done a great job of integrating the media player into the TV. However, the manual doesn't explain everything as clearly as it could, so I've written down some of the problems and solutions I've encountered.

The TV supports a variety of video file formats, such as AVI, MP4, MKV, and VOB. These are really just "containers" for audio and video information, so just because you have one of these files there's no guarantee that the TV will play it. Within the container, the audio and video is stored using a codec. Common video codecs are Divx, Xvid, and MPEG4. Common audio codecs are AC3, MP3, and DTS. You can use software like VLC to tell what codecs were used to create a particular file.

Not supported audio codec

MKV has become popular with high definition material (720p, 1080p). However, the most common problem when you try to play an MKV file is that the video works but the error message comes up: "Not supported audio codec" and there is no sound. Most of the time, this is because the audio was encoded with Digital Theater System (DTS) which the TV doesn't support (Samsung didn't want to pay the license fee). You can easily fix this by reencoding the file to Dolby Digital (AC3) using PopCorn Audio Converter.

Dialog is not in English

MKV files often contain more than one audio track. However, the TV has no way to select between the tracks, so if the default audio track is not the one you want, you can't change it while you're watching. First, open the file with VLC to make sure there is an English language track in the file. Then, open the file in MKVmergeGUI (part of MKVtoolnix) which will allow you to select exactly which audio track you want, and create (aka "remux") a new file that has only that audio track.

It is possible that a file could have both problems - DTS audio and a primary non-English track. In that case, first remux a new MKV using mkvmerge with only the audio track you want. Then, run it through the DTS to AC3 conversion.

The TV won't display subtitles

Just as an MKV file can contain more than one audio stream, it may also contain subtitles, however the TV doesn't support this subtitle format. First, extract the subtitles from the file using MKVExtractGUI. Then, run the output through Subtitle Workshop to convert to SRT format which the TV supports. Make sure you name your new SRT file exactly the same as your MKV file (except for the file name extension, which will obviously be different: .SRT versus .MKV) and put it in the same directory as the video file. Then, you can activate the captions using the CC button on the TV's remote control.

Archiving your DVDs to a hard drive

With 1TB hard drives available for under $100 now, you might want to backup your DVD collection. This would allow you to play any of your movies off the hard drive without having to search for the discs. However, if you try to just copy the files off your DVD and play them on the TV, you probably won't get what you're expecting, even though the TV supports VOB files. The file may not play at all, or the video will start and end in weird places. This is because the DVD menu also contains instructions on where the video should start and stop, but the TV doesn't know how to read that data. The solution is to use DVDShrink to remaster the DVD and extract just the video you want. This will work for both a movie that is one big file as well as a DVD with TV shows on it, where you want a separate output file for each episode. Put the DVD in the computer and start DVDShrink. Select the Re-Author function and then select the various video tracks that you want to extract. Select Backup to copy those files to your hard drive. Now you can open each of those VOBs will be a self-contained video file that the TV can recognize.

63 comments:

lil game said...

thnx man audio codec thing wrks thnks

Shelly said...

Hi Admin,

As I was looking through your site I found it very informative. Though I have some good finance sites related with debt, credit & mortgage. I would like to be your real link partners so we can help each other in the long run. So my suggestion is lets become friends to help each other. Mail me please at shellybrown1984(at)gmail.com

Lets optimize our sites to get some value..

N/B:- Its Not a Spam

ajmas said...

Am trying to use samsung TV's auto-on feature in conjunction with its media 2.0 movie playing ability using a USB stick...

It doesn't work and says it will only play JPG or MP3 files from auto-on, is there a way I can get round this or a software update i can use to auto-play movie files???

pricego.org said...

Samsung has made it easy to use the TV as a media player. USB compatibility has made it much easier.

mp4 players

Joe said...

Thanks for taking the time to lay all the good info out for everyone. Although, I do have a bone to pick. The whole point of getting a media player such as WDTV is to avoid having to convert files. The fact that Samsung's Media player doesn't support DTS defeats the whole purpose for the media player b/c you still have to convert files. Although for those that aren't planning on watching video files in HD and just want to watch a AVI w/ AC3 audio, then this feature is a blessing but, imo, a sin to not be taking advantage of your sweet HDTV.

I am still using my WDTV b/c I like to download and play. =)

viper said...

Hi,

I've Samsung LCD TV Series 6 and when I want to play media file MKV through USB it gives this message: Unsupported Video Data, or in worst case it don't shows this mkv file. Other formats like VOB it plays, but mkv and mp4 don't. How to fix that problem and do I've to update firmware? Thanks in advance.

Tmodvig said...

I Have a problem with my Samsung ue46b7070 and mkv files... it wont play mkv and writes " No stores files found" when trying to stream files from my PC

neil said...

Thanks for sharing tips. I have recently purchased this media player.

r4i software

Seshi Reddy said...

Thanks to the author. its really working for me. I am happy for this and enjoying highquality movies

Ray said...

I use handbrake to convert dvd to H.264 mpv or mp4 files. This saves disk space.
Sometimes the subtiles playing off the srt files are not in sync. Any ideas?

Seshi Reddy said...

Hi,

I am looking some freeware software which converts .m2ts files to .mkv format with out loosing quality.

Thanks in advance

Fab said...

Which one is the "CC" button?

CapCluke said...

Many thanks for the srt naming tip, fixed a problem I was having.

Kim said...

Thanks for this tip. Recently bought a Samsung over at vizioprices.com

jp said...

Thanks for posting this information, it basically confirmed everything else I've found.

The problem I'm running into is that whenever I try to download the popcorn converter my anti-virus tells me it has a backdoor trojan virus in it. I'm not too keen to put something like that on my system, but it's also driving me crazy that this audio issue is basically crippling half of my media library since my Samsung won't play the sound.

I'm just curious why you don't feel the backdoor trojan that's sneaking in with the popcorn converter is an issue?

nicola said...

Hi,

I'm encoding video_TS folders with Handbrake (Mac), but when I play the videos (mp4 or mkv) in Media Play the picture size is wrong, like 16:9 constricted in 4:3... How should I encode my movies? What program should I use?

Thank you!

pbedo said...

...yea great but...my srt subtitles always hang on the screen until the next line comes on. So if there are silence gaps you get the last subtitle on the screen until another word id spoken.

gooblefrump said...

thanks for the info!

Ahmad said...

I have bought a Samsung LCD Series 3 Model LA32B350F1XXS
I could not find the USB support. Can any help me....

Peter said...

Hello, thank you for your post. I have one question, I am receiving message on some mkv movies: "Not supported video codec". How can I resolve this please? thx

My Knotty Mind - Labyrinth said...

Hello there,
Thanks a lot for taking time off to write this valuable post. This is exactly I needed to play mkv files with subtitles on my samsung TV. Thanks a lot once again.

greg said...

I have samsung and I can plug and play avi movies from a usb stick, looks good, sounds good but the video is not fluid is there a way to improve this so it isnt so choppy

Stefan said...

Hi, anyone know if the external drive has to be in any particular format or if the files have to be outside of folders? I have an external drive connected that reads but the tv is saying there are no files found. All the film files are in folders and the drive is formatted mac osx (journaled). Any help? Thanks.

baggelis said...

Hi Admin,
I have a Samsung B2230HD the CC button on the TV's remote control don’t work, it is a operation for other models of Samsung.
I have not Subtitles…. Do you have any idea ???
Thanks

baggelis said...

Can I change the player form the TV ???
with VLC or BS??
it is possible??

aris said...

hi i am fro greece i have provlem with samsung tv media pleyer ican see
the subtitles in greek for the mkv files can you help me

Himanshu said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Himanshu said...

Hi! This was very informative. I recently got Samsung LCD model LA37A550P but it supports neither of the video formats.. i've tried almost every format.. what shud i do??

Ahmet Kara said...

biri türkçe çeviri yapsın şunu arkadaşlar EN BÜYÜK TÜRKİYE

xia_885 said...

Hi Admin
Thanks for that .srt tip really useful,except that it doesnt seem to work for one of my movies. When I extract the ass files from the movie and use them in VLC media player they show up , however when I convert them to .srt they fail to show up in both VLC and my TV

Any solutions or advice?

MooNFisH said...

I'd like to add that I've managed to change the audio language for several mkv files with my Samsung tv. If the option is available it will be in the Tools menu while the movie is playing.
I don't have enough knowledge of different encoding methods to provide information on which types do and don't work, sorry.

Farzand said...

Very Informative topic dear. I have Samsung Series 4 LA32C450 and there is no problem select between the tracks During Movie Playback Via USB.

John Ryan said...

Hi there! Could someone help me on my Samsung UA32C4000P... When I play .mkv video files directly on the usb port at the back, the movie suddenly stops about an hour of playing. I can't forward it to the last scene because its just come back again to the menu list. But I have no problem in .avi files where it is about 1gig in file size...

John Ryan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dak said...

Thank you very much.
Less work for me now.
Bookmarked this page

Dave & Chris said...

I have a m/home and am getting satellite fitted my Toshiba TV has a USB socket. One of the available 12volt sat receivers can record to USB does anyone have any idea if the recorded programmes can be watched using the USB stick? Many thanks

Jana and Orline said...

@CapCluke said...
Many thanks for the srt naming tip, fixed a problem I was having.@

Hi there, I'm playing the movie file trough the local network from a Network Hard Disk and both files are on the HD. I have both .MP4 and .SRT files with identical names! in the same directory, when pressing on to the CC button it says this option is NOT available. If I do press on TOOLS, I haven't the option available neither.

If I copy both files in the same directory on USB key, it works !
Obviously TV set cannot, is NOT programmed to, find the .SRT file on a network location ??

mowaffak said...

Thank you for the valuable tips. The problem I am having is: .SRT Arabic subtitles shows as "squares" instead of Arabic letters and words. In English, .SRT files work fine. It seems that the player does not support .SRT with Arabic fonts. Any ideas, please help.

ryan said...

I was very confused as to why the subtitles were not working on my samsung tv . Thanks to you , i can enjoy my movies now with subtitles . Thanks a lot .

jackbilly said...

Hi,
I have a Samsung eu32d5000 with usb play which is great.
But is there a way of changing the menu so that when you are choosing a movie it displays a jpg instead of the standard movie real image.

Daniel said...

Thnx for the tips! Saved my Friday night.

Gween Monstew said...

Based on your model number you can find a fix at the Samsung website.

For the model we have, we used this one:

http://www.samsung.com/ph/support/detail/supportPrdDetail.do?menu=SP00&prd_ia_cd=&prd_mdl_cd=LA26C450E1XXP&prd_mdl_name=LA26C450E1&srchword=LA26C450E1%20|%20LA26C450E1XXP

Edwin said...

My UE55D6200 plays movies en shows the subtitels perfect from a USB drive. My problem is that my receiver will only play pro logic sound. The movie is in DTS. I checked it by playing it through an A.C. Ryan playon. Then the receiver plays it in DTS. But this is not a solution because the subtitels won't show correctly.
Who can help me!!

preachercreature0 said...

I have 32D 580 which doesnt bRIP Mkv.whats the solution.

preachercreature0 said...

I have samsung 32D 580 which doesnt bRIP Mkv.whats the solution.Pl advice

Samsung User2015 said...

Hi have a samsung 46" 7000 series smart TV and i want to play .avi movies i have on my hard drive and although it shows up on tv when i plug it in, it says it cant play media. i dont understand why it doesn't work if i was watching these movies on my regular samsung led 46" tv. do i need to get a special codec and if so how do i use the codec. do i keep it in the same hard drive or what. i doubt you can install anything on the tv itself can you.

Avenger said...

Thanks a lot, really useful article.

topmeasure said...

For some reason my TV plays some MKV files and some MP4 files. How can I find out why it only plays these files selectively? Why it won't play all MKV and all MP4 files? Thanks.

Ayo said...

Hi Admin,

I recently bought samsung 32D450 lcd, i was enjoying watching movies via USB with my hard drive, but recently, the i insert my usb, the tv has not been reading/loading my drive, if i remove it and check it in my laptop i can see my drive, but my tv has stopped loading my hard drive. So i can't watch movies/or view images on the tv now.

lalith the invincible.... said...

Will the virus affect the tv when we connect usb drive to it for watching movies...?

Halim G'don said...

hye guys, i form malaysia
if anyone can help me (for some knowledge)..

Info : TV plasma samsung ps43E451

I download a lot of movie and using usb to watch them.
I also download multiple subtitles (let say eg : english, chinese,malay)

Let say movie named : Avatar
i save subtitles named Avatar.srt
Avatar_chinese.srt and Avatar_malay.srt and put at the same folder with avatar movie.

Now, if i watch at my laptop, i can choose multiple subtitles eventough it was named by different name.

But now the problem.. When i watch at my plasma tv, it can show just avatar.srt only, the 2 item else it cannot display/choose like what laptop can do.

My Q : any idea to solve?

Thxs guys...

aven peter said...

Great job. its really working for me. I am happy for this and enjoying high-quality movies. that is amazing.

bencaty41 said...

I have samsung and I can plug and play avi movies from a usb stick, looks good, sounds good but the video is not fluid is there a way to improve this so it isnt so choppy.
Pallilo,
convert avi to mov video on mac

qadir tapra said...

The TV supports a variety of video file formats, such as AVI, MP4, MKV, and VOB. These are really just "containers" for audio and video information, so just because you have one of these files there's no guarantee that the TV will play it. free mkv avi converter

Alisa Fish said...

As the TV supported formats are AVI, MP4, MKV, so when you want to play other video formats, you can use a video converter to deal with it.
Here is the best video converter I use, maybe it can be helpful for you.

nelson buisel said...

when i play movie via usb (media play)the sound is stock in tv speaker, i can't use the sound system so its like kinda boring watching movies in low sound, please help me! a million thanks :)

please email me for your suggestion thanks in advance :)))

icelink26@yahoo.com

tristan w said...

my external hardrives don't connect to my samsung tv anymore used work but now don't how to fix problem\

tristan w said...

why can't my external hardrive not be read by my tv usb outlet anymore

Jason Brown said...

thank you for sharing, great knowledge, so helpful ane keylogger

Lily Wongg said...

The method is great, but I think you can convert the raw video to other formats to replay. I have been using abettersoft to convert avi to mov on Mac for enjoy on pc, here is detailed guide:http://www.abettersoft.com/how-to/convert-avi-to-mov-mac.html. It can rip DVD to

AVI, MP4, MOV, MKV, WMV, DivX, XviD, MPEG-1/2, 3GP, 3G2, VOB… video formats. have a try.

will smith said...


just find a good video converter to help to do so, such as aiseesoft video converter for mac is such a tooll which I have been using for a long time for convert mts to mov for editing and replay. just have a try at: http://www.ivideotool.com/ . good luck!!

Jerry Gene said...

Nice and quite informative post. I really look forward to your other posts.

Sony - VAIO E Series 14" Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive

Sony - VAIO E Series 14" Laptop - 4GB Memory - 500GB Hard Drive

JHUNA said...

HI thanks I got a such site.May u explain me that ,I have a samsung LCD HD tv.Many videos I play more than 2.10 hours it stops playing completely.before 15/20 minutes it stops.Please give me some details and any suggestions if can rectify.