Blu-Ray inconsistently plays .avi movie files with high pitch screech
March 14, 2015 2:21 PM   Subscribe

These are various .avi files from old which my player a Panasonic Blu-Ray DMP-BDT230 supposedly supports. It will 50% of the time but only show the picture and then a high pitch dog-level sound comes through speakers. It is connected via HDMI to TV with TV's audio output RCA to early 2000s receiver.

It will work/not work regardless if the very same files are a)burnt to DVD b)put on flash drive c)put on SD Card. They sometimes play *perfectly* and then other times not. What happens is then the DVD player is locked up and i have to pull the plug. The firmware is updated and I have even tried factory settings. Very strange. I don't know if it is the player as many discussion boards have issues of it being buggy in other areas or the way it is connected. It gives sounds through the speakers fine when it works and ear-shattering otherwise and goes into coma. When going through TV (2008-era Sony Bravia 36" TV) speakers it does the same.

I tried the DVDs on my older dvd player that also supports avi and those work flawlessly on it but picture is soft (but acceptable). That DVD player is RCA only connected to RCA inputs on TV. The newere Blu-Ray offers HDMI only for output.

thanks for your thoughts. Strange case.
posted by chicaboom to Technology (5 answers total)
AVI isn't a specific format, it's a "container" - a single file that contains both compressed audio and video in a single file. The audio and video components of an AVI can be compressed using several different forms of compression.

It is entirely possible that your Panasonic DVD player supports some, but not all, of the compression types that can be used with an AVI - so sometimes it plays, sometimes it doesn't. Alternately, it may support some of the compression types poorly, resulting in the lockup.

I don't believe any standalone DVD or Blu-Ray players play *all* formats of video files. Most people who have played back files have had a similar experience with particular files causing a failure or lockup, although not necessarily with ear-splitting shrieking.

Given that this is affecting both HDMI and analog audio and the operation of the player itself, this is incredibly unlikely to be related to the way you have the player hooked up. If it's not fixed in the most recent firmware, all you can do is tell Panasonic, and if they don't do anything, move on.
posted by eschatfische at 2:49 PM on March 14, 2015 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Sorry, I meant container. Here is the rub as stated in main post. It sometimes plays the file (same container), sometimes not. Why would that be?
posted by chicaboom at 3:26 PM on March 14, 2015

Are you saying that it will play file1.avi and file2.avi fine every time, but file3.avi results in a lockup and screech, or are you saying that it will sometimes play all three, but upon replaying any of those three, it may or may not randomly lock up and screech?

With the former, it may be because file3.avi uses different forms of compression than file1.avi and file2.avi, and the player does not support file3.avi's forms of compression despite still being an avi.

With the latter, it's likely to either be a bug in the player's firmware, or perhaps the player is overheating.
posted by eschatfische at 4:14 PM on March 14, 2015

Response by poster: The latter - I tried it in morning without any prevous play in, in eve after playing other things...I think I will just scratch it up to firmware.

I will leave this open for a few days but thank, eschatfische, for your input. The player in the end has not been up to their previous models beloved reputation regardless so not much love lost.
posted by chicaboom at 4:23 PM on March 14, 2015

AVI is technically not a video format but a 'container' format. The actual codec used to encode the video and audio can vary greatly.

It sounds like the file you got contained an incompatible audio codec that your Blu-ray player can't handle.

You can use MediaInfo to scan the file and see what sort of audio codec it actually uses. Fixing it will be a little involved as it involves re-encoding the audio without screwing up the sync.

Personally, with media so cheap nowadays, you may as well write the file back to a regular Video DVD format and play it that way. THEN there would be no excuse for the Blu-ray to not play it.
posted by kschang at 11:52 PM on March 15, 2015

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