Panasonic DP-UB820EB - HEVC and HE-AAC Encoded File Playback

Southwestwall

Novice Member
Another long-term lurker who has finally registered, with a file format question that I can't seem to find a definite answer to anywhere else.

I'm looking at the DP-UB820EB and Sony UBP-X800M2 as replacement candidates for my venerable Panasonic DMP-BDT220. I'm leaning toward the UB820EB not least because of owner feedback here, though I have one issue to resolve.

The question up front:

Can the DP-UB820EB play files encoded with H.265 HEVC video and HE-AAC audio?


On Panasonic's UK product page, the spec list has the following for USB Playback:

MKV/ MP4 (H.264/HEVC), TS (MPEG-2/H.264/HEVC)

FLAC/ WAV/ ALAC/ AIFF/ DSD (DFF, DSF)/ WMA/ AAC/ MP3

Now though HEVC is listed in the video formats, there is no mention HE-AAC in the audio.

The full operating instructions similarly and slightly more clearly list network playback formats including HEVC but no mention of HE-AAC audio.


Apart from the more obvious improvements to 4K playback, better upscaling and better HDR, the foremost feature that has prompted an upgrade is media file format playback. The BDT220 has been used as a media player as much as a disc player. The same will follow for its replacement.

The video collection has predominantly migrated to H.265 HEVC with HE-AAC audio in recent years, which the BDT220 can't play, being limited to H.264. Having SMB network access has prolonged its life, but the lack of H.265 playback is now the tipping point.

Playback duties have been assumed by the TV for now, a Samsung UE49KS8000, which can play H.265 HEVC and HE-AAC encoded files, but format playback isn't Samsung's strongest suit.

However, though it wasn't a prime consideration when choosing the TV, Samsung's DLNA client seems a little flaky and disables playback controls (pause, FF, RW) when playing H.265 HEVC files over the network .... but enables the controls for directly connected playback via USB.

This isn't a complete deal breaker, but is an issue I'm keen to resolve by choosing the player that can play HEVC with HE-AAC ... though I'd hope that is the UB820EB for its other advantages.


Here is the rub:

Though the Sony UDP-X800M2 has its shortcomings, with seemingly unpopular manual HDR selection and just a coax digital audio connector, it has a truly impressive format list, which definitively does include HEVC and HE-AAC (Sony used to be so restrictive with formats back in the day...)

VIDEO FORMAT
HEVC (.mkv, .mp4, .m4v, .m2ts, .mts), VP9 (.webm, .mkv), VP8 (.webm, .mkv), VP6 (.flv), MPEG-1 Video / PS (.mpg .MPEG, .mkv) [.VOB, .VRO], MPEG-2 Video / PS, TS ( .mpg.MPEG, .m2ts, .mts, .mkv) [.VOB, .VRO], MPEG-4 AVC (.mkv, .mp4, .m4v, .m2ts, .mts) ,MPEG-4 / AVC (.mov, 3gp, .3g2, .3gpp, .3gpp2, .flv), Xvid (.avi, .mkv), WMV9 (.wmv, .asf, .mkv), AVCHD Disc Format,VC1 (.m2ts, .mts, .mkv), Motion JPEG (.mov, .avi)

AUDIO FORMAT
AAC (.AAC, .mka), HEAAC v.1 / v.2 / level2, WMA9 Standard (.WMA), LPCM (.mka, .wav), DSD - DSDIFF / DSD (.dff, .dsf), FLAC (.flac, .fla), AIFF (.aiff, .aif), ALAC (.m4a), Dolby Digital (.ac3, .mka), WMA10 Pro, Vorbis, MP3 (.mp3, .mka), AAC (.m4a), Monkey's Audio


I could overlook the UDP-X800M2 coax digital audio and manual HDR if the DP-UB820EB falls short on file formats. It is no small task to re-encode 1.5 Terabytes of media because a player is found lacking after purchase.

So does anybody know for certain if the Panasonic UB820EB can actually play H.265 HEVC /HE-AAC files? Over USB and/or network?

Many thanks for your advice and assistance.
 

Clem_Dye

Distinguished Member
Sony kit generally, in my experience, supports far more audio codecs than the rest of the other major manufacturers put together. I think that the only way to be sure, as Panasonic support is pretty rubbish, is to buy a sample and test, and if it doesn’t work, return it.
 

ade234

Member
I've had a UB820 for a while and yes it can definitely play H.265 HEVC/HE-AAC files over USB and network.
 

Southwestwall

Novice Member
Thanks for the insight/advice.

As with many chip driven products, availability overtook events and the Sony was in stock for collection at a good price, so the choice was to give that option a punt or return it.

Just one more niggle to solve, now the UDP-X800M2 is hooked up and is better than anticipated.

It transpires that there is an issue with how my NAS delivers mkv over the network to DLNA clients. No matter the recipient device, playback controls FF, RW and Pause are inhibited.

When playing from local USB connection, the same devices have all playback controls available for mkv files.

I suspect it is a DLNA issue with mkv, as it doesn't seem to be listed as a supported container format, though it does play.

HEVC/HE-AAC encoded mp4 files do have playback controls available over the network to DLNA clients. ... yay \o/

However, as always seems the way, there is an irritating caveat. The change of container to mp4 isn't as versatile as mkv, where it is proving a tail chase to get embedded subtitles working. Currently they will switch over to the mp4 container, in TX3G or mov text format, but only appear in VLC on PC.

I don't really want to have external srt subtitle files, as the subs are already embedded in the mkv containers and I'll have to extract them

So now I can either

stick with mkv and put up with the lack of playback controls over network (unlikely)

or container change (much quicker and better than reencoding) to mp4 and have to solve the embedded subtitle issue, either finding how to embed them in mp4 on container change so they'll display in anything other than VLC, or to extract them to srt files.

Choices, choices.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Choices, choices.

Sometimes the lack of DLNA controls can be overcome with a DLNA server that has compatibility profiles built into it e.g. Serviio which is available on some NAS, you must manually apply profile to the IP.

(you could also try asking on serviio forum for any tips on crafting a custom profile for the BD player if presets dont help)

Emby and Plex can also double as DLNA media servers and are present on a number of NAS.

Also your Samsung TV may have an Emby/Plex client in its app portal in which case that should have no issues with playback controls and subtitles handling as these clients bypass the stock DLNA interface.

Another option is a good digital media player, OSMC Vero 4K+ will play most things you can throw at it up to Blu-ray 4K HDR and that runs Kodi so you can access the NAS shared folders directly no need for a DLNA media server.
 
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