What are the best media formats for playback on Slice?


Whilst Slice (and XMBC) can play / display a wide array of formats, I’d be interested in any information on optimal formats to fill my Slice with.

I’m looking to re-build my digital media library to coincide with the arrival of my Slice, so I’m looking to ideally be able to rip everything once to a format that’s going to hold up well, and then file the massive amount of shiny discs etc. away somewhere.

Audio - FLAC?
Video - DVDs ripped to MKV?
etc. etc.

Any specific (and quantifiable) info would be gratefully received!


FLAC is regarded as the best for music, although I am perfectly satisfied with mp3s at 320, which I believe is CD-quality.

For video, a lot of people (including me) rip dvds into MKV using MakeMKV and then Handbrake. I am quite fussy about video and audio quality (ask my wife!!) and I honestly find it difficult to tell the difference between a film on BluRay disc and then the same as a compressed MKV. In some cases we are talking about a 30GB film squeezed down into a 3GB file - amazing.

I have a ‘proper’ home cinema setup using a 42" Philips TV.


I’m with @ninyule on this. I use MakeMKV and Handbrake too. Although I would prefer the mkv container, I tend to use m4v and then import Handbraked movies into iTunes so I can play them on Apple TV as well. Regardless of the container, I use H.264 codec, and not mpeg. On Handbrake I have been using Constant Quality RF set to 20, x.264 preset on medium, and get (as far as I can see) as good as Bluray quality with good compression. For instance, did The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey yesterday, and got the 34Gb mkv rip down to 7Gb in an m4v. Watching it on 106" screen @ 1080p looked as good as the Bluray. I also retain the DTS-MA HD audio if present.
If you want to import rips into iTunes, you need to tag them first. I use a very good shareware program called MetaX to do this. If you are only going to load into an XBMC library you don’t need to tag.
Make sure to include the year in movie file names where possible, otherwise XBMC, which uses The Movie Database, can get the wrong movie info and art. You can manually refresh and change afterwards, but that’s a nuisance that can be avoided.


Yep, MakeMKV is by far the easiest mkv ripper, and is still in beta and therefore free. Handbrake does the heavy work and each file takes 3-5 hours, sometimes more, to encode.

I am currently digitising 400 films in preparation for Slice - so far it has taken me 3 weeks and counting…I can’t believe how much extra space the top-quality audio formats take up!


I have tried MKV with H.265 HEVC and this results in files that do not play back properly on Slice. Shall try H.264.


Do realise that ‘MKV’ is a container, and not a media format. If you want to be able to play your media on other devices (or stream your media) (down the road) with for example, using a mediaserver like Plex, then you should think about what you are putting into your containers.

‘best support’ at the moment seems to be a MP4 container, followed by MKV (Or M4V if you are an apple user), with an H.264 encoded video (compression/bitrate/quality is up to your own preferences), and AAC encoded for audio.

But if its just for home use and you ‘preservation’ of your collection is key, I would go for whatever format/quality suits your needs best (but again, H.264 video seems to be your best option at the moment, regardless of container)


Not sure is it out of topic but is it normal that SLICE can´t play 1280x550 video smootly? It is h264 MPEG-4 AVC video that I tried to play… Thanks


Should play fine, it’s likely to be a problem with the file…

When you say smoothly… Does it look like there is any predictability in the non-smooth output… Are you just seeing occasional failure or all the time



Actually it looks like very low frame rate, let’s say 10-15 fps of video… I played same file on laptop and it was much smoother no noticeable frame dropping. On Slice it was played from USB stick (3.0) can that be a problem for Slice? Thanks again