I was able to convert the mkv container directly into an avi one without reencoding. While the TV recognized and was able to play the resulting file, the playback was very choppy (unwatchable) and the playback froze. This seems to indicate that samsung does not support the h.264 variant codec that is floating around in most mkvs on the internet.
Reencoding is so much of a pain that I think it makes more sense to get a HTPC. The only other solutions I see are:
1. Samsung increases its native codec support (which seems to be the case for the 09' models... can we get the software upgrade as well please???).
2. Someone gets TVersity working with the samsung dlna so that it reencodes on the fly (although this would require a fast computer for 1080p movies)
Hope this info helps. Please let me know if you have any questions. To the samsung reps: a firmware/software upgrade to the 09' model codec support would be greatly appreciated.
Just received my LN52A750 today (which I love) and I got to work trying to stream various movies using DLNA. As others have noted, I was not able to get TVersity or any comparable streaming manager to work with the TV. I was, however, able to get various divx files working with the Samsung PC Share manger so I set out to get HD movies (mkv wrapper) working.
Doing a direct conversion into an avi or mp4 wrapper did not work for me. Thus, I had to resort to reencoding into a format the TV and Samsung manager understood. I used mediacoder, a freeware encoder/decoder to do this. Having figured out the correct settings, I have reencoded two different HD mkv files (one 1080p and one 1080i that both work flawlessly). Posted below are the detailed instructions.
1. Download and install mediacoder: http://mediacoder.sourceforge.net
2. With mediacoder open, click add and open your mkv/other media file.
3. If the audio is already AC3, open the audio tab and make sure both enable audio and copy audio are selected.
If not, encode the audio as AC3 using the FFmpg encoder
4. Open the video tab and select bitrate based for mode. I would choose something like 5000 Kbps for the bitrate so you dont loose too much in the conversion.
5. Choose H.264 for your format and AVI for the container
6. Make sure Auto select for both source and encoder are selected
7. Under the x264 tab on the right, select main for your profile.
8. Transcode the video (On a brand new quad core machine, I was able to transcode at ~1.5-2x)
9. Add the file to the samsung software and you should be good to go.
I have not played around with this too much so if anyone can see an easier way to do this please let me know... especially if you can get it to work without having to reencode the whole file (although this may reflect a limitation in samsungs native codec support more than anything else)