Pi2 using USB3 drive struggling to play MKV rips

So I just bought a raspberry pi 2 model B and loaded it up with raspbian and OSMC. It is on a Kingston 8GB class 10 MicroSD card. I have a 1 TB USB3 drive hooked up to the PI (had to add max_usb_current=1) to the config.txt to get that working. OSMC reads the hard drive fine and plays back the MKV rips, but it is terrible slow and stutters. These are >15GB rips from HDDVDs, mostly VC1, ripped with MakeMKV. Looking at the diagnostic display I see that one of the cores of the PI2 is always at 100% but the rest of them are not bad. I’ve already tried enabling the acceleration options with no effect.

Can the pi2/osmc combination just not handle the decoding of this size/quality of movie? Is there some setting I’m missing somewhere? Sorry for being a noob. I did try and search extensively for this particular problem but didn’t have any luck.

Did you buy the VC1 codec? If not then the Pi is not likely able to play your mkvs.

You may also consider using a powered USB hub, it will probably be more reliable (I assume that the USB drive is not self powered)

I have Bluray MKVs ripped using MakeMKV, and my Pi2 has no problems playing them.

There’s no chance of playing VC1 encoded HD content smoothly without buying and installing the VC1 codec license.

You can get that here:


I had seen the VC1 codec mentioned before but it was not clear if it was necessary. I will purchase and give that a whirl. Thanks guys/gals.

Well it is necessary if you want to play VC1 encoded videos. But as it seems you are encoding yourself you actually could also use a codec that the Pi can decode without a licence.
But getting the licence definitely will be the fastest step

I bought the decoders and everything works well. I guess I didn’t realize that this was necessary with the Pi. Thanks for the help.