wolfden wrote:try it with kaffeine?
Certainly have! I've tried it with MPlayer, KMPlayer, Kaffeine, Totem (Movie Player), SMPlayer, Real Player, Codeine and VLC.
There's a known bug with VLC -- with wxwidgets, apparently -- ("VLC media player 0.8.6c Janus *** glibc detected *** vlc: free(): invalid pointer: 0x0000000000b616c0 ***") so that crashes upon launching, which is nothing to do with these two Halo Wars videos.
Real Player gives the error message: "The following components are required: wmv"
MPlayer plays the smaller file with audio. It plays the bigger file without audio and displays the error message: "Cannot find codec for audio format 0x162."
All the other players play the smaller file (HaloWars_ESRB_360p30_ST_1500kbps.wmv) with sound, but the bigger file (HaloWars_ESRB_720p30_ST_8Mbps.wmv) without sound.
I've also recompiled MPlayer, KMPlayer, Kaffeine and VLC manually with the win32codecs USE flag to make sure and the behaviour is exactly the same: no sound for the bigger file.
I have not yet tried playing these two files under Windows XP with WMP 11, which I'll do just out of curiosity to see what happens.
By the way, you mentioned that you see no difference between the two files as far as quality goes. I can see a big difference: the image quality of the bigger file displayed full-screen is much better than the image quality of the smaller file displayed full-screen. I have also freeze-framed both and the image quality of the bigger file is visibly better. Maybe if you download the two files to your HDD you'll be able to see this more easily?