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justaregularjoe
Sep 12, 2010, 10:38 AM
I am thinking about getting the new :apple:tv, but I have reached an impasse in my decision. I'd guess 90% of my media is in .avi and .mkv (720p and 1080p copies), with only the remainder accessible to iTunes due to a friendly format.

This is a problem as if I get an :apple:tv, I will be either rebuying (renting :eek:) my entire media library through the iTunes store OR being forced to reencode the entire media library, which is going to be hard with an MBP.

So this is just a general question to :apple:TV users (current OR previous gen). Did you 'acquire' all of your media in iTunes friendly formats, or re encode them?



d21mike
Sep 12, 2010, 11:11 AM
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I encoded all of my DVD's to M4V format. I did not have any other video. Had I did I would have re-encoded it. M4V is supported by all my players including xbox etc. Wanted a universal format. I felt that M4V was that format.

d21mike
Sep 12, 2010, 11:56 AM
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I encoded all of my DVD's to M4V format. I did not have any other video. Had I did I would have re-encoded it. M4V is supported by all my players including xbox etc. Wanted a universal format. I felt that M4V was that format.

Ste-ve
Sep 12, 2010, 01:43 PM
I did what most of the people on MR's done and that's encoding all my own DVD's into iTunes formats and everything else I purchased from the iTunes store.

Once you start encoding it every easy just to set it up and let it run overnight or when your at work. Handbrake is your friend.

justaregularjoe
Sep 12, 2010, 02:07 PM
Handbrake works, but I am most concerned about heat issues. 70 degrees at 6000 rpm over night? That can't be good for the hardware OR the system fans.

Bufordt
Sep 12, 2010, 03:12 PM
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I encoded all of my DVD's to M4V format. I did not have any other video. Had I did I would have re-encoded it. M4V is supported by all my players including xbox etc. Wanted a universal format. I felt that M4V was that format.

Yep, Me too.

Scuby
Sep 12, 2010, 03:27 PM
I converted all of my media to m4v recently - never really intended to, but started using Air Video on my iPad and decide to pre-convert some things, then decided i might as well do it all.

In anticipation of getting an Apple TV, i'm currently in the process of ripping all of my DVDs onto my iMac using Handbrake. Takes a while, but i just need to change the DVD occasionally, otherwise it tends to just carry on in the background.

David

maehara
Sep 12, 2010, 03:40 PM
Handbrake works, but I am most concerned about heat issues. 70 degrees at 6000 rpm over night? That can't be good for the hardware OR the system fans.
Have left my MBP running overnight many, many times running Handbrake queues - never had a problem. 4 years' long service from it, so wearing the fans out doesn't seem to be an issue...

Dunkrag
Sep 12, 2010, 04:33 PM
I run all my media though iTunes. Luckily from Year dot I was using iTunes so I've always had media in compatible formats. Everything runs like a dream.

Everytime I get a new DVD or get a rental from lovefilm it gets ripped with Handbrake. Every new CD gets ripped and everything talks to one another.

I can appreciate if you started using something else which uses other formats it could be an issue for you with the new apple tv. But I. Looking forward to it myself.

cantthinkofone
Sep 12, 2010, 07:42 PM
I use folders because I stream all my videos to my xbox.

Icculus
Sep 13, 2010, 08:21 AM
I have all my media in iTunes. It took me a LONG time to rip my movies, tv shows, and concerts on dvd. I wanted to make sure that if the day came where I wanted to buy an AppleTV (mine is on preorder) all my media was ready for streaming.

I used handbrake and Turbo H.264 software w/usb decoder. There is a little quality loss using Turbo H.264 but it goes so much faster sometimes I am willing to take the quality hit.

NightStorm
Sep 13, 2010, 08:52 AM
I manage all of my media through iTunes... luckily I made the transition when I first got an iPod and before I had video to worry about. Once I bought an AppleTV and started converting my DVD and now Bluray collection, it made logical sense to use a container/format that was compatible with all of my devices.

nwcs
Sep 13, 2010, 10:18 AM
All of my stuff is in iTunes as well, both the DVDs I've ripped and the stuff I've gotten direct from iTunes. The annoying part about ripping DVDs is the time it takes -- especially if you're wanting the extras included. Same kind of annoyance with purchases from iTunes -- no extras at all.

d21mike
Sep 13, 2010, 10:38 AM
After encoding 185 DVD's I have decided to no longer buy physical media. The time to convert and the disk storage is a little much. I normally decrypt first and then encode and I still have the originals on disk just in case I want to re-encode so I have a lot of storage tied up. Anyway, I have maybe a dozen or so movies I have watch many times. The others I just have in the collection for guests. I recently started to buy a few of the HD Versions on iTunes (like Toy Story) which came with some extras which are nice. I did not encode the extras that came with my DVD's. Also, I plan to subscribe to Netflix or something like it so I am hoping to get a lot of the older movies (which is really my collection) that way. And for the dozen movies I really like I think I will buy the HD version when available. Of course I am not able to watch the HD Movies on my XBOX and other NON-iTunes devices but I am really happy with the iTunes ECO System so I guess Apple won me over. I really hope Apple will add more options (like Netflix) to the ATV like is available on the newer TV's and Blu-Ray players.

dXTC
Sep 13, 2010, 11:03 AM
I'm on the iTunes + Handbrake bandwagon as well. I've used the newer versions of Handbrake to convert a couple of old DivX movie files over to M4V; the results play rather well on an iPod nano or touch. This combo has helped alleviate a couple of "there's nothing on" moments in hotel rooms, thanks in part to the Composite TV adapter.

When the new :apple:tv appears in my local Apple Store, I'll probably get it the first week it's available. I have most of my movies, as well as my daughter's, already encoded; she'll love not having to switch DVDs to watch her favorites. I'll most likely have to re-encode some of my wife's movies at a higher resolution/bitrate, though, as she'll find the lower resolutions of the files currently on her touch rather irritating when shown on the main TV.

tbayrgs
Sep 13, 2010, 11:11 AM
We have become an :apple: only household (iPhones, iPods, :apple:TV, iPad, Mac computers) so all of our media has been converted to iTunes friendly formats. I only have a few iTunes purchased movies so far--still prefer blu-ray for HD as it gives me the option to encode for 1080p if I prefer for watching on my Mac Mini HTPC via PLEX. Encoding takes some time but isn't really much of a bother as I can just load up the Mini and let it run overnight if needed.

iowamensan
Sep 14, 2010, 09:18 AM
Add me to the Handbrake/iTunes list. Took some time doing 200+ DVDs, but I had my iMac, wife's MBP, and my work MBP all going at it in the evenings. Would MactheRipper about 5 discs on each machine, and let handbrake (Apple TV setting) work through the night and by morning they were done. Rinse/repeat as needed.

Anything that I happen to have in .avi format gets VisualHub to turn them into mp4's as well.

Follow up with a visit from MetaX, and they are ready to drop onto my iTunes server in the basement (PowerMac G4 with 2 TB of external storage) ready to stream to the Apple TV.

Don't forget that if it is a DVD Season of an older TV show (MacGyver, CHiPS, etc) to check the box for deinterlacing.

FWIW - I stream wirelessly to my Apple TV over G using an Airport Express, and have no issues.

gugy
Sep 14, 2010, 09:40 AM
Question for all you guys that use iTunes and Handbrake.

What is the best settings to transcode DVDs and achieve the same DVD quality on Handbrake? Not worried about hard drive space.

When ripping Blu-ray discs, can I bring it at 1080p into iTunes and then will automatically ATV read as 720p? The reason for this is that I want to be future proof. Maybe when ATV supports 1080p down the road I don't want to transcode it again at higher res.

Final question,
Can I transfer all my iTunes library to an external hd and hook it up to Airport Extreme and stream it to ATV without having my Mac on?

Thanks for any input!

dXTC
Sep 14, 2010, 10:40 AM
Question for all you guys that use iTunes and Handbrake.

What is the best settings to transcode DVDs and achieve the same DVD quality on Handbrake? Not worried about hard drive space.

When ripping Blu-ray discs, can I bring it at 1080p into iTunes and then will automatically ATV read as 720p? The reason for this is that I want to be future proof. Maybe when ATV supports 1080p down the road I don't want to transcode it again at higher res.

Final question,
Can I transfer all my iTunes library to an external hd and hook it up to Airport Extreme and stream it to ATV without having my Mac on?

Thanks for any input!

You'd be surprised how well the universal/"Normal" preset works. Any data it might throw away in transcoding is nearly indistinguishable in the resulting file, and you'll get considerable size savings over the uncompressed .VOB file(s).

Others who are HD fanatics can answer the Blu-Ray question.

Finally, no, the new :apple:TV has no storage and must connect to an active iTunes library to locate the data; a NAS will not suffice. There is no way around having your Mac on and iTunes running.

WiiDSmoker
Sep 14, 2010, 10:51 AM
Question for all you guys that use iTunes and Handbrake.

What is the best settings to transcode DVDs and achieve the same DVD quality on Handbrake? Not worried about hard drive space.

When ripping Blu-ray discs, can I bring it at 1080p into iTunes and then will automatically ATV read as 720p? The reason for this is that I want to be future proof. Maybe when ATV supports 1080p down the road I don't want to transcode it again at higher res.

Final question,
Can I transfer all my iTunes library to an external hd and hook it up to Airport Extreme and stream it to ATV without having my Mac on?

Thanks for any input!

For DVDs/Blu-Rays/or whatever. Open Handbrake choose AppleTV. Change Picture to Strict, check Large File Size and then you're done. I started doing this about a week ago and the picture quality is great and maintains the proper audio built into the movie. I'm a purists at heart so I ultimately prefer ISO but seeing how as most boxes can't read it; I use handbrake and the AppleTV settings.

gugy
Sep 14, 2010, 11:20 AM
Thanks for the answers!

It's sucks my Mac needs to be on at all times for ATV. I wished I could get away with that.

gugy
Sep 14, 2010, 11:37 AM
For DVDs/Blu-Rays/or whatever. Open Handbrake choose AppleTV. Change Picture to Strict, check Large File Size and then you're done. I started doing this about a week ago and the picture quality is great and maintains the proper audio built into the movie. I'm a purists at heart so I ultimately prefer ISO but seeing how as most boxes can't read it; I use handbrake and the AppleTV settings.

I understand, Ultimately ATV is good for me because of my kids and wife. I need something that is simple and easy to use, if not they will just not use it.

At the same time I want to have all my videos in the best possible quality I can get so I can watch it on my 60" 1080p plasma.

I would go to the MacMini route but I hear Plex is a bit difficult to learn at first and $700 is too much for me to use just as media player.

cantthinkofone
Sep 14, 2010, 03:38 PM
You'd be surprised how well the universal/"Normal" preset works.

It doesn't work for streaming to a xbox 360. Not sure about PS3.

dXTC
Sep 14, 2010, 03:42 PM
It doesn't work for streaming to a xbox 360. Not sure about PS3.

You are probably correct, as you have an XBox and I don't. However, the question was asked from the viewpoint of someone wanting to stream to an Apple TV, so I answered accordingly.

EDIT: WiiDSmoker has perhaps a better response, OP.

rediffusion
Sep 14, 2010, 03:51 PM
I'm about to take the plunge and convert all my avi files to an iTunes/tv friendly format. Can somebody point me in the direction of information on the best way to do this?

I'm looking to find a way to convert avi files to MP4 using the same resolution, etc as the original file. I want to avoid loss of quality or pointlessly increasing the resolution in the new file.

thanks,
R ;)

ovrlrd
Sep 14, 2010, 03:57 PM
I only use iTunes for Music, Podcasts, and TV shows (recorded from my EyeTV). All my Movies are ripped in Handbrake encoded x264 MKV files, and I use my PS3 (with PS3 Media Server) to stream them to the HDTV.


So basically the Apple TV has the following uses for me:

Watching YouTube directly on Apple TV
Watching Movie and TV rentals directly on Apple TV
Streaming Music, through AirPlay or iTunes sharing
Streaming Podcasts
Streaming TV Shows
AirPlay from iPhones or iPads to play Music, Photos, Videos.
** AirPlay to stream Plex from iPhone/iPad to play MKV encoded movies
** AirPlay to watch MLB At Bat from iPhone/iPad to stream baseball games


**: Hopefully AirPlay will work with 3rd party apps, otherwise these obviously won't work.

tbayrgs
Sep 14, 2010, 08:53 PM
When ripping Blu-ray discs, can I bring it at 1080p into iTunes and then will automatically ATV read as 720p? The reason for this is that I want to be future proof. Maybe when ATV supports 1080p down the road I don't want to transcode it again at higher res.

I don't believe I saw this question answered yet...unfortunately no, the :apple:TV won't downscale to 720p.

I had a similar dilemma when I started ripping/encoding my blu-ray disks as we watch on everything from iPhones/iPods to a 50" plasma with a Mac Mini hooked up running PLEX (and everything in-between) and I really wanted to limit the number of versions of each movie/show. Ultimately I decided on encoding all my BD at 720p with a few custom anamorphic modifications--check out tommylotto's advice in this thread (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=9670691#post9670691) that result in a higher resolution picture for viewing on PLEX but is still playable on an :apple:TV/iPad. If it's a movie my kids can watch, I also encode a version that's compatible with their second gen iPod Touches. For a select few movies, I will also do a 1080p version if I really want to get the best picture possible to watch on my Mini but too be honest, 720p looks great.