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neo179neo
Oct 5, 2010, 10:27 AM
Hey...

I know that there are probably loads of threads on here asking this but ive got a lot MKV tv show torrents which i want to convert to m4v using handbrake... i want to keep the audio and video quality exactly the same...

Can someone tell me what settings i need to keep to do this?



BlackMangoTree
Oct 5, 2010, 10:30 AM
Hey...

I know that there are probably loads of threads on here asking this but ive got a lot MKV tv show torrents which i want to convert to m4v using handbrake... i want to keep the audio and video quality exactly the same...

Can someone tell me what settings i need to keep to do this?

Simplest way is to get the nightly build of handbrake.

Select the High Profile preset.

Set The RF to 18.

Will end up witha file thats pretty much identical to the original.

ismailoe
Oct 5, 2010, 11:54 AM
for a 40 min hd mkv handbreak needs 4 Hours to convert the file to m4v on my 13 inch macbook pro.

seems unusable...

BlackMangoTree
Oct 5, 2010, 12:02 PM
Using the High Profile preset make sure you turn the filters off, will speed encoding times up.

I am encoding some movies on my 2009 MacMini i haven't timed anything but doesn't seems too bad i just let it go while im asleep and at work, so doesn't bother me.

on my 27 inch imac encoding speeds are far faster.

The core Duo cpu is just slow.

P.S Good things come to those who wait.

NEBaghead
Oct 5, 2010, 06:50 PM
If the MKV files have already been encoded and use the h.264 codec, you can use Subler and convert them to m4v. Takes about 5 mins for a 2 hour movie and 10 mins for a 2 hour 720p movie.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 5, 2010, 07:59 PM
That depends on how the video was encoded. I found in most cases i wont work. If the Profile or frames are too high you will need to de a re encode.

Dysfnctnl85
Oct 5, 2010, 08:17 PM
If the MKV files have already been encoded and use the h.264 codec, you can use Subler and convert them to m4v. Takes about 5 mins for a 2 hour movie and 10 mins for a 2 hour 720p movie.

MKVTools (http://www.emmgunn.com/mokgvm2dvd/mokgvmdownload.html) can split the audio and video and re-encode only when necessary. HandBrake will simply attempt to re-encode.

While it is *not* as user-friendly as HandBrake, a few attempts with MKVTools and the 5+ mins it takes to split and re-encode a file will make you learn quickly.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 5, 2010, 10:16 PM
MKVTools (http://www.emmgunn.com/mokgvm2dvd/mokgvmdownload.html) can split the audio and video and re-encode only when necessary. HandBrake will simply attempt to re-encode.

While it is *not* as user-friendly as HandBrake, a few attempts with MKVTools and the 5+ mins it takes to split and re-encode a file will make you learn quickly.

Unfortunately this doesn't work on all movies.

wfj5444
Oct 6, 2010, 09:14 AM
I used MKV Tools last night on two TV episodes. Both took less than 2 minutes to convert to m4v. Imported and tested in iTunes.

ATV couldn't play the videos. Video length and thumbnail was there, but the error message was something to the effect of 'Can't play video at this time. Please try again later'

Very strange. I used the Apple TV preset, figured what worked on the previous version would work on the new one. Is there something I am missing?

Dysfnctnl85
Oct 6, 2010, 10:12 AM
I used MKV Tools last night on two TV episodes. Both took less than 2 minutes to convert to m4v. Imported and tested in iTunes.

ATV couldn't play the videos. Video length and thumbnail was there, but the error message was something to the effect of 'Can't play video at this time. Please try again later'

Very strange. I used the Apple TV preset, figured what worked on the previous version would work on the new one. Is there something I am missing?

I'll be happy to test this if I can acquire the source material.

wfj5444
Oct 6, 2010, 10:26 AM
I wonder if the issue is related to speed of the network. I was on 802.11N rather than hardwired. I will test it hardwired and then report back.

movethefloor
Oct 6, 2010, 11:26 AM
I used MKV Tools last night on two TV episodes. Both took less than 2 minutes to convert to m4v. Imported and tested in iTunes.

ATV couldn't play the videos. Video length and thumbnail was there, but the error message was something to the effect of 'Can't play video at this time. Please try again later'

Very strange. I used the Apple TV preset, figured what worked on the previous version would work on the new one. Is there something I am missing?

I have had the exact same issue with both Subler as well as MKVtools.

I haven't researched extensively, so please forgive any ignorance, but I think the problem lies in the H.264 profile. The codec is compatible, as we know, but most MKV video tracks use a profile that is not playable on Apple TV. It doesn't seem like there's any way to change the profile without doing a full re-encode (a la Handbrake). If someone is well-versed in the codec/profile world, please share!

I did a final test last night with a 1.5GB MKV file (a 30 min show). I created two M4V files, one with MKVtools and one with Handbrake. It took 5 minutes for the MKVtools file and 1.5 hours for Handbrake (MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM). As expected, the MKVtools file appeared on the Apple TV, but displayed the error message when I tried to play it. The Handbrake file played flawlessly.

At this point, there are a few questions:


Is it the H.264 profile that's causing the problem?
Is there a way to update the H.264 profile without re-encoding?
Is it an issue with the audio track (I believe MKVtools re-encodes the audio from AC3 to AAC, but can't confirm)?
Is there a simple setting in MKVtools that I'm unaware of that solves the problem?
If all hope is lost, are there optimal settings for Handbrake that speed up the re-encode process?

rkuo
Oct 6, 2010, 01:43 PM
I reencode everything. Remuxing is too prone to failure.

spacepower7
Oct 6, 2010, 02:26 PM
I have had the exact same issue with both Subler as well as MKVtools.

I haven't researched extensively, so please forgive any ignorance, but I think the problem lies in the H.264 profile. The codec is compatible, as we know, but most MKV video tracks use a profile that is not playable on Apple TV. It doesn't seem like there's any way to change the profile without doing a full re-encode (a la Handbrake). If someone is well-versed in the codec/profile world, please share!

I did a final test last night with a 1.5GB MKV file (a 30 min show). I created two M4V files, one with MKVtools and one with Handbrake. It took 5 minutes for the MKVtools file and 1.5 hours for Handbrake (MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM). As expected, the MKVtools file appeared on the Apple TV, but displayed the error message when I tried to play it. The Handbrake file played flawlessly.

At this point, there are a few questions:


Is it the H.264 profile that's causing the problem?
Is there a way to update the H.264 profile without re-encoding?
Is it an issue with the audio track (I believe MKVtools re-encodes the audio from AC3 to AAC, but can't confirm)?
Is there a simple setting in MKVtools that I'm unaware of that solves the problem?
If all hope is lost, are there optimal settings for Handbrake that speed up the re-encode process?


First, find out info about your mkv with MediaInfo Mac (free)
This will tell you about the 264 profile and audio codecs

Try to convert with both video and audio passthru

I converted a mkv high profile level 3.1 720p video that works fine on my iPad. I'll test on my AppleTV in a bit.

I'll also test higher levels and will report back later today.

The AppleTV is a little picky but supports much much complex encoding than the listed tech specs with means it is infinitely more useful than I thought and I don't have have to re-encode 100's of videos.

I have a main profile level 4 1920x800 video that play flawless but some of my standard def that I accidentally encoded at high level 5 get stuck every 10 minutes. Honesty surprised that iTunes even tries to stream it.

emmgunn
Oct 6, 2010, 02:33 PM
I have had the exact same issue with both Subler as well as MKVtools.

I haven't researched extensively, so please forgive any ignorance, but I think the problem lies in the H.264 profile. The codec is compatible, as we know, but most MKV video tracks use a profile that is not playable on Apple TV. It doesn't seem like there's any way to change the profile without doing a full re-encode (a la Handbrake). If someone is well-versed in the codec/profile world, please share!

I did a final test last night with a 1.5GB MKV file (a 30 min show). I created two M4V files, one with MKVtools and one with Handbrake. It took 5 minutes for the MKVtools file and 1.5 hours for Handbrake (MacBook Pro, 2.4 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM). As expected, the MKVtools file appeared on the Apple TV, but displayed the error message when I tried to play it. The Handbrake file played flawlessly.

At this point, there are a few questions:


Is it the H.264 profile that's causing the problem?
Is there a way to update the H.264 profile without re-encoding?
Is it an issue with the audio track (I believe MKVtools re-encodes the audio from AC3 to AAC, but can't confirm)?
Is there a simple setting in MKVtools that I'm unaware of that solves the problem?
If all hope is lost, are there optimal settings for Handbrake that speed up the re-encode process?


Just to make sure we're all on the same page, a good way to think of a video's avc profile is as a specification for what properties are allowed for that movie. A High 5.1 video can be encoded using more fancy settings than a Main 3.1 video, because the Main 3.1 profile is more restrictive. A few things to point out here. (a) Once encoded, you can't change the properties that make a video High 5.1 without re-encoding, (b) a High 5.1 video doesn't have to be encoded using the fancier settings, and (c) all it would take is for one of the "fancier settings" of a higher profile to be an problem, for a manufacturer to have to specify a lower profile is needed for video playback.

I'm not sure about Subler, but here is what is going on with MKVtools. When it passes through video, it looks at the target device, and then edits the movie at the hex level to adjust the avc profile "label" to an appropriate value. So when the target device tries to play the video, it's fooled into thinking that the profile level is appropriate.

A PS3 is happy with High 4.1. Most MKV files are High 5.1. There is not much difference between these two profiles that would show up in common encodes. So when the PS3 is fooled into playing a High 5.1 video that has been relabeled to High 4.1, then there usually is not issue. Unless I need to burn subtitles, I've never had to re-encode the video track for playback on PS3.

The Apple TV, however is more restrictive. It wants a Main 3.1 profile. I don't have an Apple TV yet but I do have an iPad which has the same video requirements. The movies I tested with the newest version of MKVtools, using passthru for the video, played fine, but then I don't have hundreds of videos laying around to test (that's where beta testing is a big help :)). As I see it, there are two things that could be going on if the ATV won't play videos with a passed thru video track:


MKVtools did it's job, and the Apple TV is fooled into trying to play the video, but there was some setting when the video was encoded which is specific to a profile higher than Main 3.1, and ATV can't handle it. If this is the case, then there is nothing that can be done other than re-encoding the video.

MKVtools did not fool Apple TV into trying to play the video. If that's the case then there may be a fix.

By the way, this discussion seems a bit off topic for this thread, so it might be more appropriate to start a new thread, or e-mail me if anyone wants to pursue this goal of being able to passthru mkv video tracks for playback on the ATV. I don't have access to these problem videos, so if you do and you want to find a fix, here are some things that you can try. By the way, the latest version of MKVtools is 2.4, so make sure you are using that.


Use an app like mediaInfo to check the avc profile of the created m4v video. If it hasn't changed, then that would be the issue.

It was mentioned that an older version of MKVtools did successfuly passthru the video tracks of these problem files. Can that be verified?

To rule out the audio as an issue, go to the mp4 tab and check the option that will re-encode the video for ATV. Make sure your resolution is not greater than 1280.

wfj5444
Oct 6, 2010, 03:07 PM
...


Use an app like mediaInfo to check the avc profile of the created m4v video. If it hasn't changed, then that would be the issue.

It was mentioned that an older version of MKVtools did successfuly passthru the video tracks of these problem files. Can that be verified?

To rule out the audio as an issue, go to the mp4 tab and check the option that will re-encode the video for ATV. Make sure your resolution is not greater than 1280.



Just tested: Original and Converted file (using MKVTools) are both High@L4.1

wfj5444
Oct 6, 2010, 03:32 PM
Just tested: Original and Converted file (using MKVTools) are both High@L4.1


Also confirmed my Handbrake encode earlier today of the same source is High@L3.1

Looks like MKVTools isn't changing the profile.

emmgunn
Oct 6, 2010, 07:01 PM
Just tested: Original and Converted file (using MKVTools) are both High@L4.1

That's good news! It means that there is a good chance that this can be fixed and you'll be able to passthru your video tracks for the ATV. I just tested a batch of sample MKV's again, and the profiles are all being changed, so obviously there are some problem videos. The trouble is that I don't have any of these videos to use to find a fix. If someone can send me a link to a file either via PM or my e-mail at emmgunn.com, then I'll see what I can do. You could also use the split capabilities of MKVtools to create a small sample of the problem MKV and send it to me directly. Just make sure that you are seeing the same problem with the sample.

cavemonkey50
Oct 6, 2010, 07:11 PM
To get MKVTools to work with the Apple TV, a couple of settings tweaks are needed. First, make sure you are using the latest version (2.4). Now on the MP4 tab:

Video = passthrough
Audio = passthrough, check add 2 channel track
Third Column, Device = Apple TV

Gives me a High@L3.1 profile that should be playable on an Apple TV. Unfortunately, I don't have mine yet, so I can't test, but it should work.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 6, 2010, 07:40 PM
Just tested this out with a 720p high Profile 4.1 video and it stutters on the Apple Tv is various places.

Over all this method has only work well on 1 video.

emmgunn
Oct 6, 2010, 08:17 PM
Hmm. Well, it might be time for me to try to track down a unit to test on. It would be nice to get passthru to work consistently.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 6, 2010, 08:18 PM
Don't forget that we are trying to get video that is out of the Apple TV specs to play.

emmgunn
Oct 7, 2010, 12:14 AM
Don't forget that we are trying to get video that is out of the Apple TV specs to play.

Sure, but note also that the typical handbrake setting, which I believe is High@L3.1 is also not what the apple specs call for, yet videos seem to play OK. This gets back to some of the points I brought up in my original post in this thread. Also, just to verify, I did a whole bunch of pass thru conversions for my iPad from a variety of mkv source videos and they all played fine, so it is doable on a device that apple says needs a main@L3.1 profile.

On a side note, I see from other threads and in other forums that there may be an issue with other videos stuttering so it might be difficult to pinpoint if this is a video issue or an ATV issue.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 7, 2010, 02:43 AM
The stuttering issue that i have and this issue are completely different.

Sus out Thora Anime i have all their 720p anime none play once the video has been passed through with Mkvtools.

wfj5444
Oct 7, 2010, 07:55 AM
That's good news! It means that there is a good chance that this can be fixed and you'll be able to passthru your video tracks for the ATV. I just tested a batch of sample MKV's again, and the profiles are all being changed, so obviously there are some problem videos. The trouble is that I don't have any of these videos to use to find a fix. If someone can send me a link to a file either via PM or my e-mail at emmgunn.com, then I'll see what I can do. You could also use the split capabilities of MKVtools to create a small sample of the problem MKV and send it to me directly. Just make sure that you are seeing the same problem with the sample.

Trying to download the latest version fo the beta, and I can't find it. The beta page has no link. Is there something being update?

http://www.emmgunn.com/betadownload.html

BlackMangoTree
Oct 7, 2010, 08:41 AM
The latest is 2.4 was just released a day ago. On the official website

wfj5444
Oct 7, 2010, 09:33 AM
The latest is 2.4 was just released a day ago. On the official website

Do you have a link? What I can find as the official site it wasn't available for DL.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 7, 2010, 09:37 AM
http://www.emmgunn.com/mokgvm2dvd/mokgvmdownload.html

wfj5444
Oct 7, 2010, 09:49 AM
http://www.emmgunn.com/mokgvm2dvd/mokgvmdownload.html

Right, and the version is 2.3.1, and the beta page, where 2.4 was, is now longer showing a link for 2.4, unless I am missing something completely.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 7, 2010, 10:08 AM
That link leads to 2.4

It's also here http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/24872/mkvtools

wfj5444
Oct 7, 2010, 10:27 AM
Thanks, yes looks like Emmgunn just updated it.

It was showing 2.3.1 until about 2 minutes ago.

wfj5444
Oct 7, 2010, 11:25 AM
Confirmed that using 2.4 to convert a file (same one I have been working with for 2 days) now shows profile of High 3.1. The same file I converted previously that should High4.1.

I watched this on my ATV last night from of my encode using Handbrake. When I get home this evening, I will import the MKVTools version in to iTunes and compare the results.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 7, 2010, 11:59 AM
I don't download many MKV's other than anime and all the ones i have downloaded so far don't work with this method. They must be re encoded.

Would be fantastic if it did.

movethefloor
Oct 7, 2010, 02:23 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions and explanations. Here's a quick update (not a lot of new info):

I used MediaInfo Mac to look at the MKVtools-'converted' file. Video profile was at High@3.1, meaning that MKVtools successfully changed the profile from what was originally High@4.1 or 5.1 (not sure because I deleted the original MKV file). I am still not clear as to whether ATV should play all High@3.1 files or if it can only play some. As others have noted, the maximum officially supported profile is Main@3.1.

One other thing I learned from MediaInfo is that my audio codec was still AC3 -- I do not believe this format is supported by ATV (can someone confirm?), so that may have caused the error message.

I downloaded the newest version of MKVtools (2.4) and ran the already 'converted' M4V file through again, this time with video set to Pass Thru, audio set to AAC (2 ch) and device set to Apple TV. Upon inspecting the newly created file in MediaInfo, I saw that the profile remained unchanged from the previously converted file (High@3.1), but the audio is now AAC.

In summary, either the file did not play because this particular file with the High@3.1 profile does not fly on ATV, or it saw the AC3 audio and said no go. I will try this newly created file on ATV tonight and see what happens.

Thanks again everyone, solid info here.

spacepower7
Oct 7, 2010, 04:08 PM
The AppleTV may require aac in addition to the ac3, otherwise it would be unplayable on iPads iPhones etc...

AC3 is supported as far as I know, it always has been in the past.

wfj5444
Oct 7, 2010, 06:50 PM
Confirmed it does not work :(

Same as before, shows up in ATV, but with the error message of content isn't available, please try again later.

What else can I try for you Emmgunn?

BlackMangoTree
Oct 7, 2010, 09:35 PM
Other than a re encode id say nothing else you can do.

movethefloor
Oct 8, 2010, 02:16 AM
Final update. I grabbed a new copy of a show (yeah, yeah, I know, it's Fringe). I ran it through MKVtools 2.4 with the settings depicted in the attached image (video set to pass thru, audio set to AAC 2 channel, device set to Apple TV). Happy to report that the resulting MP4 file played flawlessly on my ATV, and it only took ~6 minutes from start to finish.

Looks like the problem has been solved. Thanks again for the help everyone, and let me know if anyone has questions.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 8, 2010, 02:24 AM
It all depends on how the original was encoded, i have many videos that wont play on the Apple Tv by just passing the audio through.

wfj5444
Oct 8, 2010, 06:23 AM
Final update. I grabbed a new copy of a show (yeah, yeah, I know, it's Fringe). I ran it through MKVtools 2.4 with the settings depicted in the attached image (video set to pass thru, audio set to AAC 2 channel, device set to Apple TV). Happy to report that the resulting MP4 file played flawlessly on my ATV, and it only took ~6 minutes from start to finish.

Looks like the problem has been solved. Thanks again for the help everyone, and let me know if anyone has questions.

Nice. I will give it a try, I am working on The Office and Fringe myself :)

My bitrate is 3101, yours is 3971. That might make the difference.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 8, 2010, 10:17 AM
Profile 5 just wont play on the Apple TV it must be re encoded. 4 works too some extent.

emmgunn
Oct 8, 2010, 04:03 PM
Looks like the problem has been solved. Thanks again for the help everyone, and let me know if anyone has questions.

I think that may be a little bit overly optimistic :). Based on other comments I've seen, I think that the best that can be said is that your mileage will vary when you pass thru the video and adjust the profile level "label". I wonder what the success rate is. I've yet to find a video, including High@L5.1, that I can't pass thru and play on my iPad and it has the same video specs as the ATV, and so theoretically the ATV should have the same success rate. Theory, however usually gets chucked out the door in the real world :).

Clearly, however, it's not possible to determine whether or not you can pass thru the video based on the avc profile. I'm thinking that there is some specific "feature" or "features" in High Profile that the ATV can't process, and some videos are encoded with this feature(s) and some are not. The trick would be to find what it is, and if it's something that is identifiable by mediaInfo, it wouldn't be too difficult to have MKVtools let you know when you can passthru the video track for playback on ATV. Perhaps the Handbrake group has some ideas regarding the true specs of the ATV.

wfj5444
Oct 8, 2010, 07:22 PM
My Fringe test worked just fine. I am going to try The Office video that wouldn't play now.

neo179neo
Oct 9, 2010, 08:50 AM
So im a bit of a novice but have been playing around with handbrake using data from some m4v 720p torrents ive got... ive just converted fringe and south park 720p MKV's keeping the picture size the same, changing the audio to 160kbps and the video to 3230 bitrate and the pumped out results look and sound great...

Ive only viewed these on a macbook displayed to my tv and on my iphone 4 which looks amazing!

Im not sure what im actually doing but it works for me!

One question i do have though is im manually inputting the data for the show... titles... artwork etc etc... The torrents ive downloaded have like all the information with the little HD tags on too... how do you do this exactly?

jetjaguar
Oct 9, 2010, 09:10 AM
Simplest way is to get the nightly build of handbrake.

Select the High Profile preset.

Set The RF to 18.

Will end up witha file thats pretty much identical to the original.


alright trying this on a 1080p mkv 2 hour movie .. i just wanna be able to play these on my appletv .. so i can get rid of some of my other devices

techguy40
Oct 9, 2010, 10:36 AM
Simplest way is to get the nightly build of handbrake.

Select the High Profile preset.

Set The RF to 18.

Will end up witha file thats pretty much identical to the original.



Also filters off ?

frequeniquity
Oct 9, 2010, 11:25 AM
I use Playback and it works great. I've never tried it with an mkv with two audio tracks or subs or 5.1 so I can't attest as to how it works but for single track audio with no subs, perfect. Only takes about five minutes per hour of video.

I'm guessing it's doing video passthrough and re-encoding the audio. You can also do batch files.

http://www.yazsoft.com/products/playback/take-the-tour/?convert

Before I found Playback I would use Quicktime Player 7 Pro.

Perian needs to be installed.

1. Load your MKV into Quicktime. Make sure its fully loaded once the timeline is dark gray.

2. Once loaded click file ->export.

3. Choose Export: Movie to MPEG-4, Use: Most Recent Settings.

4. Options: File Format MP4. Video - Pass through

5. Audio: AAC-LC (Music), 128kpbs, Stereo, 44.1kHz, Best

6. Streaming I left unchecked.

Once done just drag to iTunes and it works on AppleTV 2 and iPhone 4. I don't have anything else to check it on.

This works great for TV shows. Once you get into 5.1, I don't know how well this works or if at all. But if you don't mind stereo tracks for your TV shows, this method is guaranteed to work.

(or your money back)

snebes
Oct 9, 2010, 03:28 PM
Some of my experiments on the MKVs that I have...

These are conversions done in MKVTools 4.2, also converting AC3 -> AAC5.1/6.1 with Stereo fallback.

Main@L4.1, Main@L5.1 -- These converted fine.

High@L3.1, High@L4.1, High@L5.1 -- Dropped frames/sync issues

--------

For transcoding, I have been using Handbrake with the Main profile, no special settings. The video is kept at 720p with no filters. RF20. These look and play great.


I hope someone finds the sweet spot for transcoding. It would be nice if the pro-encoders.. you know what I mean... would just use the main profile.

Or if CBS would be willing to work with Apple, that would be great too. $.99 for 30 minute shows, $1.99 for hour shows. I'd be willing to pay that if not a rental model. Hell, I just checked if some of my favorite cbs shows were on Amazon, and they aren't. Who are you kidding CBS??

wakeboardandy
Oct 9, 2010, 10:54 PM
mkvtools has worked fine for me with all files. I just use passthru for both video and audio. I normally have 720p MKV's with 5.1 ac3. However if I tick the box to add 2 ch track then the apple tv and ps3 will only play the file as 2ch. If I don't tick the 2 ch box then it won't play on my iphone or ipad.. if this small problem could be fixed then mkvtools would be perfect.

silentsim
Oct 9, 2010, 11:39 PM
using mkvtools on my mkv i get this file can't be played on my appletv. it converts it to a mp4 but thats it? any recommendations

mkv is a x264

BlackMangoTree
Oct 9, 2010, 11:48 PM
I have read in some places MKVTools causing issues with dual audio tracks.

If you have a 5.1 and stereo track the Apple TV will only output the Stereo track. They say the issue goes away when using handbrake.

I am going to test this out.

wakeboardandy
Oct 9, 2010, 11:54 PM
If you have a 5.1 and stereo track the Apple TV will only output the Stereo track. They say the issue goes away when using handbrake.

I am going to test this out.

yes handbrake does fix it but it is soooo slow..

BlackMangoTree
Oct 10, 2010, 02:57 AM
yes handbrake does fix it but it is soooo slow..

Handbrake slow ? it can't be any or much slower than MKVtools.

The only thing i can think of is that with MKVtools you are not re encoding the video just passing it through.

Passing the video through will work for some but not all videos.

Mkvtools has it's place it's useful for soe things, encoding video Handbrake is far superior. Far more control over the output.

emmgunn
Oct 10, 2010, 11:25 AM
Well I was finally able to track down an Apple TV. Pretty cool, especially when using the remote app on the iPad. I tried a few movies of various avc profiles (all higher than Main@L3.1), with the video track passed thru and things seemed OK, though I did notice fast forwarding and reversing, could throw the sync off. It seemed like it would clear up if I stopped and started the video again. I didn't actually have time to watch all of the movies, so I let them run and would check in on them periodically, and the sync seemed fine, though it sounds like this is not true for everybody, so obviously, as I mentioned before, you're mileage will vary if you use MKVtools to pass through the video track of higher profile mkv files for the ATV.

One thing that I did notice is that some files would not play with a "please try again later" error message. It seemed like an odd message - what are the actual chances of it working if I really did try again later :)? Regardless, the problem appeared to be with AC3 audio. I had to change the Dolby Digital setting in the ATV from auto to on. I'm not sure what was going on there, but it's something to be aware of if you get that message and the video won't load. At another time I had to change it back to auto for a video with aac audio. I'm not sure if this is an ATV issue or an MKVtools issue. It could be an issue with hinting. I'll look into it when I have some time.

One other thing, I had some major issues with audio sync when trying netflix streaming. Though not perfect, my PS3 does a much better job. The Apple TV gui is much more user friendly though, so hopefully this will get ironed out. However, I'm wondering what effect this has regarding audio sync with current iTunes streaming

emmgunn
Oct 10, 2010, 11:33 AM
I have read in some places MKVTools causing issues with dual audio tracks.

If you have a 5.1 and stereo track the Apple TV will only output the Stereo track. They say the issue goes away when using handbrake.

I am going to test this out.
The current MKVtools audio settings for dual track audio were based on what iTunes wanted to allow syncing to an ipad/iphone. However, it looks like with these settings, the ATV is not seeing the AC3 audio track. This should be fixed in the next release.

emmgunn
Oct 10, 2010, 12:47 PM
Handbrake slow ? it can't be any or much slower than MKVtools.

The only thing i can think of is that with MKVtools you are not re encoding the video just passing it through.

Passing the video through will work for some but not all videos.

Mkvtools has it's place it's useful for soe things, encoding video Handbrake is far superior. Far more control over the output.
But I think the goal is to not have to re-encode. Unless I burn subtitles, I've never had to re-encode the video track for playback on my PS3. MKV to MP4 video conversions takes minutes instead of hours with no loss in image quality. Why not try for the same with the ATV?

Also, just so you know, I used to religiously tweak settings, minimizing size, optimizing picture quality and then compare the resulting videos with magnifying glass. If the output had some macroblocking around a tree in the upper right background, the settings would be changed to see if it could be minimized. FfmpegX, D-Vision,and the old version of handbrake was awesome tools. The newer version of handbrake is even better. I would have died to have had all that tweakability. I was pretty extreme.

But eventually I realized some things. The first was, that the original video had that macroblocking around the tree. I was starting with an imperfect video and a few more imperfections didn't really matter. The second was that, when I was actually watching the movie, I wasn't looking at that tree in the upper right. I didn't even notice it. The third was, it was hard to find the optimal settings. That's because, all that tweaking, though there were noticeable results, resulted in only slight improvements.

So, I'm going to have to disagree with your "far superior" comment :). Handbrake is great video tool , and does offer far more control over the output. Like I said, I would have loved to have it available in my younger days. But a lot of people just want a simple solution for casual watching, which is the goal of MKVtools. If you use the same bitrate, most people aren't going to be able to tell the difference between outputs from the two. Even if you use passthru with MKVtools, the optimal solution, I doubt that most people could tell the difference.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 10, 2010, 01:13 PM
But I think the goal is to not have to re-encode. Unless I burn subtitles, I've never had to re-encode the video track for playback on my PS3. MKV to MP4 video conversions takes minutes instead of hours with no loss in image quality. Why not try for the same with the ATV?

Because as i have said many times i have tried it with over 20 videos and only one worked. The Apple TV has limitations on what it can play. Of course if it worked id used it.

Mkvtools has it's place for for devices like the PS3 it would be fantastic as the PS3 has no limitations with the H.264.

Mkvtools won't burn subtitles keeping their original fonts colours and positions. Wont encode dvd or blu ray.

I used to use Mkvtools to convert dts audio to AC3 now that Handbrake does it i have no use for Mkvtools.

wakeboardandy
Oct 10, 2010, 03:26 PM
I had to change the Dolby Digital setting in the ATV from auto to on. I'm not sure what was going on there, but it's something to be aware of if you get that message and the video won't load. At another time I had to change it back to auto for a video with aac audio. I'm not sure if this is an ATV issue or an MKVtools issue. It could be an issue with hinting. I'll look into it when I have some time.


yes I found that also.. not a bid deal because it was easy to change the setting.

I for one love mkvtools.. I don't want to wait 45mins to transcode a tv show to watch it.. I was happy enough to stream it to my ps3 via ps3 media server but alot of mkv's don't work properly anymore and it always cuts off the last 5-10secs of the video which is annoying. So I'm happy to remux it and so far all files work perfectly even the two movies I did (robin hood and macgruber). I would like to move my whole library to itunes so I can also play them on my ipad/iphone, hence why I wanted the 2ch track added.

The only problem I had was adding the 2nd audio track, which emmgunn has said is a bug and will be fixed in the next release..

best $5 I have spent in a while.. well $5.82 cause I'm in Australia.. (which may be worth more than the US dollar very shortly! :D)

silentsim
Oct 10, 2010, 08:32 PM
I have a bunch of mV's in x264 with ac3 codec. If I pass through both vid and audio I get no sound on apple tv. However if I choose the aac option for audio (2.1 or 5,1) I get sound and video. Is this a bug? Should I be using 2.1 pr 5.1 audio?

This is in mkvtools

BlackMangoTree
Oct 10, 2010, 11:16 PM
Sounds like what you are using for audio playback TV or Amp it's capable or set up properly to decode AC3.

Also have you go to the Settings menu under Video & Audio and turns Dolby Digital on ?

emmgunn
Oct 11, 2010, 11:57 PM
yes I found that also.. not a bid deal because it was easy to change the setting.

I for one love mkvtools.. I don't want to wait 45mins to transcode a tv show to watch it.. I was happy enough to stream it to my ps3 via ps3 media server but alot of mkv's don't work properly anymore and it always cuts off the last 5-10secs of the video which is annoying. So I'm happy to remux it and so far all files work perfectly even the two movies I did (robin hood and macgruber). I would like to move my whole library to itunes so I can also play them on my ipad/iphone, hence why I wanted the 2ch track added.

The only problem I had was adding the 2nd audio track, which emmgunn has said is a bug and will be fixed in the next release..

best $5 I have spent in a while.. well $5.82 cause I'm in Australia.. (which may be worth more than the US dollar very shortly! :D)

FYI. Version 2.4.1 is now out, which hopefulley fixes the dual audio track issue.

wakeboardandy
Oct 12, 2010, 12:34 AM
FYI. Version 2.4.1 is now out, which hopefulley fixes the dual audio track issue.

thanks emmgunn.. it still shows as 2.4 when I download it.. I haven't tested it to see if it is different but in about it still shows 2.4.

emmgunn
Oct 12, 2010, 01:12 AM
Oops. Try it now.

wakeboardandy
Oct 12, 2010, 02:51 AM
Oops. Try it now.

works perfect now.. thanks heaps.. mkvtools + iflicks = perfect combination. within a couple of minutes my mkv is ready to play through atv, iphone and ipad..

newagemac
Oct 12, 2010, 10:59 AM
I've never used MKVtools. I have always used Handbrake. Can someone confirm for me that MKVTools will take a Blu Ray that I have ripped using MakeMKV and make it playable on the new Apple TV with 5.1 surround sound as well as playable on the iPhone or iPad in stereo?

If this is true, I might have to go this route. I would imagine the only downside would be the larger file sizes if you plan on storing them that way.

pedz
Oct 12, 2010, 01:21 PM
Quick question, does Handbrake now convert dts sound to ac3? I have seen mention of it in a couple of posts but trying to find out for sure. I currently use clown bd (after using AnyDVD HD) to extract out subtitles (for forced subs) and audio, converting it to ac3. I then convert the subs and mux everything together again before putting through handbrake.

Wondering if I have a movie with no forced subs can I skip all this and generate the mkv with makemkv and then convert to atv with handbrake? That would be much quicker than my current workflow, which I would still use if there are forced subs. Question is (in addition to 'would this work') would that give me dolby surround on the new atv?

Thanks,
Peter

Ritsuka
Oct 12, 2010, 01:23 PM
Yes, the latest Handbrake nightly can convert to ac3.

pedz
Oct 12, 2010, 02:05 PM
Great to hear, thanks. My handbrake is a few weeks old, will download the latest to be safe and will hopefully shave a lot of time off my conversions.

Now if there were only an easy way to know if a movie has forced subs before converting so I know when I can use the shorter method, that would be perfect :)

wakeboardandy
Oct 12, 2010, 03:20 PM
though I did notice fast forwarding and reversing, could throw the sync off. It seemed like it would clear up if I stopped and started the video again.


I tested this last night with 2.4.1 and I fast forwarded, reveversed, skipped chapters etc and I couldn't make it go out of sync... it was just tv show eps I was testing with though.

bobgorila
Oct 19, 2010, 01:26 AM
This thread seems interesting... but the tools discussed seem to fall short of what I need. Can somebody suggest something?

I want to remux MKV files, leaving the original audio in there for posterity (AC3 support is growing, after all), and adding an AAC track for each audio stream present. Also - any existing soft subtitles should be transplanted from the MKV as well.

Subler can handle soft-subs and multiple audio streams, but it can't be pointed at a folder full of files, and it obviously won't re-encode audio.

Tools that re-encode audio generally seem great at batches of files, but they also:
1. ignore soft-subs or try to burn them in, meaning re-encoding the video
2. throw away the original audio and just leave the AAC
3. disregard all but the first audio stream (goodbye, commentary track; goodbye, english dub)

My HTPC is a Windows 7 machine, so windows-based tools are also fine if you know any good ones.

BlackMangoTree
Oct 19, 2010, 03:21 AM
As pointed out else where on this thread almost everything in Main profile will work fine anything in High Profile will either not play at all or drop frames and lose sync.

You can use a application called Meda Info to see what profile has been used.

My experience with Mkvtools for this has been very poor.

Mkvtools makes a great video re encoder very easy to use and great results. Just wished SSA subtitles kept there positioning (there's always Handbrake for that). Would be nice if it was updated for the Apple TV 2, any video thats at 30fps will get a resolution of 940 x 544 the Apple TV 2 can now do 30fps at 1280 x 720.