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Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 07:48 AM
A few questions for those video experts within the forumn...

I purchased an Apple TV as a DVD replacement. I have hundreds of DVD's and want the ability to watch them on demand with no physical media. I have connected my Apple tv to my Sony Bravia LCD TV via an HDMI cable. I'm streaming video from my iMac and external FW800 Hard Drive through an Airport Extreme (.n) base station.

My issue is that no matter which settings I use when ripping a TVT, the quality is not the same as the DVD. I use the same resolution as the source media and the same frames per second. I'v tried bitrates from 1000 to 2500 and have the same two isses all the time...

In scenes where there is a dark background, the back ground can look a little fuzzy or pixelated. The second issue is when there is movement within a scene (especially fast movement) it looks a little choppy or fuzzy....

Am I expecting to much to be able to rip a DVD and maintain the same quality level? File size is not an issue - I don't care how big the file sizes are...

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated. I was hoping to be able to but all my DVD's in storage but that doesn't look like it's going to happen at this point.



petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 08:04 AM
I guess you are using Mediafork/Handbrake. If you select the Constant Quality setting and set it at 100% you will get the exact same quality...The size will be enormous though...

I rip my DVDs using the main H.264 profile @3000kbps and the quality is almost the same, only a bit darker.

NicP
Mar 25, 2007, 08:05 AM
What program are you using to rip the dvds, and what codec are you using? MPEG4 or H.264?

petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 08:13 AM
What program are you using to rip the dvds, and what codec are you using? MPEG4 or H.264?

I am currently using Mediafork, the latest available public beta.

Codec: H.264 Main
Video Bitrate: 3000kbps
Audio Bitrate: 160 to 320kbps (depends on the movie)
Resolution: Original
Framerate: Original

You can download Mediafork at http://download.m0k.org/handbrake/testing/MediaFork-0.8.0b1-MacOS_UB.dmg

NicP
Mar 25, 2007, 08:25 AM
Thats strange, I would not expect a big difference between the dvd and the encoded file at 3000kbps using h264, perhaps try the previous suggestion and use the quality setting instead.

Good luck :)

Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 08:29 AM
Thaks for the suggestion. I just ripped an episode of Friends with Constant Quality of 100%. It was just over 2 Gigs !!

Unfortunately, the file type is not one that the Apple TV will play. I'm going to try the other settings you suggested and see what that looks like on my Apple TV.

Will report back...

petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 08:30 AM
Thats strange, I would not expect a big difference between the dvd and the encoded file at 3000kbps using h264, perhaps try the previous suggestion and use the quality setting instead.

Good luck :)

The quality setting will create really big files!

Are you using the Mpeg4 encoder or the H.264? Use the H.264 Main Profile

The only disadvantage is that the resulting movies are darker than the original.

petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 08:32 AM
I forgot to say that the 100% Constant Quality setting results in files that arent playable on Apple TV or even Quicktime! The resulting bit rate is 17000Kbps approx. !!!!

Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 09:14 AM
I just finished encoding the same episode of Friends using the 3000 bitrate and the other settings you mentioned. The color contrast is much better but I still find the movement of characters or items is not a clean as the DVD version. Not sure how to best explain it - my wife refers to this as the "lego" effect as the movement seems "blocky."

Any thoughts/ideas on correcting this? I've selected frame rate as same as source - perhaps I'll try it at the 29.97 setting and see what happens...

Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 09:49 AM
Just ripped the same episode at a frame rate of 29.97 and it looks the same. Is anyone else unsatisfied with the picture quality vs. DVD in terms of the quality of movement on the screen?

I am using Mediafork and have tried most of the different settings including all suggested so far. I have not tried to de-interlace the picture but my understanding is that would just reduce the quality even more...

Is anyone else using a different DVD ripper that they would recommend over Mediafork? Happy to pay for the software if it does the job !!!

Maxwell Smart
Mar 25, 2007, 09:58 AM
Are you using 1080i or 720p? Because I have a 1080p screen and when I set it to 1080i I could see blurriness but after setting it to 720p (because it is progressive or non-interlaced) The blurriness went away. Because the apple TV can't display more than 720p anyway (and DVDs are much lower quality than that) It's not like I am losing anything. Hope this helps.

FleurDuMal
Mar 25, 2007, 11:18 AM
Have you tried messing around with the quality slider as opposed to setting a constant bit rate? On Handbrake, somewhere in between 60-68% creates a sensibly sized file I think. It's a far more efficient way of allocating space as it puts a lot more bits per second into the darker or fast scenes than in plain ones.

petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 11:20 AM
I just finished encoding the same episode of Friends using the 3000 bitrate and the other settings you mentioned. The color contrast is much better but I still find the movement of characters or items is not a clean as the DVD version. Not sure how to best explain it - my wife refers to this as the "lego" effect as the movement seems "blocky."

Any thoughts/ideas on correcting this? I've selected frame rate as same as source - perhaps I'll try it at the 29.97 setting and see what happens...

Do you stream the episode or have you synced it to your Apple TV?

Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 12:08 PM
I've tried both streaming the video as well as transferring it to the Apple TV. The result is the same. I tried adjusting my Apple TV settings down to 720p and I think that has helped a little. I'm currently using Quick Time Pro to convert the eposode of Friends from a "Constand Quality 100% file to the Apple TV option in the export function. It's a slow process though - should be done in another 30 minutes of so. I'm also currently encoding an episode of STTNG using the H.264 / 3000 Average bitrate setting. I'll try both of those as well as the Constant Quality bar set to 75% and see if that will produce a file Apple TV can use...

petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 12:12 PM
I don't have the Apple TV yet (will arrive on Tuesday) but the files I ripped from DVD were smooth like the originals. The quality was nearly the same, only brightness was different. The sound is of course worse (no Dolby Digital)

I find your issue really strange

FleurDuMal
Mar 25, 2007, 12:13 PM
I've tried both streaming the video as well as transferring it to the Apple TV. The result is the same. I tried adjusting my Apple TV settings down to 720p and I think that has helped a little. I'm currently using Quick Time Pro to convert the eposode of Friends from a "Constand Quality 100% file to the Apple TV option in the export function. It's a slow process though - should be done in another 30 minutes of so. I'm also currently encoding an episode of STTNG using the H.264 / 3000 Average bitrate setting. I'll try both of those as well as the Constant Quality bar set to 75% and see if that will produce a file Apple TV can use...

75% will probably be huuuuuge...best to rip a chapter in several different percentages and see if any of them are suitable.

Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 12:39 PM
I finished converting the larger file using Quick Time Pro but the results were the same.

Could there be a difference between TV shows and movies on DVD? I've just looked at a few movies that I ripped and the movement looks fine (I can't tell the difference vs. the DVD.) I tried Over the Hedge and it looks perfect. I also looked at a few episodes of How I met Your Mother that I ripped from DVD and they look pretty good too...

petvas
Mar 25, 2007, 12:40 PM
I finished converting the larger file using Quick Time Pro but the results were the same.

Could there be a difference between TV shows and movies on DVD? I've just looked at a few movies that I ripped and the movement looks fine (I can't tell the difference vs. the DVD.) I tried Over the Hedge and it looks perfect. I also looked at a few episodes of How I met Your Mother that I ripped from DVD and they look pretty good too...

Enable the deinterlace option for the tv shows.

ctakim
Mar 25, 2007, 02:01 PM
DVD Quality is what you don't see when you watch video content from iTunes on the :apple:TV

:)

killr_b
Mar 25, 2007, 02:26 PM
just for you,

I encoded an episode of Friends, (Mac the Ripper to Handbrake)
Mp4 @ 2000K w/ 160 audio. Set the picture size to 640 x 480 w/ deinterlace.

The playback is a little jerky 'cause of the interlacing, just a little, but no leggo effect at all.

McGiord
Mar 25, 2007, 02:47 PM
I have a 40" LCD Bravia XBR2, and before buying it I browse some reviews all over the web, and some of the known issues of these sets are:
- No good reproduction of some old videos frame rates
- Some clouding in low light scenes
Anyway, the original video frame rate and its resolution are key factors to your video watching experience on any HD set.

Try doing this, to see if there is a difference, connect your mac to your TV set directly, apple video adapter cost only $20, so you can use the apple video player to see the difference between your video card in your mac and your apple tv video card, could your tv could also be affecting your results.

Try with a more recent DVD disc, so you can see if there is a different result.
________
Ford Straight-6 engine history (http://www.ford-wiki.com/wiki/Ford_Straight-6_engine)

Chiggs
Mar 25, 2007, 04:29 PM
My issue certainly seems to be DVD dependent. I ripped two more movies (Back to the Future and Starsky and Hutch) and they look perfect when streamed from my iMac to my Apple TV. I can't tell the difference between this picture quality and the DVD. I ripped an episode of STTNG at a bitrate of 3000 and it too looks perfect. I ripped an episode of Will and Grace and I got the same issue as when I ripped friends.

I'll keep playing around - I'm going to rip some other TV shows later and see what they look like.

Chiggs
Mar 26, 2007, 07:04 AM
Thanks very much to all who provided some feedback. Your suggestions and comments helped me to find the encoding specs that work best for me right now. I'm ripping at a 3000 Average framerate; this gives me the video quality that I need to put away my DVD's.

When ripping DVD's, I rip the first episode of any particular season/show twice - once with the deinterlace setting applied and once without. I look at the output quality of both and make a decision from there. For example, STTNG seems to look better (to me anyway) without the deinterlace setting. Will and Grace seems to look better with the deinterlace setting on. Friends doesn't look that great either way (on my Apple TV.)

The strange thing is Friends looks pretty good on my iMac post ripping. Go figure...

Scarpad
Mar 26, 2007, 07:05 AM
What are the major differences between Main and Baseline Profile? H264 is slow so I was using MPeg4 which looks good but the file sizes can be quite a bit larger. On the Mini I use Mediafork, on my PC I've played with Super and Videora Apple TV Converter. Using 2 Pass H264 Main Profile at 1500kbps yeild a 600 meg file for a 50 min show. Seems to be about the Size of the Itunes store's Stuff.

FleurDuMal
Mar 26, 2007, 07:30 AM
The strange thing is Friends looks pretty good on my iMac post ripping. Go figure...

That is strange. I've always wanted to know whether ripped DVDs would look better played on a TV with 720P or my 24" monitor with 1920x1200 resolution. Or whether it'd be no difference.

clevin
Mar 26, 2007, 08:15 AM
A few questions for those video experts within the forumn...

I purchased an Apple TV as a DVD replacement. I have hundreds of DVD's and want the ability to watch them on demand with no physical media. I have connected my Apple tv to my Sony Bravia LCD TV via an HDMI cable. I'm streaming video from my iMac and external FW800 Hard Drive through an Airport Extreme (.n) base station.


ATV never meant to be, and can not be, a DVD replacement. with no physical media for your hundreds of DVDs? its simply not possible. ATV is too small for that, not to mention any convertion or compression will lose quality of the graphic, may that be H.264 or DivX.

FleurDuMal
Mar 26, 2007, 08:18 AM
ATV never meant to be, and can not be, a DVD replacement.


Of course it is. Apple hopes iTMS will replace physical media as a form of distribution.

clevin
Mar 26, 2007, 08:23 AM
Of course it is. Apple hopes iTMS will replace physical media as a form of distribution.

Im sorry? I don't see that's happening, and I don't see that in Apple's statement, and I don't see that being physically possible.

where did Apple say ATV will be pushed as a DVD replacement? plz show me some sources?

or you actually think
Apple TV is like a DVD player for the Internet age—providing an easy and fun way to play all your favorite iTunes content from your PC or Mac on your widescreen TV is a statement for DVD replacement? if so, Im sorry, that doesn't sound like a DVD replacement statement for me.

When u rent a DVD from neflix or blockbuster, or buy one from anywhere, what u gonna do? rip it and put it in ur 40GB ATV? how much time do u need to rip a DVD? (3 hours for a whole process for one H.264 movie?) how many movies can that hold(let it be 1400kbps, still NOT DVD quality, result in a size of 1.5G, ATV can hole 20? 25? movies)? and what quality would that be(near DVD is NOT DVD quality)? and would that be legal(if u only rent it)?

FleurDuMal
Mar 26, 2007, 08:29 AM
Im sorry? I don't see that's happening, and I don't see that in Apple's statement, and I don't see that being physically possible.

where did Apple say ATV will be pushed as a DVD replacement? plz show me some sources?

That's a rather obtuse way of seeing it. I would say that given they are selling movies over iTMS suggests they might just want people to buy movies over iTMS instead of buying it on DVD. It's not exactly a tenuous issue I'm afraid. Saying they don't expect digital distribution to take over from DVD's is like saying the CD never intended to replace vinyl/tapes.

clevin
Mar 26, 2007, 08:34 AM
That's a rather obtuse way of seeing it. I would say that given they are selling movies over iTMS suggests they might just want people to buy movies over iTMS instead of buying it on DVD. It's not exactly a tenuous issue I'm afraid. Saying they don't expect digital distribution to take over from DVD's is like saying the CD never intended to replace vinyl/tapes.

well, when comparing the historical similarities, don't forget the difference between them.

I do understand ITMS is pushing movies, but compare ITMS to retail store or renting company, I don't have that high hope (Im sure some ppl do), also

think about the ITMS movie's quality, 480p, thats FAR AWAY from DVD quality.

Also, OP was obviously concerned about his DVD collections, not abandon them and buy limited titles from ITMS.

FleurDuMal
Mar 26, 2007, 08:57 AM
well, when comparing the historical similarities, don't forget the difference between them.

I do understand ITMS is pushing movies, but compare ITMS to retail store or renting company, I don't have that high hope (Im sure some ppl do), also

think about the ITMS movie's quality, 480p, thats FAR AWAY from DVD quality.

Also, OP was obviously concerned about his DVD collections, not abandon them and buy limited titles from ITMS.

I never said Apple had got their strategy right. I'm just saying that it's clearly their strategy to do away with physical media.

gkarris
Mar 26, 2007, 09:04 AM
That's a rather obtuse way of seeing it. I would say that given they are selling movies over iTMS suggests they might just want people to buy movies over iTMS instead of buying it on DVD. It's not exactly a tenuous issue I'm afraid. Saying they don't expect digital distribution to take over from DVD's is like saying the CD never intended to replace vinyl/tapes.

How can this be?

I only have a 768K DSL connection - shows take a while to download.

I usually pay only $4 - $10 for used or on sale DVD's, and $20 - $35 for entire seasons of TV shows, much less than what iTunes charges for "computer files"...

jpfisher
Mar 26, 2007, 09:16 AM
No matter what settings you are using to rip your DVDs, you have to bear in mind that you are compressing video that's already been compressed. If you had an uncompressed master to work with and create an H264 file from, then yes, you could get it looking better than a comporable DVD (assuming that H264 can create better results than MPEG-2 at the same compression rate).

However, you should understand that professional DVD transfers are not done by running a video file through a simple software algorithm. I won't pretend to understand the intricacies of the process, but a lot of decisions are made on a shot by shot basis as to what bit rate to apply, what settings to tweak, etc etc etc.

For most of us, a DVD rip at a good bitrate will look perfectly acceptable when streamed to the ATV or whatever media extender you're using; however, a side by side comparison is always going to show its shortcomings.

Chiggs
Mar 26, 2007, 10:02 AM
To those questioning using the Apple TV as a DVD replacement...

95% of my viewing is based on watching movies from my library of DVD's (including TV shows.) I purchase 40-50 DVD's per year but almost never rent. There are so many DVD's available for purchase at $10-15 in my area and with a young daughter, I can't be sure I'm going to be able to watch a DVD exactly when planned so I find with rentals, I usually end up paying $10 or so anyway because of a late fee so I stick with buying. Even the latest new releases are available in this price range from my local video stores 2-3 weeks after they come out as the stores clear out some of their rental copies.

With the success of streaming video from the large external HD connected to my iMac, I've decided not to bother transfering video files to my Apple TV. Instead, I'm focusing on putting my pictures of the hard drive because those can't (yet) be streamed.

So - with the exception of a few TV Show DVD's that are not looking that great, I have no use for my DVD player...

BlackBox
Mar 26, 2007, 10:15 AM
I've been trying out different bitrates and now settled at 3500mbps with H.264, 160 audio. I think the IQ is pretty close to DVD quality.

Handbrake settings:
Codec: H.264 Main
Video Bitrate: 3500kbps
Audio Bitrate: 160kbps
Resolution: Original
Framerate: Original

According to the Apple TV spec., Max bitrates is 5Mbps for H.264 video.
Have anyone try 4-5Mbps?

clevin
Mar 27, 2007, 09:17 AM
To those questioning using the Apple TV as a DVD replacement...

95% of my viewing is based on watching movies from my library of DVD's (including TV shows.) I purchase 40-50 DVD's per year but almost never rent. There are so many DVD's available for purchase at $10-15 in my area and with a young daughter, I can't be sure I'm going to be able to watch a DVD exactly when planned so I find with rentals, I usually end up paying $10 or so anyway because of a late fee so I stick with buying. Even the latest new releases are available in this price range from my local video stores 2-3 weeks after they come out as the stores clear out some of their rental copies.

With the success of streaming video from the large external HD connected to my iMac, I've decided not to bother transfering video files to my Apple TV. Instead, I'm focusing on putting my pictures of the hard drive because those can't (yet) be streamed.

So - with the exception of a few TV Show DVD's that are not looking that great, I have no use for my DVD player...
I would suggest u buy a mac mini as DVD replacement, u can put DVD disk in, and hook up mini to your TV and play it just like a DVD player.
The problem with ATV is that You will need HUGE harddrive, and HUGE amount of time to convert your hundreds of DVDs. I just don't feel it worth it(since u can't just throw ur DVD away anyway, remember any compression process will lose quality). Also, when you have a iTunes Movie data base of 500GB, I m not really sure if you will be satisfied with the performance of ATV.

As somebody mentioned above, I think Apple is expecting user to download movie more from ITMS, rather than rip their own DVDs into iTunes.

ijimk
Mar 27, 2007, 01:20 PM
I've been trying out different bitrates and now settled at 3500mbps with H.264, 160 audio. I think the IQ is pretty close to DVD quality.

Handbrake settings:
Codec: H.264 Main
Video Bitrate: 3500kbps
Audio Bitrate: 160kbps
Resolution: Original
Framerate: Original

According to the Apple TV spec., Max bitrates is 5Mbps for H.264 video.
Have anyone try 4-5Mbps?

what is your typical file size per movie? Say for a 90 min film? :confused:

BlackBox
Mar 27, 2007, 02:29 PM
what is your typical file size per movie? Say for a 90 min film? :confused:

For a typical 2hrs movie, it clocks in about 3Gig. You can figure out from there.

Btw, I discovered that MediaFork does the encoding 20-30% faster!

Now, I am running both Handbrake and Mediafork at the same time, so I can encode 2 movies at a time, while I am sleeping! :)

Socalrunner951
Mar 27, 2007, 04:59 PM
I'm gonna go pick up and Apple TV today. So far I'm ripping movies with mactheripper then converting it with visualhub. I put the slider as go nuts and check ipod/TV Screen and check h.264 encoding. The quality looks very good on my computer in full screen mode. I'm going to try checking Apple TV instead of iPod/TV Screen.

GlynJones
Mar 28, 2007, 03:22 AM
I've been trying out different bitrates and now settled at 3500mbps with H.264, 160 audio. I think the IQ is pretty close to DVD quality.

Handbrake settings:
Codec: H.264 Main
Video Bitrate: 3500kbps
Audio Bitrate: 160kbps
Resolution: Original
Framerate: Original

According to the Apple TV spec., Max bitrates is 5Mbps for H.264 video.
Have anyone try 4-5Mbps?

Tried these setting last night and the quality was very good albeit very slow even on a 24" intel iMac. I was doing other things at the same time so i probably crippled the performace.

With these setting is it best to do a one pass or two pass encoding because if I can get away with one pass then that would speed things up greatly.

zyuzin4
Mar 28, 2007, 05:06 AM
I would suggest u buy a mac mini as DVD replacement, u can put DVD disk in, and hook up mini to your TV and play it just like a DVD player.
The problem with ATV is that You will need HUGE harddrive, and HUGE amount of time to convert your hundreds of DVDs. I just don't feel it worth it(since u can't just throw ur DVD away anyway, remember any compression process will lose quality). Also, when you have a iTunes Movie data base of 500GB, I m not really sure if you will be satisfied with the performance of ATV.

As somebody mentioned above, I think Apple is expecting user to download movie more from ITMS, rather than rip their own DVDs into iTunes.

He is streaming his movies from the iMac so the size of the ATV hard drive does not matter

SPinc33
Mar 28, 2007, 07:40 AM
On the question of :apple: TV as a DVD player replacement...

I think we can learn alot from the CD vs. MP3 debate. A few years ago, "early adopters" were excited about the ability to electronically transfer and store music, although it was a bit less than CD quality. Now, the large majority don't even know (or care, up to a certain point) that their AAC/MP3 files are a lower quality than CDs. Audiophiles can and will always worry about this. MP3s were not "intended" to be a CD replacement per se, but it seems to be moving in that direction as technology advances.

With movies, the technology isn't there yet (for the masses). Hard drive limitations for most, encoding quality, etc still need to be improved before digital movies will really overtake DVDs. Again, I don't think :apple: TV is intended to be a DVD replacement, but as the technology improves and we all have 2TB harddrives, "N" wireless, and better software, we will definitely see a shift in DVD sales as a result. The ATV is just a piece of the puzzle in the inevitable move towards digital media.