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View Full Version : ATV, iTunes, iPhone (+ apps) - Do They Really Play Nicely?




Superman07
Sep 7, 2007, 04:46 PM
My objective is to only rip my collection once. However, there are some issues, as I'm sure many of you are aware.

Currently ATV has no 5.1 support (direct or passthrough). However, for this series of questions I will assume that problem has been solved.

When ripping, with tools such as handbreak, there are various preset options. Now obviously you're going to have to pick a certain bitrate level if you want the AC3 5.1 option and a good enough picture for a 720p/1080i set. This has the consequence of large files, and in turn large bitrates for the file.

1) I assume this is not a problem for the ATV to handle?

2) Will the iTouch or iPhone be able to handle this directly (sync)? Or is the resolution and audio "too good"? Perhaps what I'm asking is can either of these downgrade the source on the go? Squeez to fit and only pass 2 channels of audio?

3) Perhpas dependant upon #2, but if you use some of the various methods out there now to stream video to your iPhone, would these larger (good for 720p consumption) files work?

I'm affraid the answer is going to be that you'd have to rip twice now. First for iPhone/Pod compatability and a second for ATV compatability.

Then, if the 5.1 issue is fixed you'd have to rerip a third time to replace you first ATV rip.



mahonmeister
Sep 7, 2007, 07:57 PM
The Apple TV specs (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) show the maximum bit-rates for video and audio.

Handbreak also has a preset for the Apple TV, so that is pretty much guaranteed to work.

Also, I suspect that video that exceeds the iPod and iPhone capabilities will not play at all. Hopefully others can share their experiences with this kind of stuff.

MikieMikie
Sep 8, 2007, 08:51 AM
The Apple TV specs (http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html) show the maximum bit-rates for video and audio.

Handbreak also has a preset for the Apple TV, so that is pretty much guaranteed to work.

Also, I suspect that video that exceeds the iPod and iPhone capabilities will not play at all. Hopefully others can share their experiences with this kind of stuff.

You are correct. :apple:TV presets in handbrake produce a file that will NOT play on iPhones.

I know because I have tried it. I have to have iTunes create an iPod version of a movie I want iPhonified. It creates a clone of the original, so it is a non-destructive process. You will end up with 2 versions in your iTunes library, and getting info will show which is the 640X480 one, the syncable one.

-- Mikie

Superman07
Sep 10, 2007, 08:06 AM
You are correct. :apple:TV presets in handbrake produce a file that will NOT play on iPhones.

I know because I have tried it. I have to have iTunes create an iPod version of a movie I want iPhonified. It creates a clone of the original, so it is a non-destructive process. You will end up with 2 versions in your iTunes library, and getting info will show which is the 640X480 one, the syncable one.

-- Mikie

That is very unfortunate to hear. Is that a function of the processor, the screen, or a combination of both?

Can anybody comment on how 640x480 material looks on ATV? I suppose the obvious is how does it look on a 720p/1080i set, followed by 1080p set.

macfaninpdx
Sep 10, 2007, 11:18 AM
Can anybody comment on how 640x480 material looks on ATV? I suppose the obvious is how does it look on a 720p/1080i set, followed by 1080p set.
I have encoded DVDs at both the :apple:TV and iPod High Quality presets using Handbrake. :apple:TV preset uses anamorphic full-resolution (720 wide) at 2500bps, where iPod High-Quality uses 640 wide non-anamorphic at 1500bps. I do this because the iPod setting looks great on the HDTV, and will still sync to the iPhone.

What I have done so far is use the :apple:TV setting for movies that I will not need to/want to sync on the iPhone, since this takes advantage of the higher quality that the HDTV can display. Then I use the iPod High Quality setting for movies that I want to sync, but still want to look good on the :apple:TV. I have a 46" Sharp Aquos 1080p LCD. Note that the :apple:TV can only connect via 1080i, so regardless of the source that will be the limit.

So back to your question, material encoded at 640 wide still looks great on an :apple:TV. I have considered going back and converting all my movies to this setting, just so I have the option of syncing them if I want to. I am still having a hard time letting go of using the higher quality, which is preventing me from re-encoding yet. See this previous (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=351057) thread from last week. I intend to encode a movie at both settings and compare. I will post pictures if I am able.

MikieMikie
Sep 10, 2007, 11:37 AM
Ok, so let's talk about this for a moment....

I have some 40 movies ripped and converted and tagged, sitting on an external HD, with an alias/shortcut created in iTunes so these are all streamable to the :apple:TV. I have many many more waiting to be ripped, converted and tagged, and I don't want to convert multiple times as it takes me an awfully long time to convert (due to my current equipment).

My feeling is that the better the video quality that I see on my 57" 1080p Samsung HDTV, the better. I don't care if there is a middle setting (which there obviously is -- 640 X 480, which is what the ITMS uses, I believe) that will make the movie compatible with all devices -- I want the best video possible for each device. When I was learning math, I learned about the "LCD," the Least Common Denominator. Well, while that works for fractions, it doesn't work for me for video.

This is a personal choice, and it all depends on your actual usage -- what you load up, how quickly you need it loaded, etc.

See, I typically have 1 movie on my iPhone at a time. I rarely get the time to watch it all the way through in one sitting, so it sits there for days, sometimes weeks, until I finish watching it and delete it. When I do, I just pick a new movie and tell iTunes to convert it for me. It's ready the next day, which is fine with me. I keep them in separate folders, and then delete them from my HD when I'm done with them. I don't keep them around.

So, for my uses, after ripping, converting to the highest quality :apple:TV can handle is my goal. I then have iTunes convert them for the iPhone on an as-needed basis, one at a time.

Your desires may vary. The amount you care about the image you see may be very different than mine. I want to see my DVD collect as a DVD collection -- not as a less-than-DVD quality. Jeez, and now I'm thinking about HD-DVD/Blu-ray!

-- Mikie

Superman07
Sep 10, 2007, 12:24 PM
Ok, so let's talk about this for a moment....

I have some 40 movies ripped and converted and tagged, sitting on an external HD, with an alias/shortcut created in iTunes so these are all streamable to the :apple:TV. I have many many more waiting to be ripped, converted and tagged, and I don't want to convert multiple times as it takes me an awfully long time to convert (due to my current equipment).

My feeling is that the better the video quality that I see on my 57" 1080p Samsung HDTV, the better. I don't care if there is a middle setting (which there obviously is -- 640 X 480, which is what the ITMS uses, I believe) that will make the movie compatible with all devices -- I want the best video possible for each device. When I was learning math, I learned about the "LCD," the Least Common Denominator. Well, while that works for fractions, it doesn't work for me for video.

This is a personal choice, and it all depends on your actual usage -- what you load up, how quickly you need it loaded, etc.

See, I typically have 1 movie on my iPhone at a time. I rarely get the time to watch it all the way through in one sitting, so it sits there for days, sometimes weeks, until I finish watching it and delete it. When I do, I just pick a new movie and tell iTunes to convert it for me. It's ready the next day, which is fine with me. I keep them in separate folders, and then delete them from my HD when I'm done with them. I don't keep them around.

So, for my uses, after ripping, converting to the highest quality :apple:TV can handle is my goal. I then have iTunes convert them for the iPhone on an as-needed basis, one at a time.

Your desires may vary. The amount you care about the image you see may be very different than mine. I want to see my DVD collect as a DVD collection -- not as a less-than-DVD quality. Jeez, and now I'm thinking about HD-DVD/Blu-ray!

-- Mikie

I agree with you, which is why I asked the question to begin with. For example, if I DL a 1080 trailer via Apple, and my monitor doesn't support that res, I can still play the file but just fit to screen. I'd prefer this is the option for iPhone/Touch - since I too want the best quality possible and to only rip once.

MikieMikie
Sep 10, 2007, 03:29 PM
Well, I would certainly not recommend converting to 640 X 480 and calling it a day. Handbrake does a marvey job producing content that looks DVD-quality on :apple:TV. Once it's in iTunes, as I mentioned, it takes a relatively short (at least much shorter) time to produce an iPhonic version.

Rip once. Convert twice.

The iPhone/iPod will reject, not downcovert, larger video than 640X480. I encourage you to downconvert as needed, and let iTunes do that for you, based on your :apple:TV file.

-- Mikie

Superman07
Sep 10, 2007, 05:26 PM
The iPhone/iPod will reject, not downcovert, larger video than 640X480. I encourage you to downconvert as needed, and let iTunes do that for you, based on your :apple:TV file.

-- Mikie

How so? Does iTunes do this on the fly when you drag the file to the iPhone/Touch?

Also, is it possible for you to figure the size requirments for your collection twofold? Once for the higher resolution, and then again for the lower resolution?

MikieMikie
Sep 11, 2007, 06:54 AM
How so? Does iTunes do this on the fly when you drag the file to the iPhone/Touch?

No. You must select the movie/video from the library list, right click on it, and then select "convert selection for iPod" or something. Since video iPods do 640X480, I just mentally substitute iPhone for iPod and *Poof!*

From iTunes Help File:
-------------------------------------------------------
If you have an iPod that plays video, you can load videos from your iTunes library onto your iPod. An iPod that plays video can play only videos that are optimized for iPod. You can convert most videos to work with iPod.

To convert a video:
In iTunes, select the video.
Choose Advanced > Convert Selection for iPod.
Converting a video for iPod can take several minutes to several hours, depending on your computer and on the length and content of the video.

The original video remains in your iTunes library.
-------------------------------------------------------


Also, is it possible for you to figure the size requirments for your collection twofold? Once for the higher resolution, and then again for the lower resolution?

There's ways to do best guess estimates by simply converting a movie using Handbrake's standard :apple:TV presets, then converting the same movie using the iPhone preset. If you do this with 2 different movies, the percentage difference should pretty much tell you what sizes you're going to end up with in the long run.

If you're asking how big a HD you should buy, I answer: B I G.
Or several: BIG
or lots of: small.

I figure somewhere around 2.5GB on average per movie for what Handbrake's been producing. YMMV based on 2-pass, etc.

-- Mikie

Superman07
Sep 14, 2007, 01:16 PM
The more I think on this it is really unfortunately. However, I'm sure the possibility of this all working together may happen once the specs on the iP/iT are bumped over the next year or two.

Honestly, I wouldn't have too much a problem of reconverting from aTV format to portable format, but even the aTV format isn't 100%. If it were down converting from a 5.1 copy with good picture quality it would be easier to stomach.

I don't suppose there is any news on a forthcoming aTV upgrade that will enable 5.1 support through the optical audio port?

MikieMikie
Sep 14, 2007, 02:19 PM
I don't suppose there is any news on a forthcoming aTV upgrade that will enable 5.1 support through the optical audio port?

You can count on any upgrade that makes it possible for you to spend money with Apple. Beyond that, expect no feature, bug fix, etc.

This seems to be the new mantra at Apple. :mad: