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Old Apr 2, 2012, 09:49 AM   #26
GarrettL1979
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This discussion is largely over my head, as I'm new to this (blu ray drive arrives today though!). If I am hoping to rip MKVs of my blu rays for ATV3 playback, should I select DD 3.2+1 en within Make MKVs audio settings? I don't really need subtitles.
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Old Apr 2, 2012, 09:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by GarrettL1979 View Post
This discussion is largely over my head, as I'm new to this (blu ray drive arrives today though!). If I am hoping to rip MKVs of my blu rays for ATV3 playback, should I select DD 3.2+1 en within Make MKVs audio settings? I don't really need subtitles.
If all you want are ATV compatible files, rip the blu-ray with just the lossy 5.1 core audio stream selected in MakeMKV (DTS for a DTS-MA authored disk, DD for a Dolby TrueHD one). Handbrake will create a stereo AAC track as well as a DD5.1 AC3 one.
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Old Apr 2, 2012, 09:56 AM   #28
GarrettL1979
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If all you want are ATV compatible files, rip the blu-ray with just the lossy 5.1 core audio stream selected in MakeMKV (DTS for a DTS-MA authored disk, DD for a Dolby TrueHD one). Handbrake will create a stereo AAC track as well as a DD5.1 AC3 one.
thanks! is this the default audio setting?
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 08:27 AM   #29
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I think I'm still a little confused by this. Here is my understanding though-- please correct me if I'm wrong. The ATV 3 does not support TrueHD or DTS-HD audio, and these are huge files, so it is not worth selecting this option in Make MKV. Because of this fact, it is best to select DD 3/2+1 within the audio settings, right? I don't have surround set up in our house-- just a standard stereo setup.

Just want to make sure before I start ripping my blu-ray collection. Thanks for the help!
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 09:04 AM   #30
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If you just have stereo and you don't plan on getting a 5.1 setup audio you can skip the AC3 track altogether. Only the AAC stereo track is mandatory.

You can also include the directors commentary on an additional AAC track if desired.

And yes the default ATV2 setting is AAC + AC3
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 10:37 AM   #31
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If you just have stereo and you don't plan on getting a 5.1 setup audio you can skip the AC3 track altogether. Only the AAC stereo track is mandatory.

You can also include the directors commentary on an additional AAC track if desired.

And yes the default ATV2 setting is AAC + AC3
Sadly, I don't know which MKV settings correspond with AAC & AC3. I assume DD 3/2+1 = AAC & AC3?? If so, would you recommend going with this option if I'm only running stereo now but might move to 5.1 in the future? I suppose that would give me the option.

If I went solely with a stereo/AAC, which Make MKV audio option should I select? And would this make the file significantly smaller?

Sorry for all of the questions. I really appreciate the help!
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Old Apr 6, 2012, 12:13 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by GarrettL1979 View Post
Sadly, I don't know which MKV settings correspond with AAC & AC3. I assume DD 3/2+1 = AAC & AC3?? If so, would you recommend going with this option if I'm only running stereo now but might move to 5.1 in the future? I suppose that would give me the option.

If I went solely with a stereo/AAC, which Make MKV audio option should I select? And would this make the file significantly smaller?

Sorry for all of the questions. I really appreciate the help!
The lossy Dolby Digital track is the DD3/2+1 track. When you convert to the mp4 using handbrake and the aTV preset, the preset will automatically create a stereo track that will say "pro logic II), the second track it creates is the AC-3 passthrough track.
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Old Dec 27, 2012, 07:46 PM   #33
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Thought I would share my problems with HD audio and the mp4 container to see if anyone can shed some light on them.

DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1)

As others have mentioned it is definitely possible to include DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1) in an mp4.

My original workflow to include the DTS-HD MA was as follows:

1. Feed a blu-ray .mkv rip containing a DTS-HD MA track into handbrake.
2. Select the ATV3 Preset.
3. Add a third audio track, selecting the DTS-HD MA track as the input and the Codec as DTS-HD Passthru.
4. Include any necessary additional commentary tracks.
5. Hit Start.

This gave me an .m4v file which I would then feed into Subler to re-name the audio tracks. Subler would correctly show the video track and each of the audio tracks I had selected to include from Handbrake (including the DTS-HD MA track). However, I noticed that the duration of the DTS-HD MA track appeared as 0:00:00:00. This audio track failed to play in MPlayerX which does support playback of DTS-HD MA in .mp4.

Not sure if I was doing anything wrong there but I couldn't figure out why it was doing it so now I try a different approach:

1. Feed a blu-ray .mkv rip containing a DTS-HD MA track into handbrake.
2. Select the ATV3 Preset.
3. Add a third audio track, selecting the DTS-HD MA track as the input and the Codec as DTS-HD Passthru.
4. Change the output file format from MP4 file to MKV file.
5. Include any necessary additional commentary tracks.
6. Hit Start.
7. Feed Subler the newly created .mkv.
8. Passthru the video and audio tracks (including the DTS-HD MA track).
9. Save it as an .m4v.

This resulting .m4v includes everything that I select from handbrake and the DTS-HD MA track has the same duration as the other audio tracks. The DTS-HD MA track also plays fine in MPlayerX.

Couple of things I am still not sure about regarding DTS-HD MA and .mp4:

1. Is it correct that passing through the DTS-HD MA track in Handbrake whether through the .mp4 container (which doesn't work for me :s) or the .mkv container, passes through the full DTS-HD MA track and not just the core? (For anyone else, as I understand, the DTS-HD MA track has two parts, the "core" which contains the compressed DTS audio information which older non DTS-HD MA decoders can still use to play the audio, and the "extra information" to make it DTS-HD MA which newer decoders do support).

2. Not been able to find this out anywhere but are you able to include an 8 channel (7.1) DTS-HD MA audio track in the mp4 container? If so, does anyone know a way to do this?

Dolby TrueHD (5.1)

1. Is it possible to include this in the mp4 container? I don't think handbrake supports passing it through and neither does Subler I think (when I try adding an .mkv rip of a film which includes a Dolby TrueHD audio track into Subler, it won't allow me to pass it through).

2. Same as above, is it possible to include an 8 channel (7.1) Dolby TrueHD audio track in the mp4 container?

Last edited by Robsta2142; Dec 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 09:37 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Robsta2142 View Post
Thought I would share my problems with HD audio and the mp4 container to see if anyone can shed some light on them.

DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1)

As others have mentioned it is definitely possible to include DTS-HD Master Audio (5.1) in an mp4.

My original workflow to include the DTS-HD MA was as follows:

1. Feed a blu-ray .mkv rip containing a DTS-HD MA track into handbrake.
2. Select the ATV3 Preset.
3. Add a third audio track, selecting the DTS-HD MA track as the input and the Codec as DTS-HD Passthru.
4. Include any necessary additional commentary tracks.
5. Hit Start.

This gave me an .m4v file which I would then feed into Subler to re-name the audio tracks. Subler would correctly show the video track and each of the audio tracks I had selected to include from Handbrake (including the DTS-HD MA track). However, I noticed that the duration of the DTS-HD MA track appeared as 0:00:00:00. This audio track failed to play in MPlayerX which does support playback of DTS-HD MA in .mp4.

Not sure if I was doing anything wrong there but I couldn't figure out why it was doing it so now I try a different approach:

1. Feed a blu-ray .mkv rip containing a DTS-HD MA track into handbrake.
2. Select the ATV3 Preset.
3. Add a third audio track, selecting the DTS-HD MA track as the input and the Codec as DTS-HD Passthru.
4. Change the output file format from MP4 file to MKV file.
5. Include any necessary additional commentary tracks.
6. Hit Start.
7. Feed Subler the newly created .mkv.
8. Passthru the video and audio tracks (including the DTS-HD MA track).
9. Save it as an .m4v.

This resulting .m4v includes everything that I select from handbrake and the DTS-HD MA track has the same duration as the other audio tracks. The DTS-HD MA track also plays fine in MPlayerX.

Couple of things I am still not sure about regarding DTS-HD MA and .mp4:

1. Is it correct that passing through the DTS-HD MA track in Handbrake whether through the .mp4 container (which doesn't work for me :s) or the .mkv container, passes through the full DTS-HD MA track and not just the core? (For anyone else, as I understand, the DTS-HD MA track has two parts, the "core" which contains the compressed DTS audio information which older non DTS-HD MA decoders can still use to play the audio, and the "extra information" to make it DTS-HD MA which newer decoders do support).

2. Not been able to find this out anywhere but are you able to include an 8 channel (7.1) DTS-HD MA audio track in the mp4 container? If so, does anyone know a way to do this?

Dolby TrueHD (5.1)

1. Is it possible to include this in the mp4 container? I don't think handbrake supports passing it through and neither does Subler I think (when I try adding an .mkv rip of a film which includes a Dolby TrueHD audio track into Subler, it won't allow me to pass it through).

2. Same as above, is it possible to include an 8 channel (7.1) Dolby TrueHD audio track in the mp4 container?
I currently am using the latest nightly build of Handbrake and when I convert mkv's (which contain a DTS-HD track) I add the DTS-HD as a passthrough in the third audio track. I currently am doing this to future proof my collection, as the apple TV's cannot currently play DTS-HD, but I assume this feature will be present in the near future. However, when I convert these movies, the DTS-HD track works perfectly fine and the times line up between the three tracks. This might have to do with the fact that I am using a nightly build, but I am not sure why you are having any issues. Unfortunately, I don't have any answers to your two questions, but I do know that Handbrake currently does not support TrueHD passthrough. Though I do think it is possible to passthrough a DTS-HD MA track.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 10:19 AM   #35
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Maybe it is just my hearing sensitivity but I would question whether all the extra work is worth the effort.

So currently, I have a 50" tv with a Sony Blu Ray 5.1 system and an ATV3. I also have a windows home server that holds all my digital files.

I use MKV to pull from blu ray and pass that file through Handbrake using the preset for ATV3. Most movies spew a 4-6gb file and that goes on my server. From there I enter the server (running Itunes) and stream to my ATV3.

My point is this...this process yields a picture that to me looks identical to the blu ray disc when it is playing (1080p) and the sound is fine. I get why you would want to future proof but will anyone really hear the difference in 90% of most living rooms?

I suppose I don't see the advantage or the space cost. Maybe that is just me? When you get up to 300 or so movies, the space does become an issue. I have a 9TB server and it is just over half full (though that includes music, movies, pictures and backups for 2 other windows machines). Oh, and it duplicates files for easy hard disc replacement (hot swap).

So please enlighten me...is this worth the extra work and storage? Before you answer, I do have minor hearing loss in one ear so I can not tell the difference between 256 bit music files and 320 or lossless...though I can usually pick out a 128 vs. 256 version.

Thanks.
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Old Dec 28, 2012, 11:48 AM   #36
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Re the audio, I have no idea whether there is any audible difference between HD audio and normal DTS 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 (not got a compatible setup). Like Rmafive, I am only including the HD audio for when I get a capable surround system in the future. Reading around though, a lot of people say there isn't much difference between the normal and HD audio. For me, space isn't a huge issue either so I might as well do it and have no regrets later.

Re the video, there are definite noticeable difference for me between a lossless blu-ray rip and a transcoded version e.g. a version transcoded with Handbrake using the ATV3 preset. Sometimes I watch films in front of the computer doing other stuff where the difference is very noticeable. Other times, I watch films sitting about 3.5-4m away from a 42" screen and can still see the difference.

For this reason when I rip my blu-rays I split them into two categories and have two workflows for both:

1. Blu-rays with a video track using the h.264 codec with no forced subtitles.
2. Blu-rays with a video track using the vc-1 codec/blu-rays with a video track using the h.264 codec with forced subtitles.

For the first category, I use handbrake to transcode the audio I need and then mux back in the original h.264 video track using subler. This way I get to keep the untouched original video track bit for bit. In your case though the bitrate of the video track in almost all cases would be too high for the ATV3 which only supports 100 Mbit/s ethernet. I use my own computer which has 1 Gbit/s ethernet together with Plex Media Centre so this is not a problem for me.

For the second category, I transcode using the ATV3 preset, changing only the CQ to 18 which for me I feel is the best I can get them to look.

I also keep a backup of all my blu-ray .mkv's so that I can re-transcode any necessary second category blu-rays when new codecs get released such as h.265 which could save future disk space over the h.264 that handbrake uses atm.
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Old Dec 31, 2012, 10:12 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Robsta2142 View Post
Re the audio, I have no idea whether there is any audible difference between HD audio and normal DTS 5.1/Dolby Digital 5.1 (not got a compatible setup). Like Rmafive, I am only including the HD audio for when I get a capable surround system in the future. Reading around though, a lot of people say there isn't much difference between the normal and HD audio. For me, space isn't a huge issue either so I might as well do it and have no regrets later.

Re the video, there are definite noticeable difference for me between a lossless blu-ray rip and a transcoded version e.g. a version transcoded with Handbrake using the ATV3 preset. Sometimes I watch films in front of the computer doing other stuff where the difference is very noticeable. Other times, I watch films sitting about 3.5-4m away from a 42" screen and can still see the difference.

For this reason when I rip my blu-rays I split them into two categories and have two workflows for both:

1. Blu-rays with a video track using the h.264 codec with no forced subtitles.
2. Blu-rays with a video track using the vc-1 codec/blu-rays with a video track using the h.264 codec with forced subtitles.

For the first category, I use handbrake to transcode the audio I need and then mux back in the original h.264 video track using subler. This way I get to keep the untouched original video track bit for bit. In your case though the bitrate of the video track in almost all cases would be too high for the ATV3 which only supports 100 Mbit/s ethernet. I use my own computer which has 1 Gbit/s ethernet together with Plex Media Centre so this is not a problem for me.

For the second category, I transcode using the ATV3 preset, changing only the CQ to 18 which for me I feel is the best I can get them to look.

I also keep a backup of all my blu-ray .mkv's so that I can re-transcode any necessary second category blu-rays when new codecs get released such as h.265 which could save future disk space over the h.264 that handbrake uses atm.

Ohhh I had not thought of keeping the MKV file for recoding down the road! Excellent idea! Thanks!
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Old Apr 22, 2014, 03:34 PM   #38
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That's the problem, the size of the audio streams is simply too large. TrueHD and DTS-MA are gigabytes of audio data. Just not feasible right now and probably not for the foreseeable future, either.
What Handbrake really needs IMO is a DTS encoder so you can convert DTS-MA and TrueHD to DTS-ES 6.1 discrete for MKV containers. Basically, a CrystalHD enabled AppleTV Gen1 running XBMC would be perfect for 1080p MKVs with DTS-ES 6.1 audio without being insanely huge files. Conversions of my DTS-ES 6.1 DVDs to MKVs work perfectly (i.e. my receiver shows DTS-ES 6.1 on it). My home theater is only 6.1 to begin with due to room constraints (2 side, one back surround). Thus a 1080p MKV down to say around 6GB with DTS-ES 6.1 would enable me to ditch watching movies on a Blu-Ray player altogether and just play them off a nice large HD (on or off the network). 5.1 sound works, of course (for M4V as well), but 6.1 is preferable to 5.1, IMO.

Are there any external DTS converter/encoders I could use demux and then remux DTS-MA into a DTS-ES soundtrack so Handbrake can then finish the conversion with DTS-ES pass-through?
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Old Apr 22, 2014, 04:06 PM   #39
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I hope you're wrong about "supporting". For example, Apple has long supported lossless audio without including it in files we can buy.

Why not support those standards even if there is no intention of including it in (potential) 1080p iTunes rentals? Why not match the capabilities of Blu Ray in the next gen box even if the software- at least initially- won't have that level of picture & sound?
Apple supports "lossless audio" at 16/44.1. Move HD audio is not at that level but better at often 24/48. The former is typical to CD quality. Apple by choice does not support 24/48 for ATV. Apple by choice does not support Blue Ray. There are a couple of reasons that come to mind - Apple is/was more likely to get a larger catalogue of music and movies that are to be sold at the lower quality level. Apple's i-devices, whether lack of codec or hardware, cannot play hi rez music or movie HD audio. Smaller files means shorter download times which adds to the 'mystique' of fast plug n' play notions for customer downloads. The faster download really reflects smaller files rather than full lossless files which can be much larger and certainly people would be angry if their data limits on i-devices got filled up too quickly per a month.

The short answer is Apple by choice has restraints on what files that can be natively played with Apple hardware (i-devices) and software (Apple OSX).

Apple is like Kodak in the 60's. Kodak made the Instamatic camera with flashcubes as a vehicle to sell their film. Apple's ATV and i-devices are easiest to use when making purchased from the iTunes store.

Last - some people love their ATV and the ease that comes with it. I am happy for them as it truly meets their needs and expectations. For others, it is a device that ties our hands behind our backs when wanting top notch quality music and movie playback. To each their own. I use my iPhone every day for music and from time to time audio books. Except for a few iTunes whim purchases, my music is all CDs converted to Apple Lossless. My home storage also includes Hi Rez music from other sources that are more often than not 96/24 which does sound much better on both good headphones and a decent home AV system. Again to each their own.
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Old Apr 23, 2014, 05:26 PM   #40
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Apple supports "lossless audio" at 16/44.1.
The problem is ATV Gen2/3 won't play it back at 44.1. They transcode to 48kHz for no good reason (i.e. Apple is too lazy to write a better iOS audio driver; the signal is intact until played, though as I can send 44.1KHz DTS Audio to my ATV Gen1 from my ATV Gen2 and the signal is still intact. It just won't play from the ATV Gen2. I'm complained to Apple, but they really don't care unless they get inundated with complaints by a LOT of people and you can't get people on here to join up and do anything to make Apple's products better. They're too lazy, IMO to fill out feedback forms.

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typical to CD quality. Apple by choice does not support 24/48 for ATV. Apple
My ATV Gen1 will do 24/96 DTS files if I play them from XBMC (verified by my receiver saying 24/96 on the front panel). Come to think of it, I can test if it will do 24/96 WAVs by using the output from my own album, which I can save from Logic. I think I'll try that. In any case, it's not the hardware, as you say, it's the software that creates these artificial limitations. Apple could support AVI and MKV and DTS and FLAC if they wanted to. They don't want to because they want to sell you music from the iTunes store. They don't want to encourage you to do use 3rd party products and music sources. That's really a load of crap and more people should complain about it. But fanboys don't complain about ANYTHING and let's face it, probably 75% of all Apple users are fanatical in nature to greater or lesser degrees. Just try to say something negative on here about Apple and watch the crap hit the fan.

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by choice does not support Blue Ray. There are a couple of reasons that
Thankfully, 3rd parties have created a pretty decent, if basic set of Blu-Ray players. I believe you can now get full 7.1 DTS Master sound in at least one of the players now (Aurora Blu-Ray software player) if you send it out HDMI (5.1 with optical/coax out). Basically, when I upgrade my desktop server here to a higher model, I'm thinking of moving my current Mini to my home theater to use instead of the tricked out ATV Gen1 unit. It can then play pretty much everything there is from one unit including Blu-Ray from an external USB3 drive.

My only complaint about XBMC as a player interface is that they don't support ID Tags for the databases. I have a lot of titles that don't exist in the databases or they aren't labeled to the scrapers' satisfaction, but they are ID tagged with all the correction information and artwork. No one on the XBMC team gives a crap about tagging MKVs or M4Vs. They don't use them, apparently. There's also no way to get DTS Audio CDs to work with ATV2 hardware even with XBMC on it because of the audio driver limitation of iOS devices. They do work correct on Generation 1 units and of course Macs.

Quote:
The short answer is Apple by choice has restraints on what files that can be natively played with Apple hardware (i-devices) and software (Apple OSX).
Apple can't stop people from making their own drivers for OSX. Like I said, the latest Aurora Blu-Ray player claims to fully support DTS-Master Audio 7.1 output along with all DTS/AC3 5.1 and DolbyTrueHD 2.1. I'd imagine the TrueHD support will improve over time.

As for 24/96, though, I've talked about this in other threads, but basically it's great on the recording end and a load of horse manure on the playback end for "better" sound. People confuse better mastering on things like SACD for the format itself when they aren't related, but I'm sure Sony would like you to think they are. Multi-channel support is another matter, though. I record in 24/96 (headroom), but I hear no benefit to playback in 24/96 since nothing I'm recording has dynamic range greater than 16-bit and even if it had >20KHz signals, my ears can't hear them. Dither and oversampling solves all the playback issues for 16/44.1. Too many people know too little about what truly affects sound and will throw their money away on BS. I fully support offering lossless sound online and even selling 24/96 isn't going to hurt anyone even if it's largely snake-oil, although I think most people can't tell high bit-rate AAC from lossless either and most of those who think they can fail to prove it with ABX (i.e. their claims are always better than their actual ears). Let's face it, most people lack the playback gear to hear the music they have at its best as-is. Money would be better spent on better speakers and room treatments in most cases than tiny 0.05dB differences in DACs and the like. But that doesn't stop them from raving about $5k DACs with those tiny differences because if they didn't believe that $5k purchase was well spent, they'd probably have a heart attack or something.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 11:38 AM   #41
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Stop converting. I extract Blu-Rays directly to MKV, with one video stream, one audio stream (DTS-HDMA) and one subtitle track. They are usually around 10-15GB, not much different that resampled HD MP4's. Put your time in fixing the playback of all MKV's, with apps like Beamer, and don't bother about iTunes compatibility.
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Old Apr 24, 2014, 04:19 PM   #42
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Stop converting. I extract Blu-Rays directly to MKV, with one video stream, one audio stream (DTS-HDMA) and one subtitle track. They are usually around 10-15GB, not much different that resampled HD MP4's. Put your time in fixing the playback of all MKV's, with apps like Beamer, and don't bother about iTunes compatibility.
My MakeMKV files are 22-35GB each, not 10-15. My compressed 720p M4V files for my current projector (720p only to be replaced soon with 1080p 3D capable) are typically 2-4GB depending on the movie grain, etc. I'd imagine 1080p would be 4-8 with higher bit-rates once ATV1 non-upgraded units are no longer a concern. I've already got a 3TB drive filled with media. To do straight MKV for my media collection, I'd at least 20TB of storage, which is a bit much at this stage (I'd need five 4TB drives in a RAID configuration to do it). With compression, a second 3TB drive should do it with room to spare.
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