Apple TV Mystery Issue: Won't play certain content

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Rmafive, Aug 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    #1
    Hi guys,

    I have been trying to solve a strange Apple TV error for months and I have gotten nowhere, so I am turning to you all for help! I have scoured the web trying to find a solution and I have not turned up anything. I rip my blu-ray movies using MakeMKV and Handbrake (with settings optimized for HD Apple devices). These work fine in iTunes, always, however recently I have noticed a few movies will not play on my Apple TV. I get the "An error occurred loading the content. Try again later." error message. I read that this may be a network issue or an Apple TV issue, but I can confirm that it is neither of those. I have attached the media information for four movies that will all play in iTunes, however two of them (Men in Black III, and Dredd) will not play on the Apple TV and give me the error message. I hope I am not the only person frustrated by this issue, as I cannot figure out why these movies will play fine in iTunes, but won't play on the Apple TV!

    Thanks for any insight you can provide!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Che Castro, Aug 13, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    #2
    I have seen that message on a few episodes like from sons of anarchy that I got in mkv

    They would not play using the air video app either , I just think those files are corrupt
    I deleted them and downloaded another

    In your case where your doing other things in the computer while encoding ? Redo the movie again and see if you still get that message

    Edit: thinking back on it there was an episode of lost that had that problem , I remember running the mp4 thru handbrake to convert again but that didn't fix it , I did a google search and found a few threads on this but none of the troubleshooting worked
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    #3
    Thanks for the response! The files definitely are not corrupt, because they play perfectly fine in iTunes. I have also tried some of the troubleshooting steps, but nothing worked for me as well. I have also tried re-encoding the files, but that didn't work either.
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2011
    Location:
    Estonia
    #4
    My personal observation is, that the iTunes on computer is able to handle higher AVC profiles, than that on iOS. So I've had movies that play back in iTunes but don't on aTV.
     
  5. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    #5
    i have exactly the same issue, not found a solution yet. :(
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    #6
    But are the AVC profiles different between the movies that work and don't work in my original post? I have no idea how to adjust my handbrake settings to make sure this isn't a continuing problem!
     
  7. Cinephi1e, Aug 14, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013

    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest Ohio
    #7
    Are you using Apple TV 2 or 3? If you are using Apple TV 3, I have no idea why you are having this problem as your movie specs match (i.e. High@L4.0 profile). On the other hand, if you are using Apple TV 2 then you need to convert your movies down to the High@L3.1 profile.

    The only other suggestion I can make is that in your movies the first audio track is AC-3 while the second is AAC. On all my movies its the other way round. Since Apple TV will only play the AAC tracks, I wonder if the first audio track has to be the AAC one.

    Correction: I went through all your movies and now I see the problem. The first two are High@L4.0 and should play fine on an Apple TV 3. However, the last two are either High@L5.0 or High@L5.1. None of the current iOS devices can play movies with those profiles. You need to use the Apple TV 3 presets when converting with Handbrake.
     
  8. HobeSoundDarryl, Aug 14, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2013

    macrumors 601

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #8
    Are you tweaking Handbrake settings or using the :apple:TV setting as is? I notice at least 2 of them show a profile above 4.0 which is listed as the max in the specs: http://www.apple.com/appletv/specs.html I was initially suspect at bitrate but that looks OK. To me, these look like container re-wraps (through iFlicks) instead of re-renders (through Handbrake).

    If you are tweaking HB settings, run them through again without any tweaks- just choose the stock Apple TV profile and don't make any changes. Or if you want to do this test without burning a lot of time, just do one chapter (or 60 seconds) and see if they will play. I suspect they will.

    And, as referenced earlier, it does matter if it's :apple:TV gen 2 or gen 3 too.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Location:
    Richmond, Virginia
    #9
    Well, I never thought that was the issue. I have spent years tweaking my handbrake settings for preserving the most blu-ray quality. I use the exact same settings for all of my movies. Why would one encode differently than the others? I wonder if it has something to do with the movies themselves. It sounds like I may be able to play these files in a future Apple TV (I currently use 3rd generation units). Thanks for your help though!

    The current Handbrake settings I use for blu ray rips:
    H.264, rf 18, x264 preset: slow, x264 tune: auto, H.264 level: auto

    If I change the H.264 level to 4, will that solve my problem? If so, will this reduce the quality of the rip in any way? Thanks again!
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2012
    Location:
    Northwest Ohio
    #10
    You can never be sure unless you try it, but here is what I do know: Apple specifies the Apple TV 3 as being High@L4.0 compatible, but it can play files encoded as High@4.1 though it might stutter. However, it will NOT play anything encoded High@L5.0 or higher. This is why your first two files will play but not the last two.

    You said that you have used the same settings in Handbrake, but you have left the profile unspecified. If you did not specify it I believe it will default to the highest setting. This means with each new version of Handbrake the default profile will migrate higher. This is likely what happened to your encodes.

    I am guessing this is what happene,d but I am not sure and maybe someone can confirm this. I always use the ATV3 presets in Handbrake so I have not encountered this issue.

    So yes, you should change the profile to High@L4.0 and I believe it will solve your problem. I don't think I am qualified to answer the question if it will reduce the quality of the rips, so I will let someone else take a shot at that.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2012
    #11
    Instead of changing your Handbrake presets, try this instead. Get Subler, and open your MP4 Files with the high profiles. In the Subler window, select the video track, and in the options below, click on the "Current Profile" and pick "High 4.1" for 1080p content and "High 3.1" for 720p content, and save the file. This'll spoof the profile to be able to play on some legacy devices.

    Now, to make sure it works, you'll need to delete the movie from your iTunes library and re add it, that way the iTunes library knows it's Profile 4.1 instead of the higher 5.1 profile it was before. You should then be set, if for some reason the movies still do not play, then the videos have been encoded with some advanced settings that the Apple TV can't handle, despite spoofing the profile. If so, your only choice is to now re-encode the movies again.
     

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