Best app or settings for converting MKV to mp4

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by cymro, Dec 21, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    I do hope that someone can give me some advice. I have a lot videos that are large 1.5GB mkv files for an 45 minute 'show'. I see quite often video files on the internet in mp4 format these days that are around 250-280mb and are of decent enough quality for me.
    I have played around with iVI, Handbreak, Anyvideo convertor and cannot get consistent results - the files being around 500 - 700mb. Handbreak I am sure is probably the most accomplished - but what settings would anyone suggest for getting the compromise of quality vs size. iVI seems to have plenty of options. Could someone point me in the direction for some advice or even a website that might have handbreak presets to download!! I have tried a few of the presents of Hanbreak, but they do create largish files.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated
  2. macrumors 6502


    Jun 6, 2005
    Universe 0 Timeline
    I'd recommend you use HandBrake ( for converting the MKV files. I find the Apple TV 3 preset gives excellent results.

    I stopped converting MKVs to MP4 because the audio was slightly out of sync when using Nullriver's MediaLink and a PlayStation 3 to view the vids on a TV. Now I use M4V format, which is what HandBrake defaults to if you use the Apple TV 3 preset.
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
    Thanks for your reply. I have just tried this preset now. The problem is a similar one. I am trying to conserve space on my drives. The AppleTV 3 setting created a 1.78gb m4v file out of a 1.72gb mkv file - size went the wrong way! If m4v is the format of choice - great - I would just like to get the size to the realms of 300mb for 45min 'show' - with similar quality to the videos of some 'shows' I see on the internet. thanks again!
  4. macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    Shortly put:

    - Use Handbrake! It is the most accomplished and can do everything you want.
    - Pick the "Normal" preset from the right pullout thingy.
    - .mp4 is fine for a container. It doesn't matter for size or quality and is almost identical to .m4v
    - The best quality codec around is H.264, and you should definitely pick it.
    - For "Video Quality" pick "Average Bitrate" and "2-pass encoding"
    - calculate the average bitrate you want to input. This is very simple math:

    s = wanted filesize in MegaBytes (the audio is going to add to this, but only slightly)
    t = video length in seconds

    bitrate (in kbit/s) = 8192 * s / t

    So for a 45 minute (=2700 seconds) video to be 300 MB, this will be
    bitrate = 8192 * 300 / 2700 = 910 kbit/s

    You just plug that number into the "average bitrate" field and you are good to go. It should look something like this:
    Bildschirmfoto 2012-12-22 um 10.41.34.png

    There are fancier ways to do this, but this should be a good starting point. Good luck!
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 23, 2008
  6. macrumors member

    Apr 12, 2010
  7. macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    1, Handbrake should be preferred whenever you do need a complete video recompression.

    2, if you don't need video recompression, go for Subler.

    3, while a lot of people recommend iVI, I don't. Subler is much cleaner and faster (more info in my latest benchmarks at ). It's only at not having a decent batch mode that it's worse than iVI.
  8. macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2008
    i think you already have your answer but for what it's worth, i tried using MacX DVD Video Converter and by just using the preset options, my files ended up being larger! a similar problem to what you described so i read the various replies with interest; will download and try handbrake later. thanks for posting your question.
  9. macrumors regular


    Feb 17, 2011

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