Converting Video for Apple TV (HD)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by lokipower, Oct 31, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    Joined:
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    #1
    I know this has been addressed a trillion times, but it is confusing as heck. I can not seem to find a clear consensus on what to use to convert my movie collection to a standard format my :apple:TV can use. I think I get it with converting my DVD's... MTR and HB, (or just HB). But I have hundreds of movies and videos in various formats that I would like to convert to :apple:TV format. I realize many options will encode using standard def, but was hoping to convert them using the max resolution :apple:TV provides, (720p). Can someone just tell me what program or hardware device makes converting lots of videos in varying formats to :apple:TV? Paid or Free, at this point I will pay to just make it happen.

    Thank you for those that reply...
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    illegallydead

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    #2
    I'm pretty sure that the solution you have now (MTR + HB) is about as good as it gets. Converting to 720p will do you no good if that is for DVD's, as they are 480p, period. if you somehow have digital Hd files or BD's, I think that handbrake will allow you to convert in HD, so long as you give it a format it can use.

    If you want a simple, easy to use approach, with no fighting it, you basically are left with Kaleidescape. Expensive as hell, but it certainly will solve your problems :D

    The world of digital movies is a pain in the @$$ and a half, due to the MPAA/RIAA's stance on "copyright infringement". So, you either fight your way through it all until the studios can get a decent method of digital distribution underway, or you can stick with DVD's or BD's, as they just work, no questions asked.
     
  3. Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #3
    Just to nitpick, 576p (and i) DVDs exist too. I expect that 480i exists as well.
     
  4. macrumors regular

    serpico

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    #4
    I use iSquint right now. It's great for batch jobs. I got a bunch of tv shows converting right now and being added to itunes automatically. Try to find a copy if you can.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Thanks for the reply. I have no issues with the DVD conversion. My deal is with the videos I already have on my home server. I am coming from a PC world, where I would simply load a codec pack, "CCCP" and all videos will play, no matter what they were. Now that I am migrating to Apple products, (iMac, Apple TV, TC, etc), I want to convert all of my videos so that I can stream them to the Apple TV. I want to do so in the highest resolution possible, as many of my videos are HD in nature. The option you gave is great, but I'd rather hang on ot my arm and my leg... :)

    I have used a few out there via batch, (que up about 10 to 15 videos) and go to bed..Wake up and they are converted, but none are maxed out with resolution.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors member

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    #6
    I looked at that... Is that not for encoding video for an iPod or iPhone? Resolution may be a bit low for a 52 inch screen...
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #7
    The answer is going to depend, in part, on what format they are in currently.

    Will they open in Quicktime? If not, try installing Perian (freeware) and see if they will open.

    Since you're asking the question, I'm assuming you've already tried to play them on your Apple TV and they won't play?
     
  8. thread starter macrumors member

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    #8

    Hello there, true, they will not play. I will try Perian and see what will happen. But I wold say most of them are XvID, AC3 XVID, MKV, AVI, DIVX, a few WMV here and there, maybe even a stray MP4.

    I have tried to play them... No dice....

    If they play using Perian, what then? I ask that, but I will look it up and see in a few moments when I send this message.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors member

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    #9
    Wow, I did not know about this Perian, seems great. At least for playing on the iMac. Does this pass through to Apple TV? Can you think of a benefit of keeping the files in a single format, (ergo H.264 for Apple)?
     
  10. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #10
    Even if you get perian on the ATV, iTunes will not sync or stream content to the ATV that does not fit the expected profile. If you're going to go to that much trouble, you might as well install XBMC onto your ATV.
     
  11. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #11
    If they will play in Quicktime, then convert to a Quicktime format using Quicktime Pro and an MPEG-4 codec that supports HD like H.264.

    Here's another option you may want to check out: from Engaget on enabling Apple TV to play more content.

    http://www.engadget.com/2007/04/10/how-to-play-divx-and-xvid-on-your-apple-tv/

    EDIT: How to install Perian on your Apple TV
    http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Install_Perian

    If you can avoid re-encoding, by all means, go without it. There's no benefit to having your videos all in the same format, plus you're going to lose quality each time you re-encode.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors member

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    #12
    So what I am hearing from the last two posts is that modding the :apple:TV to play what I have is better than re-encoding my videos to the format? If I install Perin on the iMac and the videos play in QT, then they can be converted using QT Pro? Is that what I am hearing?

    Again, which is better, changing the :apple:TV to play any video or re-encode videos to the standard?
     
  13. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #13
    I would do everything possible to get the Apple TV to play the videos in their current formats.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors member

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    #14
    I should have read more closely to what you said Heb1228... I understand what you are saying. I will look at the links you gave and see how that works. I will post with results as soon as I get it going...

    I am curious though, will I still be able to stream the videos or will I have to copy what I want to play to the :apple:TV? 160GB :apple:TV vs 1TB of Videos, might get tedious....:

    Okay, Edit here... I just looked at what is required to get this going... I think this is a bit more than I am prepared to do, while it may be easy, I think I would rather go back to just getting my videos in a format Apple TV can read period... I am new to Mac, (like 2 weeks), I am trying to make the switch from PC, but wow what a start that would be...
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #15
    That'll depend on the bitrates and the speed of your wireless network. If you're getting a high enough throughput, then you shouldn't have to copy them. In other words, try and see.
     
  16. macrumors regular

    serpico

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    #16
    Yes, but select optimze for tv and it looks pretty good on my 46". I select h.264 too. It all depends on your source of course. Large quicktime podcasts look very nice too on my tv using the hdmi cable from the AppleTV.

    I just picked mine up too, so I'm learning as well. Today was my first day converting and it looked nicer than the source.
     
  17. thread starter macrumors member

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    #17
     
  18. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #18
    For your Mac, Plex is the best app available. Quicktime simply isn't all that good. It has limited codec support and has difficulty in playing high bit rate HD content.

    Plex, while a little complex to learn, is substantially better than Quicktime.

    But if you want to play videos on the Apple TV, the path of least resistance is transcoding your files into a compatible format. Easiest thing is to dl the current Handbrake snapshot and try it with your non-compliant video first. If it is standard def, then use the built in Apple TV preset. If it's high def, click on the Apple TV preset, then change the picture size to no more than 1280x720 and the bit rate to 6000.

    If your HD content has Dolby Digital AC-3, then you'll preserve that. If it has DTS, DTS-HD or True-HD, you're out of luck. No tools exist on the Mac side to transcode those to AC-3.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    2 Options seem good to me, need help deciding....

    I started using Roxio Toast to convert one of my videos (an episode of 24). I played around with the settings but we will see. I have two questions, as I configure what will ultimately be my iMac..

    1. What are the best settings for :apple:TV for standard definition videos (say normal DVD rips) and the best settings for :apple:TV for high definition videos, (like blu-ray rips or other HD video). I guess what I am asking is what are the max settings the unit can take and what are the normal units to make it look respectable on a large TV.
    2. If I install Perin on QT, (which I have) and it plays my videos, (which it does), will Quick Time Pro convert the videos that it would not normally play? Another way of asking is will QTP convert videos that play, only as a result of Perin?
    Thanks for the advice everyone.. I do not want to spend money on every program out there before I find what works....
     
  20. macrumors G3

    rhett7660

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    #20
    lokipower

    It is right above your post.
     
  21. thread starter macrumors member

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    Atlanta
    #21
    Yes it was, thanks for the reminder...:cool:

    I saw Handbrake and thought someone was thinking I wanted to convert DVD's, which is what Handbrake was for. I assume this version of Handbrake allows for videos as well...I will try it out...

    And for that , my thanks to Caveman...
     
  22. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2007
    #22
    .MKV with 5.1 DTS to .MP4 with 5.1 Dolby Digital

    Here's the easiest, 2 step process for converting an MKV file with DTS 5.1 to an iTunes friendly MP4 file with 5.1 Dolby Digital.

    Here's what you need:

    Windows - Converting audio from DTS to AC3 5.1
    Windows/OSX - Coverting MKV file to MP4

    Popcorn MKV Audio converter (windows only) :

    http://www.digital-digest.com/software/PopCorn_MKV_AudioConverter.html

    Handbrake Snapshot Build (windows/osx):

    http://handbrake.fr/?article=snapshot


    Step 1: Run the audio conversion using Popcorn Audio Converter. You do not need to preserve the DTS track. You do not need Vorbis. Convert to AC3 5.1.

    Step 2: Use handbrake to transcode the the output file from the audio converter. On the audio/subtitles tab, use the passthrough method for the audio track.

    Step 3: There is no step 3. Sit, wait, grab a beer, grab a second beer, and so on. Once Handbrake is done with it's magic, feel free to MetaX the file, or simply add it into iTunes.


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  23. macrumors G3

    rhett7660

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    #23
    To add another question to this thread... is there a sheet or link to a site somewhere that tells you the max average bitrate one can have for a movie based on how long the movie is?

    IE
    The movie is between 1hr30min to 1hr59min use the following setting for the max resolution
    The movie is between 2hr00min to 2hr30min use the following setting for the max resolution

    I have been ripping using the AppleTV setting and then increaseing the ABR to 3200 to 3500 and the files are coming in under 5gig a pop. Usually around 2+ gigs in the m4v format.

    Anything like this around?
     
  24. macrumors 68020

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    #24
    huh? what does abr have to do with how long the movie is ?
     
  25. macrumors G3

    rhett7660

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    #25
    Hmmm... isn't there a limit on the size of the file? IE 5 gigs is the magic number? Am I missing something? I only want them ripped for apple tv. No ipod/iphone etc. Just apple tv.
     

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