h.264 or mpeg4?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by KilGil27, Mar 26, 2007.

  1. macrumors regular

    KilGil27

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #1
    If I want to convert some of my movies to a format that can be imported into iTunes, would you guys suggest h.264 or mpeg4? I want to keep the same resolution, and not lose quality
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    The best quality per megabit is definately H.264. They are both MPEG-4 actually. H.264 is also known as MPEG-4 AVC.

    Joshua.
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    KilGil27

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #3
    ah, ok. Thanks
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #4
    What type of savings are people seeing with H.264 (% wise)? I personally have stuck with MPEG-4 due to the speed or ripping - I know My files are larger but I have the space to spare.
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    #5
    I personally have been using Nero recode, preserving the 5.1 surround by using AAC 5.1, and encoding using h.264 @ 1800 bit rate. The resulting file is approximately 2.7 GB for a 2 1/2 hour movie, which includes the 5.1 AAC, h.264 video, and subtitle track (track 3). The image quality is absolutely damn near DVD quality.

    I am using a PC for the program, a 1.6 Core 2 Duo w/1 GB of ram. With 2 pass encoding, it takes about 3 hours a movie. I let this run over night, as I can queue files.

    Some important notes. Firstly, the Apple TV CANNOT output 5.1 surround. My receiver picks it up as stereo from both analog out and optical out. I can force Dolby Prologic, but this isn't true 5.1 surround. I have left the 5.1 soundtrack in hopes of a future patch that will pass this information through. Secondly, the subtitle track is not usable from itunes or AppleTV, but again I hope for a future patch.

    Lastly, iTunes 7.1 CANNOT add tags or album art to MP4 files with 5.1 AAC. Hopefully this will be patched in a future release.

    I have used the above settings in hope of future proofing my encodes. I hope this helps you.
     
  6. macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #6
    what the difference between using the .mp4 vs .m4v file, i read that supposedly the .m4v extension is more iTunes friendly.
     
  7. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2003
    #7
    For me, renaming MP4 to M4V has not resulted in gaining tagging ability for MP4s with 5.1 AAC sound. As for other potential uses, I did not notice any other differences.
     
  8. macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #8
    I did a test in Mediafork/Handbrake of LOTR's Fellowship extended disc 1 in Mediafork using
    MP4
    H.264 Main Profile
    Framerate Same as source
    2 Pass Encoding
    Picure Settings 720x
    Audio Language 1: English (AC3) (5 ch) - Mediafork doesn't offer AAC 5.1 yet
    Sample rate 48
    Bit Rate 160

    and ran 3 rips in my queue at 1500, 2000, and 2500 avg. bitrates.

    I can see blockyness in dark sceens on my Mac when watching all three, though to a lesser degree as the bit rate goes up. The 1500 is 1.3GB or so, the 2000 is 1.55GB or so, and the 2500 is around 1.8GB or so. I'd have to check those numbers but I think that is right. The track is 1 hr 45 min 30 sec.

    I can't tell any difference between the 1500, 2000, or 2500 bitrates on my 42" Samsung DLP using my Apple TV. I have the Apple TV resolution set to 720p rather than 1080i because my TV says it is a progessive monitor and I have heard that for some things 720p actually looks better than 1080i.

    I should also note that at this time I have no video iPod and am not trying to encode to fit both Apple TV and video iPod specs. I am assuming that any true video iPod as well as the iPhone will most likely accept 720 rather than the current 640 limit.

    ps. I guess I should check my files size when I get home because I recall that a previous rip of the same DVD in MPEG-4 was 1.57GB at 2000, all other settings the same, and that doesn't make sense that the H.264 file wasn't really smaller. Not sure on my #'s though.
     
  9. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2007
    #9
    H.264 for sure! If you want compatibility with an iPod 5.x Gen, stick with those limits. If just for PC and\or Apple TV, is sounds like the jury is still out regarding where the 'sweet spot' is, the balance between bitrate and file size. The specs the Apple TV can handle are so much better than the iPod 5.x Gen, that it may take some time for the best formula to be determined...

    But again, whether you use Handbrake, NERO Recode, or other, H.264 aka AVC is always the best choice... Yeah, it is slower, but there is a savings in file size.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    Yep, he's right!

    Pretty much what he said up there.
     
  11. macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #11
    So I checked my files. I have the first disc of LOTR Fellowship of the Ring of the extended edition 1hr 45min 30sec ripped using these settings:

    Sample Rate 48
    Audio Bit Rate 160
    Resolution 720x304
    Framerate Same as Source
    2 Pass Encoding
    Avg Bitrate 2000

    I ripped it in December as an MPEG-4 Video / AAC using ffmpeg
    and again two days ago as an AVC / H.264 / AAC using x.264 Main Profile

    Now I ripped the MPEG-4 using Handbrake and the H.264 using Mediafork. Just so you have all the info. All the settings were the same except the Codecs.

    The MPEG-4 file is 1.57GB
    The H.264 files is 1.60GB

    what do you make of that.
     
  12. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    Hobart, Australia
    #12
    The files sizes you are seeing are about the same because the bitrate is the same. The difference is that h.264 has better picture quality at lower bitrates. It is the bitrate that determines filesize. As for the mpeg-4 being smaller I can only assume that the encoder tended to use lower bitrates than the h.264 where it could.

    At least that is how I understand it.
     

Share This Page