How good will HD .mkv movies look on AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Blazer5913, Jan 17, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #1
    Just wondering what the max video specs are for the appletv high def movies. I have tons of 1080p and 720p HD movies in .mkv format and am thinking about converting them all to AppleTV format (mp4) using Visual Hub. Obviously I would set the setting to AppleTV and Go Nuts, and probably even 2 pass. Yet, I was just wondering what the max bitrate and size (gb) these videos can be. Anybody in my situation? How do you think the videos look on an HD screen using AppleTV when compared to the actual .mkv files. I just love the organization with all the album art possible with AppleTV, but really don't want to lose a whole lot of quality. Mainly, will my gorgeous 1080p encodes still look very good (High high def) with the appletv settings on an hdtv? Thanks
     
  2. macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #2
    No. I'm assuming these MKVs are already re-encodes from Blu-ray/HD DVD rips, unless they're all in the 12 - 20GB range as far as size goes. Even if they're direct re-muxes, then they're high-profile and will demand a re-encode anyway, down to 1280 x 720 @ 5mbit/s. You will notice a decrease in quality.

    If you don't believe me, do a little 5 minute clip now and watch it on your computer. It will look like that, blown up, on a TV. ;)
     
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #3
    Yeah, these are definately re-encodes of BluRay/HDDVD, mostly ranging around 4.33gb for 720p and about 9gb for 1080p's. They all look fantastic. Is the max bitrate 5mbps? And is there a max file size? I thought it was around 4gb? Anyways, I will be using Visual Hub (already bought) if I do this. But any more suggestions or comments would be great. How will this stuff look, I want as good of quality as I can get from these HD movies, but I love the organization of AppleTV! Anyone else in the same position as me? Thanks for the speedy reply
     
  4. macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #4
    Sorry for the off topic, but how much storage do you have? I have 2TB and running out of space with backups and all. I am only using HB with ATV setting.
     
  5. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #5
    No problem, love to talk about this stuff. Currently, I have two externals. I have a 300gb Seagate used only for Time Machine. And I have a 1TB WD FW800 drive used basically only for my downloaded HD movies and some digital video I do. Currently, I have about 700gb or so worth of 720p (~4gb) and 1080 (~9gb) movies. Absolutely love having all of it on a HDD, and it would be great to have it all accessible on the AppleTV with art and all. What about you, do you just have 2TB of DVDs SD? Also, anybody else on the quality of converted .mkv's using the absolute MAX settings the AppleTV can handle? Thanks
     
  6. macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #6
    My HD films look ok but not great using go nuts etc. They also seem to stutter. I would of thought my pmg5 dual 1.8 with 2gb ram would of been ok for encoding hd maybe not?
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #7
    ****, thats not what I wanted to hear haha. Did you do 2 pass? What are people doing for their high def .mkv movies? There has gotta be a solution! And anybody know of the exact specifications of the appletv video media? Max bitrate or file size?
     
  8. macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    #8
    No 2pass because that would take 2 days to encode instead of 1. I have since found a way to passthrough the video and just reencode the audio so they can play on Atv. Now it only takes about an hour but it is only rare mkvs that allow it. Why people use mkv to start with is beyond me. Its like 'let's use the most obscure format for the most popular stuff'
    'won't that piss people off Trevor?'
    'thats the whole point Bob'.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #9
    I have SD DVD's converted from my library and tons of 9MP pictures of the kids/family and a lot of 720P HD Personal Movies from my new Camera. Content is a total of about 800GB and doubled becuase I keep a back-up of everything using Backup software from apple that runs every night. Don't use TM as I plan to move all drives to NAS after they fix AEBS USB NAS support and TM does not play well with content like iPhoto and iTunes when not on the MAC running TM.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    #10
    ya, maybe...
     
  11. macrumors demi-god

    CWallace

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #11
    MKV is actually just a container for an audio and video codec, not the actual codecs themselves.
     
  12. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #12
    It may not be possible...

    I'd think the best option would be to hack the AppleTV and play files in their native format rather than re-encode them. You can fix the AppleTV to support these new formats by simply plugging in a USB thumbdrive and rebooting it. See awkwardtv for details.

    Unfortunately, once you've added additional codec and file format support you may still have issues. I think I read somewhere AppleTV can support up to 720p, but it doesn't say at what bitrate.

    This page may be very helpful:
    http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/List_of_file_formats_working_on_Apple_TV

    This note on that page is scarry:
    In the end, it seems AppleTV may not be not powerful enough to play the high-quality backups you've made. I recommend you look-up this product "WD HDTV PMP - 1080p Portable Media Player" which for $99 is reported to play your 1080p MKV files.
    http://www.dealighted.com/main/page/comment/WD_HDTV_PMP_1080p_Portable_Media_Player_99_10089
     
  13. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    #13
    I dunno the spec of the ATV ut I do know it has hardware x264 decoding hence it must play back those kind better than anything else, I have got loads of HD Blue Ray movies I converted from 12+GB using Visual Hub set to "go Nuts and ATV 5.1+2 and if I use Handbrake I run at 2xpass , bitrate 2800. All look fantastic on my 50" plasma.
    I have 2x 1TB drives inside my G5 I stream from but have ethernet plugged into both, I wonder if it can hadle that much data using wireless, also if running from external drives if it can pass the data quick enough, that might be why some have stutter problems.
     
  14. macrumors 68020

    pilotError

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2006
    Location:
    Long Island
    #14
    I've been using MKVTools to convert the mkv to an mp4. I noticed that VisualHub had issues with the conversion, constant skipping, really strange stuff.

    The MKVTools have been pretty great for the conversion. The only issue is that it is SLOOOOOOW. It takes a good 4 hours to do a 720p mkv conversion on a 2.0 core duo Mac Mini.

    http://www.emmgunn.com/mokgvm2dvd/mokgvmdownload.html
     
  15. macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #15
    Is it like MKVMerge? only adds the .MP4 extension etc etc?

    I might try it thanks

    Edit: Wow very good, but Subs don't stay, hopefully I'll work it out.
     
  16. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #16
    Can you provide a reference that substantiates this assertion?

    So, you're downsizing the file to standard def from 1080p? Why not just go to 720p at 6 mbps? Apparently none of your Blu-ray movies are encoded in VC-1 with DTS, DTS-HD or True-HD, none of which VH can handle.
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    JonHimself

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2004
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario
    #17
    I came up with some weird multiplier for mkv downloads. All of my content is either my ripped DVDs (which look fine) or mkvs from HD rips (TV shows and movies). When I get home I can paste it, but what I do is basically multiply the minutes of the video by this factor (it's 19.xxxxx something) and then in VH I use AppleTV, Go Nuts and limit the file size. I usually end up around 3gb for a movie. I mostly limit the file size so that I can ensure I can tag it using MetaX.

    To me (on a 32" LCD) there is definitely an improvement over my DVD rips (at 2500kbps) and not just a little improvement, enough that it's very noticeable (obviously) to the point that my DVD rips look 'bad'. I think that because I've yet to really sit down and watch a bluray or HDdvd the re-encoded rips look fantastic to me. I'm on a wireless G network and they stream fine, maybe 3-5 seconds to buffer at the start.
     
  18. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #18
    Agree with the above, all the MKV files converted to M4V to me look really spot on, I use the latest snap shot of handbrake which lets you load MKV's and it maxes out my quad core nicely - 65FPS on turbo first pass, and about 35FPS on the encode, no where near as fast as video_ts folders, but still doesn't take a huge amount of time.
     
  19. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #19
    HB will always be slower when you feed it higher def content. sd dvd is 480p whereas you are feeding it 720p and 1080p. More input to process == slower encoding time.
     
  20. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #20
  21. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #21
    Dude, you rock my world! :D Now if I can only get my hands on yasm 6 binary maybe I can start compiling HB again.

    So after that, all that's needed is True-HD, DTS-HD and DTS to AC3, right? Oh, and don't forget fake chapter markers. It's a bummer not being able to jump ahead a few minutes at a time...
     
  22. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #22
  23. macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #23
    I take that back, only Stereo output (All I have gotten), no sub support & changes the Width & Height of the films:(
     
  24. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    #24
    The TV Shows and Movies that I ahve converted are rally good, Visualhub with 5.1 on go nuts setting is awesome quality
     
  25. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2008
    #25
    Good point, sometimes you get so in to these things, the small basic info gets lost.

    Cheers, Thomas
     

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