New Apple TV user, opinions wanted please

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by marknicholls, Apr 19, 2010.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2004
    Bristol, England
    Hey all

    Ive had my apple TV for 24 hours, and i have been doing some reading

    It appears i should convert all of my current video from mkv to .mov and to do this Video drive seems very good, i also appears this app will assist in providing album art and meta data to my files which it will embed into to .mov container (am i correct with that assumption?)

    Now im not sure whether hacking the ATV is worth it or not. It would save me a lot of time as i wouldn't have to convert my files but it appears i would have two library's, one with my new downloaded TV from iTunes and i would have to open Boxee to see all my old MKVs , if thats the case then i would rather put the time into converting everything so its all in one section on ATV

    Or if i hack the apple TV and convert all my files using "Hacked TV" in video drive does that mean it happens a lot quicker, and the converted files will be viewable in iTunes and ATV standard menu's without the need for Boxee etc

    Thanks for any opinions/advice in advance

  2. macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Can't answer all your questions, but I'm the kind of guy who likes consistancy, which is why the Apple TV really suits me. I convert all my files to an Apple TV compatible format using HandBrake, and I really recommend the same for you. Just load the file into handbrake, select the Apple TV preset and then press go. You can also set up a que, so that it will do a whole set of files at once, and then leave it running over night like I do for DVD's (I convert them to ISO and then have them do a batch run through handbrake at night to save time).

    If you are willing to convert all your stuff to a compatible format, leave the Apple TV as it is, unless of course you want to put in a larger drive.

    I know this didn't really answer many questions, but it's my opinion.
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2004
    Bristol, England
    Thanks for the advice

    Im more than happy to spend the time if needs be into fully converting, but from what i saw on youtube i was under the impression converting in Apple Tv hack mode places the MKV's into a ATV container and will only take a few minutes to convert, if hacking the ATV simple adds the codecs so the videos will work within the ATV interface then excellent, but if i need to go to boxee im not interested

    How long does a 45 minute 720p video take to convert to (i assume) .mov with handbrake?

    And do you then use a separate app to meta data the file?

    Space is not an issue as ill be streaming from a server

    Many Thanks
  4. macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2007
    thanks for posting this, also looking to convert my library.
  5. macrumors 68000

    Jan 10, 2008
    You want to convert to H.264.

    Handbrake will do this, but it might only work with DVD/VoB files.

    I converted my stuff to Handbrake's universal format so it will play on the ATV or on an iPod.

    My files have a .m4v extension.

    How long it takes depends on your machine. You won't know until you try. It might take some fiddling around until your satisfied with an encoding program and settings etc. I also have VisualHub which is no longer being made. It will pretty much encode from any format to any other. I think Popcorn will encode stuff from a few different formats. There's a few other solutions out there as well.
  6. macrumors member

    Apr 6, 2010
    I prefer Pavtube's Blu Ray Ripper over handbrake, mainly because i am ripping blu ray content and it is pretty much an all in one tool, does everything except edit the metadata.

    without Blu ray ripper to rip blu rays you need atleast

    Anydvd HD or equivelant software.
    subler or metax or equivelant software

    plust takes almost twice as long to rip/encode.
  7. macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2010
    From what I've heard, HandBrake will take just about anything you can chuck at it as input. So give it a try and see. If you only have an Apple TV and not an iphone or anything like that, use the Apple TV preset.

    I don't spend much time on metadata. I find that a lot of the programs that edit movies to look like an iTunes purchase often risks messing up the file and also takes quite a while, so I only edit the metadata that iTunes gives me access to. For movies I use name, year, genre and description. I use year because I sometimes have remakes of old films, and so it makes it easier to browse, and I copy a short movie description from and put it into the description field so that friends can more easily browse my movies when they visit.

    Even though I don't do much metataging, I do want my movies looking nice, so I also go onto the website Here you can download the original iTunes poster for several movies which makes them look great on the Apple TV. If you can't find the one you want, you can put out a request for it and someone might upload it. They also have tv show covers.

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