1080p Movie files

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by randy98mtu, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. randy98mtu macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #1
    I'm getting tired of waiting for a new ATV and started looking more seriously at Plex. After 10 minutes fiddling with it on my iMac last night, I'm ready to order a Mini. My only concern is file size. How are folks handling the 1080p video files? Do you use MKV's? How do you process them? Just straight from the bluray, through MakeMKV gives me files from 20-35 gig. Is there a way to put those on a diet without losing too much? I'm looking for 15-20 gig files I'm thinking.

    Just looking for an idea from other people who are using Mini's with Plex for 1080p movies. I did some searching but didn't find any good discussions on file size and handling.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I rip BluRay movies on a Windows machine. The output are 1080p .mkv files with 10 to 15GB, depending on the length of the movie and chosen audio tracks.

    Because of the fact that .mkv is a horrible format that doesn't open with QuickTime X (without additional addons), these files are re-encoded with HandBrake to mp4. files that I rename to .m4v afterwards.

    Now these files can be played with QuickTime even on my slowest Macs, because QuickTime X gets full hardware acceleration.

    Plex works just fine with such large files and uses almost no CPU power.
    However, Plex doesn't seem as stable to me as it should be. At least on my machine it crashes once of twice per movie. :mad:

    Boxee might be an alternative, but I haven't tried it, yet.
     
  3. Shoesy macrumors 6502a

    Shoesy

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    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK.
    #3
    I think it's a little blind to call mkv a horrible format just because quicktime X doesn't open it up. It's very versatile and can contain all your extras and subs, artwork etc all in one file - should be fine in any XBMC variant, including plex or boxee. :cool:
     
  4. rayward macrumors 68000

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    Mar 13, 2007
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #4
    I rip BDs using MakeMKV (runs in OS X), which yields a file that can be anywhere from 15 to 30 gigs. Make MKV retains the chapters for later meta-tagging. Then, I encode / downgrade to 720p using Handbrake. That gives me a Apple TV-friendly, tag-able file of circa 4 gigs, which looks and sounds fab on my home theatre without the need for more hard drive capacity than NASA.

    I delete the original BD rip, but the disk is always available for when storing 1080p files in bulk on an HDD becomes viable.
     
  5. davegregory macrumors regular

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    Location:
    Burlington, Ontario
    #5
    I use MakeMKV to rip my BR's and then use TSMuxer to convert them to M2TS files. I'd rather the M2TS so I can watch them on my PS3 and Mac Mini. I find it works fine. I keep all my movies on an HP MediaSmart Server. It does lead to rather large file sizes, but I'd rather keep them large for backup purposes.
     
  6. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 11, 2008
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    #6
    Is MKV a horrible format because QTX doesn't play it or is QTX a horrible media player because it won't play MKV? Does using the adjective "horrible" invalidate both questions?

    I've never found myself experiencing horror as a result of contact with either of these things nor do I think either is extremely bad or unpleasant.

    In all seriousness, in my little world, MKV plays well on every device in my house that needs to play it, with no need to recode to a lower resolution or a different file format.

    As for Plex, I've never had it crash on me once either on my MBP or my Mini. Not sure why you can't get through a movie without it crashing.

    John
     
  7. randy98mtu thread starter macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #7
    Thanks for the input. Sounds like I just need a big external to store these MKV's. Star Trek and Transformers 2 are both 35 gig. Ouch.

    I'm planning to pick up a Mini tonight. I gather that the 2.26 with 2 gig of ram will be ok for playback of most if not all 1080p stuff. My thoughts right now are that I'll likely start using the Mini to make the MKV's instead of my iMac (2.93) just so I'm not moving these massive files over the network more than I need to. I may even use it for Handbrake as well. Will I be sorry I got the 2.26 and not the 2.53? I don't see myself running Handbrake while I'm using Plex. My struggle is that the $200 price difference will get me a 1TB external and all the cables I will need. If I go with the 2.53, I'll likely wait on the 1TB external for a while, but I'll have 320 gb instead of 160 gb to work with from the start.
     
  8. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #8
     
  9. crazytrain macrumors member

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    Sep 9, 2009
    #9
    I've used makemkv regularly now on my iMac which I think (at work so I can't honestly say for certain!) is a 2.3 C2D. Its one of the white plastic 'older' models anyway. Takes about 35-40 minutes to do a 90 minute film. File sizes vary between about 18 and 30 or so GB. I have done Star Trek and again, at work so can't give you an exact size but I think it was around the 30GB mark. I'm pretty sure you'd be fine getting the lesser spec model and going for the extra storage - I have a 1.5TB external and its starting to fill up rather quickly! Use Plex to play on the Mac or prefer to transfer whatever files I want onto a portable 320GB drive and watch them on a widescreen TV using a WD TV Live - files play flawlessly on either setup. As has been said by johnnj, I've had no issues whatsoever using Plex with a load of 1080p mkv files - never crashed once. Hope this helps!
     
  10. randy98mtu thread starter macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #10
    Thanks guys. I've been thinking about it this morning and I'm about ready to order the external drive (Iomege MiniMax 1TB which will match the Mini itself and the cost is comparable to other 1TB FW drives) and thus get the base model Mini. I'm very excited to start playing with this new setup.

    As for the size of the MKV's, I'm sure they are 35 GB. They are "raw" as in I just rip them to an ISO from my PS3, then run them through MakeMKV doing nothing more than removing unwanted audio and subtitle tracks. So they should be the "full" 1080p from the Bluray. I've contemplated running them through something to get them down to the 20 gig mark or so, but kind of defeats my purpose for getting the Mini to have a Plex 1080p box on my main TV. My other TV is only 720p anyway, so the old ATV will be perfect there and not have to be moved back and forth anymore.
     
  11. johnnj macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Oh, ok. You're just using MakeMKV to remux and encapsulate m2ts files into an MKV container. I can see how your mkv conversion is so fast while mind take around 18 hours to complete. I never considered doing what you're doing because I'd just leave the m2ts as is so my PCH devices had full access to multiple audio tracks. Now with the introduction of the PCH C-200 into my environment I've just been making complete bd iso files and playing them back as-is. Works really well and it preserves all of the extra content on the bd.

    To me, the real value of MKV is using it in conjunction with x264 compression. Back when I was first getting into the HD thing I thought that compressed MKV files were defeating the purpose of having and HD source like BD or HD-DVD. On the music side, I have all of my cds ripped as ALAC, so I was inclined to do the equivalent with video. The more I watched them, the more I didn't really notice any real difference in most cases. For standard one-watch movies I'll just go for the compressed MKVs which normally range from 6-12 gigs. For stuff I want to archive in my collection I'll go for the unadultered BD rips (like Planet Earth and the Blade Runner set). Even though I now have 24 tb of storage on my home network, I still will go for the economy of the compressed MKV for my wife's rom-coms and other assorted stuff which may get watched once or not at all and then deleted.

    John
     
  12. randy98mtu thread starter macrumors 65816

    randy98mtu

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #12
    JohnnyJ - What do you do to reduce your MKV files? I don't see MakeMKV having any options to reduce them. Do you use something and set a quality slider lower like Handbrake?

    I have another question, I think related. Is there a way to make the Mac Mini output 1080p24? Right now it's outputting 60Hz. Does this tax the processor? I am seeing dropped frames/stuttering on a few scenes (I watched Hurt Locker and Surrogates yesterday) I bought the base model 2.26 GHz and have the MKV's stored on an Iomega MiniMax 1TB drive hooked up by Firewire 400. My buffer is set to 15 seconds in Plex.

    Thanks for any tips. I am absolutely loving this new Plex Mini setup and wishing I had done it sooner. Just need to iron out a few of these little details. I'm reripping my favorite movies and expanding my Bluray collection now that I'm watching 1080p instead of 720p. I can say that on my 61" DLP I can see the difference and I love it.
     
  13. Perrumpo macrumors 68000

    Perrumpo

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    Jul 12, 2008
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    #13
    I've been using m2ts for 1080p. The files are 4.3 GB. I convert them to 720p in HandBrake for tv and keep the 1080p m2ts for PS3.
     
  14. Scarpad macrumors 68000

    Scarpad

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    Jan 13, 2005
    Location:
    Ma
    #14
    I use MakeMKV , may not for much longer because they want to charge $50 while still in Beta, but for now it works. I take the MKV file into Handbrake and convert to .m4v at 1280x720 to use on my ATV, files usually are between 2.3 and 3.2 gb and they look fantastic on my 46inch bravia. I just converted my copy of Couples retreat. And while I know it's not full res I'd be hard pressed to notice alot of difference on that size TV.
     

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