1280x720 won't play on Apple TV....Need help please!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by V8Avant, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. V8Avant macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Hello All,

    I've spent hours searching for the answer but can't seen to find it. I hope you can help.

    Goal: To take my 1080i footage from my Sony HDR-SR1 and play it on my HD TV using Apple TV.

    Process: I started using iMovie '08 but have since learned that it only exports 960x540...no wonder it didn't look like HD when I played it on my Apple TV!

    I have since moved to FCE and have done the compression techniques that I have learned on this forum...H.264, 1280x720 size, under 5mbp, data rate of 5000k, etc. This now creates a file that looks almost identical to the raw footage. Once this file has been exported to my desk top I then add it to my iTunes library where it plays just fine. However it will not sync with my Apple TV. I am able to get it to sync when I go "Advanced --> Create Apple TV version" but all that does is cut the file down once again to 960x540...so...please help!

    How can I sync 1280x720 to my Apple TV so I may enjoy my edited home videos on my TV?

    Thank you very much in advance and sorry this was so long!
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    So you are exporting via QuickTime Movie in FCE and using H.264 as the compression within the Sequence Preset (custom)?

    I take it you set up your sequence settings to be 720p etc? What is the actual resolution of the exported file? I know you said you exported it as 720p, but if the sequence has a different resolution.

    Also, you'll need to make the frames per second 24 (down from the interlaced 60). The Apple TV only supports 720p@24.

    Finally, to add: you can choose Apple TV from the QuickTime Conversion bit too, if you want it to work on the Apple TV.
  3. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    My guess would be that the source is 1080i/30 or 1080i/60.

    As has already been said, you need to either convert it to 720p/24, or live with 540p.
  4. V8Avant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Thanks Kilamite,

    I'm new to this whole process so please excuse me if I don't fully understand your questions. I don't know what a Sequence Preset is.

    Here is the process I have gone through which I thought would work.

    Using FCE
    1. Export File using QT Conversion
    2. Format --> MPEG4
    3. Options -->File Formate = MP4
    Video Format = H.264
    Data Rate = 4000kbps
    Image Size = 1280x720p
    Frame Rate = Current (24fps)

    I then export the file and "upload" it into iTunes. This 51 second test file is approximately 33mb. I have attached a screen shot of the file info...I hope this helps. Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  5. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I use Final Cut Pro, so not too sure if FCE has similar sequence options. Mine is called "Golf" and is the icon on its own called Golf.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Do you have similar options?

    Also, try going to QuickTime Conversion and choosing Apple TV.

  6. V8Avant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Hi Mate,

    I'm able to export for Apple TV without any problem, but that cuts down the resolution to 720x540...same as iMovie '08 was.

    I'm trying to preserve the quality of the video as much as possible....so it looks as close to the raw 1080i footage that I download from my camera.

    Where I seem to be getting stuck is that I'm unable to sync the 1280x720 file with the Apple TV.
  7. nick9191 macrumors 68040

    Feb 17, 2008
    iMovie can export any size.

    Go to Share, Export using Quicktime, Size.
  8. V8Avant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Hi Mate,

    While iMovie '08 can export at any size, when it is brought into iMovie it compresses footage to 960x540.

    In the meantime, with Nightstorm's comment, I went back and exported the file using 24 fps (rather than current...even though it said current was 24fps) and it now works!

    However, this video is now rather "jerky" with any sort of motion. Any ideas of what could be causing this?
  9. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Strange that it was 24fps before though and didn't work.

    What do you mean jerky motion? Do you have any web space to share a 5 second clip of your problem?
  10. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    If it was really 30, locking it at 24 and discarding 20% of the input frames would result in an output video with jerky motion.
  11. V8Avant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Thanks to all of you.

    Nightstorm, is there a way to tell what fps rate the original video is? Also, once you have compressed a file and exported it, is there a way to open that file and see what the fps rate is as well?

    Another one, is there a way to smooth that video out if it was originally at 30?

    Again, I'm not trying to be fancy here, I just want to get my videos from my camera onto the Apple TV with the least amount of resolution loss/compression.

    Thanks again!
  12. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    If you open the original content in QuickTime and open the 'Movie Inspector' it'll tell you the fps.
  13. V8Avant thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2008
    Thanks again to all of you.

    It seems that my original mistake was using the fps setting "current" rather than limiting it to 24 fps (though I thought it was there....but was mistaken).

    Now, with your help, using Movie Inspector I have found that the original video was at 30 (29.97) fps.

    So....that being said.....is there simply no way to go from 30fps down to 24fps without encountering jerky motion (I'm in the process of setting up a web page so I can try to post this for you to see...but that could take a day or two.)

    Thanks once again. I appreciate all of your assistance and guidance.
  14. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Without derailing the topic - even with content recorded at 24fps, I have trouble with FCP exporting via QuickTime Conversion and retaining smooth playback with the H.264 codec.
  15. jhersco macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2008
    Re:1280x720 won't play on Apple TV....Need help please!

    I thought I'd add my experience to this thread, since the problems I have encountered are similar.

    1. My camera produces a 1280x720@24fps HD video. If I use QuickTime to convert the unedited footage for Apple TV it yields a 1280 x720 .m4v file that plays in Apple TV.

    2. If I edit the footage in iMovie, add a title and/or transitions and export via QuickTime, it yields a 1280x720@24fps, H.264/AAC .mov file that does not play in Apple TV. (Apple TV tech specs state that it should.)

    3. If I edit the footage in iMovie, add a title and/or transitions and export for Apple TV, it yields a 960x540@30fps, H.264/AAC .m4v file that plays in Apple TV. (Of course, it's not the HD video I started with.)

    4. All experiments with Final Cut Express have yielded incredibly poor quality videos that aren't even worth trying in Apple TV.

    I, too would like to know to show something beyond unedited footage in 1280x720 on Apple TV.
  16. chimpboy74 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 12, 2007
    I too am having a similar problem getting my HD footage to my appletv.

    Does there exist a simple pictorial guide of how to get the footage from my camcorder to itunes so that I can sync with ATV.

    Is imovie no good for doingthis. If so what other method can be used. I have tried various methods (inc some of the above) and either the file is not recognised by ATV or the quality is NOT HD.

    I'm sure there is an easy way of doing this but I cant seem to figure it out.
  17. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    I really don't know, but maybe the titles and transitions in iMove are at 30 fps (even though your original source footage is at 24fps). If so, this would yield an output movie of > 24 fps which the atv will not play at 720p.

    If a clip of your unmodified footage at 24 will play at 720p but adding titles or transitions renders the same clip unplayable at 720, that would be my guess.
  18. ahmedrah macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    Did you ever get this fixed outside off iMovie to 1280x720?? Im having the same problem, I cant get my native HD footage to Apple TV? Anything you work?

  19. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    iMovie and FCE don't support editing 24fps material natively... 99% sure it is adding a 2:3 pulldown and editing at 60i (or 720p60).

    Also, although it would seem correct to export at 24.000fps, you really would want 23.976 (it's an NTSC thing).
  20. ahmedrah macrumors newbie

    Jun 30, 2007
    So I should export out of imovie using quicktime with the frame rate being
    23.976? That would would let Apple TV play it?

  21. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    im saying if you don't have a way to remove the pulldown (and you probably don't) then you are stuck with 960x540 at 29.97fps
  22. fpnc macrumors 68000

    Oct 30, 2002
    San Diego, CA
    Try JES Deinterlacer to convert to 23.97 fps

    You should give the freeware program JES Deinterlacer a try (download from VersionTracker.com). It does deinterlacing AND standards conversion (frame rate, telecine, NTSC -> PAL, etc.). I just took one of Apple's 1080P30 samples (1920x1080 at 29.97 fps) and converted that to 720P24 (1280x720 at 23.97 fps) and it looked very good. Note, since JES Deinterlacer does frame blending to change the frame rates you may see some instances of field blending between scenes. That normally won't be a problem visually unless you have a radical brightness change between two adjacent scenes (like going black to near white). JES does have an option to work around this problem ("clean chapter starts") but that takes a fair amount of manual work using the QuickTime Pro Player and it may not even work properly (it involves adding a text track to the movie with the location of all of your scene changes -- or maybe just the most critical). I'd also suggest that you output to the least lossy format possible when you do the rate conversion and then recompress using H.264 to get the bitrate down to something that will run on the Apple TV. JES does offer export options for just about any QuickTime supported codec but I like having a "master" that is compressed as little as possible from which I can then select other formats and bitrates.

    I'd suggest using QuickTime Pro to do the final compression since once you do the frame rate and resize in JES Deinterlacer your movie will already be in the correct size and frame rate (1280x720 at 23.97 fps).

    Within JES Deinterlacer there is a preset for outputting 1280p24 under "Project -> Standards conversion" (the "Project" tab and the "Standards conversion" in the pop-up menu in the project dialog/window).

    JES can be a little problematic at times, it's not 100% stable but when it works it works very well (quick and good results). As of recent I've had very few problems when using JES, it has definitely improved over the years that it's been in development. If you have problems during the conversion you may want to try using the Apple Intermediate codec for both your input and output from JES.
  23. jhersco macrumors newbie

    Dec 20, 2008
    Problem fixed with Handbrake.

    Yes, I export from iMovie via QuickTime, which can be set to yield a 1280x720@24fps, H.264/AAC .mov file. Then, I use Handbrake - http://handbrake.fr/ - to convert it for use on Apple TV.

    I still believe that this extra step shouldn't be necessary. Apple should provide an option in iMovie to save a file to be compatible with Apple TV's 1280 x 720p spec.
  24. ibglowin macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2005
    Can you give me all your settings on your quicktime export?

  25. seb-opp macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2008
    I think you can turn that setting off so it imports video at full size

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