Advice on Handbrake settings for Apple TV 3?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by kdern, Feb 25, 2013.

  1. kdern macrumors newbie

    Oct 26, 2007
    Hi -

    I am using Handbrake on a Macbook Air. If I use the built in Apple TV 3 setting, it is taking more than an hour to convert a movie (orig file size 1.5 GB).

    I tried switching the avg bitrate to 2500 and the video codec from H.264 to MPEG-4, and although it only took 15 minutes to convert the video, the resulting image was blurry on my macbook screen. I'm sure it would have been unwatchable on my HDTV.

    Can anyone help me tweak the settings?

  2. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Um, more than an hour to do a movie is nothing. Not much to tweak from the atv3 preset in hb tbh. Speed, Size, Quality .... pick two.
  3. MarkG21 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2010
  4. cwazytech macrumors 6502


    Jan 7, 2009
    So if I pick Size & Quality, then am I safe in assuming that encoding longer reduces the overall size?
  5. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    In general getting a smaller size while maintaining quality will in fact increase encoding time. However I don't think this is what the OP is referring to.
  6. NMF macrumors 6502a


    Oct 27, 2011
    Video encoding it's an extremely CPU-intensive process. For people who do it often, it is one of the main things that drives them to purchase machines with higher-clocked quad-core processors. Your MBA's dual-core, low-power CPU is operating exactly as it should.

    My advice? Let it encode overnight.
  7. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    The best advice I can give you is to adjust your expectations about how a long a video should take to convert.

    What's an hour to you overnight?
  8. Non-Euclidean macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2012
    Houston, TX
    I would also suggest a minor test.

    The ATV3 setting does create some of the larger, if not the largest files of all the presets.

    Universal creates some great quality output also, but not so huge.

    Take a test film, queue up versions of both ATV3 and Universal and check them tomorrow.

    My rule of thumb is any current/recent state of the art film gets ATV3.
    An older one, say Big Trouble In Little China/Army of Darkness, which wasnt shot as nicely gets Universal.

    Older things (original Prisoner episodes/TV from up to the 80s or so) just gets standard. Any black and white product will just get Standard, etc.

    Any anime/animation wont get anything over Universal.
  9. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    Good thinking

    Excellent advice. Totally agreed.
  10. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Well, in fairness the atv preset allows up to 1080p whereas the universal preset only allows up to 720 width x nnn height (for compatibility with many devices ). So if you want to do this test fairly make sure you are using the same exact output picture size. For instance if its a 720p or 1080p source make sure you downsize the atv 3 preset picture to match the universal preset size as this has a *huge* effect on final output size.

    Those being equal the atv 3 preset should put out a *smaller* file than the universal preset as it uses more advanced encoding options which allows for greater compression.
  11. JoeBlow74 macrumors regular

    Aug 2, 2012
    The problem is with your Macbook air. That thing just does not have the Horse power to transcode movies fast. Handbrake is very CPU intensive. I have an mid 2011 Imac with the I5 quad core and I can transcode a movie in 20 minutes flat. Either buy a Mac Pro with the 16 core CPU, or a nice used quad core Imac.
  12. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    well, all movies 20 minutes flat with the atv 3 preset ? wow, thats amazing. But your point about the macbook air being not as fast as some is worth noting. That said I would dispute your claim above, no offense intended.
  13. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    That said its also possible the the vbv settings for Universal is squashing the bitrate that hb wants to maintain quality since bitrate can not go too high for multiple devices (which notably also squashes visual quality). Interested to see how the test goes with the *same picture size* for each preset.
  14. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    Will NTSC or PAL DVDs encoded at the AppleTV 3 preset work on a currently updated AppleTV 2?

    Is the AppleTV 2 powerful enough to use the AppleTV 3 Handbrake preset at DVD resolutions? Any idea of 720 material performance of AppleTV 3 preset on AppleTV 2 hardware?

    Thanks for any info.
  15. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2012
    Complaining about an hour? lol. It takes most people 6-12 hours to encode a transparent 1080p file at slow x264 settings. When I had an older cpu it took 24+ hours.
  16. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    both should work fine.

Share This Page