Alright, HQ .mkv file 2.19 gig

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by fkntotalkaos, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. fkntotalkaos macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    How can I get this to play on Apple TV? I want to build a media Center using Apple TV, but I want HQ videos, preferably ripped from HD or Blu Ray.
    I have Visual Hub

    Can I hack my Apple TV to play .mkv files?
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Not unless you can get VLC onto it. Maybe MPlayer? I don't know...
  3. killmoms macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Perian supports MKVs. I can only assume that the hacks to get Perian installed on the Apple TV will work. Not having an Apple TV myself, I can't tell you for sure.
  4. wmealer macrumors regular

    May 7, 2006
    I have a little experience at this...

    I have a hacked :apple:tv,via the PatchStick. I have Perian installed, plus the ATV files plugin, plus the nitoTV plugin. MKV playback is VERY sketchy for me. The few mkv files I've tried to playback have serious frame-dropping issues.

    I suppose the problem is that most of the mkv files you find in the newsgroups are encoded at a higher bitrate than the :apple:tv can handle. Until :apple:tv gets a more powerful processor, this will likely remain a problem.
  5. billabong macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2004
  6. je1ani macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2007
    VH really destroys MKV files...
  7. fkntotalkaos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    That is what I noticed too.
  8. fkntotalkaos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    Well I doubt that a more powerfull processor is in the works anytime soon as it can play itunes stuff perfectly. Would you suggest skipping this route all together and using a mac mini? I really like the interface of the AppleTV, so if there was a way I could make a Mac mini look and act the same way I would not be in opposition to it, because I could play the .mkv format and get Dolbly DTS at the same time.
    But the Apple TV is a great in car media center for the back seat, lol
  9. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    if you are dead set on using mkv the mini is your better bet. :apple:TV is really for H.264 imo.
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    If you can afford it, it will work. I have Perian installed and Quicktime still does not play MKV files with it.

    The Mini has Front Row, and it will play DVDs and DVD VOB files. DVD Player app and VLC (buggy as hell) both passthrough AC-3 audio (and DTS for DVD Player) through the optical port.

    Dolby and DTS are two different companies that use two different proprietary formats. They are not the same.

    I have encoded a few movies with MKV to preserve the AC-3 audio and the file sizes are substantial. For example, King Kong is 3.3 gb in size. I can MTR and DTOX that DVD down to 4.2 gigs and retain chapter markers, audio, subtitles, etc., etc. for playback in DVD Player, either stand-alone or through Front Row on my Mini. I get 5.1 Dolby Digital surround as well. To me, even though the DVD VOB files are larger, this route of DVD ripping is much more efficient than encoding in MKV for playback. It takes about a third more hard drive space, but since I can plug in an external hard drive to my Mini, it is well worth it.

    Our ATV is for the kids and for movies that are not 5.1 intensive.
  11. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    MKV files can be encoded in H.264. They just won't play back on an ATV.
  12. billabong macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2004
    You may loose a bit of quality, but then you don't have to work around hacking your unit to play the file. The AppleTV format files are still really good quality, just slightly less than the original.
  13. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    correct. I can play mkv on my hacked :apple:TV but mkv isn't necessarily h264. :apple:TV is really optimized for mp4 and the picture is beautiful with an h264 encoded video and sound is excellent in AAC. The files are smaller and stream very well. :apple:TV is really optimized for mp4 and specifically h264 mp4. I think when you stray from that you get disappointed and would be better off using a mini unless you like to tinker.
  14. fkntotalkaos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    anybody here doing 720p rips to H.264/mp4 for appleTV I converted a few from.mkv, and looks much better than my DVD rips?
  15. Shoesy macrumors 6502a


    Jun 21, 2007
    Colchester, UK.
    On how I live in a dreamworld.

    All this crazy encoding talk reminds me of what appletv strived to do in the first place- make downloading and watching tv simpler.

    Re-purchasing all your movies and tv shows with itunes is the answer.

    Just a shame it is an expensive, low quality and DRM limited answer. :eek:

    Lets hope firmware and / or hardware update can resolve all this.
  16. fkntotalkaos thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 24, 2007
    Very Tru.
  17. wmealer macrumors regular

    May 7, 2006
    I do a lot of 720p mkv conversions. I wouldn't say they are "much better" than DVD rips, simply because of the low 5Mbps bitrate :apple:tv is limited to. Physical DVDs are only encoded around 5Mbps anyway, so H.264 DVD rips are about the same as what you'd see on an actual DVD player.

    The 720p content encoded at 5Mbps, however, is seriously degraded from what you'd see on a physical Blu-Ray Disc. So while it is slightly better resolution-wise than a DVD, compression artifacts/blockiness are more noticeable. So it's really a "6 of one/half-dozen of the other" situation.
  18. nutman macrumors regular

    May 19, 2006
    I don't know if this helps, but for front row, all I do with my .mkv files is open them in quicktime [with perian installed, and quicktime pro enabled] and then save them as .mov files. The quality is still there but now quicktime just sees it as a .mov with a file that is encoded in h.264. Just a change in container really.
  19. hael macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2007
    Conversion is painful and chaotic

    I had the same "business". To convert 11 MKV file was one week. The converted files (VisualHub) sometimes dropped frames, sometimes not. I have find the following, nearly 100%:

    1. Install Perian
    2. Open MKV file with Quicktime
    3. Show movie properties
    4. select viedo and sound tracks
    5. save as self-conained movie
    6. open with VisualHub
    7. select MP4 conversion + H.264
    8. select advanced: force ffmpeg + bitrate max 3500
    9. START

    I think the key step is save with quicktime.

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