Apple tv image quality

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Purakane, Oct 30, 2012.

  1. Purakane macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    #1
    Hi,
    I'm looking for a way to convert my mkv and avi files into mp4 (or any itunes compatible format) without losing any image quality? I have a 65 inch tv and i really want to view everything in 1080p if possible.


    This has been an on going search for the past 6 months for me.
    The following are things i've tried and failed:

    mountain lion ($30) - turns out airplay doesn't work with 2010 imac
    Air parrot ($10) - Lags way too much
    Boxee Box ($200) -Only picks up 1 out of my 7 movies


    also would anyone suggest that i sell my atv2 ? they are worth alot now. Is the jailbreak for the atv3 on the horizon? (before the new year)

    thanks in advance
     
  2. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2011
    #2
    a,) Just remux with 1, Subler or 2, if Subler is incompatible with the given MKV file, the latest beta of MP4Tools. Don't bother with other remuxer tools - these two are the best.

    b,) no JB for ATV3 in the near future, I'm afraid.

    c,) don't even think of using AirPlay to stream MKV's. It'll only work adequately for low-res stuff (if at all). AirPlay, however, works wonderfully with iOS / ATV-native formats like m4v.

    d,) check out my previous posts on remuxing, playback etc. here at MR. I've cross-posted tons of my tutorials, articles in these forums.
     
  3. orestes1984, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Location:
    Australia
    #3
    Jailbreaks for the ATV3 may never eventuate so you need to decide whether you want to keep your ATV or go for something like a WD TV Live or Dune Player, or transcode/transmux all your media for Apple TV3 if you go there.

    In order to not lose image quality in your transmuxing, you're going to need to do a passthrough conversion, the most simple way to do it is to use iFlicks which will transmux at one end and push out an MP4 file into your iTunes folder at the other.

    The way I do it is to use Subler and transcode it with "64bit chunk offset" turned on. This will work for all of your MKV files.

    For AVI files you face a bit of an issue, a lot of them are not properly containerised so wont demux, in which case you'll have to run them through Handbrake and reencode them into MP4 files. You will lose some quality but it will be hardly noticable, .AVIs are poor quality out of the box.

    For the files you can demux you're going to want to run them through AVI Demux and then once you've extracted the audio and video files you can put them in an MP4 container provided they're H.264.

    Due to the way Airplay compresses things when you mirror them its not a very good solution for watching HD content I'm afraid.
     
  4. X5-599 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #4
    I read somewhere the MP4 container has stereo audio only. That I'd want an m4v container instead. Is that true?
     
  5. orestes1984, Oct 30, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

    orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Australia
    #5
    MP4 containers are very similar to MKV containers except MKV containers can handle a few more file formats where MP4 containers are a little less flexible, for the purpose where H.264 has pretty much become the standard for encoding video it doesn't really matter as both containers will hold H.264. It only matters when you go to play your file on an Apple TV which does not support MKV.

    If you want a player that handles MKV look at a WD TV Live or Dune player... But for both you give up Airplay for what is more of a standard set top box.

    An MP4 container may contain, stereo or surround sound audio tracks. An M4V container is just an MP4 container with metadata muxed into the container i.e. album art, plot synopsis, ratings and classifications, etc.

    You can use Subler or iDentify to mux in your meta data and thus turn just about any MP4 file into an M4V file. I find iDentify does everything almost automatically most of the time but sometimes you will have to give it the IMDB movie code for it to look up the correct metadata.
     
  6. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

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    Jun 7, 2011
    #6
    You can also pass-thru DTS / AC-3 audio or VobSub bitmap subtitle tracks in an MP4 / M4V file. A lot of Win / OS X / iOS (but not ATV3!) players will be able to play them back - for example, on the jailbroken ATV2, XBMC will display VobSub subs.
     
  7. FlatlinerG macrumors 6502a

    FlatlinerG

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #7
    Do you have an iOS device? If so, one thing that works really well for the girlfriend and I is AirVideo. Install the server app on your mac, and the AirVideo app on the iOS device, and you use the iOS device to locate, and stream content from your Mac to the AppleTV.

    As far as 1080P content goes, you'd have to do a little research to see if it's capable.

    If you've already looked into it, all I can say is good luck.
     
  8. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
    #8
    Afaik an ATV will not playback a DTS track in a mp4.
     
  9. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

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    Jun 7, 2011
    #9
    The latest (starting with this September IIRC) AirVideo versions are already 1080p-capable.

    ----------

    Yup, no iOS device will. However, it can be in there - the ATV (as with iTunes / the iOS Videos app) will just ignore it.
     
  10. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Australia
    #10
    It will default to playing the stereo track if there is one...
     
  11. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
    #11
    I am well aware of that, just didn't want to mislead the OP into thinking DTS in mp4 was very useful.
     
  12. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 10, 2005
    Location:
    Australia
    #12
    Yup, it's useless if you're going to be playing it on an Apple TV. Try to keep the Dolby file if there is one, but some times your not lucky enough for that. I've had to remux files with audio tracks from different encodings on more than one occasion to sort out crappy issues like missing audio tracks and over dubbed audio.
     
  13. X5-599 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #13
    Thanks for the clarification. I don't remember where I read the MP4 stereo only stuff ... I'm pretty sure it was this forum. But I can't seem to find it anymore.

    Anyway. So, I guess m4v is what I want. Multiple audio tracks plus metadata. Thanks guys.
     
  14. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

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    Jun 10, 2005
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    Australia
    #14
    It depends as I said above, this is particularly an issue if you download content from less than legitimate sources such as Channel BT (Bit Torrent).

    What you want your end product to be is M4V after you've added metadata to the container with Subler/iDentify. If you really must download from crappy sources always make the effort to download an MKV or MP4 file with Dolby audio for best results.
     
  15. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
    #15
    Understand this: mp4 == m4v where the only difference file wise is the extension (.mp4 or .m4v).

    .m4v is an extension to the file name of a mp4 file that signals apple devices to observe 1. AC3 passthru (*not* DTS passthru) , 2. Chapter Markers, and iirc 3. Soft Subs (3gpp text subs ala iTunes content).
     
  16. MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040

    MonkeySee....

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    UK
  17. X5-599 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    #17
    Thanks guys.

    And for the record: I'm asking this for future purchase of a AppleTV. Just wanted to know what container to remux my encoded(mkv/264/AC3) DVDs.
     

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