AppleTV 4th Gen does H.265 very well

jimsowden

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I had a crazy idea to try an HEVC file on my Apple TV. I ripped a blu-ray I had to a 2gb, 1080p HEVC MKV with 5 channel AAC audio and sent it over to the VLC storage on the Apple TV.

Low and behold, VLC played it with almost no error. There was one scene of a newsreel with a huge amount of texture that it dropped a few frames on, but other than that it was flawless. And at 2gb, it's clear to see how much more efficient h.265 is over h.264.

The future has been here the whole time!
 
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NameUndecided

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I just tested it by using my VLC tv app (for the first time) and it worked for me, too. I used the 5mb Austrian Alps file here: http://www.h265files.com

I saw a comment from the Infuse guy in the Infuse app thread saying that it couldn't happen [yet?], and I was so confused as to why. Different apps can transcode almost any other video format, it seems like. So I didn't get why h265 was any different.
 
That's a great discovery guys. Thanks for sharing it. Let the experiments (after yours) begin!

I had to a 2gb, 1080p HEVC MKV with 5 channel AAC audio and sent it over to the VLC storage on the Apple TV. Low and behold, VLC played it with almost no error.
Did that 5 channel AAC audio play right, meaning all 5 channels of audio worked as if it was a AC3 surround sound track? And can you confirm it definitely is AAC audio and not AC3 audio in your file?
 

jimsowden

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That's a great discovery guys. Thanks for sharing it. Let the experiments (after yours) begin!



Did that 5 channel AAC audio play right, meaning all 5 channels of audio worked as if it was a AC3 surround sound track? And can you confirm it definitely is AAC audio and not AC3 audio in your file?
No, it was downgraded to a 2 channel PCM bistream (if you don't know, VLC doesn't have AC3 support yet, so a dolby track would have just made it unplayable).

I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be able to output at a 5 channel PCM, but it didn't. VLC say they may have Dolby support in the future - I'd care more about DTS honestly.
 
OK, so just to be sure I'm grasping it, you've basically made or captured a HD video with 5 channel audio stored as (5 channels) of AAC in H.265. And, through VLC on the new :apple:TV, the video playback is basically fine but that audio is being converted to 2 channel stereo.

Are either you guys- or anyone else who chips in on this thread- getting any kind of "surround sound" (at least 5.1 channels of audio) out of anything in an H.265 package? Even if instead of AAC, the audio is included as Dolby Digital, DTS, or related? Quality H.265 video with at least "as good" surround audio would make this good news even greater.
 

NameUndecided

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Update -- Starting by saying that I'm not really technically minded enough on codecs and that, so I could be missing something here --

I haven't experimented much at all with HEVC format files, but I've just consistently heard that ATV4 can't do them right now. With the guy in the Infuse thread saying it won't work, I figured that it applied to all video playing apps.

I just downloaded my one movie that is HEVC from my cloud storage (which is why I haven't bothered to test it out, myself) and added it to my Plex library.
It plays just fine and normal through Plex and in Infuse. These are the specs that MPlayerX on Mac gives me:

HEVC, 1920×784, 24.0fps
MP4A, 48.0kHz 32bit, 6 channels

(I only have a sound bar, so I don't think I can comment on surround sound.)

The video sample I linked to above plays fine on these apps, as well.

So I get that iTunes and its Home Sharing doesn't support h265 at this time. But otherwise… what's the big deal? What has been the big deal? 'the hell am I missing? (I could go on like this.)
 

jimsowden

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Update -- Starting by saying that I'm not really technically minded enough on codecs and that, so I could be missing something here --

I haven't experimented much at all with HEVC format files, but I've just consistently heard that ATV4 can't do them right now. With the guy in the Infuse thread saying it won't work, I figured that it applied to all video playing apps.

I just downloaded my one movie that is HEVC from my cloud storage (which is why I haven't bothered to test it out, myself) and added it to my Plex library.
It plays just fine and normal through Plex and in Infuse. These are the specs that MPlayerX on Mac gives me:

HEVC, 1920×784, 24.0fps
MP4A, 48.0kHz 32bit, 6 channels

(I only have a sound bar, so I don't think I can comment on surround sound.)

The video sample I linked to above plays fine on these apps, as well.

So I get that iTunes and its Home Sharing doesn't support h265 at this time. But otherwise… what's the big deal? What has been the big deal? 'the hell am I missing? (I could go on like this.)
I'm willing to bet if your streaming to PLEX, that your computer is live transcoding it down to h.264. I could be wrong - check out your computer's activity monitor while you're streaming on the tv and see if anything is eating up CPU usage. If a plex process is over 20%, I'd bet it's just transcoding down. If not, that's awesome. Add one more h.265 compatable tvOS app.
[doublepost=1462674708][/doublepost]
OK, so just to be sure I'm grasping it, you've basically made or captured a HD video with 5 channel audio stored as (5 channels) of AAC in H.265. And, through VLC on the new :apple:TV, the video playback is basically fine but that audio is being converted to 2 channel stereo.

Are either you guys- or anyone else who chips in on this thread- getting any kind of "surround sound" (at least 5.1 channels of audio) out of anything in an H.265 package? Even if instead of AAC, the audio is included as Dolby Digital, DTS, or related? Quality H.265 video with at least "as good" surround audio would make this good news even greater.
It honestly looks to be a VLC limitation. https://forum.videolan.org/viewtopic.php?t=129216

Once they get a bit more advanced, they'll likely either be able to output AAC5ch to PCM5ch, or transcode to DD5.1. And of course have native DD5.1 support for files. I only have 2 floor speakers on my receiver, very much on purpose. So I ain't sweating it too much.
 

Led-zep

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Dec 1, 2015
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Since when can it play h2.65 without any issues? I've tried Game Of Thrones h.265 as well as Ghostbusters 4K H.265 rip on both vlc and infuse and it skips and struggles to play.

How are you guys playing these files? Or are you converting them first from h.265
 

NameUndecided

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Mar 28, 2011
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I'm willing to bet if your streaming to PLEX, that your computer is live transcoding it down to h.264. I could be wrong - check out your computer's activity monitor while you're streaming on the tv and see if anything is eating up CPU usage. If a plex process is over 20%, I'd bet it's just transcoding down. If not, that's awesome. Add one more h.265 compatable tvOS app.
Ooookay. Ha. It certainly is transcoding and taking up a large amount of CPU and getting the fan running.

I guess I read far too much into the idea that "not even Infuse can play them" because I only ever have it play files from my Plex library or other folder on my computer, where it would have a chance to transcode. (or something. i don't know.)

Led-zep -- I'm just playing the files straight, by putting that sample in my VLC storage like jimsowden described in his first post, or by putting that movie in one of my shared Plex folders. Not converting anything (except, I guess, Plex or Infuse is doing it on the fly). Nothing higher than 1080p, though.
 
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archer75

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h.265 is not supported by apple. In plex it transcodes. In VLC it's using the CPU in the ATV to play the file. It will work on low bitrate stuff where not much power is needed but in higher bitrate stuff it's choking. The ATV hardware is capable of doing it but apple needs to issue a firmware update to support full hardware acceleration.
In other words, VLC has the codec to do it in software but hardware decoding is not available.
 
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jimsowden

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h.265 is not supported by apple. In plex it transcodes. In VLC it's using the CPU in the ATV to play the file. It will work on low bitrate stuff where not much power is needed but in higher bitrate stuff it's choking. The ATV hardware is capable of doing it but apple needs to issue a firmware update to support full hardware acceleration.
In other words, VLC has the codec to do it in software but hardware decoding is not available.
What's the max bitrate you've found chokes the software decoding?
 

2010mini

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Jun 19, 2013
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Question for you all since I'm a total newb when it comes to file formats...

Ive heard the reason Apple hasn't fully implemented H.265 is the insane licensing needed to use this codec. It's per device if I'm not mistaken???

Anyways doesn't Apple have its own 4K codec? ProRes i believe..... Why haven't they developed this for the end user?
 

priitv8

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They serve different purposes. H.264 and .265 are transport codecs (intended to produce best picture at minimum data volume). ProRes is editing codec (intended to provide best frame-accurate editing performance, at the expense of much larger data volume).
Wikipedia said:
ProRes is a line of intermediate codecs, which means they are intended for use during video editing, and not for practical end-user viewing.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_ProRes
 
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jimsowden

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except that there is. Works fine on small very low bitrate samples but for movies and tv it doesn't work.
Low bitrates that produce quality higher than apple sells commercially. And if you don't know the choke point, and don't own one, how could you know if they don't work? Why default to being negative about it?
 

archer75

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Others have said it chokes. The only people saying it works are using very low bit rate samples. It's not being negative. That's the reality of the situation. The atv does not support h.265
 
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Peepo

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Jun 18, 2009
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I have tried some 1080p x265 and AppleTV chokes on most of them. Using MrMC and infuse. Plex would probably transcode so I didn't waste my time.
 

chuckisbusy

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May 15, 2016
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I have some x265 DD 5.1 files that I am going to try on my Apple TV.. Using Infuse and VLC... I'll report my personal findings tomorrow.
 

chuckisbusy

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May 15, 2016
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I didnt have any problems playing H.265 encoded video files with AAC on my AppleTV 4 using Infuse 4.
 

chuckisbusy

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May 15, 2016
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I can play 720p files sorta ok but the 1080p 10bit start stuttering. I can try again in infuse to make sure.
So the files I played were HEVC x265 1080p, Bit Rate: 1593 Kbps, Frame Rate: 23.976 fps, Bit Depth: 8 bits... The only thing that was a little strange was that my Audio is AC3 with 6 different channels... Front: L C R, Side: L R, LFE. Infuse would not play in DD, it played PCM. I'm hoping there is something in the settings that I am missing. Other than that it plays fantastically, I didnt even bother trying VLC since Infuse play it without any hiccups.
 

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