AppleTV Newbie-DVD collection question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ericinboston, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. ericinboston macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Hi all...I'm quite technical but a newbie with AppleTV. I have a large DVD collection that I would love to convert to a file format and play/stream on the new AppleTV...and hopefully using AppleTV/iTunes it is very easy to sort/find/categorize the movies I create.

    What I would like to do is copy/convert the DVD to the normal VOB/IFO/etc files/directories, then use a software program (hopefully freeware) to convert it to a file format that iTunes supports (and in true dvd quality), and then stream iTunes into Apple TV. The Apple website simply states "For streaming media from a Mac or PC: iTunes 10.6 or later; iTunes Store account for Home Sharing" so I assume streaming MY OWN NON-APPLE PURCHASED MOVIES is also possible.

    Is this possible? If so, can you please give me some details such as the software application you would recommend, the codec/video settings/file format to convert it to, etc? I have used Handbrake in the past for short clips but never a full movie...and simply watched the converted file on my computer for testing. I would assume there are others out there like me with large dvd collections that would love to have them all stream-able and ready in an instant. :)

    I'm using Windows XP and another Win7 box if needed.

    Thanks so much in advance!
  2. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    You'd be best served by using Handbrake. I'm not sure if they have added an ATV3 preset, but since you are converting DVD, it really doesn't matter since DVD is standard definition and therefore an ATV3 wouldn't exceed the handbrake ATV2 preset anyway.

    Some people like to rip the DVD as an intermediate step so that the DVD rips can be loaded into handbrake as a que instead.

    To be clear, ATV does not read .vob or .iso so really the best choice would be mp4/m4v.
  3. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Thanks for the reply...and I agree about the quality of DVD and ATV3 presets, etc. Yes, I like the middle-step of .vobs as I can always use them later for something else.

    So I assume I can just load up iTunes with these Handbrake-created files and ATV3 will stream them to my tv? I hope the answer is yes. :)
  4. Sedulous macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2002
    Yeah, Handbrake transcodes the input media to mp4 (m4v is the same thing). Once Handbrake finishes the transcode, you may want to use a meta tagger so that the mp4/m4v gets labeled with cast, director, artwork, etc.. Then just drag it into iTunes and that is all there is to it.
  5. dnelms, Apr 5, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012

    dnelms macrumors regular


    Jul 19, 2011
    McGee's Crossroads, NC
    I use MakeMKV to convert the DVD, then use Handbrake with settings close to the ATV2 preset. I use MetaX for the metadata... the Windows version has come along nicely lately. It is now 9.95 (I think), but worth every penny as I have many TV episodes to get data for as well as the movies.
  6. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
    I use RipIt to rip the DVD, then Handbrake or iVL (on the app store) IVL adds the metadata/artowrk as it converts so thats a plus. But this combo of things has never done me wrong and I get good quality rips.
  7. hafr macrumors 68030

    Sep 21, 2011
    iVI (pronounced 'ivy', stands for iTunes Video Importer), not iVL. Just in case someone doesn't find it ;)
  8. iphone1105 macrumors 68020


    Oct 8, 2009
    Nice catch, I love the app always screw up the name. I suggested the app to a corworker and said iLV to him...i fail!
  9. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    I've been using Handbrake (latest download for Windows) for numerous Disney animated dvds and Thomas the Engine videos...the quality is very good, but not perfect or near-perfect.

    I'd like to have it as close to perfect as possible. The Thomas movies clearly show horizontal lines (I forget what that is called) during most of the show. File sizes range from 1-2GB per movie and I have plenty of drive converting a 4.5GB DVD movie to a 3 or 4GB file doesn't bother me if it can be done.

    I've tried Apple TV2, Normal, and High Profile in the Handbrake settings and I don't see any difference other than the file sizes.

    Am I looking for something that does not exist in the Apple/iTunes world of acceptable encoded files? I'm used to the audio world where there are a ton of lossless compression technologies (but none supported by Apple other than Apple's own)...I'm surprised there is no setting in Handbrake that's "lossless" or at least jumps out as being the best possible encoding that Apple/AppleTV will accept.

    If you have any suggestions, can you please be explicit on where to make the settings in the software you recommend? Thanks in advance!
  10. MarkG21 macrumors regular

    Mar 21, 2010

    Try changing the RF settings lower. Maybe 19 or 18.
  11. erpetao macrumors regular

    Jun 19, 2011
    What you are seeing is interlaced content. Add a deinterlace filter and you are good to go.

    More info here:
  12. rpenzinger, Apr 11, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2012

    rpenzinger macrumors member

    Aug 12, 2010
    Best Workflow

    Here is my workflow. It is rock solid and allows you to stack DVDs for overnight processing.

    RipIt (Little App Factory) to rip DVDs (makes unprotected copy of disk)
    Handbrake to convert (using ATV 2 settings) you can stack a bunch into the queue
    Identify 2 to add metadata
    Add to iTunes
    Play on ATV

    sorry this is a Mac workflow
  13. ericinboston thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 13, 2008
    Setting the Decomb feature to Default did the trick.

    It seems the interlacing is only occurring on a particular line of dvds I have. It's not all animated/CGI children's dvds.

    Do you think I should leave the Decomb feature enabled for all conversions?...or just case-by-case? Any risk in using it 100% the time on all conversions?
  14. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    You can leave it at default all the time. Only kicks in when needed.
  15. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    No risk in leaving it on all of the time. It will be default in fact on the next release. Decomb ftw.
  16. marzer macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    When I initially converted my DVD collection a few years back, I picked up a couple cheap external DVD drives (about $40 bucks each off the internet, sure they're cheaper now) for a total of three drives counting the internal on the iMac.

    Using Handbrake I queued up three rips at a time. Took no more than a week or so to do about 200 DVD rips. Of course, now with my Core i7, I could probably do them all in a weekend! :D

    After the initial effort was all done I sold the extra drives on eBay.

    Oh and as stated above - turn on Decomb! Its a PITA to realize afterwards you have to re-rip a set of videos. I add it to my default rip profile.
  17. murdoc158 macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2007
    West Bend, WI
    There needs to be a Windows version of this app. I'd rather not use my Macbook to convert videos when my desktop gaming rig is sitting unused most of the day.
  18. jupiterjones macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2012
    Check out the thread:

    Although it's driven by Automator so you'd need a Mac to make full use of it, you should be able to get all the info you need to convert your collection in the most useful way.

    I spent a year converting my collection and the most painful part was adding good metadata so everything showed up in iTunes and AppleTV exactly where I wanted it.

    I'm about to use the tools and info in that thread to setup automated ripping and tagging for any new DVD/BD I happen to come by :) If you've got a large collection, or just TV Show seasons, then a good workflow is really important to make sure you get what you need.

    Good luck.

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