Best format for Apple TV plus other streamers

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Vaslo77, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Vaslo77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2007
    Hi everyone. I want to say first that I am thoroughly impressed by the breadth of knowledge by folks on here.

    Anyways, here is my dilemma. I like my Apple TV, except for the fact I have the 40 GB systems that can't do more than 7-8 movies on it at a time, and its very restrictive in terms of format. Very annoying and drives me nuts that you have to hack it to add another drive to it.

    I would like to build a file server with music and movies, but I want to put my DVDs into a format that I could use later with other systems that allow streaming (I believe newer TiVos could potentially allow streaming, or even media PCs?)

    What is a good format to put my movies into so Apple TV can view them, but if I add another streamer to another TV (because I won't get another Apple TV while its so restrictive), if the movies are on an NAS, I can pick them up from any system (Linux or Windows based) and watch them? I am not opposed to hacking my Apple TV since I can't use it as much as I want anyways.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. imlucid macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    H.264 seems to be gaining popularity among many other systems. Its main advantage over plain MPEG4 is its superior quality and the Apple TV has hardware decoding for it.

  3. Aegelward macrumors 6502a

    Jul 31, 2005
    best thing to do would be put perian on the appletv, then it can handle a much broader range of codecs. then you can use an application like viddyup ( to convert it into a .mov file, by selecting use original encoding.

    personally for me, i'd like a means to force 4:3 to stretch to panoramic widescreen like QTP does, wonder if you can do it by dropping your QT preferences into the apple tv's directory..
  4. stukdog macrumors 6502

    Oct 20, 2004
  5. tronic72 macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2007
    my 2c

    I stream ALL my content. I have the 160 GB Apple TV but I've adding content so frequently that i simply don't have time to sync, so I just watch it directly from my Mac and it works brilliant. If i had known this before purchasing it I would have saved some $$$ and purchased the 40GB Apple TV

    As far as formats go, H.264 is the best by a long way. There are lots of posts (google it) on how superior it is to avi and DIVX.
    I use Hand Brake to rip my DVDs and the quality is brilliant. I recently added the DVD jackets to the movies and TV shows in iTunes so they come up in my Apple TV and look great. You can expect the ripped movie sizes to range from 1 GB - 2.5 GB. I use the default Apple TV default in Hand Brake with "2-pass encoding" From what I've read, the second pass helps to decrease the file size while keeping the quality high.

    Some examples of file sizes for movies ripped with Hand Brake are: Alien Resurrection 1.92 GB, Aliens 2.73 GB, Batman 862MB, Donni Darko 2.42 GB, Finding Nemo 559MB

    As you can see the sizes vary greatly depending on the content. Animated features for example are quite small due to the use of flat colours.

    Hope this helps.
  6. stab macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2007

    yeah, I'd agree I think h.264 is the way to go. It really is awesome.

    And with Elgato's Turbo h.264 you've got a system that can encode quickly whilst leaving you computer's processor to do other things (and if you use EyeTV it works seamlessly).

    Streaming to ATV is great unless you've only got 802.11b (which I have! Yeah I've got Old School Macs!).

    So seeing I can't stream video very well I'm going to use my ATV AS a kind of wireless media server by using the USB hack and putting on an external HD (160Gig probly).

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