Best quality for ATV and iPhone playback

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mtfield, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. mtfield macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2008
    I am going to buy a external hard drive to put my DVD collection on. Im wanting to watch the movies on my tv and my iPhone. Does anyone have any thoughts to how best to encode them so I can watch on both system with the best quality possible?
  2. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    The iPhone and iPod Touch have lower limits then the AppleTV so if you use a program like VisualHub, using the iPod Video High (640x480) will give you a file that will work on your iPhone and look good (though not great) on your Apple TV.

    Plenty of threads about it so a search should provide you plenty of information. :)
  3. Blazer5913 macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2004
    My advice would be to make two different files. Quality is the absolute most important thing to me when it comes to this stuff, so I have my AppleTV files set for the Go Nuts on AppleTV setting, and granted they do take up a decent amount of space, they look fantastic on my HDTV. And when it comes to a movie I want for my iPhone, I'll take the mp4 I have of it for the AppleTV and throw it into VisualHub and set it for the iPhone. The iPhone settings really aren't that CPU intensive so it goes fairly quick, and you get decent looking files for both of them. ANd the iphone sizes aren't that big either, so win-win.
  4. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    I've posted this several times before in other threads. My friend and I have spent a very long time experimenting with different settings in Handbrake to determine what we consider the best possible format (for our uses at least). We wanted a single video file that would both work on iPods, look good on larger screens (we've tried up to 60" SXRD Display and 113" projector), and a fairly small file size. Using these parameters and a lot of small test videos, I have come up with presets that work extremely well.

    Keep in mind, I work mainly with TV shows, but the widescreen settings should work fine for movies.

    For widescreen live-action TV shows:
    x264 (h.264 iPod) encoder
    Average bitrate: 1500
    2-pass encoding with Turbo first pass
    Output size: 640 width (This is important, if it's more than 640 wide, iPods/iPhones will not play the video)
    Deinterlace: Slow
    Detelecine: Yes, if applicable (I have found it eliminates choppy playback on Scrubs and Friends)
    Advanced Settings (all but the following set to default):
    Motion Estimation Method: Uneven Multi-Hexagon

    For 4:3 live-action TV shows:
    Same as above, but frame size can be left at full 640x480

    For animated TV shows:
    Same as live-action, but Denoise can be set up to medium (This helps to eliminate some macroblocking)

    These settings work extremely well for all of the uses I've tried. The resulting files are around 250MB for 1/2hr TV shows, 500MB for 1hr TV shows. I just got a 60" HDTV and took a look at these and they are gorgeous on it. And these look great on my iPod touch as well.
  5. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    It should be noted that the iPhone can support resolutions up to 720-wide. I also wouldn't use deinterlace unless it is absolutely necessary.

    The next version of Handbrake should make it even easier to create a high-quality encode that is compatible with both devices (as long as Apple finally agrees on a common way to handle anamorphic). Using development code, I am able to encode a very good looking video using CRF, VFR, and loose anamorphic (which doesn't display correctly on v1.1, but this should change with 2.0).
  6. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    One mile up and soaring
    Aliensarefuzzy, I'm curious about your settings. I do movies not TV shows and use 480x settings for my iPhone at 400 avg. bitrate and a 2hr movie is about .5GB. But for Apple TV on my 42" DLP I use higher pixel settings to get 720 or 85x anamorphic and about a 1500 avg. bitrate for avg 1.5-2GB per movie. I just name the iPhone movies with an i, as in Fight Club i for my phone when going to sync. Not the best system, but it keeps movies smaller for my phone, and lets me keep resolution for my tv. I wonder since you say it looks great on your tv how movies would turn out at 640.
  7. AliensAreFuzzy macrumors 68000


    May 30, 2004
    Madison, WI
    Really? According the spec page it can only do 640. As for the deinterlace, I find that on most older TV show DVDs are interlaced, so it is necessary a lot. However, on newer TV shows and movies that are progressive, you are very right that it's not needed.

    I hooked up my videos to my 60" last night and was floored with the quality. I thought it would be OK, but it actually looked really really good.
    The two different files works for movies, I suppose. When I do TV shows, though, I am ANAL about tagging them. I probably spend about an hour per season putting in descriptions, episode numbers, artwork, etc. So if I had to do it to two different files, it would be a real hassle. Plus it would clutter my iTunes (and god knows I don't need it any more cluttered than it already is.)
  8. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    Something that works for me is:

    I encode at a high quality for ATV since that is the main focus for me. I then use iTunes to convert movies to iPhone/Touch.

    Next I find file and add it to iTunes and list it as a TV show so it moves it out of my movie folder. One thing you have to do is name the show/series as the name of the movie so you can see it under the iphone device and transfer it.

    Again, this works for me as I have no TV shows that I watch, just movies on the iPhone for kids or when I get board.
  9. CBlakeston macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2008
    With the new Handbrake 0.9.2 i've just started to re-encode all my videos again - but hopefully this will be for the last time. Before there has always had to be some kind of compromise with res, or bitrate or 5.1 sound but now you can have it all. My new encoding settings are:

    720x anamoprhic (x being whatever it is after i've cropped for dead space)
    H.264 2 pass (turbo 1st pass)
    2ch AAC and untouched AC3 audio
    (Stereo for computer and iPhone playback and 5.1 Dolby Digital for Apple TV)
    2500 bitrate

    These files work perfectly on my iPhone and look like crisp upsampled DVD's on my Apple TV. Admittedly, it works our around 1.5GB - 2GB per movie but i'm happy with that. I'm also anal about tagging so everything is organized perfectly and looks neat in iTunes and on AppleTV.

    I shouldn't have to encode again as it doesn't get better then this? (crosses fingers)
  10. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    See this thread:

    Bitrate is the only thing you need to worry about. See my post on the settings I used. Since iPhone only goes up to 16GB right now it may only hold a couple of movies if you use a high bitrate, but I think it future proofs the encodes for both iPhone and ATV. You know the 32GB is coming to iPhone, it is just a matter of time.
  11. Avatar74 macrumors 65816


    Feb 5, 2007
    It's not the amount of storage you have. What's at issue with bitrate is the size of the bitstream that the onboard MPEG-4 decoder can handle. The iPhone isn't designed to handle decoding anything higher than 1.5 Mbps Baseline Profile LC. By comparison, the AppleTV is designed to handle Main Profile content up to 5 Mbps. Baseline and Main Profile are substantially different and not just in terms of the size of the bitstream.
  12. CBlakeston macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2008
    I may have it wrong but i'm pretty sure the Handbrake Devs have tested the iphone playback at above 2500 and found it plays fine. I have not noticed anything wrong with my own encodes. I forogt to add that i made my handbrake preset by modifying the existing High Res iPod one so would presume i'm still using the baseline profile which could be why it works?
  13. Scarpad macrumors 68000


    Jan 13, 2005
    Probably the Ipod Hirez setting of Handbrake depends how picky you are. The quality is good, still after seenig the Apple TV setting you might decide to make a version for the phone seperately
  14. bacaramac macrumors 65816


    Dec 29, 2007
    Looks the same as the ATV setting on a 40" LCD Samsung @ 720p/1080i. And yes the iPhone with these settings will play up to a 5000 bitrate. Also, if there is a difference then that is fine as the topic for this thread is what is the best setting for both ATV and iPhone file. Give and take is a must if you want a file for both.

    Again, I didn't notice any difference.

    EDIT: My settings

    Base Setting = iPod High-Rez
    Changes = Up to 5k Bitrate(your choice), No iPod Atom, Audio 160kbps, Codecs AVC/H.264 Video AAC+AC3 5.1, 2pass w/ Turbo 1st, Strict Anamorhpic (853x460 based on 40 year old virgin movie).

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