Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

photogpab

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
491
8
just installed the PLEX app on my ATV4! Very excited. I'm trying to convert all my blurays to digital files I can access easily.

If I rip a bluray into an MKV will it stream full quality to PLEX if I set the stream settings to '1080p Unlimited'? Full quality? Same as the physical disc? Or is PLEX still going to compress it somehow?

I used to convert them using handbrake but it takes so long I rather be able to just rip, drag and drop. Bonus if PLEX will actually play the film in full quality.
 

matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
7,630
4,415
just installed the PLEX app on my ATV4! Very excited. I'm trying to convert all my blurays to digital files I can access easily.

If I rip a bluray into an MKV will it stream full quality to PLEX if I set the stream settings to '1080p Unlimited'? Full quality? Same as the physical disc? Or is PLEX still going to compress it somehow?

I used to convert them using handbrake but it takes so long I rather be able to just rip, drag and drop. Bonus if PLEX will actually play the film in full quality.

Not sure what this '1080p Unlimited' is but I think Plex's using ATV native video player that doesn't support MKV? If that's true then the file will be transcode on the fly and that means converting.
 

photogpab

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
491
8
So if I repackage the MKV files as MP4 or whatever Apple supports then they would potentially stream full bluray quality?

'1080p Unlimited' is the highest quality streaming setting available on the Apple TV PLEX app
 

VitaminEvil

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2015
3
5
Sydney, Australia
Not sure what this '1080p Unlimited' is but I think Plex's using ATV native video player that doesn't support MKV? If that's true then the file will be transcode on the fly and that means converting.
So if I repackage the MKV files as MP4 or whatever Apple supports then they would potentially stream full bluray quality?

'1080p Unlimited' is the highest quality streaming setting available on the Apple TV PLEX app

Hang on there. That's not entirely correct. Plex will only transcode files if the actual stream contained within the file is of a codec that the Apple TV cannot play. Bluray MKV's are encoded as H.264, which the Apple TV can play. Now its true the Apple TV doesn't natively play video contained in an MKV, however Plex Media Server is pretty smart and simply "remuxes" the file, basically just turning the MKV into an MP4 without any transcoding or conversion.

tl;dr: Plex should be able to stream Bluray rips to the Apple TV without any transcoding.

Update: I'm about to test this out for you, to be absolutely sure, using a short MKV with the same encoding as a Bluray movie, I'll post results shortly.
 

MacUser2525

Suspended
Mar 17, 2007
2,097
373
Canada
So if I repackage the MKV files as MP4 or whatever Apple supports then they would potentially stream full bluray quality?

'1080p Unlimited' is the highest quality streaming setting available on the Apple TV PLEX app

You can use ffmpeg to simply change the container from mkv to mp4 preserving everything inside with no re-encoding, you just copy the streams inside the file. That takes very little time to do if you can find some free software like MakeMKV (paid software) which just rips the raw stream into a .mkv file then you can end up with full resolution .mp4 to play. No clue on the streaming possibilities of the Plex never used that program.
 

matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
7,630
4,415
Update: I'm about to test this out for you, to be absolutely sure, using a short MKV with the same encoding as a Bluray movie, I'll post results shortly.

Please do.

Hang on there. That's not entirely correct. Plex will only transcode files if the actual stream contained within the file is of a codec that the Apple TV cannot play. Bluray MKV's are encoded as H.264, which the Apple TV can play. Now its true the Apple TV doesn't natively play video contained in an MKV, however Plex Media Server is pretty smart and simply "remuxes" the file, basically just turning the MKV into an MP4 without any transcoding or conversion.

I really hope this is the case.
 

VitaminEvil

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2015
3
5
Sydney, Australia
Regarding my post above, I was correct, just played a 45mbps 1080p MKV natively through Plex on Apple TV without transcoding.
Screen%20Shot%202015-11-05%20at%202.16.09%20PM.png

Screen%20Shot%202015-11-05%20at%202.18.49%20PM.png
 
  • Like
Reactions: Che Castro

VitaminEvil

macrumors newbie
Nov 4, 2015
3
5
Sydney, Australia
Ah.. well....
Yup, unfortunately theres no direct support for DTS. Plex Media Server can transcode DTS into AC3 though, leaving the video stream unchanged.

What about dolby digital TrueHD?
It's difficult to tell exactly what happens with audio streams in Plex Media Server, however I have read that generally Dolby TrueHD streams are transcoded to AC3.
 
  • Like
Reactions: matrix07

photogpab

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
491
8
wow so Plex WILL stream my blu-ray rip in perfect 100% quality??? I was wondering because I tried streaming a few files and they looked good but I could not tell if they looked "blu-ray" good. I figured for a file that size Plex HAD to be compressing it somehow or doing something.

I love the new Plex app on the ATV.
 

Che Castro

macrumors 603
May 21, 2009
5,788
597
i selected 1080p unlimited and don't see any slow down in streaming buffering

So I'm sticking with that
 

xfiring

macrumors member
Oct 10, 2009
96
0
Probably a long shot but did anyone try to selecting the DTS-HD stream in a file (either m4v or mkv) and see if it bitstreams? Even though this is not supporting just passing the information along without processing it seems reasonable.
 

PCtoMAC1

macrumors 6502
Mar 16, 2012
388
143
So, how in the world can one rip a DVD that they own so that it will play from a Mac via this app?
 

thisismyusername

macrumors 6502
Nov 1, 2015
476
729
wow so Plex WILL stream my blu-ray rip in perfect 100% quality??? I was wondering because I tried streaming a few files and they looked good but I could not tell if they looked "blu-ray" good. I figured for a file that size Plex HAD to be compressing it somehow or doing something.

Keep in mind that plenty of Blu-Rays are encoded with VC-1 and Plex might need to transcode in order to play those on the AppleTV. I'm not sure if the AppleTV 4 supports VC-1 or not although I'm sure someone here knows the answer or can at least test it (I would but I don't have an AppleTV 4). To be fair though, if you can't tell if they look "blu-ray" good then it doesn't really matter :)

So, how in the world can one rip a DVD that they own so that it will play from a Mac via this app?

http://www.makemkv.com
 

photogpab

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 21, 2010
491
8
Keep in mind that plenty of Blu-Rays are encoded with VC-1 and Plex might need to transcode in order to play those on the AppleTV. I'm not sure if the AppleTV 4 supports VC-1 or not although I'm sure someone here knows the answer or can at least test it (I would but I don't have an AppleTV 4). To be fair though, if you can't tell if they look "blu-ray" good then it doesn't really matter :)



http://www.makemkv.com

well thats just it... I streamed a few films and sometimes the image looked WOW! and sometimes i thought it looked a little pixelated or compressed. Thats why I wasn't sure if PLEX was really streaming the file in full 100% bluray quality.

Ideally I would just love to have all my movies on a hard drive where I can fire up the ATV and play a movie and have the same experience as watching the physical disc.
 

Cory Bauer

macrumors 6502a
Jun 26, 2003
612
230
just installed the PLEX app on my ATV4! Very excited. I'm trying to convert all my blurays to digital files I can access easily.

If I rip a bluray into an MKV will it stream full quality to PLEX if I set the stream settings to '1080p Unlimited'? Full quality? Same as the physical disc? Or is PLEX still going to compress it somehow?

I used to convert them using handbrake but it takes so long I rather be able to just rip, drag and drop. Bonus if PLEX will actually play the film in full quality.
I've been asking the same questions as you ever since Plex was released for Apple TV. Here's what I've learned:

Yes, an MKV blu-Ray rip will play at full picture quality when the app is set to "Unlimited 1080p". Pixel for pixel identical. HOWEVER, myself and others have discovered that Warner Bros and Sony discs encoded with MPEG-4 AVC from 2013-onward have framerate and pixelation issues on the Apple TV when the quality is set to 20mbps 1080p or higher. If and when this gets fixed, who knows. But I don't intend to bother ripping my 101 blu-Ray collection unless it does.

Audio on the other hand is unknown. The Apple TV definitely isn't doing pass-through as the receiver doesn't indicate it's receiving a DTS-HD or TrueHD track. But whether what we're hearing is still lossless and therefore equivalent, no one knows. It could be the embedded core within those tracks which is being played, in which case it's not as good as blu-Ray.
 

xmichaelp

macrumors 68000
Jul 10, 2012
1,815
626
You can use ffmpeg to simply change the container from mkv to mp4 preserving everything inside with no re-encoding, you just copy the streams inside the file. That takes very little time to do if you can find some free software like MakeMKV (paid software) which just rips the raw stream into a .mkv file then you can end up with full resolution .mp4 to play. No clue on the streaming possibilities of the Plex never used that program.

I just downloaded ffmpeg and I have no idea how to use it. You need to use terminal? :(

Also, I've used handbrake in the past to convert MKV to MP4. Does that actually transcode the video files or does it just change the container?
 

matrix07

macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
7,630
4,415
So, how in the world can one rip a DVD that they own so that it will play from a Mac via this app?

DVD is mpeg2. Very old CODEC. You better use Handbrake to rip it to mp4 to get rid of all those unnecessary bits. Save a lot of HDD space this way.
 

MacUser2525

Suspended
Mar 17, 2007
2,097
373
Canada
I just downloaded ffmpeg and I have no idea how to use it. You need to use terminal? :(

Also, I've used handbrake in the past to convert MKV to MP4. Does that actually transcode the video files or does it just change the container?

Handbrake transcodes the files at the bitrate you choose, ffmpeg is a command line program you would use a command like this.

Code:
/path/to/ffmpeg -i file_name.mkv -vcodec copy -acodec copy file_name.mp4

That just copies the audio and video stream from a .mkv file to a .mp4 file. You would need to be in the directory with the video file in Terminal easy way to get there is have finder open where you can see the directory with the files type in Terminal cd then space key. Now drag and drop the folder you see in Finder and hit the ENTER key it will then change you to the directory where you can run the command needed. If you have a number of files to do you can make script to batch process them all at once. Damn now I think about it after this long post Avidmux will do the same for you graphically. You just do the same copy for both in its settings then select mp4 for container hit the save button name the file and you are good.
 

richtea123

macrumors newbie
Apr 26, 2012
25
9
Chelmsford, UK
well thats just it... I streamed a few films and sometimes the image looked WOW! and sometimes i thought it looked a little pixelated or compressed. Thats why I wasn't sure if PLEX was really streaming the file in full 100% bluray quality.

Ideally I would just love to have all my movies on a hard drive where I can fire up the ATV and play a movie and have the same experience as watching the physical disc.

Apple TV doesn't support VC1. iTunes won't even import them, even in an m4v container.

You'll never get the menus from discs, if that's what you want. I have ripped most of my blu rays now - fortunately very few seem to use VC1 anymore. It's a bit of a faff but worth it. I use MakeMKV to rip the video files from the disc. Plex should be able to determine what your player client (i.e. the actual thing you'll watch the video on) is capable of handling. If the player client can support the file (and your network is capable of streaming at a high enough bit rate) then it will just send it straight to the player. If not, it will transcode.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jagooch
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.