Can't export home movies to Apple TV in 720p - seriously?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Macwick, Mar 27, 2009.

  1. Macwick macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    I must be missing something.

    I have an HD camcorder (records 1080i in AVCHD format). I can import this footage into iMovie 09 and edit it.

    However if I want to make the resulting footage available on Apple TV it looks like I have two options:

    1) Under 'Share' choose the export to Apple TV. However this only offers SD resolutions - there are no HD resolutions (i.e. 720p) available.

    2) Under 'Share' select 'Export using QuickTime'. This allows me much more flexibility - for example I can configure the resolution and the frame rate. Now, my understanding is that Apple TV supports H264 compression, up to 720p, 24 frames per second. However if I create a video file like this using the Export Using QuickTime option, that file CANNOT be synced with Apple TV (iTunes says it is not in a supported format).

    What am I missing? Apple TV supports 720p movie rentals and purchases. Surely they allow you to import your own 720p video files?

    Thanks in advance....
  2. Wiska macrumors member

    Jan 22, 2009
    1080i footage will be encoded as "540P" or quarter HD resolution. That is 960x540, especially if your source footage is running at 29.97 fps, eg. standard NTSC frame rates, which I think is what you have.

    The highest the Apple TV can play back is 1280x720 at 24fps, but usually it will also allow playback at 25fps.
  3. Macwick thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2008
    Thanks. I was just looking to convert my 1080i footage to 1280x720 at 24fps. When I tried this, it didn't work. However I think the problem might be the bitrate of my files - I just read that Apple TV has a max bitrate of 5mbps for 1280x720 video files. I am going to try to re-encode my videos at a bitrate < 5 mbps and see if it works.....
  4. roidy macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    The Apple specs say the max bitrate is 5mbps but people have gotten files with much higher bitrates to play. I have a few bluray rips that have bitrates of around 6mbps that play fine. In fact it has been reported that the opening intro movie that plays when you reset the ATV is 6mbps.
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I have several 720p Blu-ray transcodes that have the video at 6 mbps (plus audio of around 600 kpbs) and they sync and play fine on the Apple TV.
  6. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    i have the same dilemma as the OP..

    my 1080i footage has been imported as 1080i mode into iMovie..

    after completing my project i SHARE my movie in HD mode (720p) and it creates a .mov file.

    but this cannot be played straight on the apple tv... SOOOO... can i then use visualhub/quicktime or something to convert that .mov to a 720p AppleTV compatible file that will play without any hiccups?

    If so, can someone advise of what settings I should use... the above posts refer to 5mpbs bitrate or something.. where do i specify this?

  7. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    Use Handbrake to re encode it to the ATV format and just make sure that the resolution does not go above 1280x720 and you should be fine. Also if the file you are using is going to be over 4GB you need to check off the large file option.
  8. dalvin200 macrumors 68040

    Mar 24, 2006
    Nottingham, UK
    i have visualhub... but can give handbrake a go i guess..

    can you give me a simple step by step guide on how to do that please?
    the source file is ~1gb


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