Choppy HD Video with VisualHub

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Blazer5913, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Blazer5913 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #1
    I just finished watching an .mkv 720p encode of No Country For Old Men using VisualHub. As I said, the original source was your standard, 4.3ish gb .mkv file and played fine with VLC. But after encoding with Visual Hub, AppleTV settings 2 pass, I watched it and noticed ALOT of choppy scenes that were very noticeable. Mainly during long panning scenes of landscapes, the video would stop and then speed up to catch up. Not sure why its doing this, and I know I'm not doing something wrong on my end... But just wondering if any of you guys are having the same issues with high def encodes with VisualHub (using HDMI to connect as well) Thanks
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    Is the file sync'd to your ATV or are you streaming it? I have found that my DVDs encoded with both AAC and AC3 audio tracks stutter if I stream, but not if I sync. I suspect the 802.11n AEBS isn't able to pass along the data to the ATV fast enough.
     
  3. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Location:
    Newton, MA
    #3
    You might want to start eliminating some variables in tracking down your problem.

    Start by looking at the same passages synced to your Apple TV, on your Mac, and see if either of those hang then speed up to catch up. If not, it's your router. (Which seems odd for an N class router.)

    If it's your router, make sure that the source Mac and the Apple TV are the only things on your network during your streaming test. (Is you Mac "N" speed?) Is your network secure? Are there a lot of other networks visible in your Airport menu-bar dropdown? If so, try changing the Airport's channel.
     
  4. pj4533 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #4
    I can tell you from personal experience that it is definately not anything to do with the AppleTV (hardware, software or connection).

    I had the same exact trouble with NoCountryForOldMen. Try playing the mp4 on your computer. The beginning part after TommyLeeJones' speech has a big pan shot. I used this part as a test, cause it was the first noticable stutter. The mp4 created by VisualHub would always skip there, at least once. VLC did play fine as you state. I tried 'force VLC encoding' in visualHub and it STILL stuttered there. And again, this is 100% computer, no appleTV in the picture (other than AppleTV settings in VisualHub). So best I can tell the issue is in VisualHub. I have been meaning to make a post on a more VisualHub-esque forum but havn't gotten around to it.

    I think I am just gonna stay away from HD re-encodes for appleTV for now.

    -pj
     
  5. Tommy Tallarico macrumors member

    Tommy Tallarico

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    #5
    Is the source PAL instead of NTSC? The framerate of the source may be 25 fps, but VisualHub will end up converting it to 24 fps unless you specify 25, which may be what's causing the choppiness. I know exactly what you're talking about with long, sweeping nature shots looking choppy, and it's always happened to me when the source video was 25 fps instead of 24. It has nothing to do with Apple TV's capabilities or VisualHub not doing a good job.
     
  6. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #6
    Not sure if NTSC/PAL? Its mostly just HD 720p .mkv files that have been ripped from BluRay discs... It just seems like this is for every file I've tried to play and its getting really annoying (internet connection is PLENTY fast, and it even does it when synched). More and more I'm leaning to just ditching the digital video stuff and keeping with rock solid blu ray discs... PS3 anyone?
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    You won't be able to beat BluRay discs with the Apple TV. High bitrate H.264 or MPEG2 is going to blow away anything you can get at a reasonable file size for the ATV. Keep that BluRay - it is tops for the best experience.
     
  8. F-six macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #8
    I don't believe it has anything to do with syncing or streaming. I have the wonderful BBC tv-serie Planet Earth in both 720p and in 1080p resolution. The episodes are all mkv-files.
    I converted both version, the 720p and 1080p, with VisualHub. Settings: Apple TV 5.1, H.264 code and go nuts. The end-result of both conversions is practically the same. I checked both converted files in Quicktime and they ended up with the same settings; H264, 1280 x 720, AC3, Stereo (L R), 23,98 fps. Both have also the same bitrate: around 4800 kbs (is this correct?). The converted 1080p files were ± 30mb larger than the converted 720p files. The :apple:tv is connected to a Panasonic 42" plasma using HDMI.

    The converted 720p files don't run smoothly on the tv. As the topic-starter mentions, there is a hick-up from time to time, especially during long panning scenes of landscape. There are a lot of those scenes in these documentaries. The hick-ups are very annoying.

    The converted 1080p files however do run smoothly on the tv. Really. No hick-up whatsoever. I really don't have an explanation for this, but maybe it gives somebody else a clue what is going on.
     
  9. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #9

    Wow, this is great news. I'll try downloading a 1080p mkv tonight and converting it tomorrow. I REALLY hope this works, because that would be such a relief. The main reason I bought this thing was to watch my HD movies. I mean, when its not stuttering/flickering, the picture looks incredible (for my eyes, close enough to blu ray on a 32" TV that I really don't care). Anybody have this same experience with 1080p encodes going better in VisualHub than 720p?
     
  10. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #10
    OK, So I just downloaded a 1080p mkv of I AM LEGEND and am going to throw it into VisualHub and hopefully it all works out. I am going to use the AppleTV (not 5.1 right now), 2 pass, and Go Nuts. I'll let you know how it turned out.
     
  11. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #11
    This in VH's logs when using AppleTV Preset "Go Nuts" setting:
    "[h264 @ 0x5fd370]VBV maxrate specified, but no bufsize"
    shows that VH is trying to set a vbv buffer up in x264 to control short term bitrate spikes that can cause stuttering on the appleTV. However it is not setting it up correctly and the x264 encoder is telling it that. So as a result x264 is using NO video buffering verifier at all.

    Short answer, that very well *could* be what your seeing on complex panning shots, etc. Short term bitrate spikes will vary depending on the source at the time.
     
  12. Jelite macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    I've converted a 720p .mkv of star wars ep3 on my mini today with appletv 5.1 go nuts setting and get constant stuttering played back on the mini, im going to try again with 25fps as mentioned.
     
  13. Jelite macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #13
    25fps worked but you still lose a little sharpness converting to mp4 so i think i'll keep the original mkv's for now.
     
  14. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #14
    Does The ATV Accept .Mov If So Just use QT Pro And Passthrough To .Mov Then Transfer To ATV
     
  15. pj4533 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    #15

    hmmmm so does this seem to indicate that not using "Go Nuts" might be best, in certain situations? So that you get a highbitrate, and the video buffering verifier?

    -pj
     
  16. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #16
    No clue. I don't use VH really at all. I just happened to notice it is not setting up the vbv buffer correctly at all with that setting. You would have to watch your log for that message from x264 when testing other vh settings.
     
  17. F-six macrumors member

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    Feb 23, 2008
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #17
    And? Did it work? :)
     
  18. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #18
    Well it did work better. I didn't see any visible choppiness or stuttering. But being at home for these past couple of days has made me realize that I can't deal with this AppleTV stuff for my HD needs, its gotta be BluRay. The **** is just so crisp and clear, and hassle free. Not to mention 1080p and HD audio. Can't beat that. Sorry apple, nice try
     
  19. Shoesy macrumors 6502a

    Shoesy

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    Location:
    Colchester, UK.
    #19
    I must admit I went through this whole line of thought too, could never get my hd settings quite right, had frame rate conversion problems (same deal- one skip per second on panning scenes) - and eventually came to a similar conclusion.

    Apple tv is not the way to go for home hd. Live with it.
     
  20. williedigital macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2005
    #20
    I've had the same issues

    Stuttering, skipping problems with 720p files. It's less of a problem since the take2 update, but is still a prob. I think the issue is with the decoding software of the video card and that it can be fixed in a pending update.
     
  21. Blazer5913 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    #21
    Well I'm glad to hear that I am not the only one with this train of thought. So SHOESY, what did you end up doing? Obviously you want great looking HD movies and don't want to put up with the ******** of ATV. Did you just get a BluRay player and begin buying BD disks? I think this is what I'm going to do. It may be a bit more expensive but its worth the peace of mind knowing that I can watch full 1080p movies with HD audio and not have to worry about stuttering and encoding and such... What do you guys think? Does anybody on here ACTUALLY use the ATV for watching their HD movie collection they've ripped/downloaded and encoded? Thanks
     
  22. wmealer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 7, 2006
    #22
    I have to say that I've been a fan of converting Hi-Def mkv files for my ATV ever since it was released last year. I use the standard AppleTV setting, with h.264 checked, Go Nuts. I don't tweak the advanced settings other than constraining my file size to 4290MB, which thru trial and error always results in a file 3.99GB or less. I experience the annoying jitter only when I'm streaming. If my movie is synced, it's smooth as silk. I don't pretend to have any answers, all I know is my experience has been great with converted mkv files. Occasionally when I convert a 1080p flick for ATV, the aspect ratio would be wrong, but I'd just go back, calculate the correct ratio and plug in the numbers manually. I always look for 720p mkvs now, and those problems are gone.
     
  23. mac2mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #23
    The best way to stop choppy video when converting is to keep the FPS the same heres how in visualhub

    1. Open your original video in quicktime then press command+i have a look what the FPS is. In this example its 25:
    [​IMG]

    2. Then in VisualHub drop your video in choose the quality etc, then click
    "Advanced" and in the framerate box type whatever FPS it said in quicktime. In this example its 25:
    [​IMG]

    Now your converted video should look as smooth as the original!
     

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  24. northy124 macrumors 68020

    northy124

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    #24
    I'm Going To Try That Now See What It looks Like In Preview.

    Edit: Loses Quality Still:(
     
  25. mac2mac macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Preview?
     

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