Considering an Apple TV...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by GSMiller, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. GSMiller macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #1
    As the title says, I'm considering asking for an Apple TV this Christmas, but I have a few questions that maybe some of you can answer as I am a bit worried about the usefulness of an Apple TV.

    First off, I know you can rent and buy HD content from iTunes and watch it on your :apple: TV, but what about from other HD sources. For instance, say I get an external BRD player for my Mac. Would I be able to rip the BRD's and then import them into iTunes, transfer them to my :apple: TV and watch them? I know that at current BRD isn't officially supported, that's just my example, but let's just say I have a HD video on my computer that I can play in QuickTime and would like to watch it on my :apple: TV. Also, would there be any conversion process to do this (like the iPod video conversion) and would such a conversion make the video non-HD? (I'm not expecting full 1080p here, and it doesn't matter as my HDTV is only 720p). I see in VisualHub there is an option to convert to Apple TV but does anyone know the resolution?

    Sorry for all the questions, and if I've repeated questions asked previously by other users, I just don't want to spend the money for an :apple: TV and have a pretty paper weight on my hands.
     
  2. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #2
    1. You can rip BR disc movies if you bought an external player - CaveMan has a topic on this.

    2. If you rip them, you'll need to convert them to H.264 to play in iTunes/Apple TV. The Apple TV will only play MPEG4 (preferably H.264 encoding) files unless hacked, so just because QuickTime plays it, doesn't mean the Apple TV will.

    To encode the files, use either HandBrake or VisualHub (although they have closed their doors).

    You can easily convert an HD file to SD. I have done this using VisualHub - a 720P file of 1280x720 resolution down to 688x384 resolution and obviously lower the bitrate to of around 1000kbps.

    So, use either HandBrake or VisualHub if you're able to get a hold of a copy and encode everything into an MPEG4 (w/H.264) file. Then use MetaX to add artwork, sypnosis and other metadata.
     
  3. GSMiller thread starter macrumors 68000

    GSMiller

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2006
    Location:
    Kentucky
    #3
    Thanks for answering all my questions, Kilamite, but I'm wondering if the video will still be in HD after it's converted to H.264 (probably a dumb question) and should I expect a higher quality than what I get with an upconverting DVD player?
     
  4. Chris Rogers macrumors 6502a

    Chris Rogers

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    my house
    #4
    Won't Boxee play it without having to convert it?
     
  5. theBB macrumors 68020

    theBB

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    #5
    Yes, it would still be HD if that is how you set the converter software settings.

    I have exported iMovie projects in 720p using the AppleTV preset. They worked quite well.

    Yes, but Boxee is still a bit too much of a hack. I use it mainly for streaming and to avoid conversion if on occasion a friend brings a movie file, but for movies that I would keep for a long time, I stick with iTunes/AppleTV interface.
     
  6. kolax macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2007
    #6
    Well, it isn't "true" HD as it isn't in a lossless format (i.e. playing off a Blu-Ray disc). But I can't tell the difference though - sitting back at 10 feet, a Blu-Ray disc playing 720p (my tele only does 720p) and off my Apple TV using H.264 codec both look identical. Obviously, up close (1 foot away) there is slight differences, barely noticable.

    An upscaling DVD player will try to sharpen the picture to make it look HD. But to be honest, if your source is SD, then you can't increase the resolution. You can modify it with picture settings (sharpness, noise reduction etc) to make it look cleaner which is something your upscaling DVD player might be doing...although I wouldn't be concerned by this when encoding SD stuff for your Apple TV.
     

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