Dark scenes on Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by InfiniteLoopy, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. InfiniteLoopy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #1
    Hello all,

    So I rented a new film on ATV2 and the dark scenes were pretty awful. They were all blurry which is something I never see when watching (non-HD) TV or blu-rays. Is this due to the bitrate on ATV2 being inferior to blu-rays?

    Thanks,
     
  2. adbe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    #2
    It could just be a really lousy transcode - that's not as uncommon as you'd think, or over-compression. It might be worth experimenting with the HDMI mode for the ATV. Try RGB High or Low and see if those profiles look better for low light material.
     
  3. InfiniteLoopy thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2010
    #3
    Hi,

    Thanks for your reply.
    So this has nothing to do with the bitrate then? What is bitrate in the context of video?

    In all the films I've rented, this was the first time I had such a bad picture.

    How do you change the HDMI mode?

    Thanks,
     
  4. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
    #4
    My Apple TV is to dark as well. Someone posted on here before some steps to improve that using the Settings. I din't save it because I was not having the issue at the time.

    Does anyone remember what those settings were to improve the brightness?

    Thanks for any help!!
     
  5. betman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    #5
    You might want to play with the gamma setting on your tv.
     
  6. GlenK macrumors 6502a

    GlenK

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Location:
    St. Augustine, FL
  7. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #7
    Yes, you are seeing compression artifacts in dark scenes from the lower bitrate.
     
  8. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #8
    The bitrate of the video file is the culprit. Online streaming has to accept the reality of the overall poor broadband speeds in America.

    It's the main reason I do not rent or purchase online movies. The price versus the quality is not in parity in my opinion.

    I rip all my 1080p movies at a constant 14Mb/s (@ slow processing) and the quality is indistinguishable from the original source (particularly dark scenes). Compare my 10-14GB files compared to iTunes 3GB file size and you can see the issue for much of America that has download speeds of 1-2MB/s. Talking 20-30 minutes for the iTunes file versus 2 hours for mine.
     
  9. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    #9
    That's actually kind of pointless. If you are looking for transparency at a smaller fize size you should look into encoding with crf at 17 or 18. Just blinding putting 14 Mbps into every movie isn't going to give you the result you want. It will be wastefully too high on some, and too low on others. CRF encodes to a specified quality, so you don't have to do the work guessing which bitrate to use.
     
  10. betman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    #10
    Before I discovered Hulu/Netflix (kind of by chance as I was looking for Regenesis seasons 3-4 and they never came out on DVD) I would always buy my shows from Amazon on physical discs.

    But even here the quality would often be visibly different, even on Blu-ray. I recall 'The Walking Dead' S3 being rather poor with visible artefacts and graining, whereas 'Top of the Lake' was absolutely stunning in terms of picture quality (a great mini-series that I would only recommend seeing on Blu-ray for the visuals alone).
     
  11. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #11
    There are certainly poor transfers available on Blu-ray but it's generally old catalog stuff. TWD S3 simply preserves the look of the TV show. It's got a dull/soft, gritty presentation. Yes, it's got some grain and that's how it is supposed to look. It's nothing to do with the format or transfer.

    There's a massive difference between bandwidth starved digital copies, poor Blu-ray transfers, and something like you cited.
     
  12. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #12
    Ya I agree, but I am ok with the file size. I did try Constant Quality and I had issues with animations being all over the place in regards to quality or file size.

    I record my music in constant bit rate too as I'm ok with the size :)
     
  13. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #13
    Of course it would be all over the place. The encoder varies the bit rate to satisfy your chosen visual quality. Some will be higher and some lower. Thats the whole point. I am guessing at your abr setting you are wasting on average a ton of bitrate for no visual quality difference. Just my .02
     
  14. westrock2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    #14
    No, I'm talking like a 1080p animation movie would be 1GB and would have obvious artifacts, whilst another 1080p movie would be 20GB which is way overkill.

    I did go ahead and try it again since Handbrake has been upgraded in the last 2 years. I'll see how it goes this time.

    But again, "wasting" is a relative term. Storage space is easy to come by and easy to setup in a Mac Pro which has many direct connections. I could see it being a problem for Mac Mini or iMac who doesn't wasn't a stack of USB drives everywhere.
     
  15. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2012
    #15
    Start at preset veryslow, crf 18. For film sources use tune "film". For animation use tune "animation". This should give you a relatively transparent encode to source. You can adjust crf in .5 increments up or down if needed, but crf 18 will give you good quality. As dynaflash said above you're just wasting bits/size by doing everything at the same bitrate.
    http://mewiki.project357.com/wiki/X264_Settings

    Personally, I prefer MeGUI over Handbrake.
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/megui/
     

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