Encoding for Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wngraham, Mar 16, 2007.

  1. wngraham macrumors regular

    Jun 8, 2006
    Nashville, TN
    I've been using Mac The Ripper and Handbrake to rip and encode all my (legally owned store bought) DVDs into MP4 format and then importing them into iTunes. However, the settings/compression I've been using in Handbrake are optimal for viewing on the tiny screen of an iPod.

    With the hopeful delivery of my ATV unit next week, what would be the ideal compression settings for a 56" Widescreen? Surely anything that looks good on an iPod will likely be pixelated to hell on a full size screen.

    Or, as I'm expecting, is it too early to tell?
  2. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    I reckon HandBrake/MediaFork will be updated shortly after Apple TV comes out with advice on appropriate settings.

    In the mean time, I would use the original width and height (which HandBrake/MediaFork will default to) for video, at 1.5 to 2 Mbps for H.264 baseline.

    Audio is the reason why I wouldn't rip just yet. All the info points to Apple TV capable of handling only stereo. But chances are, your home theater has multi-channel audio (5.1 channel or greater)... if not now, perhaps in the future. Perhaps multi-channel audio is one of the reasons for delay?
  3. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    You will be AMAZED at the results. I know i was. I have ripped DVDs with Handbrake and they look just as good as the DVD. Technically they are not as good quality but I challenge anyone to see the difference when encoded correctly.

    Im not a video encoding maniac all i know is how to encode with optimal settings for viewing on TV (not ipod) and it is great quality. I am however a perfectionist and believe me if the quality wasnt up to scratch I would of not just ordered (yesterday) AppleTV. At the moment Im using my MB on my 42" TV.

    Multimedia will likely be interested in this thread and Im sure he will be along to help you out. I had a lenghty chat with him and he helped me out no end with my encoding because I knew little about it.

    Basically I encode my stuff at 1000kbs using H264. Multimedia told me to use mpeg not H264 but I have found i get better results with H264. Maybe a PAL/NTSC thing? With these settings i can rip a DVD into a 1GB (ish) file and you would struggle to tell the difference between it and the original DVD on TV.

    Hope this helps. :)
  4. Diatribe macrumors 601


    Jan 8, 2004
    Back in the motherland
    42" alone means nothing. Resolution is where you'll see the difference. The big screen just makes it easier to spot imperfections.
  5. Alx9876 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    H264 VS MPEG-4 question?

    I am having a hard time using H264.

    Should I just use MPEG-4 instead. If not then how do I correctly use H264 in Hand brake?

    Do I use 264 and rip from HB or is there another program to use first then HB 2nd? Thanks anyone that can help me with this.
  6. sJv macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2007
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    H.264 is a newer and more efficient form of Mpeg-4. It takes a little longer to encode, but your file sizes will be smaller for the same picture quality as the older Mpeg-4. Either one will work

    HB can rip and encode in one operation, or you can use something like Mac the Ripper to rip DVD's to your hard disk, then queue up multiple encodes with HB to run overnight. To select H.264 encode in HB, look for the pull down menu called "Codecs". You'll have some audio choices to go along with that. I personally select Dolby Pro Logic II for now, but if you wait, HB should have an update to use Dolby Digitial 5.1, which would be much better.

  7. Alx9876 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    Thank you :) Steve for explaining that to me. I found exactly what you are referring too.

    That is what I needed to know.

    -Alex. :)
  8. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

    Oct 7, 2007
    True about Handbrake. I suggest user wait a bit for their release. I have VH but Handbrake is by far the best choice for DVD > ATV 2.0 conversion. The quality you get is simply stunning and the way that they are implementing DD for ATV/iPhone/Touch/iPod will be awesome, and you can add subtitles to boot for those foreign films. :)

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