Frickin' AppleTV and HD content (again, sorry)

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MacBoobsPro, Dec 2, 2007.

  1. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Ok I have been trying to get some frickin HD content onto my AppleTV for months now. All I want to do is sit and enjoy 1 good movie in full HD glory. I have pissed about with the HD gallery on Apples website and have had various small clips in HD on my TV, but I really want to be able to sit and watch one full length movie and enjoy its HDness!

    I have no HD source so I have 'acquired' ;) a HD film to then convert and sync to my AppleTV but no matter what the hell I do I just cannot get it to convert to an AppleTV friendly format. I even downloaded a second HD film (another 8GB) but that wont work either.

    I am aware it needs to be 1280x720, have a framerate of 24fps have a bitrate of 5Mbs or less (I've been using 3.5) and I have made sure the audio is 'readable' to. Last night I left Quicktime converting the original .mov file using the 'Export to AppleTV' option. 12 hours later I get a message saying something about a catch all error? The other film I have seems a bit finicky and drops frames left right and centre so I gave up on that one altogether.

    VisualHub gives me REALLY crappy results and doesnt seem stable, VLC is just an unstable mess and the only other option I have is using Quicktime however it is unbelievably slow and doesnt seem to work no matter what I do.

    Could it be my Dual 1.8 G5 with 2GB ram is not powerful enough? Like I've said I've spent AGES trying to get just one HD film on my AppleTV. Its not something I plan to do all the time I just want to see what its like.

    Can anyone tell me what I may be doing wrong? Is my Mac too slow? Am I slightly retarded?
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    I can't tell you for sure, since I don't have such files. But here are a few suggestions.

    1. You're not exceeding the 4 gb file size limitation of the ATV?

    2. Presumably, you can open the HD file in Quicktime. It might be easier if you select a 1 minute or so section of the movie, then do a Trim To Selection and Save As... to a QT file. This way, you have something more manageable to work with and debug settings, and you won't damage your original file. Use this short segment to determine if it's the settings you're using for export.

    3. You've already tried Export To Apple TV. Have you also tried Export as MPEG-4 using its 720 option?

    4. If you have Eye TV it will make HD videos for the ATV. We use it to capture such video with our antenna and Eye TV Hybrid (720 and 1080) and use the Export to Apple TV option to get HD video.

    5. I used the following settings with Quicktime Export to MPEG-4 to upscale 10 seconds of a 768x576 video to 720 HD:

    a. File Format: MP4​

    Video tab
    b. Video Format: H.264
    c. Data Rate: 2000
    d. Image Size: 1280x720 HD
    e. Frame Rate: 24
    f. Key Frame: Automatic
    g. Video Options...
    1. Main profile
    2. Faster encode​

    Audio tab
    h. Audio Format: AAC-LC (Music)
    i. Data Rate: 128 kbps
    j. Channels: Stereo
    k. Output Sample Rate: 44.100
    l. Encoding Quality: Best
    Streaming was disabled in the Streaming tab

    This file sync'd to my ATV and played just fine. I've uploaded the file (3 mb) to my web site:

    See if it syncs with your ATV.
  3. MacBoobsPro thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Hi Caveman,

    Thanks for taking the time with uploading the file. However the problem is not getting it onto the ATV its encoding that seems to be the problem. The file I have is 1080p so I need to get it down to 720p and no matter what I try it just wont work. I either get really crap quality, dropped frames or an error. However if I play the original AVI its plays fine albeit a bit slow. Could it be my machine is just too slow to display HD content? And to transcode HD content is just asking way too much?

    Right now Im trying again using quicktimes export to Mp4. It will be a few more hours yet before its done. Why cant Apple just offer HD content :mad:
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Sorry I can't help you more. I did downsize a 1080 recording from my Eye TV to 720 using the above QT parameters, and it sync'd to my ATV. Have you tried downsizing your 1080 file to 720 using the parameters above.
  5. MacBoobsPro thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    Damn It!!!!!!!!!

    I messed around with a smaller sample of the movie and got it encoded and synced fine.

    Went ahead and started transcoding the full file with all the same setting I used on the sample that worked fine before. 18.5 hours into it:

    Attached Files:

  6. tveric macrumors 6502

    Jun 23, 2003
    This is a perfect example of how DRM frustrates and discourages customers from buying something that would otherwise be a hot ticket. Apple sells DRM-laden stuff on the itms, and thus requires only a certain format be played on the AppleTV. Meanwhile, OS X is capable of playing ANY format if you install Perian - so why doesn't the Apple TV ship with this capability? Obviously, because studios that produce the stuff would go nuts on Apple about allowing their TV device to play anybody's free content (no doubt a lot of that would be pirated).

    But instead of discouraging piracy, all that happens is consumers look elsewhere for a solution. A product that could've been the next iPod of the living room is instead relegated to appealing to a very narrow market, and even the customers that buy it are frustrated with their inability to play hard-drive based material off of it, whether they obtain that material legally or not.

    Until the studios agree to release content without DRM, they'll never sell significant numbers of that content. IF they eventually do it, will that content be subsequently pirated? Sure it will... in other words, exactly what's happening now. Except that now, NO ONE wants to pay for it because of the DRM restrictions. If they at least lift those restrictions, they'll certainly make money than they currently are. But they're too stupid to see that.
  7. cohibadad macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2007
    I agree about the stupidity of DRM but the OP problem is with encoding. Wish I could help with that. I down-encoded some 1080p to 720p fine. Not sure what the problem is but I am guessing it is your source material for some reason.
  8. MrExige macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2007
    Have you tried VisualHub instead of Quicktime?

    Works fine for all my mkv -> apple TV conversions also.
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Did you read the OP? :confused:
  10. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    This has very little to do with DRM.

    This has been imposed upon Apple by the studios. Apple's problem is the same problem with vaccines; they are victims of their own success. Fairplay has been tough to crack, especially in the last couple of years, thus the desire to buy from iTMS is not too strong when you can buy DVDs or Blu Ray/HD, which are already cracked. The industry cannot impose new encoding schemes on physical media because that would render all DVD/Blu Ray/HD-DVD players nonfunctional. Apple's model is all software-based, thus can be revised at anytime.

    It cannot play Blu Ray or HD-DVD at this point.

    I don't understand this; can you clarify?

    We are all hopeful that Apple will come up with a solution, but I doubt that the (apparently) imminent announcements at MW will satisfy everyone. There are some serious issues that must be overcome, particularly bandwidth for iTMS HD media. A 2 hour 720 video with DD audio is going to be in the 4 to 6 gig range - not something that will be downloadable by most people in a couple of hours.

    There are renters and there are buyers. The market will always be there. Apple (and the studios) just has to figure out how to manage it. But I don't think DRM for video is going away anytime soon.

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