Getting MKVs onto the new iPad in all their HD glory

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by illjazz, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. illjazz macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    I searched and found this thread:

    Definitely contains useful information. Led me to Subler and MKVTools, which now has actually been phased out and split into three apps. The one most suited for the task at hand is MP4Tools, which is what I'm currently using.

    The new iPad should be able to handle 1080p files, considering its screen resolution exceeds the minimum resolution for 1080p.

    I'm looking for the best, easiest way to get my 720p and 1080p MKVs onto the iPad.

    Being that MKV is just a container, the ideal solution will only rip out the video and audio tracks of the MKV and remux them into an m4v file. In other words, I'm not looking for a solution that requires any transcoding of the video because that takes forever.

    MP4Tools is the most straightforward tool I've found so far for this purpose (I've only converted a single file which is still synching to the iPad but I figure it'll work), but I still wonder what others use.

    I found Subler somewhat unintuitive to use and had better luck with MP4Tools.

    Oh, just btw, I know about Air Video. It's not an option because I'm interested specifically in watching video on the iPad on the go.
  2. hugstari macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2009
  3. Dukat macrumors 6502

    Mar 9, 2012
    I use Goodplayer to play 720p mkv's perfectly smoothly on the new ipad.
    Haven't tried 1080p yet.
  4. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    With this I'm pretty sure you don't benefit from the iPad's hardware acceleration in video playback. It's all done in software. Looking at some reviews of the app on the app store, 1080p content is impossibly choppy and laggy, even on a 3rd gen iPad. Another big downside: battery life should suffer considerably because the graphics subsystem is not being used--instead, all the video playback processing is done by the iPad's CPU. The graphics chip can't be used because Goodplayer plays back video formats the iPad does not officially support.

    I'll admit that all of this is just one big hypothesis on my part, but it makes sense to me. Also explains why a 3rd gen is likely able to handle 720p content fine (A5X chip, which is more powerful than the A5) but will still choke on anything 1080p.

    I haven't been able to test the result of MP4Tools yet. It's shareware, too and definitely *could be* easier to use.
  5. whtrbt7 macrumors 65816

    Jun 8, 2011
    MP4 or bust is the rule here. If you're trying to play MKV's there's no hardware acceleration of the decode. This means you're burning through the battery as well as revving up the processor needlessly. MP4s encoded correctly with H.264 and AAC audio will play smooth as butter and even be able to handle 1080p with no problems. The only problem with 1080p streamed via Airplay is some choppiness. In any case, start standardizing to MP4s.
  6. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    Exactly, like I said above. Thanks for confirming that. So, given all this, still nobody has app suggestions for the best/fastest/easiest way to convert high def MKVs into MP4's optimized for playback on the new iPad?
  7. Tarzanman macrumors 65816

    Jul 16, 2010
    video conversion is either
    -good quality

    Choose any two
  8. ffonsok macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2010
    Video conversion is not fast and good quality. Fail.
  9. abir macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Wirelessly posted

    I'm converting 1080p mkv's with handbrake. I'm using the iPad preset and I manually change the resolution to 1920 width in order to get 1080p. The default width for the iPad preset is 1024.
  10. farme macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    With Apps like Subler you don't reencode the movie,
    you're simply "repackage" (or remux) it into a container the standard
    video app can open. The actual movie data stays the same: H264.

    So reencoding with Handbrake is not necessary at all.

    I found subler actually super easy to use:

    - Open up the file, select what you need (subtitles etc.)
    - Save the file
    - Done

    Subler does all the rest for you (like recode DTS sound to AAC for example).
    The only thing you have to change manually is the 64 Bit chunk offset in the save dialog for files that will turn out larger than 4Gb, otherwise they won't work after remuxing.
  11. abir macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Wirelessly posted

    Isn't that exactly what handbrake does?

    farme says it's not necessary to reencode but I find it is necessary because I don't want to repackage a 12-20GB 1080p mkv file on my iPad. It takes up too much space. So handbrake is reducing the file size when reencoding.
  12. ValentinoV macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Is handbrake the only option for windows? I'm looking for something that can also batch convert and hardcore subs
  13. CKtoph macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2007
    Handbrake can do both of what you're asking for.
  14. ValentinoV macrumors member

    Jan 5, 2012
    Can you please help me with the batch convert process?
  15. CKtoph macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2007
  16. farme macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2011
    But only if you choose a "weaker" profile when compared to the source
    material, hence diminishing picture quality.

    If this drop is visible is of course another question, but to me the bigger
    advantage is speed. Remuxing only takes a few minutes for a 1080p file,
    reencoding takes way longer.
  17. abir macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2012
    Wirelessly posted

    Yeah, handbrake is definitely slow as running molasses. But the size advantage is worth the trade-off for my use. Also, on the iPad's 9" retina screen I can't see the difference between the original 1080p mkv and the handbrake reencoded at 1080p for iPad. I've been putting 2-3 mkv's in the handbrake queue before I go to bed and they're done when I wake up.
  18. DOUGHNUT macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2006
    Download AVPlayerHD. Excellent app for playing different format files including mkv. Haven't tried 1080p, but 720p mkv plays fine with no conversion necessary
  19. Dex4788 macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2008
    What's the Windows equivalent of this? It seems Windows apps are really lacking in the simplicity department.
  20. illjazz thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 18, 2008
    Not sure what I had trouble with. I'll need to try again with Subler.
  21. xak macrumors regular

    Mar 13, 2012
    Any consensus on the best Windows program to use to move a movie originally encoded in mkv onto an iPad for portable (no Internet required) viewing?

    My laptop is running Handbreak right now on a 1080p video and it is estimating 4+hours for encoding.

    Never heard of 'remuxing' until recently, but if it is the time-saving choice then I prefer to do that. So is there a Windows equivalent for Subler that is widely considered the best to use?
  22. pure3d2, Apr 1, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012

    pure3d2 macrumors 6502

    Mar 7, 2012
    I haven't found an OS X solution which works 100% properly. When I used Subler, it never finishes for long movies (2 hours +).

    I've tried using MKVTools but the audio is always out of sync. I've tried adjusting the frame rate to various values but to no avail.

    I'm now using XMedia Recode to copy the video stream while encoding the audio stream to AAC. The final output is in sync and works perfectly on the iPad 3rd gen at 1080p.

    Unfortunately, XMedia Recode is only for Windows.

    EDIT: I repacked 2 MKV movies into MP4 with the following stats.

    CPU: Q6600 2.4GHz Quad Core (old)

    Movie 1
    MKV size: 14.06 GB
    Length: 2 hours 38 minutes
    Resolution: 1920 x 816 (unchanged)
    Audio: DTS English (unchanged)
    Audio: DTS French (removed in MP4 output)
    Subtitles: French (removed in MP4 output)
    MP4 size: 9.9 GB
    Job duration: 18 minutes

    Movie 2
    MKV size: 7.94 GB
    Length: 2 hours 7 minutes
    Resolution: 1920 x 816 (unchanged)
    Audio: DTS English (unchanged)
    Audio: DTS French (removed in MP4 output)
    MP4 size: 7.4 GB
    Job duration: 12 minutes

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