Handbrake preset question

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by iNewbie, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. iNewbie macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2006
    I've been trying to rip / convert my DVD's and Blu-Rays for my Home Theater. I've been taking the Blu-Ray and turning it into a .mkv file first and then encoding it with Handbrake on the Apple TV 3 Preset.

    Currently I'm playing most of the files with Plex to a Projector but wanted them in an Apple format to get them to any iOS devices. I know Plex does something with off line now and I've played with it, but I think I would prefer them to be able to get fully into the Apple ecosystem.

    I tried to put a couple movies on my iPhone 5s and it looks like it's not working. there's no error and it appears to be marked for the phone but just greyed out.

    Does the Apple TV preset just not work with the 5s? I was hopping to only have to carry 1 file for the ATV3 and late generation devices - iPad Mini, iPod touch 5th gen, etc...
    I don't want to use Universal because then that hurts the projector.

    Must I have "Projector" files and "Mobile" files or am I missing something?

  2. mpantone, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    I'm pretty sure there is nothing specifically wrong with the Apple TV 3 preset.

    The issue you're encountering might have to do with the capabilities of each device, specifically what sort of file bitrates they support, particularly with Blu-ray 1080p Handbrake sources. Like you, I also found that some of the transcoded Blu-ray files were unplayable on my iOS devices (at the time, an iPhone 4S and an iPad 2).

    At the same time, I also noted that the resulting transcoded files from Handbrake were massive, larger than I found acceptable. What I ended up doing was playing with the video quality function in Handbrake, and I believe I finally set this to 2500 kbps average bitrate, rather than using a constant quality level.

    Ultimately I settled on the 2500 kbps bitrate since I found it to be an acceptable compromise between file size and image quality. The resulting movie file size ends up being about 1.1GB per hour of 1080p Blu-ray footage.

    Without a doubt, some would find this setting too low, you will have to do some test encodes at different bitrates to assess the tradeoffs yourself.

    I never encountered this problem transcoding from DVD sources, so it is likely that whatever parameters Handbrake's "Apple TV 3" setting contains, they won't outstrip the capabilities of these iDevices. The problem only occurred for me what I was transcoding from Blu-ray content.

    Hope this helps, good luck.
  3. iNewbie thread starter macrumors regular

    Aug 25, 2006

    I appreciate it.

    I only tested one BluRay source so far. and it won't go to iPhone 5s but does work fine on my original iPad mini. Which probably is good enough for me.

    These are big files - no question - but file size doesn't concern me too much right now. I guess I need to play around more but I'm happier knowing they work on the mini at least.
  4. nostresshere macrumors 68030

    Dec 30, 2010
    Did not see what file size you were getting, but do regular DVDs and most movies are in the 1-2 gb size. The quality is excellent on Ipad.
  5. mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    Addendum: although I'm not 100% sure, one problem might be a 4GB file size limit for older iDevices running 32-bit iOS versions.

    My memory is a bit hazy, but when I was playing around with encodes to get a file size that would work on my iPhone, I believe the 4GB threshold came into play. I am certain I was running iOS 6 at the time.

    I do not know if that's still an issue with other iDevices and iOS 7. My iPhone 4S and iPad 2 are gone, replaced by an iPhone 5s and iPad mini Retina (both running 64-bit iOS 7), so I'm not sure if the OS resolves this.

    I do know that a >4GB larger movie file was easily handled by my Mac which is why I drove down bitrate for iOS device compatibility.
  6. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    OS X never had the 4GB file size limitation. And iOS is the mobile OS X (same kernel).
    Possible problems with the file:
    Does it fit entirely on the device?
    Is the generated AVC profile acceptable (High 4.0 at most)?

    PS I suggest to use constant quality setting on HB because it produces a VBR video stream thus more efficiently using available bits. Your size vs quality ratio is better than in CBR mode.
  7. mpantone, Dec 17, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2013

    mpantone macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    For sure my files could fit on my device. I have only owned 64GB iPhones and 64GB iPads, typically with 10GB of empty space *after* I had copied over my desired content. Free space was never the issue.

    I never said that I encountered a 4GB file size limit on OS X.

    Dunno about acceptable "AVC" profiles, Handbrake nor iOS don't seem to make it very clear to consumers what works and doesn't. As I noted before, large video files played fine on my Mac, just not on the iOS devices in question.

    I will also point out that selecting an average bitrate in Handbrake does not automatically flip the Variable Framerate selection button to Constant Framerate. It is an *AVERAGE* bitrate, so it is still doing variable bitrate encoding, although it is trying to match the general bitrate specified by the user.

    Are you sure you've used Handbrake more than once? It sounds like you simply aren't even familiar with the user interface.
  8. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    That's because QT on OS X can handle all AVC profiles.
    IMHO you can set AVC profile limitation on HB Video settings, under Advanced.

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