HB 0.9.4 and Apple TV pixel issue: Please Help

cwazytech

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Jan 7, 2009
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I've never had this issue before. I downloaded Handbrake 0.9.4(32bit) yesterday. I ripped a DVD under the "Apple TV Legacy" preset like I always do. The finished product plays flawlessly on my 24" iMac, but when I play it on my Apple TV I have issues with pixelation during various scenes. Prime example is when the scenes fade to black. Instead of a smooth fade out, the blackness looks rough and blocky/pixelly. I've tried re-syncing the Apple TV and restarting it, but I still have the same issue. I'm really scratching my head on this one. The only thing I can think of is that I ran the updated 32bit Handbrake with Snow Leopard in 64bit mode. This theory doesn't make too much sense though because 0.9.3 ran in 32bit mode and the movie I ripped looks flawless on my iMac. Any ideas? Please help:apple:
 

roidy

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Dec 30, 2008
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0.9.4 has a problem with Weighted B-frames. Make sure Weighted B-Frames is turned off in the Advanced options. Can I just ask why your using the AppleTV Legacy preset instead of the new AppleTV preset?
 

bucksaddle

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Dec 4, 2008
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The problem in this scenario (blockiness / pixellation of picture) is Weighted P frames, not Weighted B frames (although there are issues with weightB as mentioned) - the Apple TV cannot handle weighted P frames. WeightP was added to x264 between the 0.93 & 0.94 HandBrake releases so this is why you did not see it before this version. Ensure that weightp=0 is added to the advanced x264 string.

As roidy mentions is there a reason for using the legacy preset because this would not have been updated with weightp=0 when you performed the preset update. The new Apple TV preset does have this built in.
 

cwazytech

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Jan 7, 2009
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Can I just ask why your using the AppleTV Legacy preset instead of the new AppleTV preset?
I'm a creature of habit and I don't like how the regular Apple TV preset doesn't do multiple passes. I'm also worried the film won't look as good on a Constant Quality setting based on what I've read.
 

VTMac

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Jun 9, 2008
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I'm a creature of habit and I don't like how the regular Apple TV preset doesn't do multiple passes. I'm also worried the film won't look as good on a Constant Quality setting based on what I've read.
Having used both for a number a films, IMO, there is no comparison. The new ATV preset looks much better.
 

NightStorm

macrumors 68000
Jan 26, 2006
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Whitehouse, OH
ROIDY said:
0.9.4 has a problem with Weighted B-frames. Make sure Weighted B-Frames is turned off in the Advanced options. Can I just ask why your using the AppleTV Legacy preset instead of the new AppleTV preset?
Just to be clear, its the AppleTV that has a problem with weighted p-frames, not Handbrake. If Apple would update the OS to a 10.6 base (it's still 10.4), the issue would likely go away.

I'm a creature of habit and I don't like how the regular Apple TV preset doesn't do multiple passes. I'm also worried the film won't look as good on a Constant Quality setting based on what I've read.
There's a reason the Handbrake devs are switching the presets to use constant quality. There is simply no comparison as long as you know what you're doing when you change the RF value. The only advantage, IMO, ABR has is that you can predict the file size before encoding.
 

cwazytech

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There is simply no comparison as long as you know what you're doing when you change the RF value.
Yeah, I'm not sure what RF values are or do. I've been using the custom presets ever since I started using HB a couple years back. I used to always read that the "Constant Quality" setting wasn't that good. I guess it's changed over the years. I'll give that a shot and see what you guys mean by "no comparison." I'll also do a little research on RF values. Any feedback on what they are and why they make such a difference would be great, though.
 

cwazytech

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Ok, so my research into RF values is moving very very slowly. I'm just going to take everyone's word and assume that it's better than the Legacy presets with multiple passes. However, what is the best setting to use? I've read a lot about using Universal vs. AppleTV and/or iPhone presets. Basically I am trying to achieve this: I want all my Movies to appear in the best quality possible. I make two copies of each movie so that I have a smaller version that won't eat up space on my iPhone(and hopefully iPad, one day). I want the ones that I play on the AppleTV to be the best. So what do you guys use and swear by?
 

HuggerMugger

macrumors newbie
Nov 5, 2009
16
0
What picture settings do you use?

For example; I'm ripping "Wedding Planner" (for the wifey) and the original picture is 720x480, but Handbrake wants to make it different?

What is the best setting, knowing that I will be watching this on an HD 16:9 TV 99% of the time.

Thanks.
 

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dynaflash

macrumors 68020
Mar 27, 2003
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What picture settings do you use?
For the sd dvd's I leave it at loose anamorphic, same as the built in preset.
720 x 480 is the storage size not the display size. Just use Loose Anamorphic. If you want to know more about dvd's and storage size vs. anamorphic display size there is plenty about it in the HandBrake users guide.
 

dynaflash

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Mar 27, 2003
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All I have to say is WOW! Thank you and I hate you. Now I have to go re-do my whole video library. I'm stunned at what kind of quality I can get out of half the file size. Thank you thank you thank you.
Lol no problem. Just bear in mind that you should make sure you do not try those settings at the same rf value you use for dvds (19.25 ... awe hell just round it to 19) on a blu ray source. Remember to set it to about 22 or even 23 for HD input or it will kill the atv. Remember constant quality uses a logarithmic scale which is based on the quality of the input source. Know it and love it ;)
 

cwazytech

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Jan 7, 2009
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Lol no problem. Just bear in mind that you should make sure you do not try those settings at the same rf value you use for dvds (19.25 ... awe hell just round it to 19) on a blu ray source. Remember to set it to about 22 or even 23 for HD input or it will kill the atv. Remember constant quality uses a logarithmic scale which is based on the quality of the input source. Know it and love it ;)
One last question; Do you ever have any issues playing back the video streaming to the Apple TV? I just did a movie that plays flawlessly on my iMac and looks visually awesome on my TV, yet when it plays on my Apple TV there is this one point in the movie where the video freezes(sound still plays) and then jumps to the point where the video catches back up with the sound. Same point everytime.
 

dynaflash

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Mar 27, 2003
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One last question; Do you ever have any issues playing back the video streaming to the Apple TV? I just did a movie that plays flawlessly on my iMac and looks visually awesome on my TV, yet when it plays on my Apple TV there is this one point in the movie where the video freezes(sound still plays) and then jumps to the point where the video catches back up with the sound. Same point everytime.
Well no since I never stream, though other HB testers use these settings quite a bit streaming. What source and what RF did you use ?
 

cwazytech

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Well no since I never stream, though other HB testers use these settings quite a bit streaming. What source and what RF did you use ?
I tried ripping straight from a DVD(I'm assuming this is what you mean by source) and I used your settings(Same RF and copy/pasted the advance settings).
 

dynaflash

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Mar 27, 2003
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I tried ripping straight from a DVD(I'm assuming this is what you mean by source) and I used your settings(Same RF and copy/pasted the advance settings).
yup, thats what I meant by source. I am guessing your are hitting a bitrate spike at that one point which is causing a stutter. You can try going to an rf of 20 (yes, I know its only a .75 rf difference but that can be enough). I am working on some vbv settings using this preset to make it more or less foolproof.

Realize that when streaming the ATV uses hdd space as a network buffer ... as well it uses the hdd for virtual ram (since the atv itself only has a paltry 256 mb of wired ram ... which sucks) therefore when streaming the atv has a bit of a tougher time than when a movie is synced. Add to this any possible network interference while streaming and it is a bit of a tougher chore.

One thought .... once you get through the frozen video and everything syncs back up ... what happens if you rewind back to just before the freeze and replay it ? Does it freeze again ?
 

cwazytech

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Jan 7, 2009
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One thought .... once you get through the frozen video and everything syncs back up ... what happens if you rewind back to just before the freeze and replay it ? Does it freeze again ?
Yeah, it freezes again and again. Thanks for all the helpful info. I'll give it a shot.
 

cwazytech

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dynaflash

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Mar 27, 2003
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The above movie I was talking about defaults to two English tracks(One says Dolby 5.1 and the other is AC3 Passthrough). I took one out, and the finished product was smaller in size, but now I'm wondering do I need both? Is one better than the other?
Yep, leave 'em both. If the atv is not hooked up to a Dolby 5.1 compatible device (receiver) then it will play the 2 channel Dolby Pro Logic II AAC track (first track in the HandBrake GUI). If you have your atv hooked up to a Dolby 5.1 compatible device then it will pass through the second AC3 5.1 track from the source which is much better than the first.

Frankly even if you feel you only need the smaller aac track because lets say for instance you only have your atv playing through your stereo television speakers ... you leave yourself exposed from an audio standpoint should you ever decide to upgrade your system. For the little bit of extra size I *highly* suggest including both audio tracks just as HandBrake wants to for your atv encodes.
 

cwazytech

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Jan 7, 2009
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Yep, leave 'em both. If the atv is not hooked up to a Dolby 5.1 compatible device (receiver) then it will play the 2 channel Dolby Pro Logic II AAC track (first track in the HandBrake GUI). If you have your atv hooked up to a Dolby 5.1 compatible device then it will pass through the second AC3 5.1 track from the source which is much better than the first.

Frankly even if you feel you only need the smaller aac track because lets say for instance you only have your atv playing through your stereo television speakers ... you leave yourself exposed from an audio standpoint should you ever decide to upgrade your system. For the little bit of extra size I *highly* suggest including both audio tracks just as HandBrake wants to for your atv encodes.
Awesome as always. Thanks again Dyna.
 

cwazytech

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jan 7, 2009
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Colorado
No worries, good luck!
I know I keep saying "one last question", but new stuff just keeps coming up. This is just a technical curiosity question. I've always encoded my movies with the Apple Legacy preset with multiple passes. Now that I'm redoing my library with your awesome info I can't help but notice that some movies drop in size(memory) more than others. Do you know why that is?