I Hate MKV with a vengeance! MP4 Conversion with Handbrake?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by EmPPgamer, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. EmPPgamer, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014

    EmPPgamer macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    Sorry about yet another post on this but I'm really going round in circles here. ALL DAY just trying to convert one stupid file!!!!! I'm not sure what it is I hate, handbrake or MKV!

    So I have the MKV file and its files are as below in the image. It HAS a video file and an Audio file. Both 1 hr 43 min. So, like an idiot, I fire it through Handbrake thinking it'll work. I end up with a 4 min audio file and no sound. So I read read read read read and try to fathom which of the gazilion software solutions might fix this. And about what else I can try.

    So I try Subler. I load the file into that and notice the audio and the video are in language 'Unknown'. Is that the problem I thought? So I try to edit. Cannot. bearing in mind this is the abridged version after hours wasted on this, I try MP4 tools. That SEEMS to make the file into mp4. VLC will happily play the original MKV and now QT will happily play the MP4. So I fire the Mp4 file through Handbrake with the ATV 3 settings. Still no sound!!!!!

    Any help much appreciated as the more I read on this the more options I try, the more files I create all for Handbrake to fail to deliver a file I can play in iTunes or on ATV.

    Jeez, if I never get a file like this to convert again it'll be too soon!!!!! NEVER again. And, if any of the software is the problem it's instant ditch. HB has never given a problem before but this file is confounding it and me. Typed before I sling the darned laptop out the window!!!

    What I can't fathom is why, if QT can play the MP4 audio now why does HB not simply adjust the video to ATV format and leave the audio in tact, it's already working TQVM!!!

    Any help much appreciated in case I encounter this again.

    Attached Files:

    • HB.png
      File size:
      44.6 KB
  2. Lunfai, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014

    Lunfai macrumors 65816


    Nov 21, 2010
    There should be a preset window that you can reveal. Select Apple TV 3 on the side and it'll configure everything for you to play it on an ATV (1080p). Also, how did you get that film already :rolleyes:
  3. Astorian macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2013
  4. EmPPgamer, Apr 13, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2014

    EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    LOL. I live in Malaysia, GF brought it back from Shanghai, out already (one catch though, it's Mandarin which we can both speak). I can play the DVD on a DVD, converted to MKV with Make MKV and that's what I got.

    I've tried the default ATV3 settings on HB about 20 times today but no joy, no audio. Even more odd given that the audio is now already in Apple format via Subler. The MKV, now re-formatted to MP4 will play on QT. Try and convert it via HB to Apple TV, cannot keep ending up with an audio track that's 4 minutes long???
  5. helix142 macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2013
    I had the same issue

    I had the same issue and after a few hours, I broke down and bought IVI https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ivi/id402279089?mt=12

    It's $4 and saved a lot of hassle, as it is very easy to use.
    The pro version available via their website will also do dvd ripping

    Good luck.
  6. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    I'm quite happy to spend $ on software that'll work. What I don't want to do is end up in a continuous buy/fail trail with countless different software purchases to find they don't work. I liked the look of MacX DVD Ripper Pro, but it'll only rip from DVDs.
  7. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014

    Cheers. Bought it, did it, job done.
  8. ugp macrumors 65816


    Jan 7, 2008
    Inverness, Florida
    I have always had bad luck with remuxing. The audio is out of sync a lot of the time.
  9. HighFlyingBirds macrumors 6502


    Dec 2, 2011
    Try using mp4tools to convert from move to mp4
  10. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    you dont need to convert the video to mp4 thats takes a long time

    what you need to do is muxe the file using a program like mp4tools, and select apple tv 3, but also select pass thru on both audio and video
    this will turn the mkv in to m4v in seconds
  11. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    Yah I tried mp4 tools. Seemed to do the job fine. The problem seems to be when I put the file through HB. Despite both audio and video being the same length, as soon as I try to convert the file using the ATV3 (doesn't matter if I try the file with the audio already converted to MP4 or not) HB screws up the audio and when I put the file back into Scubler to view I have a video track that's as it should be v an audio track at 4 mins. No changes made to the ATV preset at all.

    iVI, as suggested above, did the file no problem at all. So for me, with MKV conversions, I won't be using HB any more.
  12. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    how big is the file why do you want to convert it
  13. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    The original MKV was around 6GB. I want it converted to ATV3 format so I can watch it on an iPad as we are going away for a few days soon, and also so it will play on ATV without problem.
  14. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    so you want to make the video file size smaller?
  15. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    Errrr. No :confused: I just want it to play on Apple products, in ATV. They don't play MKV files.
  16. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    so you dont need to convert the mkv with handbrake

    running the program thru mp4tools selecting passthru on all the options , and apple tv 3 as the preset will work just fine
    this will take a few seconds to a minute

    you will get a video with m4v extension , which will work with apple tv and any other ios device
  17. burne macrumors 6502


    Jul 4, 2007
    Haarlem, the Netherlands

    Free trial for a few days if you download iVI from the makers website:

  18. Jeaz, Apr 14, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014

    Jeaz macrumors 6502


    Dec 12, 2009
    I'll just say this: iFlicks

    Do MKV conversions with its iTunes compatibility, and you convert movies within a minute or two. Works on iPads, Apple TV and so on, even with subtitles. It doesn't recode like Handbrake, but rather change the container, since pretty much all MKVs are encoded with the right codec already.

    It's similar to MP4Tools, but has a more easy to use interface, and gets metadata and other nice features.
  19. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    As others have said, all you need is MP4Tools. You do not need Handbrake for this. You want MP4Tools to pass through the video, pass through the AC3, and create a 2-channel AAC track.

  20. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    Hmmm. Very odd. I tried using MP4 Tools as suggested, I selected pass-thru on both video and audio and the ATV 3 preset. Once completed I can play the file on Quicktime OK. But, when I put it into iTunes and try to play it all i get is a still image. Tried all manner of things but no joy :(

    The one I converted with iVI works fine.
  21. jmerrilljr macrumors newbie

    Nov 25, 2012
    I have had this happen occasionally. The resulting .m4v file airplays just fine to my ATV. My guess is the problem lies in the original .mkv encode, not in the remux.
  22. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    Thanks for the help so far!

    Not sure but maybe it was because I didn't have the check box ticked for create an AAC 2ch audio track. After I did that it worked.

    MP4 Tools seems to do a good job of what it can be used for. If I want the file smaller though I'll have to use Handbrake or iVI. Need to be careful to check the result from either though. Different I know, but I just ran an AVI movie through iVI using the ATV3 preset and the video is for judder / jerky. Unwatchable. As the AVI size is not so big I ran it through MP4 Tools, same.

    Gonna try HB for that now, luckily I have only one AVI file, a movie bought direct from production company ages ago. Once I crack this I won't need to mess with AVI. Just rip DVD to MKV then re-encode via iVI or HB to keep video size down.

    Dare say once I've got more familiar with what does, doesn't work I'll get some kine of work-flow together.
  23. D.T. macrumors G3


    Sep 15, 2011
    Vilano Beach, FL
    You’re on the right track with Subler: Free, perfectly remux’s MKVs, allows chapters definitions, meta-data (including covert art) from several sources, custom meta (for content restrictions), etc.

    https://code.google.com/p/subler/ to make sure you have the latest version, or here:


    The “unknown” language is no problem, the original MKV was not tagged properly

    Subler works _great_.

    Potential audio issues fixed here:

  24. EmPPgamer thread starter macrumors newbie


    Apr 13, 2014
    Thanks. Yah, running the latest Subler. It wouldn't do that AVI though :( Maybe I had one of the settings wrong but I don't think so. Handbrake did it fine.
  25. MagnusVonMagnum macrumors 601


    Jun 18, 2007
    Is there anything out there that can create a standard DTS-ES 6.1 discrete soundtrack for use with MKVs? In other words, Handbrake will let you re-encode the video so it takes up less space, but to keep 7.1 sound you have to just "pass-through" the DTS-HD soundtrack which is HUGE and may not play correctly on a CrystalHD AppleTV Gen1 in XBMC (just got my card a few days ago and haven't installed it yet).

    I do know from converting my various DTS-ES DVDs that XBMC will play DTS-ES 6.1 discrete soundtracks just fine through XBMC. I basically want 720p or 1080p re-encoded video with DTS-ES 6.1 soundtracks. My setup is only 6.1 anyway so losing 1 channel in the 7.1 soundtrack won't matter, but 6.1 is definitely preferable to 5.1 for many films (e.g. Snakes on a Plane in DTS-ES 6.1 produced a very convincing soundfield of snakes coming out of the back of my room and around my couch. With 5.1, it's not the same, really.

    Handbrake appears to only decode DTS, not encode it. MP4Tools only produces MP4/M4V files. To do DTS 6.1 ES I need MKV files, but not the 20+ GB ones I get from MakeMKV. I want something akin to 3-6GB with 6.1 sound.

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