mkv to Apple TV format.. why so difficult!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MLC4SGR, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. MLC4SGR macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #1
    Sorry for the rant about an issue we all know about already but its just so unreal that we don't have a real GREAT way to do this yet..
    I use Visual Hub to change files to an Apple TV 5.1 format but the results are
    all over the place and not very acceptable. QuickTime Pro can import the file but appears to take nearly 10 hours to convert!! Oddly you can just save as and the file becomes a .mov format that iTunes can read but the audio portion will be incorrect for Apple TV to play. Its just frustrating..
    Either Apple needs to expand the file types we can play or they should get QuickTime Pro to work for all Apple TV users.. people would be willing to pay if we had a tool to do all these conversions properly with uniformed results!

    Thanks for listening.
     
  2. Mumford macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2006
    Location:
    Altadena, CA
    #2
    I'm hip. I spent a couple of days a few weeks ago trying to convert two rather large .mkv files into something smaller that would stream reasonably to my AppleTV. Tried Quicktime, tried VisualHub, tried HandBrake. The file would convert, would load into iTunes, but then I'd get a warning about it not being compatible with my AppleTV. Considering each conversion attempt took several hours, it was really frustrating.

    I eventually got it working in a round-about way: I converted both movies to a DVD using VisualHub (which conveniently joined them during conversion), then used HandBrake to rip it to an AppleTV compatible format. It took forever, but worked.
     
  3. ReanimationLP macrumors 68030

    ReanimationLP

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2005
    Location:
    On the moon.
    #3
    Yeah. I wish Apple would learn to support more formats.

    Thats why I built a Media Center PC instead of going with an Apple TV or similar device.

    A lot of my anime is in .MKV files.

    And I'll be damned if I cant watch my anime with my 27" monitor and surround sound. :D
     
  4. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #4
    Why not encode to an AppleTV-complaint container in the first place? You do own all of this content you have in mkv format right? :confused:

    That's why Apple won't support it. They don't need to... they already have h.264 + AC3, and don't need something like MKV. Go complain to the people who encoded the MKVs you have to use AppleTV-compliant h.264 settings -- the process would be very easy then. If anything, we should be asking Apple to increase the h.264 processing capabilities of the AppleTV, but I'm not entirely sure how much more they could squeeze out of the current hardware.
     
  5. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #5
    You have 2 choices:

    1. Start ripping movies yourself, encode them in h264 and aac 5.1 using mp4 as a container, post a tracker and let the rest of us (and yourself) enjoy them.
    2. Take your complaint to the people who insist on using mkv as a container. I'm sure they'd be glad to hear your feedback.

    As far as I can see, mkv is a format that is almost exclusively used by people who post movies (copyrighted material) on bt tracker sites. Asking Apple to support mkv at this time is a bit ridiculous.

    Despite a few difficulties at the beginning, I have no problem in converting mkvs to mp4s that are compatible with TV. VisualHub is all you need. I have yet to come across an mkv that I've not been able to convert to an mp4 that works on TV.
     
  6. Aegelward macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    You could see about getting an h264 conversion dongle. they are a little expensive, but it cuts down on encoding times a lot.

    I've been thinking of getting a HTPC/mac mini for media over the past few years but never comitted, streaming to the xbox is 'okay' at the moment.

    I'd consider an appleTV if it could do a few tricks an xbox360 can do. for example stretching 4:3 media to fullscreen. those big black bars on the side of the screen really bug me, and a stretched image looks no worse to me.
     
  7. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #7
    um, don't most current lcd/plasma screens include a mode to do this for you ?
     
  8. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #8
    Some do not let you apply pictures modes to signals > 480p (which is perfectly fine by me... why all the fuss for widescreen movies to "preserve the correct aspect ratio" if you're just going to butcher the 4:3 content).
     
  9. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #9
    You can easily fix the AR in Quicktime Pro. Takes a few clicks.
     
  10. MLC4SGR thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #10


    1.I will do so and will be sure to let you all know!

    2.Maybe so but to make Apple TV to me, a huge success.. it has to be possible, whether it be Apple by adding better support to QT Pro or a Third party creating the software that does it well.


    Unfortunately for me.. VisualHub hasnt been all I need, in fact its conversions have been less than great in most cases. I guess you may be pointing out that VisualHub makes FILES PLAYABLE on Apple TV but they do not look like or play like the original file sadly.
     
  11. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #11
    I disagree. The success of TV isn't dependent on support for some esoteric file formats. Instead, its success is more dependent on its ease of use and availability of high quality content. I doubt the majority of TV would even know what an mkv is, let alone where to find one.

    Hasn't been an issue for me. Sound quality and video quality have both been as good as the original. There's obviously the degradation that comes along with any re-encode, but it's never noticeable.
     
  12. MLC4SGR thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #12
    Anyway.. thanks for your input.. I guess time will tell...

    and hopefully people will be looking to find the best way to get their content
    onto Apple TV's and that leads us to some positive change.
     

Share This Page