mkv to m4v handbrake easy highest quality settings

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by neo179neo, Jan 14, 2011.

  1. neo179neo macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nottingham, UK

    I was wondering if someone could help me...

    Ive just brought a new mac mini as a htpc and i want to convert lots of mkv's 720p stuff into m4v's without losing any of the quality... i dont mind if the files are a lot of data as i have lots of storage...

    So if anyone could give me some good preset's or a bit of help i would really appreciate it!

  2. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    What's in the mkv's? Usually mkv's already have the right codecs (H.264 video with AAC or AC3 audio). If so, no need to use Handbrake. Remux them into mp4s using MKVTools or Subler. Both won't touch the video, and will only convert the audio if it's something incompatible (like ogg).
  3. neo179neo thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    So i dont need to use handbrake then? Yeah all in h.264 with ac-3 sound... these will all play fine in iTunes then?
  4. juliuspierpont macrumors member

    May 11, 2007
    You would be my hero if you could tell me how to do this. I tried converting some mkv's using mkvtools, and just ended up with a whole bunch of files that ended with "temp.h264," and some aac (or ac3) sound files. I spent several hours and finally quit in disgust. It seems like it should be easy, but wow.
  5. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    Yes, once remuxed into mp4. Since it's already H.264 you shouldn't need to convert the video. I don't think the AC3 will play on the iPhone or iPad, but it'll be fine for the Apple TV.

    Both MKVTools and Subler can convert the AC3 without touching the video, if you need AAC audio.

    I usually use the mp4 tab rather than the quick tab. I know there was someone else around here who was running into some similar trouble, but I don't remember what ended up working for him.

    In any case, if MKVTools isn't working for you, try Subler. Open a new file in it, drag-and-drop the mkv onto the new file. Save as... and let it do its thing. (If you want to convert the AC3 to AAC, there's a checkbox in the Preferences for that.)

    I keep both around. If something doesn't work in one, it tends to work in the other. *shrug*
  6. Monkeytree macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Im having trouble with this too. Ive got a library of MKV files including HD movies and standard def movies as well. Handbrake works to convert to MP4 but takes ages as it's re-encoding them I understand?

    Ive tried MKV tools which should work, takes about 10 mins on a 4.6gig HD movie (using the settings to convert to apple tv format) but comes out without any sound at all - what am i doing wrong???

    I also tried a 700mb DVD rip in MKV format just using the MP4 option to pass through audio and video. It only took about a minute but produced a file that was rubbish jumpy and corrupted video and audio.


  7. owine macrumors member


    Oct 29, 2008
    Regarding the first one, what was the audio type? It may have been unsupported.

    For the second, check the FPS you set it at.
  8. OmegaRed1723 macrumors 6502


    Jun 19, 2009
    The Waste
    Using MKV Tools passthrough to mp4 only works with h264 encoded video. That might explain why you got a garbage output -- DVD rips aren't usually encoded in h264. As for the audio, you have to select AAC (either 2 channel or 5.1 channel) under the mp4 tab. You might have left the default "Pass Thru" selected, which, if it was AC3, won't play on the :apple:TV.
  9. Monkeytree macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2011
    Thanks for your replies. The audio claims to be in ac3 format 6ch, and the video is a h264 file so i'd think it should be ok.

    The FPS is 23.976 which seems to be its default setting, i havent tried changing this but this seems to be the default setting when using the apple tv setting.

    i'll try playing with the audio options, any suggestions for the FPS settings?


    ( i need to get it working or my brother might win the argument that windows 7 is better for a media pc setup!)
  10. NJuul macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006

    I can see you have been getting good advice on how to do what you want, however, I must wonder why you want to convert your mkv's in the first place. You know that your mini can play back pretty much anything you throw at it, right?

    I would suggest looking at something like Plex rather than using iTunes to play back your files. By not converting your files, you will save a lot of time and not loose any quality at all.
  11. neo179neo thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 29, 2010
    Nottingham, UK
    I only ever like to change into m4v so that i can watch stuff on my iphone and ipad...

    I suppose i could just quickly remux individual files that i want to watch when i want them...

    Is plex any good? I have it but havnt really used it...

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