mkv to mp4 - easiest method?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by bluestarCVO, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. bluestarCVO macrumors member

    bluestarCVO

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #1
    Hello everyone. Just got a Mac recently and I'm now wanting to begin converting/remuxing all my mkvs over to mp4 for viewing on all my iOS devices, mainly my ATV 3. I want to keep the forced subs, and I'm going to have to convert all the dts audio tracks to AC3.

    I've done a lot of searching and reading to try and prepare myself for this, but I want to make sure I got it right. Can I just use subler to do everything I want to do (remux, subs, dts conversion) or would I be better off using mp4tools. Please give me your suggestions and the proper steps I should take.

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #3
    Handbrake forces you to re-encode the video even when it's not necessary. Not the best choice by any means.
     
  4. roidy macrumors 6502a

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    Nottingham, UK
    #4
    If the mkv's contain h.264 video that will play on the ATV3 then use subler to re-mux the files. Only use handbrake if you need to re-encode the files.
     
  5. mic j, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    mic j macrumors 68030

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    #5
    Subtitle Support

    Does the aTV 3 handle forced and unforced subtitles correctly from a file that has only been remuxed to mp4, not transcoded? How does it handle a remuxed only file that has Dolby Digital Master Audio, DTS or DTS-HD audio? And finally, if you have other iOS devices, how do they handle the surround sound audio or do you need to add an AAC stereo track to the file?

    Just curious as to the nuances of the impact of remuxing vs transcoding.
     
  6. bluestarCVO thread starter macrumors member

    bluestarCVO

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #6
    The above issues are exactly what I'm concerned about. If subler will not transcode the dts to ac3 or include the forced subs, then I guess I will be forced to re-encode them with handbrake. BTW, the mkvs all do contain h.264 video already.
     
  7. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #7
    well thats very good to know but giving a name of a better alternative would help the OP and others
     
  8. mic j macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #8
    You might want to try mp4tools over Subler (and I'm a big fan of Subler). It can remux plus transcode dts to AC3 and add an AAC stereo track for other iOS devices. It's free if you don't mind being nagged or, I think, you can do without a queue. I think it's pretty cheap ($10?) if you would like to purchase.

    I still would like to know how the aTV handles the forced/unforced subtitles, though.
     
  9. Vice92 macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2009
    #9
    I've found a tried and true method that I believe works best with MKVs that contain DTS audio tracks.

    I use the program Remux to re-encode the audio track to AC3. Then I use the program Subler to add a Stereo track so I can watch the movie on an iPad or iPhone if I so choose, as well as add metadata. You can also save the DTS audio track and add it into Subler if you wish. You'll wind up with a video containing an AC3 track (ATV3), Stereo (iPhone/iPad), and DTS (future proof).

    Subler has the ability to convert DTS to AC3 right in the program, but I've always found that the audio becomes out of sync with the video. Using Remux solved this problem for me.
     
  10. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

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    #10
    And back at you.
     
  11. heisenberg123 macrumors 603

    heisenberg123

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    #11
    lol what?

    you said handbrake isnt the best, im not pro handbrake i just want to know whats a better choice
     
  12. mic j macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #12
    Do you have a link to the Remux? I tried Googling it but that word is so generic, it just pulls up too much stuff. Was not aware of the audio sync issue, thanks for that info. Do you have any experience with forced subtitles on a remux?
     
  13. Vice92, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    Vice92 macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2009
    #13
    Sure: http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/35968/remux/

    Subtitles are not handled in Remux.

    In essence, you workflow would be as follows:

    Drag and drop .mkv into Remux

    Under the reencode column, for the audio click it and set it to AC3 448k.
    Remux with then make a duplicate of the original .mkv file, this time with the AC3 audio track instead of the DTS audio track. Make sure to rename the file before hitting "Go".

    From there, you would drag and drop the new .mkv into Subler. Passthru both the video and audio track and keep the subtitles track on the default action setting. Double click the audio track and rename it something like "Surround Sound" or something similar. Then drag and drop the same .mkv into subler again, this time unchecking the video track and subtitle track and under the "action" column for the audio choose "AAC - Stereo". This will convert the AC3 track to AAC Stereo so you can watch the movie on your iPhone/iPad if you so choose. Rename this track "Stereo" or something similar as well. In Subler you should now see four files - video and 2 audio and a subtitles track. If you want to keep the original DTS audio track, just drag and drop the original .mkv into Subler, uncheck all but the audio track, and use Passthru.

    Once you have all your files in Subler, you need to have them positioned correctly or else the file will not play properly. It should be:

    Video Track
    Stereo Track
    Surround Sound Track
    Subtitles

    You can then use the magnifying glass to add metadata and poster art.

    Then click on the video track and make sure Main @3.1 is used.

    When none of the files are highlighted, a tab "Other settings" becomes visible. You can use this to set the media type and whether or not the file is HD for proper iTunes tagging.

    Hope this helps
     
  14. mic j macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #14
    I know it's free, but it seems like too many steps. mp4tools does all of that by clicking a couple radio buttons. You still have to use a tagger like Subler, iDentify, etc, though. Thanks for the link.
     
  15. bluestarCVO thread starter macrumors member

    bluestarCVO

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #15
    Thank you. It helps very much. My only question is about the video track and selecting "main @3.1" I wouldn't put this on high @4.1?

    Thanks again.
     
  16. bluestarCVO thread starter macrumors member

    bluestarCVO

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    Mar 20, 2012
    #16
    I also would like to know how Subler handles the forced subs. Say for instance I run Avatar through Subler and I want to keep only the forced subs when the Navi are speaking. Will it do this?
     
  17. bohbot16 macrumors 6502a

    bohbot16

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    Mar 22, 2009
    #17
    Check out iFlicks. It's drag-and-drop and does the re-muxing, encodes DTS to AC3, and automatically tags. You want the iTunes Compatible preset.
     
  18. Vice92 macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2009
    #18
    Unfortunately no, the ATV3 only supports up to High @4.0, not 4.1 So Main @3.1 is the best setting for the time being.
     
  19. mic j, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    mic j macrumors 68030

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    #19
    Not 100% sure of that. If I'm not mistaken, and there is that possibility, the difference between 4.0 and 4.1 is 25Mbps vs 50Mbps. And although the aTV is rated to 25mbs, it will easily handle higher nitrates.

    Additional thought: Not sure what setting the metadata profile really means. If you are just passing through the video at the original bitrate the aTV has to handle whatever it is regardless of profile setting.
     
  20. Dan DRC macrumors member

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    Nov 15, 2011
    #20
    I have used Handbreak on over 300 DVD's with very few issues to speak of.
    The end result is great.
     
  21. GarrettL1979 macrumors 6502

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    Feb 15, 2012
    #21
    I've been really happy with handbrake and iFlicks so far.

    ----------

    When you remux are you just placing a different (iOS friendly) container on an mkv? Is the file size still huge?
     
  22. mic j macrumors 68030

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    Mar 15, 2012
    #22
    +1

    Another point for the OP, if you want to use the files across multiple iOS devices, do you really want an uncompressed file size? If they are regular DVD's, their going to be around 5GB. If BR, 25-30GB. That's some pretty big files to load onto an iPad or iPhone. Consider that a high quality DVD transcode will be around 1GB and a BR will be around 5GB. And sorry all you remuxer's, the quality is just as good. Something to think about anyway.
     
  23. Vice92, Jun 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2012

    Vice92 macrumors regular

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    Jul 13, 2009
    #23
    I'm simply going by what apple lists as compatible on their ATV3 website

    That's a good question but unfortunately one I do not have the answer to. I would like to say using the method I posted above will keep the forced subs, as secondary subs (i.e ones for the entire movie, etc) would likely be in a seperate file.

    EDIT: I also forgot to mention, using Subler with files >4GB, when you go to convert the file, make sure "64 bits chunk times" is checked in the "Save As" window.
     
  24. ViperDesign macrumors 6502a

    ViperDesign

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    Utah
    #24
    I just started using mp4tools and I must say, very solid. Zero issues and converting movies to itunes is quick and easy. Usually takes around 15 minutes or so to convert a movie to mp4 on my macbook pro retina.
     
  25. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 29, 2006
    Location:
    Finland
    #25
    This is the only answer you need. Drag and drop and click and boom, done.

    It'll passthrough video on pretty much any video format with the supported codec. I've saved hours upon hours with doing the above method on AVIs as well.
     

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