MKVs Converted to M4V With Apple TV 3

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by ciberpuppi, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. ciberpuppi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #1
    I've enjoyed my old first-generation Apple TVs (the old silver ones) and use them to stream my music and videos via ethernet from iTunes on my iMac.

    My problem is when I attempt to encode the occasional mkv to m4v in Handbrake. Naturally, since it's now a true H264 file, it will play perfectly in iTunes, but only on the iMac itself.

    Unfortunately, the old Apple TVs did not have enough "umph" and streaming these HD-quality videos is impossible.

    I now wonder if the new Apple TV with the single-core A5 processor (and whatever video they've installed) is capable of streaming these videos.

    Anyone know? Has anyone had any luck doing this on the recently-retired second generation ATVs?

    C-Pup
     
  2. omni macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2008
    #2
    I don't want to derail your thread too bad - but I have 3 apple tv1's and they all stream 720p rips of my blu ray movies just fine.

    2 are wireless, 1 is wired
     
  3. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #3
    Considering I am able to use subler to remux 720p H264 MKV's into M4v's and play them without a problem on the ATV2 - I'm guessing you can do the same with H264 1080p MKV's with the ATV3.

    No re-encoding needed.
     
  4. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #4
    Apple TV 3 specification on their website says it's capable of playing 1080p, 30 frames/s, high profile 4.0 h.264 video. In other words, the only thing you need to worry about is the profile of your videos. If they are, let's say 4.1, we don't know if the Apple TV will play it successfully.

    Apple should have added a dual core A5, like the iPhone 4S, which is able to play high profile 4.1 videos. You are able to play more demanding videos on the iPhone than the Apple TV, how screwed up is that... But that is Apple in a nutshell.
     
  5. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #5
    I can play 720p high profile 4.1 just fine on the ATV2 - 1080p 4.1 shouldn't be a problem on the ATV3 (but of course needs to be tested).
     
  6. henrikrox macrumors 65816

    henrikrox

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    #6
    how big bitrates have you tried on your 720p movies/tvshows?
     
  7. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #7
    I think my highest is 7.7Mbps with a resolution of 1280x692. I also have one that is 9.4Mbps that's 1280x546. Both are high profile 4.1. I have several others in the 5~7Mbit range.

    Never had a issue streaming over my network (iMac connected via 802.11n to a time capsule and my time capsule connected to my AppleTV via ethernet). No stuttering dropped frames etc.
     
  8. ciberpuppi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #8
    Subler

    Diode:

    It sounds like you are dumping the mkv into "Subler" rather than into Handbrake to convert it to a viable m4v file. Do I understand this correctly? I'm not familiar with Subler. Are there "default settings" I can use to try this out?

    C-Pup
     
  9. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #9
    Yup - just opening in Subler and adding the tracks into a "blank" m4v file (while ignoring the ones I don't want, like subtitles, other languages etc). For tracks with AC3 - I also add an additional track so that one is AC3 passthrough and one is AAC.

    When doing this be sure the that in subler only one checkbox next to the audio tracks (I always select the AC3 one) otherwise the ATV gets confused and will play the film silently.

    No conversion is taking place expect for the one track I have converted to AAC.

    Files play fine on my iPad2 as well.

    I'd buy the ATV3 and rip only 1080p but unfortunately my TV is only 1080i and thus it would be pointless.
     
  10. atandon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #10
    :(
    So does that mean some kind of transcoding may be necessary?
    If the peak bit rate is within 4.0 (high) specs i.e. less than 25Mbps, will we be able to play it? Or does the meta data in the container need to be changed from 4.1 to 4.0 to be able to play the file?
     
  11. Mackan macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    #11
    I don't know if you need to change the meta data profile, but if so, you can do that easily with a program like Subler.

    The difference between 4.0 and 4.1 otherwise seems minimal, it's only the max bit rate that is different. However, it's possible the 4.1 profile allows some more advanced encoding options, I am no expert. But I think Apple TV 3 will play most 4.1 videos without problem.
     
  12. ciberpuppi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #12
    Subler

    Diode,

    I downloaded the most recent version of Subler and experimented with a small mkv file. Like most programs of this nature, documentation is sparse so I hope I did everything correctly.

    After dragging the mkv file in, I let Subler automatically populate the fields (as this was a downloaded file, there weren't any options) and clicked "Save As". Sure enough, in a minute, there was an m4v file. I MetaX'd it as I usually do and dragged it into iTunes.

    However, while it plays well on the iMac, all I get from the Apple TV is the audio track. And when you stop playing it, the ATV locks down as it did with the other former mkv files.

    What am I doing wrong?

    C-Pup
     
  13. Diode macrumors 68020

    Diode

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2004
    Location:
    Washington DC
    #13
    I use a ATV2 - the ATV1 can't play High Profile 4.1 (which is what I'm guessing you are using).

    Also - another great feature of Subler is the little looking glass icon. It will auto tag your files with proper meta information if you search for the move / tv show and episode.
     
  14. HobeSoundDarryl, Mar 8, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #14
    I think I'm reading answers to questions that may differ than what the OP asked. But whether yes or no, I'll ask them...

    If we've ripped our 1080p Blu Rays to MKV and now want to retain the 1080p and that quality as close as possible, does anyone know the upper limits of the single core A5?

    For example, would anyone think that instead of a transcoding process (where the file will lose information), we might be able to remux (just move the 1080p video track "as is") into an m4v container and thus retain the exact same quality as Blu Ray? If not, is there any info on how much of a transcode (increased compression) will be necessary?

    Isn't it curious that Apple doesn't show a Mbps max for the 1080p line in tech specs: "H.264 video up to 1080p, 30 frames per second, High or Main Profile level 4.0 or lower"? I wonder if that's a good (positive surprise in waiting) or bad thing (not a very high Mbps maximum)? They used to show their max Mbps numbers on the prior hardware's tech specs (and we could typically run over that a bit with no issues).

    I appreciate all of the answers about 720p MKV sources and downscaling 1080p to 720p but I perceive the OP might be asking- and if not, I am- about retaining the 1080p video quality as fully as possible.

    I'm guessing there can be little-to-nothing definitive until after Mar 16 but if anyone knows anything (better than a guess), I'm certainly interested. Any of the XBMC, Plex crowd turned off an A5 core so they have a single core to act as a proxy?

    Similarly, there's a fair amount of consumer camcorders that shoot 1080p these days. The one I have can do so at 28Mbps and 60fps. I see that there is most likely a 30fps limit in the new :apple:TV so there will be a hit to the "buttery smooth" effect of 60fps (it looks crazy good on my iMac) but how much of a compression down from 28Mbps may be necessary to still play without stutter on this new :apple:TV? I'm sure that's also a > Mar 16 answer but thought I would ask in case there's anything out there that logically predicts/tests the possibilities of this new hardware.
     
  15. ciberpuppi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2012
    #15
    Subler

    Diode,

    I don't know what you mean by High Profile, but it's true that I AM trying to do this with a first-generation ATV. I may take this file over to a friend to whom I gave a second-generation ATV to see if it will play on HER system. If it does, then I must assume that it will also play on the new third-generation ATV.

    C-Pup
     
  16. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #16
    H.264 has profiles, for example 'Main' and 'High'. Some devices can only play 'Main' profile material, as 'High' takes some extra horsepower to decode. Apple generally doesn't specify 'High' being acceptable (though ATV3 they have) so often you just have to do some trial encodes and see what works and what does not. For example, ATV1 had problems with CABAC entropy encoding. There are a plethora of options, some may work on newer units but break older ones. It's trial and error. Thank God for Handbrake and all the folks who spend their time working out the optimal settings for us!
     

Share This Page