Movies / DVD's put into AppleTV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by opticalserenity, May 30, 2007.

  1. opticalserenity macrumors 6502a

    Apr 14, 2007
    So, I love my AppleTV, but I keep reading posts about DVD's and movies on it. I have a ton of DVD's, and I'd love to either be able to rip them to a HD and play them via AppleTV, or at least see the cover art and be able to browse through the movies I own on there.

    What do I need to do?
  2. tomg2tg macrumors newbie

    Jun 17, 2003
    Buffalo, NY

    The best way to accomplish this is by using Handbrake software. I have been doing this since I got my ATV and it works amazing!
    Launch handbrake and insert the dvd you want to rip to your hard drive, select the appletv preset and where you want to save the movie and go. I usually put it right in the music->itunes->movies folder so iTunes doesn't have to move it later. Once this is complete just drag the new file into the movies section of iTunes. You can right click and get info to change the name and picture displayed on the ATV through iTunes. I usually just grab the dvd cover picture from Amazon and use that.
    Set up the ATV to stream from that computer and you'll see all the movies you ripped in. I stream over 802.11g and haven't had any problems at all with viewing movies.
    hope this helps!
  3. RichP macrumors 68000


    Jun 30, 2003
    Motor City
    #3 is a good resource for AppleTV hacks and such too for alternate codecs and such.
  4. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    The newest HandBrake has presets for AppleTV. I created some for myself too. I have three for widescreen movies and TV shows and three for 4:3 movies and TV shows at 1000, 1500 and 2000 respectively.

    I usually rip at 2000 unless the DVD is so badly encoded that I can get by squeezing it into only 1000 or 1500. If I feel the DVD is so good and tests (I make small snippets of the video before I finalize the better DVD's) I might make it higher KBPs.

    So far the only DVD I really needed to rip at a higher bitrate is The Wizard of Oz. I ripped it at 5000KBPs. That's 5MB per second. It produced a file of 3.67GB for a 1:41 long movie. And it looks magnificent. 2000 didn't look all that hot. So it was worth it just for this awesome movie. (After all, the DVD video itself actually weighs in at 19MB per second and I paid $40 for the 3-disc set. I deserve to get as much quality as I can.) I watched it both on a DVD player with scaling and the newly ripped file on my AppleTV and there's no difference. If only I could afford to rip every DVD in my collection at 5000. (The max supported by :apple:TV.)

    Most movies, the anamorphic ones, I use the Anamorphic option. This rips the DVD at its native resolution of 720x480 and toggles the Anamorphic flag in the file so that QuickTime and AppleTV display it at its correct aspect. It's much better than people who squash their movies into a 720x400 video file.

    Though on NON anamorphic DVD's, like WarGames, the older Titanic, Short Circuit 1, Young Frankenstein, etc I just rip at the normal non anamorphic 720 wide option and crop off the black bars. You don't lose or gain any resolution and never will with these icky DVD's.

    So far I have 69 movies ripped. That's 112GB so far. Most are ripped at 2000. Some at 1000 and 1500 and that one ripped at 5000. Depending on their length the file averages out to 1.5-2.0GB each. And even at 2000, a lot of movies actually still have compression artifacts in them. I can't believe some people try and squish them into 700MB! The only people who should ever make them 700 are pirates who are going to share them. For people who can afford the extra HD space, rip yours at 2000 full resolution.

    I also have 329 TV show episodes ranging from Arrested Development to Futurama and The Simpsons to Wonderfalls and Dead Like Me. That's 86.8GB so far. I'm only about a third or quarter through my DVD collection. I'm probably going to have to buy a TB FW HD just for my video library.

    Do tests first. Rip a chapter in the middle of the movie in a few different bitrates and see which one looks bearable enough without being unbearable and go with that. But remember that depending on the amount of action, or different business of the frame, like screens with lots of action, your video may still look badly blocky. An example is Futurama. I ripped the entire series at 1000KBPs. The intro to the episodes is like a YouTube video. But once it gets to the show itself it looks fine. Only when you get lots of action and colors does it lose too much detail.
  5. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I'm assuming you're using H.264 two pass encoding for all of this?
  6. liquidsgi macrumors newbie

    Dec 4, 2006

    This sounds awesome. I had no idea that you could do this and have Apple TV stream it. I have been looking for just sort of a solution for years! I am going to run home and try this immediately!!
  7. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    The preset for AppleTV in HandBrake sets it up for you. It's MP4, AVC/H.264 / AAC Audio. x264 main encoder.

    One thing you'll have to watch out for though is movies that are "narrower" than 16:9. i.e. they're more thin on screen with more bars, even on a 16:9 TV. Examples are LOTR, Star Wars... In these cases, HB has a bug where it won't automatically set the cropping for you. You can fix this simply after choosing the Title to rip and choosing the AppleTV preset to use in the list and opening the "Picture Settings" sheet then closing it. It'll automatically fix this for you by adding the cropping. Not a big deal, but something to watch out for. Else you end up ripping a movie with bars and wasting space. No big deal.

    I take my entertainment seriously. :D

    While I would kill to have Apple fix and add some sorting features to the Movie and TV show lists, the one feature I would take over nothing at all is USB HD expansion. That's all I want. The ability to sync my entire movie/TV show/music collection to the AppleTV so I don't have to have my computer running. Also, it seems to load the video faster if it's on the HD and not the network. I don't have an 802.11n network. It's a B network and my mini's connected via Ethernet 10/100. So it's not as fast as it could be. Sometimes it takes a few seconds just to start playing again after I pause it.
  8. Bressler macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2007
    Thanks for the guidelines. For those of us who run Handbrake on a PC (i.e. no presets), what do you do for cropping? Auto? And for picture settings, do you use Constant Quality?

    BTW, if you are streaming, I have found that by using a second access point and giving AppleTV its own SSID, the performace is much improved.
  9. needthephone macrumors 6502a

    Apr 4, 2006
    What is the quality of aripped DVD like on say a 42 inch LCD/Plasma? Would I notice a differance between watching the DVD or it ripped and played via apple TV?

    If it's that easy, I may get one.
  10. Yvan256 macrumors 601


    Jul 5, 2004
    It depends on the TV you're using. I'm ripping my DVDs at "Quality 60%" and they look fine on my 36" Toshiba CRT (apart from the lack of letterboxing), however I took my :apple:TV to test my rips on a 37" 1080p LCD, and they looked awful.

    It depends on the bitrate and the quality of the encoder. The new handbrake has some new parameters that result in a lot less "banding" effects (i.e. bands/steps in the sky, walls, etc).

    The best tip was listed above: try to rip a single fast-action chapter of everything you rip, at different bitrates. It may take a while, but at least your rips will be worth watching.
  11. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    I'm thinking seriously of getting an AppleTV. I have a mini for the purpose, but it doesn't play well with my 60" Sony 1080P.
    It looks like the video is covered here, but what about the audio?
    My preference in order is DTS, then Dolby digital then ...
    I don't think I'd view my movies in iTunes, only the AppleTV.
  12. c.greene914 macrumors regular


    Jun 3, 2007
    How do you determine if the film is anamorphic or not? I would also like to know hot you crop it. I currently 'squish' mine into 720x384, as you describe. If there is a better way, a way to get higher quality media, I am dying to know.

    Any advice, or help you can offer is appreciated.

  13. imlucid macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2007
    Apple TV doesn't currently support DTS or AC3.

  14. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Well ...
    My understanding is that you can do DTS with the AppleTV. Something about ripping the DTS track into a wav file. Then packaging that into the MP4 file. Then connecting an optical cable between the AppleTV and your receiver (that decodes DTS).
    Playing the movie through iTunes on a computer gets you hissing out the speakers because iTunes can't decode DTS. But it plays on the AppleTV/receiver combination.
  15. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    The easiest way to tell is to open the DVD in DVD Playert and play the DVD. If it shows up in a 4:3 window with large bars on top and bottom, it's a non-anamorphic DVD. Fortunately, most widescreen DVD's today are anamorphic so you can usually assume Anamorphic.

    Use HandBrake's preset for AppleTV to rip Anamorphic DVD's.

    What I usually do before I start ripping is open the Picture Settings sheet and look around first and make sure everything crops right and everything (Usually use Auto) and then close it. Some movies aren't 16:9 (Thinner ones that have bars on them even if it's on a 16:9 TV, like Star Wars and LOTR) and so opening the sheet will correct their cropping for you.

    Ripping at 720 when it's an Anamorphic movie is such a loss. Don't do it anymore. You lose so much! Start ripping with HB's Anamorphic features right away. And re-rip your DVD's to the correct aspect too just to have it all..

    The 5 usual DVD video types you'll encounter on your library ripping adventure: (Click the thumbs for full size examples of what they'll look like at full res.)

    First up we have 4:3. Standard TV shows and fullscreen movies. Either you bought a FS movie by mistake or it was never in widescreen, this is a standard 640x480 resolution. I used Wizard of Oz here because it was never shot in widescreen. This is how it is preserved on the DVD. Thus this is how it should be encoded. Other examples of this aspect are TV shows that aren't wide like Futurama, Simpsons, ALF, Titus, I'm going out on a limb here. I assume you'd know what is and isn't 4:3. So there you go..

    Second we have a non-anamorphic 16:9 DVD. This is a movie that is put on the DVD in a 4:3 frame but with black on top and bottom to "preserve" the original aspect. Laserdiscs and the rare widescreen VHS tape did this all the time. And DVD's when they first came out did too. This is crappy quality because it's smaller than it should be, but if it's all you have, it's all you have. The video here was ripped at 720x400 and is as good as it will get so don't bother making it bigger. The movie is Young Frankenstein.

    Next third we have a non-anamorphic, non-16:9 movie. The same as above but the aspect is thinner. No big deal, more cropping will be needed. But HB's Anamorphic option won't make a difference here so don't use it. Just crop what you need to. This movie is Short Circuit. (The Short Circuit 2 DVD is anamorphic and 16:9. Go figure.) It was so close to being Titanic. ;)

    Fourth we move to the Anamorphic movies. This one is a 16:9 movie. Office Space. These movies you WILL want to use HB's Anamorphic option. It'll be part of the preset or as an option in Picture Settings. This movie is Office Space. (A word of note, Anamorphic movies are really stored as 720x480 video, the Anamorphic option turns on Quicktime's Anamorphic correction option to stretch it to what you see on TV. This is how it is best ripped. Exactly what is on the DVD.)

    Lastly, the same as above but in an Anamorphic non-16:9 format. It's thinner as you can see. This one is Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. For these movies you will need to open the Picture Settings sheet once after choosing the preset to fix its cropping as it's not set automatically until you do so. So don't forget or you will end up with either a movie ripped with the bars (Wasting valuable HD space and quality on blackness.) or a stretched picture. So DO IT! LOL

    So there you have it. Some tips on getting the best picture and resolution you can. Remember to play around with quality and bitrates to get what you see as best. Some DVD's aren't going to really get that good anyway so don't waste space on high bitrate of a low quality DVD. Enjoy!
  16. cowm007 macrumors regular

    Feb 2, 2005
    How fast does handbrake encode files for you guys? I have a 2ghz Core 2 MacBook and using the TV preset I encode slightly under realtime @ 20fps.
  17. Flynnstone macrumors 65816


    Feb 25, 2003
    Cold beer land
    Jasoco, it looks like you have the video part well under control, thanks

    What do you do for the audio side?
  18. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    I use whatever's the best. 5.1 if it's available. I'm not 100% on audio yet though because I don't really have the greatest surround system in the world. Just a cheap Venturer system. I say use whatever is default or 5.1. (Usually the 5.1 is default, but not on all DVD's.)

    As for the question on speed. Well, to put things in perspective...

    On my 1.24GHz Mac mini PPC G4 a half-hour TV episode took 3-5 hours.

    On my new MacBook 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo an episode takes 18-20 minutes. It's faster than real-time. VERY NICE.

    As soon as I settle into my new MacBook (Getting the hang of it and rearranging files and such) I will be back to ripping my collection. Though this time it won't take 12 hours per movie. It'll take 2. I should be done in a week if done right.
  19. miTunes75 macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2006
    The Incredibles

    ***moved to individual thread***
  20. Edandlindz28 macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2007

    Do you use 2 pass encoding? I have started ripping all my movies, but don't have an :apple:TV yet because I am gone, but I don't want to have to re-rip at 2 pass. I am using the Apple TV default setting but keeping it at 2200kps. Any help would be great thanks.
  21. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    40 - 60FPS for the :apple: TV preset in Handbrake. I'm in the process of transferring a lot of DVDs to my iTunes library for when I finally get my media setup so I just rip a bunch of DVDs and set a massive queue up in Handbrake.

    I'm still not entirely sure I have been getting the best quality out of it but it is acceptable so I guess I'll just use what I have.
  22. Jasoco macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2006
    I don't really use 2-pass for time reasons. I haven't noticed much of a difference really but if you want to use it, use it. I don't. If I had time, or my processor could double pass it in the same amount of time, fine. But it just takes a bit too long for my tastes.
  23. HelixOmnimedia macrumors 6502a


    Jul 26, 2006
    Traveling The World
    Hi Jasoco,

    THANKS for all the help mentioned above. I have a clearer idea of who to get movies onto my AppleTV.

    Like you mentioned, I've ripped then with handbrake at 2000bit h.264, not using 2-pass encoding because of time... but I've changed the resolution to 640x??? (whatever, depending on the DVD) - but this was to make the movies/tv shows work with the iPhone.
    Is this right? or should I have ripped them at their full (default) resolution?

    Saying that, at the resolution of 640x??? - i haven't noticed that big of difference when its on my 50" TV.

    Thanks for shedding any light on wither i should change to the original resolution as i want the files to work on iPod (G5), AppleTV, iPhone and iPod (G6) - whenever it comes out.
  24. HelixOmnimedia macrumors 6502a


    Jul 26, 2006
    Traveling The World
    The Simpsons - Settings

    Forgot to ask, what settings are you using for animation?

    I've only ever ripped live-action movies and tv shows, and I would LOVE to have all my season of The Simpsons, Family Guy and Futurama.

    This maybe a stupid question, but I assume it's just:

    Just wanted to check before I start any encoding.
  25. Edandlindz28 macrumors regular

    Apr 26, 2007
    Thanks for the input. I am not doing the 2 pass and if I don't like it, I can do it again, no biggie.

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