New to Apple TV : how to properly encode videos ?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by FrenchPB, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. FrenchPB macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    Hey all,

    I just bought an apple TV for my parents (Xmas present). It will be a great way for them to see photos, stream music, or watch videos on their big screen TV.

    I have a few videos that I would like to put on their itunes, so that they'll be able to enjoy their new apple tv right away. They're in differement formats though, and I have never encoded a video in my life.

    The files I want to re-encode are .mp4 or .avi, usually encoded with h264 720p.

    I just downloaded Handbrake to encore the videos in the right format for itunes, but here is where I'm totally lost.

    What are the settings I should use to get the best quality out of the videos I will re-encode ? Most of them are high quality HD videos, so encoding will lower the quality I'm sure, but I'd like to do my best to get the best results right away.

    Thanks for your help.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Use the Apple TV preset in Handbrake to transcode the videos.

  3. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    Oh ok, I didn't see there were presets in handbrake. So that "apple tv" preset will get me the best quality the apple tv 2 can display ? There is nothing else to do than just select the preset, the file, and GO ?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    As far as I have gathered, yes.
    But you may check other similar threads via MRoogle: http://mroogle.*************/
  5. Icculus macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Frisco, TX
    I would suggest downloading the nightly builds of Handbrake and using the ATV2 preset. I use that preset tweaked out a little but, like RF 19 instead of 20. I turn on Detelecine and Decomb filters to default, and I change the anamorphic mode to strict. Using that preset I think the DVD's come out stellar.
  6. MacProDude macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2006
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, definitely don't use the "Apple TV" preset - that's for the first gen. Either use the Apple TV2 one in the nightlies or use the high profile if you're only concerned with Apple TV2 and not, say, iPhone, iPad, etc, too.
  7. pMad macrumors regular

    Apr 28, 2008
    If you are concerned with iPhone, iPad, etc., use "Universal".
  8. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    If you have the latest versions of the iPhone or an iPad, they are all the same as the ATV2 so you can use the same High Profile settings. They all use the A4 processor and have the same abilities as far as encoding and playing your encodes. The Universal preset will not provide nearly the quality as what these devices can handle and the OP is after. Universal was meant so that even old iPods can handle the output. You are short changing yourself using universal for the ATV2.
  9. FrenchPB, Dec 21, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2010

    FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    In my case, I only care about the new apple TV. I will do those encodes just for my parents, so I open handbrake, select the "high profile" settings, and encore ? Just like that ?

    I have the high profile presets, but not the ATV2 presets. I checked for updates, and handbrake said I had the latest version. Should I download the ATV2 presets from a website ?
  10. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2008
    There hasn't been an official release in a while, but the nightly builds are much better than the last real release. Try here.
  11. aelalfy macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Berlin, Germany

    I would like to suggest using iFlicks. Its a great app that does everything really well. By everything I mean encoding and meta tagging (adds description artwork etc). I dealt with Handbrake very briefly and concluded that I wasn't a fan of it. I tried many presets and tweaks to try to reduce my encoding time, between that and ensuring the file sizes dont explode, I ended up with a bad quality huge file size.

    With iFlicks however, its simple, you drag the files into the UI, select the HD 720p preset (The ATV preset is not yet updated for the new appletv) and it will tag the file and convert it. The encoding time is in my opinion better than handbrake (since to reduce size on handbrake you had to use h.256), and the file sizes are smaller or equal to the original file, and no visible loss of quality.

    Overall im very satisfied with iFlicks and recommend it to anyone who's new to encoding or looking for something simple yet effective.

  12. FrenchPB thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2005
    How do I install the CLI + the GUI ? I got both DMG, but I don't know what to do from here.
  13. mike457 macrumors 6502

    Sep 10, 2010
    If you open the DMG for the GUI, just drag and drop the Handbrake app into your applications folder.

    You don't need the CLI if you are using the GUI.
  14. standingquiet macrumors 6502


    Feb 13, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    You only need the GUI one, just open the DMG file and drag the Handbrake logo into your Applications

  15. From A Buick 8 macrumors 68040

    From A Buick 8

    Sep 16, 2010
    Ky Close to CinCinnati
    I ran into an issue on my TV shows. I have used HB to encode several hundred movie DVD's and had great luck using the high profile preset.

    I am now working my way through my TV Show DVD's and i had done season 1 through 4 of Everybody Loves Raymond. Starting with season 5, i found on the latest nightly build (of HB) and i see the new AppleTV2 preset.

    So for season 5 and 6 i use that and when i play back on the ATV i can see, what i can only describe as "flashing" in the video. I watched a few episodes from season 5 an 6 and i see this in them. I am going back to encode them using the High Profile pre-set to see if it goes away.
  16. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    I have a somewhat stupid question-

    How much of a difference is there if I just re-encode a video that was originally encoded for ipod touch and re-encode for Apple TV without re-ripping?
  17. Apropos macrumors newbie

    Dec 26, 2010
    There's probably no point in re-encoding it. Your iPod video is probably 480p and will look OK on the ATV2. Trying to encode that as a source at 720p will only make it worse IMHO.
  18. cuestakid macrumors 68000

    Jun 14, 2006
    San Fran
    That is what I figured-if I find a movie that is just not acceptable I will re-rip.

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