Streaming a DVD from iMac to Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Petje, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. Petje macrumors newbie


    Jan 21, 2007
    A while ago I bought an elcheapo DVD-player (pwpf) and it will not play every DVD especially not dvd's I burnt on my iMac (also not from my Fathers Windows computer). So I am getting rid of it.

    I thought I might replace it by an Apple TV, but my main question is:
    Can I play a dvd on Apple TV that is placed in my IC2D iMac?
    What wifi speed is needed for that?
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    You can only play the content of that DVD if you transcode it to a format the ATV understands. Download Handbrake and give it a try.
  3. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    You can't stream DVD's to the Apple TV. Yet that is.

    However, you are far better just ripping your whole DVD collection and storing it on the Apple TV. That way you have your selection of movies at your finger tips.

    What you need: HandBrake to actually rip the movies. We can help with recommended bit rates and settings for doing it (there is a few guides around too). Once you have ripped your DVD, you have a .mp4 file. Now, you want to tag this with information, like the movie name, actors, sypnosis and artwork. Best application to do this is MetaX. Once you tagged the file, either store it on an external hard drive or put it where you want, then drag into iTunes and sync with the Apple TV.
  4. cindyjk macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2009
    Stream a DVD to Apple TV

    OK, I get that I'm supposed to rip the DVD to my hard drive (Handbrake). But how do I rip the extras on the DVD (trailers, deleted scenes), or, more puzzling, any alternate audio tracks (different language, or director's commentary). I have the Twilight Zone boxed set, and just about every episode has an alternate commentary track by the lead actor or writer - would hate to lose all that good content!
  5. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    The alternate audio tracks are the easiest part of what you just said... Handbrake .9.4 can easily support multiple audio tracks, and you can select between them via the AppleTV interface.
  6. cindyjk macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2009
    Streaming a DVD from Macbook Pro to Apple TV

    Sorry to be dense, but I've been trying to rip DVDs with Handbrake for days, and I have often broken down in frustrated tears. I put in my Twilight Zone Season 1 Disc one; there are 6 episodes on it, all of which have at least 1 alternate audio track (some have 2). When I go to select the episode I want to rip, there might be 14 different segments to choose from, even though the disc has only 6 episodes. On my first attempts, I just ripped everything, so now I have 14 m4v files. Let's say that Episode 1 had two bonus audio tracks (director and writer, for example). I open each one in iTunes. The end result is now I have three identical copies of episode one, and the audio for each copy is the same: the main program dialog. I've now wasted HOURS ripping the disc, and most of what I end up with is duplicates! What am I doing wrong?:(
  7. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Jan 26, 2006
    Whitehouse, OH
    You have to tell Handbrake to also encode the secondary audio tracks; this can be done on the audio tab. As for the 14 different parts, you'll need to look at the DVD and determine which 6 of the 14 titles are the actual episodes and tell it to encode each one of those.
  8. lukecro macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    Wouldn't it be easier to use Mac The Ripper 4.0 (MTR) to rip the DVDs? Handbrake can't deal with the copy protection on DVDs, can it?

    And then after ripping using MTR - using the default option to create VIDEO_TS folders instead of the ISO option - you could use XBMC on the Apple TV to view the ripped DVDs, which would include all the DVD extras, audio tracks, subtitles, etc.

    The downside being that the VIDEO_TS rip results in big files. If you have the time, then you could then go back and use Handbrake to transcode the individual files (the main full movie, specific extras, or episodes of shows) into smaller, Apple TV-friendly files, so you can just use Apple TV/iTunes to manage and view the files and not have to worry about ATV hacks like XBMC/Boxee/Plex/ATVflash.

    I currently use MTR to manage my DVD backups/rips, and VLC as my viewer. I've been experimenting with XBMC/Boxee/Plex, which offer cooler interfaces and (sometimes good, sometimes bad) auto-tagging of movie and TV files (regrettably they don't seem to recognize meta tags, so I've been skipping the MetaX tagging step). I'm thinking about getting an Apple TV soon, so I'm curious about what the easiest and quickest steps really are for getting my movies onto the Apple TV, so I can stop using my DVD player.

    For me, MTR to VIDEO_TOS (and playing the files with VLC) has been the best option for managing the DVD media on my iMac and Macbook -- I've been doing this for a few years with various versions of MTR and VLC, and it's fast and simple.

    But the cool-looking interface provided by the (still buggy) XBMC/Boxee/etc. programs are compelling, and I really want to start getting my movie library onto my TV via an Apple TV if it's not too much of a hassle. I know that Mac Mini is what I really need to do this easily (as discussed by others in many posts on the MacRumors forum), but the Mac Mini seems like overkill for my purposes (e.g., more $$ than I'd like to spend, and still not an out-of-box solution anyway, in terms of syncing media between computers).

    I also bought a DLA media server, but it was a very disappointing experience.

  9. cindyjk macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2009
    Mac The Ripper

    Gives me the same problems as Handbrake. I have a disc with 7 TV episodes on it; most have an alternate audio track commentary. When I set MTR to do a Title-Chapter Extraction (or "Title Only Extraction, exact same results), and then click on the up/down arrows to select which episode I want, I have EIGHTEEN segments to choose from - why 18 when there are only 7 eps on the disc?? If I extract all 18 segments, I will end up with multiple copies of each episode, and those copies are IDENTICAL - no way to select I want the audio commentary, no way to figure out which segements are duplicates - I've wasted HOURS ripping these discs, only to end up with 2 or 3 copies of EACH EPISODE, all with the identical soundtrack, and no way to choose the alternate commentary.
  10. xlii macrumors 68000


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    Just want to point out that you also need VLC as handbrake needs a library that comes with VLC.

    In handbrake you want to use Source to load in the DVD and you want to use the title drop down menu box to select which title to decode.
  11. lukecro macrumors member

    Feb 27, 2009
    If you definitely want to store each episode as a separate file, then I can see this being a problem. I think the issue might arise partly from the copy-protection on the DVD -- a common copy-protection trick is to make it look like there are a bunch of identical files, and if you try to rip them individually you'll end up with duplicates, including some possible non-working dupes, and/or an excessively large files. I've even seen movie DVDs were it makes it look like there are a 100 "main features" on the disc, and you've gotta figure out which one is the real, working version of the movie, or you'll somehow end up ripping a 100 gigs worth of bogus files from a 8-gig disc, thanks to the copy-protection tricks. (Note: I think MTR4 is supposed to handle this kind of stuff better than MTR3.)

    But what I've been doing for movies and TV-show DVDs is simply using the Mac the Ripper option to rip the entire disc, instead of just the movie or individual episodes. And I keep a shortcut to VLC in my desktop dock bar. Then anytime I want to play a ripped DVD, I just drag the entire folder down to VLC, and VLC opens it up as if it were a DVD . . . From there you can choose the TV episode you want to watch via the original DVD's menu.

    It's not the same as storing episodes as individual files, but I've found this to be a faster system for ripping, storing, and watching. XBMC seems to handle the "full disc" Mac the Ripper folders fine as well, at least in "Library" mode -- instead of opening up the folder and drilling down until you find the exact episode/VOB file you want to play, you just have XBMC or VLC or whatever open the top folder as if it were a DVD, and then, boom, you've got your full DVD menu and options and can play the episode/movie/special feature with a single click.

    Maybe not the solution you're looking for -- and I'm always looking for better solutions myself -- but thought I'd throw it out there. The method of described has always been super convenient and turnkey for me when I'm just watching the movies on my iMac, but I'm not sure how well it'll work when trying to play back on an Apple TV; that's what I'd really like to know.

    (I've also heard that Handbrake can have an easier time of transcoding from Mac the Ripper rips as opposed to using Handbrake directly on the disc -- because Mac the Ripper is cleaning up the copy-protection problems, setting up Handbrake for an easier extraction. Again, I think the idea would be to start with a MTR "full disc" extraction, then run Handbrake on the resulting folder. A lot of people seem to like using both programs hand-in-hand for this type of thing. But I don't have enough Handbrake experience to say for sure -- I'm probably misinterpreting.)
  12. oposky2006 macrumors member

    Nov 19, 2009
    yep. ATV will not accept dvd, u should convert dvd to mp4 your ATV can support.

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