Successfully converting MKV to mp4 with no loss, and no audio mess up?

Matth3w

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 24, 2008
160
12
I can't seem to convert MKV reliably without either losing quality or having the audio get skewed (even if by a few tenths of a second). I've tried multiple programs. What do you use, and what settings do you use when you use it?

I have a PC for my main computer. I'd rather use something that's mac and PC compatible so I don't have to transfer all my movies to my MBA or do the conversion over the network.
 

zhenya

macrumors 604
Jan 6, 2005
6,668
3,269
Mp4 is a lossy format. You can optimize settings, but there will always be quality loss.
 

rritterson

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
357
1
DC USA
I convert h.264 mkvs to iOS compatible h.264 m4v's using handbrake. Just click the profile that's closest to what you want and click go.
 

Matth3w

macrumors regular
Original poster
Mar 24, 2008
160
12
I convert h.264 mkvs to iOS compatible h.264 m4v's using handbrake. Just click the profile that's closest to what you want and click go.
What setting do you use that maintains the same quality and just converts it?
 

dasx

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2012
1,098
17
Barcelona
If it's h264 just use Subler. Will take around 1 minute for a 20 minute length tv show and around 5-10 minutes for a long 1080p movie.

If it's not h264 then Handbrake. Select Apple TV3 preset and you're good to go.

EDIT: Does the iPad support 1080p? If not go with the iPad preset.
 

rritterson

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
357
1
DC USA
If it's h264 just use Subler. Will take around 1 minute for a 20 minute length tv show and around 5-10 minutes for a long 1080p movie.

If it's not h264 then Handbrake. Select Apple TV3 preset and you're good to go.

EDIT: Does the iPad support 1080p? If not go with the iPad preset.
I tried using subtler but somehow ended up with unplayable files. I think this is because the Apple TV can't play files above a certain bit rate.

Handbrake, on the other hand, seems to always generate a playable file, and will automatically convert DTS audio and create an AAC mix down track. It's basically foolproof, even if sometimes it converts a file it technically didn't need to.

I have an Apple TV 2 and a 720p TV, so I use the Apple TV 2 profile and it seems to work just fine.
 

dasx

macrumors 65816
Jun 18, 2012
1,098
17
Barcelona
I tried using subtler but somehow ended up with unplayable files. I think this is because the Apple TV can't play files above a certain bit rate.

Handbrake, on the other hand, seems to always generate a playable file, and will automatically convert DTS audio and create an AAC mix down track. It's basically foolproof, even if sometimes it converts a file it technically didn't need to.

I have an Apple TV 2 and a 720p TV, so I use the Apple TV 2 profile and it seems to work just fine.
You must check the 64-bit offset option for files larger than 4GB.
 

xxcysxx

macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2011
264
0
if you want to get your mkv as an mp4, its very easy. well, assuming your device or what ever it is can support .h264 video stream of course. in the mkv there are two important components. the video streams, the .h264 of course, and the audio streams, whether its a .dts or .acc or .ac3, or even .mp3.
just use a tool like "mkv extract GUI2" to extract the .h264 and the audio stream. chances are your device will not be able to decode the .dts stream, so you will not hear sound. so you need to first use a tool like "popcorn mkv audio converter", this tool take the dts stream out of the mkv file and convert it to an acc or ac3 or mp3 or which ever you choose that your device will support, then it replaces the dts stream in the mkv, then you use the mkv extract to "demux" the .h264 and the .acc or what ever the audio stream popcorn converted it to. then you use another tool called mp4 muxer to mux the .h264 and the audio stream into a single .mp4 file. the .h264 video stream is untouch, preserving its original quality.

if the mkv file doesn't have the .dts stream then you can just mux what ever audio stream it is into the mp4. mp4 doesn't support .dts -> that's digital theater system

you will have to rename the audio and video stream, the .h264 and .acc, as the same file name for it to work properly, like tittle.h264 and tittle.acc.

there are also other files in the mkv like the subtitle, while you will not be able to mux the subtittle together with the .h264 or the .acc into the mp4, but you can rename the subtitle file the same as the mp4 file and it will still work.

goodluck
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.