Switching my ripping/encoding patterns with ATV4

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cardsdoc, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. cardsdoc macrumors 6502

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    Shaker Hts, OH
    #1
    For years I have been encoding my blu-rays and DVDs using handbrake ATV3 preset so files were fully compatible with itunes home sharing on ATV3. The sacrifice had been slight loss in video quality, no VOB or PSG subtitle support, and more importantly inability to play DTS or HD audio formats (only AC3 passthrough). Things have changed now. I pretty much only use Plex nowadays which is now even easier on the ATV4 with a dedicated app (no more airplay or tinkering with PlexConnect). The ATV4 can handle the bitrates of blu-ray H.264, and Infuse app can now actually decode and pass on DTS-HD MA as lossless mutlichannel PCM to receiver through ATV4. So I think I'm going to start switching to ripping to MKVs and keeping original video for select movies and encode using high profile handbrake preset for others for space reasons. I will keep DTS-HD track when available and include an AC3 and AAC track to minimize transcoding depending on the device/app I'm watching on. I watch mostly through plex but if I want to enjoy the DTS-HD track I can switch to infuse unless Plex someday supports it. Not really asking a question but sharing my thoughts and wondering if others have changed their ripping/encoding patterns with the ATV4.
     
  2. pjarvi macrumors 65816

    pjarvi

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    Round Lake, IL
    #2
    I've only ripped Blu-rays to .MKV with no compression. Now that I am running low on storage and hit the limit of my wallet vs hard drive $$$/TB, I have been using Handbrake to compress some of the .MKV's down to .MP4 with the ATV3 preset. I only compress the movies I don't love or that I don't feel benefit from the higher bit-rate.
     
  3. archer75, Apr 21, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016

    archer75 macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I wouldn't use more than one audio track. Audio transcoding uses so little computer power it really doesn't matter. Devices that support DTS but not DTS-MA HD will still play the DTS core.
    If space is a concern use h.265. It really gets file sizes down. Of course you would have transcoding via plex for the apple tv. The apple tv is just too limited. However I doubt you'd really notice any loss in quality.

    As far as subtitles go, most people only need the forced subs and when you re-encode you just burn them in the image. No PSG subtitle files to deal with.

    I've run a HTPC in some form or another and stored video for over a decade. I hate chasing after and encoding specifically to one device only to have it replaced later on and then re-ripping and re-encoding for that. Which is why now I only encode h.265 with HD audio and use my nvidia shield(formally my HTPC) for my main theater for direct play. My other tv's/devices just get transcoded movies/tv. But it's fine as they still look great.
    And with my previous h.264 and current h.265 i've come up with settings that gives me the smallest file sizes but at the same time the video is indistinguishable from the original.
     
  4. cardsdoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    What do you use to encode to h.265? Does encoding take much longer? Does it use much more processing power to transcode on your plex server?
     
  5. archer75, Apr 22, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2016

    archer75 macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I use handbrake. It does take longer and use more processing power, yes. It's not a lot. And bitrate is reduced so it will stream better on wireless networks.
    However I built a new computer last year to handle the encodes and i'm transcoding multiple simultaneous streams not only in my home but also for friends and family to connect to my plex.
    With handbrake I just queue up a bunch and let it run. Then use MKV merge afterwards to combine the newly encoded file with the HD audio from the original file.
     
  6. cardsdoc thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    Thanks. Since I'm using mostly iOS devices to watch it doesn't make much sense for me. Space is not an issue. Any movie I watched would be going through 2 transcodes. There will be a loss in quality relative to the untouched blu-ray h.264. I'm sure at some point in the future the standard will switch to h.265 but until then not worth it for me.
     
  7. archer75 macrumors 65816

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    Jan 26, 2005
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    Oregon
    #7
    Honestly i'd bet you'd never see a difference with transcoding(as long as you aren't altering bitrate). And i'm using a projector and 149" screen. If there was a difference i'd see it. If you get your settings right in handbrake you can make encodes that are smaller yet look the same as the original. I've done lots of testing and frame by frame comparisons. Nothing to lose by testing!
     

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