Think might be send my ATV back!...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by shorn, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. shorn macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    OK, after having what seemed to be a relative measure of success with the ATV over the past day or two, I'm thinking I might end up having to return it, for a number of reasons.

    I am having issues with connectivity. I have an AE Aego M 3.1 (I added the centre channel) system. However there is no clear way for me to connect up the ATV to this system. I could get an optical>RCA converter, however as the ATV does not control volume, it makes this option a bit unattractive, as the Aego M system does not work from remote control, so I reply upon the input device (currently my Media PC) to do this. I have sound from my TV, and when I use the RCA outputs from the TV to the Aego M, this to leaves me with no way to control via remote.

    Video conversion. The few test files that I created seem to be OK, audio was in sync (when played through the TV.) So I set about converting (with MKVTools) a few more, and I have now come across an episode (720p) of Band Of Brothers, that appears to go out of sync in places. I have used the same setting on all files so far. Video pass through, 5.1 AC3 and AAC 2.0.
    Now when the file is playing on the ATV I have no option to switch streams. I am assuming that it will only allow me the AAC 2.0 due to 5.1 AC3 needing to be sent out via optical. Either way, if it was the 2.0, it was out of sync. I checked my original file on my media PC and it was fine (but that was the original DTS decoded/down-mixed by XBMC and sent to the Aego M.)

    And lastly, video quality. Its just not as nice as my media PC. I have the media PC connected via VGA to a PC input. Now bearing in mind that the video on the converted files has not been touched, the ATV image is not as good as the PC image. When comparing Band Of Brothers, its almost like the ATV appears to be a tad grainy, whereas the media PC has a nice smooth natural image.

    I'm really leaning towards returning it, but I sooo wanted it to work! I love the idea of everything being managed and organised by iTunes, but I just dont think the Apple TV is going to fit in easily for me. Just wondered if anyone had any thoughts? Anyone else moved from a Media PC to Apple TV solution?
  2. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    I moved from Media Center to Apple TV, and I far prefer the ATV.

    I can't really compare the video quality as I re-ripped my DVD's (the AVI's I used on Media Center were ripped about 5 years ago).

    Are you using the same files, or have you converted/re-ripped?

    EDIT: Sorry, I missed the paragraph about video conversion somehow. I certainly don't have any problem with audio sync, but have never used MKVTools. I use Handbrake and the files seem very good to me.
  3. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    So far I generally using the same files. I've ripped a few DVD's, these seem better, however I have many 720p MKV files, (including the said BoB episode), and these are being converted to m4v. The video is being passed through, so in terms of picture quality, it is like for like. I also do not fancy going through a couple of hundred movies to find out of sync issues!
  4. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    If you're willing to stick at it then have a go with Handbrake to see if it works any better. I notice someone else saying they have audio sync problems with MKVTools, so maybe that's the problem.

    If you really don't fancy doing the conversions then you may be better off returning it and getting something else.
  5. FireWire2 macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    A/V sync problem

    If anyone after use HB and end up with A/V sync problem

    There is an easy fix.

    Play with VLC
    Go to Sync panel - adjust timing to match

    Remux with Adjust timing. In no time you will have a sync av file

  6. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Well i'm just converting the same file now with handbrake. The problem is that this original mkv file had a h.264 video stream, so I didn't really want to have to go through encoding it again. At themoment HB is saying it will take 2 hours. MKV tools can remux in about 20 mins. As far as I know, there is no way to pass through video in HB. I've tried converting this time, and tried converting the DTS to AAC 5.1 and 2.0.
    Unless its in AAC it seems that the ATV will not let me switch audio stream (between 5.1 ac3 and aac 2.0 for example.)

    I have this niggling feeling that if I can overcome these few stating hurdles, then I will really enjoy it, however the connectivity problems are making me wonder if its really worth it!
  7. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    You can switch the audio stream. When the video is playing, hold down the select button a few seconds and a menu will pop up allowing you to change the audio and chapters if they are included on the file. Holding the select button gives you various extra options depending on the situation.
  8. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Well that is not working on mine. I did a few movies with MKVTools, with converting the audio to AAC5.1 and AAC 2.0. These ones do allow me to select the different tracks. But all the files that I have converted using AC35.1 & AAC2.0 do not let me select the tracks.

    I've also noticed that there is a great variance in the volume of some of these movies. Also when I do get the chance to select between two tracks, Theres no way to distinguish between which track is what, as they either both show as English, or both as Unidentified. Theres no additional track details.

    With regards to connecting the audio, I may have stumbled upon a very simple solution. I have a 3.5mm jack to Red/white RCA that connects my PC to the Aego M's. I have plugged this into the headphone jack and it seems to be playing ok, and volume is therefore handled by the remote control of the TV.

    Ive also check a few more of the Band of Brother files and more than one are out of sync. I'm guessing that there must be something up with how these files DTS tracks are being converted. It will be interesting to see how the handbrake encode comes out.
  9. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Well the band of brothers encode finished, and everything is now in sync. That's good. Might just try it again with mkv tools using different settings for audio. Just to see if it makes a difference.

    With regards to connecting it up for sound. I'm thinking that I could get a cheap av receiver, that supports hdmi, and then just plug into the headphone socket of the receiver, bearing in mind I just need a stereo output to the Aego M. Anyone else think that will be ok?
  10. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    Good news. Hope it all goes along nicely from here.
  11. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Yep, its good news regarding it being in sync, but i dont really want to convert everything with HB, especially when the video was already h264. I have set MKVTools to do a vid pass thru and convert audio to AAC 5.1 & 2.0 (This is what HB has done.) The last time with MKVTools, i did AC3 5.1 and AAC 2.0.
    Will be interesting to see if it makes a difference.
  12. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    The ATV does indeed control volume. I can adjust the volume with the iPhone Remote App and within iTunes when I select AppleTV as my external 'speakers'.

    Just a minor detail which may help.
  13. shorn thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    Are you sure? I'm pretty certain that it doesnt. It definatley doesnt with the supplied remote, and I cannot remember seeing a volume slider within the remote app.
    I can control iTunes volume from the remote app, but not ATV. I'm talking about gen2 here, not sure about gen 1.
  14. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009

    I have gen 1...maybe gen 2 doesn't?

    Go into iTunes and choose ATV as your external speakers (bottom right corner) and then adjust the volume and see what happens.
  15. KeithJenner macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    Certainly if you select multiple speakers in the Remote App you have a slider for each speaker. I can't remember if you do when you just have one output.

    This is when you are controlling the iTunes library and pushing to remote speakers. If you select the Apple TV initially and pull video using the remote App then perhaps you don't have volume control.

    The different options with subtle differences can be confusing (especially to describe in a forum).
  16. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    I know I had this option to control the volume of my ATV with the Remote only other 'remote speaker' would have been the iMac. And in this situation, wouldn't it be the same anyway, as both ATV and iMac would have to be operating...therefore you would have two speakers, in a sense and therefore, by default, two outputs? iMac and AppleTV?

    Like you said, this may be more difficult to explain in this thread?:eek:

    I actually had no idea the ATV (gen 1) had any sort of volume control until I started using the Remote app. It's true that the included remote has no way to change the volume directly. There may be a setting buried in the "Settings" for volume level?

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