Transfer Movies to iPad

Discussion in 'iPad Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Sdahe, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Sdahe macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2007
    San Juan, PR

    Can I transfer the movies I have to the iPad?... Let's say I buy the Avatar DVD and would like to have the movie in the iPad for when I travel...

    Can I do that?
  2. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    Yes you have to have a digital copy of it. Just drag it onto the iPad.
  3. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    1, rip with with MakeMKV

    2, OPTIONAL: convert to H.264 via HandBrake.

    Why is Step 2 optional? Because MPEG-2 MKV's are happily played back by tons of media players, even with the original (VobSub) subtitles. I've tested them all in this regard; here's a list of them (excerpt from my larger, DVD ripping-related article):

    MPEG-2 MKV players

    The following players will play back these standard-definition MPEG-2 MKV's properly (not messed-up aspect ratio (many players play this video back at 4:3, which is completely wrong), with the nominal 24/25 fps – that is, without stuttering - etc.). (In parentheses, I also list whether the player is able to render subtitles (if any) and whether you can switch between subtitles (if more than one))

    Can also switch subtitles:

    VM Player HD (see the lowermost section of the Settings menu (upper left corner during playback))
    viPlay (Lite)
    Oplayer HD by olimsoft
    GPlayer by Ginkgo Tech
    ProPlayer (with color problems in the subs, though)
    AVPlayerHD by EPLAYWORKS.Co.Ltd. (exactly the same as with ProPlayer: color problems but, otherwise, excellent)
    GoodPlayer by Hustmobile
    XBMC (tested: today's latest 12.0 alpha nightly build) (no iPad 3 retina support, though!)
    BUZZ Player HD by BUGUN Software (switching is in Settngs > Stream Index; don't forget to disable the new MKV player before playback, otherwise, the app will hang! Color problems.)
    AcePlayer (a quick warning: it doesn't recognize the aspect ratio in either TS or MKV containers; it defaults to 4:3. It must be manually reconfigured to 16:9 (Info icon / Aspect Ratio))

    Only one subtitle stream is rendered and can't be changed:

    VLC player (both the ex-AppStore and Cydia version)
    Movie Player – Plays any Video! by Dominic Rodemer
    Azul Media Player - Video player for your iPad By Gplex
    iSpring Movie Player

    Lists the subtitle tracks but doesn't display them:

    HD Player Pro

    Absolutely no support for subs:

    It's Playing by Addition, Lda

    If you take a closer look at the list, you can see that the first group (the one that can render any subtitles) has almost all the most recommended players: ProPlayer, AVPlayerHD, GoodPlayer, XBMC (note that it doesn't support the iPad 3's retina screen not even in the current (07/07/2012) 12.0 alpha nightly) and BUZZ Player HD. Unfortunately, the other highly recommended title, It's Playing, doesn't support graphical subtitles at all.
  4. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    So which player has the retina display support? I will watch animes and some movies in my ipad 3 very often. Just waiting for it to arrive. Subtitles are important too. Thanks
  5. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Anime? Are they in MKV? With ASS subtitles maybe? (Most anime rips use ASS subs.)

    If your answer to both questions is "yes", go for either XBMC or HD Player Pro - you'll need decent ASS support, which other players don't offer.

    Let me know if they aren't MKV's / ASS-subbed; then, a lot other players will also work.

    EDIT: the above referred to the most common anime rip format. If you rip your own DVD's, it will have a VobSub (and not ASS) subtrack. I haven't tested ProPlayer (the player I recommend for the MPEG-2 + VobSub playback) in this (animated VobSub) configuration. Let me know if your subs on your DVD's are animated and not static. (I mean animation like the ones in . Use VLC for playback.)
  6. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    yes most animes I will be watching are in .MKV. So you're saying they have retina display support?
  7. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    So, do they have SSA subs?
  8. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    yup I asked my brother about it. Btw, what are SSA and ASS? Just curious.
  9. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Very rarely supported sub format, with full support only in the two players I've listed.
  10. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    ok thanks. I'll take note of these :)
  11. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Time to bring this thread up again.

    I have another question.

    We already know that I will either have to go with XBMC or HD Player Pro to watch animes. Neither of them support the retina display function. Now, aside from anime, I would also be watching movies. Particularly .mp4.

    I used Freemake video converter to convert a .avi to .mp4 with a resolution of 1920x1080 since I think there is no 2048x1536 yet. I played a sample in Windows Media Player and enabled the subtitle but it didn't show any. I tried copying and pasting the .srt it came with the movie but won't work too.

    Now the questions are as follow:
    1.) Does the problem lie in Windows Media Player?
    2.) Do I need the .srt file to see the subtitle in my ipad?
    3.) Will either of xbmc and hd player pro play the movie with subs?
    4.) If they have 2048x1536 resolution in apps, is it me or why did they not have these in ipad or converters out there?

    big thanks to whoever can answer these.
  12. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011

    1, WMP requires external hacking to show subtitles. As I don't use Windows much, I can't really help you in this problem.

    2, you in no way want to make use of the 2k resolution with 1080p (or less) footage. Only truly 2k+ original footage should be converted (including 4k downsizing to 2k) to 2k, nothing else, and even then you'll run into problems: you won't be able to use H.264/AVC, only ASP. (I've written an article on 2k playback on iPads - it explains everything one ever needs to know about encoding truly 2k video for iOS. Let me know if you'd like to read it. Nevertheless, you should only bother if you really have 2k / 4k footage.)

    3, "xbmc and hd player pro play the movie with subs" - you ask. If it has ASS subs, then, most probably. Of the two, XBMC is free - you REALLY want to give it a try because you won't lose anything if it doesn't, as opposed to hd player pro, which is commercial. Alternatively, feel free to upload an AVI with subs to, say, Dropbox and I'll test it for you and report back.
  13. Sdahe thread starter macrumors 68000


    Oct 26, 2007
    San Juan, PR
  14. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    How are 2k resolutions made? I would also like to read the thread you posted regarding 2k playback in ipad. Thanks
  15. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    1, out of 2k or even bigger (4k) footage.

    2, here you are:

    The new iPad (3) for 2K(+) video playback? Definitely!

    You might have heard of 2K video. It delivers (horizontally – but not vertically, at least not in the widescreen mode!) a little bit more resolution (2048) than Full HD (1920). As 2K is getting increasingly popular among movie buffs and a lot of filmmakers are actively discussing (see for example THIS thread) playing back 2K on the iPad 3, I decided to chime in the discussion so that the voice of hardcore iOS programmers, who also knows the intricacies of video formats pretty well (after all, my previous H.264 bible, back in 2007, was frontpaged on several leading Symbian / Windows Mobile tech sites), can also be heard.

    First and foremost, let me present you the following test videos, all created from THIS (2:1 aspect ratio) extra-resolution PNG resolution chart. Note that, for my previous, Full HD article, I used THIS 16:9 image an the input. For today's tests, I needed to remove the topmost and bottommost parts of the originally 16:9 chart because both 2K and 4K videos use the 2:1 aspect ratio when exported from Final Cut Pro X I used for creating the shot (BTW, see Chapter 5 "Addendum – how did I create the test videos?" for more info on creating and exporting 2k videos from FCPX). Importing a 16:9 shot into a 2K (or 4K) video would have resulted in a thick black bar on both sides of the image, making it very hard to compare to yesterday's Full HD playback results.

    A 2K (2048*1080 (here, vertically, because of the above-mentioned restriction of FCPX, 1024, but it has no effect on the results) pixels) H.264 AVC (part 10) version of the resolution chart

    The above video re-compressed using the standard (ASP) MPEG-4 encoder

    Finally, an anamorphic H.264 (level 10) video with true resolution of 1920 (so that the hardware decoder plays it back), stretched to 2048. (The stretching parameters I used can be seen in THIS screenshot. As there was no point in stretching vertically, I haven't increased the vertical size to 1024*2048/1920 = 1092. This way, the chart occupied exactly the same screen area in all cases.)

    I've thoroughly tested the playback of all of these files from a third-party player (as iTunes wouldn't have synchronized these files to the stock Videos.) In the following three chapters, I elaborate on them all.

    1. 2K H.264 AVC (part 10) playback (first video)

    The H.264 AVC (part 10) format is by far the most widely used, very effective video format; no matter most cameras as of today use it by default; so does Blue-Ray discs, (more advanced) HD DVB broadcasters etc. Also, the movie rip scene exclusively uses this format because of its very good storage requirements and with current hardware, acceptable CPU / GPU usage.

    Unfortunately, the iPad 3 isn't able to play back any H.264 AVC (part 10) videos larger than Full HD, even if vertically it's considerably smaller (1024 vs. 1080 in this case). Therefore, if you try to play it back, the player will just show a black screen and, practically, crashes (doesn't show the controls if you tap the screen and the whole app needs to be killed).

    2. The same 2K video transcoded with the (ASP) MPEG-4 encoder

    The plain MPEG-4 encoder is rarely used today because it delivers far worse image quality than the just-discussed at the H.264 AVC (part 10) codec at the same bitrate. (Incidentally, you can also check this out yourself: in the ASP version of the resolution chart I've provided, there is visible “blocking” around contrasty edges. This is a very common problem with lower-quality codecs like MPEG-4 ASP.)

    However, there's a definite advantage of ASP encoding: the iPad 3 happily plays back not only true 2K videos encoded with ASP, but also videos with considerably higher vertical resolution: this is the subject of the next section.

    2.1 Further ASP tips, demo videos

    You WILL want to read THIS and THIS threads in their entirety. They (see for example THIS and THIS post) contain a LOT of benchmark reports of different vertical resolutions and quality settings. I, myself, do not consider ASP a viable encoder (whenever possible, use H.264 AVC for vastly superior image quality!) so I don't elaborate on these results.

    2.2 Encoding

    You can easily transcode your videos to plain MPEG4 (ASP): use Handbrake, select the Regular / High Profile in the Presets tab and change the (by default, H.264) Video Codec to MPEG-4.

    3. Anamorphic video

    Anamorphic videos (Wiki; please read it if you don't know how it works so that you understand why it's able to stretch video even on the iPad), which are also supported by iOS, have a neat trick: you can give your iPad a, physically, 1920-pixel-wide video file (of arbitrary height), and tell the system to stretch it horizontally, and only horizontally.

    What advantages does this have?

    1, you can stay with using the, compared to ASP, vastly superior part 10 AVC codec (don't need to use ASP).

    2, while the horizontal resolution will suffer exactly as much as with the traditional 1920 > 2048 upsizing (because of stretching), the vertical resolution will remain the same. All this without any kind of any kind of windowed playback. (As long as you tell the system not to stretch it vertically.)

    This means this video mode, quality-wise, is halfway between

    - my windowed Full HD playback solution not utilizing the entire screen estate (leaving 64 pixel-wide black bars on both sides) and, as there's no stretching in either dimension, delivering by far the best image quality
    - the approach Apple takes in its stock Video app (or any third-party app using the Full Screen mode as opposed to a windowed one), which stretches in both dimensions, resulting in considerably worse image quality.

    I've created a difference image of the ASP MP4 and the anamorphic 2k video mode. It's HERE and is REALLY-REALLY interesting for tech buffs. (BTW, HERE is a tutorial on how such images can be created and HERE (starting in the middle of the article) are some practical samples of a RED user, Bill Barnes, also showing difference images on the iPad 3.) How you can clearly see there isn't image quality degradation (stretching) vertically, while there is horizontally? Easy. The parts of the image having (nearly) vertical lines placed close to each other are far “whiter” than the parts that sport horizontal, closely-spaced lines. In the following annotated version, I've denoted the vertical lines with red rectangles and the horizontal lines with red ovals.


    (Click the link for the full-sized image! Turn up the backlight on your monitor to see the underlying differential picture!)

    BTW, this also shows the MPEG-4 conversion isn't exactly the same as using a more advanced video codec (like AVC) – there are a lot of compression artifacts. This is why there are differences everywhere on the image, even with truly horizontal lines. However, these differences are in no way as pronounced as with vertical lines, letters, numbers etc., which, again, are heavily hit by the stretching process.

    (Note that I couldn't create a similar comparison between the output of my windowed player and the output of the standard full-screen playback. As the latter stretches in both directions (1920 > 2048 and 1080 > 1152 pixels), both the horizontal and vertical resolution and contrast suffers heavily. However, as the two images are of different sizes (full screen stretched vs. windowed original size), they can't be compared with “simply” applying a difference image in Photoshop. Just downsizing the full screen image to become the same size as the windowed one (the one played back in my player) would have resulted even more resolution loss inherent with any kind of scaling, fully invalidating any meaningful comparison results.)

    HOWEVER! The anamorphic mode can only meaningfully be used with 2k (or even higher-resolution) video material, NOT with Full HD. Think of this: you want to make use of the entire width of the screen, while not letting the video to be stretched vertically to keep the vertical resolution, contrast etc. intact (again, as opposed to the standard stretching applying upsizing in both directions). If you, therefore, keep the 1080 (or whatever vertical resolution the original movie had) lines' height while stretching (via explicit anamorphic mode) from 1920 to 2048 pixels, the aspect ratio will no longer be 16:9, but 17,06*9, which results in an already visible distortion. However, if you do try avoiding the distortion by not leaving the vertical size stay at 1080 but also apply stretching to 1152 (=1080*2048/1920), the vertical resolution will be affected because of stretching in exactly the same way as with the standard, automatic stretching of Full HD movies in full screen playback mode.

    With 2k videos (or anything over 2k), as the display resolution is truly 2048 pixels (or - again - more), you can just stick with the original vertical size (with 2k videos, by default, 1080) without scarifying vertical resolution (no stretching takes place vertically, only horizontally, but the latter “only” results in detail loss and not in aspect ratio changes) or true 2:1 aspect ratio.

    3.1 Setting up anamorphic encoding

    Do everything as you would in encoding for full HD resolution. Click the “Picture Settings” icon at the top and select “Custom” in the Anamorphic drop-down list. After this, manually enter “2048” in the “Display width” text input field that will be dynamically shown. Make sure the “Width” (topmost, left) field stays at 1920 every time!

    The following shot shows this:

    And this is a shot of the main Handbrake window after applying the above settings. Pay particular attention to the “Picture Size” row at the bottom. It states the source video is of size 2k (2048 wide; note that, in this test, I've used an 1024-pixel-high image and not an 1080 pixel one), the target videos' physical (encoded) size (“Output”) is (1920*1024; again, 1920 is needed so that AVC-encoded material can be played back by the iPad) and, finally, the “Anamorphic” section states displaying the content will take a screen area of 2048*1024 – that is, the same as that of the source.


    3.2 Summary of anamorphic encoding


    - we only need to use anamorphic encoding because iDevices refuse to play back anything wider than 1920 pixels if they use the high-quality AVC encoder (as opposed to the standard, low(er)-quality MPEG-4 aka ASP, the subject of Chapter 2 above.)

    - anamorphic encoding should ONLY be used to encode 2k (or larger) videos and NOT for originally Full HD content (for the reasons outlined previously).

    - 2k videos (as opposed to even wider video sources – for example, 4k videos), where the frame width of the video material is exactly the same as that of the iPad, are EXTREMELY well suited for anamorphic encoding, as opposed to transcoding to non-anamorphic Full HD resolution (to 1920x1012 (=1080*1920/2048)). In the latter case, a resizing will take place during the encoding process, heavily reducing (vertical) resolution and (vertical) contrast. Even if you play back that material using my windowed Full HD player (which applies no stretching and, consequently, no additional image quality degradation), the image quality will be considerably worse than with using anamorphic encoding.

    4. Hardware upscaling

    Speaking of whether there's any advantages / disadvantages of using windowed (non-scaled) Full HD playback, yesterday night, I've run some battery (power consumption) tests to find out how my player behaves. For this, I've used the 1080p version of the Avatar BD rip, which is my standardized test video for power consumption measurement.

    The power consumption was roughly the same as playing back the same video at full screen and probably a little bit lower than doing the same over Wi-Fi, playing back the video from an UPnP source: about 17-18% an hour, running at maximum brightness. (My UPnP Wi-Fi measurements have shown about 19% an hour battery charge decrease, which isn't considerably larger than that of local playback.)

    That is, the hardware scaler works very effectively and doesn't have much (if any) effect on battery life. This also means you will NOT want to use explicit anamorphic video stretching for (only; again, for 2k+, anamorphic video results in keeping the true vertical resolution intact while using AVC encoding and not the low-quality ASP one) Full HD videos (or other, similar tricks) to save battery life.
  16. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011

    Hmm, is there a difference between H.264 and H.264 AVC?
    Should I have 2 players? One for movies converted with Handbrake (depends on the movie) and the other for animes? Can't I have one without sacrificing quality?
  17. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    There is a major difference between ASP and AVC. The former offers far worse quality at the same bitrate but is the only playable format on the iPad 3 at true 2k footage resolution (that is, over 1080p).

    But, again, is your footage indeed 2k or 4k? Very few current movies are. You shouldn't bother with converting to 2k with lower-resolution original footage.
  18. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    I think my movies are .mkv and full hd. Then what should be the way to watch it in ipad3?
  19. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Remuxing them to MP4 files with AAC audio. Unfortunately, not even AC3 will be supported in native MKV players like BUZZ Player (unless you already have a version up to 4.0.1 and make sure you don't upgrade).
  20. james714x, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012

    james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    #20 is that the XBMC that I should download?


    how can I put .mkv files to itunes and to my ipad? Should I convert it to .mp4? I tried playing a converted .mkv (now .mp4 using freemake video converter) in my ipad and it hangs but plays the audio.

    Say I want to download youtube videos, should I download 720p or 1080p? I prefer quality than quantity. Is there a best way to have the crispiest video without making the file too big?
  21. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Nope - XBMC can't be published in the AppStore as it uses private API calls for hardware-accelerated playback. "Thank" Apple for their absolutely stupid rules not allowing true hardware playback with non-MOV formats.

    You should always strive to remuxing with Subler or the latest beta of MP4Tools, they're the two best tools for this. I've posted numerous posts here at MacRumors on using these tools.

    1080p. YT videos can be played back in hardware and don't take much space as they're pretty much compressed.
  22. james714x, Oct 14, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2012

    james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    Ok thanks I will try your suggestions. But have you tried downloading the link? Where can I find XBMC player?

    Are those for OSx only? I'm using a PC
  23. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
  24. james714x macrumors member

    Oct 24, 2011
    I am using Freemake Video converter and it converts my 1080p videos to 1920x1080 resolution with an AAC audio and .mp4 extension. I know remuxing is a different word but does this program actually is remuxing?

    and how about the windows remuxing tools? I think those are for macs only.
  25. Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    Based on the description, it doesn't (I don't know - I didn't test it myself as I didn't want to start the Windows VM). Nevertheless, it's easy to find out wtherher it remuxes: if it takes 3-9 hours to convert a 2-hour H.264 Blu-ray rip, then, it doesn't.

    I'll thoroughly test them some time - now I can't say anything for sure regarding their quality.

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