Update improves 1080 playback on Atv 2

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by osohardy, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. osohardy macrumors member

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    #1
    I know atv 2 was able to decode and play back SOME 1080p files befor today, and i know the output is limited to 720p, but i was playing around with the recent update by downloading a prior purchase i made (Monsters inc) to compare the 1080 version to the 720p. First off, at least for this title, the encoding is much better. The bitrate is only about 25% higher but PQ is much better. By mediainfo stats they are finally encoding high profile/cabac and it shows.

    But here's the thing. I have a lot of bluray rips, and a few of them i remuxed to an m4v file for itunes to try out on the Atv. No reencoding the video at all. I also have a lot of 1080 high profile encodes out of imovie. Prior to today the atv would try its best to play them and usually error out. But ona whim i tried playing them again after the update and they're smooth. I'm talking full bluray of hugo, 30gb file or whatever, and it plays it as well as my ipad 2. It did stop to buffer--i'm going to switch to ethernet and see--but this was very unexpected surprise. Anyone else have a try?
     
  2. Intell macrumors P6

    Intell

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    #2
    I don't doubt this at all. The Apple TV 2 has always had enough power to be able to playback 1080p, but Apple has never allowed it. If an old 3Gs can do it, so can the A4 powered Apple TV 2. Glad to see that they've finally made some more optimisations.
     
  3. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Agreed that 1080p playback on an ATV2 is much improved over the last update. I've been converting my Blu-rays to 1080p m4v for a while. When I've tried to play them through the ATV2 in the past, the audio is perfect but the video drops tons of frames and is unwatchable in my opinion.

    Today, I did the update and played a few 1080p files and found the playback to be perfectly smooth and enjoyable. Very pleased with this little update since I didn't want to have to sell it...

    For the other threads on whether iTunes will offer 720p versions, I would expect that if they are not offered, the 1080p content should play just fine based on my brief experience.
     
  4. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #4
    This is very good news... now I can update my movie/TV show iTunes purchases to 1080p without an issue.

    Now to decide if I want to re-encode my HDDVD/Bluray collection. While I'd love to take advantage of 1080p on my living room TV, I like the smaller sizes of my 720p anamorphic encodes for my iPad.
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #5
    This is all great news. I have a bunch of music videos in 1080p that would drop frames and such. Now, they should play smoother, I hope.

    I'm gonna test out a few TV Shows from iTunes that are now available in 1080p. I jumped in on Pan Am when iTunes was giving the 1st nine episodes for free. The aTV2 could play the 720p files fine. I'm gonna download the 1080p versions and test.

    INTERESTING NOTE - Pan Am wasn't even broadcast in 1080. ABC is a 720p network. (now before you go clobbering me, I realize that ABC OTA is 720/60p at a much higher bit rate than iTunes content).

    ft
     
  6. atandon macrumors member

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    #6
    Woohoo!

    I tried this myself. I agree. After the update I am now able to stream high bit rate files. Woohoo! No re-encoding necessary. Just remuxing should be good enough

    Now only if the apple tv could have supported DTS pass thru. Sigh!
    Oh well. You can't win em all
     
  7. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Whats Remuxing? I just downloaded MakeMKV & HB 0.96. I don't think I see it there. Any pointers or Link to see how its done? Thanks!
     
  8. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #8
    Very much agreed! I've gone back and made MKV's of movies that I feel I need to have the DTS track for, but hate that I have to move to the mini to play them.
     
  9. Mr. McMac Suspended

    Mr. McMac

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    #9
    I'm still having the occasional buffering problem with Netflix. I'm connected via Ethernet with Verizon FIOS as my internet provider. Anyone else? BTW, I like the new interface..
     
  10. atandon, Mar 8, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012

    atandon macrumors member

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    #10
    remuxing 101 :)

    With remuxing, you essentially extract the h.264 video stream from the source container (for example a mkv file type) and then insert it inside a mp4 container (which is supported by the apple tv).
    The video stream is un touched. Hence the remuxing process is really quick

    Handbrake does not have this option. With handbrake u always transcode/encode. Which explains the long processing times. Even when trying to convert a h.264 mkv to a h.264 mp4, the video stream gets re-encoded (at a minimum the bitrate is adjusted). Even with the new quad core i7s, with all the cores in use, it takes a good 4-6 hours to convert with handbrake

    So remuxing is obviously a preferred option. Hence the excitement that with the software update the existing apple tv supports high bitrates

    With that said, handbrake may still be needed in cases where the source file contains a video stream that is something other than h.264
    For example: VC-1 or mpeg2
    In these cases, u will have to transcode

    PS: Look at tools like subler for remuxing

    ----------

    I did a bit or research and it looks like mp4 containers can carry the DTS stream. I wonder if it makes sense to anyways remux the DTS track (pass thru) as an additional track. This is just in case one day apple decides to add dts support to future apple tvs
    Though i am not sure if the apple tv will flag the mp4 file as unsupported since it will contain this track. Will give this a try
     
  11. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    #11
     
  12. kagharaht macrumors 6502a

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    #12
    Okay I've just tried Subler. Apparently it only retains DTS 6 Channel audio track. Even if I add the audio track again and selecting "Stereo" or "DPL II" it always shows up as DTS6. I don't think Apple TV 2 can play DTS or m4v without a stereo track included.
     
  13. jlasoon macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Tried this, took a sample MKV file with a DTS track, remuxed it, video + DTS track = MP4 with no sound. If you add a stereo track to the file the appleTV selects the stereo track instead of passing on the DTS track the receiver.
     
  14. atandon macrumors member

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    #14
    I noticed that too. May want to look for some other tool (maybe a windows tool) for the same thing. I know there are a ton of these on the windows side
     
  15. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #15
    atandon, any sense of how high you can go with those bit rates? You got anything that would really put the pressure on :apple:TV2 (very high blu ray bit rates) to test? And is it very smooth playback or can you see any stuttering at all?

    I'd love to know the max on :apple:TV2 with the new UI with no stuttering at all. It would be a good clue that the :apple:TV3 should at least be able to handle that.
     
  16. Dhelsdon macrumors 65816

    Dhelsdon

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    #16
    Well, I went from an :apple:TV1 to the newest :apple:TV3.

    I was running Boxee and XMBC on it, so this is going to be great for me. I am very excited about Airplay. I just wish I had a decent surround system that I could connect with all this!

    Does anyone know if Netflix supports streaming over 720p yet?
     
  17. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    Handbrake doesn't offer DTS passthru when outputting to a m4v file, so I'm not sure how we could do this (though maybe other programs would allow this). I was always under the impression that DTS just wasn't supported under the m4v file format, hence why Handbrake didn't offer that option.

    I'd be interested to see if there's a way to mash these up together and test it out. Would be pretty awesome to have DTS through ATV2!
     
  18. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

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    #18
    The new version of handbrake (released just last few days) works with DTS. But I don't know if DTS passes through at the :apple:TV (haven't tried it yet).
     
  19. osohardy thread starter macrumors member

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    #19
    As in my first post I tried blu-ray rips remuxed to m4v. So far Hugo and Star Trek, both of which go north of 25 Mbps, play smoothly on ATV2. Haven't watched the whole film, just a few minutes in a row. Both are Level 4.1 high profile 1080p.
     
  20. jlasoon macrumors 6502

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    #20
    I've tried this with the new Handbrake setting, it does not work. You don't get any sound unless you incorporate 2ch stereo audio.
     
  21. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    #21
    Of course. dts pass thru in an mp4 file is not supported in pretty much any playback device we now have. I doubt the atv 3 will have it either. I think maybe current ffmpeg trunk may support it on a pc. Other than that ... for now its a novelty.
     
  22. J@ffa macrumors 6502a

    J@ffa

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    #22
    This is a bit baffling. Why would they put out new hardware if they didn't need to? Or are those of you who've tried it saying they work perfectly but they're being outputted at 720p or etc?

    Off to try this now in any case. Ha.
     
  23. chiefpavvy macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    ATV2 only outputs 720P so it doesn't matter if it can 'play' the full 1080 rips it will not output them at full resolution. ATV3 apparently will output 1080P as well but we can't confirm that until someone actually gets one to play with.

    It stands to reason the A5 (though a single core) will have a bit more umph than the A4 though I don't see it being particularly dramatic.
     
  24. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    Correct, the output is being scaled down to 720p. But on my 42" 1080p at 12 feet away, I won't see a big difference (unless I pop in an actual blu ray).
     
  25. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    Thanks for the heads up on that. I hadn't noticed that option (since I had been using my custom presets and never even checked).

    I assume its the "Auto Passthru" setting? That's a little different than before with MKV's as it was just DTS passthru (I think...)
     

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