Want to box all my DVDs and convert them all to watch on Apple TV

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by snowmaan, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. snowmaan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #1
    I thought I would star a new thread on this one.

    I am a new PC convert to mac

    • My son loves the wiggles and Madagascar - bit the discs are sooo scratched, if I don't do this now, I will have to buy new ones.
    • But also, I want the convenience of watching them streaming through MacTv / Itunes - as I am sick of trying to find what I want with so many DVD's

    I just bought the iMac 2.8, 24" and also 160gb apple tv - arrives next week - aghhh, sleepless nights!

    But - can you share your experiences here, nice and simply, how can I put these DVD movies onto my Mac, and watch them through Mac TV on my plasma?

    Also, I have ripped some of my DVD's to AVI's - and want to convert these to the format that I can also watch via Apple TV

    I also am going to use my Ipod touch as a remote control - I know I have to install software to do this, but haven't got that far yet - ohhh, that is going to be cool

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #2
    1. Get your imac setup, and apple tv setup.

    2. Make sure itunes sees your apple tv.

    3. Make sure you tell itunes to copy content into it's library. (see attached image)

    4. Get Hand brake

    5. Use the apple tv setting, save the file to a folder, or your desktop. I have a folder on my desktop called 'new movies'. and click start. Handbrake will rip the dvd to a file that itunes and apple tv understand.

    6. Once Handbrake is done, drag and drop the mp4 files into itunes. Itunes will copy it into it's directory. After it's done, double click on it in itunes to make sure it plays. Odds are it will but i like to make sure before the next step.

    7. Delete the file that handbrake made. You don't need it any more if you did step 3. If you didn't tell itunes to copy, then it will loose the file. If you want to keep the file thats up to you. I like to delete it so I'm not wasting space.

    8. Next, which is up to you, is to make your files organized. Name, date, actors, description, Movie poster, etc etc. ( See other attached picture).

    After you have done all that go to your apple tv, and enjoy :D



    I don't have a apple tv just yet. So i may have missed something. But what i told you should work.
     

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  3. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #3
    Ripping and encoding your DVDs for use on your AppleTV is easily done, although it takes a long time. Just about everyone on these boards has done it.

    The two basic tools you will need are Mac the Ripper and Handbrake, both freely available. Use Mac the Ripper to rip (duh!) to you HDD first, then run Handbrake to transcode the VIDEO_TS folder to a single mp4. Use the AppleTV preset and it will produce DVD quality encodes. Some will recommend tweaking the settings or using dual-pass encoding, but in my experience just sticking with the preset works fine. If you have the HDD space, it's best to just rip a bunch of DVDs and then queue them up in Handbrake and let it run overnight or while you are out doing other things. You can also use Visual Hub to do this, but it isn't free.

    Once you get your mp4/m4v file, then you'll probably want to tag it with cover or poster art, actors, year, rating, and other info. Use MetaX (also free) for that. It works great for the most part, although sometimes it can be buggy.

    After that, just add your media to iTunes and sync it with your AppleTV. For the first sync, it is recommended that you do it over Ethernet and not a WiFi network, as it is much faster. After that, WiFi works fine.

    You mentioned using an iPod as the remote. I use my iPhone and it is awesome. But this brings up another issue: encoding media for your iPod as well as for the AppleTV. iPod encodes will work fine on the AppleTV, but not necessarily the other way around (depending on the settings you use). Some people just encode for their iPod and then watch the low-res encodes on their HDTV. Personally, I think it looks like crap, so I encode anything that I might want on my iPhone twice, a hi-res version for the AppleTV and a low-res one for the iPhone.

    This raises the issue of managing this content. I used to tag all iPhone encodes as "Title (iPhone)" to keep them separate in my library. When I got my MacBook Pro I decided to sync my iPhone with the laptop and keep my AppleTV synced to my iMac. So now the hi-res and low-res versions reside on different libraries on different computers. Do whatever works best for you.

    As you get more into encoding and tinkering, you'll probably end up needing a few other tools in your box. The ones I use regularly are VLC, MPEG Streamclip, the Apple Firewire SDK (along with MPEG Streamclip, great for getting content off your DVR), Quicktime Pro with Perian, and sometimes ffmpegx. All are free (except the pro version of QT).

    At first it will seem like a huge PITA to get all of your content encoded, tagged, and onto your AppleTV. But once you get the workflow down, it's pretty easy.

    Good luck, and enjoy!
     
  4. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #4
    Good lord encoding to the Apple TV setting in Handbrake is tedious enough on my quad core.
     
  5. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #5
    Just a word about having iTunes copy the file into its directory: only do this if you want to store your media on your internal HDD. If you have a large media collection (mine is over 500 gigs, and many people have way more than I do), you'll probably want to store it on an external drive. If that's the case, un-check the "Copy to library" box in the iTunes advanced prefs and put your media files wherever you like.
     
  6. marklight macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    #6
    I have created an awesome library of movies- around 800 , all fully tagged with flawless artwork, and all are high quality- some even in HD. The experience took forever, and it'll be an ongoing thing. I love it, other people love it and are amazed/jealous. While not flawless, the apple TV's interface is extremely nice looking which makes up imo for some of the lack of openness of the platform.

    Really it all just depends how crazy you want to go with it. If you think you're only going to rip 50 or so dvd then you can probably store them on your computer. if you really don't care much about quality then reduce the apple TV settings from 2500 to 2000. You don't have to tag your movie files. However, I find that space is relatively cheap anymore, and taking the extra time to "do things right" really pays off. For me, I wanted a long term dvd storage solution. You might just want something to easily access kid's movies. some of my suggestions will cater more towards the -power user.

    The first poster had some good tips, but I'm going to disagree with him on a few things. First, if you have a somewhat large library of DVD's, do yourself a favor and buy a nice big 1 TB- or 2 TB drive to store your movies on. If you're only thinking of ripping 100-200 movies you might be fine doing what the above poster suggests (storing the video files in iTunes). I don't do this however because my library is very large and ever growing so I needed lots of space that my computers hard drive couldn't offer me.

    ***if you store your files on an external hard drive, then make sure when dragging them into iTunes you hold down the option key. This will add them into itunes without copying them to the itunes folder. In essence it creates a link so itunes will know where the file it****

    Try to connect your apple tv to your router via ethernet cable if you can. It's usually more of a pain to do so, but it's really nice and fast when done. I especially recommend this if you do not have a wireless N router.

    Use handbrake as the above poster said to rip and convert your DVD's. It's easy and free. Just choose the Apple TV preset after loading in your dvd. make sure to check mark Two pass encoding and turbo first past. ALso you may want to bump up the bit rate from 2500 to 2800 for better quality, but slightly bigger files. Using these settings my DVD rips look very good on my apple TV.

    TO converter your AVI files, visualhub is an excellent program. It has an Apple TV setting as a preset. However do you still have the DVD's? I'd just re-rip them.

    To tag your movie files use metax . It's a great free program. If you want fancy artwork check out www.getvideoartwork.com.
     
  7. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #7
    Great site! I didn't know about this one. I've been using www.impawards.com for movies, but usually have to resort to bad images from Amazon for TV shows. Thanks!
     
  8. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #8

    What is the benefit of using MTR? Why not just use HB to rip and encode in one process? Is the encode any faster if the movie is ripped to the hard drive?
     
  9. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #9
    Because Handbrake cannot deal with all of the advanced protection commonly used on newer DVDs.

    And you can queue up multiple encodes this way.
     
  10. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #10
  11. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Missouri, USA
    #11

    I did forget to add that. I am just do it that way for now until i get a external HDD.
     
  12. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #12
    You guys are absolutely awesome!!! ;)
    I cant believe I have to wait another 4-5 days to get my iMac.

    I have installed the Windows version of Handbrake and am running my first one now, Pop go the Wiggles

    The plan is to rip / encode as many as I can, on the windows version as I can before my iMac arrives, store them on my ext hdd then follow your suggestions to move them over.

    I got the 500gb hdd, but have an ext hdd so will have to manage that side of things

    That is a very good point about ecoding for either the ipod or the Apple tv, as I will be using the Touch as the remote. Hmmm, I had thought if I used the ipod preset that the screen size would be too small, and when played through Apple TV / plasma it would be stretched and thus be lesser quality.

    Is that wrong would you say?

    I might try DVD shrink to rip a whole bunch of movies to audio and video folders, then as suggested, line up a queue of a few movies and start it when I go to work.

    My router is not the new N standard, it's the one before, so am worried now that the streaming speed / quality won't be that great. Running a cable is not really an option.
     
  13. mpshay macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    #13
    Encoding videos is about the only thing I still do on my windows box. It's a quad core system that does a great job with handbrake. I control it with teamviewer from my Mac.
     
  14. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603

    MacBoobsPro

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    Jan 10, 2006
    #14
    Try my Dual 1.8 G5. :eek:
     
  15. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #15
    Converting a lot of DVDs does take patience in general. I did the first 7 seasons of Stargate SG-1 on my MacBook until I got my quad core processor for my desktop.
     
  16. cantthinkofone macrumors 65816

    cantthinkofone

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    Jul 25, 2004
    Location:
    Missouri, USA
    #16
    I tried using my fiancee's laptop to do two at a time. Handbrake said to use a un-copy protected disk. I put the same disk in my mac and handbrake went right to work.

    What gives?

    I'm thinking about building a system with 2-3 dvd drives just for ripping.
     
  17. askthedust macrumors regular

    askthedust

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    Jan 17, 2003
    Location:
    enlightenment
    #17
    encoding goes a lot faster on intel macs. vs g4 or g5.

    My set up is external drive which contains itunes library folder. handbrake is set up to rip and save to the itunes folder on external drive. then drag new movies into itunes itself and they show up automatically without copying because they are in the folder where itunes would copy them.

    when converting collection I did about 3-4 a night.... took a while but totally worth it.
     
  18. LouisBlack macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Balham, London
    #18
    Im not sure what everyone is talking about in regards to using the iPod Touch as a remote. Doing this does not require the media to be in a compatible format as you're only using it as a remote.

    You only need two versions if you want to play the movies on your iPod.
     
  19. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #19
    That's what we're talking about. Playing low-res iPod/iPhone movies on a large screen HDTV looks bad, IMHO. The Remote app works regardless.

    Back to the OP's question about N vs. G WiFi: I have absolutely no problems streaming movies across my G network. Just try and do the initial sync across Ethernet, because it takes a while. But it certainly can be done over WiFi and left for the night.
     
  20. Agentmckay macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Iowa
    #20
    I've only had Handbrake fail on one movie "Good Luck Chuck" everything else has worked fine. I find MTR chokes a lot more on newer movies and software updates for MTR don't happen very often. I do like the ability to queue up multiple encodes but since MTR failed so often for me I gave up on it.
     
  21. dwright1974 macrumors 6502

    dwright1974

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    Aug 13, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Thank goodness you said that, my success rate with MTR is abysmal! It always seems to crash out whenever I try and rip a DVD. Or for some reason after I've chosen the folder to store it I get a 'User cancelled operation' dialog box (or something similar).

    I find the quickest solution for me is to use Fairmount to copy the VIDEO_TS folder and then use Handbrake overnight to encode it.

    Just got my AppleTV and love it. Wasn't too sure but my parents came tonight and we spent an hour looking at family photos!

    HTH

    D
     
  22. dubhe macrumors 65816

    dubhe

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    Location:
    Norwich, UK
    #22
    Sorry to jump in on this thread, I was searching around for a cheap solution to back up my 300 GB (and growing) movie collection.

    I have everything on an external drive connected to my Time Capsule so I can stream to my laptop and from there to my iPod, I then connect that to a TV via a cable like a 'baby' AppleTV when I am away with work (which is for months at a time).

    Anyway, I want to back everything up in case something happens to my HDD. Ok, obvious solution is to buy a 500 GB HDD for £80 and copy the lot. But I don't need to access it unless all goes wrong, how about blank DVDs, dual layer is 8 GB, so I would need about 50? I can buy that for £20?

    Am I being crazy or is this a good idea?
    Can I use any type of DVD on my MB?

    Thanks :)
     
  23. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #23
    Well, that sucked.
    Got up this morning and the video quality after Handbrake finished ripping then encoding it, is awful :(

    See attached. Thats not good, it looks like it very distorted.
    Any thoughts? I used 2800 bitrate, h264 and ticked two pass encoding then turbo first pass etc, but to no avail

    Also had two others in the queue but they didnt run, I guess I have to tick another box or such for those to start automatically when the first one finishes

    But the video quality is annoying, anyone had the same in the past?
    This puts my plan of ripping/encoding all my kids DVDs before the iMac arrives in a bit of strife if I cant get it to work out ok
     

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  24. DanteNRandall macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    #24
    I'm not an expert, but looks like you need to use the deinterlace setting (you will have to use this for a lot of tv). CLick the picture settigns button toward the bottom and then pick one of the deinterlace options. I always used "slower" since it takes forever anyway).
     
  25. snowmaan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2008
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #25
    Oh cool, thanks for that. I have read up on interlacing and set the next try to slow, so see if this works.

    One question - In terms of video quality - do you guys get DVD quality when you rip and encode using this process?

    How do you find the end result compares to the original DVD?
     

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