Why won't this file work on my ATV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by MacBoobsPro, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. MacBoobsPro macrumors 603


    Jan 10, 2006
    The specs for movies on ATV seem somewhat dynamic and non comprehensible. Can someone please tell me why this file wont play on my ATV.

    The other day I quoted Apples original specs that a file must be below 4GB and 5MBits for it to play but I was immediately shot down in flames and told that was incorrect. Not having checked up on the specs for a while I thought they might have changed with the recent update and never replied to back up my claim.

    Now I have a file that falls outside of the specs Apple and myself quoted and low and behold it doesnt work :rolleyes: can someone please give me a definitive spec list for these damn ATV mp4s?

    Max BitRate
    Max size

    Attached Files:

  2. Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    Only thing I can say is to repeat the specs from Apple.

    Video formats supported
    H.264 and protected H.264 (from iTunes Store): Up to 5 Mbps, Progressive Main Profile (CAVLC) with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 1280 by 720 pixels at 24 fps, 960 by 540 pixels at 30 fps) in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    iTunes Store purchased video: 320 by 240 pixels, 640 by 480 pixels, 720 by 480 pixels (anamorphic), or high-definition 720p
    MPEG-4: Up to 3 Mbps, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps (maximum resolution: 720 by 432 pixels at 30 fps) in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
    Audio formats supported
    AAC (16 to 320 Kbps); protected AAC (from iTunes Store); MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps); MP3 VBR; Apple Lossless; AIFF; WAV; Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound pass-through
  3. hitekalex macrumors 68000


    Feb 4, 2008
    Chicago, USA
    That doesn't really help him, does it? ;)

    @MacBoobsPro - your FPS/bitrate/resolution look perfectly legit. I have a number of similarly encoded movies playing fine on my AppleTV.

    If I had to guess - it may have something to do with MP4 container. All my HD movies are encoded in M4V container, which keep both iTunes and AppleTV happy. If you're using Handbrake to encode, make sure to use AppleTV preset, which produces M4V output.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    Second the container issue. Can you try to put it in an m4v (e.g., with Handbrake)? There's no problem with your bit rate or frame rate (so long as that's a constant frame rate and not vfr). I have 720p/24fps videos that are well above 4 gb in size and 6 mbps that play fine on the ATV, but they're in m4v containers generated by HB.
  5. TEG macrumors 604


    Jan 21, 2002
    Langley, Washington
    Just have iTunes do it.

    In iTunes, simply right-click on the video, and select "Convert for AppleTV", that will transcode the file to work.

    You could also use the AppleTV preset in Handbrake to fix all the problems before moving it to iTunes.

  6. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    .mp4 and .m4v are exactly the same container. HB muxes them the same but the gui just adds in the .m4v extension if you have chapters enabled or ac3 pass thru. in fact, you can just change the file extension in the finder instead of reencoding.

    Apple uses .m4v to signal qt , ipods and atv to look for chapters, as well as the infamous ac3 pass thru track.

    did you mess with any of the x264 advanced options ? None of those specs are listed for the atv. for example, an atv will not playback b-pyramid and some other options.

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