New MF target: Xbox 360: Supports H.264 & MPEG4 Pt 2 now

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Eug
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New MF target: Xbox 360: Supports H.264 & MPEG4 Pt 2 now

Post by Eug » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:31 am

For the Spring Xbox 360 Dashboard Update in May we'll get H.264 and MPEG-4 Part 2 support:

- H.264 video support: Up to 10 Mbps peak, Baseline, Main, and High profiles with 2 channel AAC LC.
- MPEG-4 Part 2 video support: Up to 5 Mbps peak, Simple Profile with 2 channel AAC LC.

The above are not hard limits, and Microsoft says the bitrates can go higher.

Details:
h.264 profile support is 4.1 for HD and 5.0 and 5.1 for SD (720x576) content (we run out of memory for HD 5.0+ content). MPEG4 is SP only no ASP seatures are supported (B-Frame, QPEL etc.). Also no subtitle support.
container support is MPEG4 and ASF, audio is WMA or AAC LC 2ch only.
I'm thinking this should work with x264 encodes in Handbrake/MediaFork using just about any setting we can throw at it, but we won't know until we can try it next month. The Microsoft guys didn't say they've confirmed it with x264 encodes. BTW, is there any plan to add a high profile setting in MediaFork for x264?

I assume the MPEG4 encoders here are just MPEG4 simple profile (since they're iPod compatible), which should be fine.

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake » Tue Apr 10, 2007 2:48 am

Yeah it'll probably work fine with anything. A little early to be adding a preset for it, though, until someone actually tests. Which can't happen til it's out.

HandBrake's current source code in the svn is capable of outputting high profile h.264. I use it all the time. Read: it's in the next release. You just have to add the requisite x264 settings by hand (8x8dct, cqm, etc). There's not a preset for it in the Mac GUI, because at this point I don't feel like dealing with people who expect everything will play in QuickTime. It'll happen soon after this next release, though.

Eug
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Post by Eug » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:32 am

Doh! I had forgotten that QuickTime 7 doesn't play H.264 high profile at all. Thanks for the reminder. :oops:

I wonder about QuickTime upgrades once Leopard ships (in the coming weeks) though. Surely they've got to add full high profile support sooner rather than later, considering that's the standard used for both Blu-ray and HD DVD (and IIRC Leopard does support their UDF 2.5 format natively).

I'm glad to hear high profile is coming in a future MediaFork release though. In the meantime, I'll just stick with high bitrate main profile encodes.

FantoMelt
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Post by FantoMelt » Sat Apr 21, 2007 4:47 pm

I was just going to post something similar to this. I'm wondering if you are still planning on adding a Xbox 360 preset in the next version? Also is the High profile in the new version of Handbrake (0.8.5b1) and available in the OS X GUI?

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake » Sat Apr 21, 2007 5:09 pm

FantoMelt wrote:I was just going to post something similar to this. I'm wondering if you are still planning on adding a Xbox 360 preset in the next version? Also is the High profile in the new version of Handbrake (0.8.5b1) and available in the OS X GUI?
Yes, assuming someone with a 360 is around to beta-test it, it will probably have a preset in the next beta.

High profile is available in the GUI, but not from a drop-down menu or anything quite yet: http://handbrake.m0k.org/trac/wiki/x264Options#high

FantoMelt
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Post by FantoMelt » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:31 pm

jbrjake wrote:
FantoMelt wrote:I was just going to post something similar to this. I'm wondering if you are still planning on adding a Xbox 360 preset in the next version? Also is the High profile in the new version of Handbrake (0.8.5b1) and available in the OS X GUI?
Yes, assuming someone with a 360 is around to beta-test it, it will probably have a preset in the next beta.

High profile is available in the GUI, but not from a drop-down menu or anything quite yet: http://handbrake.m0k.org/trac/wiki/x264Options#high
I'd be more than happy to beta test.

Eug
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Post by Eug » Sat Apr 21, 2007 11:49 pm

Cool. I'll have to beta test this as well next month, when the 360 update lands.

Too bad QuickTime doesn't have support for it yet though.

ksmizz
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Question...

Post by ksmizz » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:49 pm

Question...

Based on what we know the spring update will support... can there be a "Universal" setting that will will play on the 360 (post spring update) and will also import into itunes...? settings that of course look best on a HD screen but keeps the file size slim (1 - 1.5 GB).

for example... h.264 (main), constant quality at 70% or (suggest) avg. bitrate; this is what I use now... will something like this work?

2 part question:

1. "universal" setting that will look good on HD set keeping file size no greater than 1.5 GB?

2. can someone suggest an average bitrate that comparable to 60%-70% constant quality?


my noob-iness is beyond something that can measured... so take it easy please.

mrmugno
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Post by mrmugno » Sun Apr 22, 2007 11:13 pm

Both questions are a matter of your objectivity and the DVD copied in question.

Every DVD is different so try running 60-70% on one chapter and then check the bitrate upon playback. Utilize this number for your average bitrate setting with 2 pass checked. You'll have a comparable, if not better, output.

Personally, 1500 avg 2 pass H.264 is pretty damn good with a usual output <1.5G size and seems to be the consensus among more experienced users as well.

ksmizz
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Post by ksmizz » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:04 am

sweet...! thanks... but will encoding it in that format work for the X360 and itunes (from what we know on details of the spring update)

I know your thinking: just wait for the update and see... but I got to rip these movies soon so I just want to be ready for when the update does roll out...

thanks mrmugno though I'm gonna test out that setting...

mrmugno
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Post by mrmugno » Mon Apr 23, 2007 3:23 pm

they should. check the specs on the xbox update and make sure your encoding fits within.

thx_for_nuthin
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Post by thx_for_nuthin » Wed May 09, 2007 7:46 pm

I've been trying things out this morning with my 360 and the quality is great. It does 1080p with no problems at all. Videos made with handbrake look really really good. I was going to get a Apple TV but when I saw that this update was coming I decided to wait. I'm really glad I did as the 360 does a great job.

Edit:

I'd love to read a comparison review of someone who has both an Apple TV and a 360.

dynaflash
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Re: Question...

Post by dynaflash » Wed May 09, 2007 8:11 pm

ksmizz wrote:Question...

Based on what we know the spring update will support... can there be a "Universal" setting that will will play on the 360 (post spring update) and will also import into itunes...? settings that of course look best on a HD screen but keeps the file size slim (1 - 1.5 GB).

for example... h.264 (main), constant quality at 70% or (suggest) avg. bitrate; this is what I use now... will something like this work?

2 part question:

1. "universal" setting that will look good on HD set keeping file size no greater than 1.5 GB?

2. can someone suggest an average bitrate that comparable to 60%-70% constant quality?


my noob-iness is beyond something that can measured... so take it easy please.
Realize that an abr that is "comparable" to 60% - 70% is just about impossible to suggest. Constant quality varies the bitrate to keep a .. well .. constant quality. So, you very likely will can have two hour and a half movies with a cq of 70%, one may come in at about 2250 abr, and the next may exceed 5000 abr. depending on the dvd, graininess in the movie definitely will jack up the abr to maintain a given quality.

Soooo. as was said previously the answer to number two above is "no".
Probably more importantly though, for you , is that for number one above, you should use around 1500 abr, or better yet, set a target size of 1.5 GB if you really want to stick to that limit.

Good luck.

mrmugno
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Post by mrmugno » Wed May 09, 2007 8:21 pm

how did the update apply to your xbox?

i am not yet home but curious as to how this update is found to enable Mac streaming of H.264

thanks


never mind

mrmugno
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Post by mrmugno » Wed May 09, 2007 8:37 pm

actually i have a slightly unrelated question for dynaflash:

why is the anamorphic setting still not always generating a "true size" output of the source dvd. by true size i mean that when the DVD is played through Xbox for example, it is full screen and fits my widescreen beautifully, while HB's encoding does not offer the equivalent when anamorphic is checked and the file is streamed through to the xBox.

this occurance is concerning widescreen formatted movies obviously, and often the result is a slightly smaller picture on the height end.

thanks

dynaflash
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Post by dynaflash » Wed May 09, 2007 8:44 pm

mrmugno: no clue. Not at all familiar with the Xbox. Maybe it doesnt support HB's anamorphic. I really have no idea.

thx_for_nuthin
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Post by thx_for_nuthin » Thu May 10, 2007 5:05 am

dynaflash wrote:mrmugno: no clue. Not at all familiar with the Xbox. Maybe it doesnt support HB's anamorphic. I really have no idea.
The 360 does indeed support HB's anamorphic. I viewed the same movie anamorphic and non-anamorphic and the non-anamorphic is smaller. In the playback settings on the xbox you can tell it to view in original size therefore it's easy to see the difference between the two.

Osmurf
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Preset

Post by Osmurf » Thu May 10, 2007 6:12 am

Anyone made a preset yet?

Eug
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Post by Eug » Sat May 12, 2007 2:52 am

thx_for_nuthin wrote:I've been trying things out this morning with my 360 and the quality is great. It does 1080p with no problems at all. Videos made with handbrake look really really good. I was going to get a Apple TV but when I saw that this update was coming I decided to wait. I'm really glad I did as the 360 does a great job.

Edit:

I'd love to read a comparison review of someone who has both an Apple TV and a 360.
I have no desire to get an AppleTV now. I was surprised to see .mov container support as I had been told before it was only going to be .mp4 support. Coupled with AAC support, the Xbox 360 now serves my needs.

The only issue is no support for 5.1 channel audio, but I'm happy to use stereo for the time being. I'd rather have 1080p support on the Xbox 360 than 5.1 support on AppleTV. (AppleTV isn't powerful enough to support 1080p.) BTW, you can use QTAmateur (or QT Pro) to convert 5.1-channel videos to stereo, without having to re-encode the video. A put a tutorial on how to do this on the site in my sig, in case you're interested.

One has to be careful with x264 encodes though. Some of my x264 stuff from other software didn't work, presumably because I used higher than Level 4.1.

As for importing into iTunes, lots of different stuff will import into iTunes. Playing that video back on an iPod or AppleTV is another story, but I'd be happy without that support. As long as QT and the Xbox 360 plays it, I'm good to go. I think x264 at around 1.5 Mbps Main Profile + 160 Kbps stereo AAC is probably fine for Handbrake rips (or Baseline Low Complexity if you want iPod support).

thx_for_nuthin
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Post by thx_for_nuthin » Sat May 12, 2007 5:51 am

Eug wrote:
thx_for_nuthin wrote:I've been trying things out this morning with my 360 and the quality is great. It does 1080p with no problems at all. Videos made with handbrake look really really good. I was going to get a Apple TV but when I saw that this update was coming I decided to wait. I'm really glad I did as the 360 does a great job.

Edit:

I'd love to read a comparison review of someone who has both an Apple TV and a 360.
I have no desire to get an AppleTV now. I was surprised to see .mov container support as I had been told before it was only going to be .mp4 support. Coupled with AAC support, the Xbox 360 now serves my needs.

The only issue is no support for 5.1 channel audio, but I'm happy to use stereo for the time being. I'd rather have 1080p support on the Xbox 360 than 5.1 support on AppleTV. (AppleTV isn't powerful enough to support 1080p.) BTW, you can use QTAmateur (or QT Pro) to convert 5.1-channel videos to stereo, without having to re-encode the video. A put a tutorial on how to do this on the site in my sig, in case you're interested.

One has to be careful with x264 encodes though. Some of my x264 stuff from other software didn't work, presumably because I used higher than Level 4.1.

As for importing into iTunes, lots of different stuff will import into iTunes. Playing that video back on an iPod or AppleTV is another story, but I'd be happy without that support. As long as QT and the Xbox 360 plays it, I'm good to go. I think x264 at around 1.5 Mbps Main Profile + 160 Kbps stereo AAC is probably fine for Handbrake rips (or Baseline Low Complexity if you want iPod support).
Just an FYI, I've been ripping some movies at 4000k and dolby 2 default setting and it plays fine through my stereo speakers. I'm in the same boat as you....I'd much rather have super video quality (up to 15Mbps) than 5.1 surround. I know 5.1 will come with time for the 360, however I'm not sure if the Apple TV will ever be able to do 1080p in it's current state (a 1 Ghz processor isn't much these days).

TheCount
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Post by TheCount » Sat May 12, 2007 7:50 am

Newb question, how're you guys getting your mp4 videos from your machines to your 360's? I've got a PC running Vista, so I've been streaming music to my 360, but have had endless trouble getting video to stream since I'm not willing to reconvert anything to wmv for just this one application and the 3rd party apps aren't my style.

Windows media player won't even accept mp4 files in its library, so I'm curious how you guys are working this.

Eug
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Post by Eug » Sat May 12, 2007 10:38 am

thx_for_nuthin wrote:Just an FYI, I've been ripping some movies at 4000k and dolby 2 default setting and it plays fine through my stereo speakers. I'm in the same boat as you....I'd much rather have super video quality (up to 15Mbps) than 5.1 surround. I know 5.1 will come with time for the 360, however I'm not sure if the Apple TV will ever be able to do 1080p in it's current state (a 1 Ghz processor isn't much these days).
At those bitrates, I'd just backup the DVD directly instead, esp. since all Macs and the Xbox 360 can play back DVDs. 8)

TheCount wrote:Newb question, how're you guys getting your mp4 videos from your machines to your 360's? I've got a PC running Vista, so I've been streaming music to my 360, but have had endless trouble getting video to stream since I'm not willing to reconvert anything to wmv for just this one application and the 3rd party apps aren't my style.

Windows media player won't even accept mp4 files in its library, so I'm curious how you guys are working this.
Apparently you can use the Zune software on Windows, but I'm just waiting for Connect360 for the Mac to be updated. In the meantime I've just been burning them to disk.

thx_for_nuthin
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Post by thx_for_nuthin » Sat May 12, 2007 4:40 pm

TheCount wrote:Newb question, how're you guys getting your mp4 videos from your machines to your 360's? I've got a PC running Vista, so I've been streaming music to my 360, but have had endless trouble getting video to stream since I'm not willing to reconvert anything to wmv for just this one application and the 3rd party apps aren't my style.

Windows media player won't even accept mp4 files in its library, so I'm curious how you guys are working this.
I just played around in the registry and added mp4 to the windows media types. I'd love to give you the exact places I changed stuff, but I added it in probably 6 places and I didn't document anything. Once the file is in the library you can read it on the 360. MS really needs to release a patch that will let you add any file type to the library (even if WMP can't natively play the file).

FantoMelt
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Post by FantoMelt » Sat May 12, 2007 5:24 pm

Eug wrote:
thx_for_nuthin wrote:Just an FYI, I've been ripping some movies at 4000k and dolby 2 default setting and it plays fine through my stereo speakers. I'm in the same boat as you....I'd much rather have super video quality (up to 15Mbps) than 5.1 surround. I know 5.1 will come with time for the 360, however I'm not sure if the Apple TV will ever be able to do 1080p in it's current state (a 1 Ghz processor isn't much these days).
At those bitrates, I'd just backup the DVD directly instead, esp. since all Macs and the Xbox 360 can play back DVDs. 8)

TheCount wrote:Newb question, how're you guys getting your mp4 videos from your machines to your 360's? I've got a PC running Vista, so I've been streaming music to my 360, but have had endless trouble getting video to stream since I'm not willing to reconvert anything to wmv for just this one application and the 3rd party apps aren't my style.

Windows media player won't even accept mp4 files in its library, so I'm curious how you guys are working this.
Apparently you can use the Zune software on Windows, but I'm just waiting for Connect360 for the Mac to be updated. In the meantime I've just been burning them to disk.
So am I, they have a message on their home page that their working on it, so hopefully it will be done soon.

yoshimi
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Post by yoshimi » Sun May 13, 2007 8:25 pm

Connect360 has now been updated to v3.0, allowing streaming of MP4 and H.264 video. :D

However none of the video files on my mac are playing on the 360. Could someone please recommend Handbrake settings?

EDIT: Seemed I needed to re-download a plug-in on the 360 in order to get the video to play. However the videos I've managed to play, will only run for 37-48 seconds.

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