AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

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discless
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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by discless » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:26 am

Rodeo wrote:
McFunkerson wrote:a) Has Apple's official limits been tested, can you push 1280x720 @ 30fps and still run ok?
Yes, it's been tested. If you want 1280 x 720 resolution, framerate may only go up to 25.00 fps.
Technically that is an incomplete answer -- the question is really: (a) can the stock AppleTV play 1280x720 @ 30fps and, if so, (b) how do you get iTunes to move the content over to the AppleTV?

(a) I consistently play 1280x720 @ 29.97fps content on my AppleTV that I have transcoded from my Hauppauge HD-PVR's output at 1280x720 @ 59.94fps.

(b) To get iTunes to move this content over to the AppleTV, use the "fool iTunes" trick:

http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/How_to_g ... o_Apple_TV

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Rodeo » Sat Jan 30, 2010 1:33 am

Well, that doesn't sound simple. For the sake of simplicity, this thread focuses on what content will sync or stream to the AppleTV via iTunes and play smoothly, straight out of HandBrake (and thus without any special "fooling" steps).

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by discless » Sat Jan 30, 2010 2:00 am

Fair response, but "simple" is relative, as much of the posts in this thread will attest to...

I just assumed that perhaps McFunkerson wanted a complete answer, if he really wanted to utilize the 1280x720 @ 30fps option.

And if he does, using the "fool iTunes" trick is very simple:

Create the "nothing.mov" file for the first time, then:

1. Open nothing.mov in QuickTime;

2. Open the actual content file in QuickTime, Select All in the Edit menu, Select Copy in the Edit menu; close the actual content file;

3. Go back to nothing.mov and Select 'Add to Movie' from the Edit menu and now Save As as the appropriate file name.

Load into iTunes...
Last edited by discless on Mon Feb 01, 2010 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

brakestands
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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by brakestands » Sat Jan 30, 2010 9:29 pm

I am still using Vidjock's settings from the prior thread that was turned into this one. Quality is outstanding, very pleased. I will continue to review other ideas shared on this thread lately though. And just a reminder here guys if you'll allow me - I thought the focus here was absolute highest quality picture possible on AppleTV, period. We are pushing the limits of AppleTV in other words in terms of picture quality. That should be the only focus of this thread, or at least I had thought it was. I see many posts lately complaining about file sizes or encoding times. That makes my skin crawl. My *only* concern is for the highest possible quality AppleTV presentation of SD and HD movies, regardless of file size or time waiting to encode. I respect that others may have to worry about disk space and waiting for encodes to finish, but that was not the purpose of this thread and its related earlier threads as far as I knew. [Off soapbox now]

I think I want to second the use of a standard "sig line" if you will for every posting in this thread, so that we can keep a consistent idea of what folks are using as they try new settings to achieve AppleTV nirvana with both SD and HD sources. Here is my suggested template to use for all postings:

Advanced Settings string for SD content:
SD Quality Level:
Advanced Settings string for HD/BluRay content:
HD Quality Level:
Stream or Sync?:
Handbrake Version:

So, to walk the talk, my sig line is:

----------------------------
Advanced Settings string for SD content: ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=3:me=umh:subq=7:b-adapt=2:8x8dct=1:weightb=0:weightp=0:trellis=1:psy-rd=1.0,0.3
SD Quality Level: 19.25
Advanced Settings string for HD/BluRay content: Nothing yet, BluRay experiments to begin today
HD Quality Level: N/A as of yet
Stream or Sync: Stream
Handbrake Version: 0.9.4

dynaflash
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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by dynaflash » Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:18 pm

brakestands wrote:And just a reminder here guys if you'll allow me - I thought the focus here was absolute highest quality picture possible on AppleTV, period. We are pushing the limits of AppleTV in other words in terms of picture quality. That should be the only focus of this thread, or at least I had thought it was.
Well, yes and no. This thread like its predecessors is here to see how hard the AppleTV can be pushed both visual quality wise and encoding wise. Hence the " Cavlc need not apply" . Othwerwise, if it were *only* visual quality you could just use the existing Atv preset and jack the quality slider up.

The idea for this thread (right or wrong) is that the atv can play Hi Profile up to 3.1 video (notice cabac). I have gotten fantastic visual quality at around 1 - 1.5 GB file sizes with modest subme. Again, the idea here is to see what the atv can reliably play vs. the actual apple published specs.

As well imo having a sig with you're current best settings is a bit erroneous as (at least in my case) it can be a moving target. Having said that if folks wanna do it, by all means do it.
Last edited by dynaflash on Mon Feb 01, 2010 11:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Add Signature comment.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by brakestands » Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:33 am

Dynaflash, I stand corrected my friend, I must have misunderstood things here a bit. In light of this, i'm recalibrating my strategy a bit. I find I still have more questions than answers, even though I've ripped HarryPotterOOTP and several others about 20 times now, trying different settings, etc. I still see stuttering in the opening sequence with the grass field. But regardless of that, I'm wondering if you could clarify a few things for me.

1. If my goal is simply the best visual preservation of my rips for AppleTV (no stuttering, highest quality of picture), you mentioned in your post that I could just use the AppleTV preset and jack up the quality to a very high percentage. Would this really work? Even 100% quality???

2. You mention 3.1 I think, which I'm not familiar with, but I think it means the "High Profile" setting. Is that correct? Would the AppleTV be able to handle High Profile rips? I will attempt one next, but thought I'd ask what you meant there.

3. I guess the basic question I have is what ripping choice would give me the highest quality rips that AppleTV will still play? I recently bought the HD version of Star Trek movie from iTunes movie store on the appletv. It is amazing quality as one would expect from Apple's own store. But then, what quality settings do we think Apple is using? Maybe I should just be mirroring whatever they are doing. The Star Trek movie is about 3.95GB on disk and Total Bit Rate is like 4450 kbps, so it's not small, but again, filesize is not an issue for me. Quality is all I care about.

Sorry for the many questions, but the further down this adventure I go, the more questions I have. Cheers, and thanks again for setting me straight on the thread's main goals.

----------------------------
Advanced Settings string for SD content: ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=3:me=umh:subq=7:b-adapt=2:8x8dct=1:weightb=0:weightp=0:trellis=1:psy-rd=1.0,0.3
SD Quality Level: 19.25
Advanced Settings string for HD/BluRay content: Nothing yet, BluRay experiments to begin today
HD Quality Level: N/A as of yet
Stream or Sync: Stream
Handbrake Version: 0.9.4

mduell
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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by mduell » Mon Feb 08, 2010 3:45 am

brakestands wrote:1. If my goal is simply the best visual preservation of my rips for AppleTV (no stuttering, highest quality of picture), you mentioned in your post that I could just use the AppleTV preset and jack up the quality to a very high percentage. Would this really work? Even 100% quality???
No, that would be moronic. 65-70% is very high.
brakestands wrote:2. You mention 3.1 I think, which I'm not familiar with, but I think it means the "High Profile" setting. Is that correct? Would the AppleTV be able to handle High Profile rips? I will attempt one next, but thought I'd ask what you meant there.
3.1 is referring to the H.264 level, which is independent of profile. High Profile preset either won't work or will look awful on tv.
brakestands wrote:3. I guess the basic question I have is what ripping choice would give me the highest quality rips that AppleTV will still play? I recently bought the HD version of Star Trek movie from iTunes movie store on the appletv. It is amazing quality as one would expect from Apple's own store. But then, what quality settings do we think Apple is using? Maybe I should just be mirroring whatever they are doing. The Star Trek movie is about 3.95GB on disk and Total Bit Rate is like 4450 kbps, so it's not small, but again, filesize is not an issue for me. Quality is all I care about.
Then take the Apple TV preset and jack the quality up to 70%. High quality and no concerns about playing. Apple is using better-than-HD sources to start with.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by brakestands » Sun Feb 21, 2010 9:03 pm

mduell, thanks for the input. So, I've taken to your recommendation of simply using the AppleTV preset, and jacking up the quality. However, you should not that the 70% you state without issue does not hold true. Harry PotterOoTP is my test case, and I've easily encoded it 15 times if I've done it once, each time with slightly different settings. I will tell you that 70% quality with AppleTV preset results in severe stuttering in the opening scene and several other places. I'm thinking that I need vbv-maxrate limits per the earlier discussions to keep the bursty bit rates down into territory the AppleTV can handle. Trying a new encode now with that in place. Will let you know how I make out. Again, filesize and time to encode are not a concern. Curious other feedback on this also. Thanks mduell. Much appreciated. The quest continues.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by mduell » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:13 pm

brakestands wrote:mduell, thanks for the input. So, I've taken to your recommendation of simply using the AppleTV preset, and jacking up the quality. However, you should not that the 70% you state without issue does not hold true. Harry PotterOoTP is my test case, and I've easily encoded it 15 times if I've done it once, each time with slightly different settings. I will tell you that 70% quality with AppleTV preset results in severe stuttering in the opening scene and several other places. I'm thinking that I need vbv-maxrate limits per the earlier discussions to keep the bursty bit rates down into territory the AppleTV can handle. Trying a new encode now with that in place. Will let you know how I make out. Again, filesize and time to encode are not a concern. Curious other feedback on this also. Thanks mduell. Much appreciated. The quest continues.
Sorry I was thinking of the current tv preset which includes the two vbv 9500 limits and allows you to drop the RF as low as you want/dare. Your new encode with those limits should work well.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by dynaflash » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:02 pm

brakestands wrote:mduell, thanks for the input. So, I've taken to your recommendation of simply using the AppleTV preset, and jacking up the quality. However, you should not that the 70% you state without issue does not hold true. Harry PotterOoTP is my test case, and I've easily encoded it 15 times if I've done it once, each time with slightly different settings. I will tell you that 70% quality with AppleTV preset results in severe stuttering in the opening scene and several other places. I'm thinking that I need vbv-maxrate limits per the earlier discussions to keep the bursty bit rates down into territory the AppleTV can handle.
70% is way to high for sd dvd imo especially on an atv. HP-OP is both complex especially in that opening scene and is really a poorly mastered source ... quite grainy which will jack up the bitrate when using constant quality. You should need little more than 62% to achieve sd dvd visual quality transparency with the opts and settings outlined in this thread. If you want to jack up quality even further at 62% kick subq up to 9 or so. But be prepared to wait for the encode as it will get quite slow.
brakestands wrote: I recently bought the HD version of Star Trek movie from iTunes movie store on the appletv. It is amazing quality as one would expect from Apple's own store. But then, what quality settings do we think Apple is using? Maybe I should just be mirroring whatever they are doing. The Star Trek movie is about 3.95GB on disk and Total Bit Rate is like 4450 kbps, so it's not small, but again, filesize is not an issue for me. Quality is all I care about.
As far as emulating what apple gets visual quality wise with their 720p encodes ... good luck with *any* source you can find. You think 1080p blu ray is hi res ? Not even close to the source they work with. Never happen afaik and even if you found one, can you say "Encoding at .02 fps" even on an octo core ?

Chris_BBR
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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Chris_BBR » Wed Feb 24, 2010 5:41 pm

In addition to adding the 'weightp=0' and vbv x264 settings discussed above, should CLI users on OS X also now be changing their -E options from faac to ca_aac for best ATV results, given what's just been confirmed in this thread?

Cheers, Chris

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Rodeo » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:12 pm

Chris_BBR wrote:In addition to adding the 'weightp=0' and vbv x264 settings discussed above, should CLI users on OS X also now be changing their -E options from faac to ca_aac for best ATV results, given what's just been confirmed in this thread?

Cheers, Chris
Probably (as in, definitely). Should probably be:

Code: Select all

-E ca_aac,ac3
to preserve the AC3 passthrough track. And of course, the audio encoder should be specified after the preset to override it.
Last edited by Rodeo on Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: Let's not forget AC3 passthrough

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Chris_BBR » Wed Feb 24, 2010 6:15 pm

Rodeo, thanks for your input in both threads.

Cheers, Chris

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by AntiPC » Tue Mar 09, 2010 1:40 am

Thank you guys for all of this very useful information. Dynaflash, you are AMAZING! I want to personally thank you for all your contributions.

I've been using Handbrake on Mac OS X for quite a while now but I am definitely still a NOOB! Most recently I have been getting into encoding Blu Ray rips (720p/24fps) and I'm wondering just like the gentleman above... what are the best settings for the highest quality video? I am using Version 0.9.4 i386 (2009112300) and for example I have a disc (Anchorman 720p Blu Ray) with a 1280x720 source but when I click on the Apple TV preset it downgrades to the 544 output size even after I try to update presets?

Could you tell me exactly what settings I should use for the best possible video quality? RF? Advanced Options? I know that you, Dynaflash, definitely know exactly which settings I should be using to get the best possible 720p HD playback on atv and am just wondering if you would share them? I know that the atv doesn't play well with a file size of over 4 GB's but if I could max each file out to that size I would as long as it plays flawlessly without the stuttering I have been experiencing so far.

Thank you for any additional input you could provide!

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Smithcraft » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:52 am

I saw mention of the improved settings at XLR8YOURMAC and gave them a try on my Win7 brick, here is my post from 123Macmini about what came of it -
I gave it a try with a scene from The Wrath Of Khan. I used chapter 3 cell 4, which is just a bit over two minutes. The reason I like to use this bit is that the fire in the fireplace creates a flickering light on objects in the room, especially on Kelley's leg, the bottom of Shatner's shoes, and the triangular area on the wall towards the center of the screen from the diamond shaped display shelf.

Now the original transfer on the Special Edition isn't that spectacular in the first place, and after watching the DVD, the HB 0.9.4 ATV, HB 0.9.4 Hybrid ATV, the HB 0.9.4 Improved, and HB 0.9.4 High Profile files, I would have to say that the High Profile is the best of the original transcodes. The default ATV is the worst.

The Hybrid was a pasting the improved ATV Advanced code in with the existing ATV Advanced code(and removing the duplicate codes), and the Improved was removing the original ATV and pasting in the new Advanced code. Audio was just AC3 pass through for just the main audio track.

Just to see the space savings, I used DVD Decrypter to just extract that one bit(I tried MTR but I thought it was Chapter 4, so I kept getting the wrong scenes. I tried it again, but I couldn't figure out how to get just a cell from MTR 2.66), along with the 5.1 AC3.

Code: Select all

Setting                Size               Bitrate(via MediaInfo)
ATV                    16.75 MB           663 Kbps
ATV Hybrid             16.74 MB           662 Kbps
ATV Improved           15.93 MB           608 Kbps
High Profile CQ 60     15.65 MB           591 Kbps
High Profile CQ 65     20.70 MB           927 Kbps
High Profile CQ 70     31.10 MB          1620 Kbps
DVD Extract           110 MB             6744 Kbps
Finally my test system is my new brick - Core i5 660/2 GB/Win7 Pro/Handbrake 0.9.4.

My opinion on this is - Some media you can run run Handbrake on, and you won't be worse for wear(with decent settings), but some will not take transcoding very well, and for those I use MakeMKV. I think HD sources aren't a problem, but I haven't noticed any major problems transcoding down from HD with Handbrake. Also the bitrate on some HD content is just too high for even my upgraded mini to handle, so it must be brought down to a reasonable level.

YMMV

SC

ps - For giggles I tried ramping up the CQ values to see how it would turn out. I may try it later with cranking up the CQ on the ATV settings. However, even with a dreaded CQ of 70, the output file size is still very good, compared to the source.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by dynaflash » Wed Mar 10, 2010 4:10 pm

AntiPC wrote:I've been using Handbrake on Mac OS X for quite a while now but I am definitely still a NOOB! Most recently I have been getting into encoding Blu Ray rips (720p/24fps) and I'm wondering just like the gentleman above... what are the best settings for the highest quality video? I am using Version 0.9.4 i386 (2009112300) and for example I have a disc (Anchorman 720p Blu Ray) with a 1280x720 source but when I click on the Apple TV preset it downgrades to the 544 output size even after I try to update presets?

Could you tell me exactly what settings I should use for the best possible video quality? RF? Advanced Options? I know that you, Dynaflash, definitely know exactly which settings I should be using to get the best possible 720p HD playback on atv and am just wondering if you would share them? I know that the atv doesn't play well with a file size of over 4 GB's but if I could max each file out to that size I would as long as it plays flawlessly without the stuttering I have been experiencing so far.

Thank you for any additional input you could provide!
Well, the built in atv preset downsizes to 540p because it has to account for 30 fps sources and there is no logic in the preset to do that based on the sources detected fps. So the built in preset plays to the lowest common denominator which is 540p.

Now, when I do 720p progressive sources (24 fps) I use 1290 x 720 ( or whatever the height comes out to in hb based on the width), then use the settings outlined here.

http://dynaflashtech.net/2009/11/06/han ... e-setting/

which are by and large already discussed in this thread. Some of the options like subq, etc could be pumped up if you want to get a bit better quality, but at the expense of encoding speed. On a c2d mbp I have personally found these settings to be a good balance between low file size, good visual quality and decent encoding speed as well as play back and look nice on my atv spread across a 50" panny. As always ymmv.

Fwiw, the atv has absolutely no problem with a file over 4GB. However if you had a source that was only 1.5 hrs long that came out over 4GB you probably have way too high of a resulting bitrate. Anyway, using current hb with sane settings is very unlikely to produce a file over 4GB with sd dvd sources or 720p sources due to the much more efficient video compression over past hb versions.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by highjuice » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:31 am

Thanks DynaFlash, has anyone tested this preset with the iPad? I'm primary an Apple TV user but there may be the odd occasion that I could want to sync one over.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Rodeo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 11:41 am

highjuice wrote:Thanks DynaFlash, has anyone tested this preset with the iPad? I'm primary an Apple TV user but there may be the odd occasion that I could want to sync one over.
Most likely. jbrjake has already confirmed that all built-in presets work on the iPad (if you stay within resolution and framerate limits). dynaflash's custom ATV preset is no more demanding than the High Profile preset.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by alehel » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:00 pm

Thanks DynaFlash for your settings. I create a new preset using in combination with the resolution used by the standard apple preset. The content is PAL so it would probably work fine as 720p, but I decided against it. I didn't really see the need for 720p.

I've now used these settings to rip four of my blu-ray disks and the quality is brilliant. My rip of the movie "A Serious Man" is 1 hour 45 min long and came out at 1gb. When I first saw the file size I thought the quality wouldn't be very good, but it's clearly better than my DVD rips. On my TV the picture is great, and if most films come in between 1 - 1.5gb, I'll be able to store all my films on the Apple TV's HD. It's obvious now to me that x264 is far superior to the encoder that Apple provides for studios. I've seen a few SD films from iTunes store. They seem to be roughly the same file size as my BR rips, but the BR rip is far better quality wise. Makes me wonder why Apple is using the encoder they are.

I'm still going to mess around with the settings a bit first. I've been reading the Wiki and finally understood why it's recommended to use AC3 passthrough in addition to the regular AAC file, something I never understood before. I'm also putting some effort into learning how to convert my Blu-Ray subtitles to the right format for use as soft subtitles on my Apple TV. I'll probably spend the next month trying out various things, but it looks like I'm close to a point where I can start transfering all my films to Apple TV :D

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by Rodeo » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:09 pm

alehel wrote:It's obvious now to me that x264 is far superior to the encoder that Apple provides for studios. I've seen a few SD films from iTunes store. They seem to be roughly the same file size as my BR rips, but the BR rip is far better quality wise. Makes me wonder why Apple is using the encoder they are.
Fortunately they seem to be using a third-party encoder rather than their own QuickTime encoder (from what I've read on IRC).

While x264 is indeed the best in its class, do keep in mind that iTunes SD movies must remain compatible with all video-capable iPods. That means 640x480 max resolution, Baseline Profile H.264, and most likely strict vbv limits.

Using such restrictive settings for a Blu-Ray rip, even with x264, may well result in lower quality than the iTunes videos (not because iTune's encoder is better, but Apple has access to higher quality sources).

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by alehel » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:22 pm

I see your point. I had not considered this. It seems a bit of a shame that backwards compatibility has to come at this expense. Unfortunately though, movies and TV shows are not available on iTunes in Norway, so it doesn't really matter all that much to me. Ripping is the only way for me to get my stuff onto my iPod touch and Apple TV and these blu-ray rips look great. I'm going to try a 540p and a 720p so as to compare video quality and file sizes in the next couple of days so I can make my mind up which I will be going for. Although, as I'm quite happy with the results I'm getting so far, I'll probably stick with them.

Can't wait til the iPad comes to Norway. Would be great for traveling :D

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by alehel » Thu Apr 08, 2010 1:01 am

Out of interest, if encoding time is of no concern, I'm currently getting roughly 15 fps but could live with as little as 1 fps, what kind of settings could I use? I'm trying to learn how to put together my own presets, but it seems to be a steep learning curve :P.

I figured I could start the encode when I go to bed and then have it finish by the time I get back from work the next day which should give me an encoding around 18 hours for encoding and I only really need to perform one encode a day as I usually watch 3 or 4 films each weekend. So I can easilly put up with slow encoding.

Thanks in advance.

Also, does anyone know of any newbie guides (relatively newbie anyway) for those who want to learn enough about x264 settings to be able to make my own presets?

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by x166532x » Mon Apr 12, 2010 5:12 am

Hello all,

I'm new to blu-ray encodes and advanced strings, but I tried to encode Sherlock over the weekend at 720p with Dynaflash's custom settings and added a vbv buffer and cap. The encode came out a bit choppy on the ATV especially when lots of information was on the screen - like the fight scene at about 18 minutes. Is the choppy image because of the vbv settings? RF was set at 19 BTW.

Here is the string I used - The vbv settings I found on this same post.

Code: Select all

cabac=0:vbv-bufsize=9500:vbv=maxrate=9500:ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=3:me=hex:subq=7:b-adapt=2:weightb=0:trellis=0:weightp=0
I went with the vbv settings because of a couple of previous encode attempts with other movies at 720p turned out terrible so I had to drop down to 540p.
I watched Sherlock on my Blu-ray machine the night before I encoded at 540p then reviewed it and was not impressed - thats why the attempts at 720p.

Any input would be appreciated.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by alehel » Mon Apr 12, 2010 6:22 am

I presume you didn't change the fps of the file as this would generate a choppy file.

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Re: AppleTV Custom Presets - 0.9.4

Post by nightstrm » Mon Apr 12, 2010 12:59 pm

x166532x wrote:Hello all,

I'm new to blu-ray encodes and advanced strings, but I tried to encode Sherlock over the weekend at 720p with Dynaflash's custom settings and added a vbv buffer and cap. The encode came out a bit choppy on the ATV especially when lots of information was on the screen - like the fight scene at about 18 minutes. Is the choppy image because of the vbv settings? RF was set at 19 BTW.

Here is the string I used - The vbv settings I found on this same post.

Code: Select all

cabac=0:vbv-bufsize=9500:vbv=maxrate=9500:ref=3:mixed-refs=1:bframes=3:me=hex:subq=7:b-adapt=2:weightb=0:trellis=0:weightp=0
I went with the vbv settings because of a couple of previous encode attempts with other movies at 720p turned out terrible so I had to drop down to 540p.
I watched Sherlock on my Blu-ray machine the night before I encoded at 540p then reviewed it and was not impressed - thats why the attempts at 720p.

Any input would be appreciated.
Personally, I think rf19 is a little high for Bluray 1080p -> AppleTV 720p encodes. I tend to stick to rf20-21. Posting a log of this encode may be useful in determining why you saw this behavior, but you might want to start a new thread.

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