Best Setting for HACKED appleTV

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Anamonde
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Best Setting for HACKED appleTV

Post by Anamonde »

I am curious what everyone who is encoding for their hacked (Perian / ATVFiles) appleTV's are using for encoding settings?

I am currently using:
mkv / 2 Pass + Turbo / AC3 Passthrough / 2500 kbps

Code: Select all

keyint=300:keyint-min=30:bframes=6:ref=3:mixed-refs=1:subq=5:me=umh:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=2
Which I use from information that I got from this thread:
http://handbrake.m0k.org/forum/viewtopi ... c&start=60

I am still experiencing some stutter, and once it stutters the audio will be slightly out of sync. Possibly due to the higher audio demands of AC3. I am sure decoding MKV probably taxes it a bit more too(?)
My movies are all stored on a NAS that is mounted on the appleTV through AFP.


The hacked appleTV (thanks to Perian / gbooker) can use any of the advanced x264 encoding options.

Anyone using something that is working for them?
BucksSaddler
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Post by BucksSaddler »

You may need to shove Cabac=0 onto your settings. As mentioned in the thread you highlighted this did the job for me.
Apart from that, and 3000kbps, i'm using exactly the same settings and its all working great.
Cavalicious
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Post by Cavalicious »

This is what I've been using for a Great Quality (Jitter Free) encode for my appleTV:

*Note - Using CRF instead of ABR*

Code: Select all

./HandBrakeCLI -i /Volumes/Encode/FELLOWSHIP_EXT/  -o /Volumes/New\ Download/DVD_VIDEO.m4v -m -p  -q 0.65 -Q -e x264 -r 23.976 -E facc  -B 384 -R 44.1 -6 6ch -v -x keyint=300:keyint-min=30:bframes=6:ref=3:mixed-refs=1:subq=5:me=umh:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=0:no-dct-decimate=1
loyalty_anchored
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Post by loyalty_anchored »

i am not sure what the status of perian and MKV files are currently, but when i did testing i know perian could not handle the streaming of the MKV container at all.

i was also affected by stutter when files were copied locally. this issue is related to Perian and the MKV container support.

please correct me if you guys know of something that i dont and if perian has resolved the MKV playback issues they were having.

the only solution that i found at the time was to drop anamorphic encoding and use the AVI container. this was a huge deal for me as i love anamorphic encoding but cannot sacrifice AC3 audio...

the chapter markers i did not really care about, so i did away with them since the AVI container does not support them.

hope this helps.

EDIT:

http://trac.perian.org/ticket/29
jsmith77
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Post by jsmith77 »

loyalty_anchored wrote:the only solution that i found at the time was to drop anamorphic encoding and use the AVI container. this was a huge deal for me as i love anamorphic encoding but cannot sacrifice AC3 audio...
What is it you "love"? You can waste some disk space and get all 480 lines of a 1.78:1 anamorphic with -l480...
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Ritsuka
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Post by Ritsuka »

loyalty_anchored you can simply remux mkv to mov…
BucksSaddler
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Post by BucksSaddler »

Why not install Perian on your Mac (if thats what your using), encode to an MKV with AC3, open up the encode with Quicktime when finished and just save away as a .MOV
Thats what i'm doing at the moment, all streaming nicely down to my aTV.
H.264, AC3 and anamorphic all together.
You will obviously need Perian on your aTV as well if you want the AC3

EDIT: Ritsuka you beat me to it by a couple of minutes :)
PuzZLeR
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Post by PuzZLeR »

CABAC is one of the darlings of the H.264 standard. I refuse to encode without it, otherwise I personally would rather stick to DivX and save myself alot of pain.

Anybody have a Windows solution?

I have an Apple TV and I hate it. It stutters on all my CABAC encodes. I know Apple never guaranteed CABAC support, but nevertheless it leaves me feeling disapointed. It's not the money that bothers me. It's just that I have to wait a bit longer till future models are able to handle higher complexity video.

I'm open to any solution that a kind member can recommend. Thanks in advance.
ozmosis82
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Post by ozmosis82 »

I'm in the process of trying to decide exactly where to go on this front as well. I've been encoding movies using the "Deux Six Quatre" preset which enables the High Profile and I'm wondering if it's wise to go for the AppleTV, or just get a Mac Mini and go that route.

I know that with Perian installed on my iMac, I can play my encodes just fine through Front Row (albeit a 10-15 second wait while the movie loads). I'm skeptical about whether the ATV'll be able to handle it quite as well.

The other option I had in mind was just scoring a cheap laptop, throwing Windows/Linux onto it and video/audio-outing it to my home theatre system. For some reason, VLC works a lot better in Windows than it does in OS X (at least with my encodes). I can play a 4 gig movie burned onto a DVD just fine in Windows, but man is it brutal in OS X.
BucksSaddler
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Post by BucksSaddler »

ozmosis82 wrote: I know that with Perian installed on my iMac, I can play my encodes just fine through Front Row (albeit a 10-15 second wait while the movie loads). I'm skeptical about whether the ATV'll be able to handle it quite as well.
Once converted to a .MOV there is no waiting for the movie to open. My aTV is opening 3-4Gb movies almost instantaniously when streaming from my iMac
ozmosis82
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Post by ozmosis82 »

BucksSaddler wrote:
ozmosis82 wrote: I know that with Perian installed on my iMac, I can play my encodes just fine through Front Row (albeit a 10-15 second wait while the movie loads). I'm skeptical about whether the ATV'll be able to handle it quite as well.
Once converted to a .MOV there is no waiting for the movie to open. My aTV is opening 3-4Gb movies almost instantaniously when streaming from my iMac
I'll give that a shot, but how well the ATV handles high profile x264 encodes is another thing altogether, no?
ozmosis82
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Post by ozmosis82 »

Well, I tried the .mov idea out. Unfortunately I lose my softsubs in the process, so I don't know if I'm the biggest fan of that idea (especially for forced subs and foreign films).

You're right, though, it does get rid of the loading time. It also allows me to import into iTunes and tag with poster/cover art and all that jazz.

...But no softsubs. :x
MichaelLAX

Post by MichaelLAX »

PuzZLeR wrote:I have an Apple TV and I hate it.
Hey, Puz: Is your ATV hacked or out of the box?
PuzZLeR
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Post by PuzZLeR »

Hey Michael,

It's out of the box. I'm on Windows so I don't know if any hacks (yet) exist there for Apple TV.

Note: To add, yes, even though I'm disappointed with Apple TV, and it's already useless in my home, and believe H.264 encoding is not worth it without some of its better features (ie:CABAC), I still take FULL responsibility for this purchase. Apple never led me on. They gave me the facts and I still bought it. Not looking to shoot Apple, just hoping to encourage the market...

It was one of those weird Friday evenings when I just wanted to spend a few bucks for a kick. I guess I was hoping I'd have the same luck as others had in this forum with Apple TV... but it was not to be...
MichaelLAX

Post by MichaelLAX »

PuzZLeR wrote:Hey Michael,

It's out of the box. I'm on Windows so I don't know if any hacks (yet) exist there for Apple TV.

Note: To add, yes, even though I'm disappointed with Apple TV, and it's already useless in my home, and believe H.264 encoding is not worth it without some of its better features (ie:CABAC), I still take FULL responsibility for this purchase. Apple never led me on. They gave me the facts and I still bought it. Not looking to shoot Apple, just hoping to encourage the market...

It was one of those weird Friday evenings when I just wanted to spend a few bucks for a kick. I guess I was hoping I'd have the same luck as others had in this forum with Apple TV... but it was not to be...
Why are you so dissapointed, and I thrilled???

I've moved some of my VHS library over and some DVDs and lots of Internet downloads. Now centralized all in one place. I think it's terrific!

What's your experience?
BucksSaddler
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Post by BucksSaddler »

PuzZLer:
Just to say that when i synced a movie to my aTV that had been encoded with Cabac On i had no problems watching it at all - no stuttering, etc. However, my main reason for getting it was to be able to stream the movies due to the lack of space on the aTV to hold all movies, music, photos, etc.
gbooker
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Post by gbooker »

PuzZLeR wrote:It's out of the box. I'm on Windows so I don't know if any hacks (yet) exist there for Apple TV.
Since that this topic is titled "Best Setting for HACKED appleTV" you should have know that hacks do exist. The best way I found to hack it is to find a friend with an intel mac (since you asked for a windows solution, I am guessing you don't have one), get a USB drive (256MB is enough), and create a patchstick:
http://wiki.awkwardtv.org/wiki/Patchstick/Testing

This will install perian, which does support CABAC (if you move Apple's H264 decoder out of the way). Just be aware that in your encodes, you need to make sure that the decode complexity is low enough such that a 1GHz processor can decode it. I personally use CABAC.
MichaelLAX

actual experience using a hacked ATV

Post by MichaelLAX »

gbooker wrote:Since that this topic is titled "Best Setting for HACKED appleTV" you should have know that hacks do exist.
GB: One of the major reasons why I have not attempted to hack my Apple TV, is my perception, after reading some of the hack websites, that even once you install Perian, etc., it is still difficult to get iTunes to recognize a "non-standard" content file and send it over to the ATV HD.

Has this roadblock been simplified, and what is your experience getting NS content over to the ATV HD? Is it as simple as loading the file into iTunes, or does it take extra steps each and every time?

Also what is your experience, if any, in your ATV playing Mastroska 720p HD/AC3 files and stuttering? Thanks.
gbooker
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Re: actual experience using a hacked ATV

Post by gbooker »

MichaelLAX wrote: GB: One of the major reasons why I have not attempted to hack my Apple TV, is my perception, after reading some of the hack websites, that even once you install Perian, etc., it is still difficult to get iTunes to recognize a "non-standard" content file and send it over to the ATV HD.

Has this roadblock been simplified, and what is your experience getting NS content over to the ATV HD? Is it as simple as loading the file into iTunes, or does it take extra steps each and every time?
Well, if you are going to go the route of having iTunes install the files, then good luck. I went the route of simply putting the files on the hard drive (it has a file sharing server, so it is just plain drag and drop), and using a file browser plugin (I use Sapphire) to browse and play them. After hacking the ATV, you can also attach external USB hard drives (which I did), and you can have it mount network shares if you media exist there. Again, using file browsers, play the files.
MichaelLAX wrote:Also what is your experience, if any, in your ATV playing Mastroska 720p HD/AC3 files and stuttering? Thanks.
Whether the file is MKV or not doesn't make as much of a difference as whether the file is high profile h.264 (which most HD MKVs are). If it is high profile, then forget it. The ATV simply doesn't have enough processing power to decode it. Essentially, find a 1GHz Intel computer, and see if it has the processing power to decode it, because that is what the ATV essentially is.
MichaelLAX

Re: actual experience using a hacked ATV

Post by MichaelLAX »

gbooker wrote:Well, if you are going to go the route of having iTunes install the files, then good luck. I went the route of simply putting the files on the hard drive (it has a file sharing server, so it is just plain drag and drop), and using a file browser plugin (I use Sapphire) to browse and play them. After hacking the ATV, you can also attach external USB hard drives (which I did), and you can have it mount network shares if you media exist there. Again, using file browsers, play the files.
OK: I will do some research on File Browsers; thanks.
gbooker wrote:Whether the file is MKV or not doesn't make as much of a difference as whether the file is high profile h.264 (which most HD MKVs are). If it is high profile, then forget it. The ATV simply doesn't have enough processing power to decode it. Essentially, find a 1GHz Intel computer, and see if it has the processing power to decode it, because that is what the ATV essentially is.
Does that mean that when I use VisualHub to transcode a MKV 720p HD file to H.264/mp4 at 720p HD, and it plays correctly on my ATV, it is no longer "high profile"?
hawkman
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Post by hawkman »

That depends what settings you use. If it plays on an unhacked ATV, it won't be high profile. Not that this makes so much difference as that fact that you transcoded it.
MichaelLAX

Post by MichaelLAX »

hawkman wrote:That depends what settings you use. If it plays on an unhacked ATV, it won't be high profile. Not that this makes so much difference as that fact that you transcoded it.
VisualHub set to:

iTunes
Apple TV
H.264 Encoding

with the following advanced setting:

Extra ffmpeg flags set to "Best possible H.264/AVC" which inserts the following flags:

-refs 2 -me umh -subq 6 -me_range 21 -me_threshold 6 -i_qfactor 0.71428572

For example, I have transcoded Heroes episodes in 720p H.264 MKV/AC3 to 720p H.264 MP4/AAC (Stereo) and they look better on my 42" Plasma that any other content I have played on it: ATV or otherwise. My ATV is not hacked.

So if an unhacked ATV cannot play "high profile H.264" what is this and what am I missing by it not being high profile?
hawkman
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Post by hawkman »

That'll be main profile stuff then. High profile contains some stuff like custom quantization matrices - if you know what you're doing, it can give a great boost to your video; if you don't, it offers you little advantage. As I said, your main problem is the fact you're reencoding, not that you're going with main rather than high profile. The ATV doesn't really have the horsepower to play it back properly anyway, I suspect, let alone compatibility out of the box.

Wikipedia's a good place to learn about H.264, but they don't dumb it down much. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H264
gbooker
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Post by gbooker »

MichaelLAX wrote:So if an unhacked ATV cannot play "high profile H.264" what is this and what am I missing by it not being high profile?
H.264 has several profiles, most notably baseline, main, and high. With each successive profile, more quality can be achieved in the same number of bits, but it requires more CPU power to decode it.

So, what are you missing? More quality in less space.

Apple's Quicktime didn't include the code to decode high profile. Before QT 7.2, it would either give a blank video or crash (yes crash). QT 7.2 is suppose to play high profile, but instead it plays about 2 frames per second at best but more often it just freezes. If Qt 7.2 is any indication, I wouldn't expect high profile from Apple any time soon.
MichaelLAX

Post by MichaelLAX »

gbooker wrote:
MichaelLAX wrote:So, what are you missing? More quality in less space.
All this just to watch a program on your computer screen???

Are there Media Lounge models out there that play H.264 high profile, or is watching this on your large screen HDTV academic? Thanks.
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