Optimun settings for viewing on an Apple TV?

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chief
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Optimun settings for viewing on an Apple TV?

Post by chief »

Assuming that you want to keep your DVD's high quality when encoded to mp4 to view through your Apple TV, what media fork/handbrake settings would you use?

jbrjake
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Re: Optimun settings for viewing on an Apple TV?

Post by jbrjake »

chief wrote:Assuming that you want to keep your DVD's high quality when encoded to mp4 to view through your Apple TV, what media fork/handbrake settings would you use?
We needed a new thread for this...why?

As has been repeated over and over and over again by myself, dynaflash, baggss, and others:

Until we know exactly what the Apple TV can handle it would be foolish and irresponsible for us to tell you what settings to use. Just wait until it's released and we've had a day or two to try out different settings. dynaflash has one on preorder. We will know what will play as soon as is humanly possible for anyone who has not signed an NDA with Apple.

The only thing we can sat for sure right now is that anything that's iPod compatible will play for sure. But by lowering to iPod standards, you reduce quality and picture size.

It would be sensible to expect any video iTunes will accept would play. How true this is remains to be seen. Apple, of course, is solely concerned with iTunes video sales. When they promise it'll play anything iTunes can handle, they could very well mean "anything you bought from the iTunes store, we'll make sure you can play that" instead of "anything you can get iTunes to load into its playlist."

Ideally, any Main profile x264 encoding you do at any bitrate in HandBrake/MediaFork should play on the AppleTV. Would I go ahead and start ripping dozens of movies, predicated on this being correct? God no.

The problem is that when Apple says "Progressing Main Profile" we don't know if that means QuickTime's crippled main profile or real standard official main profile sans MBAFF. We don't know if Apple TV encodes will need a special identifying header the way iPod encoders do. We don't know if Apple will release a QuickTime update to coincide with the device, permitting more advanced settings than QuickTime's h.264 decoder currently handles. We don't know if the Apple TV will play back AAC 5.1 over optical like it should, and if it does, we don't know if that AAC 5.1 will have to be in a .mov or if we can trick it into playing inside an .mp4. We don't know if the @tv will handle the anamorphic-in-mp4-in-quicktime hack maurj's got going on. We don't know all sorts of things, which is why we keep on telling people, ad nauseam, to just. wait.

chief
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Re: Optimun settings for viewing on an Apple TV?

Post by chief »

jbrjake wrote:
chief wrote:Assuming that you want to keep your DVD's high quality when encoded to mp4 to view through your Apple TV, what media fork/handbrake settings would you use?
We needed a new thread for this...why?

As has been repeated over and over and over again by myself, dynaflash, baggss, and others:

"We don't know - wait"
First, let me say that I really appreciate the work people have been doing to make this possible.

Second, I spend several hours reading through the posts on this forum and experimented with different encoding size, bitrate, %, 1 and two pass. I've compared the same movie in these multiple modes played though itunes, and was amazed at how choppy some of the results were when it seemed like I was tweaking settings that would bring up the quality. I studied the anamophic faq, but since movies encoded like this don't appear play through itunes at the moment, I'm guessing this doesn't apply to what I'm looking for. I read the faq about playing on an ipod, but the quality can be scaled way back to view on a little device compared to a big HD set.

In short, I've tried a bunch of things, read a bunch on the site, and still feel like I'm just guessing. I would really like to encode my dvd library in preparation for the Apple TV. It sounds like the answer is - wait, and I can live with that...

baggss
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Post by baggss »

As I have said before, my advise is exactly that. Wait.

Once Apple TV hits the shelves and the devs have a few you will find new versions of HB with settings for Apple TV, just like for the iPod. They just have to get them so they can make sure things work as expected.

Patience is the thing, and I feel for those who are furiously ripping now, only to find later that either Apple TV doesn't support what they ripped, or they could have ripped better if they would have waited.

sidechain
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Post by sidechain »

itunes version 7.1 has Apple TV conversion. By the looks of things so far.
If you want to stream from a network drive you may have to reduce the bit rate below 1500 but if you want a higher quality video you would have to use the sync option and download it to drive on ATV to view it.
Apple charged my CC for my ATV order so it should be shipping in the next couple of days.

kevinbal
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Post by kevinbal »

baggss wrote:As I have said before, my advise is exactly that. Wait.

Once Apple TV hits the shelves and the devs have a few you will find new versions of HB with settings for Apple TV, just like for the iPod. They just have to get them so they can make sure things work as expected.

Patience is the thing, and I feel for those who are furiously ripping now, only to find later that either Apple TV doesn't support what they ripped, or they could have ripped better if they would have waited.
Baggss, I've almost already resolved myself to finding out that the extensive library that I've been able to encode over the past couple of months will have some problems :( I hope, at the very least, that our "if it plays on the ipod, it'll play on the apple tv" rule of thumb holds true. Most movies if the quality isn't as good as it could be, I won't be too upset about leaving as is (ie, titles like Meet the Parents). Now, if I start up Return of the King and it needs to be recoded.... well, thats a no brainer.

freshwunder
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Post by freshwunder »

i got my apple tv today!! apple store got 5 in....still toying around with it...its ok, but its going ot need some cooler attractions for me to fall in love.

Gak
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Post by Gak »

sidechain wrote:itunes version 7.1 has Apple TV conversion. By the looks of things so far.
If you want to stream from a network drive you may have to reduce the bit rate below 1500 but if you want a higher quality video you would have to use the sync option and download it to drive on ATV to view it.
Apple charged my CC for my ATV order so it should be shipping in the next couple of days.
Streaming at 3000 works fine for me. There is about a 4-5 second delay while it get enough of the stream onto the AppleTV HD then it's fine. I don't have the faster wireless either. Is it "n" or "g" can't remember. Whatever it is I don't have the newer one.

Diranged
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Post by Diranged »

Hey guys, I'm new to the forum but have been lurking for a few months now. I got my Apple TV today and have it setup. So far I agree with most of the posts about it. Its basically doing everything I want ... except that I desperately want it to play my DVD collection so I can put these things in a box somewhere.

I know that 5.1 is a big issue right now ... i'd like to volunteer to beta test some of the latest code. I would download it with SVN, but it seems you need private access to do so.

I've got the AppleTV hooked up via Component cables with Toslink Optical for audio to my Denon AVR-2807 receiver. That sends the signal up to my 52" DLP that supports 720P native. My receiver definately tells me when I'm getting 2, 4, 5 or 6 channel audio.

I'd love to try ripping a chapter of a DVD with the latest beta code to see if the 5.1 works... anybody wanna help me out? :)

maurj
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Post by maurj »

Hi Diranged,

You could try right-clicking, downloading and playing the mp4 file on this page, ripped with a recent 5.1-supporting build of HandBrake, to see what happens for you when playing it on the Apple TV:

http://www.maurj.com/5_1_DOLBY.htm

When it downloads, it might get a .txt extension on the end. Just remove this to make it back to a .mp4 file.

This file has 5.1 sound and speaks the name of the channel to each channel. From preliminary tests earlier, it looks like the Apple TV may output a kind of Dolby Pro Logic I matrix-encoded signal. Certainly users were getting a separate left, center and right channel, but the rear channels were being mixed into the left, right and rear speakers. The lfe was lost altogether. If you can let us know your results, that'd be great!

As an aside, it looks as though a Mac, with QuickTime 7.1.5, also outputs this format from a 5.1 AAC file...

- maurj.

Diranged
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Post by Diranged »

Intersting, thanks for the test file! It looks like on my system, the AppleTV is outputting an AL24 Digital signal with 2 tracks -- Left and Right. No center, no sub, nothing. My Denon is set to just play the data as it comes in, without any ProLogic or other conversions...

maurj
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Post by maurj »

Hi Diranged,

What happens if you force the encoder to expect Pro Logic I (and / or II)? Does it extract the center channel separately?

Pro Logic I and II are technically just stereo signals - the multi-channels are matrix encoded into the stereo. See what happens if you get it to assume they are Pro Logic?

Diranged
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Post by Diranged »

Ok here are some more tests...

Using:
1) Dolby Digital PLII Cinema: Front Left, Front Center and Front Right are all clear and perfect. Surrount Left and Surround Right get mixed into the front speakers

2) Using "5.1 Channel" (not really sure what standard that is): Front Left, Center, Front Right, Surround Left and Surround Right all work ... but you can tlel there is some mixing going on. You can hear a little bit of "Left" in the center channel, and then when it says "CenteR" yo ucan hear a little bit in both Front Right and Front left, and the surrounds are the same as well. Its like the channels are working, but "muddied up" into other channels a little bit.

3) Using DTS Neo:6Cinema: Same as Donly PLII Cinema... Front Left, Center and Front Right all work...surround is blended into the front speakers.

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake »

Diranged wrote:I would download it with SVN, but it seems you need private access to do so.
What would give you that impression?

The development page (http://handbrake.m0k.org/?page_id=9) clearly states:
SVN checkout of the current source tree is available to the general public as follows:

* svn co svn://handbrake.m0k.org/HandBrake/trunk HandBrake

Diranged
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Post by Diranged »

Your right... I saw the 'beta' page and thought that was the only way to get access. What's the difference between the Beta's and the source code?

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake »

Diranged wrote:Your right... I saw the 'beta' page and thought that was the only way to get access. What's the difference between the Beta's and the source code?
Uh...that the source code is the latest code? If you want to know the details of what's changed since 0.8.0b1, it's all in the Trac timeline...

Diranged
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Post by Diranged »

jbrjake wrote:
Diranged wrote:Your right... I saw the 'beta' page and thought that was the only way to get access. What's the difference between the Beta's and the source code?
Uh...that the source code is the latest code? If you want to know the details of what's changed since 0.8.0b1, it's all in the Trac timeline...
Sorry, its just unusual to have the beta's 'private' but the 'latest source' is open.

Anyways, back to the original subject...

studio1972
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Trying to answer the original question on this thread

Post by studio1972 »

It seems a bit like this thread has gone on a bit of a tangent mainly relating to 5.1 surround etc. I'm a bt of a noob TBH and I would realy like some advice on how to setup Handbrake in a way that suits an Apple TV setup.

Firstly, my setup is simple an ATV connected to my HDTV (37" plasma which supports 1080i and 720p but not 1080p). I am planning to use this as is without an Amp and surround as the sound of my TV is pretty good. I am using the 0.8.0b1 version of HB/MF

The ATV is setup as follows:

Wireless net setup on iMac C2D which is connected to DSL. I assume this is 802.11n but there is no obvious way I can confirm this. In any case that ATV gets a full strength signal.

The ATV puts out 1080i (50Hz, I'm in the UK) to my TV (I cannot find any consistant advice regarding which is best, this or 720p, any advice on this would be much appreciated).

Source Format

This will genarally be a PAL format DVD with 5.1 Sound.

Video settings in HB

MP4 format AVC H.264 format with AAC Audio. My assumption is that H.264 gives a better quality picture for a given bitrate?

Framerate - same as source. Is this the best setting or should I set it to a particular framerate?

Encoder h.264 main. I assume that if you use the iPod encoder the resulting file would be iPod compatible, but that the quality would be a bit low for use on the ATV?

2-pass encoding on. Turn it off is encoding time is a big issue. Question, is the benefit from this realy worth it?

Average bitrate 1200k. I tried this and it seemed ok. If someone could give me some guidence on what level this should be to give a quality picture without wasting space please do. Would I be better using the quality slider, what do the % figures mean on this, would 50% be ok for a big movie, or would it only be ok for something where picture quality wasn't that important?

Picture settings

I read a piece on here saying not to use anamorphic for ATV. This means that my source 720 x 576 goes to 720 x 400 which is a big reduction. I have also read that maybe you can use anamorphic with ATV if you adjust the aspect ratio in QT Pro, I'm not sure how to do this though. Would you then need to 'export to Apple TV' form Quick Time Pro?

Audio Settings

I tend to leave these at 128k and 44.1 sample rate. I think the limit for ATV is 160k but 128k seems to be ok to me. I guess that the audio is converted into stereo. If the source is 5.1 then the stereo tracks include Pro Logic 1 I think (please correct me if I'm wrong). This is ok for me as my setup doesn't have surround sound. In any case my understanding is that the ATV will not output a 5.1 signal whatever you put into it.


If anyone can clarify some of the points above it would realy help me out (and maybe a few other people as well). Thanks in advance and also thanks for all the work that has gone into this great software.

Stu

jbrjake
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Re: Trying to answer the original question on this thread

Post by jbrjake »

studio1972 wrote:Firstly, my setup is simple an ATV connected to my HDTV (37" plasma which supports 1080i and 720p but not 1080p).
...which means it's 720p, so use that setting, not 1080i. "Supporting" 1080i without 1080p on a plasma or LCD means it just accepts that content and scales it down to 720p.
My assumption is that H.264 gives a better quality picture for a given bitrate?
Your assumption is correct.
Framerate - same as source. Is this the best setting or should I set it to a particular framerate?
Specify the framerate for video content, but you can leave it as "same as source" for film. If you're not sure which is which, just specify it for everything.
I assume that if you use the iPod encoder the resulting file would be iPod compatible, but that the quality would be a bit low for use on the ATV?
Correct again.
2-pass encoding on. Turn it off is encoding time is a big issue. Question, is the benefit from this realy worth it?
If you're going to use average bitrate mode, yes, 2-pass is generally worth it. You will get increased quality on the 2nd pass. However, to save time, I usually use a high constant quality setting and check the CRF box in the preferences. Faster and almost the same quality as 2-pass abr. You just can't predict how big the file will be.
Average bitrate 1200k. I tried this and it seemed ok. If someone could give me some guidence on what level this should be to give a quality picture without wasting space please do. Would I be better using the quality slider, what do the % figures mean on this, would 50% be ok for a big movie, or would it only be ok for something where picture quality wasn't that important?
1200 is a little low imo. I wouldn't go below 1500 on most stuff.

For the quality slider, 50% is *reallly* low...it'll look pretty bad. I usually start at 70-75% and work my way down until the picture becomes noticeably worse.
I read a piece on here saying not to use anamorphic for ATV.
That was due to mistaken reports from one of our first testers with an AppleTV, who thought anamorphic didn't work on the device. But it does, and it does well. If you don't want to go through the hassle of manually editing the files in QuickTime Pro (and I can do nothing but laugh at the people who do go through that), just wait for the next beta or compile yourself from the source. Current HB source code is fully capable of creating anamorphic video that plays on the AppleTV with no futzing in QT Pro.
I think the limit for ATV is 160k but 128k seems to be ok to me. I guess that the audio is converted into stereo. If the source is 5.1 then the stereo tracks include Pro Logic 1 I think (please correct me if I'm wrong). This is ok for me as my setup doesn't have surround sound. In any case my understanding is that the ATV will not output a 5.1 signal whatever you put into it.
You can set the audio bitrate even higher than 160, Apple's specs must be talking about the bitrate on content from iTunes store. If you're using HB/MF 0.8.0b1 then your audio is being converted into stereo. The next beta will convert it to Pro Logic 1. And you're right, the ATV will not output a 5.1 signal. :(

incubowski
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This is it!

Post by incubowski »

This basically sums up everything anyone needs to know about Apple tv and what settings to use. I have read so many message boards and blogs but in the end the above is exactly what I got out of it all. If you added to this some info. about MacTheRipper and the whole issue with sony DVD's it would answer every question people with an Apple TV have.

Thank you for that post.

dynaflash
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Post by dynaflash »

You can set the audio bitrate even higher than 160, Apple's specs must be talking about the bitrate on content from iTunes store. If you're using HB/MF 0.8.0b1 then your audio is being converted into stereo. The next beta will convert it to Pro Logic
I have been using an audio bitrate of 320 in extensive appleTV testing with the latest HandBrake from the svn and it works flawlessly. Sounds much better than the HB default of 128 or even 160 imho.

studio1972
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Post by studio1972 »

jbrjake,

Thanks for that great reply, like the other guy said, it answers so many questions in the one place. You mentioned about compiling the latest build which should handle the anamorphic issue. Am I right in thinking that only registered developers have access to the source code to do this? Would anybody consider making the latest build available for download or on Limewire or something or is it better to wait for the next beta release? Any idea how far away this is?

Stu

rhester
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Post by rhester »

Anyone can download our source code at any time and compile it themselves. Only code checkin requires authentication.

Rodney

studio1972
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Probably a stupid question but...

Post by studio1972 »

...where can you download the source from 'cos I can't find any links to it on the website? Which compiler do you use? Is this something a relative novice (not compiled anything for 10 years, and even then it was a DOS programme to control a robot, which I guess is quite different to this :? ) can do or should I just wait?

Thanks,

Stu

rhester
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Post by rhester »

Look under the Dev tab on the main site.

Rodney

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