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Video Conversion Software

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone.

I'm looking for some advice on movie format conversion. Basically I'm looking to convert files into something the Apple TV can use. I've read that as a rule of thumb, if iTunes will import and play it, the AppleTV will.

I've used Handbrake in the past and had some decent results, and am currently trying out iSquint, but I'd be interested to hear other peoples experience, and would actually value any thoughts you have on the best settings to use for conversions.

I don't know a whole lot about movie files, but know I should be ending up with an mp4 file, and I seem to have selected H.264 encoding in iSquint, though I've no idea if I should have.

My overall goal is to end up with a file that will look good on a 40" TV that is HD (will do 1080p), and ideally will play nicely on the iPad. Software that has simple settings is helpful as well (i.e. I like that in Handbrake you can select iPod, AppleTV etc. and it just sets the settings as it sees fit).

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Paul.
post #2 of 7
I use Handbrake... Works well for me.
I don't use an AppleTV, but i can state that just because something plays in iTunes does NOT mean it will play on an iPod or iPad.
handbrakes presets are a good place to start... Adjust things if you want, then make sure that will still play on an iPod/iPad (they seem to be the most restrictive products). Then you can save those settings as a custom preset. (audio settings can be as important as video for device compatibility)

Ripping DVD's , I've found that to look good on a big sxreen, i end up with files around 2 GB for a <2 hour movie (not at HD resolution). Since i don't have a BR drive in/on my Mac, i don't have access to ripping HD res movies.
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post #3 of 7
OR download nothing but instead go to YouConvertIt.com and upload your videos to let BIIIG computers chew on them and send you the converted files back. All FREE!

Unless you have an up to date, high-end machine with sufficient horsepower to do it on, I wouldn't attempt a feature film video conversion on my own machine, because it'll take days at least, and a lot of cycles not available for other processes, to run the whole process.

So online conversion is the way to go for most folks.
Couldn't be simpler, really.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by KingOfSomewhereHot View Post

I use Handbrake... Works well for me.
I don't use an AppleTV, but i can state that just because something plays in iTunes does NOT mean it will play on an iPod or iPad.
handbrakes presets are a good place to start... Adjust things if you want, then make sure that will still play on an iPod/iPad (they seem to be the most restrictive products). Then you can save those settings as a custom preset. (audio settings can be as important as video for device compatibility)

Ripping DVD's , I've found that to look good on a big sxreen, i end up with files around 2 GB for a <2 hour movie (not at HD resolution). Since i don't have a BR drive in/on my Mac, i don't have access to ripping HD res movies.

Yeah, I've had good results with Handbrake, but I find setting up there queue a bit of a pest. If I've got a whole bunch of say, avi files in a folder, and I just want it to convert each of them to the same file name but a different format, I've not figured out how I can batch add to the queue. If you're aware of a way that I can do that, I would very much appreciate you telling me how, since if I could do that, Handbrake would probably work a treat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

OR download nothing but instead go to YouConvertIt.com and upload your videos to let BIIIG computers chew on them and send you the converted files back. All FREE!

Unless you have an up to date, high-end machine with sufficient horsepower to do it on, I wouldn't attempt a feature film video conversion on my own machine, because it'll take days at least to run the whole process.

So online conversion is the way to go for most folks.
Couldn't be simpler, really.

I'll give that website a try - thanks. One quick question though, am I doing something wrong when I try to convert a feature film? When I rip a DVD on my iMac (it's a dual core, 2.9GHz machine with 4Gb of ram) using Handbrake, it seems to take it about half the time the film would play for. Sometimes I have to run the DVD through Mac The Ripper first to get rid of any protection and then feed it into Handbrake, but Mac The Ripper seems to take about as long as the film would play for.

So, I'm wondering if it would take days to run the process on your machine, do you just have a less powerful machine than me, or am I doing a shoddy conversion that's not going to be very good quality?
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


So, I'm wondering if it would take days to run the process on your machine, do you just have a less powerful machine than me, or am I doing a shoddy conversion that's not going to be very good quality?

If it takes DAYS for him to do a simple DVD rip and transcode, he must be using an LC II with a PPC68020 !!!

Any intel Mac should be able to convert a DVD to mp4 in less than the length of the movie... And still be able to run safari and mail while it's working.


As for batch files with Handbrake... No, I don't know of a way to do it. (though there could be)
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From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that!" -...
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post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

OR download nothing but instead go to YouConvertIt.com and upload your videos to let BIIIG computers chew on them and send you the converted files back. All FREE!

Unless you have an up to date, high-end machine with sufficient horsepower to do it on, I wouldn't attempt a feature film video conversion on my own machine, because it'll take days at least, and a lot of cycles not available for other processes, to run the whole process.

So online conversion is the way to go for most folks.
Couldn't be simpler, really.

Are you insane? Do you have any idea how long it would take to upload a video of more than a few minutes on the average US Internet connection?

Just use HandBrake, like others have said and ignore this crazy talk of uploading massive files to then have to download them again.
post #7 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyniker View Post

Are you insane? Do you have any idea how long it would take to upload a video of more than a few minutes on the average US Internet connection?

If so, then "the average US Internet connection" sucks, doesn't it? Surprise...! . But I have news for you: it is not just Americans (only 5% of the world's population!) who need to convert videos. And other countries apparently have – on average – much faster networks.

I do online conversions overnight. Works perfectly on fast broadband.
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