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Best program to convert DVD's to AppleTV  

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
Now that I have AppleTV I plan to convert my most frequently watched DVD's to AppleTV. What is the best program to do this? I have heard some are good at converting to Video iPod but I'm not sure what kind of quality I will get on a big screen with AppleTV.
post #2 of 43
There are a few programs out there that you'll hear of: Handbrake (now called MediaFork); Streamclip, and VisualHub. They all have their supporters.

I tried Streamclip for all of 5 minutes, admittedly I was initially confused by the interface and said the hell with it and moved onto the next one (mediafork) but I've heard some good things about Streamclip. After using MF for several days, I then decided to try out VisualHub.

For me, in the end I decided to pony up the $24 for VisualHub. I like it's interface, I can just drag a VIDEO_TS folder to the interface, set it on "Go Nuts!" and click the "Start" button. In the end I have a great looking movie to watch (my wife didn't even realize we weren't watching the actual DVD last night when we watched "The Hunted"). Now you can get that quality from all of them, but I liked how much cleaner/easier VisualHub is.

Also, I ran into something I couldn't figure out how to do on MF: encode an AVI to h.264. My DVR locked up (f@#$ comcast) while recording Shark; well my wife and I *must* (please no comments on our taste ) see it before the next new episode, so I acquired a copy of it, unfortunately it was in a format that seemed MF couldn't deal with (at least I couldn't figure out how MF could deal with it). So I just dragged the file to VH, and voila; that episode of Shark was now available on my Apple TV!

Have fun and good luck with your decision. Hope I helped!

PS - I own a 56" HDILA JVC TV. Just so you know what I'm outputting my Apple TV on.
post #3 of 43
I don't get why people jump on the Visual Hub bandwagon. It is merely doing what FFMPEGX has done for years.

That being said, I like the flexibility of FFMPEGX. Drop your VIDEO_TS file on it and configure away. Heck, it will even recommend the best bit rate for your file, and you can change it if you'd like (the actual bit rate by the way, not the Average/Go Nuts slider seen in Visual Hub).

If you don't need all of that power, just drop your source file on the left side of the main pane, and select your destination format on the right.

MP4 and H.264 formats are two of multiple output options. I've tested both on AppleTV. You can't screw it up.

Encode away--with no restrictions--and send them $15 if you like.

post #4 of 43
MP4Converter DVD to Apple TV Converter (not free, but its worth trying), u can select Apple TV MPEG-4 High 480P (640*480) in Profiles. If your TV supports 720P, ull get better effect if selecting Apple TV h264 720P(1280*720).
post #5 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by white View Post

MP4Converter DVD to Apple TV Converter (not free, but its worth trying), u can select Apple TV MPEG-4 High 480P (640*480) in Profiles. If your TV supports 720P, ull get better effect if selecting Apple TV h264 720P(1280*720).

I've tried that one. It also support converting individual chapters which would be great for TV Shows and Music Videos.
post #6 of 43
Couple of questions:

1) How much does the re-encoding affect image quality?

2) Is there any way to get the menus and special features to play properly?
post #7 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by markw10 View Post

Now that I have AppleTV I plan to convert my most frequently watched DVD's to AppleTV. What is the best program to do this? I have heard some are good at converting to Video iPod but I'm not sure what kind of quality I will get on a big screen with AppleTV.

Apple TV Video Converter was released today.
post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzz_ball View Post

Also, I ran into something I couldn't figure out how to do on MF: encode an AVI to h.264. My DVR locked up (f@#$ comcast) while recording Shark; well my wife and I *must* (please no comments on our taste ) see it before the next new episode, so I acquired a copy of it, unfortunately it was in a format that seemed MF couldn't deal with (at least I couldn't figure out how MF could deal with it). So I just dragged the file to VH, and voila; that episode of Shark was now available on my Apple TV!

glad you got it sorted out... i tend to stay away from AVIs if i can help it but MPEGstreamclip would have delt with that prob as well and its free.

i use streamclip a LOT for editing out ad breaks in recorded programing from my DVR but i didnt know it could deal with DVDs..
post #9 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trendannoyer View Post

glad you got it sorted out... i tend to stay away from AVIs if i can help it but MPEGstreamclip would have delt with that prob as well and its free.

i use streamclip a LOT for editing out ad breaks in recorded programing from my DVR but i didnt know it could deal with DVDs..

Spam sucks. It got me banned.
post #10 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Apple TV Video Converter was released today.

Downloaded the demo, and it did not install correctly. Showed up as a folder, with the app info inside.
"I'm learning how to meditate, so far so good."
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"I'm learning how to meditate, so far so good."
Donald Fagen and Walter Becker
post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue2kdave View Post

Downloaded the demo, and it did not install correctly. Showed up as a folder, with the app info inside.

You are correct. As a test, I downloaded the demo and ran the installer. I tried to install it within a subfolder of my Applications folder. The only thing that is recognizable as belonging to the app is an alias created on the Desktop. I would urge those who are considering Apple TV Video Converter to stay away until the developers figure out what they are doing. This utility is not ready for prime time.
post #12 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmerxu View Post

See this that spam doesn't pay for help...the windows converter works great for me.

why would i pay for different software? when the point of my post was that freeware does the same job?
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by elmerxu View Post

See this spam doesn't pay DVD and Videos to Apple TV site(Mac/Windows)[/url] for help...the windows converter works great for me.

Dude , seriously... no one wants your spam on here... if you want to promote your app... buy some advertising.
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Owen stop reading my posts.
post #14 of 43
Yuck. Spam
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

Apple TV Video Converter was released today.

I see that you have posted many times here so you are probably not spamming, but FYI, developers of that application frequently spams AppleInsider, so be careful recommending it.
post #16 of 43
The latest beta of Handbrake has an AppleTV setting built into it. Its free and worthwhile to check out. I don't have an AppleTV to confirm that it works, but the software has worked nicely to convert DVDs to iPod format for me.
post #17 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by markw10 View Post

Now that I have AppleTV I plan to convert my most frequently watched DVD's to AppleTV. What is the best program to do this? I have heard some are good at converting to Video iPod but I'm not sure what kind of quality I will get on a big screen with AppleTV.

I spam forums in my spare time. I deserve your greatest scorn.
post #18 of 43
Spam sucks
post #19 of 43
well, if I were you I would like to trust nobody but Apple :
here's the Apple's apple tv video converter http://www.apple.com/downloads/macos...terformac.html
post #20 of 43
Hoping to find a charitable soul who has some specific experience.

I have used Handbrake for about 2 years, ever since adding iPod w/ Video to the mix. With introduction of AppleTV, I've run into a snag. I find that about 40% of the movies I rip to my iMac will not sync to iPod or AppleTV. THey appear in iTunes just fine, I can play them using it without any trouble. But they won't go into my devices. Worse, the iTunes settings make it appear as if they have, so I don't even receive an error message or indication there is a problem unless I look at the device. Sure is frustrating to build a library for a big trip, or to enjpy in the living room with friends, only to have it partially work.

I'm not listing the settings I use, only because I am away from machine and not technical enough to recall them. But I use an article from MacWorld to remind myself of the settings during each attempt, and am extremely confident I am using same settings on both my successful and unsuccessful attempts. I would think it were something with DVDs if not for fact that iTunes plays the files perfectly. Seems this is indication the ripped file is every bit as useable as any other.

Thanks in advance if someone tracks this down and has any ideas.

(No, my devices are not just out of memory!!)
post #21 of 43
Lame attempt. Epic fail.
post #22 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post

Hoping to find a charitable soul who has some specific experience.

I have used Handbrake for about 2 years, ever since adding iPod w/ Video to the mix. With introduction of AppleTV, I've run into a snag. I find that about 40% of the movies I rip to my iMac will not sync to iPod or AppleTV. THey appear in iTunes just fine, I can play them using it without any trouble. But they won't go into my devices. Worse, the iTunes settings make it appear as if they have, so I don't even receive an error message or indication there is a problem unless I look at the device. Sure is frustrating to build a library for a big trip, or to enjpy in the living room with friends, only to have it partially work.

I'm not listing the settings I use, only because I am away from machine and not technical enough to recall them. But I use an article from MacWorld to remind myself of the settings during each attempt, and am extremely confident I am using same settings on both my successful and unsuccessful attempts. I would think it were something with DVDs if not for fact that iTunes plays the files perfectly. Seems this is indication the ripped file is every bit as useable as any other.

Thanks in advance if someone tracks this down and has any ideas.

(No, my devices are not just out of memory!!)

Handbreak has been updated, I find the presets very useful, theres one for iPod and AppleTV just click em and rip, easy.
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post #23 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cynthia View Post

Humm, thanks ZagMac for sharing your experience. So think the best DVD to Apple TV converter should be handbrake, as listed in the post that this post is quoted in.[/URL] then.

Absolutely. Use Handbrake.
post #24 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell View Post

Absolutely not. Use Handbrake.

Yep, forget all the others. FFMpeg is good for converting DivX files etc to H.264, but for DVDs use Handbrake.
post #25 of 43
Handbrake is cool, albeit slow. At $99, ElGato's Turbo.264 is my new method. I use it with FairMount, and rip DVDs to h.264 at 25fps on my 6 year-old Quicksilver G4. Works fine with iTunes, AppleTV, and iPod.
post #26 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post

Hoping to find a charitable soul who has some specific experience.

I have used Handbrake for about 2 years, ever since adding iPod w/ Video to the mix. With introduction of AppleTV, I've run into a snag. I find that about 40% of the movies I rip to my iMac will not sync to iPod or AppleTV. THey appear in iTunes just fine, I can play them using it without any trouble. But they won't go into my devices. Worse, the iTunes settings make it appear as if they have, so I don't even receive an error message or indication there is a problem unless I look at the device. Sure is frustrating to build a library for a big trip, or to enjpy in the living room with friends, only to have it partially work.

I'm not listing the settings I use, only because I am away from machine and not technical enough to recall them. But I use an article from MacWorld to remind myself of the settings during each attempt, and am extremely confident I am using same settings on both my successful and unsuccessful attempts. I would think it were something with DVDs if not for fact that iTunes plays the files perfectly. Seems this is indication the ripped file is every bit as useable as any other.

Thanks in advance if someone tracks this down and has any ideas.

(No, my devices are not just out of memory!!)

The ipod will only play videos with a maxium width of 640 and height of 480. If either the width or height exceed those sizes, iTunes won't sync the video to the iPod. iTunes won't give you any error - it just won't sync the video!

In iTunes, do a get info (command-i) on a video that won't sync and check the video dimensions.

As Walter said, HandBrake has been updated and now has presets for converting to iPod. Alternatively in HandBrake click the Picture Settings button to manually change the dimensions.
post #27 of 43
EVEN LAMER attempt. Fission mailed.
post #28 of 43
I use Xilisoft Apple TV Video Converter. Have a try. It provides easy way to convert most popular video formats to Apple TV Video MP4 formats. Moreover, it can convert video to iPod MP4 for Video iPod and new iPod 30GB and 80GB together with the resolution for 640 x 480.
post #29 of 43
i've been using visual hub. i like it a lot and it seems to take advantage of more cores than ffmpegx was. but i'm also doing more conversion of downloaded material than dvd's. i generally still use handbrake for dvd conversion.
post #30 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeletux View Post

I use Apple TV Video Converter. Have a try. It provides easy way to convert most popular video formats to Apple TV Video MP4 formats. Moreover, it can convert video to iPod MP4 for Video iPod and new iPod 30GB and 80GB together with the resolution for 640 x 480.

Careful. Recommending Apple TV Video Converter can be considered a spam.
post #31 of 43
why do you want to rip your DVD to Apple TV since it decrease the video quality?
OK, if you insist, most recommend handbrake and xilisoft.
post #32 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbee View Post

why do you want to rip your DVD to Apple TV since it decrease the video quality?
OK, if you insist, most recommend handbrake and xilisoft.

I've ripped more than 80 DVD's with HandBrake (AppleTV preset,3000Kb/s), but there is no quality loss visible on my 40" TV.

Sometimes the ripped version looks better than the original!
My guess is that the (slow) conversion process does some clever stuff suppressing typical mpeg-2 artifacts. Interlaced DVD's (yes they do exist) look way better.
post #33 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebFlits View Post

I've ripped more than 80 DVD's with HandBrake (AppleTV preset,3000Kb/s), but there is no quality loss visible on my 40" TV.

Sometimes the ripped version looks better than the original!
My guess is that the (slow) conversion process does some clever stuff suppressing typical mpeg-2 artifacts. Interlaced DVD's (yes they do exist) look way better.


oh, yes, it's too slow. some say xilisoft ripper software lasts about 20 mins to convert a DVD. I have no idea how long other rippers will do, but I do think it's a trouble to rip a DVD and wait there.
post #34 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by macbee View Post

oh, yes, it's too slow. some say xilisoft ripper software lasts about 20 mins to convert a DVD. I have no idea how long other rippers will do, but I do think it's a trouble to rip a DVD and wait there.

Really?
My macbook (Intel Core 2 Duo) usually takes less than 10 min using Xilisoft ripper software
post #35 of 43
oh~
so what's the problem? why did mine take so long?
post #36 of 43
HandBrake. No question. I'm surprised people use something else, to be honest.

The Elgato solution is faster, but does not produce quality rips using the Elgato encoder, or whatever settings it uses, if it calls on QT, which I don't know. Everything comes out slightly "soft", as if there was a soft filter over the video.

HandBrake can be slow, but that's very much dependent on what settings you use and how much you are trying to compress the video. The AppleTV preset actually allows for some advanced features (if you want to call it that) of X264. If you want a faster rip, use the iPod preset and customize it slightly, perhaps by turning on PAR and bumping the bitrate to 2500Kbps.
post #37 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeletux View Post

Really?
My macbook (Intel Core 2 Duo) usually takes less than 10 min using Xilisoft ripper software

10 minutes to encode a feature-length DVD? Thats extremely good. I have a new 2.8Ghz iMac and it takes closer to 20 mins for a 1:45 film at ipod-touch preset settingsusing handbrake. Is Xilisoft really that much faster? Where do you play your output? ipod? AppleTV? Can you speak on the picture quality?
post #38 of 43
If Xilisoft could work so fast, maybe it's worthy to get.
post #39 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by WebFlits View Post

I've ripped more than 80 DVD's with HandBrake (AppleTV preset,3000Kb/s), but there is no quality loss visible on my 40" TV.

Sometimes the ripped version looks better than the original!
My guess is that the (slow) conversion process does some clever stuff suppressing typical mpeg-2 artifacts. Interlaced DVD's (yes they do exist) look way better.

I agree, my DVD Rips look better when played on my Apple TV vs when using my DVD Player. The secret is the Apple TV (Mac OS X + CPU/GPU) is doing the upscaling to HD whereas my standard DVD Player (480p) has the TV doing the upscaling.

Now if I had an upsampling DVD player I might get different results, but I think the flexibility of software will give the Apple TV a leg up.
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post #40 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xool View Post

I agree, my DVD Rips look better when played on my Apple TV vs when using my DVD Player. The secret is the Apple TV (Mac OS X + CPU/GPU) is doing the upscaling to HD whereas my standard DVD Player (480p) has the TV doing the upscaling.

Now if I had an upsampling DVD player I might get different results, but I think the flexibility of software will give the Apple TV a leg up.

oh~, think I'm being converting to one of you guys who rip DVDs
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