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[APPLE TV] Playing 720p/1080p MKV files on the AppleTV? - Printable Version

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[APPLE TV] Playing 720p/1080p MKV files on the AppleTV? - Fede84 - 2009-01-20 16:06

Hi all, i've a problem playing MKV files, i've copied my files into frontrow directory of my Apple tv, when i play it with XBMC, the movie goes slowly..
I've got to se something in the video settings?
The MKV its 5980 Kps @25 FPS
Thx all


- smartins - 2009-01-20 16:33

The ATV is not capable of playing most of the 720p mkv files. Only ones with very low bitrates will play.


- Fede84 - 2009-01-20 16:37

Either with XBMC?


- randywaterhouse - 2009-01-20 16:54

well, yes and no Smile
in general, xbmc can play mkv files, only the performance is not ideal, but it really depends on the profile of the mkv file.

mkv as a container requires quite some cpu power during playback and while quicktime on frontrow uses the gpu to help with 720p mp4 files, xbmc has to rely solely on the cpu for decoding and the atv has a comparatively lame cpu, but a decent gpu. and since the gpu api is closed source, I doubt that xbmc will ever be able to properly play back high profile mkv files.

randy.


- Fede84 - 2009-01-20 17:00

randywaterhouse Wrote:well, yes and no Smile
in general, xbmc can play mkv files, only the performance is not ideal, but it really depends on the profile of the mkv file.

mkv as a container requires quite some cpu power during playback and while quicktime on frontrow uses the gpu to help with 720p mp4 files, xbmc has to rely solely on the cpu for decoding and the atv has a comparatively lame cpu, but a decent gpu. and since the gpu api is closed source, I doubt that xbmc will ever be able to properly play back high profile mkv files.

randy.
Thx a lot, but now, at wich bitrate i've got to use? and wich program i've got tu use on Mac for modify it?


- randywaterhouse - 2009-01-20 17:19

The best thing would be to use a tool like handbrake to convert it to mp4 and then play it back on ATV through iTunes or use XBMC. Handbrake even has an Apple TV preset, so it's really simple to do.

Randy.


- Fede84 - 2009-01-20 17:27

randywaterhouse Wrote:The best thing would be to use a tool like handbrake to convert it to mp4 and then play it back on ATV through iTunes or use XBMC. Handbrake even has an Apple TV preset, so it's really simple to do.

Randy.
Mh ok, and i loss a lot of quality passing from MKV to mp4? Thanks a lot!!


- randywaterhouse - 2009-01-20 17:43

well, it's a transcode process so yes, theoretically you lose quality, but you'll still end up with very good quality Wink
another option would be to use a couple of tools to convert mkvs into mp4s without re-encoding, but that's a bit more complicated: http://code.google.com/p/mkvtops3mp4/

here's another tutorial: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=622894

randy.


- Fede84 - 2009-01-20 17:47

Great! I'll try that!


- dimsumx - 2009-01-20 21:31

randywaterhouse Wrote:well, yes and no Smile
in general, xbmc can play mkv files, only the performance is not ideal, but it really depends on the profile of the mkv file.

mkv as a container requires quite some cpu power during playback and while quicktime on frontrow uses the gpu to help with 720p mp4 files, xbmc has to rely solely on the cpu for decoding and the atv has a comparatively lame cpu, but a decent gpu. and since the gpu api is closed source, I doubt that xbmc will ever be able to properly play back high profile mkv files.

randy.


So ATV will never have any access to the GPU?


- davilla - 2009-01-20 22:19

dimsumx Wrote:So ATV will never have any access to the GPU?

my crystal ball cannot see that far in the future.


- UnisonRuss - 2009-01-20 22:50

I think that as the software progresses and requires less power from the CPU MKV playback will improve...with the newest Launcher I have already noticed significant improvement (I am assuming this is because the app is using less resources now) - playback is actually watchable now, although still not perfect. Pleas note though, my 720P files are usually at L3.0 so they are not High Profile.


- edge777 - 2009-01-21 02:41

Does an increase in RAM help this out at all?


- davilla - 2009-01-21 03:29

edge777 Wrote:Does an increase in RAM help this out at all?

hahah, this is so funny. AppleTV ram is ball-grid surface mount. Good luck trying to a) remove it and b) putting a new chip on. This also assumes that there exists a memory chip with the same package but larger memory capacity AND that the additional address lines exist on the printed surface board.


- edge777 - 2009-01-21 05:02

davilla Wrote:hahah, this is so funny. AppleTV ram is ball-grid surface mount. Good luck trying to a) remove it and b) putting a new chip on. This also assumes that there exists a memory chip with the same package but larger memory capacity AND that the additional address lines exist on the printed surface board.

Well, I heard that upgrading RAM on the ATV was not easy, but after some research, you're right, it's pretty much impossible, as is upgrading the CPU. It makes me think I just maybe should have paid the extra cash and bought a Mac Mini. Oh well, new mini's are coming out soon I think!