7 Replies Latest reply: Oct 5, 2009 5:17 PM by DVD404
Matt515c Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm new to Mac as I'm a Microsoft convert and just bought a Mac Mini for two purposes: 1.) I'm going to start developing iPhone applications because I am a software developer. 2.) To use as a media center for my home theatre. My Mac has the following specs:

250 GB HD;
3GB Ram;
2GHz Dual Core processor;

I also have a 750 GB Western Digital HD loaded with MP3's and VOB movies that I ripped directly from disc's using AnyDVD and CloneDVD software.

I have a Samsung ln52a750 (52" 1080p) television that I will be using as my primary monitor that I have hooked using a DVI-D to HDMI cable that supports full 1080p data transmission.

My question: I would like to know the best video format to use to get the best quality video without data loss and degradation (file size/disk space isn't an issue.) My main concern is that the quality is as it was intended to be. Can anyone offer suggestions on which format I should convert all of my VOB files to so they are single files and do not lose quality? In advance, much appreciated.

Thanks,
Matt

Mac Mini, Mac OS X (10.6), 250GB HD; 3GB Ram; 2GHz Dual Core
  • jamerican Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
    While the mini will play almost any format using Plex (free) I would recommend using a free program - DMGConverter - to create your rips as .iso files. This is what I do so as not to lose any quality and keep all the sound and language options as needed.
    You can find both Plex and DMGConverter on macupdate.com. Two great programs. With Plex, you can also get content from Netflix (if you have a Netflix account) and various other sites that offer video.
    You will definitely enjoy yourself.
  • Matt515c Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    That sounds like a great idea, I will most certainly give that a shot. Sounds like exactly what I am looking for. What about for recorded content. I am also thinking about getting the eyeTV so that i can record digital content from my HD cable subscription. Generally we have a lot of HD movies streamed directly from there that I wouldn't mind capturing. Would I be able to convert that media to an .iso or would I even need to? I believe that would record as an Mpeg-4. Any ideas or suggestions?
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (6,265 points)
    Matt515c wrote:
    That sounds like a great idea, I will most certainly give that a shot. Sounds like exactly what I am looking for. What about for recorded content. I am also thinking about getting the eyeTV so that i can record digital content from my HD cable subscription. Generally we have a lot of HD movies streamed directly from there that I wouldn't mind capturing. Would I be able to convert that media to an .iso or would I even need to? I believe that would record as an Mpeg-4. Any ideas or suggestions?


    Plex is a Mac version of XBMC (which is also available for Mac). Plex will play ISOs, VIDEO_TS folders, VOB files, MPEGs, AVIs, in other words pretty much anything.

    For DVDs I personally use VIDEO_TS folders, and for TV shows (from DVDs) I extract them to individual VOBs which retain the original video quality, and all the audio and subtitles tracks (which Plex can still access even when not part of a DVD).

    Plex should also be able to play TV recordings, even HD ones, however currently EyeTV recordings are not perfectly handled by Plex (or XBMC) due to the fact they are stored as folders (or Packages in Mac speak). There is a way to handle them in the video mode as opposed to library mode of Plex/XBMC (once you have tried it you will understand the difference). You can also export them from EyeTV to a more traditional format. You can also 'run' EyeTV from within Plex.

    Sadly Front Row which is built-in to Mac OS X has been neglected and Plex is light-years ahead of it.

    Currently there are no CableCard solutions for Mac, but there are Clear QAM and ATSC solutions, or in Europe DVB-S/S2 and DVB-C and DVB-T.

    The one thing a Mac currently cannot do, not even with Plex, is to play Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD as there is no suitable hardware for the Mac to do this, the built-in hardware uses a mini TOS Link which can only do Dolby DTS (5.1) and even though in theory the Mini DisplayPort could carry Dolby TrueHD Apple have not provided this ability. This only really applies to Blu-Ray as I am not aware of any broadcasters using TrueHD or DTS-HD.
  • neumiller Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    "The one thing a Mac currently cannot do, not even with Plex, is to play Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD as there is no suitable hardware for the Mac to do this, the built-in hardware uses a mini TOS Link which can only do Dolby DTS (5.1) and even though in theory the Mini DisplayPort could carry Dolby TrueHD Apple have not provided this ability. This only really applies to Blu-Ray as I am not aware of any broadcasters using TrueHD or DTS-HD."

    Minnetonka Audio Software is going to be releasing a codec for Quicktime. Its a DTS-HD decoder for $29 bucks. I'll probably be buying it as soon as its available...just an fyi.
  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (169,830 points)
    Minnetonka Audio Software is going to be releasing a codec for Quicktime. Its a DTS-HD decoder for $29 bucks.

    Here's the URL for anyone interested:

    http://www.dtshdforcompressor.com/justPressPlay.html
  • John Lockwood Level 5 Level 5 (6,265 points)
    neumiller wrote:
    "The one thing a Mac currently cannot do, not even with Plex, is to play Dolby TrueHD or DTS-HD as there is no suitable hardware for the Mac to do this, the built-in hardware uses a mini TOS Link which can only do Dolby DTS (5.1) and even though in theory the Mini DisplayPort could carry Dolby TrueHD Apple have not provided this ability. This only really applies to Blu-Ray as I am not aware of any broadcasters using TrueHD or DTS-HD."

    Minnetonka Audio Software is going to be releasing a codec for Quicktime. Its a DTS-HD decoder for $29 bucks. I'll probably be buying it as soon as its available...just an fyi.

    Hmm, thanks for this heads up.

    Just to make it clearer (to others) you also need a suitable external multi-channel box e.g. Digi 003 as current Mac hardware cannot directly output DTS-HD.

    It will not make it possible to play Blu-Ray rips directly you would still need a proper Blu-Ray player for that, but might make it possible to play an MKV extraction from a Blu-Ray which has a DTS-HD audio track. Currently you have to convert down to mere Dolby DTS or AC3.

    It definitely will not help Plex or XBMC as they do not use QuickTime. It might work with Front Row and Perian though.
  • DVD404 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Andrew.
    Don't you think you have a duty of disclosure here?!