11 Replies Latest reply: Feb 7, 2013 4:39 AM by groupsvh
Spider_mann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a bunch of movies in H264 format in a .mkv file/container. I cannt play these files using iTunes. I dont want to re-encode these files into mp4 .m4v format as it would for ever. Since the content is already in H264/AC3, is there a simple way to make it playable by iTunes/ATV2? I really wish iTunes had the support for .mkv format.
By the way, I have a PC AMD Athlon XP2 and it takes be for ever to re-encode these .mkv files to .mp4.

ATV2, iOS 4
  • Winston Churchill Level 10 Level 10 (86,575 points)
    QuickTime Pro with Perian installed takes little time for me
  • Rudegar Level 7 Level 7 (22,215 points)
    Apple dont read the forums it's a user forum if you want their Ear
    http://www.apple.com/feedback/appletv.html
  • Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (18,090 points)
    I really wish iTunes had the support for .mkv format.

    Not likely to happen as long as QT does not natively support either AC3 or the MKV file container.

    Since the content is already in H264/AC3, is there a simple way to make it playable by iTunes/ATV2?

    There are many flavors of H.264. Assuming your files contain compatible video content, then all you have to do is "assemble" the data in an iTunes compatible file container. There are probably several ways to do this depending on your target media player/device. As previously indicated by Winston, this could be done using QT 7 Pro. Assuming you have the required components installed, one way may be as simple as opening the MKV file in QT 7 Pro and then saving the file to place it in an MOV file container. Another way would be to manually extract the audio and video tracks and manually assemble the with or without an added AAC converted audio track to provide playback compatibility with both iTunes and TV2. Another solution might be to use the "Movie to MPEG-4" export option to "Pass through" the video while converting the AC3 to AAC and then using QT 7 Pro to extract just the AC3 track for merging with the MP4 file data previous made.

    Would have like to try a number of these options to see how they work, but unfortunately, I do not use MKV files and was not able to locate free sample file for testing purposes without having to join/sign up with some online service (which I refuse to do).

  • Spider_mann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the replies. However, I think I am missing something here. I do not have a MAC. I have a Windows 7 PC and after having QT 7 Pro, I am still not able to open mkv files. I believe am missing some required components (Perian I believe is MAC only). Are there any tools for windows which do the job what Perian does for MAC?
  • Reynastus Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    this might be a bit of a late response but if you are looking for something to play mkv files on a windows based OS try using VLC.

    It plays them fine on my mac as well as on my PC... but just installing a codec on the PC should be enough to enable WMP to play the files as well

    http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

    Message was edited by: Reynastus - Added link to vlc
  • Krutsch Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Spider_mann wrote:
    I have a bunch of movies in H264 format in a .mkv file/container. I cannt play these files using iTunes. I dont want to re-encode these files into mp4 .m4v format as it would for ever. Since the content is already in H264/AC3, is there a simple way to make it playable by iTunes/ATV2? I really wish iTunes had the support for .mkv format.
    By the way, I have a PC AMD Athlon XP2 and it takes be for ever to re-encode these .mkv files to .mp4.


    MKV is just a container, as you noted. Since the clips are already in h.264 format, you can just extract the video and audio tracks and repackage as M4V WITHOUT needing to recode.

    Google for: 'subler' to see how this is done.
  • Jon Walker Level 6 Level 6 (18,090 points)
    Since the content is already in H264/AC3, is there a simple way to make it playable by iTunes/ATV2?

    If the H.264 video track is QT compatible (i.e., not compressed using a proprietary codec or employing hybridized profiles), and if the files will open in the appropriate application, then you can also use QT 7 Pro, MPEG Streamclip or a similar application to copy the track contents to to an MOV file container which is TV compatible. In this case the data is not re-compressed but mere copied from the MKV file container into a new, empty MOV file container using the "Save As..." file command.

  • Spider_mann Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Okay - I have posponed the idea of converting the mkvs and have been using a connected interface to extend the display on to the TV. However, I did play around using Subler to re-package the mkv contents into mp4. Everything is nice except for - if the mkv has dts 6 channel audio, it gets downscaled to 2 channel aac audio in the mp4. I have no issue with ac3 6 channel. But, if the original has dts 6 channel, I do not like to loose that surround sound. Any tips? handbrake simply takes too much time and cpu - no clue what it does. I think Subler is nicer except for this DTS issue.

  • DrNaruto Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
  • Rockchurch Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    If you don't want to go through the hassle of re-encoding (which Handbrake is excellent at, but takes forever, and results in a loss of quality), then you can use a simple MKV to AppleTV converter script that I made. It can be found here:

     

    http://www.tvmutiny.com/threads/watch-mkv-videos-on-appletv-without-re-encoding. 5/

     

    It's the script I actually use myself (it's modified from one I made to get avi files to play on the AppleTV 1 (sadly, avi files don't play on the ATV 2 or 3). It's dead-simple to use, you just drag and drop your MKV and a MOV gets made automagically. You can then import that into iTunes and it will play great on your AppleTV, iPhone, iPad, etc.

     

    There's quite a bit of Mac and AppleTV expertise there, so feel free to join up and ask more questions.

     

    Cheers!

  • groupsvh Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the Subler, good tip. Worked fine at repacking .mkv to .m4v. Tried a sample file with .mkv @ 234.3 MB, saved it as .m4v, with audio, video, subs, and chapters included. The resulting container is only 192 MB. There is no apparent quality loss, so why a smaller size? Does anyone know if it is simply a better compression format, or the .m4v cuts corners on quality?