Rex Ross wrote:
So, my question is this:
If one were to run Compressor to create a file which is suitable for upload to Vimeo and for use on an Apple TV 3, it appears as if any of these pre-sets would be suitable.
Well, Vimeo will take just about anything you feel like uploading, so you're more or less correct on that score. They recompress the file, no matter what you give them. If you over-shoot their ideal format – by giving them a lot more data then they need, the excess data will get tossed out when they re-compress. Beyond a certain data rate, it doesn't seem to make a difference although there are people who upload files @ 25 Mbs and even higher. Of course, the reverse is not true; if you give them a 1080p file @ 2 Mbps, you probably won't be pleased.
There are some differences. The video sharing preset produces a Quick Time .mov. The two Apple device output files are MP4 with the iTunes extension of m4v. I'VE never tried to upload an MP4 with that extension, but it would probably work. If Vimeo (or YT) balked, it would be easy enough to change the extension to mp4. Another difference is the audio streams; a 48 KHz sample rate for the mov and 44.kHz1 for the MP4.
I'm pretty sure that a mov file will play on ATV. But I'm also pretty sure that it would not play on an iPad.
That they are all variations on the h.264 codec is not surprising since it's highly efficient at delivering good quality in small file sizes.