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MKV vs MP4 (M4v)

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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
2-pass is useful if you have a specific size in mind but don't want to get stuck with a constant bitrate. Otherwise, just set the RF and go.
That's what I have been doing.

I also noticed I have to bump up the audio 10db to keep from having to pump up the amplifier 50% to hear it.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
That's what I have been doing.

I also noticed I have to bump up the audio 10db to keep from having to pump up the amplifier 50% to hear it.
That's normal. I have to turn the volume up for most of my streaming rips, too. I usually watch my DirecTV with the volume between 9-17 on my Television. When I playback streaming media from my WDTV, I start at 18 and work up to 28 depending on how noisy it is around me.
 

smtty227

Junior Member
Jan 8, 2014
1
0
0
Ok so I've been following this thread for a little because I feel like I'm in the same boat as a lot of you. I recently built a HTPC with NAS. I use Plex as my media client and I can play all of my media flawlessly. I use the MakeMKV program to rip my blurays. (File size btw 20-40 GBs per). The trouble I get into in when I want to stream a movie from my Plex Media Server, on the HTPC to my laptop via WLAN. What kind of throughput do I need for this to work? I assume Gigabit ethernet is plenty, but my wireless N network just doesnt seem to cut it. (buffering issues). Is my network the bottleneck or am I thinking about this the wrong way? In comparison, streaming my DVD rips (5-8 GBs per) over my WLAN works pretty much without a hitch. I'm just unfamiliar with streaming terminology and the aspects at play here.
 
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smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
Ok so I've been following this thread for a little because I feel like I'm in the same boat as a lot of you. I recently built a HTPC with NAS. I use Plex as my media client and I can play all of my media flawlessly. I use the MakeMKV program to rip my blurays. (File size btw 20-40 GBs per). The trouble I get into in when I want to stream a movie from my Plex Media Server, on the HTPC to my laptop via WLAN. What kind of throughput do I need for this to work? I assume Gigabit ethernet is plenty, but my wireless N network just doesnt seem to cut it. (buffering issues). Is my network the bottleneck or am I thinking about this the wrong way? In comparison, streaming my DVD rips (5-8 GBs per) over my WLAN works pretty much without a hitch. I'm just unfamiliar with streaming terminology and the aspects at play here.
Yes, undoubtedly the shortcoming is with the wireless connection. An optimized wireless N connection MAY be able to playback a BR rip but forget about things like FF/Rew. I don't recommend streaming BR on anything short of a 100 Tbase connection. A newer AC connection will handle it.
 

mindbomb

Senior member
May 30, 2013
364
0
0
1x1 with 20mhz channel width should just barely be able to cover any bluray if the signal is good, and that's the worst form of wireless n.
 

sweenish

Diamond Member
May 21, 2013
3,656
60
91
Yes, undoubtedly the shortcoming is with the wireless connection. An optimized wireless N connection MAY be able to playback a BR rip but forget about things like FF/Rew. I don't recommend streaming BR on anything short of a 100 Tbase connection. A newer AC connection will handle it.
Or transcode the thing with Handbrake first, and it'll work just fine. At least, I don't have any issues with 720p files over wireless N.
 

raproo

Junior Member
Oct 23, 2014
1
0
0
I have been using anydvd and handbrake for years to rip DVDs to portable device & HDD friendly sized mp4s... in all that time I've been using handbrake's chapter function as well as multiple audio (stereo - 5.1) and subtitle tracks. I haven't run into any problem doing this so I'm baffled why so many people here are saying you "can't put chapters or multi-tracks/subts in an mp4"?

The files I've made have worked with Xbox 360, WMC, VLC, Xbox video app, kindle, nabi Jr, and if I remember right iPod/iPad (which I no longer use). Granted the multiple tracks and subtitles don't work on every device, but the video always plays 2ch, no subs, no chapters nav at a minimum.

That said I'm reading this because a friend recently recommended MKV to me and I'm getting ready to re rip my whole library because I started making iPod videos and have now moved on to the "universal" preset in handbrake for use with hopefully any phone, tablet, console, smartTV etc. Some of my files were for the 3" iPod color screen and must be redone.

I'm intrigued by this whole lossless ability of MKV but i'm not into 25gb video files... I have a 6TB server but fully lossless just seems like a waste of space... I don't need full quality video while streaming from the media server but a bit better quality from the mp4s would be good. Currently watching on 55" and 48" 1080p 60hz capable screens... and obviously on portable devices what i'm doing now looks fantastic.

So here are my questions:
1. can I use makeMKV and bring the file size down?
2. Also do I need to get anydvdHD for blu-rays? Has anyone made it work without it?
3. Does anyone have a great handbrake configuration to maximize video quality while keeping file size down? Say around 2gb for a typical 1.5hr movie or less?
4. Can handbrake do lossless audio at all?

Thanks for any help.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I have been using anydvd and handbrake for years to rip DVDs to portable device & HDD friendly sized mp4s... in all that time I've been using handbrake's chapter function as well as multiple audio (stereo - 5.1) and subtitle tracks. I haven't run into any problem doing this so I'm baffled why so many people here are saying you "can't put chapters or multi-tracks/subts in an mp4"?

The files I've made have worked with Xbox 360, WMC, VLC, Xbox video app, kindle, nabi Jr, and if I remember right iPod/iPad (which I no longer use). Granted the multiple tracks and subtitles don't work on every device, but the video always plays 2ch, no subs, no chapters nav at a minimum.

That said I'm reading this because a friend recently recommended MKV to me and I'm getting ready to re rip my whole library because I started making iPod videos and have now moved on to the "universal" preset in handbrake for use with hopefully any phone, tablet, console, smartTV etc. Some of my files were for the 3" iPod color screen and must be redone.

I'm intrigued by this whole lossless ability of MKV but i'm not into 25gb video files... I have a 6TB server but fully lossless just seems like a waste of space... I don't need full quality video while streaming from the media server but a bit better quality from the mp4s would be good. Currently watching on 55" and 48" 1080p 60hz capable screens... and obviously on portable devices what i'm doing now looks fantastic.

So here are my questions:
1. can I use makeMKV and bring the file size down?
2. Also do I need to get anydvdHD for blu-rays? Has anyone made it work without it?
3. Does anyone have a great handbrake configuration to maximize video quality while keeping file size down? Say around 2gb for a typical 1.5hr movie or less?
4. Can handbrake do lossless audio at all?

Thanks for any help.
Don't get container and codecs confused.

.mp4 and .mkv are just containers, like boxes or tupperware. Some devices will only take .mp4 and many will now take both. Video Tracks, Audio Tracks, Subtitle streams, Chapter markers are all just codecs and streams that can be put into the containers.

.mp4 is an industry standard with ISO requirements and standards. Those standards limit what you can put in there but also means that if you follow those standards you will be able to play it back on just about any device.

.mkv is the open source solution and has been born and bred to support just about everything. You can throw just about any stream into an .mkv and it will encode/mux a valid .mkv file. Whether it will play back on a device or not is dependent on whether device supports .mkv at all and whether or not it will support the different streams inside the .mkv.

Unless you have a reason or need to go .mkv, I wouldn't redo your library. At worst, load the .mp4 files into MKVMerge and just remux them into an .mkv. That takes a couple of minutes instead of a couple of hours.

As .mkv has become more accepted, you may want to consider .mkv instead of .mp4 going forward but unless the .mp4 files that you have now are missing something, there's no point in redoing everything.

1) MakeMKV just rips your BD/DVD into a "Movie Only" .mkv that is uncompressed. If you want to shrink it up, you'd have to run it through Handbrake or something similar.

2) MakeMKV is the free goto software for ripping BD. I prefer to pay for AnyDVD but that's just my personal preference

3) This is an art and I can give recommendations but everyone will have a different opinion. 2GB for a BD is very small and there is no way to NOT make compromises on image quality at that size. If you are prepared to spend the better part of an entire day letting your PC re encode a Blu-Ray, then I can give you some settings that will maximize quality. In general, I use a CF/RF of 18 Medium or Slow/Film/Main/L4.0. Pixar and Dreamworks movies usually condense to 4-5GB, most Feature Films compress to 3GB per hour but I have had some really grainy sources come in at 10GB/hour. If you need a certain size then you'll need to do 2-pass at a certain bitrate and make the appropriate adjustments in the Advanced Tab.

4) Handbrake will pass-thru just about any present audio track, therefore lossless. However, if you are wanting to keep True-HD or DTS-HD, those streams will be bigger than the 2GB ceiling you've already set before you add the video track into the equation.
 
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Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,210
38
91
I use AnyDVD/Handbrake to rip my very few BDs... one of the reasons I got away from them is the file size. Unless it's just one of my favoritest movies evarr.... I don't want to waste the storage space on BR quality... but that's me.

I also agree with Smitbret about reencoding your library to .MKV... unless you are a glutton for punishment or have a lot of idle time.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,571
467
126
I use MakeMKV and Handbrake to encode to an MKV container. Does it matter? Not really, but I wouldn't use MP4 strictly for compatibility, because some devices (iOS mostly) are particular about certain settings (i.e. resolution). I just use MKVs and let PLEX transcode for the devices that can't handle it.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I use MakeMKV and Handbrake to encode to an MKV container. Does it matter? Not really, but I wouldn't use MP4 strictly for compatibility, because some devices (iOS mostly) are particular about certain settings (i.e. resolution). I just use MKVs and let PLEX transcode for the devices that can't handle it.
Older iOS versions (as well as a few other devices) require a 2-channel .aac, audio to be the 1st audio stream in the file. Apple also requires the .mp4 file to actually have the file extension of .m4v but you can literally just change the extension from .mp4 to .m4v and have full compatibility
 

jkauff

Senior member
Oct 4, 2012
584
13
81
Older iOS versions (as well as a few other devices) require a 2-channel .aac, audio to be the 1st audio stream in the file. Apple also requires the .mp4 file to actually have the file extension of .m4v but you can literally just change the extension from .mp4 to .m4v and have full compatibility
As I understand it, .m4v includes chapter support that .mp4 does not, at least on Apple devices. I've never downloaded a movie from the iTunes Store, but I've been told they are .m4v files. Although you can just change the extension from .m4v to .mp4, Apple devices probably lose the ability to play back with chapters when you do that.
 

Aikouka

Lifer
Nov 27, 2001
29,571
467
126
Older iOS versions (as well as a few other devices) require a 2-channel .aac, audio to be the 1st audio stream in the file. Apple also requires the .mp4 file to actually have the file extension of .m4v but you can literally just change the extension from .mp4 to .m4v and have full compatibility
Just to note, when the "MP4" mode is selected, Handbrake will automatically use the M4V extension if you try to assign chapters, include soft subs, or use AC3 audio.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
MKV support has been pretty good the last few years. I think most blu ray players now support it, as well as streaming boxes. I think even the Xbox One has official MKV support. It has some merit outside of pirated material. Ability to add multiple audio and subtitle tracks is nice. Its also the basis for WebM, which is backed by Google as the royalty free container of the future.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
MKV support has been pretty good the last few years. I think most blu ray players now support it, as well as streaming boxes. I think even the Xbox One has official MKV support. It has some merit outside of pirated material. Ability to add multiple audio and subtitle tracks is nice. Its also the basis for WebM, which is backed by Google as the royalty free container of the future.
?

I add multiple audio tracks to nearly all of my .mp4 files. Since when has .mp4 not been able to hold more than 1 stream.

That being said, I pick .mkv 90% of the time.
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
?

I add multiple audio tracks to nearly all of my .mp4 files. Since when has .mp4 not been able to hold more than 1 stream.

That being said, I pick .mkv 90% of the time.
I think selecting the different audio tracks will be dependent on the player used if you use .m4v vs .mp4. Apple TV for example can use a stereo AAC track and 5.1 DD track in .m4v, but not .mp4. Software players like VLC, Media Player Classic, MPlayer, etc, shouldn't have a problem if you managed to to put multiple audio tracks in an .mp4. My info could be old though as I haven't looked at this in awhile. For hardware player compliance, I always use mkv of m4v.
 

Kurshy D

Junior Member
Dec 31, 2015
3
0
0
An unencoded BluRay movie will be large. 16GB is pretty small by my standards. :p

Watching videos shouldn't cause your system to crash - I'm wondering if something else is going on.

As a baseline - let's make sure we're on the same page for playback. You can either use VLC, or install the LAV Filters and MPC-HC. Either of those options will play just about any file you throw at them. Make sure that you've uninstalled any other "codec packs" that you have installed - you don't need them.

What are you using to rip the videos? I'd suggest installing MakeMKV for now to get the content off your discs. MakeMKV is a very simple program that will take the raw data from your DVDs or BluRays, strip any content protection, and store the streams in an MKV file. Note: you'll have to disable AnyDVD while using it - the two don't play nicely together. The output file will be large. For reference, my Gladiator extended edition comes in at ~35GB for just the video and a single English audio track.

Once you've got that file on your system, you should be able to play it using VLC or MPC-HC. If you've managed to cross this milestone, then we can worry about re-encoding the video to save some disk space and make it possible to play back on multiple devices. :)
This is exactly where I am at. I have begun to rip my DVD's using MakeMKV and am currently converting to mp4 to be able to play using my Roku3 via thumb drive. I cannot get the Roku to see any .mkv files. From what I have read so far on this thread, I would like to use the .mkv format. Eventually I will be incorporating a HTPC and will want access to the added features and higher quality audio that is the .mkv format is capable of. Can you please explain more about "re-encoding" the video to save some disk space. I know that my .mp4 files are much smaller than the .mkv files I am converting from.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
This is exactly where I am at. I have begun to rip my DVD's using MakeMKV and am currently converting to mp4 to be able to play using my Roku3 via thumb drive. I cannot get the Roku to see any .mkv files. From what I have read so far on this thread, I would like to use the .mkv format. Eventually I will be incorporating a HTPC and will want access to the added features and higher quality audio that is the .mkv format is capable of. Can you please explain more about "re-encoding" the video to save some disk space. I know that my .mp4 files are much smaller than the .mkv files I am converting from.
You should be able to play the .mkv files on your Roku 3. What are you converting with?


What media file types does the Roku Media Player channel support?

The following media file formats are supported:

Video — H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), on Roku 4 only: H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9 (.MKV)
Audio – AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3(.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV), FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV), PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV), AC3/EAC3 (.MKV,.MP4. .MOV, .AC3), DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A)
Image — JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)

Only supported file types are shown in the Roku Media Player channel. The channel hides unsupported file types.

Multichannel AAC is not supported on all Roku models. Roku TV’s and Roku 4 set-top-boxes do support multichannel decode to PCM stereo.

On Roku set-top-boxes Dolby Digital audio (AC3, EAC3) is only supported via pass through.

DTS is only supported via pass through on both Roku set-top-boxes and Roku TV’s. You must connect your Roku player via HDMI or S/PDIF to a TV or receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital or DTS in order to hear videos with audio tracks in those formats.

Some media server software may convert files into Roku compatible formats.

DRM-protected content is not supported.
 
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Kurshy D

Junior Member
Dec 31, 2015
3
0
0
You should be able to play the .mkv files on your Roku 3. What are you converting with?


What media file types does the Roku Media Player channel support?

The following media file formats are supported:

Video — H.264/AVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), on Roku 4 only: H.265/HEVC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); VP9 (.MKV)
Audio – AAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV); MP3(.MP3, .MKV); WMA (.ASF, .WMA, .MKV), FLAC (.FLAC, .MKV), PCM (.WAV, .MKV, .MP4, .MOV), AC3/EAC3 (.MKV,.MP4. .MOV, .AC3), DTS (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV), ALAC (.MKV, .MP4, .MOV, .M4A)
Image — JPG, PNG, GIF (non-animated)

Only supported file types are shown in the Roku Media Player channel. The channel hides unsupported file types.

Multichannel AAC is not supported on all Roku models. Roku TV’s and Roku 4 set-top-boxes do support multichannel decode to PCM stereo.

On Roku set-top-boxes Dolby Digital audio (AC3, EAC3) is only supported via pass through.

DTS is only supported via pass through on both Roku set-top-boxes and Roku TV’s. You must connect your Roku player via HDMI or S/PDIF to a TV or receiver capable of decoding Dolby Digital or DTS in order to hear videos with audio tracks in those formats.

Some media server software may convert files into Roku compatible formats.

DRM-protected content is not supported.
I am ripping with MakeMKV. The ripped file works fine on VLC, but gives an incompatible codec error message on my Roku. When I convert the file to a MP4 via DVDVideoSoft MP4 Video Converter it works fine. It just sucks having to convert the file because it is an added step that requires significantly more time.
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
I am ripping with MakeMKV. The ripped file works fine on VLC, but gives an incompatible codec error message on my Roku. When I convert the file to a MP4 via DVDVideoSoft MP4 Video Converter it works fine. It just sucks having to convert the file because it is an added step that requires significantly more time.
Two things to try.

1 - Load an incompatible .mkv file into MP4Box GUI and just remux it to an .mp4. It should only take a couple of minutes. Then try to play it.

http://www.videohelp.com/software/My-MP4Box-GUI

2 - If that doesn't work, load one of the .mkv files into MediaInfo and post a screenshot here like you see on their homepage That should tell us everything we need to know to figure out what's happening.

http://mediaarea.net/en/MediaInfo
 

Fayd

Diamond Member
Jun 28, 2001
7,979
2
76
www.manwhoring.com
I am ripping with MakeMKV. The ripped file works fine on VLC, but gives an incompatible codec error message on my Roku. When I convert the file to a MP4 via DVDVideoSoft MP4 Video Converter it works fine. It just sucks having to convert the file because it is an added step that requires significantly more time.
MKV is just a container, it doesn't specify what the video stream codec is.

is there any setting in makeMKV that allows you to specify the video codec? if so, try changing it to something else. (ie, x264.)
 

smitbret

Diamond Member
Jul 27, 2006
3,388
22
81
MKV is just a container, it doesn't specify what the video stream codec is.

is there any setting in makeMKV that allows you to specify the video codec? if so, try changing it to something else. (ie, x264.)
MakeMKV is a ripper, not a converter.......

HA! I just figured out what's happening. You are ripping DVDs. DVDs use an MPEG-2 codec for the video stream and is unsupported by Roku. That is different than Blu-rays that use h264 or VC-1. It has nothing to do with .mp4 or .mkv, although an MPEG-2 stream is technically incompatible with .mp4 containers.

Anyway, if you want to play these back on a Roku without transcoding, you will have to convert them to something with a compatible video codec (h264 or h265). Just about any HTPC would be able to play them back, though.
 

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