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Old 28th February 2010, 23:45   #1  |  Link
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H264/MP4 with AC3 for Apple TV

I've researched these forums and VideoHelp forums for several days, and I've been partially successful in my efforts to back up my BD media for viewing on Apple TV, but I'm not able to create MP4s with AC3 audio that will play on Apple TV.
  • After reading the Ten Myths of the Apple TV: 5.1 Audio, I assumed that creating an MP4 file with an AC3 audio track that my Apple TV would pass thru to my DD receiver was my goal. This this correct?
  • I used Ripbot264 v1.15.0, and I was able to produce MP4 files that would play on Apple TV, but not with AC3. It seems that the only audio profiles supported by Ripbot264 are AAC-based, and there is no option to pass through the AC3 track. Is this correct?
  • I used Mp4Muxer to remove the AAC track created by Ripbot and tried to replace it with the AC3 track. Ripbot seems to create a .ac3 file as an interim file in it's process, so I just used that file. This produces an MP4 file plays in VLC on my Windows 7 (64-bit) machine, but it will not play from iTunes and it will not play on Apple TV.

The following is the MediaInfo of a short sample file that I've been trying stuff with. I'd really appreciate any guidance on how to start hearing AC3 from my Apple TV.



Complete name : F:\Temp\Babylon A D.mp4
Format : MPEG-4
Format profile : Apple TV
Codec ID : M4VH
File size : 4.24 MiB
Duration : 17s 642ms
Overall bit rate : 2 018 Kbps
Encoded date : UTC 2010-02-27 22:22:51
Tagged date : UTC 2010-02-28 22:26:35
Writing application : mp4creator 1.6.1d

ID : 1
Format : AVC
Format/Info : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile : Main@L3.0
Format settings, CABAC : No
Format settings, ReFrames : 2 frames
Codec ID : avc1
Codec ID/Info : Advanced Video Coding
Duration : 17s 642ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 1 581 Kbps
Maximum bit rate : 2 709 Kbps
Width : 1 280 pixels
Height : 720 pixels
Display aspect ratio : 16:9
Frame rate mode : Constant
Frame rate : 23.976 fps
Resolution : 8 bits
Colorimetry : 4:2:0
Scan type : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame) : 0.072
Stream size : 3.33 MiB (78%)
Title : Babylon A D
Writing library : x264 core 80 r1376kGIT 3feaec2
Encoding settings : cabac=0 / ref=1 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x131 / me=umh / subme=7 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.0:0.0 / mixed_ref=0 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=0 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=3 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / mbaff=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=0 / b_adapt=1 / b_bias=0 / direct=1 / wpredb=1 / wpredp=0 / keyint=240 / keyint_min=24 / scenecut=40 / rc_lookahead=40 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=22.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=10 / qpmax=51 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=12000 / vbv_bufsize=5000 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
Encoded date : UTC 2010-02-27 22:22:51
Tagged date : UTC 2010-02-27 22:22:51

ID : 2
Format : AC-3
Format/Info : Audio Coding 3
Codec ID : ac-3
Duration : 17s 24ms
Bit rate mode : Constant
Bit rate : 448 Kbps
Channel(s) : 6 channels
Channel positions : Front: L C R, Surround: L R, LFE
Sampling rate : 48.0 KHz
Resolution : 16 bits
Stream size : 931 KiB (21%)
Language : English
Encoded date : UTC 2010-02-28 22:26:35
Tagged date : UTC 2010-02-28 22:26:35
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Old 1st March 2010, 17:45   #2  |  Link
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Old 1st March 2010, 17:47   #3  |  Link
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I searched within the Ripbot thread and saw a few people having success (namely this post and this one), and it seemed like the key thing might be to ensure that Audio track 1 was AAC. I didn't have any success getting this done with MP4muxer though.

I ultimately had success using Handbrake (64-bit on W7) just using the Apple TV preset. It produced an Apple TV compatible M4v file with both an AAC and AC3 passthru channel, and upon playing this file, my receiver began outputting 5.1 sound.
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