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Tips for Encoding Video for the GoogleTV

paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
Tips from users like you for encoding your videos for the GoogleTV
Right now - GoogleTV does not support what Plex needs to transcode (enhanced HLS) - that means that the videos you watch on the GoogleTV need to be supported by the GoogleTV device. So, with that in mind, I have started this post, where we can share the settings and other tips and tricks that we use to encode our videos so that they play on the GoogleTV.

I use Handbrake and the following settings and my videos play on both the Logitech Revue and the Sony Google TV set top box.

VIDEO TAB:
  • Format MKV File
  • Video Codec: H.264 (x264)
  • Framerate: Same as source
  • Quality: Constant Quality RF: 18 ( some friends and I found that this setting gave the best video quality for size )

AUDIO:
  • I choose all the audio tracks available (English, spanish, french etc)
  • Codec is always AAC (CoreAudio)
  • I also always do a stereo track and 5.1 track
  • Samplerate: Auto
  • Bitrate: 160
  • DRC: default ( leave it alone )

UPDATED AUDIO
  • I choose all the audio tracks available (English, spanish, french etc)
  • Codec is AC3 Passthru - all the other settings will grey out, this is good, it means there will be no re-encoding of the audio. We like that :)

SUBTITLES:
  • Here again I'll do all of the subtitles available
  • with the defaults( just select the subtitle from the drop down and leave it )

The important thing right now with GoogleTV is H.264 video with AAC audio.
(no H.264 in mkv container with mp3 audio)

You can download the plists of my recommended settings by following the link below. The video and audio will be handled automatically, but you should double check everything. You will have to add the extra audio tracks and subtitles that you want.


Handbrake Exports:



View the changelog here
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Comments

  • darrindarrin Plex Dev Team Posts: 2,044Members, Plex Pass
    [font=arial, verdana, tahoma, sans-serif]paviktherin is one of the Android Alpha Test crew - so he knows of what he speaks! Thanks for this post![/font]
    Please visit the Android FAQ for network troubleshooting tips and if you're not sure how to Capture a Logcat and Caputre a Plex Media Server.log. To ensure a prompt reply - please always include a link back to the topic you're writing about!!

    Follow me (darrin) on twitter for Android and Google TV related goodness.

    Thanks!
    -Darrin
  • treycommandertreycommander Posts: 31Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    I have a question and some findings....

    Could this apply to m4v files too? I have been using that format to ensure compatibility with other devices like my iPod Touch and Galaxy tab if played directly on the device.


    I had a dozen or so movies that did not display video on the Logitech Revue. I re-ripped them using handbrake and most of them are great with my newer settings. (A lot of my original rips were during a learning experience and software testing. So I had 2 a few movies that still wouldn't play after ripping with Handbrake on the new settings while 80% of them did. I also had an odd not full screen issue on one of the ones that did display video. So I started playing with video settings and corrected the full screen issue and the videos that still did not show a picture by changing my anamorphic setting to "none". All the other successful rips where set to "loose". I'm a ripping newb. I read what Anamorphic means on the handbrake site but don't know what is best practice so if this makes sense I'd love an explination. If it seems odd take it with a grain of salt but consider trying it with your movies if the video doesn't display at all and the sound is fine.

    Thanks.
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Commander,

    Yes these settings will work as m4v or mp4 files. The mkv, m4v etc are containers. The encoding is actually the H264 for video and aac for Audio. The reason I mentioned the mkv and aac is because there is a known issue with using mkv as your container with mp3 as your audio encoding. So I suppose it would have been better to have said to avoid that.

    Hope this helps. I will get to your other question about anamorphic when I'm not typing all this on a phone :-)
    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
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  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    edited December 2011
    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
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  • treycommandertreycommander Posts: 31Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass



    Thanks for the links. I had read the first one a couple times now. It makes sense but why that would keep a movie from playing when set loosely didn't make sense to me. I will wait for your keyboard response.

    The picture settings link was interesting. I will need to read it a time or 2 more to fully digest.
  • HefeHefe Posts: 9Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    commander wrote:

    I have a question and some findings....
    <snip>

    I also had an odd not full screen issue on one of the ones that did display video. So I started playing with video settings and corrected the full screen issue and the videos that still did not show a picture by changing my anamorphic setting to "none". All the other successful rips where set to "loose". I'm a ripping newb. I read what Anamorphic means on the handbrake site but don't know what is best practice so if this makes sense I'd love an explination. If it seems odd take it with a grain of salt but consider trying it with your movies if the video doesn't display at all and the sound is fine.

    I have some confusion about the anamorphic settings too. I've read the description several times, but I don't know what setting I should be using.

    Seems that some of my DVDs are encoding the letterbox into the frame, and I get a picture with a black border all the way around.
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Commander and Hefe,

    Sorry about the long delay. I hope that you both enjoyed the Holidays. I used to feel comfortable with the anamorphic setting.... I'm doing some more research and trying some stuff out with some friends. I'll let you know what we decide. So far, we all use Strict. This should be set by default if you are using the file that I attached in a previous post.

    So expect a follow up soon with, hopefully, a good explanation of the anamorphic setting :)
    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
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  • patryk.prus@gmail.compatryk.prus@gmail.com Posts: 53Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    As a point of comparison -- I have ripped my DVDs with "loose" anamorphic setting, which seems to have given those files odd aspect ratios and pixel widths/heights. The result is files that either have no video, or a squished image right in the center of the screen.

    BUT -- I think the anamorphic setting might actually be a red herring, with the real culprit being the "cropping" setting, which strips off all the black bars before encoding. This has turned a 720x480 video into a 720x512 (the black bars were on the sides) which seems to throw GTV for a loop (Plex desktop, VLC, XBMC, etc. all deal with it no problem).

    I was actually wondering whether this is something that could be dealt with in the Plex application, or if Plex just uses the built-in media player from within GTV/Android. Would save me a good bit of re-enconding headache...
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Spamminator,

    Right now plex for GoogleTV uses the default player for playback. In the future, as soon as enhanced HLS support is added to GoogleTV, then plex will have more control over video playback. Similar to how on Android you can select different media players. I can't guarantee it will work, but since the plex desktop world, I believe our chances are high.

    As for the anamorphic vs cropping, I think you are right. When ripping you should always try to maintain aspect ratio.
    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
    MediaInfo
  • patryk.prus@gmail.compatryk.prus@gmail.com Posts: 53Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    This may be slightly unrelated, but is there any hope for playback improvements on the direct play side? Or is there a way to tell the Plex server to segment the file for HLS but not re-encode it?

    Over my home network I don't really want to suffer any quality loss due to a re-encode...
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    This may be slightly unrelated, but is there any hope for playback improvements on the direct play side? Or is there a way to tell the Plex server to segment the file for HLS but not re-encode it?

    Over my home network I don't really want to suffer any quality loss due to a re-encode...


    Spamminator,

    I might be misunderstanding, so correct me if I have, but right now Plex on the GoogleTV plays everything directly. There is no encoding... which is why some videos don't work.

    So what I think you are asking is if in the future - when HLS is added to GoogleTV - will you be able to tell Plex to still play directly since, as you said, "not re-encode"? If so, you're in luck! As I understand it Plex will do Direct Play first if enabled if the device can do it.

    If someone else knows for sure, chime in!


    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
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  • patryk.prus@gmail.compatryk.prus@gmail.com Posts: 53Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    What I meant was, will there be any improvements coming to the Direct Play experience, such as subtitle support, etc. For example, most of my movies have built-in subtitles -- will I ever be able to see those subtitles while using Direct Play, or is the only hope to have video stream re-encoded over HLS with subtitles?
  • darrindarrin Plex Dev Team Posts: 2,044Members, Plex Pass
    spamminator -

    The short answer is that it's unlikely that you'll get subtitles with direct play in the short term.

    Direct Play - means take the media container (mkv, avi, etc) and pass it directly to the native media player. Android's Native media players don't support subtitles. Plex burns the subtitles into your video as part of the transcode process so that they show up on your device.

    This isn't to say it'll never happen - we're creative - but it's not something that'll happen in the very near term.
    Please visit the Android FAQ for network troubleshooting tips and if you're not sure how to Capture a Logcat and Caputre a Plex Media Server.log. To ensure a prompt reply - please always include a link back to the topic you're writing about!!

    Follow me (darrin) on twitter for Android and Google TV related goodness.

    Thanks!
    -Darrin
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Okay commander and spamminator and anyone else following this,

    I read through some articles/blogs and I spoke with some friends and have come to the conclusion that I will continue to recommend and use Strict mode for my anamorphic setting anytime that I am compressing a DVD. Bluray or HD-DVD on the other hand, remains to be decided. The reason for that is because Handbrake has a High Profile setting that is used for HD video compression. It does a better job of compressing and maintaining quality than the Normal settings do. And it's default setting is Loose because it is important that you maintain the 16:9 aspect ratio. However, not every endpoint is capable of playing a High Profile video. I haven't been able to get my hands on a true 1080P video to try this out with Plex and especially GoogleTV to determine if it can play it. Perhaps someone else has and can reply.

    So the difference, as I understand it, between Loose vs Strict anamorphic setting is:

    • Strict is what your DVD player does. It will store the video in one size and display it in another. You will maintain the full frame of the DVD and letterboxing will be applied to fill in the space. Just like when you play a widescreen DVD on your player
    • Loose is more efficient for the encoder and it focuses on maintaining the 16:9 aspect ratio. It will take the full frame of the DVD and adjust it's dimensions to ensure that they divide evenly by 16 and 9.


    The #1 reason why I use strict and recommend to others to use it is that it does exactly what your DVD player does. This is the best way to ensure that you get the same video display that you would if you were to throw the DVD into a DVD player and watch it.

    As for why one video plays and the other doesn't that have both been compressed the same except LOOSE vs STRICT... I don't know yet... I'm still trying some things out. (Unfortunately school just started up and so my time to "play around" is limited).

    I'll continue to include any other helpful tips I come across.
    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
    MediaInfo

  • AUDIO:
    • I choose all the audio tracks available (English, spanish, french etc)
    • Codec is always AAC (CoreAudio)
    • I also always do a stereo track and 5.1 track
    • Samplerate: Auto
    • Bitrate: 160
    • DRC: default ( leave it alone )


    Thanks paviktherin for the awesome instructions and the link to your presets file.

    I'm having a little trouble though with the audio portion... I don't have AAC (CoreAudio) as an option. My options are: AAC (faac), MP3 (lame), AC3 Passthru, AC3 (ffmpeg), DTS Passthru & Vorbis (vorbis). I also don't think I have 5.1 as an option in the Mixdown section... I've got Mono, Stereo, Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro Logic II & 6 Channel Discrete.

    Do I need to install the K-Lite or CCCP codecs pack in order to get the additional options... or am I just out of luck on having good audio? (Not that I have any kind of surround system at the moment, but when I do, obviously I'd like to have the stuff I already have sound their best.)
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    tsheeley wrote:

    Thanks paviktherin for the awesome instructions and the link to your presets file.

    I'm having a little trouble though with the audio portion... I don't have AAC (CoreAudio) as an option. My options are: AAC (faac), MP3 (lame), AC3 Passthru, AC3 (ffmpeg), DTS Passthru & Vorbis (vorbis). I also don't think I have 5.1 as an option in the Mixdown section... I've got Mono, Stereo, Dolby Surround, Dolby Pro Logic II & 6 Channel Discrete.

    Do I need to install the K-Lite or CCCP codecs pack in order to get the additional options... or am I just out of luck on having good audio? (Not that I have any kind of surround system at the moment, but when I do, obviously I'd like to have the stuff I already have sound their best.)


    Go with AC3 Passthru. It's actually really slick and I've just now started to use it. As I understand it, it's what the DVD players use to determine what type of audio to play. So it's the exact audio off the DVD, no re-encode... we like that :)

    DTS is nice as well, if you have a Sony Bluray Player with GoogleTV. The logitech revue can't do it.

    Hope this helps!
    PMS on Mac Mini | Media Storage on UnRaid | Android, Mac, iOS, Roku 3 and Google Chromecast
    MediaInfo
  • treycommandertreycommander Posts: 31Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    Go with AC3 Passthru. It's actually really slick and I've just now started to use it. As I understand it, it's what the DVD players use to determine what type of audio to play. So it's the exact audio off the DVD, no re-encode... we like that :)

    DTS is nice as well, if you have a Sony Bluray Player with GoogleTV. The logitech revue can't do it.

    Hope this helps!



    paviktherin, if you change your handbrake settings are you updating the .plist link with the current settings file? I just started to re-rip all of my DVDs with your settings...
  • Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a shot. What would you recommend for the mixdown setting? (I've got a Revue btw.)

    I should have mentioned it sooner, if it even matters, but I'm not ripping DVDs, I'm trying to convert the media that I've pulled with Sabnzb and Couch Potato. (I'm also working on getting the automated script setup from the other thread.)

    I've been using Tversity to stream to my PS3... but the whole point of me getting a Revue was to take that load off and have the awesomess of a real media center program.
  • Thanks for the tip. I'll give it a shot.



    (Edited out stupid questions before I had actually tried stuff)


    It worked perfectly! Now it's just a matter of converting all my videos that don't play on the Revue.
  • paviktherinpaviktherin Posts: 210Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    commander wrote:

    paviktherin, if you change your handbrake settings are you updating the .plist link with the current settings file? I just started to re-rip all of my DVDs with your settings...


    Good idea, I should have thought of that... I'll do that later tonight. I'll just change the file in the dropbox so it will be the same name. That way the link above will be the same.
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