30 Days of AppleTV – Day 10

I had a chance to spend some time with the full version of the AppleTV Video Converter that I mentioned a few days ago.

The Interface is pretty straight forward, and within a click or two, whatever you’re trying to convert to AppleTV will up and encoding. The program has a few default settings to make everything as simple as can be, but you can tweek it a little bit as well, if you want to adjust the settings more to your liking.

When I decided to test the speed of the program, I decided not to do a traditional “benchmark” test. I opted, instead, to do a more real world test, so you could see exactly how long you were looking at a video taking to convert to AppleTV format.

So I took a 58 minute file and started the encoding process at 8:57 pm. While it was working in the background I continued to blog, check email, surf the web, and instant message. I didn’t try to run Photoshop or anything, just light, casual computer use.

The file finished up at 10:39 pm. So, all in all, it took about 1:42 minutes to convert from Divx AVI to H.264. Since I was working on other things, the time passed quickly, and I don’t have any real complaints about the software. It does what it says it will do. iSquint (and I don’t mean to rag on iSquint, this was just my experience) took that same amount of time, or longer, and produced a choppy file that I couldn’t watch.

AppleTV Video Converter, on the other hand, produced a flawless file that is as good as the source video. I’m very pleased with the Apple TV Video Converter, and I hope to test out some of the other video encoder programs in the next few weeks so that I can compare them all to let you know what the best solution would be in getting your Divx files onto your AppleTV (ya know…without cracking it open and hacking it to just play Divx files).

Click Here to try out AppleTV Video Converter

Comments

  1. Michael,

    Check out VisualHub. It is iSquints big brother and is an awesome program for doing any video converting. I use it all the time!

  2. For converting DVDs I use Handbrake. It’s free open source software.

    I use a two-pass conversion for the best video, and not only did it convert a DVD in just under 2 hours, the video quality was as good as the DVD. The only thing I didn’t get was a way to name my chapters. In iTunes I didn’t even have chapters, but in AppleTV clicking forward/backward seemed to have it move about 5-7 minutes per click.

    I used the default audio bitrate on my first two DVDs and felt the audio was not quite up to par. My next conversion I’m going to up it and see how muchh it improves.

    For all other conversions (FLV, etc.) I use VisualHub.

    FYI – I debated with myself how I’d end up after using my AppleTV, and right now I expect I’ll convert all my DVDs and store everything on my 2 terabyte NAS. However, I’m not sure what I’m doing yet with my boxed sets.

  3. I’m thinking of converting everything as well. I haven’t tried converting a DVD yet, but I have the DVD to Apple TV software from that company as well as Handbreak…so when I do I will compare the two for speed and quality.

    and I will be giving Visual Hub a try soon.

  4. I can also vouch for Handbrake, I have used it to convert about 30 movies for my iPod. I started out using the 320×240 settings and was pretty happy with the way they looked in my iPod but once Apple updated the firmware to display 640×480 I have been very happy with it. The only downside is that it takes me 4-6 hours on my 1st gen maxed out mac mini.

  5. Why not use ffmpegX? It’s free and it’ll transcode whatever you throw at it into whatever you need. I haven’t tried converting a DivX to H.264 but it’s handled everything else that I’ve thrown at it.

  6. OK — This may be a really stupid question, but I am kinda new to this stuff. Great Blog by the way, tons of useful info. I purchases that AppleTV this past weekend and have DVDs that I want to convert over. Tried the AppleTV Converter last night and it worked. Just under two hours so not to bad. I am able to play the movie in iTunes but unable to get the movie to show on the AppleTV. Do I need to put the movie in a specific directory?

    Also — I realized that AppleTV Converter will not convert DVDs that I have saved on my harddrive. They are currently stored in .VOB files. Anyone have a solution for this…short of reburning all of the movies to DVD?

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