Best File Format to stream to different type of devices - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-09-2012, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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After reading a lot of posts on this site and various articles on the internet I am somewhat confused. Maybe someone can help me out and point me in the right direction.

I have a NAS that I liked to store a bunch of movies on and stream them to various devices. Right now I have a Samsung Blu Ray player as well as a couple of Playstation 3s. I can convert a standard definition movie to .mpeg format, put it on the server, and it streams fine to those devices.

However, is that the right file format for these devices and others I may buy in the future? I may purchase WD Live or Roku in the future. I played with .mkv format but the Playstation's can't handle that forma, but the Blu Ray player played them fine. If I use basic .mpeg files converted from the movies .vob files do I lose sub titles, 5.1 audio format, etc? From what I read those are all contained in the .mkv container?

So, I figured the most "common" format - both now and in the future - is .mp4. Will that contain sub titles and other audio streams? I am mostly concerend with keeping the best quality for the videos, so would I use Handbrake or Freemake Video Converter to convert the files from .vob to .mp4? I tried that once using Freemake, but the files went from 4 GB down to 1.8 GB, so there seems to be a lot of compression and possible quality loss.

So far I am only talking standard definition videos, not Blu Ray. I am not too concerned about file size or a long conversion process. If I use Handbrake, what would be the best settings to use.

My kids also have Mac Airs that they watch movies on. Streaming to those isn't quite as important but would nice.

Thanks much!!
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-10-2012, 09:00 AM
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MP4 is the best option for a wide range of compatibility with devices.

The MP4 specification supports subtitles, multiple audio streams and Dolby AC3 5.1 audio however not all device makers implementation of MP4 is up to spec so you might be missing support for any of those features.

Stick to Handbrake if you want proper MP4 files, Freemake is a joke. Use the high profile preset and on the video tab set it to RF18 for best quality output from Handbrake, you can also set audio to pass-through mode and do subtitles too in Handbrake.
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post #3 of 3 Old 12-19-2012, 12:10 PM
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Through a little bit of experimentation, I now encode my rips to the following standard:

.mp4/.m4v with Large File Support
.h264 video stream, L4.1 or lower. Bitrate of 2500kbps for 720p and 6500-8000kbps for 1080p. No more than 4 ref frames and b-frames at 3 or less.
1st audio track is 2-channel .aac 128kbps
2nd audio track is 5.1 channel .ac3 448kbps

Works on just about everything as long as the multi-channel audio is track 2.
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