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Blu Ray to Frontrow

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Ok, I've been successfully playing DVD rips in Frontrow for ages. My DVD drive on my Mac Pro died on me, so I decided to upgrade to a BR player and start ripping BR discs with MakeMKV. Works fine. I can't play the rips on my Mac mini since it's a 1.66ghz Intel, but the problem I'm having is when I try to encode the BR rips with Handbrake. I choose the Universal setting, and end up with a nice, small file. But it won't play properly on my mini. The PQ is fine, but I have no sound. I do get sound just fine when I play the same file through Frontrow on my Mac Pro.
post #2 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by greedo View Post

Ok, I've been successfully playing DVD rips in Frontrow for ages. My DVD drive on my Mac Pro died on me, so I decided to upgrade to a BR player and start ripping BR discs with MakeMKV. Works fine. I can't play the rips on my Mac mini since it's a 1.66ghz Intel, but the problem I'm having is when I try to encode the BR rips with Handbrake. I choose the Universal setting, and end up with a nice, small file. But it won't play properly on my mini. The PQ is fine, but I have no sound. I do get sound just fine when I play the same file through Frontrow on my Mac Pro.

When you say the output is a small file, how small? Most people are going to want some more specifics.

If your mini is only 1.66 ghz, what ram does it have? Despite what many people seem to claim, I have had the most mixed results based on what my RAM available is. For example, even on my 4gb mac mini certain blu ray rips have hiccups whereas this never happens on my 8 gb ram MBP.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have 2GB in it. The file size is pretty small; Army of Darkness is 1.4GB. I also ripped Gone With The Wind, and that came in at 3.78GB.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by greedo View Post

I have 2GB in it. The file size is pretty small; Army of Darkness is 1.4GB. I also ripped Gone With The Wind, and that came in at 3.78GB.

Do you know the bitrate and frames per/s ? I am no expert, but usually I just modify the apple tv presets and get perfect results from BR's rips from MakeMKV. They play very well on my older MBP but I think that my specs were still higher than the 1.66 GHZ. 2 GB of ram should be no problem whatsoever for these files. Hmm have you tried using apple tv presets? I think they might actually output slightly larger files tho.
post #5 of 12
greedo, I doubt this has anything to do with RAM, file size, bit rate or the mini specs itself--you're getting a file that IS playing back fine in FR on one Mac, and not on another. But you're not giving any real info that matters about what you're doing...for instance, you're choosing the HB Universal preset, OK, we know that should play back just fine in FR, but what audio are you choosing to create it with? Are you going with default--which is usually an AAC/Stereo mixdown in the first position and AC-3 pass through in the second--or are you choosing it yourself?

Are you not getting sound on ALL blu-ray rip transcodes or just this first attempt? If so, is the only audio on the blu-ray MakeMKV rip DTS by any chance?

When you say you "get sound" with the file on the Mac Pro, what audio do you get--DD 5.1? DTS? PCM? What audio are you supposed to get, i.e. what's the first audio track of the HD transcode? (As you know, FR just plays the first audio track, and there's no way to switch tracks, which is why many of us use Plex instead of FR for certain types of things.) If the first audio track is AAC, well, that's different than if the first audio track was AC-3, right?

Plus, unless your two Mac systems are running exactly the same software, OS, Quicktime, Perian, plugins, hacks--and hooked up the same way to exactly the same AVR--I'm not surprised one file plays fine on one system and not the second.

So, what's different about your mini versus your Mac Pro in terms of OS, connection to an AVR, etc?
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
In Handbrake, I don't modify anything after I've selected the Universal preset; so the source audio is DTS (5.1ch), the Codec is AAC (CoreAudio), and the Mixdown is Dolby Pro Logic II.

I'm not getting any sound out of my transcodes on my mini, but both play fine on the Mac Pro. The only audio source from the rip is DTS.

My Mac Pro isn't hooked up to a AVR, it's just connected to a 2.1 desktop speaker set. The Mini is connected to my AVR via optical cable, and the AVR can handle most audio codecs.

The Mac Pro and Mini are pretty much identical in terms of OS, and applications. Perian is the same version on both, as is Quicktime. I even tried playing the rips in Plex just to see if I could get any sound. The PQ was OK in Plex, but still no sound.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by greedo View Post

I'm not getting any sound out of my transcodes on my mini, but both play fine on the Mac Pro. The only audio source from the rip is DTS.

The exact same file that does not play audio on the Mini plays the audio on the Mac Pro?

Quote:


My Mac Pro isn't hooked up to a AVR, it's just connected to a 2.1 desktop speaker set. The Mini is connected to my AVR via optical cable, and the AVR can handle most audio codecs.

Is your Mac Pro connected by optical or by analog cable? When you connect the optical cable to the Mini you can see the red light on the other end of the cable?
post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:


The exact same file that does not play audio on the Mini plays the audio on the Mac Pro?

Yes.

Quote:


Is your Mac Pro connected by optical or by analog cable? When you connect the optical cable to the Mini you can see the red light on the other end of the cable?

My Mac Pro uses a standard PC speaker cable. The Mini works fine for all other audio through my AVR; I play VIDEO_TS files just fine with it. It's connected through a perfectly functioning Toslink cable.
post #9 of 12
Quote:


I'm not getting any sound out of my transcodes on my mini, but both play fine on the Mac Pro.

OK, so far you've tried ripping two blu-rays with MakeMKV, using the stock Handbrake Universal preset. Just out of curiosity, have you ever done any standard dvd Handbrake transcodes and played them back successfully with the mini? Or were you mainly using FR to play back VIDEO_TS folders?

Quote:


I've been successfully playing DVD rips in Frontrow for ages.

That's good, so with VIDEO_TS in FR you do get audio passthrough to your AVR, including proper DD 5.1, DTS, and you also hear good old PCM stereo from iTunes as well? What AVR model do you have and does it have indicator lights to tell you when you switch between, say, an AC-3 DD 5.1 track to a DTS track to a PCM track? So just by looking at it you can tell when it's processing something as PCM or ProLogic II or DTS?

Quote:


I even tried playing the rips in Plex just to see if I could get any sound.

So nothing else on your mini--Plex, VLC--can successfully pass the audio over optical to your AVR from those transcodes either?

Quote:


My Mac Pro uses a standard PC speaker cable. The Mini works fine for all other audio through my AVR; I play VIDEO_TS files just fine with it. It's connected through a perfectly functioning Toslink cable.

At this point I have to ask, what exactly is the all other audio--what else beside VIDEO_TS and iTunes music has worked?

Quote:


The Mini is connected to my AVR via optical cable, and the AVR can handle most audio codecs.

Well, over optical from the mini, your AVR is either getting the encoded digital AC-3/DTS stream or it's getting stereo PCM, that's usually it...for most of us that means the first AAC audio track of a Handbrake transcode will be received and processed as Dolby PL II. What you have to figure out is why your AVR isn't detecting this.

The Mac Pro is not optical out...which means your Mac mini 1) Front Row 2) MakeMKV rip or 3) Handbrake transcode problem may not be related to FR, MakeMKV or Handbrake at all.

Using the Mac Pro to play the file means there is audio on it--that's good to know--but since it isn't connected over optical to your AVR you can't learn too much else from the Mac Pro comparison. Back to the mini--is there a chance you can swap out the optical cable--and replace it with the analog cable the Mac Pro uses--and then re-try that file in Front Row? Will your AVR play audio in this case?

Is there a chance you messed up AudioMIDI somehow in the past, maybe trying this terminal hack to get AC-3 passthrough working in Front Row:

http://www.cod3r.com/2008/02/the-cor...ith-quicktime/

What OS and Perian versions do you have on the mini? Which HB version are you using?
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Solved!

When I got home today, I tried to play some music through Frontrow. I don't use the mini much for music since I have an AppleTV for when I want to stream, but it wouldn't play any music either. After spending some time making sure that the Home Sharing was set up properly, I was stumped. Then I found a four year old post describing exactly what iTunes was doing. So I figured that rebooting couldn't hurt, and voila! iTunes worked, and then my rips were working fine.

Now I need to figure out what's the highest quality transcode my mini can handle. The Universal preset with Avatar looks good (heck, almost great) and is only 2.9GB. If transcodes look this good, it might be worth going back to my VIDEO_TS folders and transcoding them.
post #11 of 12
I've been ripping blu-Ray using the appletv preset. I increase the quality setting from 60% to 90%. This preset also creates a Dolby prologic II track as well as an ac3 passthrough. These files play easily on all my macs, as well as a netbook.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I've been playing around with modifying the presets, but the AppleTV setting seems to be "good enough." I'm keeping my original rips for when I upgrade to the new mini. I think that might have enough horsepower to play the rips in Frontrow. Plex would handle it even better, but I prefer (as does the wife) Frontrow's cleaner interface.

Really weird about the reboot solving the audio though.
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