Originally Posted by Steve O
Please correct me if I'm wrong (and I hope that I am), but h.264 is mpeg4, right? So it's not really a DVD rip. It's a rip and convert (with the requisite quality loss). Yes? Or am I missing something.
Basically, I'll be interested if it can play true ripped files with no extra compression applied. Is this possible?
Oh! That's MPEG2, well...it's more then that. To just /play/ them there is a rumor that renaming the .vob file to .mpg will let it be played. However, if you want menu, chapter, vob spanning etc then that's another matter.
I've seen two different kinds of "Play it as a DVD" solutions. using ISOs and just having video_ts and audio_ts on a hard drive. Those are really the only two solutions that don't involve a "Media" drawback, the drawback is diskspace.
So yes, your right. h.264 is the current itteration of video compression, with the mp4 container it can do a lot of things (chapters, subtitles, multiple audio streams, cover art...actually, anything. mp4 has something like "user space" where you just define it and go). It can not (to my knowledge, feel free to correct me people) do menus yet...and even if I am corrected on that, it would not be "standards based". Think Nero, they can encode h.264 to comply to the standards (recode 2 can make iTunes importable mp4 files) but it can also do "Nero Digital". Both are technically mp4/h.264...but the first is widely implemented while the Nero Digital stuff has some new bells-and-whstles AND Nero defined streams that don't play nice with others (but can work fine if they are just flat ignored, which is what better players do).
To the question, it is unknown. As I said, I've seen people say that renaming a vob to an mpeg lets it work in iTunes, but that's rather well useless IMHO as most vobs are split (Never tried, gapless may work..dunno). However for full ripped DVD support (Menus, extras etc) I don't think there is an answer formally, but most seem to be assuming not. Remember, Apple wants you buying the movie and shows on iTunes...which don't include the extras. What reason would they have to ship with the ability to play better versions of something they sell?
Nothing saying that the people around these parts and doom9 will not find a way to do it. With things like XMBC, MyMovies and the other userspace modifications...I'm fairly sure that once the AppleTV hits the streets we may find that it does more then anyone...even Apple...intended.
Edit: Disclaimer: I'm newish to this whole thing, so if I'm not using the correct term, or getting something wrong...PLEASE correct me. Also, don't take my statements as fact, validate yourself. For mp4/h.264, Nero implementation and fundamental codec capabilitys head over to doom9's forums. For AppleTV information the Apple support forums are the best place I've seen so far.