I just wanted to write up my experiences of archiving TV shows, and I hope this helps others.
My requirements were to encode a number of old PAL TV shows to be compatible with BOTH my Apple TV (2nd Gen) and XBox 360.
Originally, these TV shows were on VHS tape, but I transferred them to DVD using a Panasonic DVD recorder some years ago. When re-encoding I wanted them to look as good as possible, making as few compromises as possible.
I wanted to produce ONE file per show and store them in ONE place, and I didn't want any on-the-fly transcoding software. Also, didn't want to spend any money. So, after a lot of trying, here's how I've achieved it, using this software:
In summary, the method I've used is:
1) Use MPEG Streamclip to output an MPEG-2 file from the DVD.
2) Use AVIDemux to bob deinterlace the video to 50fps and produce an intermediate M-JPEG AVI file. The bob deinterlacing preserves the fluid motion of how these programs were originally broadcast. For me, that's important.
3) Load the intermediate M-JPEG file back into MPEG Streamclip to output to QuickTime MOV format (but with certain caveats).
4) For sharing, bring the resulting video into iTunes and enable Home Sharing so it's visible to the Apple TV 2. For Mac users only, install Rivet from : http://thelittleappfactory.com/rivet/. This is now free and will allow you to share your iTunes library to your XBox 360.
Now, ideally, I'd have done the encoding in ONE program, but I couldn't for the following two reasons (and if anyone's got any suggestions to help here or has found a better way of doing this, I'm all ears).
(1) I found that the H.264 encoder in AVIDemux didn't work very well with the Apple TV 2, especially at my desired frame rate of 50fps. Every 5-10 seconds, the video would sort of skip over frames and it would look a bit "sticky" (even though Mac/PC playback was flawless). I tweaked the x264 settings in many areas but no joy, sadly.
I found the H.264 encoder in MPEG Streamclip to fare much better, even at the same bitrate (around 1500kbps). When outputting as MPEG-4 it still did jerk very, very slightly when played on the Apple TV 2 - but changing the container to MOV improved it even more my complete satisfaction.
(2) I couldn't see a method of using the YADIF bob-deinterlacing filter from within MPEG Streamclip.
So, here's the full summary of how I did it:
1) Copy the VIDEO_TS folder from the DVD to your hard drive.
2) Using MPEG Streamclip, go to File > Open DVD…, and then choose the VIDEO_TS folder. If the program asks you to "Fix Timecode Breaks", then "Fix Now". Then, after it's finished, File > Convert to MPEG… and save.
3) Open AVIDemux and open the MPEG-2 file you just saved (say yes to index it).
Choose M-JPEG from the Video menu.
Click Configure, and choose "2" for the Quantiser setting. This produces a larger file but preserves more picture quality. (Ideally, I'd have liked to save in HuffyUV because this is lossless, but the resultant files were extremely large and mostly didn't load back into MPEG Streamclip correctly). I found that M-JPEG produces files of around 4-6Gb per hour.
Click Filters, add the "Yadif" filter from the Interlacing options.
For the Yadif mode, choose either "Bob, temporal & spatial check", or "Bob, skip spatial temporal check". This doubles the frame rate to 50fps and preserves the fluid motion.
Choose PCM from the Audio menu. This decodes the Dolby Digital audio to a lossless signal.
Choose AVI from the Format menu.
Now, File > Save > Save Video… save your video as the AVI.
4) Open the M-JPEG file in MPEG Streamclip (if it can't load it on a Mac you might need to install Perian/for a PC you might need to install K-Lite Mega Codec Pack). So, to get that all important compatibility with both the Apple TV 2 and XBox 360:
Choose File > Export to Other Formats… (DO NOT choose Export to QuickTime!)
Choose "QuickTime Movie" from the Format menu
Video: Choose Compression as H.264
Sound: In Settings, choose MPEG-4 Audio, then choose Options…
Make sure Compressor says: AAC (Low Complexity)
Bit rate: 128 kbits/second
Output Sample Rate: 44.100 kHz
Encoder Quality: Best
Choose 2-Pass if you have the time and/or a fast Mac/PC
For 4:3 footage, choose 768x576 frame size. (I know that PAL is supposed to be 720x576, but MPEG Streamclip's suggestion of 768x576 looked better to me).
De-select Interlaced Scaling/Reinterlace Chroma/Deinterlace Video
Input your desired bit rate. I settled on around 1500kbps.
Save your MOV file...
5) Now bring it into iTunes etc.
Enjoy your old TV shows!
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I may be wrong here but, considering the source (standard def VHS) and that you're intending to play it back on a TV (which knows how to handle interlaced mat'l), why bother deinterlacing (unless you're also concerned with playing it back on your computer screen)?
Can I reopen this thread. Like the OP I'm trying to rip uk pal DVDs for viewing on apple tv. These DVDs play fine when he original disc is played on the same tv. But when ripped, despite me trying many different settings in handbrake, I can't get the motion to look smooth. Instead it looks 'filmised'. Have tried deinterlacing, not deinterlacing etc.. Also bob deinterlacing.
Any tips? It's an apple tv 3 by the way and I know there were issues with 25fps material stuttering in the past, but that now seems resolved..
Have also used elgato h264 turbo software, DVD remaster, mac dvd ripper pro. Just can't figure it out!
Last edited by chris.newbold; 5th Aug 2012 at 08:56.
I couldn't see an option to bob-deinterlace in Handbrake, that's why I used AVIDemux. Would really have loved to have an easy "one click" option to do it, but I couldn't find one.
To be honest, I do think this is really odd. Ripping and video conversion utilities everywhere (at least the ones I've come across) don't seem too interested in bob-deinterlacing, but for me it's the only way to preserve the proper fidelity of interlaced TV shows.