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  1. Member
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    Hi.... I have a few questions concerning MKV files I want to burn in Toast Titanium 12 or other software MAC.

    I have noticed that when you convert large MKV files (4-7gb) it takes "forever to encode" before actually burning it to a DVD. I mean leaving my MAC on over day/night for a couple days! To me this is WAY too long.

    Question: Is there a way to do this faster with Toast or another application and still retain the "quality" of the burn?

    Thanks!
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  2. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    There are multiple ways of burning media to disc:
    1. Authored media: AudioCD, VideoCD, DVD-Video, DVD-Audio, SACD, HD DVD, Blu-ray
    2. Generic media data files: all the rest

    If it's the first type, it has to be prepared to be compliant with a very strict subset of file/folder structure, container, codec, bitrate, and other settings FIRST. And then the burning has to be done in a certain way and with a certain strict order. This adds steps, but ensures compatibility and allows for much more & varied features are supported.

    If it's the second type, none of that preparation has to be done beforehand. But, your compatibility varies greatly (usually better w/ newer devices) and only core features are guaranteed (menus, chapters, subs, multiple streams, interactivity, etc are much less supported).

    Your "MKV" files are of the 2nd type, and you probably (inadvertently?) chose to burn them as the 1st type. That required the application to re-encode them to get them compliant with DVD-Video's strict requirements.

    You could just as easily have chosen to burn them as a Data disc (onto either CD, DVD, or BD media), aka the 2nd type, and saved yourself the time & trouble. And the quality would have been fully retained. However, you would then not be assured of (near) universal playability. But if it works for you, that may be all you need. Your choice.

    Scott
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    Question: Is there a way to do this faster with Toast or another application and still retain the "quality" of the burn?
    Yep, buy a faster, more powerful system.
    And I am guessing you mean "quality" of "conversion" not burn.

    I mean leaving my MAC on over day/night for a couple days! To me this is WAY too long.
    Really ?!?!
    LOL!!!
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    I'm not going to claim this will solve your problem but it's worth trying:

    Use MP4Tools to convert the MKV to MP4. In many cases you may simply re-wrap the contents (if they are a compatible form such as H264/AAC) and that only takes a few minutes). Once the container is in a more compatible format, Toast may be happier (and faster). Do remember that, if the source file is HD, Toast (or any other app that will be doing the authoring) will have to down-size the frame (because DVD is SD, not HD). The "4-7gb" source file may also have to be down-sampled or, depending on the source material, have its frame-rate altered (PAL > NTSC or vice versa).

    I've often suggested up here that DVDs and even BluRay are so yesterday; instead, a device like the WDTV media player permits both PAL and NTSC material (indeed, virtually -any- frame-rate) to play on your HD or even SD TV. Just copy the files to the appropriately formatted flash drive or hard drive (4+GB files aren't compatible with FAT32 so use a normally formatted {GUID/HFS Extended} Mac HD or flash drive) and plug the drive into the WDTV box. I've got a few of them in my house and I can even stream from one to a TV connected to a second. While MKV files do work on the WDTV, I also have other Mac and iOS devices so I almost always transcode to MP4 (H264/AAC) using a baseline 3 setting (Handbrake makes this easy and fast). Also, AVI files don't seem to FF properly so, again, Handbrake or MP4Tools are your friends here.

    I hope this helps.
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    Use MP4Tools to convert the MKV to MP4. In many cases you may simply re-wrap the contents (if they are a compatible form such as H264/AAC) and that only takes a few minutes).
    Except he seems to want to actually "convert" to DVD format for burning onto dvd,

    I have noticed that when you convert large MKV files (4-7gb) it takes "forever to encode" before actually burning it to a DVD.
    So changing containers will not make any conversion go any faster.

    And I agree with using a standalone media player or as I do, just put on a portable HDD and plug into your Bluray players USB port or a NAS, or, etc etc etc
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    Yep, my guess about the container was, indeed, wrong. I guess I was thinking about how ClipWrap can take otherwise incompatible files and re-wrap them into an mp4 container which Quicktime apps can deal with.

    I grokked his DVD desire (and commented about it) but my point was that optical media like DVD and BluRay were primarily designed to limit your choices, not expand them.

    Even on my Core i7 mini with 16GB of RAM, a Toast conversion from .mkv takes forever. A test I ran on a 90 minute movie was converting at around 1% per seven minutes. I abandoned it and wondered why I even keep Toast around.
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    No Kidding....... My MKV file is STILL churnning after a day and a half and still not done! Maybe by tomorrow night! ...... We are now getting more and more MKV file conversions....... What is the quickest and best resolution for a back up burn?

    I took one of the moderators suggestions and burnt a DVD with just the MKV file as a "gerenic data file" in Toast 12...... ONE DISC TRASHED..... My Sony BlueRay player said "format not compatible! It ususally accepts .avi or MP4 files via Pin Drives. I guess I need to transpose a MPV to MP4 file and try it on a generic DATA file (both Mac and PC) in Toast..... the problem I see here is, there will not be any "Chapters" displayed (as is in a pin-drive transfer)..... it will only view as ONE chapter.... YOU will have to keep track where your are when you insert the disc at another time. Kinda like the chapter concept but not all the time it takes to encode when burning! Any other ideas you guys? Thanks for your thoughts! Reesche
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  8. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    First thing you need to do is stop thinking of them (MKVs) as a single type - it's a generic container that can hold a multitude of various types of compressed & uncompressed streams!

    Next, find out exactly WHICH streams/streamtypes are actually contained in those MKVs (using MediaInfo) and convert accordingly. Sometimes this is a simple remux, sometimes this requires a full re-encode.

    Next, use a better converter than Toast - even if you intend to still BURN with Toast, don't use it as a converter, it sucks. It has always been, and probably always will be, slow and mediocre quality. Check out ffmpeg variants, or QTPro, or FCP/Premiere/Avid, or $$ batch converters, or even (forbid) MpegStreamClip. There are still options, even on a Mac.
    Or better, bump it over to a PC and easily and speedily do the conversion, before bumping it back to the Mac (if necessary).

    Next, if you are unsure of success, never use a BD-R (DVD-R, CD-R), rather use a BD-RE (DVD-RW, CD-RW) for initial testing.

    Next, use consistent nomenclature. When you say "back up burn", that means NO conversion throughout the process: strictly as-is.

    As mentioned before, I'm not surprised your MKV data disc didn't work in your sony BD player. BD players are only guaranteed to play AUTHORED BDs (and usually DVDs and CDs). This means those authored formats (1st type). The other formats (like ones resting on your pin-drive) are icing on the cake, not the cake itself. And some players don't accept icing, just the cake. You never said which player(s) you had, so how were we to know?

    Again, those extra features exist primarily/only on BD & DVD authored media, as "yesterday" as some may consider them. Those same people may not care for those extra features, but plenty do care, and there is no real generic alternative yet. You seem to have found that out about chapters. Chapters are available for some formats other than authored ones, but unfortunately support for them is far from consistent.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 9th Oct 2014 at 12:27.
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    Ok....last night I tried burning 2 ways....

    1. Burning the MKV file to Toast via Data Transfer.......Data NOT compatible with the Sony BR player.... tossed it.

    2. Converted the MKV file to MP4 in Handbrake and then burnt it with Toast......Data NOT compatible with the Sony BR player.... tossed it.

    Shoot!
    Reesche
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    Check your BR manual or go online to Sony's support pages to determine whether your player can even play discs that are not authored ("generic" data discs containing MP4 or MKV files).

    Consider how much your time (and that of your computer) is worth. As a test, I just used Handbrake to reduce an 8GB mkv (1080p) down to about 2GB (2450kbps H264 video + 2-channel stereo at 160kbps). It took 24 minutes and the quality is virtually indistinguishable from the 8GB mkv source. If it saves you 12 hours per title and you figure that time is worth $10 per hour, then one title processed pays for a WDTV player. Reducing the size of the title also permits the use of FAT32 flash drives although the WDTV box is perfectly happy with a Mac-formatted drive.
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    I tried another method yesterday....

    Converted the MKV file to Video_TS folder and burnt it to Toast. The whold process only took "one hour"! We watched the burn last night and it looked great. Perhaps we are making this harder than it needs to be. I started this posting because I have been getting more and more MKV files and Toast handles this process very not very well! I think they fail on the encoding part. Anyway, I hope this might help someone. Thank you for all your help you guys, this led me to another option. Reesche
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    Oh, one more thing..... The only drawback to doing it this way was is there is only (1) chapter for the entire movie....not individual chapters. So, like flash drives you need to go to "Info" on your remote control and jot down the time where your at and probably write it down on a post-it-note to resume at a later time. Not that bad of thing since this is how we do it now with our Flash Drives via the Sony BR player. The quality was just great!
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  13. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    There are ways to get both MKV, MP4 and DVD-Video (VIDEO_TS folder, etc) to have chapters, just not the simple, one-size-fits-all method you used. As DVD-Video you could be assured that chapters would work. As those others, they might be possible, but you couldn't be assured that chapters would be supported, depending upon the device you used (which you STILL haven't given us full info on).

    Seems like you're going to (or putting up with) a lot of inconvenience in order to arrive at something that is supposed to be convenient.

    Scott
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    Ok....Cornucopia.......here is the machine we watch DVD's with....... Sony BRD S580. I know this all should be much easier!... Sony... as long as we are talking about "ease of use" why did you get rid of (disc resume) for the working class and add all sorts of streaming $$$$ video/audio to your machines???? Thanks for your info Cornucopia! Reesche
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  15. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Ok, so page #30 of your manual shows which filetypes & codecs are playable and which aren't (though, like most manuals, it is incomplete and you have to know how to read between the lines).

    Included in those filetypes & codecs is AVC in MP4 & MKV containers - which sounds an awful lot like what you tried and said didn't work. Now, as I already mentioned, neither MKV nor MP4 are singular, monolithic containers. They can contain a variety of types of codecs inside (MKV much more so than MP4). Also, even "AVC" as a codec, and a few other related MPEG codecs, should not be considered a single thing. It has multiple "flavors" (called levels & profiles) and when a device (such as your BD player) says it supports AVC, what it REALLY means is that it supports certain combinations of "flavors" (levels & profiles), but not ALL. AFAIK, there is NO device that simultaneously supports ALL levels & profiles, except maybe a specially decked-out PC/Mac or some expensive test hardware. So, for example, an MKV which contained FRAPS video codec and FLAC audio codec is NOT going to work at all, while an MKV which contained AVC in baseline@L3.0 video + aac-lc audio probably will. Similarly an MP4 that uses AVC-Intra or Lossless or XAVC 4:4:4 or 10bit features is probably not going to be supported, while standard Main or Hi Profile @ L4.1 probably will.

    You could start by, once again as I suggested, checking out your source and/or target files with MediaInfo and seeing what you are truly working with. This at least will give you a clear reference point.

    ***********************

    On another tack, as you have already found out, you could always convert your stuff to DVD-Video, AVCHD, or Blu-ray (all "authored" formats), which would allow you to take full advantage of compatibility with your player, as well as give you some of those desirable side features (such as chaptering).
    The main problem there is that you are on a Mac and there really are very many, let alone many excellent, apps that can do the conversion to those formats (which again, should require both a re-encode and an authoring step, not just a re-encode). But at least you have a few options: AVIDemux, DVDStyler, ffmpeg, Handbrake, Hybrid, Sizzle, etc. You know that Handbrake works on a Mac, you just don't know which settings might work for your player. You know DVD-Video works both creating on a Mac and with your player, you just don't have chapter support. Most authoring apps include chapter support, so it should be fairly trivial to add the chapter marks (assuming they're near GOP boundaries).

    You still have lots of options (both authored & non-authored), but now is the time for you to learn more about how all this stuff works so you can better tailor it to suit your needs.

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 11th Oct 2014 at 02:17.
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    Thanks Scott.....lots of good information there...(that I understood probably 1/3 of)! I will keep experimenting and let you know.

    I have another question for you.....We ran in to Sony's Cenavia copy protection at (20 minutes exactly) on one of our MKV to DVD burns. Is there a way to defeat it? I now have another app to rip and burn with..... DVDfab. I have used it with my PC laptop and it works great. In fact, it rips and burns when MTR and Toast will not. So, now I have it for the MAC..... it works the same...great! Would it have anything to defeat the Cenavia? Let me know.

    Rich
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  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    No. There is is NO good way to defeat it yet. Only thing to do is bypass the whole chain by leaving the MKV as-is and playing via a generic media player such as WDTV, Roku, etc.

    Scott
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    I backed up a MKV using iSoft for the rip.....and burned it to DVDfab.....it turned out great! ..... BUT again NO chapters? Sleep tight Scott..... ...... ... .
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  19. Originally Posted by Reesche View Post
    Hi.... I have a few questions concerning MKV files I want to burn in Toast Titanium 12 or other software MAC.

    I have noticed that when you convert large MKV files (4-7gb) it takes "forever to encode" before actually burning it to a DVD. I mean leaving my MAC on over day/night for a couple days! To me this is WAY too long.

    Question: Is there a way to do this faster with Toast or another application and still retain the "quality" of the burn?

    Thanks!
    OK, I'm a little late with this, but in case it helps.

    - On your Mac, start Toast.
    - Click on the DATA tab.
    - Set to DVD-ROM (UDF)
    - Click on the "Create a new Disc" button, and name it.
    - Add your MKV or MP4 or M4V files.
    - Add a blank DVD-R. (Standard). (Or a bluray disc if you have access).
    - And BURN.

    The DVD will burn without re-encoding.
    The disc can be played on your computer.
    If you wish to view your MKV or MP4 or M4V files on a TV, you need to put the DVD-R into a Bluray Player.
    It works fine for me.
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    I'm looking for similar help. I've been ripping my DVD's and now BluRay Discs to my server for viewing on my network. However, with BluRay I'd like to make a DVD copy to play in the minivan. What's the best method for taking either the M4V or MKV file that I have and re-encoding it to a DVD format without losing too much quality.

    I tried using Toast and it just took much too long. I tried using HandBreak and used the Universal profile to covert it to 720x300, and then used Toast to burn it to a video DVD. It was much faster, but the quality suffered.

    I would prefer to not have to use any PC programs if I can avoid it, so I'm hoping the Mac community has a way to do this.

    Thanks!
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  21. Originally Posted by etaggart View Post
    What's the best method for taking either the M4V or MKV file that I have and re-encoding it to a DVD format without losing too much quality.
    (The answer is pretty much what I said in my previous post).

    I like to use MakeMKV to rip my Blurays and DVDs.
    You get all the content as individual MKV files.

    Then I use the Handbrake preset "Apple TV 3" to compress those files to a size that will fit on a 4.4Gb DVD.
    Or down to about 7.8Gb if you use dual layered DVD-Rs.

    This results in an M4V file.

    For DVDs this works quiet well.
    For Blurays I've found it may be necessary to change the "Constant Quality" to get a file closer to 4.4Gb in size.

    Now; as you say you've done this; but the quality suffered.

    Have you tried using the "Average Bitrate" setting instead of "Constant Quality"?
    You can chose the average bitrate setting and do a double pass, which MAY help with the video quality.


    As always, especially with bluray, compressing a 20Gb file down to 4GB may result in some lose of quality.

    Once you have to M4V file to you're liking, quality wise, you can add chapters with "AVT ChapterIT". (See the App store).
    And then if you like remux it as an MKV file using MKVToolnix; before burning to a DVD.

    Then, as before:
    - On your Mac, start Toast.
    - Click on the DATA tab.
    - Set to DVD-ROM (UDF)
    - Click on the "Create a new Disc" button, and name it.
    - Add your MKV or MP4 or M4V files.
    - Add a blank DVD-R. (Standard). (Or a bluray disc if you have access).
    - And BURN.

    The DVD will burn without re-encoding.
    The disc can be played on your computer.
    If you wish to view your MKV or MP4 or M4V files on a TV, you need to put the DVD-R into a Bluray Player.

    I hope this helps.
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    Thanks, but the problem is I want to view them in a standard DVD player. I which would require a video_TS folder with VOB, IFO and BUP files right?
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  23. Originally Posted by etaggart View Post
    Thanks, but the problem is I want to view them in a standard DVD player. I which would require a video_TS folder with VOB, IFO and BUP files right?
    That's correct.

    There are a number of MPEG2 software encoders for the Mac other then Toast that you could try.
    I often use AviDemux, MovieConvertor-Studio, or MPEG2 Works for MPEG2 encoding.
    Then you still have to build the DVD and compress** it down to 4.4GB.

    Honestly though, the fastest and esaiest solution I can suggest is the purchase of a cheap bluray player for your minivan.

    **For compressing dual sided DVDs for backup to a single sided DVD I use DVDRemaster.
    Depending on the size of the original disc, i.e. 7.5Gb as against 5.7Gb, you will get picture quality loss depending on the content.
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    Thanks much! - I'll try AVIDemux.
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    Thanks. Actually, I think MPEG2 Works will do what I need to encode the files in the DVD format. I did a quick test with the demo software and it spit out the right files that played fine with the OSX DVD Player.

    Thanks!
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    Playing around a bit more what seems to work pretty good is to open the M4V file in Quicktime and export it to 480P. Then I can import the MOV file into iMovie and burn and Standard Definition DVD. It's not fancy, but the quality seems pretty good and I can play it on a standard DVD player.
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