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  #1  
Old 02-13-2009, 03:43 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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MKV vs MP4

Can someone articulate the argument for using a mkv over a mp4.

I started out with Divx awhile back but started using mp4 when h.264 started looking like the new standard. This was mainly because the Xbox360 would play them(although with some stupid limits). At some point I had trouble in sage with the mp4 files and started using mkv but either sage or my codec changes seem to have eliminated the issues I was having back then. I was just play around with the Windows 7 beta (which I think is a nice improvement to vista) and noticed that mp4 are now supported Nativity in Media Center(Which still sucks).

I have noticed overall there seems to be greater support for mp4 than mkv. What about the mkv container would make the more wide spread compatibility of mp4 compelling. I suspect this is an audio augrement since I can use the same h.264 source for both.

Also is something like a m2ts or ts a better option. Just looking for opinions.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2009, 04:46 PM
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Ryokurin Ryokurin is offline
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Yes, mpeg-4 would have better support currently as its a older standard, some what based off of quicktime, and Matroska (MKV) is a open standard that is roughly around six years old. MKV has an advantage because it has better flexibility in codec and parameters and sometimes better overhead.

As an example, the only audio formats that MP4 support is AAC, Mp3, Apple lossless and a few older codecs. Its subtitle support is limited to 3gpp timed text, and the codecs it supports is h264, ASP, mpeg-2 and mpeg-1. Matroska can pretty much support any codec thats popular at the moment.

Matroska support is growing, Western Digitals TV HD supports it, as well as several other players, and Divx7 uses it so the numbers will start to grow. Microsoft may not directly support it in 7, but look at how long it took them to natively support Divx.
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  #3  
Old 02-20-2009, 01:52 PM
aflat aflat is offline
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The big selling point for me was being able to embed chapter support into MKV. Last I looked you can't do that in MP4.
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  #4  
Old 02-20-2009, 02:08 PM
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evilpenguin evilpenguin is offline
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The tools for creating/modifying mkv's are also *much* more stable and flexible than the ones for mp4. I know I have nothing but trouble and random crashes with mp4box and mp4creator but mkvmerge has always worked perfectly the first time.
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  #5  
Old 02-20-2009, 03:03 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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I use MeGui and stabiltiy for either has never really been an issue.

Since I think one day I will probably want to play these on something besides Sage I want to pick a format that will not really requirme me to recode everthing later if I don't have to. I have not really seen any comments that give me compelling argument as to why mkv is better.

I was thingking that it might me some kind of limit in the AAC audio in the MP4 but no one seems to have indicated that it is materally worse than an option I would have in the mkv.

As a test I converted the AC3 audio to AAC from one of my mkv files and made a MP4. On my 5.1 surround sound setup I really could not tell the difference. It is a pretty decent system but of course between age and rock concernts my hearing may not be that good anymore either.
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Old 02-20-2009, 03:27 PM
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Actually m2ts seems to be a pretty good container these days. It support MPEG-2, H.264, VC-1 video (maybe others), Dolby Digital, DTS, Dolby TrueHD, DTS-HD Master Audio, PCM. TSMuxer can create m2ts files (or "Blu-ray Discs") out of elementary streams. Sage supports it (not the Blu-ray features yet though).
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  #7  
Old 02-20-2009, 06:58 PM
bastafidli bastafidli is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aflat View Post
The big selling point for me was being able to embed chapter support into MKV. Last I looked you can't do that in MP4.
Nero Recode supports chapters in mp4.
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  #8  
Old 02-20-2009, 08:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aflat View Post
The big selling point for me was being able to embed chapter support into MKV. Last I looked you can't do that in MP4.
At this time though SageTV doesn't support the chapter markers. I was looking to convert my DVD rips to MKV but the lack of chapter support had me put on the brakes.
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2009, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AtomicPenguin View Post
At this time though SageTV doesn't support the chapter markers. I was looking to convert my DVD rips to MKV but the lack of chapter support had me put on the brakes.
It's still the format to use though. What are your alternatives except to leave it in DVD format? Sage will probably support it in the future.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2009, 02:01 PM
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I don't know why you'd bother converting DVDs to a different container....
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2009, 03:26 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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I would convert DVDs just to remove the extra junk that is included on the disk but it also allows me to reduce disk space and play the files from something other than Sage. I can't sync a DVD to my iphone.
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  #12  
Old 02-22-2009, 06:57 PM
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You can remove the extra junk with DVD Shrink without changing the format (or recompressing).
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2009, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I don't know why you'd bother converting DVDs to a different container....
I personally do it for the disk space savings. It only takes my PC about ~4 hours to compress the video, keep the original AC3 audio, compress all the commentary tracks, capture the closed captions, and pack it all into a 2 gig mkv file rather than an 8 gig ISO. I figure my servers on 24/7 anyway, why not put it to work?

Last edited by evilpenguin; 02-23-2009 at 01:21 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-23-2009, 10:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bastafidli View Post
Nero Recode supports chapters in mp4.
unless it's changed I think showtime is the only thing that will recognize them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
I don't know why you'd bother converting DVDs to a different container....
As penguin mentions sometimes its more efficient, and another advantage is to make it all one file instead of dealing with vobs or teaching someone how to mount a iso.
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  #15  
Old 02-23-2009, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryokurin View Post
As penguin mentions sometimes its more efficient, and another advantage is to make it all one file instead of dealing with vobs
But Sage presents all those vobs as one library "mediafile"
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Old 02-23-2009, 10:38 AM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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It's really all about space. Sure, space is pretty cheap now but it's certainly not free. If the quality loss doesn't bother you shrinking a movie to a half to a quarter of it's original size is worth it when you consider you'll be able to fit more movies into the same amount of space.

As far as container types goes. I prefer MKV. There are more detractors for me to MP4 than MKV. With MP4 you're limited to AAC audio. No official AC3 support. Even when you do get AC3 into an MP4 it can be very problematic on playback. Support for that hack is not universal. Very limited subtitle support. No chapters.

With MKV the only major drawback is that SagTV doesn't support chapters or subtitles for the container. The only major drawback I can think of for the container itself is that it doesn't support any HD subtitle formats. Only text based and DVD based subtitles are supported. Better MKV support in SageTV will come in time. I'm confident that it is at least on their priority list. I'm sure they have bigger fish to fry though.
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Old 02-23-2009, 02:55 PM
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Sure it's about space. But isn't your time worth something. It takes 7-12 minutes for me to rip a dvd. (Depending if it's a full or just a movie rip) It's takes 4 HOURS to convert a DVD. Time wise-it's not worth it. Plus the picture is better no matter how close you think it is after it's compressed. And I have absolutely no issues playing the dvd. None. A 1TB drive is less than $100. I will just keep upgrading my drive size as the prices drop.

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Old 02-23-2009, 03:01 PM
Taddeusz Taddeusz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplasky View Post
Sure it's about space. But isn't your time worth something. It takes 7-12 minutes for me to rip a dvd. (Depending if it's a full or just a movie rip) It's takes 4 HOURS to convert a DVD. Time wise-it's not worth it. Plus the picture is better no matter how close you think it is after it's compressed. And I have absolutely no issues playing the dvd. None. A 1TB drive is less than $100. I will just keep upgrading my drive size as the prices drop.

Gerry
Depends on the computer. It takes my computer roughly 1-2 hours per movie. I queue up Handbranke on my main computer with 5-6 movies and start it before leaving for work. It's usually done by the time I get home. With BD rips it takes about 12-14 hours. Which, yes, that is quite time consuming. But it's not like my computer is doing anything else while I'm at work.
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Old 02-23-2009, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gplasky View Post
Sure it's about space. But isn't your time worth something. It takes 7-12 minutes for me to rip a dvd. (Depending if it's a full or just a movie rip) It's takes 4 HOURS to convert a DVD. Time wise-it's not worth it. Plus the picture is better no matter how close you think it is after it's compressed. And I have absolutely no issues playing the dvd. None. A 1TB drive is less than $100. I will just keep upgrading my drive size as the prices drop.

Gerry
For me it's quite a number of things. First there's the effort, you can't just hit a button to transcode a DVD, you've got to find the right parameters, and then check that the encode is good, that takes quite a bit more time than just ripping (even if that ripping includes removing extras). Then there's the functionality, you lose chapters. Then the quality loss is just the push over the edge, I have to crank the bitrate so high to make the encoding indistinguishable from the original so as to make the whole process worthless in terms of space savings. I can't come anywhere close to even a 50% reduction without noticing quality loss....

That and when you start ripping Blu-ray, at 30GB+ a pop, a gig or two here or there is pretty insignificant.
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Old 02-23-2009, 04:18 PM
SWKerr SWKerr is offline
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The latest edition of DVDFab will rip and convert to a mp4 or mkv all in one step. The process after you setup your preferred defaults cant take more than 30 extra seconds compared to a DVD rip. It encoding seems to run in 1-2 hours but it is not like I sit there waiting for it and I can work on my PC while it runs. I can pick the size\quality setting myself and can not see any difference in the picture even pushing it to 1/3 of the original size. h.264 is just a better codec that is why they come up with it rather than just using the old DVD standard.

The BluRays are a different story. I could keep the movie file as a m2ts at about 20gb but I will typically recode anything that will remain in the Library to about 4gb. Even at that size I cant see any degradation in picture quality on my 42" & 46" screens. The whole process could be simpler but I expect the tools will eventually get there but they do run for 12+ hours. The time it takes to recode them is not really any effort since the machine does all the work. I hit go before bed and when I come back from work the next day it is done. It is not like I am doing this all the time. I don't really have that kind of coin or time to watch new movies and I rent the non kid\classic flicks.
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