Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Issues with Handbrake .9.5 and AppleTV 1st Gen

It may be just me but I'm having issues with Handbrake .9.5 and an AppleTV 1st Gen box.  I've been using the latest Handbrake and all the movies I've encoded playback with video issues where the picture breaks up and becomes discolored for a few seconds.  In a couple of movies like Despicable Me and Inception my AppleTV literarily froze after it hit this portion of the movie.  I had to reboot my Apple TV by unplugging it.  I'm using the Apple/Universal template in Handbrake.

I decided to go back to .9.4 since I never had any issues before.

However,  I'd like to use the new version so I'm continuing to do a few experiments.  I opened .9.5 and .9.4 up and compared the two.  I noticed that under the Advanced tab there's a slider called Psychovisual Rate Distortion.  On my .9.4 version of Handbrake this is set all the way to the right.  In .9.5 it's set in the middle.  I'm re-encoding a movie to see if that might fix my issues.   I also upgraded my version of VLC which appears to be at version 1.1.5 now.  I was only at 1.1.3.  I'll post an update here once I get a chance to watch the whole movie again (boy that's going to be a pain) to see if it fixes the problem.

UPDATE: OK, I've done a little more testing and it doesn't look like a Handbrake issue.  It actually appears to be file corruption.  I typically Handbrake everything to my local drive and then copy them to the NAS.  My iTunes account points to the NAS and my Apple TV plays all of the movies from the NAS.  Here's what I discovered.  First I searched and then found a fully reproducible place in the movie that fails - white splotches over big areas of the video during certain scenes of Despicable Me.  I then tried playing this same move from the version on my hard drive.  It played perfectly.  OK, it must be a NAS issue.  I first tried to reboot it.  It had trouble rebooting which led me to think the NAS was in a bad state.  Once rebooted I played the NAS version of the movie again and it still had the same issues.  So I then copied the move back to my local hard drive to see if it was the movie file or the NAS hardware.  The copied version exhibited the same video issues.  Ahhh- it must be file corruption. I then copied all of the original handbrake encoded moves from my hard drive back to the NAS and retested Despicable Me.   It played perfectly.  My conclusion is that the NAS got into a bad state and for some reason started corrupting files a couple of weeks ago.  The reboot seems to have solved the problem.  Sorry Handbrake developers for the wrong accusations.  It was user error (or in my case NAS error).

No comments:

Post a Comment