Best/Most preferred video file format?

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ftballrunner Offline
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Post: #1
I've been researching XBMC for the past few days and am interested in setting up an HTPC within the next month or two. One question I've had that I can't seem to find an answer to is what is the preferred file format for movies to be saved as for playback through XBMC? Any particular file type run best?

Thanks for any help!
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RandomNinjaAtk Offline
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Post: #2
MKV (just a container though)

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ftballrunner Offline
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Post: #3
Just did some quick research, as I wasn't aware of MKV files until now haha. Is MKV supported by Mac? I would likely run a Mac Mini based HTPC and my current laptop is a MacBook so when ripping my DVDs, would my OS be an issue?
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DDDamian Offline
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Post: #4
MKV with h264 video and pick your poison for audio Smile

MKV is supported by XBMC, which matters more than whether it's supported by mac.

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ftballrunner Offline
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Post: #5
(2012-05-02 06:22)DDDamian Wrote:  MKV with h264 video and pick your poison for audio Smile

MKV is supported by XBMC, which matters more than whether it's supported by mac.

Fair enough! Wink Any pros/cons to different audio formats? I apologize for these stupid questions. If there are any "XBMC for Dummies"-esque threads/guides out there that could help with some of these basic questions? Thanks for all of the help thus far though!
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ihaterich Offline
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Post: #6
XBMC will play pretty much anything just fine (.rm, .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .wmv, .mov, etc) As far as compatibility, they all work the same.

MKV with h264 video is popular now because it offers great quality at reasonable sizes.

For audio, it depends I guess. If you have a nice surround system you might wanna use 5.1 Dolby Digital. If not, 2.0 AAC will save some space.

You can rip to MKV with a mac.

I use MakeMKV to decrypt and save the DVD to a mkv file(s) then use Handbrake to re-encode those files to reduce space.

http://www.makemkv.com/download/
http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

I think Handbrake is capable of decrypting DVDs on its own, but in my experience it takes too long.
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ftballrunner Offline
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Post: #7
(2012-05-02 08:36)ihaterich Wrote:  XBMC will play pretty much anything just fine (.rm, .avi, .mp4, .mkv, .wmv, .mov, etc) As far as compatibility, they all work the same.

MKV with h264 video is popular now because it offers great quality at reasonable sizes.

For audio, it depends I guess. If you have a nice surround system you might wanna use 5.1 Dolby Digital. If not, 2.0 AAC will save some space.

You can rip to MKV with a mac.

I use MakeMKV to decrypt and save the DVD to a mkv file(s) then use Handbrake to re-encode those files to reduce space.

http://www.makemkv.com/download/
http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

I think Handbrake is capable of decrypting DVDs on its own, but in my experience it takes too long.

Awesome! Thanks so much for your help.

EDIT: Do you re-encode to MPEG4 or is there a better alternative? I'm somewhat new to DVD Ripping, particularly for playback through XBMC.
(This post was last modified: 2012-05-02 16:23 by ftballrunner.)
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Chris! Offline
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Post: #8
If you've got enough space then don't bother encoding after ripping.

If you don't have lots of space for the all the stuff then use handbrake make a smaller mkv file (with h.264 video in)

remember:
MP4/MPEG4 = container
h.264 = video format
aac/mp3 = audio format

video and audio formats go inside containers.


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xbmcg Offline
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Post: #9
well for tv recordings the TS format could also be interesting, since it is widely used on dvb-s2 set-top boxes (transport stream format, it is a container like mkv) xbmc plays it too out of the box.
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ftballrunner Offline
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Post: #10
Ah, got it now. Hahaha thanks for the help everyone! Smile
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