Jump to content

How good is the audio and video quality of Emby via ATV4?


xframe88
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

Just curious how the ATV4 stacks up against other hardware as an Emby player?

I know it cant do 4K, but aside from that, does it offer good audio/visual quality for things like MKV rips, recorded TV shows and so on?

Im guessing it relies alot on videos being transcoded?

 

Many thanks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Transcoding or not depends almost entirely on the file formats you have on the server.  I've converted all of my MKV's to also have mp4's on the server.

 

From a video perspective, I get pretty solid 1080p on my plasma screen, but it isn't a projector, and I don't sit that close (maybe 10 - 14ft away?).  However, I don't see artifacts and color reproduction seems solid.  It will transcode every MKV, in my experience.

 

Audio is the bigger problem with the ATV.  You need to have AAC as the first track on any video file or otherwise it wil transcode, so from that perspective it is limited, and their support for lossless audio is questionable at best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

AC3 audio should work fine.

 

If your media is h.264 and AC3 or AAC then the "transcoding" is really just a container swap and shouldn't be much of a load on your server.

 

Even with all my media doing this container swap, I've found the player to work very well.  However, I don't use it on a daily basis like legallink does.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just some clarification here:

 

On video - if your MKVs are encoded in h.264 (which I would be willing to bet the majority here are) then Emby will remux this track and not transcode.  For 1080 video it is just as good as any other player out there.

 

On audio - it is true that lossless codec support does not exist on this device.  But I pose this question to anyone considering using the ATV4 - is your audio setup 7.1 channels or higher?  If yes then don't use the ATV4.  If no then lossless compression is really a waste to faithfully reproduce (i.e. no transcoding).  Most of us are using this device in a living room, game room, etc where maybe we have a 5.1 setup - but the acoustics are far from isolated to the point where we can really tell the difference between a lossless track and that same track transcoded to AC3.

 

Also - in the scenario where you have h.264 encoded video and a lossless audio track Emby will ONLY transcode the audio track.  Doing this greatly reduces any server load overhead required - in fact the transcode is usually complete for an entire movie before the credits are even done playing.

 

ATV4 is not perfect for sure - but it does WAY more than people here are giving it credit for.  

 

I know it cant do 4K, but aside from that, does it offer good audio/visual quality for things like MKV rips, recorded TV shows and so on?

 

ATV4 only supports 1080p - not 4k.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For Video:

 

- If the video in your file (regardless of the container) is h.264 <= 1080p there should not be any transcoding and there will be no quality loss.

- 4k video will have to be be down scaled to 1080p.

- < 1080p video is up scaled by the Apple TV. It does a pretty good job but certainly not as good as madVR in Emby Theater

- Apple TV does not support 24 or 25fps. It does do a pretty good job of the pulldown needed to play 24fps source video. I rarely notice it but if you are sensitive to seeing pulldown then Emby Theater would be better.

 

For Audio:

- Apple TV supports AC3 and AAC. There will be no transcoding or loss of quality of the audio if it is in AC3 or AAC regardless of the container.

- DTS, DTS-HD, TrueHD are not supported and will be transcoded to AC3 so there is a loss of audio quality.

 

Honestly from my use of Apple TV, I really am perfectly happy with the video quality despite the drawbacks I've noted. I do however miss the better audio supported on an HTPC.

 

Roku, FireTV, and Chromecast all have basically the same limitations. I'm not sure about NVidia Shield.

 

If you need the absolute best audio and video then Emby Theater on an HTPC configured for madVR is the way to go.

 

Otherwise Apple TV will generally give you the same quality, or perhaps a bit better, video and audio you get from the streaming services (Netflix, HBO, etc.) and your cable provider. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Roku, FireTV, and Chromecast all have basically the same limitations. I'm not sure about NVidia Shield.

 

That's not really true as the FTV app can play more containers and formats and also bitstream DTS.

 

However, I think the Apple TV is a fine device for most uses.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

 

Roku, FireTV, and Chromecast all have basically the same limitations. I'm not sure about NVidia Shield.

This is incorrect. The roku supports more codecs and containers. The roku also supports ac3, eac3, and dts as pass-through codecs that can direct play. When people guess, they make bad assumptions.

 

@@ebr defended firetv the same way I do the roku. Setting the record straight. :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I switched over from usin g our Roku 3's as I thought the development on it had all but died.  The ATV4's biggest issues for me have been stability since the last tvOS 10 update.  Looks as if 10.1 just dropped for most iOS devices.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is incorrect. The roku supports more codecs and containers. The roku also supports ac3, eac3, and dts as pass-through codecs that can direct play. When people guess, they make bad assumptions.

 

@@ebr defended firetv the same way I do the roku. Setting the record straight. :)

Yes, I forgot Roku does DTS.

 

Still, I think all the streaming boxes are pretty much the same. The only real step up in quality is an HTPC otherwise there pretty minor differences between them, especially with the lack of 4k content.

 

The other thing to consider is the UI. Emby on Apple TV is so much better than on Roku as to be laughable. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other thing to consider is the UI. Emby on Apple TV is so much better than on Roku as to be laughable. 

 

 

It is too bad that the folks over at Roku haven't released a significant UI update for so long.  I really like the hardware - and the ability to control over IP is much nicer than Apple.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, I forgot Roku does DTS.

 

Still, I think all the streaming boxes are pretty much the same. The only real step up in quality is an HTPC otherwise there pretty minor differences between them, especially with the lack of 4k content.

 

The other thing to consider is the UI. Emby on Apple TV is so much better than on Roku as to be laughable. 

 

Lipstick on a pig. Some love it. Some still call it a pig. Some call it a beautiful pig. Some look beyond looks and can see the that functionality wise, the roku is far easier to use than appleTV. Now each to their own opinion, but the only reason to even look at appleTV is if you invest in iOS , iTunes, and their ecosystem.

 

It is too bad that the folks over at Roku haven't released a significant UI update for so long.  I really like the hardware - and the ability to control over IP is much nicer than Apple.

 

Roku has given the tools necessary to do this. It just requires an entire rewrite of a new app. luke and ebr have both said this new app is in the works. Hopefully the give us something to chew on soon in that dept...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I apologize if my comments were that I thought the ATV was somehow limiting.  I love it, the WAF factor is through the roof in comparison to the Roku or the web interface, so for a one stop shop for media, wife loves it (and so do I). (We don't have any FireTV/Nvidia Shield experience because we have a predominantly apple eco-system in our world from an iOS standpoint)

 

The IOS app, for the most part plays all the music files, and we've put our content in a format that the ATV streams it directly, so there is no lift by the server.  I load up our MP4's with AAC, AC3, and DTS/DTS-MA/TrueHD and the player being used just selects the audio it can process (we also leave MKV's if we are using an interface that can handle that), but in general, the ATV is the go to device, despite the fact that.

 

While the ATV can play AC3, my experience is that if that is the 1st track in our MP4's, it transcodes the audio, so we default to AAC being the first track in the MP4.  Caveat on that experience, we are passing it to a receiver only connected to 2 speakers, so I don't really care. 

Edited by legallink
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Most of my stuff is in 10bit HEVC, and it has to be transcoded.  The difference is not noticable, but I do have Emby set to crf 23 for x264 encoding, and my HEVC files were created with crf 23-20 for regular files, and crf 18 for anime.  These are being played on a 60" LED tv across town on 30mbit internet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...