Convert MKV to MP4 on a Mac
Well, I’m at it again, after developing the ISOx360 and Wii Tools, I thought about what else might be a useful tool for all of the fellow Mac OS X users out there. One thing that came to mind was that most of the HD content that can be found on the internet is usually in MKV format.
I wont cover the MKV format in-depth, just know that it is a container and not a codec, similar to how an AVI can be encoded as a divx or an xvid, an MKV file can use many different codecs. Most commonly MKV files contain the H.264 / X.264 codec for Video and the DTS / AC3 codec for audio.
The other thing you need to know about MKV files and HD content is that a typical 720P MKV file using an H.264 codec has a max bit-rate of about 9000, currently the AppleTV can only support 720P content with a Video bit-rate of up to 5000. If this limitation didn’t exist we could easily transcode the file to an MP4 / M4V container, but because of the Video limitation, we need to re-encode the file at a lower bit-rate. Don’t worry about quality, I haven’t seen any noticeable decrease in quality when re-encoding.
So, enough with the tech talk, you’re probably wondering, the title of the post is Convert MKV to MP4 on a Mac, so I’ll get on with it. The application that I’ve developed makes this an easy 1 step process. You load the MKV file, choose a save location for the new MP4 file, pick a few options and click convert. When its done, you can copy the MP4 file to your AppleTV / iTunes and enjoy great quality HD content.
Note: My application will also remove subtitles and convert any DTS audio track to AC3 so that you can keep all the surround sound. The thing is, to enjoy the surround sound, you’ll have to use the optical output on your AppleTV and have a receiver that can correctly decode the audio, along with a nice set of surround sound speakers.
You can download a trial of the application below, it will work exactly 10 times before it is rendered useless at which point you will have to purchase it, but don’t worry I kept the price cheap, only $14.95.
Click to Download the MKV2AppleTV Trial (9.4 MiB, 1,970 hits)
Click to Purchase an MKV2AppleTV License
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