Audioboxer, on Apr 26 2009, 13:29, said:
H264 + DTS or TrueHD is the best combination, followed by AC3.
It's an open source format, Microsoft own WMV/WM9/WMA which makes encoding it even more of a pain in the ass as you have to use/pay for propitiatory software.
There's your biggest reason H264 and MKV are the most popular for rippers, it costs nothing to be able to encode. I encode my Blu Rays and can do one in roughly a days work.
E6600 @ 3.4ghz and 4GB of ram.
H264 is also DXVA compliant by the way, if you encode it correctly.
MKV is just the container, you can easily mux to other containers. The issue here is MS not supporting enough codecs/combinations with the 360, most other media servers like the PS3/Popcorn Hour/etc can easily play what's contained within MKV files.
If they've not been ripped to DXVA standards you may need to transcode or patch the H264 video stream, but that shouldn't be an issue if you're ripping your own movies as you just re-rip. If you're downloading you've got no real "right" to be moaning about anything
ps. Ideal scenario is not to encode anything at all, modern day Blu Rays are encoded in AVC, meaning you just rip the disc and the M2TS file will playback natively on many players, PS3 included. A lot of people still encode though as an untouched Blu Ray movie ranges around 25GB+ and the encode can be up to or even less than half the size for no real quality loss.
h.264 + DTS is just as closed/open as WMV. The WMV encoder is free and easy to call in 3rd party programs. It doesn't cost anything to encode with WMV.
My point for WMV is that its the most fully complete solution, which streams from dial-up to archive bit-rates, supports mono voice through 7.1 lossless surround. And it's tightly integrated, so the audio and video work well together and it has a tuned container to ensure smooth playback.
I don't deny h.264 + DTS + mkv can work well together, but it wasn't designed from the ground up to work well together. In fact is it wasn't designed to work together from the beginning. And from a business perspective you have multiple vendors and licensing to deal with, and no one for full support (who do you call if the MKV container is screwing up?).
Obviously the ideal solution is not to TRANSCODE anything, but people still do it. I'm saying we should have one, or maybe two fully supported standards. That way I don't have to worry if a video I download will work on my iPhone, or my Mac, or my WD TV, or my Zune (for those who own them).
Also note, many Blu-Ray titles use VC-1 which is actually WMV9 Corona.