There isn’t a definitive list of which videos require Pro, as there are some complicated factors that determine if a particular video requires Pro. For example, one MKV may play in the free app but another requires Pro. Likewise with AVI, WMV, M4V, or MP4, some play in free while others require Pro. It really comes down to the actual codecs of the video/audio streams contained inside the file.
Thanks. That helps a lot. I really don’t know much about this but I’m trying to learn.
I took a bunch of movies I bought (store, swap meets, etc.) and ripped them using either Handbrake or MakeMKV. Those were the apps I read about on the web. MakeMKVs are bigger and look a LOT better!
So those are the only two sources of digital movies I currently have (though that will probably change now that I have the Apple TV).
But could I assume that the individual “codecs” you mention are the same within all of the Handbrake files (.m4v) and are different but all the same within the MakeMKV files (.mkv)?
Because the .m4v files are playing fine but the two .mkv files that I tried don’t.
Would you guess that I’m “okay” with what I’m doing for my Handbrake process (if they are all the same Handbrake to Handbrake session) but should buy Pro for any of the MakeMKVs … given that they don’t seem to work … and would be the same ripping, session to session?
I could see Handbraking things that I only want to watch on a plane on my iPad or iPhone …and MakeMKVing things that I care more about and would likely want to watch again on my Samsung TV.
Generally, discs will usually contain codecs that require Pro, and the default Handbrake settings will convert these to formats that work in the free version. This is an overgeneralization, as some discs contain codecs that work in free and Handbrake can covert videos to just about anything, so it’s possible to make something there that requires Pro.
Personally, I think it’s best to limit how much converting you do to retain as much of the original quality as you can. With MakeMKV, you’re creating a 1:1 copy without zero quality loss. Once you introduce Handbrake, you are losing some quality. Some are ok with a little extra effort if it means they can use the free version, others prefer to avoid the extra step and watch things in the highest audio/video quality possible.