I'd start with the Apple preset and then change the audio.
In all of the Apple presets there's no option for AC3. Only AAC. Since asking this question I've discovered that my $50 Apple Compressor 4 has full Dolby Digital AC3 support and makes exactly what I'm looking for. So I'll export a "master file" and make my Apple TV files from that.
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That's twice the work and probably unnecessary.
If AC3 isn't an option under the Apple presets, you can just make your own.
Plus, Adobe is better and faster than Compressor.
"Adobe Media Encoder is much easier to use than Compressor, encodes faster, and produces much higher quality output, as you can see in the video that accompanies this article."
Thank you, Jim. I spent hours today trying to figure out how to set up my own preset that will create an Apple TV file with an AC3 track - but I just can't figure it out. Any other ideas or more specific instructions?
Have you tried starting with the Blu-ray, like you originally thought?
I did, but it ends up creating separate AC3 and mp4 files. They need to be muxed, and the option to do so is different choices than under Apple TV. It's so weird - I can't find an answer to this problem anywhere, and it's the one and only need for 5.1 I have right now. Apple TV is the way my material ends up in my home theater in HD.
the option to [mux] is different choices than under Apple TV.
So does that mean it doesn't work, or that you haven't tried it yet?
In PrPro, do you have the Minnetonka Audio, Dolby 5.1 SS SurCode plug-in?
If so, you should be able to Export with the DD AC3 DD 5.1 SS Audio, from a 5.1 SS Sequence.