How does Fabio do it?

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
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How does Fabio do it?

Post by Ctrl+Z » Sun May 30, 2010 12:03 am

In another thread I'm trying to get the best compression possible for my iPod videos. During my investigation I stumbled upon the work of Fabio Sonnati who is renowned for his 720p High Definition video @ 500Kbps. Here is an example of his work in which he encodes a 720x480 video down to 480x288 at only 200Kbps!

He freely admits that the videos he uses for these extreme figures have very low frame rates, but it's still impressive. In another project he created a high-action iPhone compliant video with 480x320 resolution at only 400kbps. ... og2008.htm

So how does he do this stuff?

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Re: How does Fabio do it?

Post by creamyhorror » Sun May 30, 2010 2:52 pm

I don't know whether that particular 200kbps clip is impressive or not, because I haven't tried encoding it with x264 myself. Nonetheless, it's a pretty still clip so it wouldn't have required too much bitrate.

Since you're using Handbrake, half the battle is already won (since Handbrake uses x264, the most efficient commonly-available encoder). For maximum compression efficiency, you use slower settings that provide incrementally better quality. Of course, it becomes progressively more pointless to use slower and slower settings, since the efficiency gains become ever smaller.

You can also improve efficiency by filtering out unwanted artifacts or noise before encoding, but this requires an application besides Handbrake (although HB does have a few filters built in). Such artifacts and noise take a fair chunk of bitrate to encode, so getting rid of them saves bitrate/improves quality.

Personally, when I encode for my iPhone, I use baseline settings (no bframes or CABAC, etc.) and just take the efficiency hit (and lower the RF anyway). The files are bigger but the quality stays high. No point stressing the phone's processor out with CABAC when I have a lot of free space on it.

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