Best possible quality

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
TRDK
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Best possible quality

Post by TRDK »

Dear Forum

Sorry - but I am new to HandBrake.

I have been ripping for my iPad (MP4) and are quit happy with the result. But I need to rip to my TV (52 Plasma). There I need your help please:

- What is the settings for the best possible quality?

Thanks

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Rodeo
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Rodeo »


TRDK
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by TRDK »

Thanks for the link.

I have been reading and reading ....... but didn't find any info that answer my question

Smithcraft
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Smithcraft »

As the link says, there is no one best setting.

You have to consider what your trade offs are.

Is file size an issue, or do you have hard drives to spare?

Are you limited by bitrate, or can your playback device handle whatever you throw at it?

What about your audio system? Can it handle DTS? Do you like DTS? Do you want to keep DTS?

Try High Profile, and go from there.

SC

TRDK
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by TRDK »

Hi SC

- No limit on bitrate, no limit on drive space and yes ai LOVE DTS and want to keep it

Carborundum
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Carborundum »

To get Best Possible Quality™ you want to pass-through the video and audio without re-encoding. Handbrake does support pass-through of most audio formats (DTS-HD is a notable exception), but it does not support video pass-through. Thus, when using Handbrake, you will always sacrifice video quality in favor of file-size, regardless of settings. MakeMKV is a cross-platform application that does support video pass-through, and it is free while in beta.

That said, x264 is an excellent encoder. A re-encode based on the High Profile setting, with RF19 and DTS pass-through, will be nigh indistinguishable from the original, while at the same time being significantly smaller.

Ultimately, if drive space (and device compatibility) truly isn't a factor, then there is really no reason to use Handbrake.

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Rodeo
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Rodeo »

Carborundum wrote:(DTS-HD is a notable exception)
Nightly builds.

TrueHD and LPCM passthrough aren't yet supported, however.

Carborundum
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Carborundum »

Rodeo wrote:
Carborundum wrote:(DTS-HD is a notable exception)
Nightly builds.
I'm aware that DTS-HD appears in the dropdown in the nightlies, but I was under the impression the HD-part of the stream is still being discarded?

Edit: This is what I was thinking of, but perhaps it is no longer valid?

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Rodeo
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Rodeo »

Passthrough != re-encoding. You don't need a decoder to do passthrough.

Carborundum
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Carborundum »

Rodeo wrote:Passthrough != re-encoding. You don't need a decoder to do passthrough.
Even so, this part:
jstebbins wrote:In the future I would like to add DTS-HD passthru support
Seems to suggest that DTS-HD passthrough is not currently implemented.

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Rodeo
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Rodeo »

There have been 153 revisions since. DTS-HD passthrough is in the nightly builds.

Carborundum
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Carborundum »

Rodeo wrote:There have been 153 revisions since. DTS-HD passthrough is in the nightly builds.
Superb. Thanks for clarifying that.

TRDK
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by TRDK »

Carborundum wrote: That said, x264 is an excellent encoder. A re-encode based on the High Profile setting, with RF19 and DTS pass-through, will be nigh indistinguishable from the original, while at the same time being significantly smaller.

Ultimately, if drive space (and device compatibility) truly isn't a factor, then there is really no reason to use Handbrake.
----------- That seems to be working very good :-)

"Ultimately, if drive space (and device compatibility) truly isn't a factor, then there is really no reason to use Handbrake."

----------- What I need is a VERY GOOD Q in .MKV - I am using CAMBRIDGE Azur 751BD Blu-ray to stream from my NAS

jamiemlaw
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by jamiemlaw »

Have you tried MakeMKV?

Tree Dude
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Tree Dude »

jamiemlaw wrote:Have you tried MakeMKV?
+1

If you truly do not care about hard drive space and want the best quality, just use MakeMKV to create a video file without re-encoding.

TRDK
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by TRDK »

jamiemlaw wrote:Have you tried MakeMKV?
Yes very quickly yesterday (Lord of the rings - part 1, disc 1). But I didn't get any subtitles.

Is there a problems with subtitles when using MakeMKV?

Tree Dude
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Tree Dude »

TRDK wrote:
jamiemlaw wrote:Have you tried MakeMKV?
Yes very quickly yesterday (Lord of the rings - part 1, disc 1). But I didn't get any subtitles.

Is there a problems with subtitles when using MakeMKV?
No, the issue is media players supporting them (it is not the same format as a DVD). VLC should allow you to display subtitles from BRs.

terryaney
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by terryaney »

Hesitant to post here because I'm afraid the experienced users have already given this post the obligatory look/chuckle and moved on, but I'll still try. I'm coming from the Windows/Media Center world and trying to make Apple TV 2/iTunes my home 'media center'. Currently, all my movies are ripped in dvr-ms format (I think it is just an mpeg-2 wrapper or something...note that I've no 'media expertise') and when I compare the streaming quality of those dvr-ms files (~4GB in size) to the actual DVD played from a Wii connected to the same 52" TV, the quality is indistinguishable. I was using a program called VideoRedo TV Suite and simply picked the 'xbox/dvr-ms profile'. Nothing to think about and it just created a great quality movie file that supported surround sound.

As everyone hear knows, HandBrake seems to be the de facto tool to use when re-encoding movies, but I find it hard to believe that you see this question asked so often ("What profile/settings can I use to encode a movie without losing quality?") and yet it always gets the answer (or rather, non-answer) 'it depends'. Every time I've seen this question, it starts out with 'I'm new to HandBrake' and yet the responses, if given more than 'it depends', starts rattling off settings, questions, and explanations that most likely fly right over their (and my) head.

I've encoded a few movies with the Apple TV 2 preset. The resulting m4v files are about 1.2 GB which is very nice. However, upon watching the movies, I can immediately see the degradation in quality and it is distracting enough that I can bring myself to start the 'conversion' from Xbox to Apple TV. I am *far* from a video/audio buff, but it has been bad enough that I have been searching the web for last couple weeks for 'better settings' and/or 'better programs'. For example, I read and followed this post http://dynaflashtech.net/2010/06/30/han ... ng-part-2/ but again the quality was still noticeably worse than the actual DVD or the xbox dvr-ms streaming file. (I'd like to post on that blog - I think he is a HandBrake contributor possibly - but can seem to get commenting rights).

This is by no means to take away from HandBrake. Obviously it is a solid program and I realize it is open source. I have to believe there are just some settings that could be changed to make a lossless (or near lossless) quality video if you have no concerns about disk space. I was using the 'public release' version before. I just went out and downloaded the nightly build and am trying the 'High Profile' preset and setting the RF to 19.25. We'll see how it goes.

I guess the bottom line is that I'm just shocked that someone has posted an exported profile/preset setting that would 'get this right most of the time'. If anyone has one please share it with the community (especially the non-experienced like myself) so we can just use it without thinking and get great files to stream to our Apple TV.

randomreuben
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by randomreuben »

The reason you get the "it depends" answer is that it changes from viewer to viewer what they perceive as a lossless rip. For myself, I rip everything at RF 16. I AM NOT RECOMMENDING YOU USE RF 16. How I got to that number, is by comparing for myself the effects of ripping some scenes at RF 20, 19, 18, 17 and 16. When I found that I liked a setting, I went one above it just to be sure that I would always have a great encode. Space is no issue with me. What I typically get is a rip that's half the size of the DVD rip. Again, space is NOT an issue with me, so that's how I do it.

I watch my movies in a dark room and it may be that I have some sort of Attention Deficit Disorder, but blocks of colour tend to catch my eye, and at RF 16, I noticed those blocks the least. I also sit very close to the screen.

However, if you sit farther away from the screen in a well-lit room, RF 18 or RF 19 can be quite lovely. It really depends on how you like to enjoy your movies. So again. It depends.

terryaney
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by terryaney »

So Apple TV 2 preset with RF16 is what 'you use'?

randomreuben
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by randomreuben »

All the presets that are come with HandBrake do one thing. Produce output compatible with whatever device it's prepared for. That's what those presets do. If you have an AppleTV, use the AppleTV preset. Those presets just make sure that the encode doesn't have any features that won't stop playback on the AppleTV.

The RF setting is up to you to decide. For some members here, 18 is the frozen limit. I like it at RF 16. But that's me. What I like has nothing to do with what you like. You try it out. Rip a chapter from a DVD at RF 20, 19, 18, 17 and 16 and see what you can live with playing on your AppleTV. Go with the larger RF value and it'll save you a lot of hard drive space too.

Tree Dude
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Tree Dude »

The general consensus around the forums is that RF 19 yields a quality very close to the original DVD. I have seem some people with large TVs use 18 instead as large screens make the differences stand out more. The RF value is going to have the biggest impact on your quality as it controls the bit-rate. The default RF is 20, so I would give 19 a try and see. Don't go too low though as eventually you will be sacrificing a lot of disk space for very little visual difference (you can even get a file larger that the source).

Keep in mind you are re-encoding the file and it will never look exactly the same as the source. You are always going to loose some quality. If you look at the screen from an inch away, you will see the difference every time, I do not care what settings you use. But take a few steps back and I doubt you will notice anymore.

Smithcraft
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Smithcraft »

The reason people say it depends, is simply because it depends on what the circumstances of the user are.

I'm not that user, so I don't know what their storage requirements are, I don't know what their playback device is, I don't have their eyes, I don't know how picky they are about colors, I don't know how sensitive they are to issues with encodes, and I don't know what they can hear and not hear.

Without knowing those parameters, it's pretty much impossible to know what to recommend for them. I use High Profile, and for DVD content I set the rate factor for 19.5 to 18 depending on the source, and for HD content I turn the rate factor to 22 to 24.

Now say the user didn't say what their playback device is, and they take my settings and, low and behold, it doesn't work for that user. User comes back and says that they couldn't play the files on their first gen Apple TV. Well, of course they can't since it's not an ATV compatible profile!

So, if a user wants to know what's best for them, they have to answer the questions, or they can just monkey around with the presets with test files. In the end, I'd venture to say that monkeying with the presets is better, because no matter how similar a set up might be, nobody has another persons eyes and ears.

SC
Last edited by Smithcraft on Sat Aug 06, 2011 3:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Cavalicious
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Re: Best possible quality

Post by Cavalicious »

Speed, Quality, Storage...pick 2!

Eug
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For 720p, I like video bit rates of around 3.5 - 5 Mbps

Post by Eug »

I haven't been using any of the nightlies, just the 0.9.5 release, so my comments are based on that alone. Also, I watch some of the stuff on a 2560x1440 27 iMac (which is 4X 720p), and on a 720p projector.

I've been encoding everything at 720p, since that's what my AppleTV 2 supports, and it also works fine on the iPad 2. I have tried a little higher at 810p (1440x810), and for some stuff it works OK on the AppleTV 2, and it also looks better on the iMac. However, for other stuff it stresses out the AppleTV 2, and the files won't work on the iPad 2, so I've backed down to 720p again. I also generally turn off the anamorphic option for most material.

At first I was encoding all my HD stuff at RF 17-18, because I was not happy with 19-20. In truth 17 and 18 for the most part look similar, but I just went with 17 as a standard because sometimes 17 looked slightly better, and usually the file sizes were usually manageable for 720p material. However, sometimes the file sizes got huge with 17, and if there's a lot of grain, got huge with 18 as well. Overall bitrates were hitting well over 6 Mbps which again stresses out the AppleTV 2. Thus, I'd back down to say 18.5 or 19 until the file sizes and bitrates were manageable. Unfortunately, this defeated the point of single-pass encoding.

So, lately what I've been doing is just setting the Average Bitrate at 4750 Kbps with an AAC 2.0 track and an AC-3 5.1 track, and that gives me a final bitrate of about 5.6 Mbps (including the two audio tracks). The image quality generally looks great, and the files seem to behave with my AppleTV 2. Actually 4500 also looks great, and I may guesstimate an even lower number for 2.35:1 material since there are so many less pixels than with 16:9 material. The only problem with this is that with more highly compressible stuff (eg. some animation), the file sizes are way bigger than they need to be. So, if I'm predicting a file might be highly compressible, I still use RF 17.

Summary, for my 720p AppleTV 2 encodes:

High profile, with RF 17 if I think it's going to be highly compressible, or else 2-pass at 4750 Mbps or less for other stuff.

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