Advise for DVD Encoding

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
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zenithangunn
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Joined: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:39 pm

Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by zenithangunn » Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:45 pm

I'm looking to encode my massive libary of 600 DVDs and then use XBMC to play them back. I've looked around on the web and have tried 4 or 5 different profile settings in Handbrake people have posted but none seem to get it quite right. Movies come out 2-3gb a piece, have poor quality, the audio sounds oddly muted, or the sound is missing completly.

Can someone prodive an example of the settings they use to rip their DVDs? They will be played and stored on our medie center PC which is hooked into a LED 1080p TV. The sounds can be stereo there's no need for surround sound since we don't have a 5.1 system. I use MakeMKV to export the movies and english audio tracks and then tried using Handbrake to encode them.

I've seen some settings saying to use constant of 19, some to use a bitrate of 2900, all sorts of variations on the advanced settings, etc and honestly it's a mess. I'd really like to see what other users actually use and have had good results with.

Thanks!

GregiBoy
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by GregiBoy » Tue Mar 05, 2013 8:34 pm

I use CQ 18 but I am anal about quality and use Anamorphic Strict.

I also passthrough the AC-3 and DTS tracks where available because this way the audio is untouched.

Disk space is cheap and a small price to pay for futureproofing and retaining the original.

JackNF
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by JackNF » Thu Mar 07, 2013 5:04 am

I'd start out by ignoring the online guides that are probably long out of date and instead just start with the Normal preset. Install the latest nightly build if you haven't already (remember to reset the built-in presets after upgrading) and just try encoding something in Normal. No tweaks or changes, just plain vanilla Normal. It's a great starting place that offers decent encoding speeds and reasonable file sizes.

If file sizes are still bigger than you'd like then you can try upping the CQ a bit, Normal defaults it to 20 but if hard drive space is at a premium and you don't mind lowering the quality a little then you could try pushing that up higher to 21 or 22 to increase the amount of compression applied. Make sure to actually watch some of your encodes on your TV before you spend a whole lot of time encoding that mountain of discs, the bigger the screen the more obvious the compression artifacts get so what might seem acceptable on your computer monitor might be unacceptable on the big TV. A lot of people insist on lowering the CQ to up picture quality, but that of course also ups the file-size. You should only need to lower the CQ if you've got tons of hard drive space and want to hedge your bets against compression artifacts. Settling on what you consider an acceptable tradeoff between quality and filesize is ultimately up to you, it's just going to take a bit of trial and error to find what you consider acceptable.

Smithcraft
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by Smithcraft » Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:59 am

I'm against using an average bitrate, as it can waste bits on scenes that don't need it, and starve scenes that do need it. This is the reason why Constant Quality is preferred. It encodes at a constant quality level applying bits when needed and not wasting them when not needed.

For audio, I prefer to use the appropriate pass through option rather than encode the audio to another format.

SC

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Rodeo
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by Rodeo » Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:45 am

Smithcraft wrote:I'm against using an average bitrate, as it can waste bits on scenes that don't need it, and starve scenes that do need it. This is the reason why Constant Quality is preferred.
No. Average bitrate w/2-pass is no worse than CRF in that regard (actually, if you use CRF and then re-encode the same source using 2-pass average at the same bitrate as produced by CRF, the results should be near identical).

Average bitrate's issue is that it will waste bits on sources that are easy to compress and be short on bits on sources that are hard to compress - quality will vary from source to source, not from scene to scene.

mduell
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by mduell » Thu Mar 07, 2013 3:33 pm

Post your encoding logs from the encodes you're not happy with.

Telling you the settings we use isn't going to solve your missing audio problem or ill-defined "poor quality".

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zenithangunn
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by zenithangunn » Tue Mar 26, 2013 4:17 pm

I'm sorry for never replying! The notification went into my spam folder and I just assumed no one ever looked at the post. Reading it all over now!

kfreeb
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by kfreeb » Tue Mar 26, 2013 10:02 pm

Well here's my two cents worth.

I have 4 Apple TVs in my house, all served from iTunes on my server.

As for my collection of several hundred movies, (I own on DVD & Blu-ray) all of my DVDs were encoded with the preset provided for Apple TV 3 with the Constant Quality set to 18. The reason I use 18 was that after many different encodes at different CQ settings, that was the setting that I couldn't tell the difference between the DVD playback and the encoded file hand brake created.

The audio was pass through as AC3 to the m4v file Handbrake created. The file size was also reasonable, (small by an measure) compared to higher CQ settings. Example: Raiders of the Lost Ark file size ended up being 3.11GB, but the picture quality was very close the same quality of the original DVD.

As for the CQ settings, the lower the number, (image quality improves) the larger the file size. I found any CQ setting lower than 18, (lower numerically) created much larger file size, with no appreciable increase in video quality, (when it comes to DVDs.)
Last edited by kfreeb on Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

zenithangunn
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Re: Advise for DVD Encoding

Post by zenithangunn » Wed Mar 27, 2013 3:27 pm

I downloaded the nightly build and wow what a difference. It took an hour+ to encode before now it encodes in 5-10 minutes. I set CQ to 18 and strict and everything seems to be working great now. Looks good, audio works, and it encodes fast. It takes longer to use MakeMKV to rip the dvd than it does to encode it.

Thanks everyone!

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