Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

General questions or discussion about HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
Spiffyguy
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:41 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by Spiffyguy »

I am getting around to setting up a media server to connect up to my tv. So I am converting all my movies over to file format to stream and watch. I have tried a few settings and the results are not bad. I wanted to find the best setting for me before I start diving into the hundreds of movies. I am not encoding for any handhelds or AppleTV, I am a windows guy. Don't throw anything :) So I am looking for some suggestions on settings to use. I am after quality and file size mainly. I don't care on the speed, I usually just run it over night while I am sleeping. I tried the modified nightstrm settings based off the Universal preset. the quaility was good but not as good as the generic film preset. I used Dark Knight as my source. Universal preset gave a file of 2.3 gb where the file was 2.4. So they are both very close to a good size for me. I noticed on the Universal setting the sky seemed to look a bit worse than the film. Wasn't a smooth render I guess is the best way to say it. Any suggestions on the best settings for this?

Thanks
Spiffyguy
trelm249
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Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by trelm249 »

SpiffyGuy my needs are similar to yours. My goals are quality and size for viewing on TV. I run MediaPortal on Windows for my HTPC and stream from a NAS on fast ethernet.

Title: main feature
Chapters: all
Framerate (fps): Same as Source
Encoder: x264
Target size (MB): OFF
Average bitrate (kbps): 1800 for Films 1500 for Television
Constant quality: OFF
Grayscale encoding: OFF (ON when B/W)
2-pass encoding: ON
File format: MP4 (M4V)
Audio Codecs: AAC (Downmix 5.1 to DPL2)
Subtitles Language: OFF
Audio Language 1: First (English)
Sample rate (Hz): 48000
bitrate (kbps): 160
Keep aspect ratio: Loose Anamorphic
Deinterlace: OFF [ ON, ON when needed]

Advanced Settings : level=30:cabac=0:ref=5:mixed-refs=1:bframes=6:weightb=1:b-rdo=1:bime=1:direct=auto:no-fast-pskip=1:me=umh:subq=7:analyse=all

Hope that helps.
Spiffyguy
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Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:41 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by Spiffyguy »

I will try those out and see how it looks. I was looking at using XMBC as my media software while I wait for a Boxiee invite, that netflix integration would be nice. I will check out Media portal and see how it looks. I also play my files with VLC. I found that sometimes I get no audio if I don't use the AAC option, seems just AC3 causes problems. I have been running with the Pass Through, I guess it is called, and that seems to work.

What are you encode times like with this setting? Right now with a combination of nightstrm's settings and film it is taking me anywhere from 10-20 hours to encode. I don't mind the time if the quality is there but so far I have not found a good setting. I notice problems with the sky sometimes having "rings" of sort. My test film is Dark Knight and I notice the rings bad when he escapes the building in Tokyo. As the plane flies off it looks pretty rough. I will try these settings and see what I can get.

Thanks again.
fobler
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:03 am

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by fobler »

I'm getting ready to start encoding my library, and am very appreciative of nightstrm's Universal setting. One question before I get started: does the Universal setting incorporate any of the settings in the AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO) post? I'm not up to speed on the issues described in that thread, so I wanted to see if the Universal setting could benefit from anything added to it based upon that thread.
lone_tree
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Posts: 75
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by lone_tree »

fobler wrote:I'm getting ready to start encoding my library, and am very appreciative of nightstrm's Universal setting. One question before I get started: does the Universal setting incorporate any of the settings in the AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO) post? I'm not up to speed on the issues described in that thread, so I wanted to see if the Universal setting could benefit from anything added to it based upon that thread.
For the Apple TV user, I'm of the opinion that this thread has become obsolete. The universal setting is amazing. I've done quite a few encodes using this preset with the only modification being upping the quality to 61% (some encodes I put down at 59% because they're too large otherwise). When 0.9.3 first came out, I tried some other advanced settings, such as no-dct-decimate and CABAC Entropy Coding. After several tests, I concluded that they made no noticeable difference in quality and a negligible difference in file size.
trelm249
Posts: 27
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by trelm249 »

Spiffy

I have a q6600 based Windows PC and a standard encode for a 2 hour movie runs about 3 hours. "The Lion, the Witch and Wardrobe" took just over 3.5 hours and is about 2 GB.
Spiffyguy
Posts: 16
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2008 5:41 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by Spiffyguy »

trelm249 that is some good times. I have two test encodes using your settings, one I added the AC3 as well like nightstrm's settings. Pass through AC3 I think it was called. Not sure if I need it or not, but if I just use the AC3 then VLC does not play the audio for some reason. I have yet to hook up my box with 5.1 to my tv system to see how it sounds before figuring out what I need.

But I got 13.5 hours with just the AAC and 14.5 with the AAC and AC3 audio. I am not sure why my encode times are so long. I am using win xp sp3, 3.4 cpu with 3 gb ram. Only thing I could think of would be write to my hard drive but it is SATA and 7200rpm. The quality seems good so I will keep these settings and just start messing to bring down the encode time.
rhester
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by rhester »

Spiffyguy: This isn't a support thread. If you need help with improving encoding performance, please create a new thread in an appropriate forum (read: not General).

Rodney
megabyteme
Posts: 33
Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 12:27 am

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by megabyteme »

nightstrm wrote: So, I end up with the following custom presets (based off of the Universal one, and only done for my convenience) using "Source Maximum" for picture size and checking "Use current picture filters" when saving the presets:
- Universal AAC (Universal Preset + Deteleceine + Decomb + AAC with DRC enabled @ 1.5 - AC3 + Autoselect Subtitles + Forced Subtitles)
- Universal AC3 (Universal Preset + Deteleceine + Decomb + AAC with DRC enabled @ 1.5 + Autoselect Subtitles + Forced Subtitles)
I am using the Windows GUI. Is there some sort of equivalent to "Source Maximum" in the Windows GUI? If it's not in the GUI, can it be added to the advanced string?

EDIT: I just checked... In the Windows GUI it is filling in "Source" automatically (ie with 704 x 480) without a drop down menu to change it to maximum. Is the Universal preset "Maximum" even though it is showing actual pixel size? Or do I need to somehow get it to say "Maximum"? I would like it to be maximum for quality. Thanks
mudwiggle
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by mudwiggle »

Just a quick question;

Supposing you did two types of encoding (Constant vs. Avergae Bit Rate) of the same movie where the output size just happens to be the same. Would the Constant version look better than the Average Bit Rate version?
nightstrm
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by nightstrm »

mudwiggle wrote:Just a quick question;

Supposing you did two types of encoding (Constant vs. Avergae Bit Rate) of the same movie where the output size just happens to be the same. Would the Constant version look better than the Average Bit Rate version?
CQ in my opinion.

Also, I should probably point out that my preset above is what I use for DVD sources (using that preset and an HD source would result in a file that is incompatible with iPhone/iPod due to resolution). For HD sources, I encode using the AppleTV preset with CQ=57% and another with my Universal preset with CQ=57%, no AC3 soundtrack, and display resolution with width = 720.
Simonkey
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by Simonkey »

nickkallis wrote:Nightsrm and TedJ thanks for the turbo replies. I appreciate it and I feel like HB has found the silver bullet with The Universal preset pumping out files at or around 1-2 GBs. I'm going to add telecine and decomb to my personal preset.

Since this is a "Best Settings" thread I'd like to share mine:

WHY: To create a "True Universal" setting
PRIORITIES: Play on Apple TV, iPhone, (stream to/play) Xbox360. (stream to/play) PS3
SETTINGS: I use Universal with the following tweaks
Decomb: Default
Detelcine: Checked
Subtitles: Forced Subtitles
Advance Sting Option: add the following the front of the string....level=40:level=41. The string now looks like this:

level=40:level=41:level=30:cabac=0:ref=3:mixed-refs=1:analyse=all:me=umh:no-fast-pskip=1

I do this to make the plug in even more "Universal" as now my files will play on Xbox360 and PS3. Streaming my files works perfectly on the 360. The PS3 is more finicky with streaming as some stream fine but all work great if put on the hard drive. Obviously that adjustment is not rocket science but it is nice to have my files play everywhere so I wanted to share.
Hi, I tried using your adjustments to the Apple Universal preset, as that refused to play on my 360, but even with these tweaks my 360 refuses to either stream from Connect360 on my mac or play off a usb hard drive - for both it states the media file is unsupported. They play fine on the mac and my iPod Touch. Is there something i'm missing? There must be some way to encode a file so that it will keep the benefits of the apple universal preset and be compatible with the 360? Any help much appreciated ! Ps I've tried the tweaked preset with vobs and an eyetv file, but same result - 360 says no! :)

Edit!: Of course, it would help if I wasn't a complete dingbat and hadn't forgotten that the 360 doesn't like two audio tracks encoded in the file - getting rid of the second track and just having the aac makes this preset work great on Mac, Touch and 360. Quality and portability - Simon is a very happy monkey now!
ecdltf
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Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:11 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by ecdltf »

Well, here my hi-setting for films from cable, but also dvd.
This is an updated version of my setting from january 2008.
Most switches are pretty close to the default crf-preset.

Settings for
Mac GUI (Handbrake 0.9.3 rev. 2111)
Source material: (progressive) mpg, DVDs.
Priorities: Good quality and compact file size. Not for iPod and similar divices

Video
Format: mkv
Codecs: AVC/H.264 Video / AAC Audio
HTTP Optimized MP4: off
Framerate: Same as source
Encoder: x264 (h.264 Main)
Constant quality: CRF 53–59%, mostly 54–56%
Grayscale: off; on for most b/w movies

Picture Settings
Size: anamorphic loose
Crop: Automatic (or Custom, if Automatic fails)
Filters:
Detelecine: on
Decomb: on
Deinterlace: off
Denoise: depending on the content (mostly Weak or None (DVD), rarely Medium)
Deblock: off – Deblocking seems to have positive effect on heavily compressed mpeg, but it’s painfully slow. Considering the given low quality of heavy compressed source material, it’s rarely worth the time.

Audio & Subtitles
Audio Tracks: depends
Audio Quality:
Bitrate: 96–128, mostly 112
Sample rate: 48
Dynamic Range Compression: (mostly) 1.00-2.00
Subtitles: depends

Advanced
Reference Frames: 5
Mixed References: on
B-Frames: 5
Direct Prediction: Spatial
Weighted B-Frames: on
Pyramidal B-Frames: on
Motion Estimation Method: Uneven Multi-Hexagon
Motion Estimation Range: 32 to 16
Subpixel Motion Estimation: 9
Analysis: All
8x8 DCT: on
Deblocking: -2, -1, up to 0,0 depending on the film
Trellis: 2 - I know, some people said, trellis 2 is no good for CRF at all, but I found no proofs for this so far; it seems to be required for psy-trellis (see below).
No Fast-P-Skip: off
No DCT-Decimate: off
CABAC Entropy Encoding: on

Additional switches I use:
b-adapt=2; I think this algorithm is better. To verify.
psy-rd=1,1 (experimenting with 1,0.2, 1,0.1); attention with this: according to some sources psy-trellis (the 2nd 1) requires trellis 2. So, if you are using trellis 1 it may be better to turn off psy-trellis (psy-rd=1,0). To verify.

To avoid unnecessary (small) speed losses you can add: no-ssim=1 and no-psnr=1

Some comments:

Encoding speed 8–13 fps on a MBP 2.4GHz (down to 3-4 fps on my old MacBook ...).

The quality factor I choose depends on the film, the noisiness, and other factors: 53-56% in general; 55-59% for higher quality films to archive. 55% is a good compromise when I'm undecided.
Also don’t forget to denoise your TV-stuff (cable etc.). With "weak"often you wont loose much on quality but gain a lot on smaller file size.

Trellis: For higher encoding speed you may set Trellis to Trellis 1 (but see above psy-trellis).

BTW:

A reliable (and more or less up to date) info source for x 264 seems to be: http://www.avidemux.org/admWiki/index.php?title=H264

If you told HB to make individual logs for each encoding (Preferences), you can attach them directly to your mkv output files with mkvmerge. This comes in handy later when you’re wondering with which settings and bitrate you have encoded the film. To extract the attached file you can use mkvinfo and mkvextract or - the quick way - to read it just throw the whole file on a (fast) text- or hex editor (0xED comes to mind).

Thanks to all the HB-developers for this great tool!


Last edit 2009-02-03
Last edited by ecdltf on Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
zilla31
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by zilla31 »

All - I've read through this an countless other threads but haven't found an answer to this one (specifically): I want to get from DVD to .mkv with MAXIMUM QUALITY (no concern for file size). Should be simple but If i choose the "film" preset from the "high profile" section, and change CQ to say 62% i'm not sure i'm getting there (i end up with decent quality though "grainier" than DVD and smaller file size than expected, which isn't bad obviously but NOT a requirement for me at the cost of quality)...

Any suggestions?
ecdltf
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2007 1:11 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by ecdltf »

zilla31 wrote:All - I've read through this an countless other threads but haven't found an answer to this one (specifically): I want to get from DVD to .mkv with MAXIMUM QUALITY (no concern for file size). Should be simple but If i choose the "film" preset from the "high profile" section, and change CQ to say 62% i'm not sure i'm getting there (i end up with decent quality though "grainier" than DVD and smaller file size than expected, which isn't bad obviously but NOT a requirement for me at the cost of quality)...
This should be no problem:

Take my settings above or the CRF default-profile and tweak it to these settings:

60% (or 62% for a slight overkill)
Reference Frames: 6
B-Frames: 3
Deblocking: 0,0
No fast P-skip: on
psy-rd=1,0.2
b-adapt=2

For me x264 doesn’t add grain at all. If its a noise problem: play with the HB denoise filter: weak, or medium (to eliminate grain and more).
x264 also has its own filter; you can add nr=700, e.g. (but I don’t know if it’s better than HB’s filter).
daz1976
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by daz1976 »

All - I've read through this an countless other threads but haven't found an answer to this one (specifically): I want to get from DVD to .mkv with MAXIMUM QUALITY (no concern for file size). Should be simple but If i choose the "film" preset from the "high profile" section, and change CQ to say 62% i'm not sure i'm getting there (i end up with decent quality though "grainier" than DVD and smaller file size than expected, which isn't bad obviously but NOT a requirement for me at the cost of quality)...
I have the same expeience as you Zilla. I've found a few of the settings like Film, Constant Quality, give me a grainier movie than the original. I'm using a PS3 but find the PS3 setting to be to rough with the material and would like to find a setting somewhere in between. Can anybody point to a setting that may be increasing the grain that I could tweak.

Many Thanks

Daz
cvk_b
Veteran User
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by cvk_b »

daz1976 wrote:
All - I've read through this an countless other threads but haven't found an answer to this one (specifically): I want to get from DVD to .mkv with MAXIMUM QUALITY (no concern for file size). Should be simple but If i choose the "film" preset from the "high profile" section, and change CQ to say 62% i'm not sure i'm getting there (i end up with decent quality though "grainier" than DVD and smaller file size than expected, which isn't bad obviously but NOT a requirement for me at the cost of quality)...
I have the same expeience as you Zilla. I've found a few of the settings like Film, Constant Quality, give me a grainier movie than the original. I'm using a PS3 but find the PS3 setting to be to rough with the material and would like to find a setting somewhere in between. Can anybody point to a setting that may be increasing the grain that I could tweak.

Many Thanks

Daz
Try the Universal Preset @ 62%, seriously. And if you think that is too grainy turn down psychovisual rate distortion optimization.
daz1976
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Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2008 8:23 am

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by daz1976 »

Ok will give that a go.

Many Thanks

Daz
Ronzilla77
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by Ronzilla77 »

These are my settings for iPhone compatibility but give full DVD resolution. The resulting files wont play on standard iPod, only iPhone/iTouch. These settings also work well on Apple TV and XBMC. On my 1.66 Core Duo Mac Mini I get about 9-10 fps encode. Not fast, but the results look great!

FORMAT: MP4
iPod 5G Support: Check
Video Codec: H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS): 25 (PAL Film/Video) Important!
2-Pass encoding/Turbo first pass:Check
Average bitrate: 960 kbps (I turn this up a notch on High Action stuff)
PICTURE SETTINGS
Width: 720
Anamorphic: Loose
All other Picture Settings left alone except for the need of Deinterlace
AUDIO AND SUBTITLES
Track 1: Pro Logic II
Sample Rate: Auto
Bitrate: 160
Subtitles: Auto (Forced Subtitles only:checked)
CHAPTERS
Create chapter markers :checked
ADVANCED
Reference Frames: 6
Mixed References:checked
B-Frames: 0 (This must be at 0 for iPhone compatibility)
Motion Estimation Method: Uneven Multi-Hexagon
Motion Estimation Range:24 (Higher for High Action)
Subpixel Motion Estimation: 6 (Default)
Analysis: Default(Some)
Deblocking: -1 to 0 (-1 to1 for low rez source)
No Fast-P-Skip: Check
DO NOT CHECK CABAC ENTROPY CODING!
daveesq
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Joined: Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:49 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by daveesq »

I used ecdltf's two different settings to great effect, however, I noticed something odd.

If I do exactly as he did, it looks fantastic (props, by the way), but if I put it in a .m4v file instead of an .mkv file, it looks terrible; lots of blocks everywhere (I'm viewing via QuickTime for both; Perian is installed). Can anyone explain this to me? I could have sworn that the difference between the two is merely a matter of container type. I wouldn't think that would cause a difference. Moreover, if I take the .mkv file and export it from QuickTime to an .m4v, passing through both the video and the audio, it looks like the .m4v file did: not nearly as good.

Any thoughts on this?
wjohn13

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by wjohn13 »

daz1976 wrote:Ok will give that a go.

Many Thanks

Daz
Daz, how are you getting the finished product to your PS3? DVD? Wireless Network, or wired? I am going to start using these settings, but woudl like to know how you get from the puter to mac. I have Medialink, but it can get choppy. I think I may need to go wired. Any help will be appreciated.
dynaflash
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by dynaflash »

wjohn13 wrote:Daz, how are you getting the finished product to your PS3? DVD? Wireless Network, or wired? I am going to start using these settings, but woudl like to know how you get from the puter to mac.
please take this to a new thread in tiki bar. don't derail this one as its for best settings.
mikelo20
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:58 pm

Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by mikelo20 »

nightstrm wrote:
jweires wrote:I would like to re-ask my question since I think it got lost in the middle of other conversations... please let me know what you think after reading the below quote.
jweires wrote:Thanks Nightstrm...

I am finding that using the Universal setting is taking quite a while to encode... a 2 hour movie is taking 3.5 hours to encode.

Does this sound right? It doesn't seem like it took this long with the Apple TV or iPod Hi-Rez presets that I used to use...

I am using a mac mini 2 ghz with 2 gb of ram...
This is entirely possible as the Universal preset uses CQ/CRF encoding instead of ABR. The Universal preset is about maintaining a level of quality while retaining compatibility across a number of (Apple) devices. It is very similar to the custom preset that I posted earlier in this topic (which I no longer use).

Nightstrm,
you said you not longer use your previous settings? So what are you using now ? I'm looking for settings to play on TV (46" HDTV) , from a media center ( Lacie la Cinema connected directly to HDTV with HDMI cable )

Thank you
nightstrm
Veteran User
Posts: 1887
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by nightstrm »

mikelo20 wrote:
nightstrm wrote:
jweires wrote:I would like to re-ask my question since I think it got lost in the middle of other conversations... please let me know what you think after reading the below quote.
jweires wrote:Thanks Nightstrm...

I am finding that using the Universal setting is taking quite a while to encode... a 2 hour movie is taking 3.5 hours to encode.

Does this sound right? It doesn't seem like it took this long with the Apple TV or iPod Hi-Rez presets that I used to use...

I am using a mac mini 2 ghz with 2 gb of ram...
This is entirely possible as the Universal preset uses CQ/CRF encoding instead of ABR. The Universal preset is about maintaining a level of quality while retaining compatibility across a number of (Apple) devices. It is very similar to the custom preset that I posted earlier in this topic (which I no longer use).

Nightstrm,
you said you not longer use your previous settings? So what are you using now ? I'm looking for settings to play on TV (46" HDTV) , from a media center ( Lacie la Cinema connected directly to HDTV with HDMI cable )

Thank you
For SD sources (i.e. DVDs): http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php ... 225#p44860

For HD sources (i.e. Bluray/HDDVD): http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php ... 755#p50133
cactus33
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Re: Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

Post by cactus33 »

So Universal takes longer to encode but makes file more compatible across Apple devices.

Since I am only watching my files on a 52" LCD HDTV and have plenty of storage space I should be using Apple TV settings.. not.. Universial. Correct?

I'm currently using AppleTV setting + deinterlace + decomb toggled to "default". Every is using decomb but no one is explaining if they have it set to "default" or "custom".
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