With upcoming changes to data protection and privacy laws in Europe coming into effect soon, we thought this would be a good time to remind everyone that we do have a privacy policy.
This applies to all users and visitors world-wide.

We have made a few changes to the language to make it clearer in relation to this new regulation but fundamentally, the terms and your rights are unchanged.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to ask in the General Forum

Post Your "Best Settings" here and Why.

General discussion of HandBrake, Video and/or audio transcoding, trends etc.
Forum rules
Please be aware, this forum is not for support or help related to HandBrake. Please keep such discussions to the Community Support forum sections.
Tirade
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:40 pm

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

Post by Tirade » Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:46 pm

Looking for some specific feedback regarding quality settings.

Source is MPEG-2 (Either DVD's or DVD's ripped to main Movie using DVD Fab)

Viewing on a PS3 and a PC both hooked to a TV running at 1920X1080p resolution.

Ive been using the PS3 preset but I changed bitrate from 1500 to 2500 because I was told that for MPEG-2 source 1500 was enough. Im confused on this though and Im curious about the difference between 1500, 2500, or maybe even CQR 70. For my scenario, what would be the lowest bitrate/cqr I could use w/o noticeable quality loss? I dont have hawkeyes so I wont be looking for quality loss, however things like macroblocking and motion blur do tend to stand out to me.

Also not sure on the advanced settings stuff. Encoding time isnt an issue as it will be running on a PC that I dont use. Anything I should consider looking into? My goal is quality but if I can get at least a 50% size reduction from MPEG-2 that would be great. I do need to stay under 4GB because of the PS3 limitations so even larger 3 hour long movies would need to be under 4GB.

Thanks.

royone
Regular User
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:06 pm

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

Post by royone » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:14 pm

unions8 wrote: I've tried to obtain the right balance between quality and reasonable size (who doesn't ) for iPhone.
For the iPhone, just use the preset. Anything else and you're probably either going to make it worse or break it.

royone
Regular User
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:06 pm

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

Post by royone » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:26 pm

Tirade wrote:Looking for some specific feedback regarding quality settings.
Im curious about the difference between 1500, 2500, or maybe even CQR 70. For my scenario, what would be the lowest bitrate/cqr I could use w/o noticeable quality loss?
Play with it and see. You probably want to use CRF, rather than a bitrate. Bitrate is not consistent quality, it's consistent size. Take some challenging (which means high-quality video, but with a lot of shadows or smoke; The Matrix is a good choice) source material and encode a chapter of it at various quality settings. Then go through them and see where annoying artifacts no longer stand out.

Start with, say, quality 50, which should give you some noticeable artifacts. That's just a control, so you can see where the worst problems are, and know where to look in subsequent encodes. Then maybe try 56, 58, 60, and 62. Chances are that somewhere in there will be good enough.

See also my post about when CRF wasn't the complete answer.

Tirade
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:40 pm

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

Post by Tirade » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:52 pm

This is where I get confused.

From what Ive read, CRF (Constant Rate Factor) overrides the CQ setting. Setting the CQ to 50 or 100 makes no difference if you have CRF selected. Is that true?

A follow up to this would be, which is better? CRF or a high CQ?

rhester
Veteran User
Posts: 2888
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:24 pm

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

Post by rhester » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:18 pm

That, of course, always depends on the definition of "better". The reason there are so many options is because there are so many different goals.

Rodney

royone
Regular User
Posts: 124
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2007 6:06 pm

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

Post by royone » Thu Jan 24, 2008 10:50 pm

Tirade wrote: From what Ive read, CRF (Constant Rate Factor) overrides the CQ setting. Setting the CQ to 50 or 100 makes no difference if you have CRF selected. Is that true?
The quality slider is input for either setting. CRF gives the system a little more freedom to adjust the quantization matrix to keep the visual quality consistent.

rhester
Veteran User
Posts: 2888
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:24 pm

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

Post by rhester » Thu Jan 24, 2008 11:16 pm

Honestly, that's news to me (maybe largely because I don't have a Mac ;) - I didn't realize the slider was reused in that fashion. My apologies for the factual error. I will delete my other post with the misinformation.

Rodney

dynaflash
Veteran User
Posts: 3820
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:19 pm

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

Post by dynaflash » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:05 pm

As a *very* broad generalization it is largely agreed that a quality slider setting of 70% in the macgui will pretty much be as close to visual dvd quality as you are likely to get. Anything over that and the law of diminishing returns sets in very rapidly with file sizes soaring and visual quality increasing in tiny increments. That is for dvd sources. Now when encoding HD streams it is another story altogether.

Tirade
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jan 24, 2008 1:40 pm

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

Post by Tirade » Fri Jan 25, 2008 11:10 pm

So then based on the way CRF works, if I was looking for a 50% size reduction (say from a 4GB MPEG-2 to a 2GM MPEG-4) I could achieve this using a 1500bitrate (rough estimate) or a 55 CRF (also rough estimate) and the CRF rip would "look" better because it applies a higher bitrate to the bits that need it as compared to a constant bitrate?

If thats the case, why would anyone not use CRF?

rhester
Veteran User
Posts: 2888
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 10:24 pm

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

Post by rhester » Sat Jan 26, 2008 3:46 am

Tirade wrote:So then based on the way CRF works, if I was looking for a 50% size reduction (say from a 4GB MPEG-2 to a 2GM MPEG-4) I could achieve this using a 1500bitrate (rough estimate) or a 55 CRF (also rough estimate) and the CRF rip would "look" better because it applies a higher bitrate to the bits that need it as compared to a constant bitrate?
If you want a 50% size reduction, you have to use half the bitrate of the source. There is no way to achieve this with CRF, nor is there a fixed-bitrate that will achieve this because the bitrate of every DVD title varies.
Tirade wrote:If thats the case, why would anyone not use CRF?
CRF absolutely ignores things like desired bitrate. Many devices have a relatively low maximum bitrate that cannot be exceeded, thus making CRF completely imappropriate.

Rodney

astrotrain
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:25 pm

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

Post by astrotrain » Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:35 pm

OS: Windows XP Pro
Device: Archos 605 WiFi

Load and just change the following variables:

Encode: Mpeg4
Audio: Mp3
Res: 640x480

When saving the file, save it as a '.avi'

Let'er encode.... comes out perfect for the Archos 605 display.

-Astrotrain

nightstrm
Veteran User
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:43 am

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

Post by nightstrm » Wed Feb 20, 2008 2:41 am

NOTICE TO ANYONE WHO STUMBLES UPON THIS: As of .9.3, my recommendation is to use the Universal preset (and optionally turn on deteleceine+decomb -- I do for every encode). Between jbrjake and myself (and others), I think the settings there are pretty darn good.

Here is the preset I have been using to generate encodes that are compatible with both the AppleTV and the iPhone, while taking advantage of the new features in .9.2 (including AAC+AC3, improved anamorphic support, and VFR to name a few). Using these settings, I have yet to come across an encode that did not work on both devices.

It should be noted that this uses CRF, which means you cannot accurately predict what the output file size is going to be. This has resulted in some files that seem quite large in comparison to the 8GB of space on my iPhone, but have so far been below 2.5GB. I need Steve to announce a 32GB 3G iPhone in the very near future! :mrgreen:

EDIT: In case I haven't made it clear enough, this preset is not going to be for everyone. It is slower than some of the stock presets, and the file sizes are larger than normal, especially with the limited drive space of the iPhone. I'd like to help come up with something in-between the iPhone and AppleTV presets that is a little easier to manage, but my main concern was keeping as much video quality as possible while maintaining compatibility with all of my Apple devices.

CLI Equivalent (untested): -i <source> -o <destination> -U -F -m -e x264 -q .63 -8 weak -p -E aac+ac3 -B 160 -R 48 -D 1.51 -v -x cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

GUI settings -

Format: MP4 File
Codec: AVC/H.264 Video/AAC + AC3 Audio
Insert iPod Atom: Checked (not really necessary)

Video -
Encoder: x264
Constant Quality: 63% (will bump up to 64-65% for select titles) <-- ensure CRF is still checked in preferences

Picture Settings -
Anamorphic: Strict (can use loose if you want)
Crop: Automatic
VFR: Enabled (thank you jbrjake... I have finally encoded Futurama to my liking after numerous attempts before!)
Denoise: Weak (usually set, but this is really a personal preference)

Audio + Subtitles -
Track 1: English AC3 5.1 (Track 1 Mix: DPL2 + AC3)
Bitrate: 160kbps (only affects AAC)
Sample Rate: 48khz
Dynamic Range Compression: 1.51 (only affects AAC, and is really a personal preference)
Subtitles: Autoselect (Forced Subtitles Only - Checked)
Chapters: Enabled

Advanced: cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

For older television shows, I've stuck with using pretty much the same settings as above, except using an average bitrate of 1750kbps (Quicktime reports ~1500kbps final bitrate) and AAC audio only.

smashkins
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:48 am

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

Post by smashkins » Wed Feb 20, 2008 10:51 am

What is the best ipod settings to view movies on a flat hd ready tv ?

cbud
Bright Spark User
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:24 am

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

Post by cbud » Wed Feb 20, 2008 5:12 pm

nightstrm wrote:
...CLI Equivalent (untested): -i <source> -o <destination> -U -F -m -e x264 -q .63 -8 weak -p -E aac+ac3 -B 160 -R 48 -D 1.51 -v -x cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

...GUI settings -

Advanced: cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30
Why do you have Trellis on and CABAC off? I thought you needed CABAC for Trellis.

plumbum27
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:50 pm

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

Post by plumbum27 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:14 pm

ATV doesn't work too well with CABAC on

Cavalicious
Moderator
Posts: 1804
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:07 am

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

Post by Cavalicious » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:18 pm

plumbum27 wrote:ATV doesn't work too well with CABAC on
Not true..as along as you are capping your bitrate to fall within specs, it works just fine. There are plenty of us that are using CABAC (cabac=1;trellis=0 for me) with our AppleTVs.

cbud
Bright Spark User
Posts: 181
Joined: Thu Feb 22, 2007 2:24 am

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

Post by cbud » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:31 pm

My point was that if CABAC is off, then having Trellis on does nothing. You need CABAC for Trellis, right?

jbrjake
Veteran User
Posts: 4805
Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 1:38 am

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

Post by jbrjake » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:35 pm

cbud wrote:My point was that if CABAC is off, then having Trellis on does nothing. You need CABAC for Trellis, right?
Correct. When using CAVLC instead of CABAC, x264 automatically disables trellis, since they don't have a CAVLC version of trellis, and it has to be tuned to the type of entropy coding used.

plumbum27
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:50 pm

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

Post by plumbum27 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 6:45 pm

Cavalicious wrote:
plumbum27 wrote:ATV doesn't work too well with CABAC on
Not true..as along as you are capping your bitrate to fall within specs, it works just fine. There are plenty of us that are using CABAC (cabac=1;trellis=0 for me) with our AppleTVs.
Hmmm, interesting. I messed around with CABAC on ATV when it first came out and couldn't get it working right so I gave up.....but it was obveously something else. That being said, CABAC would be the optimal way to go than, correct? I'll have to try it.

plumbum27
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2008 11:50 pm

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

Post by plumbum27 » Wed Feb 20, 2008 7:59 pm

According to the Wiki, ATV "struggles" with CABAC. Is the Wiki just out of date? Did ATV2.0 solve this?

dynaflash
Veteran User
Posts: 3820
Joined: Thu Nov 02, 2006 8:19 pm

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

Post by dynaflash » Wed Feb 20, 2008 8:07 pm

Okay, lets not derail this thread any more about the atv and cabac. There is a more appropriate thread in Devices for this http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4878

SicMX
Posts: 66
Joined: Thu Mar 22, 2007 11:31 pm

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

Post by SicMX » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:04 pm

nightstrm wrote:Here is the preset I have been using to generate encodes that are compatible with both the AppleTV and the iPhone, while taking advantage of the new features in .9.2 (including AAC+AC3, improved anamorphic support, and VFR to name a few). Using these settings, I have yet to come across an encode that did not work on both devices.

It should be noted that this uses CRF, which means you cannot accurately predict what the output file size is going to be. This has resulted in some files that seem quite large in comparison to the 8GB of space on my iPhone, but have so far been below 2.5GB. I need Steve to announce a 32GB 3G iPhone in the very near future! :mrgreen:

EDIT: In case I haven't made it clear enough, this preset is not going to be for everyone. It is slower than some of the stock presets, and the file sizes are larger than normal, especially with the limited drive space of the iPhone. I'd like to help come up with something in-between the iPhone and AppleTV presets that is a little easier to manage, but my main concern was keeping as much video quality as possible while maintaining compatibility with all of my Apple devices.

CLI Equivalent (untested): -i <source> -o <destination> -U -F -m -e x264 -q .63 -8 weak -p -E aac+ac3 -B 160 -R 48 -D 1.51 -v -x cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

GUI settings -

Format: MP4 File
Codec: AVC/H.264 Video/AAC + AC3 Audio
Insert iPod Atom: Checked (not really necessary)

Video -
Encoder: x264
Constant Quality: 63% (will bump up to 64-65% for select titles) <-- ensure CRF is still checked in preferences

Picture Settings -
Anamorphic: Strict (can use loose if you want)
Crop: Automatic
VFR: Enabled (thank you jbrjake... I have finally encoded Futurama to my liking after numerous attempts before!)
Denoise: Weak (usually set, but this is really a personal preference)

Audio + Subtitles -
Track 1: English AC3 5.1 (Track 1 Mix: DPL2 + AC3)
Bitrate: 160kbps (only affects AAC)
Sample Rate: 48khz
Dynamic Range Compression: 1.51 (only affects AAC, and is really a personal preference)
Subtitles: Autoselect (Forced Subtitles Only - Checked)
Chapters: Enabled

Advanced: cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

For older television shows, I've stuck with using pretty much the same settings as above, except using an average bitrate of 1750kbps (Quicktime reports ~1500kbps final bitrate) and AAC audio only.
This sounds awesome! I'd like to convert TV-Series to something that will look good on both AppleTV and an iPhone!

What's the max resolution & bitrate the iPhone/Touch can play?

quagga
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:43 pm

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

Post by quagga » Thu Feb 21, 2008 1:23 pm

I believe nightstrm disables CABAC because he is targeting the iPhone and the AppleTV. I am as well so the iPod Touch means no CABAC. Anyway here are my settings which are slightly different than nightstrms. I crank up the CRF rate to .66 as I want as close to transparency with the DVD as I can get and not too worried about size. These files are mostly for the AppleTV, but I want to be able to throw one on the Ipod for the road if I want.

I also go with loose anamorphic (-P) as based on what I've read that'll help compression at the cost of having a few black pixels on the top/bottom of a file. I don't set the audio bitrate to 160. My logic is, if I'm not listening to the movie on the iPod with earbuds, it is going to be the AppleTV which plays the AC3 audio anyway. As such, the default 128 is fine. I have VFR turned on as I take it this improves situations where videos move from video to film, etc. I took out trellis based on the comments above.

I'm always open to suggestions :).

#!/bin/sh

nice -n 10 handbrake -i /media/cdrom -o ~/movie.m4v -I -m -q .65 -P -E aac+ac3 -v -V -F -e x264 -x level=30:cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:mixed-refs=1:direct=auto

Then a quick rename, and fed into MetaX for tagging.

Update: Dropped -q to .65 and added -F (subtitles only when forced).
Last edited by quagga on Wed Mar 26, 2008 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

nightstrm
Veteran User
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:43 am

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

Post by nightstrm » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:02 pm

SicMX wrote:
nightstrm wrote:Here is the preset I have been using to generate encodes that are compatible with both the AppleTV and the iPhone, while taking advantage of the new features in .9.2 (including AAC+AC3, improved anamorphic support, and VFR to name a few). Using these settings, I have yet to come across an encode that did not work on both devices.

It should be noted that this uses CRF, which means you cannot accurately predict what the output file size is going to be. This has resulted in some files that seem quite large in comparison to the 8GB of space on my iPhone, but have so far been below 2.5GB. I need Steve to announce a 32GB 3G iPhone in the very near future! :mrgreen:

EDIT: In case I haven't made it clear enough, this preset is not going to be for everyone. It is slower than some of the stock presets, and the file sizes are larger than normal, especially with the limited drive space of the iPhone. I'd like to help come up with something in-between the iPhone and AppleTV presets that is a little easier to manage, but my main concern was keeping as much video quality as possible while maintaining compatibility with all of my Apple devices.

CLI Equivalent (untested): -i <source> -o <destination> -U -F -m -e x264 -q .63 -8 weak -p -E aac+ac3 -B 160 -R 48 -D 1.51 -v -x cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

GUI settings -

Format: MP4 File
Codec: AVC/H.264 Video/AAC + AC3 Audio
Insert iPod Atom: Checked (not really necessary)

Video -
Encoder: x264
Constant Quality: 63% (will bump up to 64-65% for select titles) <-- ensure CRF is still checked in preferences

Picture Settings -
Anamorphic: Strict (can use loose if you want)
Crop: Automatic
VFR: Enabled (thank you jbrjake... I have finally encoded Futurama to my liking after numerous attempts before!)
Denoise: Weak (usually set, but this is really a personal preference)

Audio + Subtitles -
Track 1: English AC3 5.1 (Track 1 Mix: DPL2 + AC3)
Bitrate: 160kbps (only affects AAC)
Sample Rate: 48khz
Dynamic Range Compression: 1.51 (only affects AAC, and is really a personal preference)
Subtitles: Autoselect (Forced Subtitles Only - Checked)
Chapters: Enabled

Advanced: cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30

For older television shows, I've stuck with using pretty much the same settings as above, except using an average bitrate of 1750kbps (Quicktime reports ~1500kbps final bitrate) and AAC audio only.
This sounds awesome! I'd like to convert TV-Series to something that will look good on both AppleTV and an iPhone!

What's the max resolution & bitrate the iPhone/Touch can play?
You can find that info here:

http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3859

nightstrm
Veteran User
Posts: 1887
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 5:43 am

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

Post by nightstrm » Thu Feb 21, 2008 2:05 pm

quagga wrote:I believe nightstrm disables CABAC because he is targeting the iPhone and the AppleTV. I am as well so the iPod Touch means no CABAC. Anyway here are my settings which are slightly different than nightstrms. I crank up the CRF rate to .66 as I want as close to transparency with the DVD as I can get and not too worried about size. These files are mostly for the AppleTV, but I want to be able to throw one on the Ipod for the road if I want.

I also go with loose anamorphic (-P) as based on what I've read that'll help compression at the cost of having a few black pixels on the top/bottom of a file. I don't set the audio bitrate to 160. My logic is, if I'm not listening to the movie on the iPod with earbuds, it is going to be the AppleTV which plays the AC3 audio anyway. As such, the default 128 is fine. I have VFR turned on as I take it this improves situations where videos move from video to film, etc. I took out trellis based on the comments above.

I'm always open to suggestions :).

#!/bin/sh

nice -n 10 handbrake -i /media/cdrom -o ~/movie.m4v -I -m -q .66 -P -E aac+ac3 -v -V -e x264 -x level=30:cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:mixed-refs=1:direct=auto

Then a quick rename, and fed into MetaX for tagging.
Not bad, I have been playing around with mine further since posting, and have removed denoising for most sources, as well as bumped the CRF to at least .64 (higher for select titles). I'd really like to delay my next mass-reencoding for as long as possible. :mrgreen:

As far as audio is concerned, I went with 160 for the simple fact that 32kbps has a negligable affect on the final output size. I've also been going back and forth on the loose vs. strict anamorphic; this week I'm back in the loose camp.

Locked