Need help deciding on output container

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trtlrock
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 pm

Need help deciding on output container

Post by trtlrock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 6:44 pm

I'm new here, and new to HandBrake, so forgive me if some of these questions seem, um...dumb.

I recently had a bunch of personal vacation videos (source was 8mm non-HD) and concerts (source was VHS) professionally transferred to digital. The format is .avi, and the codec is DV. Unfortunately, my Oppo BR won't play these, although it plays innumerable other .avi files from my LAN. Presumably it doesn't like the DV codec.

Anyway, I need to convert all these, so I got HandBrake and have played around just enough to get a feel for it, and realize that I have a few questions right off the bat.

The purpose of this post is to get advice on which output container I should be choosing. My only two choices appear to be mp4 and mkv. I have done a test conversion into each one and the Oppo will play either, so that's obviously good.

I am really intent of doing this conversion as losslessly as possible, and frankly, I am hopelessly confused by the avalanche of information on all these formats, codecs, and containers.

Here's some more info that may or may not be important to know:

1) Currently these avi files are very long, ranging from ~45m to just over 2 hours
2) They currently have no chapters or anything similar -- just long continuous files.
3) After I convert, at some future date, I will get Windows TBD software to do things like introduce chapters, extract or delete portions of the videos, and get screen captures I can use as pictures. I don't need to know anything about that now -- but thought it might be important to know that this is a Windows household (currently W7-64) -- it will never be a Mac or Linux platofrm.

I'm very familiar with analogous audio conversions. For instance, let's say I had a lossy audio file that I valued greatly, but would not play on whatever platform was most important to me. I would then convert that to FLAC (even though I know that I would not be improving the audio quality any, or that this conversion would make the audio "lossless"). However, converting to any other lossy (but platform-compatible) format would cause a degradation in quality, and I would want to avoid that at all costs. And, since I have vast amounts of HD space, I would not begrudge the larger FLAC file size at all. I suspect I am in a very analogous situation right now with these unplayable avi files, but don't have the knowledge to take the next step.

Sooooooo...which format should I be converting to: MP4 or MKV? And any brief explanations as to why I would choose one format over the other would be most welcome.

Once I have the format chosen, I'll post again with a few questions on HandBrake settings in that format.

Thanks in advance to anyone willing to help out...

rollin_eng
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Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by rollin_eng » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:04 pm

Could you open one of your files in HB and please post your logs, instructions can be found here:

https://handbrake.fr/docs/en/latest/hel ... y-log.html

trtlrock
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 pm

Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by trtlrock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:18 pm

Hopefully this is what you're looking for:

HandBrake 1.0.7 (2017040900) - 64bit
OS: Microsoft Windows NT 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 - 64bit
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz
Ram: 16344 MB,
GPU Information:
NVIDIA GeForce GT 620 - 9.18.13.2078
Screen: 1920x1200
Temp Dir: C:\Users\Trtlrock\AppData\Local\Temp\
Install Dir: C:\Program Files\HandBrake
Data Dir: C:\Users\Trtlrock\AppData\Roaming\HandBrake Team\HandBrake\1.0.7.0

-------------------------------------------

[14:16:35] hb_init: starting libhb thread
[14:16:35] hb_init: starting libhb thread
[14:16:35] hb_init: starting libhb thread
[14:16:35] hb_init: starting libhb thread
[14:17:00] hb_init: starting libhb thread

# Starting Scan ...

[14:17:00] CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3770 CPU @ 3.40GHz
[14:17:00] - Intel microarchitecture Ivy Bridge
[14:17:00] - logical processor count: 8
[14:17:00] Intel Quick Sync Video support: no
[14:17:00] hb_scan: path=\\Q1\p\P\Pics\1996_GR5\GR5-3 Metz Triere-Thann.avi, title_index=0
udfread ERROR: ECMA 167 Volume Recognition failed
src/libbluray/disc/disc.c:274: failed opening UDF image \\Q1\p\P\Pics\1996_GR5\GR5-3 Metz Triere-Thann.avi
src/libbluray/disc/disc.c:352: error opening file BDMV\index.bdmv
src/libbluray/disc/disc.c:352: error opening file BDMV\BACKUP\index.bdmv
[14:17:00] bd: not a bd - trying as a stream/file instead
libdvdnav: Using dvdnav version 5.0.1
libdvdread: Encrypted DVD support unavailable.
libdvdread:DVDOpenFileUDF:UDFFindFile /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.IFO failed
libdvdread:DVDOpenFileUDF:UDFFindFile /VIDEO_TS/VIDEO_TS.BUP failed
libdvdread: Can't open file VIDEO_TS.IFO.
libdvdnav: vm: failed to read VIDEO_TS.IFO
[14:17:00] dvd: not a dvd - trying as a stream/file instead
Input #0, avi, from '\\Q1\p\P\Pics\1996_GR5\GR5-3 Metz Triere-Thann.avi':
Duration: 02:03:25.16, start: 0.000000, bitrate: N/A
Stream #0:0: Video: dvvideo
yuv411p, 720x480 [PAR 8:9 DAR 4:3], 25000 kb/s, PAR 8:9 DAR 4:3
29.97 fps, 29.97 tbn
Stream #0:1: Audio: pcm_s16le
48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 1536 kb/s
[14:17:00] scan: decoding previews for title 1
[14:17:01] scan: audio 0x1: pcm_s16le, rate=48000Hz, bitrate=1536000 Unknown (pcm_s16le) (2.0 ch)
[14:17:01] scan: 10 previews, 720x480, 29.970 fps, autocrop = 0/0/6/6, aspect 4:3, PAR 8:9
[14:17:01] Title is likely interlaced or telecined (5 out of 10 previews). You should do something about that.
[14:17:01] libhb: scan thread found 1 valid title(s)

# Scan Finished ...

Woodstock
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Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by Woodstock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 pm

What is your playback target?

If the playback environment can handle MKV files, they give you the most flexibility.

MP4 is limited in audio codecs and subtitle types, and some MP4-only devices have even tighter restrictions. Example: There are extensions in some MP4 players to display DVD subtitles, but other players cannot see them, because they don't recognize the extension.

trtlrock
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 pm

Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by trtlrock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:46 pm

Woodstock wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 7:36 pm
What is your playback target?
The primary (and definitely the only "important") playback platform will be the LAN/Network GUI on my Oppo BDP103 BluRay player. As noted above, it won't play the current avi files (presumably due to the DV codec), but it will play either of the test-conversions I made in HandBrake -- one in mp4 and one in mkv.

As these are vacation videos and VHS concert rips, subtitles will never be needed -- I know you were just using that as an example.

I'd love further feedback based on my short list of "things that might be important to know" in my original post, but a huge component of my question could be boiled down to "which format would give me the highest quality conversion [akin to a lossless conversion]?"

Thanks for your response...

rollin_eng
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Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by rollin_eng » Thu Nov 09, 2017 8:59 pm

Container is irrelevant to quality.

Woodstock
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Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by Woodstock » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:25 pm

As these are vacation videos and VHS concert rips, ...
In that case, go with MP4. Make sure to encode the audio as AC3 for best quality (the AAC encoder in handbrake is not the best right now).

rollin_eng
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Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by rollin_eng » Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:52 pm

If you can pass through pcm audio to mkv it would be better to do that, and set your video quality as high as you can tolerate.

trtlrock
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Nov 07, 2017 4:23 pm

Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by trtlrock » Fri Nov 10, 2017 1:13 am

rollin_eng wrote:
Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:52 pm
If you can pass through pcm audio to mkv it would be better to do that, and set your video quality as high as you can tolerate.
This seems like a good plan, but apparently HandBrake can't perform the audio portion of things the way I want.

I just did a few tests with this source file:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Oo41W3QrF4wzQ37n2

Since I saw no PCM passthru option for mkv :

https://photos.app.goo.gl/eLK3etnoLDVbURnu1

Nor, as an aside, did I see that possibility for mp4:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/3ScC8mM5FhDQPgnu2

So, choosing .mkv, first I tried auto passthru. That resulted is an AC3 audio track as shown below:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/OX8Bofwa1dUw6cI53

Then I tried FLAC Passthru, which resulted in no audio track at all:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/mhoD7axRyEWv9IbM2

So, what (if anything) am I doing wrong? The consensus seems to be to use mkv with as lossless (even placebo) a conversion process as I can tolerate (i.e. how long it takes & resultant file size). I'm cool with that. But isn't there any way to get the current pcm audio (interwoven with the video as it's a DV codec) to just pass through losslessly? Do I have to generate a 2.0 AC3? Seems unnecessary, but, more importantly, seems like I'm degrading the audio that way?

Thanks everyone for your help so far -- I appreciate it.

Woodstock
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Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2013 6:39 am

Re: Need help deciding on output container

Post by Woodstock » Fri Nov 10, 2017 5:08 am

Encode logs are much better to work with than screen shots.

You cannot do "passthru" if the audio isn't exactly what you're telling handbrake to pass through. If it PCM, FLAC passthru will give you nothing. And since handbrake doesn't do PCM passthru (it's a limitation of the software), you need to convert it to something.

You don't "have" to do 2 channel AC3 when the source is mono, but you do not use too much extra space by doing so, and there are a few playback devices that get confused by mono audio.

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