I gave it a try with a scene from The Wrath Of Khan. I used chapter 3 cell 4, which is just a bit over two minutes. The reason I like to use this bit is that the fire in the fireplace creates a flickering light on objects in the room, especially on Kelley's leg, the bottom of Shatner's shoes, and the triangular area on the wall towards the center of the screen from the diamond shaped display shelf.
Now the original transfer on the Special Edition isn't that spectacular in the first place, and after watching the DVD, the HB 0.9.4 ATV, HB 0.9.4 Hybrid ATV, the HB 0.9.4 Improved, and HB 0.9.4 High Profile files, I would have to say that the High Profile is the best of the original transcodes. The default ATV is the worst.
The Hybrid was a pasting the improved ATV Advanced code in with the existing ATV Advanced code(and removing the duplicate codes), and the Improved was removing the original ATV and pasting in the new Advanced code. Audio was just AC3 pass through for just the main audio track.
Just to see the space savings, I used DVD Decrypter to just extract that one bit(I tried MTR but I thought it was Chapter 4, so I kept getting the wrong scenes. I tried it again, but I couldn't figure out how to get just a cell from MTR 2.66), along with the 5.1 AC3.
Code: Select all
Setting Size Bitrate(via MediaInfo)
ATV 16.75 MB 663 Kbps
ATV Hybrid 16.74 MB 662 Kbps
ATV Improved 15.93 MB 608 Kbps
High Profile CQ 60 15.65 MB 591 Kbps
High Profile CQ 65 20.70 MB 927 Kbps
High Profile CQ 70 31.10 MB 1620 Kbps
DVD Extract 110 MB 6744 Kbps
Finally my test system is my new brick - Core i5 660/2 GB/Win7 Pro/Handbrake 0.9.4.
My opinion on this is - Some media you can run run Handbrake on, and you won't be worse for wear(with decent settings), but some will not take transcoding very well, and for those I use MakeMKV. I think HD sources aren't a problem, but I haven't noticed any major problems transcoding down from HD with Handbrake. Also the bitrate on some HD content is just too high for even my upgraded mini to handle, so it must be brought down to a reasonable level.
ps - For giggles I tried ramping up the CQ values to see how it would turn out. I may try it later with cranking up the CQ on the ATV settings. However, even with a dreaded CQ of 70, the output file size is still very good, compared to the source.