Quality of Converting A DVD Movie to work on AppleTV

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Angel
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Quality of Converting A DVD Movie to work on AppleTV

Post by Angel » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:57 pm

Hello everyone this is my very first entry in the Handbrake Forum & I am looking forward to working with all the Handbrake supporters out there. I have installed the splendid new version of handbrake 0.8.B1 on my Mac mini & I have several questions about the quality of H264.

1- I have converted a 120min Movie using the apple TV presets & the quality was very poor, especially on the dark scenes on the movie.

2- So I then converted the movie at 45400 Bit rate using the H264 Codec & the quality of all the colour scenes was far better but the dark scenes in the movie are still very cluttered & THE FILE SIZE WAS 3.79GB. When I say dark scenes I mean dark clothing, Dark car, dark walls etc. Does anyone know how I can resolve this problem?

3- Why is that on my Windows Pc I use a program called DVD FAB to make a backup copy of my Movie & the quality is as good as the original Source & only 4 gig, but with handbrake if I convert a DVD movie with the H264 codec which is meant to be the best codec around the quality is nowhere as good as the backup that I make using DVD FAB.

4- I have also tried using the Constant Quality Function at 80% and there was no difference in the quality.

5- Just so that you are aware I currently have my Mac Mini connected to my 38inch HD LCD which is has a resolution of 1920 x 1080i which is where I have been testing the movies.

6- Surprisingly though if I convert a DVD movie to Divx it looks splendid on my LCD tv without problem & I CAN CONVERT A TV EPIOSODE INTO A 360MB FILE & IT LOOKS SPLENDED.. So does this mean that Divx is still far greater in quality then H264.

7- I have QuickTime Pro installed & I was able to convert a VOB file using the EXPORT option & I chose the APPLE TV format and the quality was incredible. The downside was that it will not export any of the Audio and I can only convert an individual Vob file & not an entire Movie.

8- Can someone please tell me what I am doing wrong in handbrake so that I do not get the problem with the darker scenes?

Kind Regards

realityking
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Post by realityking » Tue May 01, 2007 11:07 am

First thing I'd try would be 2pass Encoding. The other o change some of the x264 Options. A guide to this can be found in the wiki.

SicMX
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Post by SicMX » Tue May 01, 2007 11:22 am

I've noticed the same thing. With the bitrate over 3000kbps it hardly noticable though.

Angel
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Post by Angel » Tue May 01, 2007 11:37 am

realityking wrote:First thing I'd try would be 2pass Encoding. The other o change some of the x264 Options. A guide to this can be found in the wiki.
Sorry I forgot to mention that I have used the 2 pass encoding & it still has not resolved my problem. What I don't understand is that everyone raves on about how good the H264 codec is meant to compress the file & still have a great quality movie. ( I can not see that at all) If that was the case I should not be getting that problem in the dark shaded areas.

Mind you Most DVD Movies are under 5gb & I cant get a descent quality out of them at 3.99gb. But if you use the export function in Quicktime pro & use export the file as Apple TV you will get a good quality movie. The only problem is that it will not export the Audio content & it cant export all the Vob files at once.

Any other Ideas???????

Angel
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Post by Angel » Tue May 01, 2007 11:50 am

SicMX wrote:I've noticed the same thing. With the bitrate over 3000kbps it hardly noticable though.
I think that the reason that the bit rate & constant Quality function makes no difference is due to the quality of the encoding. I believe that the encoding is where the problem lies. Which is why if you use the Export a video file in Quicktime Pro as AppleTV the quality is good due to the encoding.

Do yourself a favor & download the trial Version of DVD FAB http://www.dvdfab.com & select Platinum version & make a backup copy of an original movie & select Main Movie and remove all the subtitles & extra Audio & you will see that it will make a 100% quality backup on a 4.7gb dvd.

I tested the constant qualty function in Handbrake & i chose 100% all it did was give me a 24gb file that it couldn't playback. Thats why I believe the flaw in handbrake is the quality of the encoding. The application is brilliant & simple to use but there needs to be improvement in the encoding. It is better to spend an extra hour converting a dvd to Apple tv format than to wast hours and not have a quality movie.

Trust me try DVDFAB. I really hope that the handbrake team can improve the encoding because they have done some fantastic work so far.

whimpers
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Post by whimpers » Tue May 01, 2007 3:35 pm

First of all, you can't compare a program like DVD Fab to HandBrake. If you want DVD copy and DVD shrink applications for the mac, you can use programs like Toast or DVD2OneX (if you decrypt the DVD with MacTheRipper first). If you make a movie only copy with those programs and the main feature is below 4.36 GB, you will have 100% identical quality. HandBrake is not meant for making DVD to DVD copies. HandBrake converts the original mpeg2 material to mpeg4 related video files, so you can easily view them on your computer or iPod or AppleTV...

As for your QuickTime problem: since you can view the .vob files with QT, I suppose you already have the mpeg2 component for QT installed. If you want to use QuickTime Pro to convert a DVD to AppleTV format, you should open the decrypted .vob files from the DVD (decrypt to your hard disk with MacTheRipper first or just mount the DVD with FairMount). Open the first 1GB large .vob file in Mpeg StreamClip and confirm you want to open all the .vobs from the movie. Then choose demux to m2v and aiff (demux both to the same folder), and open the m2v file in QT Pro. You should now have sound playing in QT Pro (plain stereo) and you'll be able to export the whole movie to AppleTV format.
Keep in mind that this will be a very, very slow process.

awk
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Post by awk » Tue May 01, 2007 4:17 pm

Angel wrote: I tested the constant qualty function in Handbrake & i chose 100% all it did was give me a 24gb file that it couldn't playback.
The 'transcoding' process in Handbrake is (simplisticly) :

Decode MPEG-2 Frame to complete uncompressed image
Encode complete uncompressed image to H.264

The quality slider applies to the second part of this process. If you set it at 100% this is essentially instructing the H.264 encoder to apply an incredibly small amount of (if any) compression to the raw uncompressed image. This will give you a file much much larger than the original, and will for all practical purposes be unplayable.

You want (need) some level of compression - that's the point - which implies some loss of quality, reports here in the forums suggest a value of between 65-70% for a datarate of 3000Kbps gives very good results with files that are generally smaller than the original DVD and have a quality that is visually indistinguishable from the original DVD. I realize you're saying you don't see that. Perhaps a link to a website with some 'before'/'after' screenshots showing the problem scenes, and some screenshots on the website of the settings panels in Handbrake ?

Angel
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Post by Angel » Tue May 01, 2007 11:00 pm

whimpers wrote:First of all, you can't compare a program like DVD Fab to HandBrake. If you want DVD copy and DVD shrink applications for the mac, you can use programs like Toast or DVD2OneX (if you decrypt the DVD with MacTheRipper first). If you make a movie only copy with those programs and the main feature is below 4.36 GB, you will have 100% identical quality. HandBrake is not meant for making DVD to DVD copies. HandBrake converts the original mpeg2 material to mpeg4 related video files, so you can easily view them on your computer or iPod or AppleTV...

As for your QuickTime problem: since you can view the .vob files with QT, I suppose you already have the mpeg2 component for QT installed. If you want to use QuickTime Pro to convert a DVD to AppleTV format, you should open the decrypted .vob files from the DVD (decrypt to your hard disk with MacTheRipper first or just mount the DVD with FairMount). Open the first 1GB large .vob file in Mpeg StreamClip and confirm you want to open all the .vobs from the movie. Then choose demux to m2v and aiff (demux both to the same folder), and open the m2v file in QT Pro. You should now have sound playing in QT Pro (plain stereo) and you'll be able to export the whole movie to AppleTV format.
Keep in mind that this will be a very, very slow process.
Well in that case I think I will just use Divx pro to convert all my movies as I have done in the past & make changes to the apple TV like others have done to enable it to playback Divx movies. Obviously Divx is still the best qualty compression program on the market when compressing a Mpeg 2 Movie.

nightstrm
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Post by nightstrm » Wed May 02, 2007 3:23 am

That's a pretty subjective comment to make... and I've decided I'm not going to touch it with a ten foot pole.

Samurai
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Post by Samurai » Wed May 02, 2007 3:43 am

whimpers wrote: As for your QuickTime problem: since you can view the .vob files with QT, I suppose you already have the mpeg2 component for QT installed. If you want to use QuickTime Pro to convert a DVD to AppleTV format, you should open the decrypted .vob files from the DVD (decrypt to your hard disk with MacTheRipper first or just mount the DVD with FairMount). Open the first 1GB large .vob file in Mpeg StreamClip and confirm you want to open all the .vobs from the movie. Then choose demux to m2v and aiff (demux both to the same folder), and open the m2v file in QT Pro. You should now have sound playing in QT Pro (plain stereo) and you'll be able to export the whole movie to AppleTV format.
Keep in mind that this will be a very, very slow process.
I don't think this works when the VOBS are over 4 GB. I tried this and the video and audio were increasingly out of sync. Someone on the Apple TV forum said it was because my VOB was over 4 GB in size.

whimpers
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Post by whimpers » Wed May 02, 2007 5:35 am

That could be true.
I don't like the QuickTime quality that much for converting DVD files, so I rarely use it for that. HandBrake or VisualHub give better results IMO. But that's subjective, apparently you like DivX better than h264, and that surprises me too.

Angel
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Post by Angel » Wed May 02, 2007 8:44 am

whimpers wrote:That could be true.
I don't like the QuickTime quality that much for converting DVD files, so I rarely use it for that. HandBrake or VisualHub give better results IMO. But that's subjective, apparently you like DivX better than h264, and that surprises me too.
Well the thing is that I would love to be using the H264 instead of Divx. Unfortunately the results speak for its self. When I convert a DVD movie (MPEG2) to H264 I get fuzziness all over the dark scenes.

When I convert a DVD Movie with DIVX PRO I dont get the problem in the dark scenes. I can only say & comment on what I see with my own eyes. If someone can tell me of a way to convert a DVD Movie to H264 that looks descent and does not have a problem on dark segments in movies & will play fantastic on my LCD then please do so.

loyalty_anchored
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Post by loyalty_anchored » Wed May 02, 2007 2:06 pm

Angel wrote:When I convert a DVD Movie with DIVX PRO I dont get the problem in the dark scenes. I can only say & comment on what I see with my own eyes. If someone can tell me of a way to convert a DVD Movie to H264 that looks descent and does not have a problem on dark segments in movies & will play fantastic on my LCD then please do so.
if i were you i would look into custom x264 options when encoding there are many options you can add, they will slow down the encode, but should result in higher quality encodes. i remember talking about an option that helped with the issue you speak of, but you really really should be posting screenshots of the problem areas and what settings you used, then and only then can we help.

quality is extremely subjective and what looks great to me, might look horrible to you and vice versa, maybe there is something wrong with your encode, and maybe the quality does not do x264 justice, but we can only know that if you SHOW us what your encode looks like, so either host a small section of the encode or post screenshots.

in any case, reading the wiki on x264 options will not hurt.

Scarpad
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Post by Scarpad » Wed May 02, 2007 8:13 pm

I've found that there isn't a huge benefit to the sheer extra time it takes to encode to H264. On the PC I use Clonemobile to go to a Straight MP4 file using the Ipod Hi Res Profile, with a few tweaks. If I use about a 1800-2000 bitrate I find the image quality comparable to H264, the filesize will be bigger, but so what, with Storage being so cheap these days. On the Mac I use Handbrake in 2pass Mode with straight MP4 at a 1800 bitrate and these encodes look fab on the Apple TV, the H264 might be a smidgen clearer, but not nearly enough to warrant the triple encoding time.

dynaflash
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Post by dynaflash » Wed May 02, 2007 8:18 pm

Would likely depend on the size of the television you are using with your appleTV.

Scarpad
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Post by Scarpad » Wed May 02, 2007 8:27 pm

32" Sammy LCD and 65" Mits Rear Projection, both look good.

Angel
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Post by Angel » Wed May 02, 2007 10:59 pm

Angel wrote:
whimpers wrote:That could be true.
I don't like the QuickTime quality that much for converting DVD files, so I rarely use it for that. HandBrake or VisualHub give better results IMO. But that's subjective, apparently you like DivX better than h264, and that surprises me too.
Well the thing is that I would love to be using the H264 instead of Divx. Unfortunately the results speak for its self. When I convert a DVD movie (MPEG2) to H264 I get fuzziness all over the dark scenes.

When I convert a DVD Movie with DIVX PRO I dont get the problem in the dark scenes. I can only say & comment on what I see with my own eyes. If someone can tell me of a way to convert a DVD Movie to H264 that looks descent and does not have a problem on dark segments in movies & will play fantastic on my LCD then please do so.
Thanks for mentioning that you use VisualHub. Last night Ibaught a license for it & it converted a 120 min movie in 220 min & the quality is fantastic. Thanks for the idea...

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake » Wed May 02, 2007 11:08 pm

Angel wrote:Thanks for mentioning that you use VisualHub. Last night Ibaught a license for it & it converted a 120 min movie in 220 min & the quality is fantastic. Thanks for the idea...
:roll:
HandBrake uses exactly the same codecs as VisualHub: ffmpeg and XviD for MPEG-4 part 2, x264 for MPEG-4 part 10.

Feel free to revisit your statements earlier in this thread, such as "Obviously Divx is still the best qualty compression program on the market when compressing a Mpeg 2 Movie." and "Thats why I believe the flaw in handbrake is the quality of the encoding."

Angel
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Post by Angel » Thu May 03, 2007 5:37 am

jbrjake wrote:
Angel wrote:Thanks for mentioning that you use VisualHub. Last night Ibaught a license for it & it converted a 120 min movie in 220 min & the quality is fantastic. Thanks for the idea...
:roll:
HandBrake uses exactly the same codecs as VisualHub: ffmpeg and XviD for MPEG-4 part 2, x264 for MPEG-4 part 10.

Feel free to revisit your statements earlier in this thread, such as "Obviously Divx is still the best qualty compression program on the market when compressing a Mpeg 2 Movie." and "Thats why I believe the flaw in handbrake is the quality of the encoding."
Well I have not done anything different with VisualHub that i did with Handbrake. But for some reason I get a better quality Movie & smaller file with Visualhub. There for I am more certain now than before that their is a glitch somewhere in Handbrake when converting a DVD to AppleTv. I dont mean to offend anybody, I think that Handbrake is a great application but i can only speak on what I have seen. To be even more certain I have Converted the same DVD movie on both applications which is why I see the difference.

Kind Regards

SicMX
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Post by SicMX » Thu May 03, 2007 7:54 am

If only Handbrake would handle dark scenes better (or dark gradients) i could probably rip at 1500-2000kbps, but right now i'm stuck at over 3000.

And it does seem that H.264 is infact the best codec right now:

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=125079

PS. "...To do the tests, I cropped it to 1680x1040 from 1680x1050, so that it was a multiple of 16 in both directions for optimal compression..."

What? I usually crop my movies as i like, not in multiples. Will this affect quality?

SicMX
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Post by SicMX » Thu May 03, 2007 8:10 am

More about blocking in dark areas:

http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t ... cking+dark

Seems to be something of a x264 issue, but there must be some way of minimizing it

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake » Thu May 03, 2007 2:08 pm

HB != x264. Buying VisualHub because you don't like how x264 handles grainy/dark content is absurd.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of reasons to buy VisualHub: a cuter interface, top-notch support, more input options, more output options, Xgrid support, a slick manual, etc.

MPEG-4 codec quality? Not one of them.

(And SicMX, there is something that can be done about the blocking -- applying Haali's adaptive quantizer patch -- and it's something I've been mulling for awhile now.)

deckeda
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Post by deckeda » Thu May 03, 2007 7:00 pm

Angel wrote: Well I have not done anything different with VisualHub that i did with Handbrake.
I think you have. You just haven't discovered what it is yet. The very fact that these two apps have very different interfaces almost guarantees that the settings will never be identical out of the box.

Both apps have a learning curve, but you seem convinced you've already gotten the best out of HB you can. Maybe in one sense that's true.
Angel wrote: But for some reason I get a better quality Movie & smaller file with Visualhub. ...
Perhaps, but since VH doesn't yet have anamorphic encoding, with proper HB usage it's not possible, for example, to "get a better quality movie & smaller file with VisualHub" for those types of DVDs. In fact the opposite is true. I mention this because anamorphic DVDs are probably the most prevalent for feature-length movies.

SicMX
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Post by SicMX » Thu May 03, 2007 7:37 pm

jbrjake wrote:
(there is something that can be done about the blocking -- applying Haali's adaptive quantizer patch -- and it's something I've been mulling for awhile now.)
Can this patch be applied to HB?

jbrjake
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Post by jbrjake » Fri May 04, 2007 3:19 pm

SicMX wrote:
jbrjake wrote:
(there is something that can be done about the blocking -- applying Haali's adaptive quantizer patch -- and it's something I've been mulling for awhile now.)
Can this patch be applied to HB?
As I said, "it's something I've been mulling for awhile now."

The problem is that every time I add advanced features for better quality, I get yelled at by the users. So I'm losing any motivation to do so. The gist of a lot of those "Your interface sucks" threads seems to be that things like x264 options and alternate rate control methods are not welcome. Someone even registered on the forum just to say that my additions make the interface "useless" for those who don't understand anything technical. Encouraging people to use anamorphic caused "woe." I've been informed that no one who cares about this stuff uses the GUI. And someone else told me that if I care about this stuff I should just use Windows. Not exactly encouraging feedback.

Anotherwords, if I do apply the patch to HB's copy of x264, it will only be available in the options pass-thru, not as a widget in the main interface. I might not even bother -- anyone who cares can grab Haali's patch off the internets and build with it themselves: http://mirror05.x264.nl/Sharktooth/forc ... 5-634.diff

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