Best all around preset?

Discuss encoding for devices and presets.
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TheCount
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Best all around preset?

Post by TheCount » Sun Aug 26, 2007 5:38 am

Hello,

I'm sure this question has been asked before, but I was having trouble finding the exact way to word it that would bring up the answers I needed, so I hope you don't mind my asking it again...

I'm wondering what the best preset, or perhaps unique settings, would be to export an m4v or mp4 video that would work well on iphone/ipod while still looking good/decent on a larger tv.

I've got a current gen iPod, iPhone, and an Xbox 360 which I use to stream music and videos from my iTunes library.

I have plans to buy the next gen of Apple TV, so who knows what that'll look like, but I'd like for it to work with Apple TV as well, just in case.

So far, the High Rez iPod setting seems to be doing the best job. It works on my 360, iPhone and iPod, and I assume it would work on the Apple TV.

The only problem is file size, as a two hour movie takes up about 1.4 gigs, which is okay for my iPod and no problem for my 360 but murder on the measly 8gigs of my iPhone.


As anyone got any experience with a setting that works well all around and strikes the best balance between size and quality?

Thanks for your help.

cvk_b
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Post by cvk_b » Sun Aug 26, 2007 7:13 am

I am going to assume you have multiple computers. Encode for each device separately, simultaneously, buying drives as you go. I'm not being sarcastic. It's just the best advice I can give from reading your post. It sounds like you have already found the portability sweet spot— stick with it if it works for you.

Firedpottery
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Post by Firedpottery » Mon Aug 27, 2007 1:14 am

The new iPod high rez strikes a very good high end encode without it taking forever, if you want a bit better, recommendation, Two pass with turbo, the turbo has so little of a con and saves sooo much time while making the encoding more efficient through two pass estimation. The next thing would be the de-interlacing, although see my post on that in the de-interlacing, the higher quality settings rock for de-interlace. If you want to go one level further, increase the sub-pixel estimation to 7. I would under the circumstances do it in that order or priority of quality vs encode time tradeoff. Exhaustive does make a difference, but not recommended unless you're completely insane, like myself, takes FOREVER. Higher frame reference makes a large effect on quality for the time tradeoff, but chews iPod life, as does CABAC, if it's intended for computer playback only, go for those, but if you intend apple tv and ipod usage, avoid those two like the plague.

hornman51
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Post by hornman51 » Fri Aug 31, 2007 12:11 am

So how does apple do it in iTunes? I've never downloaded a movie from itunes, but I imagine you don't have to convert a downloaded iTunes movie for each device.

dynaflash
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Post by dynaflash » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:02 pm

Firedpottery wrote:The new iPod high rez strikes a very good high end encode without it taking forever, if you want a bit better, recommendation, Two pass with turbo, the turbo has so little of a con and saves sooo much time while making the encoding more efficient through two pass estimation.
Just a warning on using the iPod high rez preset modified with two pass. you will lose the vbv buffering control that the preset has built into it as x264 does not observe vbv buffering in two pass.

In short, some of your video may stutter and drop frames during bitrate spikes when used on an iPod.

hawkman
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Post by hawkman » Fri Aug 31, 2007 1:15 pm

hornman51 wrote:So how does apple do it in iTunes? I've never downloaded a movie from itunes, but I imagine you don't have to convert a downloaded iTunes movie for each device.
Apple provide only an iPod-compatible version, so it looks like ass on your tv.

Firedpottery
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Post by Firedpottery » Fri Aug 31, 2007 8:39 pm

You know that thought occurred to me and I went, eh, whatever, and I learned the hard way. Thanks though for pointing it out. Oh well, you live and you learn. But yeah the new de-interlace in combo with exhaustive-7-32-two pass full, awesome results on the iPod, it actually rarely dropped, but it did drop once in a 10 minute period for a second. Now, once you guys get anamorphic on the iPod, I'll be recoding everything, again.

Firedpottery
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Post by Firedpottery » Sat Sep 01, 2007 8:50 pm

I gotta ask an ignorant question, vbv buffering, allows a buffer so that bitrate spikes to cause skip by having a buffer if I understand my reading on it right. And 2 pass is designed to gather statistics for better bit rate handling, so is there a way to have a buffer with 2 pass, or should I wipe out the preset vbv buffering in x264 options, or what should I do or is this something being worked on, or something that you have to deal with in multipass, etc? I did some googling and the like before asking, not an answer in this forum. Got a sec to answer?

hawkman
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Post by hawkman » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:09 pm

vbv buffering does indeed only work with single pass. That's up to x264, not HandBrake, and unlikely to change as apparently the guy who wrote it has no interest in making it work for two passes. I think the argument for leaving it in is that it works on the first pass, and therefore may partially work (as the second pass reads the stats from the first pass as a starting point). I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong.

Ralph The Magician
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Post by Ralph The Magician » Sat Sep 01, 2007 11:20 pm

hawkman wrote:vbv buffering does indeed only work with single pass. That's up to x264, not HandBrake, and unlikely to change as apparently the guy who wrote it has no interest in making it work for two passes. I think the argument for leaving it in is that it works on the first pass, and therefore may partially work (as the second pass reads the stats from the first pass as a starting point). I'm sure I'll be corrected if I'm wrong.
It was my understanding that it's actually completely ignored in 2-pass mode.

The thing is: it doesn't really matter. I've never seen a video skip when being played back on an iPod while using 2-pass mode. The bit-rate variance and standard deviation with 2-pass encoding are significantly smaller than with a single pass, which is to be expected, and as such it's not as much of an issue. My intuition tells me that in order for there to actually be a problem with playback the bit-rate spike would have to be truly massive. Has anyone actually encountered skipping on an iPod with 2-pass?

rhester
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Post by rhester » Sun Sep 02, 2007 2:29 am

Of course we've encountered it - which was the entire reason for the preset switch from 2-pass to vbv-maxrate.

Basically, any very high-motion (think the HBO intro) or black-and-white content is very, very likely to produce local bitrate spikes of up to 8000kbps (yes, you read that right) with an ABR of 1500 in 2-pass mode.

Want it to be guaranteed to work on an iPod? Use 1-pass ABR 1500 vbv-maxrate=1500 vbv-bufsize=2000. Two passes are absolutely useless here, since when ABR=vbv-maxrate you are in CBR (which is actually CQ in x264) land anyway and 2 passes would make no difference whatsoever (if vbv-maxrate were honored in 2-pass mode, which it isn't).

Want to roll the dice in hopes of better visual quality? Use 2-pass mode ABR 1500 and don't complain if your iPod freezes or stutters.

Rodney

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