Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

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AbbotKinneyDude
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Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by AbbotKinneyDude »

Handbrake Forum

Hello everyone! I've been using Handbrake for 10 years now and I have been carrying my presets from 2009 until the Super HQ preset was published.

I am mostly encoding Standard Definition Material (480p/576p) or 1080p material downrezzed to 720p.

My main legacy playback machines are 2 Apple Macintosh Power PC G4 MDD Dual Processors from 2003/2004: 1) Dual 1.25Ghz / Geekbench score: 1090, 2) Dual 1.42Ghz / Geekbench score: 1207.

Obviously, they're not near as fast as modern offerings but they do great with SD and 720p (Core Player plays 1080p on those machines but it's a 100% CPU situation).

Here's my question. Super HQ actually creates smaller encodes than my classic settings but I see 2 issues:

1) It's more CPU intensive than my classic settings - especially in 720p. The Macs MDDs sweat on it.
2) I feel like the picture quality is not as good as with my classic settings, the SHQ picture feels softer to me.

My classic settings, ported from 2009, are as follows:

Filters:
Detelecine: Default
Deinterlacing: Default / Comb / Default

Video:
H264 / 30 Peak Frame / RF15
Encoding: Very Slow / Film (or Animation depending) / Auto / Auto
Options: b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50:bframes=6:direct=auto:b-pyramid=strict:me=umh:subq=9:analyse=all:psy-rd=1.0,0.2:no-fast-pskip=1:ref=3

In comparison, SUPER HQ is much simpler (no detelecine, RF16 instead of 15) but, especially, only uses 2 additional options: ref=5:bframes=5

In the experience of the users of this forum, do I overcomplicate my encodes with my classic settings?

I still feel the PQ is better than with the SHQ presets but is there something I'm missing?

Note: File size doesn't matter, it's all about the quality here.

Thank you for your feedback, I feel I should have posted here a long time ago.

musicvid
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by musicvid »

Your old Macs will do better and should be less sweaty with Main Profile, which is perfectly appropriate for your resolutions. Expect files to be 15-20% larger, but easier on the machine.

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BradleyS
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by BradleyS »

Indeed, the video encoder profile (see the Video tab) affects what features are used. Baseline and Main are less CPU intensive during decoding than High. Additionally, lower RF (higher quality) means more data, which can impact decoding.

Detelecine is only for NTSC sources, so if you've got 29.97 fps material that is hard telecined (24 fps actual), it should perfectly produce the original 24 fps. Disable for everything else.

The reason we set ref=5:bframes=5 on the Super HQ presets is to make sure the files are generally compatible across devices when selecting the Animation or other encoder presets, which can use more reference or B frames than most devices support. 5/5 is the max that will work with earlier Apple devices, for instance. It's more than sufficient.

So I would say, try using Super HQ and setting the video encoder profile on the Video tab to Main or Baseline and see whether that solves your concerns regarding CPU usage on playback, and disable Detelecine unless you're certain you have a source that needs it. Additionally, you can try raising the RF (lowering quality) slightly to see whether that has any impact.

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Rodeo
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by Rodeo »

I would personally go with high profile (default) and e.g. something like:

Code: Select all

ref=3:bframes=3:b-pyramid=none:weightb=0:weightp=0:cabac=0
It would most likely decode faster/better than main profile with CABAC enabled and hopefully still provide slightly better compression efficiency. Haven't done any testing of "fast decode" type settings in a while though, you might have to try it out for yourself. It may even be that disabling CABAC would not be required to get decent decoding performance.

mduell
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by mduell »

I'd go with tune fastdecode.

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Rodeo
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by Rodeo »

mduell wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 8:42 pm
I'd go with tune fastdecode.
That's more aggressive than it needs to be, in most cases (by completely disabling the in-loop deblocking filter, which is not always a good idea unless you're really dealing with a very very weak device). But I guess it sure does simplify things a lot :)

AbbotKinneyDude
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by AbbotKinneyDude »

Thank you everyone for your insights and shared knowledge.

I am currently doing multiple encodes of BARRY LYNDON (1080p->720p; Criterion 2017BR, 49.98GB).

1) Classic H264 2009 settings mentioned above (around 6 hours of encoding time, 200% of original length),
2) Super HQ settings slightly modded (Very Slow, Film Main Profile, 3.1) (BradleyS) (around 12 hours of encoding time)
3) High Profile with custom settings (Rodeo) (encoding time TBD)

I'll post results when they're all done + how each encode behaves when decoded on my fastest G4 (CPU impact, PQ).

Please note: I am using a maxed out Mac Mini i7 Quad Core 2.7Ghz but, considering Barry Lyndon is 1.66:1 and 3 hours long, those encoding times aren't surprising.

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BradleyS
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by BradleyS »

Sounds about right. Fewer reference and B frames can reduce complexity, as can disabling pyramidal B frames per Rodeo. Disabling CABAC (using CAVLC instead) will inflate file size maybe 15% or more but should make the file much easier to decode... that alone might be enough. Very old devices including first generation Apple portables with video did not handle CABAC well or at all.

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Rodeo
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Re: Need Settings Feedback - Encoding 480p/720p for classic Apple Macs (Dual G4)

Post by Rodeo »

Well, when testing custom settings, you should fine which chapter is hardest on your machine during playback and encode just that chapter for your tests ;)

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