Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

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Hogan773
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:25 pm

Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

Hi - I am a Handbrake noob but love the software. I have been googling and reading various posts and articles and thought I would ask for your advice once and for all.

I have a lot of video files on my HDD from 2004-2008 that came from a Canon camcorder. They are .AVI format and 720x480 30p. They are each anywhere from 30 seconds to 4 minutes in length.

For whatever reason I just realized that I can do some major compression on these files with Handbrake so I can keep them looking very similar but taking up about 1/10th the HDD space and converting them to .MP4 files which will be more universal for playback in the future as well.

Now my problem is deciding what is the "right" setting to use before I launch into a process of going into each folder and setting up (manually I guess) batch encodes for each of the video files, running the encodes, and then ultimately deleting the AVI files forever.

I have run encodes of the same file on 1080p FAST, HQ, SuperHQ, and also 480p Fast, HQ, SuperHQ. I see that the resulting files have different file sizes and bitrates, but honestly I cannot "see" the difference between any of the outputs when I watch the files on my PC 27" monitor.

So my questions - I would like to create my own Preset.....

1) I think I should just use a 1080p preset because it doesn't matter (the 480p quality will be retained and there is no "upscaling")?

2) between the different presets it seems the biggest difference is the RF quality. Since I still want to have these as the "master" should I go with the SuperHQ RF = 18 even if I can't "see" the difference between 18, 20 or 22? I know file size will be larger but it is still a lot lot better than AVI. Or if I can't "see" the difference since this is SD content, then who cares and I should just go for smaller file size because there is still enough visual data there?

3) the HQ and Super presets include a "surround" track. Since my camcorder videos are coming as 2 channel stereo, I assume I should delete that second surround track as it just adds more audio kbps (and presumably file size) for no reason yes?

4) should I leave the file output as .m4v or change Handbrake settings to call the file .mp4? I've read they are basically the same. Any reason I would want it to be called mp4? I would prefer not to have to go back later and rename hundreds of files as mp4 instead of m4v. I read that m4v was for Apple compatibility but I don't know if that is dated info or not.

5) I don't understand "Encoder Level" - on the 480p Presets it uses Encoder 3.1 and on the 1080p presets it uses 4.0. I think it is better to use a "newer" encoder so 4.0 vs 3.1 yes? Does the higher level encoder do better quality for a given file size? There were some cautions about device compatibility with using higher encoders so that is why we shouldn't just change the encoder to 5.2 right? Between 3.1 and 4.0 are there other considerations between the two?

Thanks in advance for the advice.
musicvid
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by musicvid »

!. Use the PRESET that matches your video resolution and frame rate -- no need to monkey with the settings! They were made especially for you.
2. You cannot upscale SD to HD in Handbrake GUI -- nor would there be any reason for you to do so.

3. For individual assistance, the part where you post your encoding logs, which you so conveniently deleted, and which would reveal your source properties, are required. It is probably DV-AVI, but just how the heck would anyone here know??? They are not discretionary.
Hogan773
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

musicvid wrote: Fri Feb 12, 2021 8:20 pm !. Use the PRESET that matches your video resolution and frame rate -- no need to monkey with the settings! They were made especially for you.
2. You cannot upscale SD to HD in Handbrake GUI -- nor would there be any reason for you to do so.

3. For individual assistance, the part where you post your encoding logs, which you so conveniently deleted, and which would reveal your source properties, are required. It is probably DV-AVI, but just how the heck would anyone here know??? They are not discretionary.
Ok thanks, I am new to this forum. So to be clear, my AVI source material shows as 720x480 (640x480) 29.97fps, 1 audio tracks. So then I should be using a 480p Preset I take it. And since I have 1 audio track I should delete any "surround" second track if I am choosing a preset that includes surround.

Below is the activity log when I open this AVI file. All my other AVI files would be similar.

So can you suggest the best preset for this one? I see it says something about being interlaced or telecined and "you should do something about that"

I originally assumed I could just use the standard 1080p preset since it was still going to just process this at 720x480 but I see now that I need to match the preset to the underlying original source.

Input #0, avi, from 'D:\My Documents\My Videos\Final Clips 2008\Disc 1\Andrew Haircut.avi':
Duration: 00:00:47.41, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 28862 kb/s
Stream #0:0: Video: dvvideo, yuv411p, 720x480 [SAR 8:9 DAR 4:3], 25000 kb/s, 29.97 fps, 29.97 tbr, 29.97 tbn, 29.97 tbc
Stream #0:1: Audio: pcm_s16le, 48000 Hz, stereo, s16, 1536 kb/s
[15:36:07] scan: decoding previews for title 1
[15:36:07] scan: audio 0x1: pcm_s16le, rate=48000Hz, bitrate=1536000 Unknown (pcm_s16le) (2.0 ch) (1536 kbps)
[15:36:07] scan: 10 previews, 720x480, 29.970 fps, autocrop = 0/0/0/0, aspect 4:3, PAR 8:9
[15:36:07] Title is likely interlaced or telecined (6 out of 10 previews). You should do something about that.
musicvid
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by musicvid »

480 p30 Fast Preset.
Anything slower or bigger is simply overkill for your 4:1:1 video capture.
Hogan773
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

musicvid wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 12:11 am 480 p30 Fast Preset.
Anything slower or bigger is simply overkill for your 4:1:1 video capture.
Excellent - thank you.

One threshold question though before I launch into this project. Am I being stupid to do this? (throwing away the video quality and bitrate in the DV-AVI files just to save HDD space) To my eye I cannot tell the difference now - however is there any reason in the future that I would want to have that less-compressed DV-AVI? These are home videos of my kids shot in SD so I guess I'm not expecting to turn them into a 4K masterpiece 10 years from now, but as I am not an expert in video, I wouldn't want to delete all my AVI files only to regret it for some reason that I missed today
mduell
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by mduell »

Given how fast 480p will encode, I'd use slower x264 settings for this archival type encode.

If you're going to edit them in the future, I'd also keep an encode (from the original AVI source) using the Production Standard preset.

And check the results carefully for combing/etc before you toss the originals.

TBH, given the cost of disk and the size of 480p DV, I'd just keep the originals.
Hogan773
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

Also can I trouble you to recommend the Preset for some AVCHD (.m2ts) I have from Sony and Panasonic cameras around 2011-2015:

Very much appreciated!

This is 1920x1080 60p, I believe. In the General tab in Handbrake I don't see a 60p option (I think there used to be in earlier versions). Should I go find a 1080p60 from another tab like "Vimeo 1080p60" or in Devices tab there is "Chromecast 1080p60" etc?

[19:15:48] file is MPEG Transport Stream with 192 byte packets offset 4 bytes
[19:15:48] Found the following PIDS
[19:15:48] Video PIDS :
[19:15:48] 0x1011 type H.264 (0x1b)
[19:15:48] Audio PIDS :
[19:15:48] 0x1100 type AC3 (0x81)
[19:15:48] Subtitle PIDS :
[19:15:48] 0x1200 type PGS Subtitle (0x90)
[19:15:48] Other PIDS :
[19:15:48] 0x1001 type Unknown (0xff) (PCR)
[19:15:48] stream id 0x1100 (type 0x81 substream 0x0) audio 0x1100
[19:15:48] stream id 0x1200 (type 0x90 substream 0x0) subtitle 0x1200
[19:15:48] hb_ts_stream_getPEStype: EOF while searching for PID 0x1011
[19:15:48] stream doesn't seem to have video IDR frames
[19:15:48] scan: decoding previews for title 1
[19:15:48] file is MPEG Transport Stream with 192 byte packets offset 4 bytes
[19:15:48] scan: audio 0x1100: ac3, rate=48000Hz, bitrate=256000 Unknown (AC3) (2.0 ch) (256 kbps)
[19:15:49] stream: 17 good frames, 0 errors (0%)
[19:15:49] scan: 10 previews, 1920x1080, 59.940 fps, autocrop = 0/0/0/0, aspect 16:9, PAR 1:1
[19:15:49] scan: supported video decoders: avcodec qsv
Hogan773
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:25 pm

Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

mduell wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:27 am Given how fast 480p will encode, I'd use slower x264 settings for this archival type encode.

If you're going to edit them in the future, I'd also keep an encode (from the original AVI source) using the Production Standard preset.

And check the results carefully for combing/etc before you toss the originals.

TBH, given the cost of disk and the size of 480p DV, I'd just keep the originals.
Okay thank you for this advice. I have done some more thinking and calculating and I like your idea of maybe I do nothing and save myself lots of time right now. I am thinking this:

1) makes no sense to convert to Production Standard even though it is fast encode, because file size went from 160 MB to 141MB - not worth the time to do this part vs just leaving them AVI for now

2) I realize that only half of my videos are AVI files, that is about 200 GB. So at a 10:1 reduction I could save 180GB which is good. But then the rest of my videos are AVCHD 1080p60 (see question above about proper filter) and it seems like I may only get a 3:1 reduction there, so on those 200GB I save less space - 120GB. I guess 300GB is good to save, but as you said HDD space is cheap and I am already backing up on multiple physical HDDs periodically

I was starting this project in advance of backing up videos to the cloud for emergency backup. I was thinking it would be simpler to shrink them and then put them up on a cloud site. Maybe I should just upload them to Google Photos before June 2021 while it is still free and that can be my worst case backup? Or is it easier/better to pay some money and put them as AVI files up onto something like Amazon 1 TB paid option?
musicvid
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by musicvid »

Your source is 4:1:1 chroma subsampling. It's ok to not know what that means, but the capture (by usb?) is of lower quality than anything Handbrake presets are capable of producing. It will come out 4:1:0, about the same quality as VHS. If you want to take more time, or create larger files, feel free to say it is the best it can be.

At the risk of repeating myself, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.
Hogan773
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

musicvid wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 3:25 am Your source is 4:1:1 chroma subsampling. It's ok to not know what that means, but the capture (by usb?) is of lower quality than anything Handbrake presets are capable of producing. It will come out 4:1:0, about the same quality as VHS. If you want to take more time, or create larger files, feel free to say it is the best it can be.

At the risk of repeating myself, you can't make a silk purse from a sow's ear.
Thanks and I get it on the 480p DV AVI. Yes now that I recall it was digital video onto MiniDV tapes that were then transferred via FireWire to the PC.

But what about my other posting about .mts and .m2ts files that are 1920x1080 and 60p frames? What is the best Preset for that? I don't see a listing for that in the General tab
musicvid
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by musicvid »

But it's there in other tabs, including Web, Devices and Production. I think you need to start testing and comparing results to suit your own eyes, only. We simply don't know what is "best" for "you," only enough to steer you away from mistaken thinking.

Probably the easiest for you, since it is unfamiliar, is to choose a 1080 p30 General preset, and change the frame rate to Same as Source.
Done.
Hogan773
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2021 2:25 pm

Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by Hogan773 »

mduell wrote: Sat Feb 13, 2021 1:27 am Given how fast 480p will encode, I'd use slower x264 settings for this archival type encode.

If you're going to edit them in the future, I'd also keep an encode (from the original AVI source) using the Production Standard preset.

And check the results carefully for combing/etc before you toss the originals.

TBH, given the cost of disk and the size of 480p DV, I'd just keep the originals.


Hey guys sorry I want to swing back one more time and ask my question not about Presets, but about AVI vs Mp4

The files in question (see activity log above) are camcorder clips that I have ALREADY "edited" in the sense that I have combined/joined clips together, cut out any long bad parts, etc. While never say never, I don't envision myself needing to take the files and edit them more.

WHAT I AM TRYING TO UNDERSTAND IS AVI VS MP4 AS STORAGE. The files are from an era where AVI was the standard for "compression". Today computers are much faster so my understanding is that Mp4 can now hold a similar VISUAL QUALITY as the AVI but in much smaller file size. But I am not fully understanding of what I will lose if I decide to convert these files to MP4 for archiving. I know the bitrate decreases but if my eye cannot tell the difference, what does it matter? BASICALLY I AM HOPING YOU CAN TELL ME IS THERE A TIME IN THE FUTURE WHERE I WILL REALLY NEED OR WANT THE AVI SOURCE FILE, OR HAS THE WORLD MOVED ON AND THUS I WOULD NEVER NEED IT? (would there be an H.275 for example in 20 years that I would want to take the AVI source files and recompress there? or would I just convert H.264 to H.275)

I now have 1TB of OneDrive storage and I was starting to upload the yearly video file folders to it. I only have about 400GB of video in total, so I can certainly just upload the AVI files and leave them there. It was just taking so long that I once again circled back in my mind to really wonder FOR 480P SD VIDEO WITH THE PARAMETERS SHOWN IN THE ABOVE HANDBRAKE ACTIVITY LOG IN EARLIER POST, CAN YOU THINK OF A REASON I WILL LATER WANT TO HAVE THESE .AVI FILES AT ALL? The compression factor is like 8:1 or 10:1 so that is why I wonder whether I should just shrink them so they will upload faster, transfer back and forth more easily if I switch cloud providers in the future, etc.

Basically I just don't know beyond the "they look very similar to me" what I am missing and I am afraid of making a choice that I regret later once I delete the AVI files

Thanks
musicvid
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Re: Best settings for compressing AVI files from 720x480 Camcorder

Post by musicvid »

In a sentence, a reasonable x264 MP4 file from AVI motion video can be 5-10 times smaller without visible loss of quality.
Put another way, that should be 99% or better quality retention of the original.
Unless your originals are very important to you, I would go with x264 for storage, because the format is going to be around for a long time.
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