AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

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Abulia
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by Abulia »

Well, Houston, I appear to have a problem. :(

I did several encodes with one of my preferred reference shots, "The Fifth Element" (SuperBit) on a close-up with a fair amount of detail. My comments at the bottom.

DVD Source
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Cav/Dynaflash Setting - 62%

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Modified Setting - 62%

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Modified Setting - 65%

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For this shot I look at the transition from dark to light (left to right), the strands of hair and shadows for clarity/aliasing, and the reflection in her eye and sweat on the cheek for raw detail. Using the first encode as my baseline, my modified 62% encode with 4 reference frames and 6 bframes was 2% smaller. The 65% encode was 22% larger. Was it 22% better? Well, I think no. :)

But the real issue I have compared to the DVD source is the quality. There is a noticeable drop in detail and the colors are washed by some sort of brightness increase. The detail drop is most readily seen in her eye where the reflection changes shape. The brightness shift I have no explanation. Any ideas?

Just for fun I did an encode with the "AppleTV" preset and no other changes with the same washed out effect.
jzietman
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by jzietman »

Single-frame comparisons actually mean very little with CRF encodes, especially since psychovisual optimizations such as psy-rdo were introduced into the x264 code. The only real way to tell the difference in quality between encodes now is by actually watching them and comparing them in motion. Due to the nature of b- and p-frames, single frame comparisons will more often than not be between frames that are smaller and less detailed on their own and are designed that way by the x264 algorithm to keep bitrate down but to not degrade perceived quality while actually watching the movie.

65% is pretty well accepted as unnecessarily high with the up-to-date x264 code. Most regulars here seem to be using values between 59 and 62.

While actually watching the film, can you tell the difference between the source dvd and the encode using dynaflash's settings?
Abulia
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by Abulia »

Thanks for the response. The 65% encode was to essentially solidify in my own mind that probably everyone already knows (as you pointed out) that going beyond 62% yields very meager improvements at the cost of file size. :)

As to seeing the difference, I would say "yes." With the sample encodes that I did I immediately noticed that detail seemed a tad softer and that colors were definitely washed out. It was only until I did the single frame comparisons (above) that I was able to see those differences firsthand.

Pardon me if this is a totally n00b question, but is psy-rd=1,1 -- or any psy-rd setting -- enabled by default? I'm still researching if that is the case. (In my latest encode I specified it just to be sure. Size increased so I suspect the answer to my question is "no.")

[Edit] Ah found it in the notes. Looks like only the high-profile settings have psy-rd enabled by default?
jzietman
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by jzietman »

psy-rdo is enabled when subme ≥ 6.

What programs were you using to play the samples? You can't do frame advance on vlc, but quicktime can't play dvds. If you were playing the files using different programs that might be the reason that the color is different. Also, do a search for the "COLR atom," discussions about it crop up all the time, though I haven't kept up-to-date on them.
rhester
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by rhester »

In my experience, mplayer is best for this sort of thing, as it allows frame-by-frame advance of HandBrake and DVD content (as well as lossless screenshots).

Rodney
Abulia
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by Abulia »

jzietman wrote:psy-rdo is enabled when subme ≥ 6.
I also ran some encodes to confirm the same. Thank you. :)
What programs were you using to play the samples? You can't do frame advance on vlc, but quicktime can't play dvds. If you were playing the files using different programs that might be the reason that the color is different. Also, do a search for the "COLR atom," discussions about it crop up all the time, though I haven't kept up-to-date on them.
Fantastic. That was enough for me to search up the answer myself and find that QT is applying some sort of filter. I've tabled that issue for now and will look into it a bit later. The DVD capture came from OS X DVD Player, the others from QT.

Aaaaaaand just for fun, I did some encodes last night and somewhat settled on the following...until I finished the encode and the resulting file size. :) A bit large for my taste but I get most of the detail back. Need to see if the ATV chokes on it or if any of the aforementioned stuttering issues come back (HP:OotP).

Abulia 62% HQ

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Encoding time wasn't that bad on my quad-core but trellis made the size bloat up. Removing trellis took away a lot of the detail, however.
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

Abulia: I'm liking what I'm seeing (even if single-frame captures are irrelevant with CRF) with your settings, and I'm looking forward to reading about your findings with regard to stuttering and HP:OotP. Time and size are inconsequential for me... unless we're talking about GIGS of bloat.
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

Well, I may have changed my tune. I went home and gave Abulia's settings a whirl with "Finding Nemo." I can't say I was impressed with the results. I got better results using Cav's settings (see earlier post in this thread) @ 64% CRF than I did with Abulia's @ 62% CRF, on top of which Cav's settings encoded faster and resulted in a smaller filesize (even with the higher CRF).
djdeejay

Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by djdeejay »

ozmosis82 wrote:Well, I may have changed my tune. I went home and gave Abulia's settings a whirl with "Finding Nemo." I can't say I was impressed with the results. I got better results using Cav's settings (see earlier post in this thread) @ 64% CRF than I did with Abulia's @ 62% CRF, on top of which Cav's settings encoded faster and resulted in a smaller filesize (even with the higher CRF).
You really shouldn't need 64% CRF though...

62% is perfectly high enough and to be honest i only use this for 2.39.1 movies in which a lot of top and bottom black bars at cropped and i can ramp the CRF up without making a huge file.

If im encoding an older movie with full 1:69 TV aspect ratio i wont go above 60% which should result in an almost 1:1 copy anyway and a file size similar to a 62% setting in 2:39:1.

If i used 64% on an older movie (see noiser) in full widescreen aspect ratio id expect the file size to be pretty mamoth. Not worth it. I try to keep files sizes at around 1gb per hour, if i reach around this i know ive done a good job setting the CRF level....this will result in a file identical to one any bigger without wasting disk space.

Having said that im still having issues with fade in and outs, even general fades now - just not smooth enough. Thats with subme at 6, or 7 (or above) just to see if Psy-RDO has an effect.
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

Well, I tested rates from 59-65% with the longest movie I have (King Kong), and I was able to keep it under 3GB with Cav's settings @ 64%. That's perfectly fine for me. I doubt it's actually the biggest movie I have (I believe that title belongs to "Sunshine," a 3 and a half hour long drama that's the full 720 x 480), so I should probably run some tests with that. I'll have to see about fades on my side of things though. I haven't noticed anything yet...

UPDATE: I've noticed the fading issue on my ATV as well... and I've conceded to the 62% logic. If it's good enough for the devs and the rest of the gang, it's good enough for me.
djdeejay

Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by djdeejay »

ozmosis82 wrote: UPDATE: I've noticed the fading issue on my ATV as well... and I've conceded to the 62% logic. If it's good enough for the devs and the rest of the gang, it's good enough for me.
I might note devs/mods - this fading issue only occurs when the files are played back on the ATV - if i look at them on the macbook no problems...

Its as if the ATV is dropping frames quite drastically only on fades...

But that makes me think it could be doing it elsewhere not as notiable, and is maybe why some pan shots could be smoother than their (since im encoding from a PAL source)

but right now id like to get to the bottom of what is making fades on the ATV so jerky and poor...
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

FYI: The fading issue also appears to affect the default "AppleTV" preset.
osohardy
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by osohardy »

Not to get too far off the thread--I have also seen a fading 'issue' only on the apple TV 2.2. I have been basing off these settings posted earlier by Cav/Dynaflash with adjustments in quality slider depending...

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In this case with a bluray rip of planet earth at 58-59% synced to the ATV it happens on the opening title sequence of every episode (4 so far) where it is near black with a sliver of the earth, followed by a slow bright sunshine breaking across which is almost pure white. During the last few seconds it is noticeably blocky in the sunshine as it fades into the opening footage. The sequence is smooth in VLC, QT on the Imac.

Having said that, the quality though of the actual film is wonderful and plays smoothly. So far my only other bluray rip is Kung Fu Panda, which HB eats for lunch. I was able to stick with 62% and come out to 3.2 mbps and really hard for me to tell the difference from the disk.
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

osohardy wrote:So far my only other bluray rip is Kung Fu Panda, which HB eats for lunch. I was able to stick with 62% and come out to 3.2 mbps and really hard for me to tell the difference from the disk.
Were you encoding to 720p or 1080p?
osohardy
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by osohardy »

720p to fit the 720p 50" plasma. At 720 and CRF of 56-58 is where I usually have HD encodes so far, both from OTA and a few blurays and these will flirt with ~5mbps. I dont think I could get a good enough result at 5 mbps and 1080, although I actually haven't tried. There were some difficult scenes in Planet Earth especially with pan shots across moving flocks of birds where the bitrate still goes north of 12mbps (in my 720 file). I dont think there is anyway to get this in 1080 and playable on ATV and look good. I was surprised with Panda because I started with 59% but was able to inch up to 62% no problem. The only real difference I noticed was that the color looked a bit deeper and fuller. I also recorded The Incredibles OTA at 60% and it was about the same bitrate (~3mbps) and looks fantastic so HB really seems to shine with animation like this. To me, the step down from bluray is pretty small, but of course that is subjective. I do remove all unnecessary streams with Tsmuxer first, then run that through HB.
dynaflash
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by dynaflash »

osohardy wrote:There were some difficult scenes in Planet Earth especially with pan shots across moving flocks of birds where the bitrate still goes north of 12mbps (in my 720 file). I dont think there is anyway to get this in 1080 and playable on ATV and look good.
Have you tried vbv buffer limits ? Trust me, they work. ;)

Meaning, vbv will cap your peak bitrate so the atv doesn't drop frames. yes, the quality will suffer some, but *usually* it's fairly imperceptible except for the most extreme cases.
nightstrm
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by nightstrm »

How about suggesting some vbv limits as a starting point for those of us just getting into creating AppleTV-specific encodes of HD content (particularly from HD-DVD/Bluray sources)?

Yes, I'm being lazy. :D
osohardy
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by osohardy »

thanks dynaflash,

I had tried some vbv limits initially with some eyetv HD recordings (I scanned the old advanced settings thread and ~4900/3000 buffer was the norm I think), but did not find it necessary with those and didn't really come back to them. My understanding is that the ATV can handle peak ~14mbps--is that suitable? Also I guess my impression is that using vbv somewhat goes against what CRF encodes are trying to do, so I just nudged the quality slider here and there but maybe I'll play around with vbv too.

Personally with 720 vs 1080 I actually don't find it necessary to go 1080 on my 720 TV. I spent hours looking at two 50" inch 720 and 1080 screens side by side and unless I am a few feet away I really can't resolve the difference. I find bigger differences in picture quality, color accuracy etc than I do with resolution looking at different sets. 60" and I might care.... Are you encoding 1080 or 720 for ATV?
djdeejay

Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by djdeejay »

osohardy wrote: Are you encoding 1080 or 720 for ATV?
ATV doesn't support 1080i/p...

Also if your TV only support 720p max, you need not remember 1080p or blu-ray really exist to be honest, until you get a new box...

1080p is noticably sharper on my 40" Sammy to 720p...
osohardy
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by osohardy »

duh, right, forget the 1080 on ATV comment :oops:
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

After many tests, I've discovered that the culprit behind the issue with fades is the weighted b-frames option. I've been testing with the first chapter to Eyes Wide Shut (*sigh* Nicole Kidman) since the titles are large, bold white characters against a black background. The WB logo was also susceptible to noticeable fade issues when it faded out. Removing the weighted b-frames option clears all of this up, and all is well.

UPDATE: Umm... I also got the aforementioned chapter to work with 8x8dct enabled and didn't encounter any fading issues. The settings I used were (@ 62% CRF):

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I found a thread wherein someone was saying that they had some encodes with 8x8 work, and others not. I suppose what I'll go and do is run a variety of chapters from different movies through those settings to see if they all playback.
takuzinis
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by takuzinis »

Funny enough I found the same thing this morning with "No Time for Nuts" (Ice Age 2 DVD Short). Despite the previous reports here http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=3154.

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CRF 59%; Activity log reported 8x8dct something like 83% 17%.
djdeejay

Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by djdeejay »

ozmosis82 wrote:After many tests, I've discovered that the culprit behind the issue with fades is the weighted b-frames option. I've been testing with the first chapter to Eyes Wide Shut (*sigh* Nicole Kidman) since the titles are large, bold white characters against a black background. The WB logo was also susceptible to noticeable fade issues when it faded out. Removing the weighted b-frames option clears all of this up, and all is well.

UPDATE: Umm... I also got the aforementioned chapter to work with 8x8dct enabled and didn't encounter any fading issues. The settings I used were (@ 62% CRF):

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ref=6:mixed-refs=1:bframes=6:direct=auto:no-fast-pskip=1:me=umh:subq=7:analyse=all:b-adapt=2:8x8dct=1
I found a thread wherein someone was saying that they had some encodes with 8x8 work, and others not. I suppose what I'll go and do is run a variety of chapters from different movies through those settings to see if they all playback.
Well found - that would make sense as the ATV is supposed to struggle with weighted b-frames. They only got turned back on for ATV in a recent advanced setting.

Dynaflash i would strongley suggest you remove this setting now - i wont be using weight b-frames on anything else as i cannot bear the poor fades but will just have to put up with it on the encodes it is on...

How much percentage wise can i except to see an increase in bit-rate/file size now?
dynaflash
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by dynaflash »

djdeejay wrote:Dynaflash i would strongley suggest you remove this setting now - i wont be using weight b-frames on anything else as i cannot bear the poor fades but will just have to put up with it on the encodes it is on...
Hmmm, maybe. First I want to see it for myself. Frankly I haven't noticed these borked fades on either atv. But will run a couple of comparisons. Customizing it to your own tastes is half the fun.
ozmosis82
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Re: AppleTV Advanced Settings (Post PsyRDO)

Post by ozmosis82 »

djdeejay wrote:How much percentage wise can i except to see an increase in bit-rate/file size now?
With the chapter I was testing with, omitting weighted b-frames increased the filesize by about 1-2%. I'm not sure if that percentage carries over to a full-length encode, though.
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