Converting my entire library

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stajo
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:32 pm

Converting my entire library

Post by stajo »

Hi,
I am planning to rebuild my Plex and storage solution. The reasons are (1) that I had my Plex Server as a TrueNas Plug-In which wasn’t the best solution and (2) that I run out of storage to quick.

So I will have the Plex Server environment on a separate NUC and I will keep my TrueNas as a legacy storage. I will also build a new storage with the same capacity as the old (40 Tb). The reason I run out of storage is that all new movies I have ripped and converted with MakeMKV is up to and sometimes bigger than 30 Gb each. So I will use Handbrake to compress them. After compressing them I will be putting them on the new storage and point Plex to that one. If all is good after I can start deleting the old files on the old storage and reuse that to some other purpose.
My watching platforms will exclusively be Nvidia Shields or HTPCs so I am not worried over that they wont be able to play the H.265 format.
I haven’t used Handbrake in a long time, so I started to investigate the settings to use. I am interested in your reflections over my findings so far.

The standard settings for Matroska H.265 MKV 1080p30 in Handbrake 1.5.1 are:
Format: MKV (obviously)
Filters: Deinterlace: Decomb
Video Encoder: H.265
Framerate: 30 Peak
Quality: 22
Encoder Preset: Slow
Encoder Tune: None
Encoder Profile: Main
Encoder Level: Auto

I have taken 3 movies earlier ripped with MakeMKV and I have test-converted the 3 movies with the standard setting above and then I also ripped with slightly Modified settings to the above Standard Preset:

1. Changing the Encoder Lever from Auto to 4.1
2. Encoder Level: Auto and Quality: 20
3. Encoder Level: 4.1 and Quality: 20
4. Framerate: Same as Source Variable
5. Framerate: Same as Source Constant
6. Encoder Preset: Very Slow

And a few combinations of those. I did choose the movies Transformers – Age of Extinction (original bitrate variable from 24.100 to 33.000), Django Unchained (original bitrate 22.900) and Flykten fran Bastoy (original bitrate 11.400 to 25.000).

After I have watched different chosen segments of the movies on different PCs/Monitors on VLC. My early findings are:
1. Quality: I see almost none, if any difference on the picture quality to the different settings. Not even from the original rip. H.265 and Handbrake definitely does a good job.
2. Framerate: The Framerate settings Peak, Variable or Constant makes no difference to the compressed video files as far as I can see. They are bit perfect matches according to their size and from what I can see when I watch.
3. File sizes: Quality Setting 22 vs 20 differs between 13 to 55 % depending on the original movie, I suspect mainly original bitrate. Transformers and Django was large, 30+ Tb and Flykten fran Bastoy, a Norwegian movie, was 10 Tb. Transformers went from 37,7 to 7,14 (Q22) or 9,91 (Q20). Not a huge difference on the compressed results in percentage. Django went from 35,3 to 2,94 (Q22) or 4,23 (Q20), and Flykten fran Bastoy from 9,96 to 1,91 (Q22) or 2,74 (Q20) booth from a storage perspective a pretty big difference.
4. Conversion time: With the Encoder Preset Slow I convert a video in a couple (3,5-5) hours. I can live with that. Setting it to Slower and it goes up to 24+ hrs, that will take a very long time for all those movies. And as I really cant see much of a difference, I don’t think I will go there.

The Handbrake Team seems to have done a good choice on the standard settings for Matroska H.265 MKV 1080p30 in Handbrake 1.5.1. If I don’t make any new findings in further testing and evaluation I think I will go for them and only make changes in Sound (I want a 5.1 option) and Subtitles (Swedish). Or if you guys can convince me otherwise.

What are your thoughts?
mduell
Veteran User
Posts: 7825
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 8:54 pm

Re: Converting my entire library

Post by mduell »

There's no value in manually setting the level.

Constant framerate will cause problems when you encode movies with mixed content.

Output bitrate has nothing to do with original bitrate.
stajo
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2022 12:32 pm

Re: Converting my entire library

Post by stajo »

mduell wrote: Wed Dec 07, 2022 3:19 pm There's no value in manually setting the level.

Constant framerate will cause problems when you encode movies with mixed content.

Output bitrate has nothing to do with original bitrate.
Good. We seem to agree. I saw a lot of other opinions on YouTube, Reddit etc, many of them contradictive to each other, and yet more just copying what someone else had said before, seemingly based on old information.
rollin_eng
Veteran User
Posts: 4586
Joined: Wed May 04, 2011 11:06 pm

Re: Converting my entire library

Post by rollin_eng »

The general advice is not to trust random people on the internet :wink:
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