XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

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350Zed
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XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by 350Zed » Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:32 pm

I've been searching everywhere and cannot find succinct instructions to set up HB 0.9.3 to convert 720p x264 mkv files to a state that is playable on XBMC running on an Xbox.

Can someone please break it down for me? I've read all the wikis and posts here and on xbmc.org, and nothing gives any real clarity with respect to using HB to do this.

I've tried numerous encode attempts and have yet to have a single file even play, although many other files and DVDs I've encoded using other software has worked fine (e.g., encoding SD DVDs to XviD using AutoGK).

Please help! :?

350Zed
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by 350Zed » Sat Nov 29, 2008 5:36 pm

Anyone??? :|

cvk_b
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by cvk_b » Sun Nov 30, 2008 12:58 am

720p x264 mkv won't even play smooth on an appletv via xbmc (but probably could be fixed in player software and/or gpu decoding someday). The original xbox just won't because it is not powerful enough for 720p.

350Zed
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by 350Zed » Sun Nov 30, 2008 1:34 am

cvk_b wrote:720p x264 mkv won't even play smooth on an appletv via xbmc (but probably could be fixed in player software and/or gpu decoding someday). The original xbox just won't because it is not powerful enough for 720p.
Ya, I know that. If these files played natively on my Xbox XBMC, why would I need Handbrake? :roll:

Can you offer any helpful HB settings? :?

cvk_b
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by cvk_b » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:18 pm

350Zed wrote:
cvk_b wrote:720p x264 mkv won't even play smooth on an appletv via xbmc (but probably could be fixed in player software and/or gpu decoding someday). The original xbox just won't because it is not powerful enough for 720p.
Ya, I know that. If these files played natively on my Xbox XBMC, why would I need Handbrake? :roll:

Can you offer any helpful HB settings? :?
Sorry misread your first post. I thought you were trying to create those files. Post a log file so we can see what is happening when you transcode. The ipod legacy preset would probably work.

350Zed
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Joined: Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:37 pm

Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by 350Zed » Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:39 pm

cvk_b wrote:
350Zed wrote:
cvk_b wrote:720p x264 mkv won't even play smooth on an appletv via xbmc (but probably could be fixed in player software and/or gpu decoding someday). The original xbox just won't because it is not powerful enough for 720p.
Ya, I know that. If these files played natively on my Xbox XBMC, why would I need Handbrake? :roll:

Can you offer any helpful HB settings? :?
Sorry misread your first post. I thought you were trying to create those files. Post a log file so we can see what is happening when you transcode. The ipod legacy preset would probably work.
My transcoding is working fine, so the log won't help as far as I can see.

I can get output from many of the built-in HB profiles to work with XBMC on Xbox, however nothing that will play even comes close to the original quality of the 720p original.

What I'm after is the HB profile that will max-out the XBMC's capabilities thus offering the best output possible...

...and I'm still stumped. :cry:

cvk_b
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by cvk_b » Sun Nov 30, 2008 11:03 pm

Well you should be able to crank all the motion estimation settings to max (slow encoding). If you are using more than 2 b-frames you could add

Code: Select all

b-adapt=2:
. You could crank up reference frames to 3 or 4 usually. Those would add quality. Not many xbmc-on-xbox experts (if any at all) here.

david81
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by david81 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:10 pm

There is a great thread over at the XBMC forums regarding this. Unfortunately, the settings posted are for MeGUI. My request for Handbrake settings was received rather coldy. Perhaps someone here may be able to translate the settings that they have come up with to a nice preset for Handbrake.

The thread can be found at:

http://xbmc.org/forum/showthread.php?t=33429

The settings posted are:
High Quality, Larger File:

program --pass 2 --bitrate XXXX --stats ".stats" --keyint 240 --min-keyint 24 --ref 8 --mixed-refs --no-fast-pskip --bframes 6 --b-adapt 2 --b-pyramid --weightb --no-cabac --subme 7 --partitions p8x8,b8x8,i4x4,i8x8 --8x8dct --ratetol 4.0 --qcomp 0.5 --me umh --merange 32 --threads auto --thread-input --progress --no-psnr --no-ssim --output "output" "input"

Good Quality, Smaller File:

program --pass 2 --bitrate XXXX --stats ".stats" --keyint 240 --min-keyint 24 --ref 8 --mixed-refs --no-fast-pskip --bframes 6 --b-adapt 2 --b-pyramid --weightb --nf --subme 7 --trellis 2 --partitions p8x8,b8x8,i4x4,i8x8 --8x8dct --ratetol 4.0 --qcomp 0.5 --me umh --merange 32 --threads auto --thread-input --progress --no-psnr --no-ssim --output "output" "input"
I've made a poor attempt at getting it working, but didn't have time to work on it more late last night when I found it. Perhaps someone more experienced with Handbrake can have a better go at it.


David

jcwacky
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by jcwacky » Sat Feb 21, 2009 12:32 am

Sorry to dig this post up, but I too am searching for the best way to do this using Handbrake.

Anyone found the optimal settings yet?

Thanks
James

no1glr
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by no1glr » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:29 am

There are a lot of xbox's out there, it would be good if someone could do a proper XBMC preset, especially as a standard selection in the preset list.

I've just started using 0.9.3 today, and have have to have a few goes to get something that works OK. I had a good saved preset for 0.9.2 that worked every time. Sure XBOX's can struggle, are a bit outdated, etc....but I go to sea on ships and our xbox is gets a lot use and works well as our main media player and the 500 G drive is full, and I love handbrake for encoding.

I started with the television preset, change Avg bit rate to 960 (Seems to be a magic upper limit number), use MKV to save the file. Also make sure you increase your cache in the XBMC setting for video play back, I set it to 4096.

Then paste the following line into advanced settings

level=30:keyint=240:min-keyint=24:ref=5:mixed-refs=1:no-fast-pskip=1:bframes=5:b-pyramid=1:b-rdo=1:bime=1:weightb=1:direct=auto:nf=1:subq=7a rtitions:8x8dct=1:qpmin=18:vbv-bufsize=1000:vbv-maxrate=5000:ratetol=4.0:me=umh:threads=autorogr ess:no-psnr=1:no-ssim=1:nr=0:nf=1:cabac=0:thread-input=1:cqm=.\CQM\eqm_avc_hr.cfg

Then set default should save it.

swiven
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by swiven » Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:13 pm

---SOLUTION---

Allright everyone, i have A solution!!! (Not THE solution, that would be somewhat self-overestimated). Besides that i'm just a newbie in codec-land, but i wanted exactly the same thing 350Zed wanted. Handbrake settings.

I start with: Any x264 .mkv, .wmv, etc. with 720p resolution (1280x720 for example). That runs like sh*t on my XBOX with XBMC. It can be just any file in my opinion, i tested af few different sources, all with the same good results)

I GET after encoding: An .avi file with 720p resolution (1280x720) that runs PERFECTLY SMOOOTH on my Xbox!! And can be streamed trough my wireless(!) LAN.

What works for my setup (softmodded xbox with XBMC) is the following:

Format: AVI File
Video Codec: MPEG-4 (Xvid)
Framerate: "Same as source"
Grayscale encoding: OFF
2-pass encoding: ON
Quality: (Use target size)

The target size should be somewhere near the size of the original file, but it doesn't have to be an exact match.

(I don't touch the picture settings, but i can't see why cropping the image should affect anything.)

For audio settings i use "AC3 Passthru" to maintain the sound quality/6.1 sound.

So basically, i don't use the .264 codec thing, but it works great! I have checked on my iMac if there is any quality loss, but i can't tell the difference between the original MKV and the converted AVI, it is REALLY crisp. (A computer animated movie like Madagascar is alway a nice benchmark for crispness in my opinion.)

Converting time is about 1,5 times the movie length... So a 100 minute movie takes 2,5 hours, which is just fine for me.

I have tested it with the following files:
- Lord of the Rings HD 720p source
- Nvidia HD preview ( http://download.nvidia.com/video/purevi ... A-720p.wmv )
- Pioneer HD preview ( http://www.pioneer.co.uk/eur/download.j ... attachment )
- Madagascar HD movie trailer ( http://trailers.divx.com/Dreamworks/Madagascar_HD.zip )

More samples on: http://www.highdefforum.com/high-defini ... -list.html

All run great via LAN streaming. (The source files run like crap, but after .AVI conversion they run perfectly!)

NOTE:

I don't think it may affect anything, but i don't have the xbox HD cable YET (it comes in this week). I am just testing performance via the normal PAL cable. I don't think it matters this way, i just see the HD quality on my TV. I try to play a HD 1280x720 .avi file, and it runs great, that's all i know and see so far.

I will update my post if i have connected the xbox via the HD pack Cable.

TedJ
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by TedJ » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:30 pm

No surprises there... xvid decoding is less taxing on the CPU than x264.

If you're looking to speed things up a bit, you could try constant quality instead... probably something in the vicinity of 82-92%. This will allow for a single pass encode, with the disadvantage of unknown filesize/bitrate for the finished encode.

350Zed
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by 350Zed » Fri Mar 27, 2009 10:42 am

The settings worked great for the video, but I'm not getting any audio in my output .avi file. :?

Source audio is DTS 5.1... I tried selecting AC3 for the audio codec, and got no audio at all. Do I need to select MP3? Will that not only give me 2 channel audio then? :?:

nightstrm
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by nightstrm » Fri Mar 27, 2009 12:20 pm

350Zed wrote:The settings worked great for the video, but I'm not getting any audio in my output .avi file. :?

Source audio is DTS 5.1... I tried selecting AC3 for the audio codec, and got no audio at all. Do I need to select MP3? Will that not only give me 2 channel audio then? :?:
Handbrake cannot transcode DTS -> AC3.

nathantomlin
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by nathantomlin » Sat Mar 28, 2009 4:31 pm

I had never heard of handbrake until this post turned up in a google search. Handbrake worked great - it's a really nice program. And swiven's settings worked perfectly for me - plays just fine on XBMC and looks great. Now I can watch the final 3 hours of battlestar galactica tonight in near-HD!

swiven
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by swiven » Sun Mar 29, 2009 10:42 am

Ok, HD cable is connected and everything is working as expected.

Except for a few minor "bugs":

- In the Video Hardware settings of XBMC uncheck "Show 1080i". This increases video playback smoothness BIG TIME, at the cost of some crispness in the XBMC interface (the video files are still 720p, so they won't lose detail)

- Some AVI's won't let me rewind and fast-forward. It seems it has something to do with remuxing the AVI? Maybe it helps if i try to encode the audio via MP3 instead of AC3 passthrough. Does it also matter if i use MKV instead of avi (still using Xvid as encode)

Has anyone a sulotion for this?

Besides that, everything works great!

swiven
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by swiven » Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:13 pm

Ok, i've got the optimal settings:

In handbrake, use AVI/Xvid encode. Use Target size, which must be about 3/4 of the original size. (So for a 4,82 GB MKV, give up 3600 or so.) For audio settings i use AC3-Passthru.

Then, crop/shrink the movie to 960x540 pixels. The most 720p MKV's are 1280x540, which:

- The Xbox can't handle, most heavy-duty action scenes play choppy
- Don't fit on your 16:9 TV (you have black bars above and below)

So if you crop from 1280x540 to 960x540 (which is 16:9) you only crop from the sides, which is better because now the movie fits the whole screen. The parts you cut off are exactly 1/4 of the movie. (There's where the 3/4 Target size come from.)

In this way you won't lose ANY quality and the Xbox plays them great! (also heavy-duty action scenes!)

Next step is to "fix" the AVI 'cause you can't rewind or fast-forward through it. Use FFMPEG-X for this. Under "tools" there is a "Fix" option. Load your AVI in there, let it roll for about 8 minutes, and there you go:

A full-detail HD movie which is really crisp and plays VERY smoothly!!!

tabicat
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by tabicat » Wed Sep 16, 2009 12:16 am

swiven wrote:Next step is to "fix" the AVI 'cause you can't rewind or fast-forward through it. Use FFMPEG-X for this. Under "tools" there is a "Fix" option. Load your AVI in there, let it roll for about 8 minutes, and there you go:
Does the fact that I need to use ffmpeg to "fix" the AVI mean that Handbrake is broken? Why does Handbrake create an AVI that needs to be "fixed"?

TedJ
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by TedJ » Wed Sep 16, 2009 1:55 am

Because the code has essentially been abandoned since 2005? Yes, the AVI muxer is broken as implemented. Unfortunately, AVI in general is broken as it doesn't support many modern features (embedded subs, variable framerate, clean b-frame support, etc.)... as a result it is being dropped from the next Handbrake release.

kmunoz
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by kmunoz » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:18 pm

So if HandBrake no longer supports AVI, and XBoxes running XBMC can't handle MKV or MP4, should I just toss my HandBrake?

TedJ
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by TedJ » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:48 pm

That is, of course, entirely up to you. :)

If avi and xvid are essential to your encoding needs then you will need to look elsewhere for a suitable encoder.

ascianti
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 mkv?

Post by ascianti » Wed Jan 06, 2010 1:12 am

A suitable encoder for avi/xvid would be autogk.

doubleoh0
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Re: XBMC on Xbox: optimal HB settings to convert 720p x264 m

Post by doubleoh0 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:52 am

I use an mkv container w/ mp4 video at 1750 kbps and 2-pass encoding. The audio I select mp3 stereo at 128 but I'm sure that could be turned up quite a bit. The xbox res is 720p.

The files look great on a 42 in from about 10 feet. From 5 feet, it's not as good.

I've been slowly cranking up the bit rate with new encodes. When the file plays, you can hit black to bring up the dashboard. A file with a bit rate of 1950 pushes the cpu up to about 30 - 40 %, with some spike a little over 50. I'm about to encode another and will use 2050.

Also, about avi, I'm glad handbrake dropped support bc there's no re-muxing with mp4! And I had no idea :)

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