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  1. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
    Location: Sweden
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    This simple guide will show you how to get started with HandBrake! One of the best free DVD to converters. Batch convert your DVDs to high quality MP4 or MKV files(around 2-3GB/movie).


    Tools required
    DVD Fab Decrypter
    Handbrake


    Note!
    If you don't need to shrink the the movie but you want ONE single MKV file from the DVD then can you can use MakeMKV instead. It will make ONE MKV from your DVD.


    Preperation
    Rip the DVD to your HDD. (If you have AnyDVD($$) you can skip this step because it will automatically remove the dvd encryption)
    DVDFab Decrypter might look like a trialware but just click Start DVDFab HD Decrypter when you start it. You don't need to buy the complete DVDFab.


    Insert the DVD and Set the Target folder and Start ripping
    If you are going to convert several movies then rip all to different folders and then you can batch encode all in once in Handbrake



    HandBrake Guide
    1. Choose the VIDEO_TS folder on your HDD.
    2. Set the output folder.
    3. Under Presets->High Profile choose Constant Quality Rate. This preset will use so called Constant Quality encoding mode so you will always get High Quality video but you can't set an exact output file size then. If you want to modify the output file size change to the Film or Television preset and you can adjust the output file size under the Video tab, read more here.
    4. Set the output format to MKV. You can also choose MP4 if you want better Media Center support like PS3, Xbox 360, etc.


    Audio and Subtitles tab
    You can choose to keep the source DVD AC3 audio for best audio quality or if you want a bit smaller output file size change to AAC audio codec. Use also AAC audio if you are making an .MP4 for Xbox 360 or PS3.
    If you want hard / burned in subtitles in the video choose the subtitle track.


    Queue
    1. Add the current project to the Queue, Add to Queue
    2. You can now add a new DVD Video/VIDEO_TS source and configure new settings.
    3. Last Show Queue and ENCODE!


    A cmd box will appear with encoding speed and ETA
    Wait...wait...wait...go to bed.


    Done!

    Play the MKV or MP4 in VLC Media Player or just install ffdshow and play in WMP or MPC.




    More information
    If you want a detailed guide that describes all options in Handbrake then read http://www.my-guides.net/en/content/view/111/26/ .













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  2. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Yay! (used DVDFab) and Handbrake to get 1gb .MKV file- awesome quality, but it took 8 hours in total with decent spec PC...
    is there any quicker converters/tools to achieve similar result (besides Total Video Converter by ER(with mush less satisfying qulity result)?
    Thanks!
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: Norway
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    Originally Posted by Atasas
    Yay! (used DVDFab) and Handbrake to get 1gb .MKV file- awesome quality, but it took 8 hours in total with decent spec PC...
    is there any quicker converters/tools to achieve similar result (besides Total Video Converter by ER(with mush less satisfying qulity result)?
    Thanks!
    I have DVDFab (latest version), and can easily and fast convert a DVD to MKV (different codecs is available).
    On my HP HDX16 (Laptop), it takes about 30 minutes to convert a DVD (1-pass).

    It doesn't have support for multiple audio, but can hard code one subtitle to the movie.
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  4. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Thanks!
    ...I need an hour for copy...
    to poor quality .mkv it takes 5/6 hours
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  5. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
    Location: Sweden
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    You can try change to xvid video codec under the Video tab.
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    I'll try and will post the result
    BTW does it imply that xvid format is easier/less resource hug for conversion than .mkv?
    and how come using HandBrake conversion to .mkv had turned in to amazing (as near 1 to 1 as poss) copy?(with frustrating time to do so)
    Nice day!
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: United States
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    x264 encoding can produce very high quality copies, but is very resource intensive. XVID can also produce very good results with less tax on your system. The output quality is really all about the settings that you use. At any rate, I wanted to point out that XVID encoding in Handbrake is somewhat basic. I have converted a number of TV DVDs to XVID with Handbrake and while the files all play fine on my computer, they would not play on my PMP. GSpot reports the files as containing "12 bytes unneeded bytes at end of file". I needed to use Virtualdubmod to re-mux the files before they would work on my player.

    Jason
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Thanks for the response guys!
    Just got hard to swallow fact of a old xvid format being better on overall than newer .mkv...
    I am fan of all freeware apps (talking from experience) as they not as flashy or too convenient, but usually more productive, and have been in believe that .mkv is the way forward
    PS results where not amazing using xvid, but , yes! a whole bit quicker
    Thanks!
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  9. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Can I change my mind?
    don't mean to offend or upset anyone...
    I have read quite a bit! and a whole load of (especialy) uploaders prefer .mkv because of advantage of .mkv file to be better data/video processing format!

    I shall propose chalenge
    what tools would be least time/resources intensive for "backing up" my dvd's to matrioska format?
    the only question remains- what tools should I use then please?(paid or unpaid- makes no difference to me :cough
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  10. Member
    Join Date: Jan 2009
    Location: United States
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    I feel like you have sort of missed the point. For a given bitrate, you can produce a better quality encode using H.264 than with XVID/DivX. If you crank up the bitrate, you can overcome this. Aside from just bitrate, there are a LOT of other options for adjusting encoding quality. If you don't like the quality of the XVID or the H.264 (x264), then you should try increasing the bitrate or adjusting some of the encoding options. There are a lot of guides on this site or elsewhere on the web to help you with this.

    People like mkv containers because they have a wide array of options. My suggestion to you would be to use Handbrake and encode only the first chapter of your favorite DVD using the Constant Rate Quality profile. I believe that it is preset at 61% quality which is ~20 CRF which is likely going to be fine for you. I would try a few encodes at between 55% and 65% to see if you can see any difference. The lower the setting, the smaller your output file will be. I would suggest changing the deblock filters to 0,0 (I believe they start at -2,-1 for that profile). Find out what settings look the best in your opinion and use those settings.

    My suggestion to use Handbrake is because it is relatively easy to use. It really doesn't support everything that you can do with mkv containers (soft subtitles is the first one that comes to mind). Since I am only interested in producing mp4 video with hard subs, it works fine for me. If you want some of the other mkv container options, you will need to look into other tools. Hopefully you can find a guide for this or someone else that has experience with them to help you.

    If the encoding times are too long for you, I would suggest looking into a computer upgrade. x264 is the encoder that pretty much everything uses for h.264 encoding (really x264 encodes), so switching programs won't be too much help for you. The only way to speed up encoding is to drop some of the options that are used to make x264/h.264 a more efficient encoder or upgrade your system to be able to handle it.

    Jason
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  11. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Thank you!
    Will give it a try once more, but to be clear on it - using Total Video Converter I had desired outcome 1gb .mkv in 1.5 hours, but quality was incomparably lesser than one done by HandBrake... (in about forever hours)
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  12. Member DVWannaB's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2001
    Location: United States
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    Comment & maybe stupid question.

    I used handbrake for the first time this weekend (thanks to this guide) to encode a college football game recorded from HD source to 720x480 8.9 Mbps. First, HB was extremely fast and files played with good quality. I tried various settings from CQ (65), 2-pass 3000 kbps and 2-pass 4000 kbps. CQ gave me a calculated average bitrate of 5800 kpbs, but interestingly took much longer than 2-pass. 6 hrs vs 1 hr 30 min (3 hour file) to MKV (using x264).

    My question is what is the theoretical or mathematical computation that one can expect to get a 1-to-1 reproduction of the original file? Is it the CQ 61 auto setting? I have heard that x264 is supposed to be able to do a 3:1 bitrate compression to the original to produce the same quality. Is that correct?

    In all honesty and as much as I tried I could not tell much of a difference between each file, with maybe the CQ 65 a very slight edge.
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  13. Member ron spencer's Avatar
    Join Date: May 2005
    Location: Ish-ka-bibble
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    that is an interesting question....how much can you reencode to to still have same quality.
    'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
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  14. Member
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    Location: Asia
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    There is no universal ratio or computation. The amount of detail, motion, noise, grain, darkness, etc. in the source will substantially affect how much bitrate is needed.

    Excellent quality comes at CQ 61-65%, but normally 62% is enough. 65% will take quite a bit longer to encode than 61%; the more bitrate is used, the slower the encode.

    It's best to test multiple bitrates or CQs to see what the smallest bitrate that still looks good is. You can cut out a 1-min representative segment of your source and use that for quick testing.

    edit: I've heard it said that x264 takes 20-25% less bitrate than XviD to look equally good on a source. With recent improvements over the past year, it may even be as high as 40% in certain cases, insofar as the outputs of different codecs can be considered "equally good".
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  15. Member ron spencer's Avatar
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    Location: Ish-ka-bibble
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    is there a way to update x264 in handbrake?
    'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
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  16. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
    Join Date: Aug 2000
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    Originally Posted by ron spencer
    is there a way to update x264 in handbrake?
    You could try latest beta / snapshot from http://handbrake.fr/?article=snapshot and http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=12009
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  17. Member ron spencer's Avatar
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    Location: Ish-ka-bibble
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    can you trust the auto crop in handbrake? So you still have 16x16 divisible?

    or is it ok just to leave crop to 0
    'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
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  18. Member
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    Location: Asia
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    can you trust the auto crop in handbrake? So you still have 16x16 divisible?
    mod16 is not that important, empirically speaking. You waste pretty little bitrate at non-mod16 resolutions. Crop off any black borders and dirty or darkened pixels, and encode in strict anamorphic mode.

    If you find that after cropping you're very close to mod16 (e.g. mod16+2), you can choose to crop to mod16 and save some bitrate.
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  19. Member ron spencer's Avatar
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    thanks....is cropping really necessary? I have never really cropped (too laxy), how does this affect presentation on output to plasma panel bia a NMT? Does it just save bitraye overall?
    'Do I look absolutely divine and regal, and yet at the same time very pretty and rather accessible?' - Queenie
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  20. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Asia
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    It just saves a small amount of bitrate. In the cases of large black borders, you should definitely, definitely crop, though. Isn't cropping easy in Handbrake? I only use MeGUI and it's really easy there.
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  21. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: United States
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    I am trying to convert all of my Disney DVDs to mkv, and the end result is that they end up with a ton of flickering. I've even tried using the animation presets to no avail. Anyone else seeing this or know how to avoid it?
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  22. Member
    Join Date: Apr 2008
    Location: United States
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    null message. sorry.
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  23. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
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    What sort of flickering? Can you take a screenshot to show us?
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  24. Member
    Join Date: Oct 2009
    Location: Singapore
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    Hi, I followed your steps to convert my DVD to MKV using DVD Fab and Handbrake. The pictures look good but unfortunately there is no audio. Please help.
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  25. Member
    Join Date: May 2009
    Location: United Kingdom
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    Hi
    I just downloaded handbrake (never used it before) and I dont have most of the presets shown in the screenshots - I tried updating them but still dont have those shown.
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  26. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2009
    Location: Asia
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    The current version has removed the old presets. Just use the High Profile preset, which has most of the bells and whistles enabled.
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  27. Member
    Join Date: May 2009
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    @creamyhorror thanks for the tip
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  28. Member
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    Location: United States
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    I have tried and followed your steps to a tee. I get more than an acceptable amount of pixelation after convertint to MP4. Was wondering why? Thanks for the help. Robert
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  29. Member
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    @rjech7 Pixelation? Do you mean blocking? Post a few screenshots showing the problem on imgur.com and link them here.
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  30. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2007
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    Thanks, Creamhour. I think I have fixed the problem. I have an Archos 7 and the High Profile preset wasn't playing the file. I changed the Video Codec to MPEG-4(FFMpeg), Constant Quality to 100 %, Anamorphic - Loose. This seems to produce the best quality video that will play on my device.
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