I've been working with and converting 720p HD MKV's for some time, and I've always needed them in an MP4 format. Typically, I did this by converting them in Freemake Video Converter from MKV to MP4, mostly on Auto settings.
However, once getting into the 1080p range, or very high 720 files, I've began to notice a quality loss, even when ripped at a higher bitrate than the original file. The most noticeable was The Hunger Games, from a 9GB 1080 MKV to a 7.5 GB MP4, with huge quality loss at a higher bitrate.
I know about handbrake, ffmpeg, etc. but have never actually attempted to use one, because I never had the need..Any advice on what program is best, what settings to use, and perhaps how to softcode subtitles into MP4 files without downloading 5 separate programs?
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For $50 you can buy a media player that can play your MKV files and stop wasting time converting ot MP4. If you really must, I second the MKVtoMP4 suggestion. But beware, some MKV files may use h.264 features that your player can't handle. So a simple remux may not work.
In response to both posts:
@videobruger: Thank you so much. Not only this this take my 1080p MKV file and convert in in 1hr. 36. min, but it reduced the file size by 2GB - with no visible quality loss. The file opened in iTunes, and was even tagged as a HD file. Added Cover Art, worked perfect.
@jagabo: Read the post before replying. Not only had a solution already been given, but yours was to spend money on something I don't need or want. But thanks for nothing.
no loss means COPY elementary streams - if you only need to change container then this is simple copy operation that can be performed by ffmpeg or mencoder
ffmpeg -i %1 -c:v copy -c:a copy %1.mp4
for best performance use source located on one physical hdd and destination on second physical device