I have tried searching and found so many settings for handbrake it makes me even more confused than when i started!!
I am after a decent quality (as good as i can get) for quite a small filesize.
1hour30 film i would like about 850mb. I convert from the VIDEO_TS folder ripped from DVD.
I tried Constant Quality 19 RF. I will be watching on a 70-90" projected screen. Would this be a good enough quality for that size. It seems about acceptable but It takes the file size up then , do i need to select a slower x264preset to reduce? Time wise id like a 1hr30 to take 2-3 hours, my processor is only a 2GHz Duo.
Sorry if this isnt enough info. I wonder if i should maybe stick to a preset and let it do its thing.
If i try Vidcoder and select a file size does that mean it picks the best settings it can for that file size or do i still set it all?
Thank you all.
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When you use x264's quality based encoding, you're selecting the quality but the file size will be unknown (it depends on how hard the video is to compress). When you select a file size and use 2 pass encoding it's the other way around. The file size is known but the quality is not.
I'd only use Handbrake's High Profile preset. 850MB is fairly optimistic but it depends on the resolution you use when encoding and the type of audio. If you keep the original AC3 5.1ch audio that can be around 300-400MB on it's own. By default I think Handbrake keeps the original AC3 audio and also converts it to stereo AAC. Unless you need both for some reason, you can delete one of them.
CRF19 should give you pretty good quality. Slower x264 presets can sometimes reduce the file size a little but there's no guarantee. Sometimes they increase it a bit.
Thanks for the response there.
I actually just tried a few episodes from a DVD and set to Main, Constant framerate, RF18. The Episode was 42min long and they come out around 550-600MB pretty good quality (to my eyes!) However one which which was identital time in length was only 450mb and seemed a lower quality (very slighty) just a few more pixels visible in the backround etc. Is this just me imagining it or would this happen?
I also use x264 on very fast , so i might try to set this to slow, as it goes pretty quick and im in no rush for them. Would this improve quality?!
Thanks for your help
Make sure you start with HandBrake's High Profile preset as the rest use non-default x264 settings (even when changing the x264 speed preset). You can still select the Main profile under the video tab if you like. The x264 speed presets don't effect quality too much (for a given CRF value) but in theory they can, and at the faster end of the scale it might become a little noticeable. The fastest speed preset I've used myself is medium. I generally use medium or slow (sometimes slower if I'm not in a hurry), so I can't comment much on the effect of using faster presets.
In an ideal world a given CRF value should give you the same quality relative to the original video every time, but sometimes there's small sections of video which are particularly hard to encode.... it's not a perfect system but as a general rule it works very well. There can be other factors involved such as any filtering being used (ie de-interlacing etc) but I'd try a slower speed preset first to see how that goes. Don't forget handbrake lets you select the start and end points for encoding so you can just encode small sections of the video for making comparisons.... no need to encode the whole lot every time.
PS If you think the encoding quality for a particular video (or section of it) isn't the same as the rest, before blaming the encoder make sure to check the source video. Most of the time it's probably not the encoder's fault. The quality of DVD/Blu-ray video varies quite a lot, even from episode to episode on the same disc, and chances are the encoder is just re-encoding a lower quality source. Many times I've seen something "odd" in an encode, but after looking carefully at the source video I've realised it contained the same "oddness".
Last edited by hello_hello; 21st Sep 2013 at 05:00.
You can't assume that 2 identical length videos encoded with the same crf/quality setting will be the same size. Video with more action and/or camera movement will not compress as small for the same quality. That's just how video compression works.
Slower x264 presets generally do give slightly better image quality along with smaller file sizes when using CRF (RF by Handbrake's naming convention) encoding. The faster settings will result in slightly rougher edges on moving objects and a little more posterization (from loss of grain), especially in dark areas. But you get vastly diminishing returns for going slower than Medium or Slow. Eg, Placebo may only get you a 1 percent smaller file than Medium with no visible quality difference at normal playback speed.
Veryfast is something of an anomaly in that it usually gives slightly smaller file sizes (mostly because of the lower subpixel motion estimation) than Fast, Faster, Medium, and sometimes even Slow. Veryfast may give you about the same size as Medium with only a very small loss of visual quality. This is why many programs use Veryfast as a default. The small loss of quality is worth the big increase in encoding speed.
Last edited by jagabo; 21st Sep 2013 at 07:56.
Thanks for those suggestions i will take it on board. I will try some more today and see how we go. I tried Medium and it slowed down but not a great deal so i will try to stick with this.
That makes sense the video never being the same size i guess i just assumed it would be.
So you say to Always use High Profile, why is this? I normally use Main and notice no problems, whenever i use High the same 40 minute episode is around 700-750mb compared to mains 550ish and taking quite a bit longer?
On a 70 - 90 inch screen I wouldn't be prepared to accept ANY loss of quality over the original DVD! 720*480 blown up to 90" must be pushing the boundaries of acceptable quality already.
If I'm encoding standard definition video for watching on a large screen I use the Slow x264 preset. Because small defects are more visible when the small frame is blown up to full screen, and it doesn't take very long anyway (maybe 20 minutes for a typical movie). With 1080p material I'll go with a faster preset because small defects won't be very noticeable at 1:1 on the screen and it takes too long to render at Slow.
Of course, the source material matters too. If it's my favorite movie of all time, picture quality matters, and I'm going to watch it over and over, I'll take the time to encode it with the Slow preset regardless of how long it takes.
Strangely, I'm the opposite. I can watch my favourite movie in any quality, whereas a crap movie has to be in high quality. I think it's because if I'm drawn into the film, I forget the picture details, but a shite movie that doesn't capture me I'm always thinking "Oh look how crappy that encode is.."
Handbrake? Aside from the presets for different devices, I have Normal and High Profile. Nothing called "Main".
Assuming we're talking about Handbrake's "Normal" vs High Profile presets, "Normal" uses a faster x264 speed preset by default (very fast) which probably accounts for much of the difference in encoding speed. Maybe the "veryfast" speed preset anomaly jagabo referred to earlier accounts for some of the reduction in file size.
Anyway, I was a bit wrong regarding the Handbrake presets. I just checked to refresh my memory and I thought the Normal preset didn't use the default x264 settings, but it does. Whether you use the "Normal" or "High Profile" Handbrake speed preset, if the x264 speed preset, Profile and Level are the same, then the same encoder settings will be used. The "Normal" Handbrake preset defaults to Main Profile, Level 4.0, whereas the High Profile Preset defaults to High Profile, Level 4.1.
I'd use the latter unless I knew I had a reason not to. The setting x264 uses for partitions changes a little according to whether Main or High Profile is used. How much difference it makes to quality I'm not sure as I've pretty much only ever used High Profile.
Handbrake's own presets. I kind of wish they'd use a different name rather than "High Profile" so as not to cause confusion with the h264 High Profile, but anyway.....
Yes you can choose the h264 profile under the video tab. By default, Handbrake's "High Profile" preset uses h264's High Profile, Level 4.1, while Handbrake's "Normal" preset uses h264's Main Profile, Level 4.0. You can of course change them if you wish, regardless of the Handbrake preset you're using, but h264's High Profile, Level 4.1 is pretty standard these days. It's supported by most MKV/MP4 capable devices such as Blu-ray players, TVs with built in media players, DXVA (PC hardware decoding) etc. The only reason I'd use a lower profile or level is if I was encoding for playback using a device which I know requires it, but that mainly only applies to old hardware players (ie old game consoles) and budget portable players.
I can't say I've ever compared x264's High and Main profiles when it comes to encoding speed and file size (assuming all else is equal) as I only ever encode using x264's High profile myself.
Sorry, i got it wrong, i mean Normal profile not main. You were right, its high or normal.
I use Normal profile, RF at 18 constant and have recently slowed down to medium. Thats pretty much all i have changed, also put X264 tune to "film". I leave the profile at 4.0 as it seems to work on the device i use. Even tho at the larger sizes, i dont really notice any loss of quality (like i say not really great at spotting finer things like that).