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  1. Member
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    Hi
    How do I convert my DVDs to mp4 to the nearest resolution of the original?
    They are all in 720x576 format and I haven’t found a tool that can RIP and convert directly to 720x576.

    Furthermore is this best way to do it or should I just accept 1280X720?

    Regards
    Jakob
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  2. Not going into problem keeping black bars in the footage if you are talking about movies or having problems keeping right aspect ratio on screen while playing back those files on devices that will ignore your aspect ratio (read below), so:

    Keeping it 720x576 you'd have to set SAR (storage aspect ratio) in your H.264 file. That could be a problem for re-encoding software. But I'd say that if you look hard you can find some. If they are not there you'd simply find encoders that will let you modify command line (ripbot264 I think) writing --SAR 64:45 in there for widescreen PAL or --SAR 16:15 for 4:3 DVD

    So you see it is best to re-encode to square pixel that means resizing, cutting off black bars if they are there... you can get some advice about resizing after content is known (16:9 DVD, letterboxed DVD, 4:3 DVD ...)
    Last edited by _Al_; 17th Jan 2014 at 11:22.
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  3. Ripping and converting is often better as a 2 part process. Most free encoder GUI's won't rip copy protected DVDs. If you decrypt with something like AnyDVD though, many programs will open a DVD for conversion, and almost any encoder GUI should be able to create an anamorphic encode, even if they require you to rip the disc to your hard drive first.

    An anamorphic 720x576 encoding using Handbrake. No resizing. Automatic cropping disabled. The aspect ratio in this case is 4:3, but for 16:9 it'd just show a different "display size".

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    Because anamorphic MKV/MP4 support isn't universal, I also re-size to square pixels. 1024x576 for 16:9 PAL etc, (assuming no cropping of black borders). Handbrake won't let you increase the width beyond 720, you need to reduce the height instead (ie 720x404). Vidcoder is an alternative Handbrake GUI and it'll let you keep the height while increasing the width if you want to resize to square pixels that way (the resizing method is "anamorphic none").

    If you don't want to convert, MakeMKV can rip copy protected DVDs and output a single MKV for a movie, or an MKV per episode etc. I'm not sure if there's an equivalent program for MP4. Unless you specifically need MP4, it kinda sucks anyway. Thanks to MKVMergeGUI, MKVs are much easier to work with (to add and extract streams, split and append them etc) plus you can put almost any type of video/audio in an MKV.
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  4. Member
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    Thanks hello-hello
    I am trying it right now
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  5. Member
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    Any experince with Pavtube ByteCopy?
    It should be able to do it one step!
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  6. If you're going to pay for something, I'd put AnyDVD high on the list.... or AnyDVD HD if you rip Bluray video. You don't need to use AnyDVD for ripping. It'll run in the background removing the copy protection, allowing programs which couldn't normally open a copy protected disc to do so.

    With AnyDVD running in the background you should be able to make it a one step process by opening the disc with Handbrake.

    I've never used Pavtube ByteCopy so I can't offer an opinion there.
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  7. Member
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    Thanks Helle

    It works fine for me now

    In your example the resolution og the output filens 768x576 and the original is 720x576. Why isn't it the same and does this have any influenser of the quality?
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    Isn't it better to find a program that Can make 720x576 instead 720x404 in håndbajer. Or does it not matter?
    Thanks
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  9. That hello-hello example was for 4:3 video, 768/576=4/3
    Your video might be widescreen, judging by your 720/404=16/9

    As was said, only you decide if to keep original anamorphic resolution and therefore to introduce storage aspect ratio SAR 64:45, some player might not honor that SAR within encoded H.264,
    64/45*720/576=16/9

    I gather most people resize to square pixel like 1024/576=16/9 or 854/480 or 720/404 ... whatever that gives you 16/9. And also I would not take away 170 vertical pixel resolution to 404, I'd rather resize slightly to higher horizontal resolution to keep vertical same as original, but that could be anybody personal choice also.

    Most of people cut even black bars from top and bottom if movie is wider than 16:9. Those black bars are not a part of a movie.

    You might tend to keep 720x576 resolution having interlace video, shot with camcorder,where resize of interlace footage is not ideal to the same frame rate, but movies are progressive, not interlaced.
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  10. Originally Posted by Jakob Olsen View Post
    In your example the resolution og the output filens 768x576 and the original is 720x576. Why isn't it the same and does this have any influenser of the quality?
    It's showing the actual resolution (720x576) and the display size, or display resolution, or display aspect ratio, whichever way you describe it. Handbrake shows it as "display size". For DVDs, the display size is always different to the resolution (anamorphic encoding). The picture is resized to the correct aspect ratio on playback, which would be 768x576 for 4:3.

    Originally Posted by Jakob Olsen View Post
    Isn't it better to find a program that Can make 720x576 instead 720x404 in håndbajer. Or does it not matter?Thanks
    I'm not sure why you're getting 720x404. It sounds like you're not using anamorphic encoding.
    It's a hard topic to explain (resizing DVDs), so instead here's a few examples which will probably explain it better, or at least explain how to do it without needing to think about it. Vidcoder instead of Handbrake, because Vidcoder lets you resize differently to Handbrake. If you resize to square pixels, I'd use Vidcoder.

    Anamorphic encoding
    Open a DVD (PAL 16:9 in this example). If cropping is set to none and anamorphic strict is used it should look exactly like this. The green "output" section shows it'll be encoded as 720x576 but on playback it'll display as 1024x576, just like the original DVD.

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    Now enable cropping and (for this example) it's removing 12 pixels worth of black from the top and 10 from the bottom. It may also crop some from the sides, which is fine. Looking at the output section again you'll see the new storage resolution is 720x544 (22 pixels were removed from the height). The new display resolution is 1024x544. It's still anamorphic encoding, and the encode will be the same as the first example, only this time you're encoding just the picture instead of the picture with black bars.

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    Not all hardware players will resize anamorphic encodes on playback as they should, so if your player doesn't display them correctly (16:9 encodes will look more like 4:3), the alternative is to resize to square pixels.

    Resizing to square pixels

    This is where I prefer Vidcoder to Handbrake.
    Disable cropping again and change the anamorphic setting to "none". Make sure 'keep aspect ratio" is checked. The display resolution is still 1024x576 but now the output storage resolution has also changed to 1024x576. You're taking the 720x576 video and resizing it to 1024x576 and encoding it that way, instead of encoding it at 720x576 and relying on it being resized correctly on playback.

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    And finally, enable cropping again. Once again you're removing the black bars and encoding just the remaining picture. In this example it'll display as 1024x544 as it did when cropping was enabled for anamorphic encoding, but this time it's also encoded using a resolution of 1024x544.

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    Because DVDs don't use square pixels, it can take a bit of time to get your head around resizing and encoding them, but Vidcoder should do most of the thinking for you so there's no need to worry too much about what it's doing. Decide if you want to use anamorphic encoding or resize to square pixels, use "anamorphic strict" for anamorphic encoding, "anamorphic none" for resizing to square pixels, leave cropping on automatic to remove the black bars, and leave the "keep aspect ratio" box checked. It should be pretty hard to go wrong.
    Last edited by hello_hello; 19th Jan 2014 at 02:37.
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  11. Member
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    Thanks again hello_hello
    It's beginning to make sense to me
    I have to read it again later to really get it
    Your information has helpension me a lot
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  12. No problem.

    For anamorphic encoding (using anamorphic strict) Handbrake and Vidcoder do exactly the same thing. It's the way they resize to square pixels which is different.
    By default, Vidcoder (as in the example above) crops the video, leaves the remaining height "as-is" and stretches out the width to give you the correct display aspect ratio. Hence encoding using resolutions such as 1024x554 etc.
    Handbrake effectively does it the other way.... it crops the video, leaves the remaining width "as-is" and reduces the height to give you the correct aspect ratio. Hence encoding at resolutions such as 720x400.
    Resizing "up" the way Vidcoder does will probably retain more detail, but for a given quality the file sizes will be larger.

    In theory, anamorphic encoding is the best method as there's no resizing involved (at least not when using "anamorphic strict"). As I said though, some hardware players don't support anamorphic MKVs/MP4s... they'll just display them as though the video uses square pixels.... and therefore the aspect ratio will be wrong. The solution is to resize the video to square pixels and encode it that way. Which method you use is really personal preference.
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  13. Member
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    Thanks again Hello

    It's really a lot more complicated than I expected. So your explainatins helps me a lot.
    I cant understand why it is so difficult to rip and concert from a dvd and get the same ratio.
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  14. As long as you use "anamorphic strict" and disable cropping that's exactly what you should get. Whatever the resolution and display aspect ratio of the source DVD, the encode should be the same. ie 16:9 720x576 in, 16:9 720x576 out.

    Some DVDs have a picture which includes black bars top and bottom (or at the sides). If a DVD is like that, then the black bars are originally encoded as part of the entire 720x576 storage aspect ratio. They also make up the complete 16:9 display aspect ratio, but they're not part of the actual picture. It's the same as displaying a wide screen image on a standard 16:9 TV screen. There's black bars top and bottom because the picture itself is wider than 16:9, so it can't fill a 16:9 screen. The black bars make up the difference, but they're not really part of the picture.

    As an example, if there's 70 pixels worth of black at the top and 70 pixels worth at the bottom, then the actual picture area isn't 720x576, it's only 720x436. The rest is just black. The actual picture itself, if you don't count the black bars, has a display aspect ratio of around 2.40:1. That's how wide screen images are encoded for DVD. Black bars are added top and bottom for a "total" display aspect ratio of 16:9.
    Anamorphic strict with cropping enabled would remove the black bars so all you're encoding is the actual picture. The output would be 720x436 with a display aspect ratio of roughly 2.40:1. The picture itself is encoded in exactly the same way each time, and the picture itself should display exactly the same way each time, but one method includes the black bars when encoding for a "combined" display aspect ratio of 16:9, while the other doesn't.

    Find a 16:9 DVD with a fair amount of black bars top and bottom, encode it using anamorphic strict with cropping disabled, then again with cropping enabled, and comparing the two might explain it better than I am. Handbrake/Vidcoder lets you choose the start and end points for encoding, so you can run small encodes for comparisons without needing to encode an entire movie each time.

    Most people remove the black bars when encoding but if you want the encode to be exactly the same as the source, anamorphic strict with cropping disabled should give you just that.
    Last edited by hello_hello; 22nd Jan 2014 at 09:54.
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  15. Member
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    Wow, this made me finally understand it
    I have really spend a lot of time trying to figuring it out and now with your explantion I got it.
    I will try to make the exercise you mentioned.

    I an sure that all your information will lead to more questions later - but thanks for your BIG help
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  16. Yeah.... encoding DVDs and aspect ratios can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get your head around it.....

    I should add, there's generally no need to worry about cropping the black bars, as when you play the encoded video and run it full screen, the player simply adds them back. However.... if you're using a hardware player to play your encodes you should really check to ensure it displays anamorphic video using the correct aspect ratio. If it doesn't..... well I'll let you test it first and then go from there if need be.
    Last edited by hello_hello; 22nd Jan 2014 at 17:59.
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  17. Member
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    Now the new questions are begning to come

    Why is the display resolution in your example above 1024x576 when storage resolution 720x576?
    I would think they souls be the same, at least indtil converted.
    Thanks
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  18. Display Aspect Ratio (DAR) is not a 720x576, DAR has to be 16:9. 16:9 is real life ratio, what we need to see.

    That 1024x576, Display Resolution in that software, is just made up thing, but suitable, it might as well be 512x288 for example, and DAR is still 16:9. It just demonstrates what Display Aspect Ratio is. Some Players might even report this resolution for video same like that encoder for example. Just to make it more simple to imagine. Because Aspect Ratio could be confusing for general public.

    SAR x PAR=DAR
    720/576 x 64/45=16/9

    Check that equation in #9 post.

    x264 encoder calls that 64/45 SAR, storage aspect ratio, it kind of confuses the thing.
    Last edited by _Al_; 25th Jan 2014 at 13:18.
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    So the value 1024 doesn't give any meaning in itselves? It is just used to explan that the ratio is 16:9, it could be any 2 numbers that gives 16:9?

    But handbrake says that the dar is 720x404 and here the values tells that the picture is 720 wide han 404 high, correct?
    Thanks
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    16/9, equal to approx 1.778, is the DAR as you said.
    Whether you use 720/404 or 1024/576 the width divided by the height gives the same result (approx).
    If your source is PAL DVD, 1024/576 seems reasonable, as it maintains the full vertical resolution.
    Like wise 853 (approx)/480 achieves the same for NTSC.

    Often times users were limited to 720 max width because they were using DIVX enabled DVD players, and 720
    was the maximum allowed. In that case 720/404 was used.
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  21. Originally Posted by Jakob Olsen View Post
    So the value 1024 doesn't give any meaning in itselves? It is just used to explan that the ratio is 16:9, it could be any 2 numbers that gives 16:9?
    Yes and no. Any two appropriate numbers could be used to describe the display aspect ratio, but not so much the display resolution. Think of it this way.....
    The DVD video isn't encoded using square pixels. It needs to be stretched to display correctly on a monitor/TV which consists of square pixels (they pretty much all do these days). If you open the video without the player stretching it to the correct aspect ratio, the picture should cover 720x576 worth of your monitor's square pixels. When the video is stretched to 16:9, it'll cover 1024x576 worth of square pixels. So the display resolution VidCoder/Handbrake shows is the resolution in square pixels after the picture has been resized to the correct display aspect ratio (16:9).
    A 16:9 DVD video can be further resized, for example to display it while completely filling a HD 16:9 display, but that's because it's original display resolution is being further unscaled. Without further resizing, it'd only fill a small area of a 1920x1080 screen..... 1024x576 worth of it.

    Originally Posted by Jakob Olsen View Post
    But handbrake says that the dar is 720x404 and here the values tells that the picture is 720 wide han 404 high, correct?
    Thanks
    If you're using anamorphic encoding (anamorphic "strict") Vidcoder and Handbrake should show exactly the same display resolution (as far as I know). Without cropping, a 16:9 DVD should have a 1024x576 display resolution, although Handbrake describes it as "display size". It's when resizing to square pixels before encoding (anamorphic none) they do it differently. Make sure you're using the correct encoding method. When resizing to square pixels (anamorphic none) by default....
    Vidcoder takes the original video and stretches the width to the correct aspect ratio, so you end up with 1024x576 in square pixel dimensions. Handbrake resizes by keeping the existing width (720) and reducing the height to give you the correct aspect ratio. In square pixel dimensions, that'd be around 720x404. That's why, in the examples I posted earlier, when resizing to square pixels before encoding, I suggested resizing to 1024x576 with Vidcoder (assuming no cropping). Handbrake won't do it. Resizing to square pixels by reducing the height is left over from the days when most hardware players could only play video with a maximum resolution of 720 pixels. These days it's not really a limitation so why Handbrake still won't resize "up" I'm not sure. Vidcoder lets you resize "up" but of course you can resize to any 16:9 resolution you want to. 1024x576 should give you maximum detail because neither the width or height are being reduced.
    Last edited by hello_hello; 25th Jan 2014 at 19:40.
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  22. Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    If your source is PAL DVD, 1024/576 seems reasonable, as it maintains the full vertical resolution.
    Like wise 853 (approx)/480 achieves the same for NTSC.
    hello_hello says that Handbrake would not allow 1024x576 resize, only 720 x something, I do not have Handbrake ...

    edit: I posted before I saw his last respond, he mentions that again in his last post
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  23. Member
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    Originally Posted by _Al_ View Post
    Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    If your source is PAL DVD, 1024/576 seems reasonable, as it maintains the full vertical resolution.
    Like wise 853 (approx)/480 achieves the same for NTSC.
    hello_hello says that Handbrake would not allow 1024x576 resize, only 720 x something, I do not have Handbrake ...

    edit: I posted before I saw his last respond, he mentions that again in his last post
    I was trying to give some general theory, not Handbrake specific info.
    Does the output have to have square pixels? Just use 720x576 and set the DAR in the container.
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  24. Originally Posted by davexnet View Post
    I was trying to give some general theory, not Handbrake specific info.
    Does the output have to have square pixels? Just use 720x576 and set the DAR in the container.
    I think Jakob's goal was to keep the original 720x576 resolution while setting the correct aspect ratio, but I guess he's also still trying to get his head around the different ways aspect ratios are expressed, mainly when it comes to Handbrake/Vidcoder and the way they express it (they were the programs I suggested he try). And because Vidcoder/Handbrake automatically crop, he was trying to understand why the input and output display aspect ratios weren't always the same. We've all got our heads around encoding DVDs and aspect ratios but it can all be a little confusing at first. Well it was for me....
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  25. Yeah, so anamorphic - none and crop -automatic would do expected job, having 1:1 square pixel, ..., but missing resize above 720 is kind of weird, why would I backing up DVD voluntarily get rid of about 170 vertical pixels (in case exact 16:9 movie) , in PAL land that loss is kind of too much. ..

    So I understand he wants to keep 720x576 and use apect ratio. But I'd do something else, I'd use some other software that would allow resize 1024x576 or something and having square pixels, aspect ratio=1.0.
    Last edited by _Al_; 25th Jan 2014 at 21:12.
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  26. I would also set the modulus to 4, if not 8 or 16. For better compatibility. Some devices still don't like mod 2. And if your encoding interlaced you need mod 4 on the vertical axis.
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  27. Member
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    I think that hello_hello prety much explain my situation. The more knowledge I can around these topics that more interested I get in it. And at the same time it’s like the more I know the more I know that I don’t know!

    Initially I wanted to save DVDs in 1:1 formats (thinking that it must be the best idea) and at the same time I wanted multiple audio tracks and multiple subtitles.

    Know I have to goals
    1. Get the best quality keeping the size in mind (I know that there probable are many answers to that and that I what to tried it for my selves)
    2. Knowing where to change parameters to influence the quality

    What is your preference in tools and parameters?
    Thanks
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  28. For x264 settings I use High Profile, Level 4.1. Most devices such as MKV/MP4 capable Bluray players or TVs with built in media players support it. It's fairly standard these days. CRF18 for quality and either the medium or slow x264 speed preset. Generally x264's tuning "none" for DVD, tuning "film" or "grain" for HD. That's about it for me. I keep the original AC3 audio (I don't re-encode it). I resize to square pixel dimensions. All personal preference.

    If I'm going to change anything, it probably wouldn't be x264's settings, it'd be resizing or filtering etc. Noise filtering helps reduce the file size, although any noise filtering tends to be a compromise between removing noise and blurring fine detail, but you could experiment with Handbrake/Vidcoder's various noise filter strengths. I tend not to use noise filtering unless the video is fairly noisy.... or by that I mean noisy enough to annoy me. Other people seem to be able to tolerate more of it, some people less.

    I don't use Handbrake/Vidcoder myself. I mostly use MeGUI. It's no doubt harder to use than Handbrake/Vidcoder, although "out of the box" it's not a lot different in respect to what it can do. MeGUI is an Avisynth based encoder. Using Avisynth can open up a whole new world and can give you a lot more control over the process (in terms of filtering etc) but at the same time using Avisynth is a learning process itself, and it can be somewhat time consuming once you start experimenting. Handbrake/Vidcoder aim to do a pretty good job without the user needing to fuss over the process too much, and in that respect they probably do their job well.
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  29. Originally Posted by Jakob Olsen View Post
    2. Knowing where to change parameters to influence the quality

    What is your preference in tools and parameters?
    Thanks
    it is important to realize that CRF (or RF in Handbrake) keeps the same quality doesn't matter what settings you choose, it is kind of counter intuitive

    you choose:
    --CRF 18 and "super settings that somebody recommends you" after relentlessly spending a month in a secret lair to come up wit supposedly best settings for your movie" or
    --CRF 18 and "everything default"

    first scenario will bring up file that is smaller but a bit more difficult to decode
    second scenario brings you file a bit bigger but a bit more playback friendly, BUT watching it on screen you will not see any difference between those two.

    To chase a better compression (sometimes negligible) is kind of thing from past where there was limited storage on CD's, DVD's or trying to come up with rips downloadable from web, where size for download might be issue also, but for home purposes it doesn't matter. The goal is not to find a miracle settings but to just do things right. Things like not to resize interlace DVD, if there is, if DVD is interlace do not hesitate and deinterlace to double frame rate. Or to watch for banding in dark areas - to have enough bitrate or do not denoise all noise if there is denoiser introduced.
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  30. Sometimes there's small sections of video which are hard to encode, and therefore don't encode as well as the rest. Colour banding can be a problem and it's often caused by denoising, or denoising makes it worse.
    I've participated in a couple of threads where people have uploaded "problem" samples and others have suggested x264 settings to "tweak" in order to fix it. Usually the suggested tweaks work, but anything which increases encoding quality probably also increases the bitrate. There's no free lunch. Decreasing the CRF value increases quality and bitrate too, so generally if I'm encoding a problem section of video, I just use a lower CRF value rather then mess around with advanced settings much.

    As a general rule, the x264 encoder does a pretty good job.
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