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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Location: Australia
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    I rip my DVD's straight to .MKV using MakeMKV (no loss). The files are around 5GB-8GB. I'm wanting to use handbrake to convert them to around 2GB (don't care about the container). What i need is as perfect as possible to the source quality. I'm watching on a modern PC with 20" LCD Monitor up close. I have experimented but everything around the 2GB mark gives me artifacts / blotches in dark scenes. Please help!
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  2. Banned
    Join Date: Oct 2004
    Location: New York, US
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    -30-
    Last edited by sanlyn; 19th Mar 2014 at 05:22.
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Location: Australia
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    There is no way around it.
    Many thanks for the reply, that kind of confirms what i was thinking although i was romanticizing the thought of somehow overcoming it with a glorious setting lol. Oh well i seem to lose most of the visible "loss" when i hit 3-4Gb i guess i will be upgrading the HDD sooner than i think
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  4. Member Krispy Kritter's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: St Louis, MO USA
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    Give Vidcoder a shot (just a gui frontend for handbrake). There are several guides for setup. My mp4 conversions range from 1.5-2.5. Tweak quality to suit your desires.
    Google is your Friend
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  5. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
    Join Date: Sep 2002
    Location: AZ, USA
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    I use VidCoder for DVD>MKV (H.264) conversions. I use a CQ of 19.3 and that gives me about 1.5 > 2.0 GB files. I use AC3 pass through and set Detelecine and Decomb to default. Everything else to default. Try it. You can convert directly from a DVD in one of your drives to a MKV file. If it's not good enough, lower the CQ. But you will get a much larger file.

    I don't see much in the way of artifacts.
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  6. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
    Location: canada
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    For dvds i use a CQ of 16 in handbrake and get around 2-2.5 GB size with no added artifacts such as moiring in dark scenes.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Mar 2011
    Location: Nova Scotia, Canada
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    Bitrate is just the beginning when it comes to "perfect" encodes.

    Always use high profile unless you're going to play it on a device that doesn't support it, and enable 8X8 DCT.

    There are a lot of good h.264 settings ... that's where the quality really is in that format ... but they're quite complex. And there aren't any great "one size fits all" ones. Frankly, for users who aren't pretty knowledgeable, ripping without re encoding and buying more HDs looks pretty good. But there are good guides out there if you want to dip your toe in, and pretty good preset guides.
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  8. Originally Posted by Hoser Rob View Post
    Bitrate is just the beginning when it comes to "perfect" encodes.

    Always use high profile unless you're going to play it on a device that doesn't support it, and enable 8X8 DCT.

    There are a lot of good h.264 settings ... that's where the quality really is in that format ... but they're quite complex. And there aren't any great "one size fits all" ones. Frankly, for users who aren't pretty knowledgeable, ripping without re encoding and buying more HDs looks pretty good. But there are good guides out there if you want to dip your toe in, and pretty good preset guides.
    He has a problems in dark scenes, that is his problem, there is no miracle settings for that, you just have to force encoder to give it a lots of bitrate in there or keep noise or introduce noise, because using 2pass or regular CRF - x264 will try to save bitrate in scenes like that. Goal is to lift bitrate in those scenes, low CRF value and you limit buffers. Those buffer limits will worsen quality, but in clear, nice scene or action scene it will not be perceived as nuisance.

    Using zones can be handy also, but it is like in every day life, you want to improve something a little bit you have to work twice that hard, it becomes less efficient.
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  9. Yes you can use --aq-strength=1.8 (use a value from about 1.6 to 2.0) to shift bitrate into dark areas to prevent posterization artifacts there. But in the end, you'll need more bitrate overall.

    In Handbrake enter "aq-mode=2:aq-strength=1.8" (without the quotes) in the Extra Options box for the x264 encoder .
    Last edited by jagabo; 22nd Feb 2014 at 10:05.
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  10. I have example here, two very short videos, one "shady" with gradients, that tends to pixelate after encoding, so we want bitrate to be bigger, second video bright daylight, outdoor, nicely lit, both SD videos, resulting volumes:

    ------------------------------------------------shady video ------- normal video
    CRF 16-------------------------------------------6880--------------------13503
    CRF17--------------------------------------------5740--------------------11547
    CRF18--------------------------------------------4817---------------------9877
    CRF18 + aq-strebgth 1.8---------------------7903---------------------8976
    CRF18 + aq-strength 1.8 + aq-mode 2 ---6049--------------------10005

    so aq-strength alone works well, it distributed more bitrate in those "shady" scenes, but not in a nice daylight scene,
    but aq-mode 2 (as oppose default 1) had a counterproductive effect just where it needed to be applied for that "shady" video

    and second observation, using just aq-strength 1.8 gave less bitrate for nice lit, daylight scene then not using it (default 1)

    values are not bitrates in graph but volume of resulted file, bitrates are spread evenly so it matches volume for video
    Last edited by _Al_; 22nd Feb 2014 at 14:31.
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  11. Use the older version - 0.9.5 I think? - and it has an option where you can specify an approximate output size.

    The only problems I have is that video/audio is out of sync, but you can use MKVMergeGUI to get them lined up right.
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