Hello and first off thanks to everyone that reads this and doesn't. I have been reading several forum post over the past few months to try to teach myself and the wealth of information is abundant and helpful. Now, unfortunately, I am at that newbie section where I have more information than I can assimilate or put the puzzle pieces together.
I know I will probably flub this post in one way or the other so please forgive me in advance. I will post the software I am using and all, and then my questions. I hopefully will give the information that is needed.
At the moment the various tools I am using are:
AnyDVD/HD Decrypter v188.8.131.52
Vidcoder v184.108.40.206 (64x) (more GUI version of Handbrake)
Media Center Master (overkill I do not know)
Computer is Toshiba Laptop I5-2450M CPU @2.5Ghz with 6G Ram, Intel HD Graphics 3000, Win7 Home Premium 64bit
I have been ripping my library to an external HD that can actually play through my BRplayer. I use MKV containers so that I can save multiple audio and subtitles without having to burn them in. I use several different presets
For both DVD/BR i have used the following:
Video is set to x264-Medium speed, Tune-Film, Profile-Main, Level-4.1, CQ-18(dvd) 21(BR). I have been using Variable Frame Rate.
Picture I leave same for dvd but for BR I change to 1280x720 (seems like almost no difference in the two after conversion)
Audio I have set for 3 presets with the above the same
DVD/BR that are old or I do not care about I set all streams to Dolby ProLog II
DVD/BR that I like I set to all 5.1
DVD/BR that I really like I have set to pass through complete ( haven't had issues yet, knock on wood)
I use my laptop as my HTPC and sometimes just plug the extHD into my samsung BR player and it plays the MKV's fine with audio but doesn't like chapters. PlexHomeTheater and XMBC see the chapters fine, also when did test with ConvertXtoDVD it preserved the chapters in the conversion as well.
Eventually I do want to set up a Media Server or NAS, but for now not a need just a want.
I also am trying to burn a few dvds (have so many left) or BR's that have a collection of sorts but a vast majority was done in Variable rate and i am reading that is not a great thing.
I tried using mutliAVCHD and Cyberling Power2Go but multiAVCHD didn't work and Power2Go just copied the mkv's without converting (probably my end)
I generally rip to ISO then mount (to save on the player) then either directly to Handbrake for DVDs or ClownBD (also at times TSMuxer/MkvMerge) for BR then Handbrake.
OK, NOW TO THE QUESTIONS>
1) Which setting should I change if any? I am looking for smoothing, great quality without a file that is almost the same as original. I know that the audio has a lot to do with it that is why I have done the 3 different for each DVD/BR.
2) From the info I have recently gathered I should change FrameRate to Constant. It will increase size a little but will be better on back end for any editing or dvd authoring....is this correct?
3) Should I leave 1080 at 1080 or is it alright to convert to 720 (what about movies that predate 1080 that are now released on BR?
4) Which program do you best recommend for going MKV to DVD/BR? ConvertXtoDVD seems ok but for $50 I am looking to make sure this is the one the group recommends.
5) Recently reading about frame rates and going from say 25 to 50 to make smoother. From what I could read that is a questionable method. Do you think it helps?
I know I have more questions but at this moment my brain is mush.
Thanks in advance for everything everyone.
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Last edited by HyNrgy; 8th Mar 2014 at 20:02. Reason: thought computer info was auto embedded from profile and added one question
You should concentrate on mastering just a few tools until you understand the process. I'll limit my remarks to BD to MKV:
1) AnyDVDHD running in the background, and extract main movie with Clown_BD. Why Clown_BD? Simplest way to be sure you get main movie.
2) Convert to MKV with RipBot. Why RipBot? Because it will definitely preserve your chapter timings, among other things. Vidcoder is fine, but RipBot may be simpler for you, and for sure simpler than HandBrake. They all do pretty much the same things and use the same ancillary programs, X264 encoder, most importantly. You'll need to look up a RipBot guide for how to set it up and use it.
3) Use RipBot defaults and quality-based encoding with a CRF value of 18-20. The lower the CRF number, the better the quality and bigger the file. CRF 18 is considered nearly "transparent". If you don't have a top-shelf audio setup and "golden ears", convert the audio to AC3 5.1 at 640 kb/s. It will save considerable space and you'll likely not be able to tell the difference.
4) If you want to convert an MKV to BD, just use tsMuxer. That will work so long as the MKV has not been cropped. So if that's at all likely, don't crop. The black bars you crop away don't save you much space anyway.
5) Forget VFR (variable frame rate).
6) I wouldn't bother with resizing from 1080p to 720p if I were you. You'd probably at some point get a bigger/better display, and you're likely to develop a more critical eye as you learn more.
Others will have plenty to add, I'm sure.
I hope you can persist long enough to get a solid footing. It'll take some time.
Good luck.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Thanks. I am currently trying to download Ripbot again (my AV prg Bitdefender doesn't like that program).
I am looking now how to convert the audio on the mkvs i have already done to AC3 after reading more about how some players and sorts do not like AAC(ACC) that I have done them in already but I am not looking at redoing all the ripping/decoding/etc when i just want to redo the audio.
As far as converting the mkv to BD either I am understanding you wrong or I said wrong. I am looking to make a disc (probably some DVD's at first since I have so many blank ones) then BD's from the mkvs. I would like menu with choices for each movie, maybe a cartoon disc, action disc, etc.
I have been using Vidcoder for some time and it seems to be fine. (as you stated I will probably go with the no cropping and no reduction in 1080 to 720).
Any other insights would be great from you or anyone else that wants to jump in.
Update: Second download of Ripbot seems alright.
Problem I forsee with Ripbot is it only allows one audio track and a lot of times I like to have the commentaries also. Is there a way to do this with Ripbot?
Last edited by HyNrgy; 9th Mar 2014 at 00:58.
My normal mode when making mkv files with Vidcoder is CRF 18, Slow preset speed, High Profile 4.1 and constant framerate (same as source). And I'll normally use me=umh. But I don't really care much about about encoding time or output size.
To go from mkv to DVD-video, I'd use AVStoDVD. Or if converting straight from the Blu-ray to DVD-video, I'd use BD Rebuilder.
Going the other direction, and authoring Blu-ray, you'll find that creating menus for Blu-ray is generally a problem for free software. It is possible to make very crude ones in BD Rebuilder using a few DVD's or Blu-ray videos as input. Otherwise, the only free software I know of for making menus in Blu-ray is multiAVCHD.
I do not mind paying for software if it does what I want. I tried Cyberlink PowerProducer but it wants to put the files as chapters not on the main menu. I have not tried Nero or Ashampo. I did try ConvertXtoDVD and it seems like it might do the trick.
Among the original question now it looks like I "might" have to convert the audio files on mkv to ac3 for vast compatibility but so far files have played ok with aac (I am changing though to ac3).
I've never had a problem with AAC audio. Both the TV's with built in media players in the house support it (one doesn't support DTS) as do both the Bluray players (different brands).
If one of the original audio streams is DTS, you can expect that to weigh in at a bit over 1GB per movie, on average. For 5.1ch AC3 it's probably about 600MBs or so. Using the encoder settings I do (NeroAAC encoder, VBR, Q5.0, which are all the defaults) the average for 5.1ch audio might be around 350MBs, As a result, if there's DTS audio I convert it to AAC as it's worth it to save close to 1GB per movie, if it's AC3 I keep the original audio as re-encoding it doesn't reduce the file size all that much. For maximum compatibility, AC3 is probably the best choice.
I have my PC hooked up to my TV so it's pretty easy for me to run a few test encodes at different resolutions, play them simultaneously fullscreen on the TV and switch between them. If you can't do that it might be harder to tell if resizing is costing you detail.
AVStoDVD seems pretty good, and it's free.
Handbrake's slow/best deinterlacing uses Yadif. You'll probably find Yadif at "full frame rate" (Handbrake's Bob deinterlacing) looks pretty much the same as the original video looks when it's being de-interlaced on playback.
Last edited by hello_hello; 10th Mar 2014 at 06:01.
First off, my apologies for not responding earlier. Thanks for all the feedback. From what I gather and after trying Ripbot, I will use it and Handbrake. For me with what has been said. If the video is DTS or such I will changed to AAC (now trying to understand difference between FLAC AAC, FFmpeg AAC, Libav AAC.....more study time). If audio is in AC3 5.1 from sourch may just pass it through and not worry about transcoding/encoding issues there. Both Ripbot and Handbrake at CF18 or 20 with audio same result in about same file.
Again, thanks for all the help. I guess it is a good thing with all the choices about ripping, extracting, encoding/transcoding, containing, playback etc with all the free/open source out there. I do get confused with this guy saying this is the way and another flaming that way and saying his is better but it makes everyone (i hope) try to learn about things and also keeps everyone on there toes to learn more.
I know I will have more questions in the future and thank you all for your support. I will also say that I did try DVDfab but the file output even with it compressing seemed much larger than alternative methods but visually and audibly I could not see a difference. Now if there was a better program that ripped, encoded, compressed (not encode and compress from disc, one general consensus I have found is rip to HD then do the rest) and was comparable I wouldn't mind if shareware or other.