The files seem to be all around the same resolution but slightly off. For example, Dark City is 1920 x 814
I want my rips to be exactly like the original in terms of resolution / aspect ratio. Is it that the original movie may be not exactly 1920 x 1080p?
I'm currently using Anamorphic / strict - not sure if it should be none for a straight rip?
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Most theatrical movies are not 16:9 (1.78:1) , but have a wider AR like 2.35:1 . So they have letterboxing (black bars on the top and bottom) because BD specs only support 1920x1080 at 1920 width (not some cropped height resolution).
Many people choose to crop the black bars when making their backups, but you will still see black bars on a 16:9 display (the display will put them back on)
Handbrake's cropping has removed the black bars, but even if you disabled cropping and encoded the black bars too (so you're encoding 1920x1080) the actual picture within is still being encoded the same way.
If you're not resizing the picture then anamorphic none and anamorphic strict should give you the same result. Anamorphic none resizes the video to square pixel dimensions but Bluray uses square pixels anyway.
I'm ok with black bars. I expect them. I had some cases ( Game of Thrones Season 3 ) where I got videos in...
1864 * 1080
That lead to black bars on the side. If it's due to cropping, how do I disable it? I don't see a way of disabling cropping. I just see automatic ( what I have it on ) and custom.
But either way, you will see the same thing on the screen when you play the video on a 16:9 screen. If you disable cropping the black bars are part of the picture 16:9 picture. If you crop the player will add black bars to fill the 16:9 screen. You will see differences when playing in a window. The cropped video will not include black bars, the un-cropped video will.
If you encode the black bars you're stuck with them. If you remove them and encode just the picture, the player adds black bars as necessary according to the screen aspect ratio. So it's "stuck with a 16:9 frame" v "encode just the picture". Doesn't seem like a competition to me.
I don't know what happened with your Game of Thrones encodes. Handbrake normally only crops black bars when encoding, so the cropping shouldn't have lead to black bars on the sides. Auto-cropping isn't perfect though. Handbrake may have cropped more than it should have, but given you started this thread with virtually no understanding of cropping and the effect on aspect ratios, you might want to post a couple of "before" and "after" screenshots before assuming your conclusion is the correct one.
Ok so it sounds like I should let the automatic work.
I just re ripped Skyfall and got 1916x800 (2.40-1)
Also, my old rip had CABAC 4 Frames and new is CABAC 5 Frames. The new file size is 3gb lower too even though both have Master Audio. Could the cropping be the reason? Is 4 frames better than 5?
Cropping won't be a big reason. It might only result in a few % difference . The reason is pure black bars don't consume much bitrate if they are clean (if they contain "noise", it's a different story)
5 Ref frames provides slightly more potential for higher compression than 4 Ref frames . If you used "quality " rate control (CRF) , it's not going to make a huge difference either
You can check with mediainfo(view=>text) on what settings were used on each video. If I had to guess you used a different rate factor
5 reference frames might be a problem for some Blu-ray players (that play media files). The number of reference frames you can use at profile High@4.1 depends on the frame size. For a 1920x1080 frame it's 4. But with the smaller frame you're using it's 5. But some Blu-ray players will use a 1920x1080 frame internally while decoding and won't have enough memory for 5 reference frames.
Ok thanks guys. I'm not too concerned about playback since I use an HTPC
It won't make a difference quality wise if there is more compression allowed?
CRF is set to 18 as I remember reading that any lower wouldn't make a big difference and someone else recommended the setting as well