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  1. Member
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    Well I have a simple question, can you preserve the picture quality if you convert blu-ray to an Apple Tv format (h.264)? I know some people have said yes, but I have to ask because before I tried venturing into converting dvds no one really talked about the limitations of the encoders and it took me a long time to figure out I wasn't doing anything wrong.

    The reason I ask is because I've tried converting several of my dvds but they all have visible artificats that occur only in dark scenes. I've tried handbrake, mediaencoder, and pspvideo9. I get the same issue in all of them and its my understanding that its a limitation of the encoders they use.

    Is there some method I could use for blu-ray that doesn't have this limitation? I wouldn't mind even paying for a program as long as that program could give me archival quality of my movies the same way we can get archival quality of cds while reducing size.

    Thankyou for your responses.
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  2. Although Apple TV supports h264, it only does so in a limited format (e.g. AVC Main profile, no I8x8, no B-pyramids). It's like having a Ferrari, but staying in 1st gear... You could preserve more quality if you used better profile/encoder settings if you weren't limited by Apple TV

    Changing the settings can dramatically improve your encodes in dark scenes, specifically a) using more bitrate, and b) Adaptive Quantization. If you want to minimize bitrate, you can even encode in zones (i.e. different sections with a different quantizer/bitrate)
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    Originally Posted by poisondeathray
    Although Apple TV supports h264, it only does so in a limited format (e.g. AVC Main profile, no I8x8, no B-pyramids). It's like having a Ferrari, but staying in 1st gear... You could preserve more quality if you used better profile/encoder settings if you weren't limited by Apple TV

    Changing the settings can dramatically improve your encodes in dark scenes, specifically a) using more bitrate, and b) Adaptive Quantization. If you want to minimize bitrate, you can even encode in zones (i.e. different sections with a different quantizer/bitrate)
    Well thanks for the response. I can throw the Apple TV idea out the window, I don't have one yet but was planning on getting it but only if I could achieve archival quality of my movie.

    If I use a 2.4ghz core 2 duo machine to playback the movies instead, is it possible to achieve archival quality of blu-rays while keeping them under 8.5gb? I wouldn't mind taking 1080p down to 720p either since my tv only does 720p to begin with.
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  4. Yes you can get pretty good quality with DVD9 size, you can choose .mkv format (e.g. pc or htpc playback) or avchd (e.g. if you wanted to play on a bluray standalone unit)

    There are several guides around if you search, here is one
    https://forum.videohelp.com/topic358185.html
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  5. Originally Posted by happyprozak
    If I use a 2.4ghz core 2 duo machine to playback the movies instead, is it possible to achieve archival quality of blu-rays while keeping them under 8.5gb? I wouldn't mind taking 1080p down to 720p either since my tv only does 720p to begin with.
    What do you mean by archival quality? I take it to mean the best possible quality. That would mean leaving your source video exactly as it is, no reencoding. Reducing the frame size from 1920x1080 to 720x480 isn't archival quality by this definition. If you just mean something that's watchable, sure you can do that. It will no longer be HD though. Encoding for Apple TV at 720p would be a better choice.
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    Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Jagabo is right about 720p.

    I have an AppleTV connected to my 720p 32" TV. From normal viewing distances (8-15' in my case), I'm even happy with SD content from my DVD rips. 720p content is awesome.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Originally Posted by happyprozak
    If I use a 2.4ghz core 2 duo machine to playback the movies instead, is it possible to achieve archival quality of blu-rays while keeping them under 8.5gb? I wouldn't mind taking 1080p down to 720p either since my tv only does 720p to begin with.
    What do you mean by archival quality? I take it to mean the best possible quality. That would mean leaving your source video exactly as it is, no reencoding. Reducing the frame size from 1920x1080 to 720x480 isn't archival quality by this definition. If you just mean something that's watchable, sure you can do that. It will no longer be HD though. Encoding for Apple TV at 720p would be a better choice.
    Ok I should have been more clear. What I meant by archival quality was that I would be able to take a 1080p blu-ray movie and down size it to 720p (I mean 720p, not 480p), play it back on a 50" 720p Plasma or on a 15" (1440x900) laptop and not be able to tell the difference between it and the original source. Ideally I'd like to be able to save it to dvd9 so I can play it back on my laptops internal drive as the blu-ray player will be an external drive.

    I know some people say they don't listen to compressed music because they can tell the difference, and I'm sure some people will say the same about video. What I don't like seeing is noticeable artifacts that are introduced because of compression.

    I have read through some of the guides, but I haven't seen anyone post results. I would love to see some before and after pictures of what the original source looks like and what the compressed version looks like.

    Oh and I do have a second laptop, a 1.6ghz core 2 duo that would be doing all of the conversions. Ideally, I would like to keep conversions at under 12 hours.

    I don't yet have a blu-ray drive for my computer, so before I incur the cost I want to be sure I'd be satisfied with the output quality.
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  8. Originally Posted by happyprozak
    What I meant by archival quality was that I would be able to take a 1080p blu-ray movie and down size it to 720p (I mean 720p, not 480p), play it back on a 50" 720p Plasma or on a 15" (1440x900) laptop and not be able to tell the difference between it and the original source. Ideally I'd like to be able to save it to dvd9 so I can play it back on my laptops internal drive as the blu-ray player will be an external drive.
    Sorry, I must have somehow thought 480p because you mentioned DVD9.

    I think you would be hard pressed to see the difference between a 1920x1080x24p Blu-ray source and an 9 GB 1280x720x24p h264 encoding on a 15" 1440x900 screen at normal playback speed.

    There might be a few specific cases where something like blinds in the background, a striped shirt, or some such, right at the limit of 1080p resolution, develop some moire artifacts from the frame size reduction and upscaling at playback. It would depend in part on how well the graphics chips in your laptop reduce the 1920x1080 frame to 1440x810 for display vs what resizing filter you use and how well the laptop upscales 1280x720 to 1440x810.
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    Originally Posted by jagabo
    Originally Posted by happyprozak
    What I meant by archival quality was that I would be able to take a 1080p blu-ray movie and down size it to 720p (I mean 720p, not 480p), play it back on a 50" 720p Plasma or on a 15" (1440x900) laptop and not be able to tell the difference between it and the original source. Ideally I'd like to be able to save it to dvd9 so I can play it back on my laptops internal drive as the blu-ray player will be an external drive.
    Sorry, I must have somehow thought 480p because you mentioned DVD9.

    I think you would be hard pressed to see the difference between a 1920x1080x24p Blu-ray source and an 9 GB 1280x720x24p h264 encoding on a 15" 1440x900 screen at normal playback speed.

    There might be a few specific cases where something like blinds in the background, a striped shirt, or some such, right at the limit of 1080p resolution, develop some moire artifacts from the frame size reduction and upscaling at playback. It would depend in part on how well the graphics chips in your laptop reduce the 1920x1080 frame to 1440x810 for display vs what resizing filter you use and how well the laptop upscales 1280x720 to 1440x810.
    What about on the 720p 50" Plasma? Would a difference be very apparent?
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  10. Originally Posted by happyprozak
    What about on the 720p 50" Plasma? Would a difference be very apparent?
    Generally no. But again, it may depend on how well the Plasma downscales 1080i/p vs what resizing filter you use and how well the plasma scales that to its native resolution (plus overscan, if any).

    In terms of bitrate related artifacts (macroblocks, loss of small details) your ~20 GB of 1920x1080 material is being reduced to ~9 GB at 1280x720. The difference in bitrate is close to the difference in pixel count. So, aside from the small loss of quality you always get from reencoding with lossy codecs, you probably won't get appreciably more artifacts.

    I recommend you find some 1080p material online (movie trailers?) and encode at different h.264 bitrates and see for yourself.
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    ^I'll give that a shot soon. I have one more question. My understanding is that in order to listen to trueHD you need to be able to decode it. Now there are programs like eac3to that decode this and convert it to flac.

    I'm wondering, what happens when the file is converted to flac though? Is all the channel seperation maintained? How would I go about connecting this to a 5 speaker sound set up? And what happens to the sound if I want to listen to this through headphones?
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    If you're still talking AppleTV and Mac, forget FLAC. That's not going to play well (if at all). Plan for 160kbps and, unless you're using some awesome speaker set, be happy.
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    Originally Posted by rumplestiltskin
    If you're still talking AppleTV and Mac, forget FLAC. That's not going to play well (if at all). Plan for 160kbps and, unless you're using some awesome speaker set, be happy.
    Well I'm not talking about Apple TV, but I am still thinking of playing back re-encodes in a mac.

    I'm a bit surprised that you can't playback FLAC on a Mac though, isn't FLAC an open source format? I'm guessing something like iTunes wouldn't support FLAC but surely there is video playback software that does no?
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  14. Apparently flac can encode six channel audio. So the question is what software/hardware can play it back properly. You might be better off converting to 5.1 AC3.
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    XLD will convert FLAC to Apple Lossless. There is some third party software that will play back FLAC on the Mac but all it does is de-compress it on the fly and play it, then toss the decompressed data away. I don't remember its name but I tried it once and wasn't impressed.
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  16. Originally Posted by rumplestiltskin
    There is some third party software that will play back FLAC on the Mac but all it does is de-compress it on the fly and play it, then toss the decompressed data away.
    Isn't that what a player is supposed to do?
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    Hmm... Convert Blu ray to MKV/TS or other H.264 container...

    That's not a bad idea... My question is why can we just ripped and watch and convert only those blu ray that we like.

    Because each conversion took about 9hrs in Core 2 Dou 2.0GHz, that is a long time

    For playing the ripped blu ray, I don't think Apple TV can play thoes (correct me if i'am wrong), but there are many players can do that where the source can be installed HDD, USB HDD, Network (samba/nfs)

    These are: PS3, TVIX M6500A, LimHD310s... each model has its advantage so do a research

    PS3 - Games and Games...
    TVIX 6500A - easy to travel, easy to network
    limHD-310s - on fly decode 7.1 to 5.1 so sound

    FireWire2
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  18. Archival quality should really refer to a format that is completely lossless but may require processing to reconstruct the original. Archival could mean completely non-playable. FLAc for instance is completely lossless, is playable on modern machines, and compresses the original by about 66%. Watchable, & watchable without visible loss in quality, are completely different.
    eg for music
    FLAC .. archival... completely lossless.. 10% cpu req on playback (computer playback only)
    mp3 @ 320k CBR (not archival, but very close) ..lossy...5% cpu req on playback(hi power POD)
    mp3 @ 128k CBR (not archival, listenable)... very lossy... 3% cpu req on playback(virtually anything)

    Archival also hints at a format that will be around for many years to come, and is not tied to the fortunes of one company i.e. FLAC open source, APpleTv one company, mpeg2 industry standard..?

    So really it all depends on when & where & on what device(60' plasma, ipod ?) you are going to watch these videos. No codec can put back detail that is lost.
    The popcorn hour looks like a decent device as does the tvix 6500, very different prices tho
    Corned beef is now made to a higher standard than at any time in history.
    The electronic components of the power part adopted a lot of Rubycons.
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    The popcorn hour looks like a decent device as does the tvix 6500, very different prices tho
    .

    Yes Indeed, they are different on price but they are also different on performance... Popcorn Hours still has problem playing Mpeg4.10 (H.246) codec...I have a system base on PH, it's frustrating when playing M2TS and MKV (x.264 container)
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  20. The new Western Digital WDAVN00BN sounds interesting:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/topic358929.html
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