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  1. Member
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    Okay, I have ripped a bunch of my DVD's to MKV files using MakeMKV.

    Some files are huge! What is the best way to save or convert those files so that they take up less space with no noticeable loss in quality for playback on my TV through my media player.

    Media info says the MKV files contain Mpeg-2 video. From what I understand, H.264 would be much better. Can that be done while keeping the MKV format?

    I also want to preserve things like subtitles and multiple audio tracks if possible - which is why I think the MKV container would be best.

    Any advice or comments are very welcome.

    My hard drive is filling up fast!
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  2. Member dragonkeeper's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    Okay, I have ripped a bunch of my DVD's to MKV files using MakeMKV.
    Some files are huge! What is the best way to save or convert those files so that they take up less space with no noticeable loss in quality for playback on my TV through my media player.
    Read the makeMkV documentation, makeMKV makes no attempts to convert your file it only takes the existing video and audio streams and places them in a mkv container.

    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    From what I understand, H.264 would be much better. Can that be done while keeping the MKV format?
    Do some research on audio video containers, or perhaps read a few of the guides posted here. But in a nutshell the answer is yes.
    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    I also want to preserve things like subtitles and multiple audio tracks if possible - which is why I think the MKV container would be best.
    Again read some of the guides posted here. As Atak pointed out ripbot264 is your friend. But there are other apps as well such as Megui, and handbrake. I personally prefer ripbot.
    Murphy's law taught me everything I know.
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    Thanks for your comments.

    Ripbot looks good but needs so much other stuff to be installed and configured correctly.

    Handbrake seems easy enough to use and was easy to install. Seems to have good results in my quick tests. I like it!

    What are good settings to use for Handbrake - documentation on the developer's website is a bit sparse. I just want some settings to convert all movies in my archive to good quality h.264, but smaller.

    Any ideas on how to do batch processing? It would be great if I could find some decent settings and let it loose on my movie archive!
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  4. In Handbrake I use
    Video: AVG Bitrate= 1500Kbps
    Audio: AAC Stereo 48KHz 256Kbps

    As for batch encoding import your file and select "Add to Queue".
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    Thanks for your input.

    I understood that Constant Quality was faster and with better quality.

    Is there a way to use Handbrake to process hundreds of movies without having to add each one to the queue?
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  6. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Nope,gotta add each movie to the batch,no way around it.Also if you want to keep your audio at 5.1 448kps then do a ac3 pass thru if its that rate.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  7. I understood that Constant Quality was faster and with better quality.
    No, constant quality aims for a different thing.
    2pass Encoding aims for a specific file size
    1pass constant quality aims for an average rate factor, it's basically just the 2nd pass of the 2pass encoding that is not aiming for a specific file size, some sort of average quality loss.
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  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Constant Quality is faster and with better quality but with variable file size compared to 2 pass encoding.
    I think,therefore i am a hamster.
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  9. at the same file size the difference in quality is neglectable and depending on the scene you look at some times 1pass crf and sometimes 2pass will look better,...
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    Wow, I just love this forum - so many experts and so helpful - thanks, you guys are saving me endless hours of aimless fiddling!

    I don't mind if the size varies a little. I think I would prefer constant quality over a more predictable size.

    It would appear that the default setting for the presets are the way to go then?

    Regarding the audio: I notice that if I use the "normal" preset, it defaults to Dolby stereo mixdown. How do I get it to default to keep the 5.1 channels?

    I also read somewhere that if there are subtitles that Handbrake burns them into the video - is this correct?

    I want to be able to just add a file and keep the original sound tracks and subtitles without having to edit the settings for each file. Is that possible? I don't normally use subtitles, but with some movies it is nice to have then available if you want to turn them on during playback.

    The "high Profile" preset seems to do that, but the file size ends up much larger. I suppose I would have to create my own preset using the "high profile" preset as a starting point and then downgrade the video settings to match the "normal preset". Am I on the right track with this - pardon the pun!

    Regarding the batch processing, I noticed that if I add a file to the queue then select the drop down box under queue, one of the options is to generate a batch script. I presume with some fiddling with the resulting batch file I could get Handbrake to batch process a whole folder at a time? Is that what the batch script is for - to get a starting point for building a batch script? If this is the case, I imagine it would take some fiddling to get it right, but may save me a lot of time in the long run - or am I completely off the mark here?

    Thanks again for all the help, folks, it is really nice not to feel all alone in this!
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  11. Member dragonkeeper's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    Is there a way to use Handbrake to process hundreds of movies without having to add each one to the queue?
    You could script it, by using makeMKV to place files into a watch folder. Any files placed in the watch folder are are automatically added to queue and encoded using your default settings.
    But sense you are speaking of encoding hundreds of movies if you have access to multiple computers by far ripbot264 may be a better choice as you can use distributed encoding for much faster results.
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  12. Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    I understood that Constant Quality was faster and with better quality.
    It's higher or lower quality depending on what quality you specify. With constant quality encoding you specify the quality but you don't know what size the file will turn out. With 2-pass encoding you specify the file size but you don't know what the quality will be.
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    From the avideumux wiki on h.264 (which I highly recommend):

    "Internally CRF mode uses the same rate control algorithm as x264's ABR [avg bitrate] mode, only without a target bitrate."

    As such I don't 100% agree that constant quality (CRF) is better than 2 pass average bitrate in absolute terms (the handbrake docs make no such claim), but you can get just as good results.

    Since crf is faster than 2 pass, however, what you can do is use advanced h.264 options, which is where the good stuff is but greatly increase encoding time, and get better video in the same time as you can with 2 pass without using advanced settings. That's why I don't use 2 pass bit rate mode anymore.

    I ripped one of my dvd's a couple of days ago with handbrake set to CQ of 18. The avg bitrate of the mkv is about the same as the vob files but it's about 2/3 the size, and it looks damn good. But with the settings I used it took a while.

    Quality is subjective though. You need to try different quality/bit rate settings on a short video extract and decide what's acceptable to you. That may depend on content too. I'm going to need much better quality encoding with my Lord of the Rings videos than my Sundance type stuff.

    The handbrake docs may be sparse re advanced settings but they do point you in the right direction. There just ain't no good way to simplify that stuff. It's just complex. A lot of the problem is that there's no one setting that's right for all types of video content. But for that many videos you may just want to compromise a bit there. But I don't know of a way to avoid adding subs manually.

    Actually the handbrake docs are pretty damn good. They explain things pretty well. There are many programs that you pay for that are much, much worse.

    I use handbrake largely because it doesn't need external codecs/splitters etc, which shouldn't be used with windows 7. There are a number of other encoders that seem good otherwise but I won't install them for that reason. Avidemux doesn't need external codec packs either, and when they actually finish 2.6 I'll probably use it a lot more to convert to h.264. But it's not nearly as good for newbies as handbrake.

    Handbrake doesn't burn hard subs unless you tell it to. Just add subs and let the player handle them. The mkv container can embed them within the file.
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    You could script it, by using makeMKV to place files into a watch folder. Any files placed in the watch folder are are automatically added to queue and encoded using your default settings.
    This looks interesting! I suppose I could just drop a file in there and wait for it to spit it out into another folder. I have already ripped all my DVD's using MakeMKV - excellent program. How do I set up a watched folder?

    if you have access to multiple computers
    I wish I did, but I only have the one PC - a good one though!

    By the way: How do you post quotes with the poster's details? I can't work it out!?

    From the avideumux wiki on h.264 (which I highly recommend):
    I tried Avidemux, but it won't read some of my files - 2.6 reads them perfectly, but loses the display aspect ratio so I gave up and went to Handbrake.

    I use handbrake largely because it doesn't need external codecs/splitters etc, which shouldn't be used with windows 7. There are a number of other encoders that seem good otherwise but I won't install them for that reason. Avidemux doesn't need external codec packs either, and when they actually finish 2.6 I'll probably use it a lot more to convert to h.264. But it's not nearly as good for newbies as handbrake.
    I agree fully - one of the main reasons I am giving Handbrake a go and not Ripbot.

    I know there is no one setting for all movies, but could you guys give me some idea of some good settings to try starting with? Something that won't take forever to process (I don't mind a bit of extra processing time), but will still give good results and a reasonably small file of say 25-35% of the original file size?
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  15. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post

    By the way: How do you post quotes with the poster's details? I can't work it out!?
    Copy the quote with the users quote id with the [/QUOTE] at the end of the statement and paste it in the post if you want to do a few quotes in one post. [QUOTE=Ahari;2159294] is your quote id.
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  16. Member olyteddy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    Thanks for your input.

    I understood that Constant Quality was faster and with better quality.

    Is there a way to use Handbrake to process hundreds of movies without having to add each one to the queue?
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  17. Member dragonkeeper's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Ahari View Post
    How do I set up a watched folder?
    THere are many ways to do it, there should be some scripts already check the Handbrake CLI forum. But here are a few links to get yo started.
    https://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=23594&sid=cb7a9a660b9400e7c8e9ecb482340ce2
    http://www.ehloworld.com/643
    Murphy's law taught me everything I know.
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    Thanks for all the help everyone!

    I found a batch encoder GUI for Handbrake here: http://videoscripts.wordpress.com/2010/10/21/handbrake-batch-gui/

    Seems rather easy to use - will play with it for a bit. Website also has some other interesting stuff if anyone wants to have a look.

    From what I can find out so far, there is no way of batching MKV files automatically to keep all the audio tracks (sometimes movies have the director's comments, etc..) and subtitles of each movie (if it has them) and only re-encode the video to h.264 keeping the MKV format. Has anyone worked out how to do this?

    I just want my files to take up less space without noticeable quality loss - I can't believe there isn't an easy solution to this as this must be what a lot of people want to do anyway.
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  19. Has anyone worked out how to do this?
    Works fine with Hybrid,... (on Windows/Linux/Mac)
    1. start Hybrid
    2. tell Hybrid to keep all audio tracks (Main->Audio handling->pass-through all)
    3. configure the video settings
    i.e. in the x264 Tab, if Main->Video handling is set to x264
    3.1 set x264->Main->General Settings->Encoding mode to 'constant rate factor (1-pass)'
    3.2 set x264->Main->General Settings->Quantization factor to i.e. '19' (most people use a value between 16 and 22)
    4. tell Hybrid to pass-through all the subtitles (activate Config->Automation->Pass-through->Subtitle); you might want to additionally activate other setting in the Automation-section
    5. set a Default output folder (Config->Path settings->Output path)
    6. set a default output container (Config->Output settings->Container and Thumbnail Settings->General settings->Standard output container ; you might also want to activate the Mkv settings->Disable header compression)
    7. tell Hybrid to automatically generate the output names (activate Main->Generate); there are also additional options to modify the file name generation,... see: Config->Output settings->Filename Generation
    8. drag&drop all the files/folders you want to reencode to Hybrid (on the line-edit next to the Main->"Input File"-button)
    9. tell Hybrid to generate jobs (Main->Add to Queue)
    10. tell Hybrid to start the processing of the jobs (Main->Start Queue)

    Cu Selur
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    Originally Posted by Selur View Post
    Works fine with Hybrid,... (on Windows/Linux/Mac)
    Looks good. I see you are the developer, so you are the person to speak to!

    A quick question before I give Hybrid a try. I see that it has a lot of tools in the backend. Are they all full installs or do they just quietly work for Hybrid only? (if that is the right way to say it?)

    The reason I ask is I don't want my machine clogged up with dozens of programs that have to support each other (Ripbot springs to mind). I prefer apps that "stand on their own" (like Handbrake).
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    PS: I assume that if I give it a try, I would need the Windows installer and the 64 bit additions - is that right? The downloads page is a little confusing!

    What about the Nero stuff?
    *aside from NeroAacEnc and fhgaacenc (&dlls) due to licence issues.
    Do I need that to make it work and where do I get the needed Nero stuff?
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  22. Hybrid doesn't install them it keeps everything, aside from the default values and profiles in it's own install folder.
    defaults&profiles are saved based on the os:
    • Win7: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Roaming\hybrid
    • WinXP: C:\Documents and Settings\USERNAME\Application Data\hybrid
    • Linux/Mac: /home/USERNAME/.hybrid/
    Hybrid can also be used as a complete portable version,.. see: http://forum.selur.de/topic33-hidden-hybrid-options.html -> make Hybrid portable

    -------------
    I assume that if I give it a try, I would need the Windows installer and the 64 bit additions - is that right? The downloads page is a little confusing!
    No, the windows installer contains all the windows packages. -> no other download needed aside from NeroAACEnc if you want to reencode audio to aac using NeroAacEnc.
    If you want that, you have to download NeroAacEnc and extract the NeroAacEnc.exe into the Hybrid folder.


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    Wow, you are fast! I will give it a try tonight.
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    Was having a quick go at trying Hybrid. Once I have all the settings I want, how do I save them so that they are default next time or so that I can at least select my saved settings?
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  25. If you want to save all the settings you can either:
    a. save a Global Profile (Config->Profiles->Global Profile), this allows you to save multiple complete configurations
    or
    b. save the settings as the default settings (Config->Defaults->Save->All)

    in general you can also save audio-&videoencoder settings separately in the tabs, and based on these settings you can also save a A&V Combo profile (Config->Profiles->A-V Combo Create), but since you also want to save special configuration settings a "Global Profile" or the defaults would be the way to go.

    Cu Selur
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  26. I thought I would add a space saving and PQ improvement for Handbrake, use 2nd Pass encoding and tick Turbo First Pass. It takes a little longer to encode but it's worth it. Also AC3 pass-through will only play on VLC, if you use WMP or a mobile device it won't play the audio.
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  27. What's the point of encoding for specific size with 2-pass. How do you now how much bit-rate you have to use for the same quality?
    2-pass is ONLY useful if you are trying to use all available space on CD\DVD\BD. For rest use Constant Quality mode.
    You will save space and time. Encoder will be automatically adjusting bit-rate according to video complexity and CRF value.

    With this nickname you should have known that. I guess you are still living in XviD era.
    Last edited by Atak_Snajpera; 4th May 2012 at 04:13. Reason: living not leaving ;)
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  28. I guess you are still leaving in XviD era.
    He should leave the MPEG-4 ASP era and start living in the H.264 era,.. *scnr*

    or a mobile device it won't play the audio.
    My android tablet and WMP have no problem playing ac3 audio as long as the right player (decoders) are used.

    Cu Selur
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  29. 3:2 pulldown tells the decoder to:
    1. create for each frames 2 or 3 fields
    2. merge 2 fields
    so for i.e. 24 input frames you will end up with 30 frames that will be displayed.


    -> it has nothing to do with aspect ratios,...

    I think you should better open a separate thread and explain more clearly what you want.

    Cu Selur
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