Iíve ripped a lot of my childrenís DVDs to ISOs. Now, I want to:
- Save space by converting to another format which takes up less space, and then to get rid of the ISOs.
- Have a copy which can be played on the TVs (using Xbox, Roku etc). Size isnít too important a factor (i.e. it doesn't have to be particularly small), but Iíd want it to be significantly smaller than the ISOs.
- Have a copy which is suitable for devices such as Android phones and tablets (including mid-range) and iPod Touches. Size is a factor here, for use when travelling (e.g. copying directly to the devices, or to a flash drive). Also, Iíd want to make sure that theyíd play on the mid-range Android devices.
- Be able to make new copies in the future if necessary.
So Iím thinking of the following:
- Create an MP4/MKV of relatively high quality (i.e. not too far from original DVD quality). This could be used both for the TVs, and also as a source for any future conversions if needed.
- Create an MP4 which is suitable for the devices - smaller file size, lower H.264 profile. I'm thinking specifically of MP4 here for greatest compatibility.
Would this approach make sense?
Iím currently trying to get up to speed with Handbrake, and the various settings which are available.
Also, I should mention that this is just for DVDs at the moment - no Blu-Rays.
Some particular questions. For the high quality copy:
- Would it be realistic to use the higher quality MP4/MKV as a source for any future conversions? Iím guessing that, if itís not too much below the original DVD quality, then this might be realistic.
- Would CRF=18 be reasonable for the Handbrake quality setting?
- MP4 or MKV? Iím tending towards MP4 for greater compatibility. What does MKV give over MP4? Would MP4 be flexible enough for the streams which Iíd want to store in it from the DVD?
For the lower quality copy:
- What would be suitable Handbrake settings for the lower quality MP4? Presumably a lower quality (e.g. 20 - 22), and a lower H.264 profile (e.g. Main 4.0?)
Sorry for the long post - I'm trying to work out a whole process here, and make sure that I don't get anything wrong after I've deleted the ISOs.
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Be able to make new copies in the future if necessary.
The I recommend you use lower H264 profile (Something like Main@L3.1). Use CRF 17~17.5 and encode at preset veryslow.
--profile main --level 3.1 --preset veryslow --crf 17.0 --merange 32 --subme 11
You seem to have the general idea, using different presets in Handbrake for the two different types of copies you want. I've been using Vidcoder lately, which is a different GUI for Handbrake.
Since you are going to delete the ISO's once converted, I think I would use the original discs as the source for any future conversions. If they are available, the originals will be slightly better as your starting point.
CRF 18 will give a very good copy of your DVD-video. I use this setting most of the time in the High Profile, and use the Slow encoder setting. You might want to change from Variable Framerate to Constant Framerate, since VFR offers very little and can cause issues in playback on some devices. Make your own preset once you've got the settings where you want them.
MP4 is probably more compatible across equipment. Most of us around here like MKV because it is easier to work with if necessary. There are a lot of free tools designed for mkv.
For the lower quality copy, choose a preset that fits your equipment, probably your Apple devices. I've run high quality encodes in my Nexus 7 (2013), with no issues, so it hasn't been as picky.
And for "veryslow" - does this purely result in a smaller file, or are there any other effects in the generated file?
1. If you want high qualty (whatever that means to you, higher visual quality or transparency) you have to use higher bitrate. There's no shortcut there.
2. If you find out two years later that x device is not supporting it you will re-encode for compatibility as you said. So you should go for transparency.
3. Lower profile does not mean lower quality or higher compression. They are a just a limit for some x264 features.
4. Higher preset means better compression. (TESA is pointless for DVDs)
5. The result of a certain CRF value changes drastically with small change of settings.
I would say you should go with profile+preset (unless you want to do tests with aq psy-rd ratecontrol settings) and try to encode these DVDs at CRF 17-18.
Just a word of warning you probably shouldn't go above profile 4 to ensure max compatibility.
However if you are going to be making different versions for different applications than that shouldn't be too bad.
Just don't use profile 5 hi 10 as only a computer will reliably play it. Sure some devices might play it but it will be FAR from as universal as profile 4 or lower.
Also pay attention to cabac and the number of reference frames.
A very basic video player might not handle cabac at all.
I don't know what the rule of thumb is regarding reference frames but it seems to me the more there are the more trouble you'll have playing the file.
Basically until you get comfortable encoding for a specific device I'd stick to the default profiles and not tinker too much with the specs inside the x264 engine. The more you stray from the default the less likely hardware players will like it.
Though a computer will play virtually anything as long as you have the codecs naturally.
And settop units like a wdtv are the most versatile at playing files on a tv. Anything else will be more hit or miss. Unless you are streaming from a computer and transcoding for the device in question.
Granted these are some generalities and each device is different. But the less you mess with the default settings the greater flexibility you'll have.
And in general mp4 will be more readable than mkv. Though that has been changing the last few years. So mkv will be more acceptable then it was in the past.
Again read your devices specs and do to test encodes to be certain.Donatello - The Shredder? Michelangelo - Maybe all that hardware is for making coleslaw?
Yes, default profiles, as a matter of fact I'd leave anything default, because CRF is involved here and at the same time it is suitable for mobile devices.
But I'd use CABAC even for mobile devices, because it immensely improves quality while keeping size in check. Today's mobile devices handle CABAC , those little gadgets today are faster than PC's decade back.
These are just movies so only one encoding for any device and to store it at the same time:
--crf 18 --ref 6 --level main --vbv-bufsize 4500 --vbv-maxrate 4000
this way you keep in check max bitrate so it doesn't go up into the roof and at the same time bitrate is not too low, and it doesn't take o lot of power to decode. You can even lower those buffers a bit, depending on type of movie, you can include: --aq-strength 1.5 or --tune film or both , if it helps, to try to reduce pixelating in dark areas encoding animated movies
PAL DVDs always have a resolution of 720x576, with either a 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratio. The video is resized to the correct aspect ratio on playback. Anamorphic encoding encodes the video in a similar way. After cropping, the output resolution and aspect ratio may be different, but cropping aside, the output resolution would also be 720x576 and the video would be resized to either 16:9 or 4:3 playback, just as the original DVD would be.
Anamorphic video in MP4/MKV files isn't supported by all devices/hardware players (it won't always display with the correct aspect ratio), so resizing to square pixels before encoding might be a "safer" option. If you resize to square pixels (the setting to do so is "anamorphic none"), you'll lose some resolution using Handbrake. It resizes by reducing the height of the video to give you the correct aspect ratio.... something like 720x404 for 16:9 video. Vidcoder is an alternative GUI for Handbrake. It allows you to resize to square pixels by increasing the width instead of reducing the height, so for a 16:9 PAL DVD you might end up with 1024x576. The difference between 720x404 and 1024x576 can be enough to notice a difference in detail, even when encoding using the same quality setting, so it's something to consider if you decide to resize to square pixels. Naturally 1024x576 will also result in larger file sizes for a given quality.
Most devices specify the h264 profile and level they support, so as long as you use the appropriate profile and level you should be fine. If you have devices with different requirements, you can encode for the "lowest common denominator", so to speak. Personally I'd encode once using the settings and resolution etc which gives me the quality I want to keep, then if need be I'd encode again for portable devices (assuming they won't play the original encodes or you'd prefer a smaller file size).
If the DVD video is interlaced, choosing "Bob" as the deinterlacer should de-interlace it to 50fps rather than 25fps. The former will look much better, but portable devices may not play it. Any device capable of playing High Profile, Level 3.2 or higher should play it fine.
I have not read all the replies thoroughly, but there seems to be good push on mp4 and mkv, which is not that bad. That said, I am in the same boat as you are. I have been ripping my son's DVDs for a while, so that all of them can go in the box and finally in the storage.
I have been content with avi files with AutoGK. It is an old program by another Englishman and is no longer developed, but the control and flexibility that it offers to a non-geek users is just awesome. Format compatibility is not a problem at all. Still there are a good number of devices in the market that do not support mp4 and mkv. You throw avi at any device and there is a pretty good chance that it will play. Only downside I have started noticing lately is, avi does not support chapter markers.
The rule of thumb for DVDs is as follows -
Animation DVD smaller than 2 hours, avi file size of 700mb. (Calculate the final size according to the length of the video.) Since those are animations, you can compress them fairly well in that size, with smaller dimensions of the the original DVD, but since it is compressed so well, so far I have not noticed any major issues on the TV. If you do not want to resize the video, increase the file size.
If the DVD itself is poorly made, then you see a lot of artifacts. I have noticed that Clifford the red dog DVDs that I have are rather poor and no matter what final size I decide, the outcome is always bad.
If the DVDs are of regular movies, then 1 hour video should be ripped to 700mb file and the results are good. The high quality you may say. You do notice the files floating around the web that are even smaller with good quality picture quality, but the guys who do that are super experts in this business. Although I would like to aim to that, I have not been successful.
So AutoGK rules in my world, although slower speed at doing job, I am fine with it, as final output is worth spending that time. Everything is so well automated. And yes, you do not have recode these ISOs to 2 files i.e. TV and portable device. I use the same file on TV as well as phone, no issues so far.
Hope this helps, and would like to know what you finally settle on and why. May be it will help me too.