I've been doing video encodes for a while, but this one has always intrigued me. I've found episodes of the Simpsons online, in beautiful quality, at less than 100MB per episode.
I've always wondered exactly what settings are used to get such a good quality, at such a low bitrate.
I know they are using H264 or 265, since it's MKV and won't play on my older media players.
I'm wondering if the fact they are cartoons has something to do with it.
I'm doing a test encode of an episode of a British sitcom. I set the file size for 100MB, 3 pass VBR, and using Placebo with H265 encoder.
I got an Amazon Fire TV last year, and I love it, but the USB port can't power a hard drive, so when I travel, I have to rig up a contraption with a USB Y cable to power the hard drive. I've been putting my media collection on flash drives and MicroSD cards, but since they are space limited, I've been going back and re-evaluating some of my encodes, since some where done 10 years ago.
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I also saw this on South Park Remastered in HD, they were h265. And yes, the fact that they are cartoons matters a lot, because it's less video information and a lot of mostly static images, where only the character's mouth slightly move.
That makes sense. I'm wondering what a good size I can expect for a sitcom would be with H265.
The ones I did 10 years ago with DIVX are 140-180 megs.
A good rule of thumb for this is the average size/quality matrix found on assorted streaming and download sites at any given moment. At present, the hard limit for decent quality with a 22-min live-action sitcom appears to be 135mb for H264 and maybe 115Mb for H265, give or take 5Mb, both in MKV containers. Thats assuming you want a scalable video file that will look halfway decent up to a 40" TV screen. Going below 100mb is really pushing it for TV use, although it might still pass muster on a 7" Kindle screen (i.e. Handbrake typically gives me approx 100Mb files when encoded at phone/tablet preset).
How the current mainstream 135MB files would compare to your old DiVX files is something you'd need to judge for yourself. From what I've seen, current 135Mb H264 encodes look similar to (often better than) the 285Mb DiVX & generic AVI files that were common six years ago. Some of that is attributable to H264, some to evolving encoding skills of the file creators. As always, YMMV depending on the source material.
Last edited by orsetto; 2nd Feb 2017 at 15:10.
With modern codecs, you can encode a video with just about any bitrate you want. Just a matter of if you are happy with the encoding quality, which is entirely subjective and not something you can easily put a metric on.
An often overlooked factor is quality of the original video source. A BD video will generally allow higher compression than a DVD and a good, strong OTA signal can be a better source than cable.
An old adage that continues to ring true is GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out). Your final product will never be objectively, emprically better than the original. However, the better the original, the better the potential of the final product.
Last edited by lingyi; 2nd Feb 2017 at 22:53.