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  1. I am virtually a newbie re conversions/codes/video etc.

    A few months ago I started using MakeMKV to rip DVDs as it fixed the problems I had with VOB files with DVD Decrypter (wrong video length reported causing problems in Plex).

    I am now having some fun playing said rips with Plex on different devices. Issues with transcoding, server (NAS) performance and other general nuisances, which I am unable to solve. As DVDs are MEGP2, it would appear that some devices that only support H.264, will need the video to be transcoded.


    I am thinking of batch converting all my rips to MKV/H.264 with Handbrake. I made a test conversion of a rip that was

    - 4.47 GB
    - variable bit rate - as reported by MediaInfo
    - overall bit rate = 7,964 kbps - as reported by MediaInfo
    - Video Stream = 720*576 (16:9) @25fps
    - Bitrate 7,368 - as reported by Plex
    - Resolution 576p - as reported by Plex
    - Codec: MPEG2VIDEO as reported by Plex

    I converted it with HB's preset of H.264 MKV 576p, which uses RF20 constant quality and the output file is

    - 580MB
    - Overall bit rate 1,011 kbps
    - Video Stream = 720*554 (1.85:1) @25fps
    - Bitrate 1,011 - as reported by Plex
    - Resolution 480p as reported by Plex
    - Codec: H264 as reported by Plex

    That's quite a difference in bit rate. The resolution is what Handbrake seemed to think it was, i.e. 720x554, but I'm puzzled why it reports as 480p in Plex as I selected 576p in Handbrake. So, what have I lost here. My main display will be through Plex and onto a Sony 65" Android TV.

    The file size and bit rate have seemingly gone down proportionally, i.e. 1/8. I have played both versions and there's definitely a loss in quality on the TV from the RF20 conversion.

    Can someone say what's going on with the resolution and how I can ensure I don't lose quality for my TV size.

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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Search Comp PM
    Handbrake cropped a combined 22 pixels it considered "black lines" from the top and bottom of the video. Apparently using whatever method and threshold plex uses it no longer qualifies as 576 so it's bumped it down to 480p which is the next lower standard.

    Why the $%^& is Handbrake calling it RF? That just confused the hell out of me until I realised it meant CRF.

    If you don't want to lose quality... it's complicated. DVDs are interlaced so I can't just say "use a lower CRF", although that's part of it.

    To ENSURE you loose as little quality as possible... Don't use handbrake... since you're not likely to be interested in AVISynth scripting I guess you have no choice though.
    Last edited by ndjamena; 12th Feb 2017 at 06:33.
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  3. Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Search Comp PM
    OK, so NOW my brain is starting up.

    If it's cropping it to 1.85:1 then that means you're encoding a movie, correct?

    First things first FOR THIS DVD ONLY is to go to the filters tab and set "deinterlace" to OFF.

    I'm assuming this isn't some horror that's been field blended from 23.976p to 50i here, I'll guess you'll know from the output file if I'm wrong.

    After that, assuming this is a live action movie, go to the video tab and "encoder tune" to "film"... that will have very little effect but you might as well.

    After that there's not much you can do other than lower the CRF until you're happy. You can try using a slower encoder preset if you like, that will just lower the final bitrate a bit and maybe make the lines look at bit better.

    If you're encoding other DVDs, especially TV and especially, especially American TV sold in PAL land things get complicated (unless you're fine with 50p files) and handbrake may not be enough for decent playback.
    Last edited by ndjamena; 12th Feb 2017 at 03:11.
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  4. Thanks ndjamena, I'll play around with those settings and see what gives.
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