ive been messing with many programs and im trying to find the optimal settings for handbrake for converting 720p from 5000kbps down to 1000kbps without losing quality...currently ive tried mediacoder and vidcoder along with a handful of others but im limited on hard drive space so im trying not to go over 1000 kbps......any help is appreciated
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at first disable Peak framerate, set framerate to constant and same as source. Because of low bitrate (I suppose you will convert it to h264) then 2pass encoding 8 reference frames, Subme 9, bframes to 3-4. You can also test some denoise setting which will help compression in this case.
If you want to watch it only on computer then you can use h265 format with default preset (depending on your computer specs). But it takes more time but compression/quality is much much better. Change framerate as mentioned above. You get definitelly much more better quality.
And for both cases, if you have audio with high bitrate, you can change it to aac 112-128 kbps to spare space.
converting 720p from 5000kbps down to 1000kbps without losing quality
Lower the resolution for 1 Mbps.
At 1000kbps, you're using a lower bitrate than VideoCD, which was 1/4 Standard Def and at-best looked similar to VHS. Now, H.264 is way more efficient than the MPEG-1 of VCD, but that'll only get you part of the way there. I recommend upping the average video bitrate to at least 1500 and setting Handbrake for 2-pass encoding.
I uploaded this clip from a TV show I recorded for a different thread, (for its subtitles). It's 720p, with a video bitrate of 1511 kbps.
Now if you're willing to reduce the resolution to 480p , 1000 kbps video could look as good as (or better than) DVD.
To reduce the resolution: in the Picture tab, set "Anamorphic" to "Automatic", the width to 720 & the height to 480. In newer versions (1+) of Handbrake, the Pixel Aspect Ratio will be set automatically.