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  1. TLDR: I write novels, lol.. I have DVD rips and remastered HD x265 mkvs of an old show series I want to re-encode to SD x265 @ 10bit (the 1080p media can either be shrunk to either 720p or 480p). I just want it as simple as possible because I am an encoding idiot!

    On to my novel:

    Background: So I ripped an old TV show from original DVDs a while ago and have them uploaded in a slow-to-access cloud due to storage limitations when I first made the rips. I'm looking for my original DVDs, but I'm thinking my collection may have been donated

    Being SD, I'm not expecting miracles playing it on an 4K display but now I also have access to HD remastered x265 mkv files of the same episodes! I viewed the first remastered episode and somehow it looks fine but not mind-blowing, so I'm not sure which source to work with, my original rips or this new content. Maybe both and compare them?

    On my intended file formats: it looks like the buzz is all on x265 10bit content, which seems to playback and stream fine on or from my Windows desktop, even at 4k resolutions. Ideally, I want to focus on file size but as close to lossless as possible.

    On to what I can and would like use to encode with: I really enjoy using Xmedia Recode because it makes people who don't have a clue like me feel smarter but I'm hearing a lot of love for Staxrip, so my first two choices are those. Going down from those, I am open to re-purposing VideoLAN or maybe trying Handbrake once again. I did purchase Freemake Video Converter for a very modest fee and I got the giveaway license of VideoProc. I have completely bombed on more difficult encoding/conversion software and for now, my main encoding machine is my Windows desktop. I am open to any other programs that aren't harder to use than these (just keep in mind I haven't tried Staxrip yet)

    My expectations: not a whole lot, but I'll leave any up-scaling to my streaming software and/or playback devices on a thumb-drive, so I plan to keep the DVD output as close to the original but taking advantage of the best x265 can do with it while reducing the file size over x264 encoding (hopefully). The new variable is the new remastered HD source: it looks like it's better quality (but may have been needlessly upscaled?) so I imagine if I re-encode these files, I may get smaller files that play just as well as the forced 1080p mkvs and possibly yield the best quality and size encodes (they seem a little big at a little over 1GB per ~26 minute episode).

    Here are the encoding settings from MediaInfo: (which makes me feel real dumb because I have little to no clue what these parameters translate to) cabac=1 / ref=5 / deblock=1:0:0 / analyse=0x1:0x111 / me=umh / subme=8 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=1 / 8x8dct=0 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=34 / lookahead_threads=5 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=120 / keyint_min=61 / scenecut=0 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=50 / rc=abr / mbtree=1 / bitrate=5939 / ratetol=1.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / vbv_maxrate=11878 / vbv_bufsize=23756 / nal_hrd=none / filler=0 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
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  2. For SD, x264 is fine. re-encoding to x265 will lose you quality. You lose quality everytime you re-encode.
    To be clear, if you don't have access to your original source, the first rip is as good as it gets quality wise.
    Depending on your content, 1 GB per 26 min episode seems good for x264, small even.
    Staxrip is the best choice of the gui's that you listed but they all the same underneath: x264/5 or the ffmpeg implementations libx264/5.
    If you are streming and upscaling, what's the point of reencoding, x265 won'tmagically make your quality better.
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  3. lol, kindly refer to my first statement -> "I am an encoding idiot!"

    e.g., when I mistakenly said DVD rips, I actually meant to say that I made exact DVD ISO images

    On the other hand, the remastered 1080p episodes look really nice, but they appear to be an upscaled and enhanced video from the original SD TV broadcast production source (most likely produced from whatever format they used back in the early 70s). For these, I was hoping that by carefully converting these mkv files back down to either SD (480p) or half-HD (720p) using x265 10bit, the resulting encodes would still look better than encoding the original DVD ISOs I have. (just as long as I don't compress them so much that the video quality suffers when replayed on a high-resolution HD or UHD TV display)

    Again, please bear with my total ignorance.. I'm attempting to do something way above my pay grade here!!
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  4. Keep your original rips. Any re-encode will degrade the quality, not improve it.
    The only acceptable reason for re-encoding would be to save space.
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  5. I do appreciate all of the advice given, and I have taken note that x264 is preferable for SD encoding, blud7. Of course, I definitely plan to keep the originals! (I am downloading my ISO backups as we speak) and am getting the newer HD versions but those will take even longer to backup, lol.

    You actually hit the nail on the head, ProWo! since it is a very fun kids show, I was hoping to put some smaller encodes inside some lower memory tablets and for streaming from a very small thumb drive that has wifi for watching on the go. (think car and once the world opens up, plane rides) I mean, keeping kiddos busy is easier when they have more offline content especially wherever mobile data is spotty, which usually happens at the most inopportune occasions so the best compression/playback is key lol. Then a streaming stick to playback wherever we stay is a nice touch (plus many TVs these days offer USB playback, which also recharges the thumb drive).
    Last edited by cke; 31st Jul 2021 at 19:24.
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  6. If you re-encode, use x264 8bit, not x265 10bit.
    This way you'll have no problems with most devices.
    The best combination actually should be x264 8bit for video and ac3 or aac for audio.
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  7. wow, really? no love for x265 (yet)?

    I mean, I totally get it, older devices definitely choke on newer codecs and standards, even the mkv container alone, so you are preaching to the choir here lol! so outside of very modest size reduction gains, x265 still comes with more compatibility issues and higher processor requirements.. well whaddya know? I just thought it'd be different by now!

    well my old Chromebook loves x264 videos all day and refuses to playback any x265 without a dedicated program, but I just thought it was because it was made back in 2015, which is pretty old in laptop years!

    I really appreciate the insight, ProWo!! so I'll just go right back to encoding with x264 using my old apps, business as usual then.. it's a pretty painless process, tbh, so I guess why complicate my life any more than it needs to be, huh?
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  8. Keep your ISO rips
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