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drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 06:26 AM
Hi All,

Just in the process of ripping my blu ray library and have run into a bit of an anomally.

Ripped LOTR extended editions (pain in the bum because they're over two discs... cue lots of programes to make them play properly with subs for the elvish bits but that's a different thread), and got file sizes about 10GB each which is fine because they're each about 3-4 hours long.

Now I am ripping my Alien anthology. Alien came out at about 6GB and looks great, Aliens however came out at about 22GB!!! I have been using the ATV3 preset for all my rips.

Ripped it again but changed constant quality to average bitrate of 5000 and the picture is terrible. The file size is about right but it looks blocky and there is serious issues with a sort of "shadowing" when people move.

I'm trying it again now with the denoise filter set on weak in Handbrake cos I heard the grain on films (and Aliens is very grainy!!) makes Handbrake work harder...

I also tried 720p to reduce file size btw... and for the record, I can tell the difference on a 42" screen about 9 feet away (wrinkles on peoples faces... small beads of sweat etc.... but then again I am farsighted... apparently that helps for some reason)... so 720p isn't an option for me.

As a noob any help is always appreciated, thanks guys!



drsox
Aug 1, 2013, 07:32 AM
Hi All,

Just in the process of ripping my blu ray library and have run into a bit of an anomally.

Ripped LOTR extended editions (pain in the bum because they're over two discs... cue lots of programes to make them play properly with subs for the elvish bits but that's a different thread), and got file sizes about 10GB each which is fine because they're each about 3-4 hours long.

Now I am ripping my Alien anthology. Alien came out at about 6GB and looks great, Aliens however came out at about 22GB!!! I have been using the ATV3 preset for all my rips.

Ripped it again but changed constant quality to average bitrate of 5000 and the picture is terrible. The file size is about right but it looks blocky and there is serious issues with a sort of "shadowing" when people move.

I'm trying it again now with the denoise filter set on weak in Handbrake cos I heard the grain on films (and Aliens is very grainy!!) makes Handbrake work harder...

I also tried 720p to reduce file size btw... and for the record, I can tell the difference on a 42" screen about 9 feet away (wrinkles on peoples faces... small beads of sweat etc.... but then again I am farsighted... apparently that helps for some reason)... so 720p isn't an option for me.

As a noob any help is always appreciated, thanks guys!

Have a look at MakeMKV as an alternative. This doesn't recode but make a copy of the titles you want in .mkv format, so image quality shouldn't be an issue. I gave up on Handbrake as all I want to do is to play the stuff on a TV, so large file sizes aren't an issue for me. I don't use Apple TV, by the way, all my stuff is on an 11TB NAS share.

salohcin
Aug 1, 2013, 07:53 AM
22GB sounds about right, my copy of Aliens is about the same size. Grainy films are just going to be larger, there's not much you can do about it. Fortunately there aren't very many that are as grainy as Aliens. I've only come across a few that turned out to be much bigger than I thought they'd be.

The only thing I can suggest is instead of changing the bitrate, change the Constant Quality RF slider a bit. The default is 20, try moving it up to 21 or 22. The quality won't be quite as good, but the file size should be smaller. Hopefully you can find a setting where the quality will be "good enough" for you.

It should be interesting when I get a blu-ray of Saving Private Ryan though. With all that grain I know it's going to be huge!

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 09:05 AM
Thanks for your responses.... funny you should say about Saving Private ryan... that's in my blu-ray collection!!

I'm still in the process of my "de-noised" rip of Aliens... I'll let you know how big it turns out (fingers crossed). If it's still massive, I might just watch it on blu when I feel like it and not have it on iTunes at all. Funny how when ripping things you notice the difference in quality. Alien looks fantastic, but even when playing back Aliens from the blu ray it looks a bit shoddy... Saving Private Ryan on the other hand still has excellent clarity despite the grain...

Anyway... will update my progress later on (handbrake is still showing 1:37 to go)

Cheers,

Ed

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 1, 2013, 09:30 AM
The battle is always quality vs. file size. Choose one.

If the "file size" is what you target on all films, quality is going to vary film to film. If "quality" is your goal, file size is going to vary. I've seen BD rips as small as 2GB and as large as 27GB when chasing quality maximization. But allowing file size to vary like that is what yields very high quality picture & sound when either film is watched.

If file size is more important, why mess around with BD? Why not just convert DVDs which will still yield a good picture (obviously not 1080p HD) in average files sizes much smaller than BD? If the answer is, "because I want HD quality" think about what you are doing (and re-read the first line of this post).

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 10:25 AM
The battle is always quality vs. file size. Choose one.

If the "file size" is what you target on all films, quality is going to vary film to film. If "quality" is your goal, file size is going to vary. I've seen BD rips as small as 2GB and as large as 27GB when chasing quality maximization. But allowing file size to vary like that is what yields very high quality picture & sound when either film is watched.

If file size is more important, why mess around with BD? Why not just convert DVDs which will still yield a good picture (obviously not 1080p HD) in average files sizes much smaller than BD? If the answer is, "because I want HD quality" think about what you are doing (and re-read the first line of this post).

Thanks. But I'm after BOTH file size and quality. The BD rips I've done so far (ie Alien and LOTR) look stunning, even compared to the BD I ripped them off! As I said, if Aliens is gonna be too big, I'll just leave it to the BD when I want to watch it. I'm just after convenience with BD ripping, I'll obviously be keeping my BD library. My hard drive is 1TB so an ideal size for me is between 3 and 10 GB.

The reason I started this thread is I was wondering if there was a "magic" way of getting films like Aliens which are very grainy and have a lot of dark scenes to fit nicely in my library on iTunes.

I appreciate what you are saying though, and if I do find that a lot of the BD's I'm ripping end up at 20GB for acceptable quality, I'll either stop for the time being or think about an external drive for my iTunes library.

Cheers!

mic j
Aug 1, 2013, 10:36 AM
There is no "magic". It's all about acceptable trade-offs. Seems like you have a system that works for you, though. For the price of a 2TB drive, you might want to consider getting a larger drive in the future. I think you can find one for under $100. I have 2. One for storing all the mp4's to feed the aTV and the other to archive the mkv files from which the mp4's were produced. Obviously, drive 2 is going to fill up way before drive 1 does. At that point I will just have to make some hard choices as to what to keep.

Edit: I would highly suggest using the aTV3 preset, lowering the quality (RF slider) to just produce an acceptable quality that you find acceptable. Then letting the file size fall where it may. The aTV3 preset was developed to maximize quality with minimal file size. Average bitrate is not the way to go.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 10:52 AM
Hi all. Aliens has ripped with a file size of 19GB. Still a little high but I might well keep it and then if my HD gets too ful rethink.

It is, however, a full 3GB smaller than the previous rip and looks a lot better for the "weak de-noise" filter applied in HB. Looking at the rip, the other factor might be that the ripped file is 1920x1036. Most of my films in HD are usually about 1920x800ish and handbrake dutifully trims off the black bars at the top and bottom.

I might try Saving Private Ryan next as that is also very grainy....

Interestingly, iTunes store doesn't have Aliens listed for sale (neither HD or SD)... I wonder whether they had trouble encoding it.

They do, however, have Saving Private Ryan in HD and the file size for 1080p is about 8GB....

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 11:05 AM
There is no "magic". It's all about acceptable trade-offs. Seems like you have a system that works for you, though. For the price of a 2TB drive, you might want to consider getting a larger drive in the future. I think you can find one for under $100. I have 2. One for storing all the mp4's to feed the aTV and the other to archive the mkv files from which the mp4's were produced. Obviously, drive 2 is going to fill up way before drive 1 does. At that point I will just have to make some hard choices as to what to keep.

Edit: I would highly suggest using the aTV3 preset, lowering the quality (RF slider) to just produce an acceptable quality that you find acceptable. Then letting the file size fall where it may. The aTV3 preset was developed to maximize quality with minimal file size. Average bitrate is not the way to go.

Thanks for this advice! If I was going to do this, would I just make an alias of the "Movies" file in iTunes Music which linked to my external drive? I have done that in the past but that was many iTunes versions ago...

Oh and sorry for being a noob and taking up people's time

salohcin
Aug 1, 2013, 11:20 AM
Thanks for this advice! If I was going to do this, would I just make an alias of the "Movies" file in iTunes Music which linked to my external drive? I have done that in the past but that was many iTunes versions ago...

Oh and sorry for being a noob and taking up people's time

It depends on if you're on a laptop or a desktop. If you're on a desktop like me, I would suggest moving the whole iTunes folder to the external. That way everything is in one place and you can continue to let iTunes organize your stuff.

To do this, simply close iTunes, move the folder over, and when you open iTunes hold down the option key while clicking on iTunes. This will bring up a window that asks you to select and iTunes library. Browse to the iTunes library file on your external drive and selected it. Everything should be just the way you left it, except now it's pointing to the external drive.

If you're on a laptop and want to keep your music with you on the go, it's probably best to separate your movies from the rest of your iTunes files.

Oh, and don't worry about being a noob, that's what this forum is for!

mic j
Aug 1, 2013, 11:39 AM
Salohcin is right on the mark.

I keep my music library on my MBP and the movies on an external HDD. However, I have my HDD's connected to through my AirPort Extreme. So it is a "networked" drive. I then just set up iTunes (through Preferences>advanced) to recognize my music folder on my MBP. For video's I just keep them on the external HDD and then do an "add to library", locating and selecting the file. (You can also open a finder window and drag and drop the file into the iTunes movie list.

Happy to answer questions!

ohio.emt
Aug 1, 2013, 11:48 AM
22GB sounds about right, my copy of Aliens is about the same size. Grainy films are just going to be larger, there's not much you can do about it. Fortunately there aren't very many that are as grainy as Aliens. I've only come across a few that turned out to be much bigger than I thought they'd be.

The only thing I can suggest is instead of changing the bitrate, change the Constant Quality RF slider a bit. The default is 20, try moving it up to 21 or 22. The quality won't be quite as good, but the file size should be smaller. Hopefully you can find a setting where the quality will be "good enough" for you.

It should be interesting when I get a blu-ray of Saving Private Ryan though. With all that grain I know it's going to be huge!

As salohcin I wouldn't use average bitrate, I would use Constant Quality. Constant Quality gives you the same quality picture throughout the film but various the bitrate which will reduce the file size. Say you have a scene with very little movement the bitrate won't have to be as high. Average bitrate does vary the bitrate some but tries to keep it at the rate you set, even in scenes that don't need it.

The general advice on the handbrake forums is use Constant Quality of 22-23 for Bluray and 18-19 for DVD. I use these settings, but with the High Profile preset and the rips look great on my ATV3. I haven't tried denoise much but I know some on the forums say that weak doesn't make much of a difference so you might also want to try medium and see how you like it.

I know a lot of people just keep a mkv of Aliens and Saving Private Ryan. They are hard to get a decent file size and good quality due to the grain.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 12:40 PM
Wow! Thanks for all this great advice!

I've done my other BD rips using the aTV3 preset and they've been awesome... I tried the average bitrate thing to try and get the file size down. I might try using the medium noise filter in handbrake but I used the "weak" setting because I want to alter the file as little as possible.

I have found a nice little app for those that don't mind huge file sizes btw.

I stumbled upon it because I have the Star Wars trilogy on blu ray (not the prequels.... yuk) and I prefer the original theatrical versions... (which good ol' George seems loathe to give us) but I wanted something better than the laserdisc copies on the 2006 DVD release (which I will NEVER give up due to George's stubborness... sorry... ranting) for the ATV. Obviously, I'd ripped them but they're very old, grainy as hell, and the sound is only in stereo.

Anyway, I found a fan-edit that used the blu rays as his main source but had edited out many of George's completely unnecessary additions (do a google for despecialized versions if you're interested). The files were naturally MKV's. I tried encoding them with Handbrake but the video suffered enormously, blocky etc.... Enter Avidemux!!

With this, I was able to preserve the .264 HD video without re-encoding and add a AC3 passthrough and Dolby stereo audio track...

dvdlovr24
Aug 1, 2013, 01:05 PM
Interestingly, iTunes store doesn't have Aliens listed for sale (neither HD or SD)... I wonder whether they had trouble encoding it.


I ended up purchasing Aliens from iTunes since it's only 6.5gb compared to the 20gb+ copy that I had done through handbrake.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 01:08 PM
I ended up purchasing Aliens from iTunes since it's only 6.5gb compared to the 20gb+ copy that I had done through handbrake.

The UK iTunes store doesn't have it listed at all... I'd be interested in your comments regarding the quality at 6.5GB....

mfram
Aug 1, 2013, 01:09 PM
The new "Aliens" Blu-Ray is definitely an encoding problem. I encode my HD movies with a stereo audio track and a constructed 5.1 AC3 track. Most movies end up being in the 6-8 GB range. But I got the 20+GB blow-up with Aliens as well.

I think I settled on the version using the "weak" de-noise filter on Handbrake for Aliens. The problem with the "medium" setting was that it made the faces look weird. Ripley's face practically turned into a white ghost in the darker scenes. It was very distracting.

Usually I like to avoid filters on the high-def movies, but sometimes like this you have to make the trade-off for file size. My final encoding of Aliens is a little over 15GB. Larger than normal, but the best I could do under the circumstances.

Other problem movies for me: Total Recall (90's version), Avatar (partially because of the length), Stripes Extended Edition, Hurt Locker. I think all of their transfers involved a lot of grain. Awesome for movie archival purposes, bad for x.264 encoding.

Haven't tried the new 4K-mastered Ghostbusters yet. But that looked like it had a lot of grain as well.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 01:11 PM
The new "Aliens" Blu-Ray is definitely an encoding problem. I encode my HD movies with a stereo audio track and a constructed 5.1 AC3 track. Most movies end up being in the 6-8 GB range. But I got the 20+GB blow-up with Aliens as well.

I think I settled on the version using the "weak" de-noise filter on Handbrake for Aliens. The problem with the "medium" setting was that it made the faces look weird. Ripley's face practically turned into a white ghost in the darker scenes. It was very distracting.

Usually I like to avoid filters on the high-def movies, but sometimes like this you have to make the trade-off for file size. My final encoding of Aliens is a little over 15GB. Larger than normal, but the best I could do under the circumstances.

Other problem movies for me: Total Recall (90's version), Avatar (partially because of the length), Stripes Extended Edition, Hurt Locker. I think all of their transfers involved a lot of grain. Awesome for movie archival purposes, bad for x.264 encoding.

Haven't tried the new 4K-mastered Ghostbusters yet. But that looked like it had a lot of grain as well.

My best shot was 19GB at Aliens, I also used the "weak" de-noise setting.... how'd you manage 15GB?

Cheers!

dynaflash
Aug 1, 2013, 01:13 PM
The UK iTunes store doesn't have it listed at all... I'd be interested in your comments regarding the quality at 6.5GB....

It will be as good probably even though its smaller. Apple doesn't transcode from blu ray but generally studio masters. Higher quality sources can be squeezed smaller with less quality loss.

salohcin
Aug 1, 2013, 01:33 PM
Haven't tried the new 4K-mastered Ghostbusters yet. But that looked like it had a lot of grain as well.

My encode of the new 4K Ghostbusters is about 10GB, so not too bad. That's just on the default Apple TV 3 setting though. I'm sure it can be done smaller.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 01:46 PM
Just trying aTV3 preset with Batman (1989)... I'm trying this one to see what file size I get simply because the output size is 1920x1080.... It's also very dark although not too grainy.

I'm still wondering whether the actual "screen" size (as stated previously, most of the other HD rips I've got are usually 1920 wide and 800ish vertically) is an issue rather than the grain having an impact on the size of the file from Aliens (which is showing 1920x1036).

If it's up to 10GB then I suppose grain is the main factor, if not then perhaps it's the screen size.

dynaflash
Aug 1, 2013, 01:49 PM
I'm still wondering whether the actual "screen" size (as stated previously, most of the other HD rips I've got are usually 1920 wide and 800ish vertically) is an issue rather than the grain having an impact on the size of the file from Aliens (which is showing 1920x1036).


Its both.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 02:09 PM
Its both.

I'm sure you're absolutely right! But I'm trying Batman to see which has a bigger impact...

If Batman comes in at about 10-12GB, then I'd argue that grain has more to do with it than resolution. But I suppose we'll have to wait and see, unles anyone else has tried it...

salohcin
Aug 1, 2013, 02:13 PM
I'm sure you're absolutely right! But I'm trying Batman to see which has a bigger impact...

If Batman comes in at about 10-12GB, then I'd argue that grain has more to do with it than resolution. But I suppose we'll have to wait and see, unles anyone else has tried it...

Funny you should say that. For me Batman came out to 5.3GB on the default Apple TV 3 setting.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 02:25 PM
Funny you should say that. For me Batman came out to 5.3GB on the default Apple TV 3 setting.

I'll let you know the size I end up with... but that's reassuring! HB still showing 1:47 left... dunno what I'm paying for with this quad core i7 processor... seemed to take the same amount of time as my MBP with a core 2 duo... lol

martinm0
Aug 1, 2013, 02:54 PM
Graininess has always impacted file size for me. Anything that is older and has a true film feel comes out quite large. I just encoded The Process Bride from disc and it was about 15GB (1.6 hr run time). I don't bother using the de-noise setting as I've never liked the results and I'm perfectly fine with large file sizes (LOTR extended edition are about 20GB at 4.5 hrs).

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 03:02 PM
Graininess has always impacted file size for me. Anything that is older and has a true film feel comes out quite large. I just encoded The Process Bride from disc and it was about 15GB (1.6 hr run time). I don't bother using the de-noise setting as I've never liked the results and I'm perfectly fine with large file sizes (LOTR extended edition are about 20GB at 4.5 hrs).

That's weird! Return of the King 1080p extended 5.1 is 8.6GB on mine. My method was Makemkv-mkvtoolnix (to join the discs together)-subler for the subtitles-handbrake aTV3 settings. It's nearly as good as the BD...

Interesting that we all seem to be having problems with grain though...

Edit: i used no filters at all with LOTR... just standard atv3 preset.

martinm0
Aug 1, 2013, 03:29 PM
That's weird! Return of the King 1080p extended 5.1 is 8.6GB on mine. My method was Makemkv-mkvtoolnix (to join the discs together)-subler for the subtitles-handbrake aTV3 settings. It's nearly as good as the BD...

Interesting that we all seem to be having problems with grain though...

Edit: i used no filters at all with LOTR... just standard atv3 preset.

I actually use the High Profile preset, and add in 3 sound tracks: 2ch, 5.1, and DTS pass thru in Handbrake. I do full disc extracts with MKV and encoded with HB (can't recall what I used to join them. Subler or MP4tools or something like that).

Movie is 4:23 and comes in at 19.6GB.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 03:36 PM
I actually use the High Profile preset, and add in 3 sound tracks: 2ch, 5.1, and DTS pass thru in Handbrake. I do full disc extracts with MKV and encoded with HB (can't recall what I used to join them. Subler or MP4tools or something like that).

Movie is 4:23 and comes in at 19.6GB.

That's probably why... I just did one audio track with makemkv (True HD), let HB mix it down for the stereo track to prologic II and let it do an AC3 "passthrough" ... I think HB changes this from DTS to DD in AAC at 640 so arguably, the audio is compressed and it's not a true passthrough, but aTV doesn't support DTS so what can you do? Perhaps that's why I got such a small file size... Still... it looks and sounds awesome to me!

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 04:35 PM
Batman (1989) is 5.6GB and 1920x1080, 5.1 + stereo... ATV3 preset in HB. Quality is superb!

So I suppose... the proof of the pudding is that graininess is the overiding factor considering that apparently dark scenes also result in big file sizes...

I'll do Saving Private Ryan next just to see...

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 1, 2013, 07:59 PM
You can't really compare 2 different movies- even if the horiz & vert would be identical and make such a conclusion. If you don't believe me, render a 1920 x 1080 single color for the same length of time as either Aliens or Batman. Then run that through HB with the same preset and see what you get.

drjack69
Aug 1, 2013, 10:50 PM
You can't really compare 2 different movies- even if the horiz & vert would be identical and make such a conclusion. If you don't believe me, render a 1920 x 1080 single color for the same length of time as either Aliens or Batman. Then run that through HB with the same preset and see what you get.

Hi... both movies are around 2hrs long, both are pretty dark throughout. both have larger than usual resolutions and both are from the around same time period (86 and 89). However, Aliens is incredibly grainy and Batman is not...

I wouldn't dare to make such sweeping generalisations as you suggest, but it is interesting... I have since ripped Batman Returns which is virtually the same length as Batman and the same resolution (1920x1080) and that has come out at just under 7GB.

I suppose what I am trying to ascertain from this thread is...

What makes a BD rip so big in Handbrake and is there anything we can do to reduce massive file sizes without sacrificing quality? It simply can't be a case of "well some movies just come out bigger!" There has to be some logical explanation...

It baffles me why I can get a 4hr movie (LOTR ROTK ext ed) down to under 9GB and pretty much indenticle to the blu ray and Aliens comes in at 20GB. My findings with Batman vs Aliens (that'd be a good film cash-in wouldn't it? haha) would lead me to the conclusion that graininess is a massive factor, but I am open to be proved completely wrong... I am just a noob!

Edit: sorry... spelling and grammar completely out of the window... too early... my cats have woken me up "identical" and "proven" is what I meant to say

mic j
Aug 2, 2013, 09:14 AM
Hi... both movies are around 2hrs long, both are pretty dark throughout. both have larger than usual resolutions and both are from the around same time period (86 and 89). However, Aliens is incredibly grainy and Batman is not...

I wouldn't dare to make such sweeping generalisations as you suggest, but it is interesting... I have since ripped Batman Returns which is virtually the same length as Batman and the same resolution (1920x1080) and that has come out at just under 7GB.

I suppose what I am trying to ascertain from this thread is...

What makes a BD rip so big in Handbrake and is there anything we can do to reduce massive file sizes without sacrificing quality? It simply can't be a case of "well some movies just come out bigger!" There has to be some logical explanation...

It baffles me why I can get a 4hr movie (LOTR ROTK ext ed) down to under 9GB and pretty much indenticle to the blu ray and Aliens comes in at 20GB. My findings with Batman vs Aliens (that'd be a good film cash-in wouldn't it? haha) would lead me to the conclusion that graininess is a massive factor, but I am open to be proved completely wrong... I am just a noob!

Edit: sorry... spelling and grammar completely out of the window... too early... my cats have woken me up "identical" and "proven" is what I meant to say
There are a lot of variables between BR's. For instance, in a grainy movie, HB is trying to accurately reproduce every grain. That's a lot of data! The are a lot of other factors too, e.g. darkness, amount of motion, etc. So yes, large files sizes are the result of HB trying to precisely reproduce the film image and only removing data if it does not degrade the image. Unfortunately, with some movies less data can be "thrown out".

I file size is that big of an issue, I would recommend selecting a single chapter and try lowering the quality setting until you start to see artifacts, then just backing off those settings. The place where you notice those artifacts also have lots of variables, such as your personal ability to see artifacts, viewing distance, room lighting, tv size, etc. By just selecting a single chapter you decrease the time investment in trying to find that "sweet spot" of quality/file size....which is different for all of us.

dynaflash
Aug 2, 2013, 10:42 AM
So I suppose... the proof of the pudding is that graininess is the overiding factor considering that apparently dark scenes also result in big file sizes...

Huh ? Dark scenes ?

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 2, 2013, 11:34 AM
drjack, you are asking an extraordinarily subjective question and can't get good input from anyone here telling you what "they" do, as they would be making very subjective decisions too.

And you can't judge dark Batman vs. dark Aliens as any kind of objective test. It doesn't matter that they are the about the same movie length. Again, go max dark- use something like Keynote to render the (one) color BLACK at 1920 x 1080 for the exact same amount of minutes as either Batman or Aliens. (Every pixel) Black is as dark as a "film" can get. Then, run that render through Handbrake and see what you get.

The file size of movies (subjectively judged as "both are dark" or not) is going to vary widely if you want to key on quality. Grainy films are going to be big files because HB is trying to capture all the detail in the grain. It's that variety of detail (variety of pixel colors) that is going to yield a larger file.

Here's an easy metaphor to help you think about what HB is doing: pull out a pad of paper, take a pencil and reproduce a picture with much detail as good as you can. Turn the page (to a new blank page) and draw a picture of a single color: let's say white, so you don't have to actually even touch the pencil to the paper. Which one took the most time & effort to draw? Obviously, the first. The first required a lot of "data store" because there was a lot of detail in the frame to "capture." The second didn't require any detail. Go scan each picture. The first is going to end up a much bigger file than the second for the same reason.

Now think about a moving picture: 24-30 frames (sketches) per second. If in the first one you were drawing what you see looking out the window as you drive down a highway, those frames are going to vary widely as the scene changes. If you are going to capture what you see in great detail (quality), it's going to take a LOT of careful drawing (HB processing) of each frame to capture all that detail for "playback" later. All those pages (frames) of the pad are going to be full of ever-changing detail. The pad represents the "storage" of the movie you are capturing as individual frames.

Let's imagine each of the drawing pads has 1,000 pages (frames). In pad #2, the movie is just the (one) color white. Rather than needing a fresh frame by flipping to page 2, you can just hold on page 1, as the image is exactly the same. In fact, in pad #2, you never need a new frame to reproduce the pure white you see. So, you can simply "play" page one 1,000 times to create an equal length "movie" of pad #1.

Both pads have the exact same horiz and vert resolution. You've subjectively put in the level of quality you want in drawing the individual "frames" in pad #1 and pad #2 is a perfect quality reproduction of it's "movie" (the color white). What's the storage like? Pad #1 is the "file" storage of 1000 individually-drawn pages at whatever level of quality you chose to put into drawing each frame. Pad #2 can be "stored" as just page 1 shown 1000 times. The "file size" of pad #1 is 1000 pages and pad #2 is 1 page.

As to your question of quality vs. file size, no one can help you get it right because only you can decide how much quality you want to trade off to get the file size you desire. Anyone else offering suggestions are basing it on what they subjectively choose as a balance of quality vs. file size. The easiest answer for you is to choose the :apple:TV3 preset and move the quality slider up a notch, render, move it up another notch, render, another, render, etc... and then compare each render until quality falls below your own threshold. Each notch up should yield a smaller file. So when you get to your quality threshold, you'll have the one best answer to your question.


What makes a BD rip so big in Handbrake and is there anything we can do to reduce massive file sizes without sacrificing quality?
To paraphrase Apple PR spin, you're thinking this wrong. HB is reducing massive file sizes with minimal losses of quality at the default setting. If you check the file size of the original BD vs. the version rendered by HB, you'll likely see a big cut in file size without a noticeable loss in quality. Sometimes that's going to yield a 20+GB file size for some movies and other times it might squeeze something down to <3GB. It's taking the amount of "pad" pages necessary to store the movie detail so that a viewer will probably not be able to see a difference.

What you're wanting is much more compression without a loss of quality and that's not available. HB is doing as good as it can leveraging THE codec for that exact task. To get smaller file sizes, you have to start sacrificing quality, or resolution, or color depth, etc (all of which could fall under "quality"). The next gen codec- H.265- has some claims (or maybe spin) claiming it can compress much better than H.264 such that it can yield up to 50% smaller files without a loss of quality. But H.265 is not fully here yet and both Apple and the HB crew will need to make changes to embrace it when it is finally adopted. In the meantime, H.264 is THE way and it's either maximum quality OR minimum file size. There is no MAX Quality AND MIN file size solution much better than what you can get out of HB.

drjack69
Aug 2, 2013, 03:12 PM
Huh ? Dark scenes ?

Sorry... as in there's a lot of night time stuff and therefore a lot of black.... I dunno.. I read that a lot of black makes file sizes bigger somewhere...

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There are a lot of variables between BR's. For instance, in a grainy movie, HB is trying to accurately reproduce every grain. That's a lot of data! The are a lot of other factors too, e.g. darkness, amount of motion, etc. So yes, large files sizes are the result of HB trying to precisely reproduce the film image and only removing data if it does not degrade the image. Unfortunately, with some movies less data can be "thrown out".

I file size is that big of an issue, I would recommend selecting a single chapter and try lowering the quality setting until you start to see artifacts, then just backing off those settings. The place where you notice those artifacts also have lots of variables, such as your personal ability to see artifacts, viewing distance, room lighting, tv size, etc. By just selecting a single chapter you decrease the time investment in trying to find that "sweet spot" of quality/file size....which is different for all of us.

Thank you sir! your tips have been invaluable (dark knight trilogy all about the same size having used your chapter trick... simple really... should have thought of that before... doh).

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drjack, you are asking an extraordinarily subjective question and can't get good input from anyone here telling you what "they" do, as they would be making very subjective decisions too.

And you can't judge dark Batman vs. dark Aliens as any kind of objective test. It doesn't matter that they are the about the same movie length. Again, go max dark- use something like Keynote to render the (one) color BLACK at 1920 x 1080 for the exact same amount of minutes as either Batman or Aliens. (Every pixel) Black is as dark as a "film" can get. Then, run that render through Handbrake and see what you get.

The file size of movies (subjectively judged as "both are dark" or not) is going to vary widely if you want to key on quality. Grainy films are going to be big files because HB is trying to capture all the detail in the grain. It's that variety of detail (variety of pixel colors) that is going to yield a larger file.

Here's an easy metaphor to help you think about what HB is doing: pull out a pad of paper, take a pencil and reproduce a picture with much detail as good as you can. Turn the page (to a new blank page) and draw a picture of a single color: let's say white, so you don't have to actually even touch the pencil to the paper. Which one took the most time & effort to draw? Obviously, the first. The first required a lot of "data store" because there was a lot of detail in the frame to "capture." The second didn't require any detail. Go scan each picture. The first is going to end up a much bigger file than the second for the same reason.

Now think about a moving picture: 24-30 frames (sketches) per second. If in the first one you were drawing what you see looking out the window as you drive down a highway, those frames are going to vary widely as the scene changes. If you are going to capture what you see in great detail (quality), it's going to take a LOT of careful drawing (HB processing) of each frame to capture all that detail for "playback" later. All those pages (frames) of the pad are going to be full of ever-changing detail. The pad represents the "storage" of the movie you are capturing as individual frames.

Let's imagine each of the drawing pads has 1,000 pages (frames). In pad #2, the movie is just the (one) color white. Rather than needing a fresh frame by flipping to page 2, you can just hold on page 1, as the image is exactly the same. In fact, in pad #2, you never need a new frame to reproduce the pure white you see. So, you can simply "play" page one 1,000 times to create an equal length "movie" of pad #1.

Both pads have the exact same horiz and vert resolution. You've subjectively put in the level of quality you want in drawing the individual "frames" in pad #1 and pad #2 is a perfect quality reproduction of it's "movie" (the color white). What's the storage like? Pad #1 is the "file" storage of 1000 individually-drawn pages at whatever level of quality you chose to put into drawing each frame. Pad #2 can be "stored" as just page 1 shown 1000 times. The "file size" of pad #1 is 1000 pages and pad #2 is 1 page.

As to your question of quality vs. file size, no one can help you get it right because only you can decide how much quality you want to trade off to get the file size you desire. Anyone else offering suggestions are basing it on what they subjectively choose as a balance of quality vs. file size. The easiest answer for you is to choose the :apple:TV3 preset and move the quality slider up a notch, render, move it up another notch, render, another, render, etc... and then compare each render until quality falls below your own threshold. Each notch up should yield a smaller file. So when you get to your quality threshold, you'll have the one best answer to your question.



To paraphrase Apple PR spin, you're thinking this wrong. HB is reducing massive file sizes with minimal losses of quality at the default setting. If you check the file size of the original BD vs. the version rendered by HB, you'll likely see a big cut in file size without a noticeable loss in quality. Sometimes that's going to yield a 20+GB file size for some movies and other times it might squeeze something down to <3GB. It's taking the amount of "pad" pages necessary to store the movie detail so that a viewer will probably not be able to see a difference.

What you're wanting is much more compression without a loss of quality and that's not available. HB is doing as good as it can leveraging THE codec for that exact task. To get smaller file sizes, you have to start sacrificing quality, or resolution, or color depth, etc (all of which could fall under "quality"). The next gen codec- H.265- has some claims (or maybe spin) claiming it can compress much better than H.264 such that it can yield up to 50% smaller files without a loss of quality. But H.265 is not fully here yet and both Apple and the HB crew will need to make changes to embrace it when it is finally adopted. In the meantime, H.264 is THE way and it's either maximum quality OR minimum file size. There is no MAX Quality AND MIN file size solution much better than what you can get out of HB.

You obviously know your stuff and thank you for your very knowledgeable responses... duly noted...

But stop busting my balls man!! :)

mic j
Aug 2, 2013, 03:44 PM
If you run across something that satisfies all your lofty goals...please, please, please let us know!!!! :)

drjack69
Aug 2, 2013, 03:56 PM
If you run across something that satisfies all your lofty goals...please, please, please let us know!!!! :)

Will do... the experience is helping a lot.... It's just trying to understand it...I'm from an audio background (sound engineer in the traditional sense... ie bands etc with bits of hardware... forced into digital somewhat but I'm still running a G4 with Pro Tools 6.4 for music... it's now at version 11... lol).... So video is a bit over my head at the mo. Thanks again!

mic j
Aug 2, 2013, 04:20 PM
Will do... the experience is helping a lot.... It's just trying to understand it...I'm from an audio background (sound engineer in the traditional sense... ie bands etc with bits of hardware... forced into digital somewhat but I'm still running a G4 with Pro Tools 6.4 for music... it's now at version 11... lol).... So video is a bit over my head at the mo. Thanks again!
That makes me curious, so I have to ask: As a sound engineer, don't your have to constantly balance audio quality vs compression?

drjack69
Aug 2, 2013, 05:15 PM
That makes me curious, so I have to ask: As a sound engineer, don't your have to constantly balance audio quality vs compression?

Depends on what you are talking about... compression traditionally or digitally?

If you're talking about compression traditionally (in simple terms), it's all about dynamic range. Polar opposites of the differences in terms of sound would be Grace by Jeff Buckley (just to name one... there are lots of bands who shun over compressed sounds) and just about anything released since 2003.... (LOUDER LOUDER LOUDER!!! hehe).

I suspect however, that you refer to digital compression.... In which case, you're only capable of hearing between about 60hz and 20000hz so arguably, a CD which according to Nyquist's theorem, is pretty much as good as you are gonna hear. Blu rays (and actually DVD's) usually have a sample rate of 48khz (google nyquist and save me some typing)... way more than you'll ever need (in fact someone once said to me that BD's are at 92khz... crazy... dunno if that's true or not). In terms of bit-rate (16 vs 24 or even 32 these days) you can hear it if your ear is trained enough... especially when listening to something with enough dynamic range (although I defy anyone to tell me they can hear the difference between 24 and 32 bit).

However, I'm pretty happy to have my record collection on itunes at either iTunes plus (i forget.... is it 256?) or 320... through a normal HIFI, you probably won't hear the difference... studio monitors... you probably will (the snare drum wil probably shoot off to the right speaker etc etc... in fact I've heard other engineers say they can hear the artifacts in iPod headphones... I've never heard "the masses" complain though)

Anyway... I'm probably boring you to tears....

the thing with movies is, I just want it to look and sound awesome on my home cinema set up (ie I am one of the masses but with a little bit of an inkling into how good it can possibly look and sound), the same way I will not sit there pontificating about bit rate or sample rate when listening to Appetite For Destruction...

But music compression is much simpler... a 6 minute song at 320 will be x amount in AAC... a 3 minute song at 320 will be x amount (give or take a few kb). this is why video is baffling me...

Edit: sorry... human hearing is 20-20k... was just thinking of my EQ's lowest setting

mic j
Aug 2, 2013, 05:37 PM
I knew I was playing with fire when I asked that question!!!:D

Has anyone done something similar to Nyquist's Theorem for video? By that, I mean defined the ranges of human vision and applied that to spec ranges of visual media? Did that make sense? :o

But I digress...sorry to move this thread off topic.

drjack69
Aug 2, 2013, 05:49 PM
I knew I was playing with fire when I asked that question!!!:D

Has anyone done something similar to Nyquist's Theorem for video? By that, I mean defined the ranges of human vision and applied that to spec ranges of visual media? Did that make sense? :o

But I digress...sorry to move this thread off topic.

Sorry... I knew I was gonna bore the pants off people wit that... I really should have just said... "nah it doesn't bother me as long as I can hear my records fine on the old hifi".... I'm sure Mr HobeSoundDarryl will know about what you want to know. He really seems to know a lot about video stuff! That comment, HobeSoundDarryl is out of admiration, not out of any resentment for the aforementioned ball-busting! :)

drjack69
Aug 2, 2013, 06:00 PM
Oh I should also have stated in my simplified reply that I can't listen to anything under 256kbps... then I really can hear squelchy horrible artifacts... even on the humble HIFI... when ripping films on handbrake I notice the stereo track on aTV3 is 160... I suppose I get distracted by the video content (and also when watching in stereo, it's in the bedroom with just the TV speakers)

HobeSoundDarryl
Aug 2, 2013, 07:41 PM
I've come at this in several ways now and since I'm a "maximize quality" guy (else, what's the point of Blu Ray, why not just rip the movies from DVD? You'll get the smaller file sizes you seek at DVD-quality viewing), I'll offer one last observation to combat the concern of file size at the expense of some quality to get the file size you seek:

A 4TB 3.5" drive costs < $200 right now. 4000GB/20GB (file sizes) = 200 overly large "file size" movies. <$400 can store 400 of those overly large movie files. <$600 will hold 600. And so on.

Now, assuming Aliens and it's ilk are the anomaly and you have a bunch of "lighter" movies coming out at- say- 10GB on average, the same math at an overall average of about 12GB-per-movie looks like this:
<$200 buys you about 333 movies (stored)
<$400 buys you about 666 movies (stored)
<$600 buys you about 999 movies (stored)

Unless, you have a HUGE library of BD to convert (and you want to convert all of them), it seems like just 1+ of those drives would probably cover your entire movie library. You could let go of the impossible goal of highest quality with much smaller file sizes and just leverage a few Franklins to buy the space to basically ignore "file size" surges on select, dark or grainy movies.

Else, wait for H.265 which promises something more along the lines of what you seem to seek.

drjack69
Aug 3, 2013, 02:00 AM
I've come at this in several ways now and since I'm a "maximize quality" guy (else, what's the point of Blu Ray, why not just rip the movies from DVD? You'll get the smaller file sizes you seek at DVD-quality viewing), I'll offer one last observation to combat the concern of file size at the expense of some quality to get the file size you seek:

A 4TB 3.5" drive costs < $200 right now. 4000GB/20GB (file sizes) = 200 overly large "file size" movies. <$400 can store 400 of those overly large movie files. <$600 will hold 600. And so on.

Now, assuming Aliens and it's ilk are the anomaly and you have a bunch of "lighter" movies coming out at- say- 10GB on average, the same math at an overall average of about 12GB-per-movie looks like this:
<$200 buys you about 333 movies (stored)
<$400 buys you about 666 movies (stored)
<$600 buys you about 999 movies (stored)

Unless, you have a HUGE library of BD to convert (and you want to convert all of them), it seems like just 1+ of those drives would probably cover your entire movie library. You could let go of the impossible goal of highest quality with much smaller file sizes and just leverage a few Franklins to buy the space to basically ignore "file size" surges on select, dark or grainy movies.

Else, wait for H.265 which promises something more along the lines of what you seem to seek.

I think I'm going to have to take your good self and mic J's advice and go down the external drive route for iTunes. I'm buying movies from iTunes now anyway rather than BD unless it's really special... ie: I bought The Hobbit from iTunes because I'll wait for the extended edition for BD (although how on earth Peter Jackson could possibly extend it is beyond me... but that's a different and very lengthy debate). A 4TB would probably suit me fine (although I'd have to buy two... I lost my entire iTunes library due to a WD mybook 500GB a few years ago).

As I said, it's just weird for me from an audio background...

Ripped Dark Knight Trilogy yesterday... Dark Knight Rises 2:44 hours (film length)=6GB, Dark Knight 2:32 hours=7GB. Both look great and sound great!

But I'll get my head round it at some point I'm sure. But thank you for sage-like advice in the meantime....