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Old May 12, 2011, 04:43 PM   #26
AdrianK
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Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
MKV is really a hackers codec in the end. Few devices support it out of the box. Forget about streaming to Xbox or using iPads or a lot of other stuff.

Frankly I hate it. Half the time remuxing using subler fails (usually the audio).
Again, really?! MKV is a container, not a codec.

It's more versatile than mp4, but only really supported by desktop media players, set top boxes and some BD players.
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Old May 12, 2011, 04:44 PM   #27
bucksaddle
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Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
MKV is really a hackers codec in the end.
It's not a codec, but a container as already discussed in this thread.
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Old May 12, 2011, 05:08 PM   #28
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MKV = Lossless

I think of MKV as my DVDs on my Mac and Hard Drives etc, once I've transferred my DVDs or BLU-Rays I usually ditch the master blu/dvd and if I ever want to watch a compressed lossy M4v version on an iOs then I encode from the MKV.
Most of music is Lossless, everything on the iTunes store is Lossless we're just buying an on-the-fly 256 encode.
MakeMKV is amazing and you can rip your dvds and blus lossless so for me that's everything I don't mind MP3s and AACS but with Picture Quality I want the best and Tron Legacy clocking in at 29.24GB playing on my i7 Macbook Pro and 27" LED Apple Cinema Display is heaven, files get pretty big but I have plenty of storage, I'd rather do it once correct at the beginning, I mean how many people are going to regret encoding their music as 128 or 256 when from day one they should have been encoding as ALAC.
Lossless for audio and video is the way to go, that way you're created a digital master.
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Old May 12, 2011, 05:45 PM   #29
spacepower7
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MKV <= Lossless

MKV can be Lossless, but 99.99% of MKVs on the internet are not lossless.

MKV can be, but does not mean a file is lossless.

Kinda like aac can be lossy or Apple Lossless

Please don't confuse the newbies with a declarative statement such as MKV=Lossless.

It causes more redundant threads requesting clarification.
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Old May 12, 2011, 11:54 PM   #30
bedifferent
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Originally Posted by spacepower7 View Post
MKV can be Lossless, but 99.99% of MKVs on the internet are not lossless.

MKV can be, but does not mean a file is lossless.

Kinda like aac can be lossy or Apple Lossless

Please don't confuse the newbies with a declarative statement such as MKV=Lossless.

It causes more redundant threads requesting clarification.
So much information

Ok, so I use the Lossless option in iTunes, for obvious reasons.

I'm encoding my DVD rips on my Mac Pro using the m4v (MP4) H.264 codec at VRF and Constant Quality around 17. Audio was the tricky part. Much research got me to this:

Track 1) AAC Stereo ~192-256 kbps (depending on film)
Track 2) AC3 (5.1) for full surround sound on my entertainment system


XBMC allows me to choose which audio track on my ATV 2 (hooked up via SMB through ethernet to a "Time Capsule" in my media center to use the HDD as a media storage device, works well, no need to stream from any system).

I place the stereo track first as iDevices default to the first track. This info about AAC being "lossless" doesn't ring true for m4v's as AC3 Passthru should be as close to lossless audio (this is technically a 2-channel digital signal that is processed as 5.1 in your AVR). OS X QTX can play AC3 audio now with the new Perian 1.2.2 codec.

Additional tracks such as "Director's Commentaries," etc. are placed in audio tracks 3+

Are the above audio settings the best for maintaining near DVD source quality (DVD's being compressed I'd like to lessen the lossy with any unnecessary compression)?

High quality encodes are crucial for digitizing my DVD collection, keeping the quality as close to original as possible but allowing playback on a multitude of devices (most of mine are jailbroken). I'm assuming AC3 is a better codec than AAC, and Passthru is a better option for AC3 (5.1) tracks (although I have noticed AC3 (5.1) 6-Channel discrete at 640 does sound better) with DTS being the best

Advanced Video settings are below
. Spent four months researching, speaking with experts, etc. It may be overkill but size isn't as important as quality (it's the "motion of the ocean" theory - sorry, couldn't resist ):

Quote:
b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50:me=umh:ref=10:bframes=8:subq=10:merange=30:trellis=2:analyse=allsy-rd=0.4,0.20:deblock=-1,-1
Subtitles (not burned it) and chapters if I have the csv (otherwise you MetaX for tagging).

Haven't started BD encodes, but these settings have given great quality m4v's that play perfectly on my Pioneer Elite VSX-33 and 50" Pioneer Kuru Elite. As ATV 2 accepts 1080P (outputs 720P to TV) I'm planning on using m4v's at the highest HD settings as they'll play on the current ATV 2 fine and will allow for future 1080P support.

From what I've learned mkv and m4v files are just containers, mostly for mp4 (h.264) video files. MKV can hold more, and the mp4 can me extracted/muxed if need be. MKV files cannot be tagged via MetaX, etc. but the container can hold subtitles/chapter info/etc. with some work while m4v's can me tagged using Subler/MetaX/iDentify, etc.

I do not believe that mkv files are any different or better than m4v's, they both hold the same video mp4, it's the settings/quality of the encode that is crucial. If I'm wrong, let me know . I honestly don't know why mkv files are sometimes preferred as they aren't always supported and require more steps with little difference in overall quality. Any info contrary to that so I know for certain? Thanks!

In the end, there are a TON of options, and as I learned I wish there was a simple "one encode fits all" close to lossless lossy DVD's lol. It takes trial and error, encode a few of the same movies, play them, compare, get friends/family to compare them, and do not forget to save the settings in Handbrake (and use the nightly builds) for each encode you try in case you find the one you need.

Thanks for the help and I hope my $.02 helps someone (trying to pay it forward for all the help you guys gave me)

Oh and important: Select "Anamorphic" = Loose with Modulus=16 Detelecine and Decomb to Default/On. (Done in "Picture Settings"). Need this for compatibility on differing screens (WS, 16:9, 1:53, etc.) without losing picture quality.

Last edited by bedifferent; May 13, 2011 at 12:19 AM.
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Old May 13, 2011, 06:04 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by bedifferent View Post
I honestly don't know why mkv files are sometimes preferred as they aren't always supported and require more steps with little difference in overall quality.
For my WDTV, which supports MPEG2, I used to put the MPEG2 vob video directly into an MKV without transcoding. That gives quality equivalent to the DVD and is very quick, even on an old computer, which is why I used to prefer MKV.
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Old May 13, 2011, 08:05 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by bedifferent View Post
High quality encodes are crucial for digitizing my DVD collection, keeping the quality as close to original as possible but allowing playback on a multitude of devices (most of mine are jailbroken).[B] I'm assuming AC3 is a better codec than AAC, and Passthru is a better option for AC3 (5.1) tracks (although I have noticed AC3 (5.1) 6-Channel discrete at 640 does sound better) with DTS being the best
Bit-for-bit, AAC will give you better quality than AC3, but that's assuming the same bitrate and the same number of channels. For surround sound, AC3 is generally preferred because more audio hardware supports it than AAC, which is why 2-channel AAC w/ 5.1 AC3 for surround sound pass-through playback is so common. Of course, DTS or TrueHD will be better quality than either. Since DVD's are already lossy, I really wouldn't bother worrying about losing much. Stereo AAC + 5.1 AC3 is fine.
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Old May 13, 2011, 08:27 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by kokako View Post
I think of MKV as my DVDs on my Mac and Hard Drives etc, once I've transferred my DVDs or BLU-Rays I usually ditch the master blu/dvd and if I ever want to watch a compressed lossy M4v version on an iOs then I encode from the MKV.
Most of music is Lossless, everything on the iTunes store is Lossless we're just buying an on-the-fly 256 encode.
MakeMKV is amazing and you can rip your dvds and blus lossless so for me that's everything I don't mind MP3s and AACS but with Picture Quality I want the best and Tron Legacy clocking in at 29.24GB playing on my i7 Macbook Pro and 27" LED Apple Cinema Display is heaven, files get pretty big but I have plenty of storage, I'd rather do it once correct at the beginning, I mean how many people are going to regret encoding their music as 128 or 256 when from day one they should have been encoding as ALAC.
Lossless for audio and video is the way to go, that way you're created a digital master.

You do realize that CDs, DVD, and Blu Ray are themselves lossy compressed formats of the original master, right?
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Old May 13, 2011, 10:37 AM   #34
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Quick question: when you encode a mkv into m4v using handbrake with the "Apple universal" preset the files are normally about half the size of the original mkv. I realise that the mkv container is effectively already a compressed version of the original master, but what exactly does a tool like HB do to the files? Is it a lossy compression? Is there a loss of quality when encoding this way?
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Old May 13, 2011, 10:57 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by theSeb View Post
Quick question: when you encode a mkv into m4v using handbrake with the "Apple universal" preset the files are normally about half the size of the original mkv. I realise that the mkv container is effectively already a compressed version of the original master, but what exactly does a tool like HB do to the files? Is it a lossy compression? Is there a loss of quality when encoding this way?
Yes, all compression is lossy. Its too easy to get into way too much minutiae on this stuff. Remuxing (the process of not transcoding any tracks and just repackaging it into a different container) is Lossless.

Those mkv's you download on the internet are compressed from an already previously compress source (at best a blu ray) which was previously compressed from at best, a digital master.

As far as compressing from the original master ... even if you could get a hold of one (which is pretty tough as the studios are funny that way) the amount of time it would take to compress from a digital master would be ridiculous on any consumer machine you are likely to have. No matter how fast handbrake is.

So, the point is lossless is the polar opposite of lossy. Any source you already have is lossy. so re encoding it is lossy once more. That said the art of a good encoder is losing "quality" in areas that are impreceptible to the human eye, or that the eye ignores. So just because technically there is a loss of quality, it does not mean that its a loss youre eye can detect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bedifferent View Post
I'm assuming AC3 is a better codec than AAC, and Passthru is a better option for AC3 (5.1) tracks (although I have noticed AC3 (5.1) 6-Channel discrete at 640 does sound better) with DTS being the best
There is no way that using the AC3 encoder on an AC3 source track regardless of settings will sound any better than the original AC3 track. Even HandBrake cannot make something from nothing. I guarantee you that AC3 passthru from an AC3 track is the only lossless way to handle it (pass thru meaning the original track is passed through right to the ouput container, un touched).

Last edited by dynaflash; May 16, 2011 at 10:04 AM. Reason: mispoke, lossy should have read lossless
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Old May 13, 2011, 09:21 PM   #36
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There is no way that using the AC3 encoder on an AC3 source track regardless of settings will sound any better than the original AC3 track. Even HandBrake cannot make something from nothing. I guarantee you that AC3 passthru from an AC3 track is the only lossy way to handle it (pass thru meaning the original track is passed through right to the ouput container, un touched).
Yeah I know, but it's fun Won't hurt anything any ways
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Old May 13, 2011, 10:08 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theSeb
Quick question: when you encode a mkv into m4v using handbrake with the "Apple universal" preset the files are normally about half the size of the original mkv. I realise that the mkv container is effectively already a compressed version of the original master, but what exactly does a tool like HB do to the files? Is it a lossy compression? Is there a loss of quality when encoding this way?
Why use handbrake to go from mkv tO mp4 ?
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Old May 13, 2011, 10:19 PM   #38
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Why use handbrake to go from mkv tO mp4 ?
Question. Haven't encoded my BD rips yet. Diff bet MKV and HB? Simply containers? HB can handle BD in m4v containers just as SD rips, no? Thanks.
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Old May 14, 2011, 01:39 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bedifferent
Quote:
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Why use handbrake to go from mkv tO mp4 ?
Question. Haven't encoded my BD rips yet. Diff bet MKV and HB? Simply containers? HB can handle BD in m4v containers just as SD rips, no? Thanks.
Just think mkvtools > handbreak for mkv to mp4 conversions


Only use handbreak to rip from Blueray or DVD
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Old May 14, 2011, 01:41 AM   #40
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Just think mkvtools > handbreak for mkv to mp4 conversions


Only use handbreak to rip from Blueray or DVD
Hmmm ok. I ripped my BD's with MTR 4 and other's so they're already on one of my Mac Pro SATA's. Handbrake can encode the BD rips into m4v no? (unless BD rips require a different system/app for encoding rips)

NM read to use MKVTools to transcode the 264 to mkv...

Last edited by bedifferent; May 14, 2011 at 02:14 AM.
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Old May 15, 2011, 08:27 PM   #41
kokako
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You do realize that CDs, DVD, and Blu Ray are themselves lossy compressed formats of the original master, right?
Ofcourse I realise they're compressed, I'm referring to lossless as in our makeMKV rips are 1:1 copies of as close to a master that we (the people that didn't make the movie and didn't record the music are going to get...), when 2k and 4k formats supersede BLU we'll get a little closer, but we're unlikely to ever cross paths with the original master so for us our compressed blus and cds are from where we're going to be sourcing any kind of losslessness or lossy losslessness.
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Old May 16, 2011, 12:11 AM   #42
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If you're going from mkv to mp4 or mp4 to mkv with H.264, there's no reason to transcode. Just remix the H.264 video and the audio into the new container using something like MKVTools or Subler.
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Old May 16, 2011, 01:58 AM   #43
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You do realize that CDs, DVD, and Blu Ray are themselves lossy compressed formats of the original master, right?
CDs are PCM, so they are encoded in a lossless fashion, the only difference from the master is bit depth and frequency.
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Old May 16, 2011, 10:05 AM   #44
dynaflash
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Yeah I know, but it's fun Won't hurt anything any ways
Heh, the original quote from me was wrong, lossy should have read lossless. Sorry about that.
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Old May 16, 2011, 02:28 PM   #45
bedifferent
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Heh, the original quote from me was wrong, lossy should have read lossless. Sorry about that.
I figured

Taking your advice and using Passthru. No reason to encode it, doesn't do anything. I just like the sound of "6-Channel Discrete" versus "Passthru," seems like it's doing something more lol

Now I need to nail down "Deblocking" and "Psychovisual" settings. Noticing some SD DVDs (no animations) have more grain than others (esp in white or black areas). Played around w/ settings on the same DVD. Tried these:

- Deblocking -1,-1:Psy-rd=1.4,0.3
- Deblocking 0,0 (Default):Psych-rd=1.2,0.25
- Deblocking 1,1:Psy-rd=1.2,.020

The differences are very subtle. Main screen is my 50" Pioneer Elite w/ aTV 2 via XBMC, also play on my dual 24" LED LCD's on my Mac Pro (rarely on my iPad, I can remux if so). Assuming Deblocking at 0,0 and tweaking Psychovisual settings for sharpness and grain may be best (or leaving it all alone as it's unnecessary)?

Also, what's your take on Anamorphic? I've been using Loose w/ Modulus=16 as I read this allows for playback on various screen sizes. Yet I've read this crops the image. Anamorphic strict or loose?
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Old May 17, 2011, 10:18 AM   #46
dynaflash
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Personally I leave psy-rd and deblock alone for x264 the libx264 defaults work fine for me.

I use strict anamorphic personally but you can use loose as well, the difference is not that great at all. strict anamorphic is truer to the actual dvd content by a bit. Again, these are personal preferences, use what looks best to you.
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 11:21 AM   #47
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For what it's worth...

To add to the original post question... I found under "help" -> user guide in in handbrake to be incredibly helpful. (amazing we always seem to forget to read the instructions!)

Specifically:

What HandBrake Is, What HandBrake Isn't
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/IsIsnt

Containers
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Containers

Audio and Video Encoders
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Encoders

For more info the rest of the user guide can be found here:
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/HandBrakeGuide

Hope this helps!
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Old Sep 15, 2011, 11:52 AM   #48
dynaflash
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Originally Posted by ELMpro View Post
To add to the original post question... I found under "help" -> user guide in in handbrake to be incredibly helpful. (amazing we always seem to forget to read the instructions!)

Specifically:

What HandBrake Is, What HandBrake Isn't
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/IsIsnt

Containers
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Containers

Audio and Video Encoders
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/Encoders

For more info the rest of the user guide can be found here:
https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/HandBrakeGuide

Hope this helps!
Ironically we hid all of that information not only on the website but also under the Help menu of all three platforms gui's.

Should have made it more obvious.

Good find.
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Old Oct 12, 2011, 12:40 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by kuwisdelu View Post
If you're going from mkv to mp4 or mp4 to mkv with H.264, there's no reason to transcode. Just remix the H.264 video and the audio into the new container using something like MKVTools or Subler.
Well put, but I really wish release groups would put add 2ch AAC track to the MKV so I don't have to transcode one in. Not everyone has a ac3 receiver connected to their ATV2.
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Old Oct 12, 2011, 02:47 AM   #50
jahala
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Originally Posted by akatsuki View Post
MKV is really a hackers codec in the end. Few devices support it out of the box. Forget about streaming to Xbox or using iPads or a lot of other stuff.

Frankly I hate it. Half the time remuxing using subler fails (usually the audio).
I used to have the same problem. Sometime in the not-too-distant past an option was added to Subler to convert AC3 audio to AAC. Since I checked that box, I have no problems. It does take longer since Subler is transcoding the audio.
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