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Old Mar 25, 2007, 07:48 AM   #1
Chiggs
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What is DVD Quality

A few questions for those video experts within the forumn...

I purchased an Apple TV as a DVD replacement. I have hundreds of DVD's and want the ability to watch them on demand with no physical media. I have connected my Apple tv to my Sony Bravia LCD TV via an HDMI cable. I'm streaming video from my iMac and external FW800 Hard Drive through an Airport Extreme (.n) base station.

My issue is that no matter which settings I use when ripping a TVT, the quality is not the same as the DVD. I use the same resolution as the source media and the same frames per second. I'v tried bitrates from 1000 to 2500 and have the same two isses all the time...

In scenes where there is a dark background, the back ground can look a little fuzzy or pixelated. The second issue is when there is movement within a scene (especially fast movement) it looks a little choppy or fuzzy....

Am I expecting to much to be able to rip a DVD and maintain the same quality level? File size is not an issue - I don't care how big the file sizes are...

Any help/suggestions would be appreciated. I was hoping to be able to but all my DVD's in storage but that doesn't look like it's going to happen at this point.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:04 AM   #2
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I guess you are using Mediafork/Handbrake. If you select the Constant Quality setting and set it at 100% you will get the exact same quality...The size will be enormous though...

I rip my DVDs using the main H.264 profile @3000kbps and the quality is almost the same, only a bit darker.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:05 AM   #3
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What program are you using to rip the dvds, and what codec are you using? MPEG4 or H.264?
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:13 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicP View Post
What program are you using to rip the dvds, and what codec are you using? MPEG4 or H.264?
I am currently using Mediafork, the latest available public beta.

Codec: H.264 Main
Video Bitrate: 3000kbps
Audio Bitrate: 160 to 320kbps (depends on the movie)
Resolution: Original
Framerate: Original

You can download Mediafork at http://download.m0k.org/handbrake/te...1-MacOS_UB.dmg
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:25 AM   #5
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Thats strange, I would not expect a big difference between the dvd and the encoded file at 3000kbps using h264, perhaps try the previous suggestion and use the quality setting instead.

Good luck
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:29 AM   #6
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Thaks for the suggestion. I just ripped an episode of Friends with Constant Quality of 100%. It was just over 2 Gigs !!

Unfortunately, the file type is not one that the Apple TV will play. I'm going to try the other settings you suggested and see what that looks like on my Apple TV.

Will report back...
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NicP View Post
Thats strange, I would not expect a big difference between the dvd and the encoded file at 3000kbps using h264, perhaps try the previous suggestion and use the quality setting instead.

Good luck
The quality setting will create really big files!

Are you using the Mpeg4 encoder or the H.264? Use the H.264 Main Profile

The only disadvantage is that the resulting movies are darker than the original.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 08:32 AM   #8
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I forgot to say that the 100% Constant Quality setting results in files that arent playable on Apple TV or even Quicktime! The resulting bit rate is 17000Kbps approx. !!!!
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 09:14 AM   #9
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I just finished encoding the same episode of Friends using the 3000 bitrate and the other settings you mentioned. The color contrast is much better but I still find the movement of characters or items is not a clean as the DVD version. Not sure how to best explain it - my wife refers to this as the "lego" effect as the movement seems "blocky."

Any thoughts/ideas on correcting this? I've selected frame rate as same as source - perhaps I'll try it at the 29.97 setting and see what happens...
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 09:49 AM   #10
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Just ripped the same episode at a frame rate of 29.97 and it looks the same. Is anyone else unsatisfied with the picture quality vs. DVD in terms of the quality of movement on the screen?

I am using Mediafork and have tried most of the different settings including all suggested so far. I have not tried to de-interlace the picture but my understanding is that would just reduce the quality even more...

Is anyone else using a different DVD ripper that they would recommend over Mediafork? Happy to pay for the software if it does the job !!!
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 09:58 AM   #11
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Are you using 1080i or 720p? Because I have a 1080p screen and when I set it to 1080i I could see blurriness but after setting it to 720p (because it is progressive or non-interlaced) The blurriness went away. Because the apple TV can't display more than 720p anyway (and DVDs are much lower quality than that) It's not like I am losing anything. Hope this helps.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 11:18 AM   #12
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Have you tried messing around with the quality slider as opposed to setting a constant bit rate? On Handbrake, somewhere in between 60-68% creates a sensibly sized file I think. It's a far more efficient way of allocating space as it puts a lot more bits per second into the darker or fast scenes than in plain ones.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 11:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiggs View Post
I just finished encoding the same episode of Friends using the 3000 bitrate and the other settings you mentioned. The color contrast is much better but I still find the movement of characters or items is not a clean as the DVD version. Not sure how to best explain it - my wife refers to this as the "lego" effect as the movement seems "blocky."

Any thoughts/ideas on correcting this? I've selected frame rate as same as source - perhaps I'll try it at the 29.97 setting and see what happens...
Do you stream the episode or have you synced it to your Apple TV?
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 12:08 PM   #14
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I've tried both streaming the video as well as transferring it to the Apple TV. The result is the same. I tried adjusting my Apple TV settings down to 720p and I think that has helped a little. I'm currently using Quick Time Pro to convert the eposode of Friends from a "Constand Quality 100% file to the Apple TV option in the export function. It's a slow process though - should be done in another 30 minutes of so. I'm also currently encoding an episode of STTNG using the H.264 / 3000 Average bitrate setting. I'll try both of those as well as the Constant Quality bar set to 75% and see if that will produce a file Apple TV can use...
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 12:12 PM   #15
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I don't have the Apple TV yet (will arrive on Tuesday) but the files I ripped from DVD were smooth like the originals. The quality was nearly the same, only brightness was different. The sound is of course worse (no Dolby Digital)

I find your issue really strange
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 12:13 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiggs View Post
I've tried both streaming the video as well as transferring it to the Apple TV. The result is the same. I tried adjusting my Apple TV settings down to 720p and I think that has helped a little. I'm currently using Quick Time Pro to convert the eposode of Friends from a "Constand Quality 100% file to the Apple TV option in the export function. It's a slow process though - should be done in another 30 minutes of so. I'm also currently encoding an episode of STTNG using the H.264 / 3000 Average bitrate setting. I'll try both of those as well as the Constant Quality bar set to 75% and see if that will produce a file Apple TV can use...
75% will probably be huuuuuge...best to rip a chapter in several different percentages and see if any of them are suitable.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 12:39 PM   #17
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I finished converting the larger file using Quick Time Pro but the results were the same.

Could there be a difference between TV shows and movies on DVD? I've just looked at a few movies that I ripped and the movement looks fine (I can't tell the difference vs. the DVD.) I tried Over the Hedge and it looks perfect. I also looked at a few episodes of How I met Your Mother that I ripped from DVD and they look pretty good too...
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 12:40 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiggs View Post
I finished converting the larger file using Quick Time Pro but the results were the same.

Could there be a difference between TV shows and movies on DVD? I've just looked at a few movies that I ripped and the movement looks fine (I can't tell the difference vs. the DVD.) I tried Over the Hedge and it looks perfect. I also looked at a few episodes of How I met Your Mother that I ripped from DVD and they look pretty good too...
Enable the deinterlace option for the tv shows.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 02:01 PM   #19
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DVD Quality is what you don't see when you watch video content from iTunes on the TV

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Old Mar 25, 2007, 02:26 PM   #20
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just for you,

I encoded an episode of Friends, (Mac the Ripper to Handbrake)
Mp4 @ 2000K w/ 160 audio. Set the picture size to 640 x 480 w/ deinterlace.

The playback is a little jerky 'cause of the interlacing, just a little, but no leggo effect at all.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 02:47 PM   #21
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Some Sony Bravias don't go well with old footage

I have a 40" LCD Bravia XBR2, and before buying it I browse some reviews all over the web, and some of the known issues of these sets are:
- No good reproduction of some old videos frame rates
- Some clouding in low light scenes
Anyway, the original video frame rate and its resolution are key factors to your video watching experience on any HD set.

Try doing this, to see if there is a difference, connect your mac to your TV set directly, apple video adapter cost only $20, so you can use the apple video player to see the difference between your video card in your mac and your apple tv video card, could your tv could also be affecting your results.

Try with a more recent DVD disc, so you can see if there is a different result.
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Old Mar 25, 2007, 04:29 PM   #22
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My issue certainly seems to be DVD dependent. I ripped two more movies (Back to the Future and Starsky and Hutch) and they look perfect when streamed from my iMac to my Apple TV. I can't tell the difference between this picture quality and the DVD. I ripped an episode of STTNG at a bitrate of 3000 and it too looks perfect. I ripped an episode of Will and Grace and I got the same issue as when I ripped friends.

I'll keep playing around - I'm going to rip some other TV shows later and see what they look like.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 07:04 AM   #23
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Thanks very much to all who provided some feedback. Your suggestions and comments helped me to find the encoding specs that work best for me right now. I'm ripping at a 3000 Average framerate; this gives me the video quality that I need to put away my DVD's.

When ripping DVD's, I rip the first episode of any particular season/show twice - once with the deinterlace setting applied and once without. I look at the output quality of both and make a decision from there. For example, STTNG seems to look better (to me anyway) without the deinterlace setting. Will and Grace seems to look better with the deinterlace setting on. Friends doesn't look that great either way (on my Apple TV.)

The strange thing is Friends looks pretty good on my iMac post ripping. Go figure...
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 07:05 AM   #24
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What are the major differences between Main and Baseline Profile? H264 is slow so I was using MPeg4 which looks good but the file sizes can be quite a bit larger. On the Mini I use Mediafork, on my PC I've played with Super and Videora Apple TV Converter. Using 2 Pass H264 Main Profile at 1500kbps yeild a 600 meg file for a 50 min show. Seems to be about the Size of the Itunes store's Stuff.
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Old Mar 26, 2007, 07:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chiggs View Post
The strange thing is Friends looks pretty good on my iMac post ripping. Go figure...
That is strange. I've always wanted to know whether ripped DVDs would look better played on a TV with 720P or my 24" monitor with 1920x1200 resolution. Or whether it'd be no difference.
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