Handbrake Picture settings

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by TyWahn, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502

    Can somebody please explain the difference between "keep aspect ratio" and "Anamorphic (PAR)" in the settings of the AppleTV default?
    Why would the anamorphic be checked by default? Does it produce a better picture, or worse because it has to blow it up some?
    I just wanted to be clear before I start to encode my DVDs... My ATV is on its way!!
    Any other encoding suggestions would be appreciated as well.

  2. macrumors 68000


    Here is Handbreaks help on it: http://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/AnamorphicGuide

    and some basics


    "Anamorphic widescreen is a video technique that utilizes rectangular (wide) pixels to store a widescreen picture into standard 4:3 aspect ratio. It was originally devised for widescreen television sets with a 16:9 aspect ratio but not in use before the advent of DVD and DVB."....

    As for encoding, I use Handbrakes default AppleTV with 2-pass encoding (Turbo first pass selected). Works great.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Thanks! That's good info.
    Really what I want is a real-world experience from someone who can tell me just why or why not use it. Nearly all of my DVDs are widescreen in the first place. So should I just select "keep ratio?"

    Thanks again for the information.
  4. macrumors member

    You'll get a better picture if you leave it anamorphic. I have about 700 DVD's ripped and I've tried lots of combinations. Seems to me the apple TV setting is spot on. Now when you watch them in iTunes they'll seemed stretched a bit but it'll play fine on your tv.
  5. macrumors regular


    Yup, I was in the same shoes as you a few weeks ago. I currently rip all my movies with the anamorphic setting on. Looks a bit stretched on your computer, but looks perfectly normal when it's being played on the TV (like the previous poster said). :)
  6. macrumors regular

    Just wanted to point out that anamorphic files won't play on iPod/iPhone. If you're just gonna use the files on Apple TV and computer, it's the best, but if you want maximum compatibility, you're gonna have to stick with regular ol' files.
  7. macrumors 6502


    Thanks for the replies. I will start encoding at ATV default with 2 pass checked.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Not so fast. It appears anamorphic does work on iPhone/iPod Touch 1.1.3 & the new Ipods - just depending on how they are encoded see: http://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=4392&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

    Note the size in the screen shot: AVCO Media, 640 x 357 (853 x 357) - this is an iTunes movie BTW

    Attached Files:

  9. macrumors 68000

    Yep, using the SVN code and a pasp atom patch, I'm able to play anamorphic encodes on my iPhone... they don't play correctly on ATV 1.1 (aspect ratio distorted), but I'm hoping Apple fixes that shortly with the 2.0 release.
  10. macrumors 68040

    Apple recently added support, but the Apple TV preset will not work because it uses the Main Profile of H.264, not the Basic.

    The Handbrake people are adding iPod Anamorphic Support in the next release, should be out within the Quarter. It will be slightly different than Apple's though (which uses the Visual Hub method), but should be excellent nonetheless.
  11. macrumors 68000

    From what I recall, the use of advanced x264 features (b-frames, etc) is what makes the AppleTV preset incompatible with the iPhone. In SVN, there is no longer the concept of 'x.264 (iPod)' and 'x.264 (Main)'. Granted I got woken up about 3 hours early for a problem at work this morning, so I may be forgetting something.

    Also, I'm frankly surprised Apple is choosing to implement anamorphic the same was as VisualHub. The HB loose anamorphic option is a much nicer way to do things.
  12. macrumors member


    This leaves me with a question: what about full-screen (4:3) movies? I have a few unfortunately and I have been taking the anamorphic setting off for those and keeping their original aspect ration.

    Does that sound right? I know I'll get bars to the right and left, which I can live with, so long as the picture itself looks normal. It was my understanding that anamorphic would distort full-screen films.
  13. macrumors 65816


    What the hell kind of setting is this? You do realize that the actual anamorphic resolution for standard definition DVD's is 720x480, i.e. the source is scanned in its original format without an anamorphic lens, and that the image during playback is vertically compressed, right?

    Based on the two sets of resolution data in that screenshot, it looks like their approach was to horizontally expand the image from a 640 width to an 853 width when it plays on AppleTV, or am I not reading that right?

    The mistake there, if that's the case, is that stretching the image always decreases clarity.
  14. macrumors 68000

    The Handbrake Wiki has a great explaination of how and why they do this... it hasn't been updated to the latest stuff in the SVN code (loose anamorphic, etc), but it is a very good guide. You really need to know about pixel aspect ratios (square vs. rectangular) and how it is interpreted by various players.

  15. macrumors 65816


    Nightstorm, I know about pixel aspect ratios (DV NTSC is based on D1 NTSC/ITU-R 601/CCIR-601 which uses a PAR of 0.9, computers use a fixed 1.0, etc.). What I didn't know is whether the cited image that the guy was referring to was showing in parentheses a frame aspect that was in square or nonsquare pixels. It would make no sense to encode it at 854 wide at 0.9 pixels, and according to the explanation in the link provided, it doesn't.

    If that explanation is correct, it's actually encoded at 720x480 with a nonsquare PAR output of 720x480 and a square PAR output of 854x480 that is only relevant to devices that display in square pixels.

    That makes sense, but purely for argument I'd say the CORRECT solution is to implement software in computers, etc. that allows nonsquare pixels to be displayed properly... Photoshop has it, DVD Player in OS X clearly has it. That is the correct approach which mitigates the potential for interpolation error when upscaling the horizontal resolution in software as opposed to simply supporting nonsquare pixels.
  16. macrumors 68000


    Here are my settings for Handbrake 0.9.2 to create MP4 files for Apple TV. They seem to work well:

    Format: MP4 file
    Codecs: AVC/H.264 Video / AAC + AC3 Audio
    Framerate (FPS): Same as source
    Encoder: x264
    Average bitrate (kbps): 2500

    Picture Setting
    Anamorphic: Strict

    Audio & Subtitles
    Audio Tracks
    Track 1: English(AC3) (5.1 ch) [or whatever the DVD allows, some have only 2 channel sound.]
    Audio Quality
    Bitrate (kbps): 128
    Sample rate: 48

    I use Handbrake to rip my DVD files directly from the disks and use only a single pass. I haven’t had any trouble with this. The resulting files are about 2.5 gig and, to my eyes at least, the quality of the video and audio is indistinguishable from the original DVD. The whole job usually takes a little less than two hours.
  17. macrumors G5


    For 4:3 format, turn anamorphic off. Then check if this is a TV show using interlacing: Click through the ten sample pictures that Handbrake shows and check if you have any jagged edges in places where objects are moving on the screen. If that is the case, turn deinterlacing on; this removes the jagged edges before it encodes the movie. (This is good for two reasons: First, you don't want these jaggies in the first place. Second, they are awfully difficult to compress, so you either need a higher bit rate or get lower quality because of these edges).
  18. macrumors 68000


    Based on my limited experience with a couple of 4:3 movies, it's not necessary to turn off anamorphic. The OAR is preserved and Stretchovision is avoided, although Handbrake was set to strict anamorphic. I gather, though, that this might not be universally true.

    I keep the strict anamorphic setting in place at all times because virtually all of the DVDs I convert to MP4 are widescreen movies.
  19. macrumors 65816

    Yes leave anamorphic for 4x3, it will preserve the aspect ratio but the resultant file will be 720x480 vs 640x480.
  20. macrumors 68000

    I was in the camp of turning anamorphic off for 4:3 content, but have recently stopped doing it so I could use the same preset for basically everything. You're either scaling down in Handbrake or the TV will do the scaling... different strokes for different folks.

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