HandBrake ripping compatibility tests

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cowm007, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #1
    I don't know how many of you are in the same situation as me, but I have a few Apple devices I'd like to play my media on. I'd also like to have only 1 file that plays across all the platforms and has the best quality/size ratio possible. I've looked online for such a solution but found mixed results so I've decided to run my own tests using the newly released HandBrake version 0.9.2

    I'm testing the files on various devices. They are as follows:
    • iTunes 7.6
    • Apple TV Take 2
    • iPhone with 1.1.3 Firmware
    • 3g iPod nano with 1.1. Firmware

    My hardware is a MacBook with a 2Ghz Core 2 duo and 3GB of RAM. I'm ripping chapter 1 of the "Groundhog Day" widescreen DVD which has 5.1 audio and multiple languages. For quality, I always do 2-pass encoding as it helps immensely with fast scene changes. For benchmark purposes, I get 60fps average on the 1st pass and 19fps average on the 2nd pass at the 1500 kbps bitrate.

    Alright here's my results placed into a nice easy to read chart. Basically what I can gather is that the HandBrake team has done a great job in terms of compatibility and that Apple has understated the iPhone/iPod's potential. I'm happy to find that both my iPod and iPhone were able to handle the full sized anamorphic DVD rip with 4 audio tracks (AAC and AC3).

    The settings I choose were based off the "iPod High" preset. My rationale for the tested resolutions is based off Apple's published iPhone/iPod specs. http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html According to them, the max resolution the iPhone can handle is 640x480 @ 1500kbps. I found out what this actually means is that the max pixel count the iPhone can handle is 307,200 pixels (640 times 480). So the 720x400 was the highest you can get a widescreen rip (non-anamorphic) and still be under the max pixel count (288,000 px).

    Surprisingly though, the iPhone/iPod were able to handle the full resolution 708x466 (329,928 px) without complaints. Since the resolution limit was higher that I expected, I decided to test other bit-rates as well. I tried both 2500 and then 5000kbps. The results are as follows.

    Important note: You HAVE to choose the iPod/iPhone preset first and crank up the setting from there if you want to get these high quality cross-device files. If you choose the Apple TV preset and go from there they won't work. I'm guessing it's got something to do with the advanced flags. Also, it didn't matter if I checked the "iPod Atom" flag or not. I'm not sure anymore what it's for, maybe some older iPods require it but I don't have any to test with.

    Here's the results:
    [​IMG]
    Extrapolating the data, the average sizes for a 90 minute movie file should be as follows:
    • All@1500kbps, 2x AAC: 1,188 MB
    • All@1500kbps, 1x AAC, 1x AC3: 1,360 MB
    • All@1500kbps, 2x AAC, 2x AC3: 1,620 MB
    • Anamorphic @ 2500: 2,340 MB
    • Anamorphic @ 5000: 4,000 MB

    OK so conclusions. Looks like the devices can handle much more than I thought they could. I've done tests before and it used to be I couldn't get the anamorphic or the higher bitrate files to play on my iPhone. So it looks like I can start upping the quality of my rips and not worry about compatibility. On the downside, my previous rips now feel old and outdated lol.

    The settings I'll probably use on movies from now on are the Anamorphic Strict setting for the highest resolution possible and 2500kbps video. I did always feel 1500 was lacking clarity on the Apple TV so it's nice to be able to increase that. 5000kbps seems like over kill to me since I can't really notice a difference between that and 2500kbps. It's also pushing the 4GB file limit people seem to run into trouble with. I'll leave the 5000+AC3 for my HD rips, those can really benefit from it.

    Still not sure about audio since it only benefits the Apple TV. The size jump is also quite high for the high quality AC3 tracks. I'd rather have 2 different languages than the 5.1 surround sound with the added size penalty. But that's just personal choice.

    The results are not conclusive as I have yet to try a full screen DVD and one of those ultra widescreen DVDs, but given the iPhone/iPod outperformed, I think I'll find similar results with those.
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #2
    cool. look forward to your results. But it sounds like you are talking encoding tests, not ripping. Ripping refers to extraction from DVD and wouldn't directly effect compatibility with iPhone, etc.
     
  3. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #3
    The ATV Preset turns on some advanced H.264 features that the iPods don't know how to handle.

    That's why you should start on the iPod preset instead.

    Cheers, Ed.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #4
    Ah that makes sense, thanks for the info.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2007
    #5
    Wait a minute... you're saying that a 5000kbps video played on your iPod?
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #6
    Yup, iPod and iPhone. Here's screenshot of the file info and the file playing. You can see the 5000kbps and the AC3+AAC audio tracks.

    [​IMG][​IMG]

    And here's screenshot of the file on my iPhone and the file playing.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  7. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #7
    Correct. That iPod Atom checkbox is for 5 and 5.5 G ipod compatibility.

    Oh, btw, nice post. sums it up very well.
     
  8. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #8
    So will the appleTV output 5.1 audio from these files?
     
  9. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #9
    Yes.

    Note - always choose AAC + AC3, not just AC3 pass-through. That way there is an AAC track for the iPod, and also for the ATV if not connected to a Dolby Digital receiver (e.g. when connected via HDMI direct to the TV).

    Cheers, Ed.
     
  10. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2006
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Will this play on a ps3 as well with 5.1 audio?
     
  11. macrumors member

    mindcrash

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    #11
    Wow, great, informative thread.

    Thanks for all of the hard work here!
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #12
    How are you manually adjusting the settings?

    If I chose iPod/iPhone and enter your resolution settings my boxes turn red.

    Also, I've produced two .mp4 files (AAC+AC3) and Quicktime won't open them. Some old threads suggest that the error is due to .mp4 not being compatiable with AC3, but I thought that's what this was supposed to fix...

    I did have two .mkv files work, but I didn't have 5.1 setup so I don't know if that portion of the file worked. One ended up around 3.2G and the other 1.75G. The 3.2G was clearly better, but I had used the ATV preset, so I couldn't get it to work on the iPhone (per your statement up thread - although I read that after the fact :( ).
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #13
    Does m4v or mp4 make a difference?
     
  14. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    #14
    Those settings actually don't work when sync to my iPhone.
    What resolution are you using ?
    Thanks

    nico
     
  15. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2005
    #15
    Did you choose the iPhone/iPod setting and then increase the resolution and bit-rate from there? I found that this was key to getting the videos to work. Also are you using the latest HandBrake (0.9.2) and latest iPhone firmware (1.1.3)?
     
  16. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    #16
    No, i was using AppleTV setting.
    Now with iPhone setting, then incrase resolution and bitrate it works.
    Thanks

    Nico
     
  17. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2003
    Location:
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    #17
    Yes - if there is an AC3 audio track then the file extension *must* be m4v otherwise it will be deemed an invalid mp4 file.
     
  18. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    #18
    Any updates here? I tried a show at iTouch defaults, then changed to AAC+AC3. The one I tried with 2500kbps, and the other at 1500kbps. I felt that the former was significatly better, but it was 1GB for a 45 minute episode, which amounts to a LOT of HD space when you have a lot of individual episodes. The second came in at 650mb...I may try 2000 and see where at gets me, but it's taking an hour a pop so it's becoming very time consuming just to tinker around with. :(
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #19
    I haven't found any reason not to use m4v always. m4v gives you the automatic chapters for :apple:TV. Are there some devices that aren't compatible with m4v that are with mp4 extension? FWIW you can just change the extension from mp4 to m4v at any time without needing to reencode a movie.
     
  20. macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #20
    How much space are you saving by selecting just the AC3 pass through vs both on a typical 2 hr movie. I only play my rips to the ATV, not on my iMac and I rip at 480x res and 400bitrate for 500MB files for my phone (only select movies anyway) and since I have my ATV going directly into my receiver via optical I thought I would reduce the file size by not adding the AAC audio track. I hadn't thought about possibly needing it in the future for 2 Apple TVs hooked up to 2 different TVs and 1 maybe not having DD.

    Also, I know the preset uses 2500 bitrate, what is the advantage of this. I have a 46" Samsung DLP and I can't see any difference between a 1500 and 2500 encode. So I started with the Apple TV preset, set it to AC3 only, 1500 bitrate, 2 pass and turbo 1st pass.
     
  21. macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #21
    Wow!! Updated

    First off, thanks for spending the time putting this together. It is a life saver so I can have high qualify encodes for all devices I use.

    My custom settings in Handbrake:

    Base Setting = iPod High-Rez
    Changes = 70% Constant Rate, No iPod Atom, Audio 160kbps, Codecs AVC/H.264 Video AAC+AC3 5.1, Strict Anamorhpic, 64Bit (Only if movie ends up greater then 4Gb), delete ":vbv-maxrate=1500:vbv-bufsize=2000" from advanced settings.

    My Devices: Quicktime, iTunes 7.7, iPhone 2.0.1, ATV 2.1 and PS3 (64Bit does not work for PS3).

    NOTES:
    1) 64Bit Movies now work for iPhone 2.x.x software. YESSSS!!
    2) IMO My Settings = DVD Quality and have not seen any dropped frames on iPhone.
     
  22. macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #22
    I was just wondering that. Now that :apple:TV2 can handle it, perhaps iPhone is coming next.
     
  23. macrumors 65816

    bacaramac

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #23
    I am thinking they may add it to the iPhone, but doesn't really impact me yet since my Encodes are staying under 4GB at the moment. Guess I will have to wait and see how big the 2hrs+ movies are with these settings.
     
  24. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #24
    With all due respect, I wouldnt hold your breath. > 4GB video files on an iPhone ? I cannot imagine its a priority to apple as they will likely never let you rent HD on an iPhone. Otoh, who knows ?
     
  25. macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #25
    question cowm007, you encoded with multiple language audio tracks. Is there a way to choose which of those tracks plays on :apple:TV?
     

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