Optimum Handbrake settings?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Daniel97, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2011
    What are the optimum settings for Handbrake to watch videos on the iPad 3?

    I have blu ray MKV rips I want to convert to try :)

  2. macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2008
    Cincinnati OH
    Do a search on the forum...there are several threads one this. That said, use the AppleTV2 preset and fuggedaboutit
  3. macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    That takes effort.
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    If you have MKV rips, they're more than likely H.264 video already, in which case, using Handbrake would be a complete waste of time.

    Use Ffmpeg (command line preferably) and pass through video, change audio to two channel (unless the iPad can all of a sudden play ac3 5.1), remove metadata/chapters if any, and save as m4v. Good to go.

    Most of my conversions (5-6 GB files) take 1-2 minutes each.

  5. macrumors newbie

    Oct 21, 2011
    I've managed to get 1080p mkv files playing perfectly as mp4 on the new iPad by using a free piece of software called Subler:


    It transcodes the audio to AAC while leaving the video pretty much untouched and repackages the mkv as an mp4. As the iPad uses hardware acceleration for playing video, 1080p looks stunning and plays without stuttering. Oh and you can add artwork and file information too, so the files look great in the Videos app.

    For comparisons sake I converted one file using both Subler and Handbrake with the Apple TV 2 Settings. Handbrake took longer, and output a 720p file, whereas Subler was impressively quick and put out a 1080p file. The trade off is that the Handbrake file was 2.3gb, the Subler file 6.8gb. Both played perfectly on the new iPad.
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2007
  7. macrumors regular

    Mar 11, 2012
    what would be the command line for that? and what's wrong with getting gui for this?
  8. macrumors 68000


    May 9, 2006
    I just use the ATV2 setting - my sources are DVD and you can't create extra resolution that just isn't there.
  9. macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2008
    It didn't take me long to customize handbrake to output a 1920x811 (native aspect ratio) mp4. Converted a 8gb mkv by setting max file size to 3.5gb. Can't see the difference on the retina display and its half the size. Output does take about an hour and a half.
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    You'd be looking at something like this.

    ffmpeg -i filename.mkv -vcodec copy -acodec libfaac -ac 2 -ab 160k -map_meta_data -1:0 -map_chapters -1:0 filename.mp4
    As far as GUI vs command line, I never had much luck with the GUI ffmpeg. I got errors all the time and couldn't figure out why. Everything I've ever wanted to do with video files, I can easily do with command line ffmpeg.

  11. macrumors regular

    Jul 5, 2010
    Using handbrake on MKV may not be entirely pointless ... You may have a "blu-ray quality" MKV that's taking up 16GB, and you may want to re-encode the video to be 3GB for use on your iPad. Even with the screen quality what it is -- it is small, and I personally can't tell the difference between a 3GB 1080P file and a 16GB 1080p file.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Feb 3, 2010
    stop using handbrake, its over complicated and slow.

    use mp4tools.

    i did convert my bluray disc UP to a mkv file, then i use that in mp4 tools, select h264 1 pass, stereo acc track (since it will only be used on the ipad)

    did nothing to the bitrate. and the result got way better then the one handbrake did.

    if you want lower files, you can adjust the bitrate as well.
  13. macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    How did you install ffmpeg?
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 1, 2006
    I followed this guide:


    Keep in mind that since that was written, newer versions of a lot of the software you need to install has come out, so you'll need to appropriately change the file names when installing.

    Seems daunting, I know, but I get perfect conversions (remuxes) every time with no audio lag issues like I used to get with MKVTools (or Mp4Tools).



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