Anamorphic - I just don't get it...

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Nubben, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. Nubben macrumors regular

    Nubben

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    #1
    Hi,

    First of all, let me just say that I have read HandBrake's wiki on this and plenty of other sources online...I still can't get my head around it. Call me stupid.

    I have plenty of music DVDs (live shows/music videos/documentaries) which currently are collecting dust due to the fact that I have been reluctant to start ripping away because I don't have an AppleTV yet. I only want to rip to one format compatible with both AppleTV and the iPhone so I have been putting this off for ages. Well, no more. I'm going to take the plunge and start ripping to a compatible format so that I can at least view them on my iPhone in the meantime.

    Over the weekend I converted a couple of 80s videos (a 4:3 resolution on screen - I guess it's 640x480). I used a pimped up version of the iPhone settings in HandBrake:

    Bitrate: 2000
    1 pass
    Sound: AAC + AC3
    Anamorphic: Loose

    So, my question really is - when should I be using the anamorphic setting? Is that only necessary for widescreen DVDs? If the resolution of the videos (such as the 80s ones I just did) is 4:3/letterbox - is it necessary or desirable to use anamorphic or should I simply use "Keep aspect ratio"?

    Many thanks in advance for any help.

    Nubben
     
  2. kornyboy macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #2
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_0_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5C1 Safari/525.20)

    I only ever use Anamorphic settings when ripping a widescreen video, but I don't suspect that it will mess anything up the way that you have it set. I believe that the AppleTV will stretch the image to fill the screen when anamorphic settings are used. I also don't rip at quite as high of a bitrate as you since I'm a little concerned with space, but it doesn't sacrifice much of the quality from what I can tell. I hope this helps at least some.
     
  3. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #3
    I found some settings that really help when converting to use on both the iPhone and the AppleTV. Let me share them with you because I have been really pleased with the results.

    Make the format an MP4 file with the codec AVC/H.264 Video / AAC + AC3 Audio

    Under video tab, change to Constant quality: 64%. Note that this can produce small or large file sizes depending on the movie. Movie with a lot of grain in the frame will often be a larger file size than others.

    Under Audio: Track 1: (AC3) Track 1 Mix: Dolby Pro Logic II + AC3. (Note that this should probably all come up automatically.

    In advanced, in the text box at the bottom, input the following:

    Code:
     cabac=0:ref=2:analyse=all:me=umh:subq=6:no-fast-pskip=1:trellis=1:mixed-refs=1:merange=32:level=30
    And that should do it! The results aren't perfect, but I have found it to be really good. After you do all this, you can save it as a preset. I use the preset for all of my movies.

    P-Worm
     
  4. Nubben thread starter macrumors regular

    Nubben

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    #4
    Thanks all for your replies. Much appreciated.

    P-Worm: Thanks for the settings tips - will check it out! How do you set the anamorphic settings though? If the video is 4:3 natively - do you set it to anamorphic (loose/strict) anyway? I think I at least get it now that when converting wide screen movies I should use anamorphic. Since I am converting a lot of promo music videos from yesteryears (and they're 640x480 most of the time) - should I keep the ratio or go with anamorphic?

    Many thanks.

    Nubben
     
  5. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #5
    General rule of thumb is that you should use anamorphic for widescreen and turn it off for 4:3. Also, I like to use loose anamorphic. But to be frank, having anamorphic on for 4:3 isn't that big of a deal.

    P-Worm
     
  6. Nubben thread starter macrumors regular

    Nubben

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    #6
    Great - thanks P-Worm.

    I will stick with keep aspect ratio for 4:3 ones then and anamorphic loose for widescreens.

    One of the things I thought anamorphic would do to 4:3 videos is to stretch them length wise - just as in QT where you can view videos in full screen and stretch them to panoramic. This causes an undesired effect as the picture looks stretched - peoples faces (for instance looks wider). I would not like that to happen.

    I don't mind if a widescreen TV would zoom in on the video (just like iPhone does) and automatically crop the sides.

    So, if I would leave keep aspect ratio on - would a widescreen TV zoom in? (I don't have a widescreen yet so can't verify myself).

    Many thanks!
     
  7. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #7
    No. You will get bars on the sides.

    P-Worm
     
  8. Nubben thread starter macrumors regular

    Nubben

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    #8
    Thanks for all your help P-Worm.

    Just one final question. Would leaving anamorphic on 4:3 videos make the widescreen TV zoom in or would I have to manually adjust that on the TV remote?

    Many thanks in advance.

    Nubben
     
  9. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #9
    TV remote. When you put anamorphic on a 4:3, it doesn't change the video that much at all to be honest.

    P-Worm
     
  10. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601

    mrgreen4242

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2004
    #10
    I've had trouble in the past with anamorhic rips and my iPod touch. So I stopped using it. I also stopped using h264 and went back to mpegA4/ffmpeg with the bitrate turned up some and 2 pass on. It's not as good as h264 but it's much faster and good enough. Plus I seem to have better compatibilty with higher res files on my iPod that way not to mention a much larger selection I'd compatible hardware. Just my 2cents.
     
  11. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #11
    Anamorphic is much like deinterlace, only use it on anamorphic sources just as you would use deinterlace on interlaced sources.

    Widescreen alone is not enough to determine anamorphic.

    Case in point: the 90's movie Con-Air (region 1 at least) is hard letterboxed. There is no reason to use anamorphic on it.

    The dvd box should tell you. Note: "Almost" all mid 90's and newer "widescreen" Hollywood major motion pictures use anamorphic.

    One tip in HB. If the Anamorpic size comes out smaller than the output (container) size, then its likely not an anamorphic source.
     

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