Best DVD Conversion Workflow

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BoulderBum, Apr 30, 2008.

  1. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    A fellow from another forum I lurk on posed this question that I don't know the answer to. I personally don't rip DVD's to Apple TV format (I'm waiting for the player that can get .vob files to my TV via the Windows Media Center interface), but I know a lot of you do this all the time, so I am hoping you might be able to steer him in the right direction.

  2. Alx9876 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008

    I use this process myself. I do not get any choppy video at all. Here's what I am doing now.

    1. DVD decrypter
    2. Hand Brake

    That's it for the apps.

    With DVD Decrypter go to "Mode" at the top of the screen within dvd decrypter. Check mark "File F"

    Two sets of Hand Brake settings here:

    -Apple TV Preset
    -2 Pass Encoding
    -1st Turbo Pass
    -Average Bit Rate 2500
    -Video Frame rate Automatic
    -Audio Encoder AAC+AC3
    -Bit rate Kbps 192

    If he does not want to use Average bit rate then try "Constant Quality" 70%.

    I have gotten excellant results with these settings in mind. Also for tv shows like the Simpsons/Family Guy, Futurama, etc...

    -iPod High Rez Preset (For 5th gen iPod video or iPhone High Rez Preset for the Apple Tv device).
    -2 Pass
    -1st Turbo Pass
    -Average Bit Rate 1500
    -Deinterlace: SLOW
    -Bit Rate 160 Kbps

    I have gotten above and beyond my own personal expectations of quality with these.

    Also I cannot take credit because I have used these settings that were posted by many many users on this board. So the credit goes to them.

    Hope this helps you sir.:)
  3. ksmith80209 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 15, 2007
    (1) Mac the Ripper to get the video ts file
    (2) Handbrake using the Apple TV preset to encode
    (3) MetaX to add the tagging

    Works great and is good as DVD quality-wise.
  4. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I only use MTR if I'm doing bulk ripping. Otherwise I use FairMount for real-time CSS removal.

    0) Launch FairMount (it just has to be running, I don't need to "do" anything with it. You can automate this if you want)
    1) Handbrake with AppleTV preset + CRF 65-70* + VFR + Slower Deinterlace if the preview shows combing (Always check the preview!). I may not bother with 5.1 (subjective call based on the type of movie). HB set to automatically pass to MetaX for Tagging
    2) MetaX set to automatically passing to iTunes when done Tagging

    *CRF is faster then any 2-pass encode and looks better.
  5. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002

    What is the average size file resulting from these settings? Trying to do some back of the envelope on how big a media drive to get...
  6. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2006
    Buy as big as you can afford. Then when that one fills up buy another.

  7. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    Sorry, should have been more clear. What I'm trying to determine is "How many movies will fit on a drive of X size?"

  8. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    For very good quality, you should budget for about 1.5G-2G per movie sourced from a DVD.
  9. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    With both DPLII and DD audio tracks, as well as a nice, juicy piece of cover art, my encodes (Apple TV preset + 2 pass, 1st pass turbo) are running around 2.5 GB.
  10. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    Thanks guys - exactly the numbers I was looking for.

    2TB here I come ;)
  11. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    ummm....another noob question...

    How does one handle films that stretch across >1 DVD? Thinking of the longer LOTR versions, etc. Any way to (easily) combine the files for seamless playback?
  12. mallbritton macrumors 6502a

    Nov 26, 2006
    See this thread on the Handbrake forums. This process works perfectly.

  13. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    2.5G would be for abnormally long movies of about 135 minutes.

    2500(Vid)+448(AC3)+192(AAC)=Total bitrate of 3140MB/sec.

    A typical 90 minute movies should be ~1.7G
  14. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    DVD2One can help, but it's a bit tricky to use. It will remaster the 2 DVDs into a single DVD, but the resulting image needs to be under 10G or it crashes. You can massage the size a bit by removing menus, extras, languages or even chapters. If you are desperate it will even compress the source to fit, but I tried to avoid compression before passing to HB.

    I tried this for LOTR and it was fine for 2 of the 3, but I had to trim out part of the credits in Two Towers

    (That movie has LONG credits! I removed a gig from the file and still had 10 min of credits left)
  15. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    That's hilarious! It reminds me of the bittersweet feelings I had while sitting through the credits the first time I saw ROTK. Feelings that were washed away as the Hobbit film(s) info revealed itself :)

    BTW, shameless plug, for any Elijah Wood fans, check out a film I produced:

    Thanks all for the help, suggestions, info and direction.

  16. almostinsane macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    Why anyone uses Mactheripper is beyond me. It is the slowest ripper I have ever used. Right now I'm ripping a bunch of discs and DVD Decryptor and DVD Shrink can rip 3 DVD's in the same time it takes to rip one with MTR.

    It's a crap program. Thank god my PC is good for something.
  17. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    I use MTR for bulk ripping so I can queue up HB overnight. I usually use "main feature only" and it takes about 15 mins for a DVD. I found the speed on par with DVD Decryptor when using a comparable DVD drive. But thats the kicker... the Superdrive in most Macs isn't the fastest DVD drives you can find. I'm sure you PCs drive is the real reason DVD Decryptor is faster.

    Usually I skip MTR all together and just use FairMount. This strips the copy protection in the realtime and lets me use HB directly from the DVD. Since HB is CPU bound, the DVD speed doesn't matter.
  18. Jeff Hall macrumors regular

    Jeff Hall

    Apr 10, 2006
    Likely the superdrive in your mac. Most hardcore MTR users use something along the lines of an external Pioneer (mine has the firmware modified and riplock protection has been removed). It's at least 5 times faster than the super drive.
  19. MikieMikie macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    Newton, MA
    I don't know about you, but most of the movies I watch approach 120 minutes.

    And The Pink Panther (the orignal, thank God), was 2.48 GB and An American In Paris runs 2.24 GB. I just finished GIA, and that ran 2.39 GB.


    Of course, I bow to your math, but then, reality sets in...

    More sizes:
    Batman Begins: 3.01
    Across the Universe: 2.9
    No Country for Old Men: 2.61
    Aeon Flux: 1.87 (see? they're not all over 2GB!
  20. Oilbrnr macrumors 6502

    Jun 15, 2007
    Parallels -> CloneDVD (w/AnyDVD) -> VisualHub -> MetaX

  21. pjarvi macrumors 65816


    Jan 11, 2006
    Round Lake, IL
    I'm a bit old and out-of-touch with the damn kids on the lawn. I have to say though, this is a hell of a lot easier of a process then what I used to go through to encode movies with Xvid, of course those encodes look infinitely better than Turbo.264 encodes and have subtitles and 5.1 audio, but I like the convenience of the Turbo.264:

    Leopard > Fusion > XP > SmartRipper > save to \project\moviename\ folder on external drive
    Leopard > Turbo.264 > encode \project\moviename\ to \project\Tag Me\ folder
    Leopard > MetaX > tag everything > move tagged files into iTunes folder
    Leopard > iTunes > add new items to the library and sync with AppleTV

    I've stuck with SmartRipper all these years as it has worked on every movie I've thrown at it, and it lets you control how it rips to disk. You can have multiple .vob files created for each chapter, or just one big .vob file generated. It also let's you select which chapters get ripped which makes it easy to get around discs that jump around between different chapters and titles that normally defeats other rippers. It makes ripping TV shows very easy since you can rip individual episodes into separate .vob files as well. It does require a bit more effort than 1-click-rip solution, but it's convenient enough for me. Too bad it's no longer in development.
  22. err404 macrumors 68020

    Mar 4, 2007
    LOL. 3 out of 4 are over 120mins, but they are still up 10% across the board. (This was easier before pass-through AC3) ;)
  23. gwsat macrumors 68000


    Apr 12, 2008
    It seems to me, too, that most movies I see seem to approach 120 minutes, within about 15 minutes or so, and a few exceed that by a few minutes, but 120 minutes does seem to me to be about the best number to use for planning purposes.

    The MP4 version of No Country, which I ripped from my DVD and converted with Handbrake, is also exactly 2.61 gig. We appear to have used about the same settings.
  24. ncc1701d macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2008
    Help with conversion settings

    Hi. Hoping you are still checking out these forums. Rather than start a whole new thread, I did a search and your post seems to be pretty close to the sort of info I'm after.

    I'm by no means challenging your settings, but would like your opinions on how to get the least quality loss in converting my home movies (mostly saved as .avi) from my camera. The program I've found is called "MPEG Streamclip", but I'm sure similar programs use similar settings. First, what I want to do:

    Take all my home video files and convert them into one format to sync with appletv at the best possible setting I can to watch on my 46" HD LCD . I would like to keep it in a format that if the file itself was sent to a pc it could be played on whatever crap they use (but not that critical if it means a big loss in quality / ease of use). My research so far has led me to think that:

    For apple tv it has to be converted to MPEG-4 - This should also allow me to sync with iphone / ipods (but this is not prime objective).

    If someone "in the know" could just quote the below and just delete what I don't want, well, that would be excellent! I'm not a completely lazy person, I have read through the help file that came with MPEG Streamclip and frankly, don't follow it all that well... But it would take me forever to go into it further and try and figure out what half the help file was talking about.

    1) H.264 or "Apple MPEG 4 compressor"
    2) Quality 0-100% (I'm not bothered by the size of the file or how long it takes to convert - I'm assuming 100% is the best)
    3) Multipass On or Off (I think this should be on)
    4) Limit Data rate (I guessing it should be off) If it's "on" what should I limit it to?
    5) Sound: MPEG - 4 AAC or AMR Narrow
    6) Frame Size:
    the best is 1920 x 1080 (HDTVi)
    next is 1280 x 720 (HDTV 720p)
    then 720 x 480 and so on
    7) Frame Blending (on or off)
    8) Better Downscaling (on or off)
    9) (Deselect for progressive movies) interlaced Scaling (on or off)
    ( " " " " ) Deinterlace Video (on / off)

    Is there much point in buying a camcorder that is 1080 High Def when I've got to transform it to a file that apple tv can sync to? (I know I could set up a mac mini, but I'd rather just stick to apple tv).

    Sorry for the long post!
  25. Alx9876 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    I edited my post and sorry for any slight confusion on the topic. I had a brain fart. Low-Rez forget it. Use High Rez for cartoons. Works well on 5th Gen iPod and iPhone 3G.

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