Best quality converting DVD to mp4, m4v etc?

hairypoo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2011
24
0
Hi,

I have a lot of DVDs that I want to store on my Mac Pro and started to extract using iMedia converter. That works fine.

However, I am not sure which format settings I should use for not downgrading the DVD's quality and not use as much space for the file as a simple DVD copy.

I understand that for Mac mp4, m4v, mov etc are the best formats, but each of these allows for a lot of settings that I don't quite know how to manage.

Thanks
 

tillsbury

macrumors 65816
Dec 24, 2007
1,416
345
Try a few and see how you go. Generally, most tend to gravitate towards an mp4 or m4v format that would end up around 750Mb (perfectly watchable quality) or 1.5Gb (high quality when you really want it). For general-purpose watching on a TV the smaller is fine. You might be surprised how low a resolution you can go to.

Assuming you're using Handbrake or Wondershare or something similar, try the recommended format for TV, using an H264 compression, with a resolution somewhere around 700 pixels across, then turn down the bitrate (there is usually a slider) until the final file size is estimated at 750Mb. Run it through and see how you like it. If it's not good enough for your tastes, turn up the numbers a bit. You probably don't want to go smaller than about 400-500Mb per hour.
 

hairypoo

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 2, 2011
24
0
Thanks tillsbury and sorry for coming back late.

I did try some conversions in fact using iSkysoft Video/Media Converter. What I found is that even with a high resolution converted m4v (that was about the same size as the DVD) there were very visible "staircase" pixel artefacts on edges (Sorry, I don't know how to call this). These "staircases" were not visible in the DVD itself. Note that I am watching the videos usually on my 30" ACD monitor.
 

takeshi74

macrumors 601
Feb 9, 2011
4,974
68
I'd suggest Handbrake. If you're not familiar/comfortable with dealing with encoding settings in general then use Handbrake's presets.

What I found is that even with a high resolution converted m4v (that was about the same size as the DVD) there were very visible "staircase" pixel artefacts on edges (Sorry, I don't know how to call this). These "staircases" were not visible in the DVD itself.
When you say "size" do you mean filesize? If so, I wouldn't rely on it to mean anything. If you want to retain the full resolution of the DVD then encode with the same resolution. I can't speak directly to the artifacts you're encountering but the art in encoding is balancing compression versus artifacts and you can't always eliminate artifacts especially when you're reencoding (DVD is already encoded).
 
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