BluRay Ripping, MakeMKV and Handbrake

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by hackers79, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. hackers79 macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Hi guys

    I have recently decided to rip all my BluRays to my HDDs for use with my media player. I have purchased an external Samsung SE-506AB and downloaded Make MKV and Handbrake.

    When ripping the BluRay in MakeMKV the file size is ranging from 35GB to 45GB.

    Now for me I want to maintain good quality, however to keep the files at the above size is just not an option. I am aiming for around 20GB to 25GB per movie.

    I have had a look at Handbrake and to be honest I am totally BAFFLED!!!!

    I really have no idea what I should be changing/selecting to achieve the above. Can someone point me in the right direction????

    Also is 20GB to 25GB going to maintain good quality??

    Thanks in advance for any help guys.
  2. davids8477 macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2008
    I use the same set up as you and for Handbrake I use the ATV3 preset. I get good quality video and audio with file sizes around 5GB.
  3. hackers79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Thanks for the reply.

    How does the quality compare to a BlueRay??

    I'm a bit picky about image quality and as daft as it sounds I know I'll find myself looking for issues hence the reason I have targeted the larger file sizes of up to 25GB to be acceptable for myself.
  4. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    What are you using to play back your files? If you are using an Apple TV you will lose probably 4GB+ just by converting the Audio to AC3 (since the ATV doesn't support DTS).

    In terms of video quality, I have a hard time noticing any quality lost between a 30GB blu ray and a 12-15GB encoded file. It is all dependent on your TV, your method of playing the files, and your eyes.

    I would just recommend selecting the ATV3 preset (if you are using the ATV) or the High Profile preset and adjust the CQ slider until you find the quality you are looking for.
  5. hackers79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Hi Pyromonkey83

    The content is being played back on a WDTV Live. The TV is a 50" Panasonic plasma.
  6. JohnLT13 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 9, 2012
    Boston (aka Red Sox Nation)
    You will be fine using the ATV presets. I use this on all my rips and have found the PQ outstanding. I have a 50" Elite and a 46' Samsung LED looks amazing on both, black levels much better on the ELITE:D
  7. davids8477 macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2008
    I honestly cannot tell the difference unless I look really closely - perhaps if I did a side by side I might. But then again I am usually interested in watching the movie rather that trying to catch out for artifacts

    I would say that for Video and Audio I'd give it 8-9 out of ten
  8. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
  9. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    Never used a WDTV live before but it looks like you will be "limited" to the h.264 High@4.1 profile which means you can stream pretty much any blu-ray and it does support DTS. If you are looking for an encode that uses DTS audio, you will need to shrink the video bitrate by about 50%.

    I would say try to throw an MKV into Handbrake, then make sure you are converting to MKV (Not MP4). For Video, change the CQ slider to around 17 or so. In audio, select DTS Pass-Thru (You can also have it downmix another audio track if you plan on playing it on other devices). Select Subtitles if you want them, and then start your conversion. I would imagine this will get you to the video quality and file size you are looking for (and still may be overkill).
  10. rosesawin macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2013
    yeah,think so,the High Profile preset and adjust the CQ slider until you find the quality you are looking for.[​IMG]
  11. hackers79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Thanks 'Pyromonkey83'

    I will give this a go tonight.
  12. thegluchow macrumors newbie

    Apr 23, 2012
    ATV3 and High Profile

    I've been torn about this as well as i have a ATV3 upstairs and the WDTV live downstairs.
    Basically for all my rips, i use the ATV3 preset and keep the CQ at 20. I up the 2 channel audio to 320 vs the 160. It's probably overkill, I just find i don't have to raise the volume as high to listen to is as well.
    For the WDTV Live, I use the High Profile setup, CQ at 20, will do DTS pass-through if it has it (as i have a 5.1 system setup downstairs).
    It's probably all overkill and I'm gullible for the DTS over AC3 for surround playing.
    It seems to works. Some days I just wonder if I should just do the ATV3 preset and just reverse the audio order (1 as 5.1 and 2 as the 2-channel), as the WDTV live plays the first audio it reads on the file.
    Good luck!
  13. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    There is also the option to set a target file size. HB experts may be able to add more detail here, but I suspect it's possible to set it up to run essentially a 1:1 transcode, just with a file limit of, say, 20GB, and HB will back off the resolution just enough to make the output file the size you want.
  14. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Target File Size was dropped a couple revisions ago in HB. It was full of bugs and often wasn't accurate.
  15. Pyromonkey83 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2009
    Having your 2-channel audio at 320kbps is literally just wasted GB. Above 192kbps there is near 0 quality gain with the CoreAudio codec and the difference between 160 and 192 is almost nonexistent (not to mention the ATV3 doesn't support anything higher than 160). If you are having volume issues, try using the Gain knob next to the audio field.
  16. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Well, if I may ... in fairness I do the same thing with my audio aac, I up it to 320 for the 2 channel DPII track. That said you are probably right however ... I also run a modified atv 1 running xbmc.

    As well it might be worth mentioning that HB on Win and Lin uses the faac encoder so its ... well crappy at best. That said faac is patched in HB to allow up to 256 for two channel (depending on the sample rate). However on the Mac HB leverages CoreAudio which is frankly a much better encoder (vbr etc.).

    I know that other oss solutions for win and lin are being looked at but frankly its a bleak outlook currently. HB might have to "roll its own" but it would be time consuming.

    Added: Plus frankly 192 to 320 kbps bitrate would hardly be a "GB" of wasted space. Just sayin' ;)
  17. Ant2369 macrumors member


    Jul 20, 2011
    If you dont mind paying for some software theres 2 i found recently that will offer different copy methods such as "main movie" that only copies the actual movie i personally haven't used it yet but i did try and buy their blu ray creator software and so far im very impressed


    This is the second sorry for not including..
  18. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    lol. dvdfab, ya just can't make this stuff up. :p
  19. Robsta2142 macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2012
    Hackers79, this is strange. The average size of my BluRay files after ripping using MakeMKV is 22.53GB and this is from a collection of 105 BluRay's so far of various lengths (1h 30m - 3h). This is even with keeping the lossless audio (DTS-HD MA/Dolby TrueHD) in them. When you are ripping them, are you checking all of the available audio selections/subtitles?
  20. hackers79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Hi Robsta2142

    No, I am only selecting the main title and the lossless audio. I did The Dark Knight last night and the file size of that MKV is 37.5GB.

    This is really odd then if your's are that different??
  21. rayward macrumors 68000

    Mar 13, 2007
    Houston, TX
    The file size will depend on the length of movie and how "complicated" it is. Action movies generate very large file sizes, particularly those that are nearly 3 hours long. A 100 min rom-com, on the other hand, is going to come in at 15 gigs.

    There's no fixed file size for a movie.
  22. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    If you want 1080p, just use the AppleTV 3 preset. Produces great results, files are 5-8 GB in my experience. (I've spent the past couple days ripping my Blu-rays using that same set of tools.)

    As for how large the MKV file is - as others have said, it varies wildly from movie to movie, and based on what you choose to rip. Some of my movies have the movie itself only take up 20 GB, and the special features another 10+ GB. I don't rip the special features, so that saves a lot of space.

    If you're going for true "videophile" level quality, just use the MKV file. Any transcoding will reduce quality, so if you're for "quality above all else", then don't transcode.

    If you're going to transcode to save space, you might as well use the "pretty darned good quality" setting that the AppleTV 3 preset provides. It saves a large amount of space, while preserving plenty of quality.

    I used to dual-encode, one at 1080p, one at 480p, and use Subler to combine them into one "HD-SD" pair in iTunes, but now all of my devices can play 1080p, so I've stopped doing that. Now it's pure "AppleTV 3" preset for everything.

    I play my movies on:
    1. 47" HDTV in the living room, fed by a Windows Media Center PC over HDMI. 1080p "AppleTV 3" rips look great through Windows Media Center on this TV.
    2. 21" Computer monitor in the bedroom, fed by an AppleTV 3 over HDMI. This monitor has crappy built-in speakers, but the picture is good enough, and we have better speakers when we want them. Obviously the AppleTV 3 preset works perfectly on it.
    3. 20" iMac in the home office, the 1680x1050 resolution obviously doesn't make full use of a 1080p signal, but the picture is good enough I can't tell the difference between the Handbrake-created .m4v and the large MKV file.
  23. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    There's a lot of good advice in this thread so I'll offer just a few comments that haven't been said...

    OP, aiming for a target file size is not really a great way to think about preserving video quality. In video compression, it's not so much the size of the file but the quality of the compressor. For example, I shoot a lot of AVCHD 1080p with a camcorder. A AVHHD video clip might be 1GB. However, I can convert it to prores and it might become 10GB. Is the picture quality 10X better in the latter? No, it's just the same.

    You are correct in thinking about quality over minimizing file size however. And with this in mind, I would suggest using the HB "high profile" setting which is a little slower than the :apple:TV3 preset because it is doing a few extra things to retain quality at an even smaller file size. :apple:TV3 will play "high profile" files just fine.

    I'm a bit of a max quality chaser myself, so I choose "high profile" and slide the CQ to 19 (from the default of 20). It's probably visual overkill (I'm not sure I can see the difference of 20 vs. 19) but the net file size difference is not enough to make me worry about the possible waste. End result, MKV files sizes of 25-35GB might be shrunk to 5-15GB. It's hard to see any difference from original to this version (for my eyes).

    If maintaining the exact same quality as the BD is important, you have to keep the video portion of the file size "as is" and only downconverting the audio to DD. Then a 35GB MKV might be shrunk to only 32-33GB in the :apple:TV file. This would use tools like Subler and MKV tools instead of Handbrake.

    In my experience though, Handbrake, High Profile, CQ=19 is an excellent default choice for the vast majority of conversions. File sizes are shrunk to about 25% of the original (but varies widely film to film) and quality seems to be just about the same.
  24. hackers79 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 15, 2013
    Excellent, lots of advice on here so can I say thank you to everyone that's helped.

    I'm off work for 3 days after today so will have a play with your suggestions and report back.

    Thanks again guys, really appreciated.
  25. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    Can anyone recommend a slim blu-ray USB drive that has good ripping speed? I picked up a Samsung SE506BB that is supposed to read at up to 6X but in ripping several BD discs the fastest speed I have gotten out of it is 2.2X. My old monster tank of an LG drive can regularly rip at over 3X so the speed drop when going to the slimmer drive is painful.

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