Deblocking Levels

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by 3282868, May 14, 2011.

  1. 3282868 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #1
    Watching a few of my HB encodes, I played around with the Deblocking option.

    I've tried -1,-1 for strength/threshold, noticed the film seemed grainy.

    Tried 1,1, noticed a slight difference. Smoother, but not as sharp, a little grainy still.

    Suggestions? Leave at 0, or 1 (-1 was too grainy although sharp). Reminds me of the "Sharp" and "Blur" filters in Photoshop lol.
     
  2. roidy, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

    roidy macrumors 6502a

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    Location:
    Nottingham, UK
    #2
    Personaly I've always used -1,-1 for film material and 0,0 for animation. As for it looking grainy, are you sure the source material isn't grainy to start with because I've never notice a setting of -1,-1 making my encodes anymore grainy than they were to start with. I use -1,-1 for film material because I find that the default setting makes the encode look too soft when compared to the original.

    I also use the No DCT-Decimate option for the very reason that I don't want Handbrake to destroy the subtle film grain effect, it's there for a reason.

    At the end of the day it's going to be down to what looks best to you:)
     
  3. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #3
    -1,-1 makes a difference, I can see it now. This is for DVD rips of course. I've been learning a lot over the past few years, but there always seems to be something new. :)

    What would you recommend for Blu-Ray encodes? I have my BD's ripped. HB should be able to encode them into 1080P in m4v containers, right? I haven't used MKVTools yet, is this for BD material?

    Thanks mate! Really appreciate the help, everyone's on MacRumors over the past few months. :)
     
  4. roidy, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

    roidy macrumors 6502a

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    Nottingham, UK
    #4
    I use -1,-1 for all film material, both DVD and Blu-Ray, like I said the default values of 0,0 look (too me at least) too soft. The only time I use 0,0 is for animated material where I want it a little bit softer. As I said it's really a personal preference as to what looks good to you. For your Blu-rays I would suggest encoding a few short sample segments at both -1,-1 and 0,0 and see which you think looks better.

    Yep, Handbrake will encode them fine, however what device are you playing them back on? Because if you're only going to be playing them back on an ATV1 or 2 then encoding them as 1080p is a waste of time as the ATV1 can only play 720p and while the ATV2 can play 1080p file it still only outputs 720p to your TV.
     
  5. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #5
    Why would you want to do this?

    ATV2 can't output 1080p, so you're losing half the resolution at 720p. That makes a pretty big difference on a 50", not a "you wouldn't notice the difference" sort of deal.

    Besides, any non-lossless encoding is lossy (bear with me :p), why spend hours encoding just to reduce the quality of the material?
     
  6. 3282868, May 14, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: May 14, 2011

    3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #6
    I know aTV 2 accepts 1080P but outputs 720P. My reason in doing so is that when (not if) Apple or another company produces a product that passes 1080P though I won't have to worry about my 720P encode being "useless".

    Yes, DVD's are compressed/lossy (SD especially) thus I'm using variables such as AC3 Passthru, etc. Yet the current HB build's "Advanced Settings" such as the recent Aq and Psy-RD/Trellis do make a difference in image quality. Regardless of whether the SD or BD source/rip is compressed/lossy, not all settings are moot as they CAN slightly improve quality as they passthru or tweak the lossy material ("making something out of nothing" argument is becomes moot).

    Again, encoding at 1080P is merely "future proofing," as it is only a matter of time before 1080P signals will be passed through. Either way, why risk it when I'm tossing my DVD's? :)

    Deblocking is such a debated topic, it makes my head hurt :p. I tried -1,-1 which produced grainy m4v's, and then the default 0,0 which was better with the same source (did them on two different SD DVD's). I'm trying 1,1 now. The default, 0,0, is almost always the best, according to the HandBrake wiki. A lot of people (apparently) prefer using negative values but to me it looks like noise.

    I've read when using cqm (Lion spellcheck, I'm not using a CAM! LOL) (which I am) recomended settings should be used as the default value, and shouldn't be altered by more then +/-2. Alpha Deblocking is the most important parameter in determining the overal sharpness of your encode. Encodes with a more detailed look and don't mind the occasional block try a setting of -2:-1. A clean picture and don't mind a little bluriness try 1:2.

    There are so many varying opinions, but with the Psychovisual values some are leaving Deblocking alone.
     
  7. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2011
    #7
    There are already products which do this, such as set top boxes and bluray plays (w/ Mass Storage support), and they work with BDs that aren't re-encoded.

    Hmm.. I'd personally rather leave movies the way they're intended to be seen (grain intact etc). I guess we just differ in opinion. /threadjack
     
  8. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #8
    I should check that out. I'm using XBMC on my ATV 2 for SMB via Ethernet to a second TC to act as a media storage device on its 2TB HDD. Been great so far, but BD's I'm worried about as we both know the processor and RAM of the ATV 2 won't passthrough 1080P (cause BD is a "bag of hurt" :roll eyes: lol)

    What do you recommend for BD's? We've chatted before, but in case you don't know my setup:

    - Pioneer Elite VSX-33 (handles everything you throw at it, including 3D)
    - 50" Pioneer Elite Kuru
    - All devices are HDMI passed through my AVR, with 1 HDMI out to my plasma
    - ATV 2 JB'en with Seas0nPass, NitoTV, XBMC 10.0-7 on iOS 4.2.1
    - Sony BD Player

    So yeah, I have a BD player but I'd like to toss it, going digital with as little media devices as possible. Yet you are correct, any encoding will always produce an even more lossy product (which I don't want for my BD collection).
     
  9. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #9
    I'd suggest getting one of the set top boxes which works with HD content, Boxee Box is the only one that I know of, a friend of mine has a cheaper box which works fine too. I believe that most of these boxes can stream over the network, and I'm guessing that they can be hooked up to Time Machine (it has a cat5 port(?)). I'm under the impression that the GUIs on the more generic boxes is pretty basic (just a file browser), however devices like Boxee Box will grab art and descriptions for you.

    These boxes output over HDMI which is sufficient for your amp, I'm not sure if there will be an HDMI-specificiation funkyness to worry about with regards to audio, but I guess there's always optical to fall back on.

    Then, I'd probably a 720p encode of each movie, with just AAC 2.0 for streaming to iPad, iPhone, whatever else.
     
  10. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #10
    The Boxee Box sounds like a perfect fit, esp. if I can cat5 it to another device as I'd rather avoid streaming (PITA having to keep a system running with iTunes or Plex).

    I could feed it via HDMI to my AVR. Only thing is I'd rather not add another device, esp as I have a Sony Blu-Ray, I was shooting for just my AVR and digital media device. If Boxee Box can replace my aTV 2 and it handles full 1080P then I'm in.

    Why just 720P and not get the full BD 1080P rip? Just curious. I got a 2010 Westmere 3.3GHz 6-Core Pro that encodes high set SD DVD's in less than 45 min's. I'm sure BD's will be hella longer but I'd rather get the full deal. :)
     
  11. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #11
    Definitely try one out in a store first, review said that the interface was a bit clunky and not very responsive, so definitely try it out.

    If you're thinking of replacing ATV, just bear in mind that if you have any videos purchased from iTunes (it doesn't sound like you do, but just in case) they will not play on Boxee Box.

    That was just a suggestion for mobile devices (like iPad and iPhone) which don't have 1080p displays, though I think you said you don't use iPad much for video(?). Of course keeping the original untouched BD for your TV, and then using the 720p for mobile devices (only if you need it of course).
     

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