DVD to HDD, quality settings and other questions

Discussion in 'iPod' started by roland.g, Nov 6, 2006.

  1. roland.g macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    I have read parts of clayj's sticky'd thread on DVD to video iPod using MTR and Handbrake, and it is over 12 pages now and still growing which makes it sometimes more confusing. So I thought I would try to get some general ?s answered. I have a refurb 1.66 Core Duo Mini that I just picked up and plan on upgrading that to a 2.33 24" iMac in the spring when Leopard and iTV are both out.

    I am trying to back up my DVDs as well as get some idea for the coming iTV, and I realize that there is no concrete data on it yet. I have Ripped several DVDs straight through Handbrake using MPEG-4 Video setting the avg. bitrate at 2000, the Audio at 48000hz and 160kbps. On picture settings I have kept the video at source width x max height. I did this because I don't have a video iPod.

    1. clayj says that the resolution shoud not exceed 230,500 total pixels. To do this you must set it at 640 x (corresponding height) to not exceed that limit. I am assuming that is for iPod viewing since I was able to rip at full res and play the videos through Front Row. Has this changed at all since new tvshows from ITMS have 640 not 320 res?

    2. does anyone have a guess at the optimal settings to rip for tv playback that would be equal to actually playing the DVD?

    3. if I use MTR to extract the DVD, I can open it using DVD player. Is there anyway to play it through the Videos part of Front Row, another app that will recognize the folder or a way for QT to recognize it through Front Row? Or is that needlessly making the file too large?

    4. Some movies that I have ripped play full widescreen in Front Row, while others have small black bars on the left and right side, any idea as to why? If I play those movies in QT and use the dashboard widget to play QT fullscreen, those bars aren't there, only in front row. Actually I like QT full screen better because I get better mouse activated controls, but obviously the remote and Front Row Menus are more convenient.

    5. Will Toast 7/Popcorn burn any movie extracted by MTR or are there still encryption issues? I would like to backup my library to preserve the original discs.

    The movies I have ripped through Handbrake look pretty good on my 19" CRT, sometimes blacks get a little blocky, but it is set to 1280x1024 or 1600x1200 res, so I would expect that at full screen, though I would expect it to play better on my 42" DLP. Haven't hooked up the mini directly yet.

    Again, thanks to clayj for his instructions.
  2. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    1) Yes, that pixel count is for iPods. It's changed now, for MPEG4, I think it's around 300k pixels.
    2) You're never going to get the same quality as the original DVD in a handbrake rip... when you transcode video you lose some data, just a fact. That said, you can get near DVD at 704*(this value varies based on aspect ratio) and anything from 1500-2000kbps MPEG4, using 2-pass encoding. I rip TV shows from DVD at 1500kbps MPEG4 and they look fine on my 30" HD CRT and my 98" projector... there's some macroblocking in the backgrounds, but it's not bad and doesn't effect the "main" picture. You can reduce those even more with 2000kbps.
    3) I think there is a way to make that work, but I'm not sure how.
    4) Probably a result of the original aspect ratio and also of the way the DVD was mastered - 4:3, 1.78:1, 1.85:1, 2.15:1 are all common aspect ratios and some DVDs are anamorphic while others are letterboxed. Wikipedia has good info on this, if you need more.
    5) Once you use MTR all the encryption is removed. Toast/Popcorn will burn these. It will have to recompress them, unless you are using expensive dual layer discs, so you may want to consider dropping menus, features, extra languages, etc in order to get the best picture for the main feature.

    Quick Q for you... what framerates do you get ripping direct from DVDs in Handbrake doing MPEG4 704x*** (*** being the default size HB selects) at 2000kbps? I'm trying to decide what computer to buy next and I'm curious how the CD1.66 does in HB.

  3. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    Thanks mrgreen4242

    So it is possible that at full res. they make work on a video iPod. Doesn't matter, not getting a video till a widescreen comes out which will probably change things again.

    2-pass which option is that. I think I set mine at FFmpeg avg bitrate enter 2000.
    I have a Samsung 42" DLP, 2.5 yrs old, so it isn't the newest tech, 1080i I think it also does 720p. I expect it to look better on that than full-screen on a 1280x1084 19" LaCie CRT.

    I ripped three movies so far, 12 Monkeys ripped at 63.4 fps at 2000kbps avg. rate, don't remember what QT told me it was playing at. Fight Club ripped at 58.6 fps at same settings. I don't remember what The Usual Suspects ripped at. All three movies took less than 35 minutes each.

    But like I said I am planning on getting a 2.33 24" iMac with 2GB RAM in the spring.
  4. tderemigis macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2006
    i have been ripping dvd's with handbrake, using h.264, and setting it to contant quality of 60%. The picture has been good, you can see some pixelation in the black background on some scenes.

    Is there another way i should be doing this?
  5. roland.g thread starter macrumors 603


    Apr 11, 2005
    a couple follow up questions:

    1. What is the advantage of using 2-pass encoding? Seems to take the same amount of time, roughly. Increases my fps to about 80, but there are 4 tasks it says, so still about 32 minutes.

    2. What is the difference between h.264 and mpeg-4 video in handbrake? Does the h.264 play on an iPod while the other doesn't? Is it greater compression making a smaller file? Does it play smoother or something? Do they both play on an iPod?
  6. MacinJosh macrumors 6502a

    Jan 29, 2006
    I answered these same questions in the other thread but I'll copy them here as well.

    1. 2-pass determines which scenes in the movie need more bitrate and distributes it accordingly while still maintaining the average bitrate. For example 1500kbps would go to waste in the credits as it's just text in a black background. The first pass would see that it only needs about 500kbps and shoves the rest to a fast action scene. Overall there is a significant quality boost using 2-pass ( or VBR, variable bitrate) over constant bitrate.

    2. H.264 has better compression/quality per bitrate than MPEG-4. In other words you can have either a better quality H.264 file at the same file size or a similar quality H.264 file at a smaller size than MPEG-4. Both files will play on the iPod. Neither one is smoother than the other.

  7. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    One thing to note is that iPods are more limited to what resolutions they can handle with h.264 that MPEG4 die to the formers more substantial decoding power requirements. This may or may not still be true, but at some point the 5G ipods would only playback h.264 files <640px wide, where MPEG4 would take (nearly) any width as long as the total pixel count was below the limit.

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