Encoding DVDs - H.264?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2004
London, UK.

Over the past few weeks I've been trying to encode my DVD collection onto my computer.

After using MPEG-4 at 4.8/mbit, I've realised that was quite a dumbass thing to do.. I'm using Handbrake and I see there's an H.264 option.

Now, I know it takes aaages to encode H.264, But is it worth it? Or Should I wait until Tiger or something before I start encoding?

Thanks for any advice! :)



macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Given the time it takes to rip a DVD, I'd wait to see what Tiger and Apple's h.264 implementation have to offer. It may or may not be better than the shareware alternatives, but it might be cool, there's always the chance of some killer iTunes-like video app waiting for Tiger, and it'll almost certainly be a lot faster than the non-Apple alternatives (due to optimization for the PPC).

Besides, if Apple offers a good h.264 codec then the advantage of ripping into an "Apple-ok" format is that if they ever do release a media center app/device, your video would be guaranteed compatible. If it wasn't, you'd feel pretty stupid having wasted days ripping stuff only to have to re-rip later.


macrumors 68020
Jun 18, 2003
H.264 takes a minimum of twice the processing power of mpeg4 part 3 (read Divx) at the same resolution and picture quality, although the bitrate will be somewhere around 30% lower. At D1 resolution (720x480) and near-DVD quality, even the fastest Mac with the best software codec will be pressed to encode in real-time. Don't equate video conferencing with encoding a DVD with minimal loss in quality and a 2Mbps bitrate. I'd wait a bit before I'd invest that kind of time.
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