Handbrake & Average Bitrate

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Icculus, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. Icculus macrumors 6502

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    #1
    So how many people out there still use Average Bitrate? I am an adopter of using the RF Setting (RF 19 for all my DVD Movies worked AWESOME!), but on my concert bootlegs (Phish, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, Beck, etc.) using the RF setting is blowing up the file sizes to nearly 2-3gb in size for each 90 minute segment, roughly. So I am going to use my High Profile preset and just change the it from constant quality to average bitrate to either 1600kbps or 1800kbps. Does anyone have any advice as to which setting is better? I will mostly be viewing these files on a 62" DLP (soon to be replaced by 62" LED display in a few months) and so I want the bitrate to be good enough, but I don't want to go overboard. I am about to go crazy on this project as I have 400 DVD's copied to a 2TB drive waiting for me to queue them up in Handbrake just trying to get more info before I start this. Thanks for any and all help.
     
  2. rkuo macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    What do you have against the rate factor used by Handbrake? Do you really feel that bitrate is too high? If you feel like there is a particular bitrate that is just ridiculous to exceed, then you can use some x264 options to limit the bitrate from going past a certain point, but Handbrake is using that bitrate for a reason. Amateur bootleg videos are noisy or contain a lot of fast panning, which makes them difficult to encode without more bits.
     
  3. Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I think the rate factor is awesome, but its just making my files almost as big as the DVD themselves, which kind of defeats the purpose of encoding them. I did not know there was an option to limit the bitrate, which is what I need to do. I would love to keep the RF setting as a constant bitrate just seems to be a way of the past, not future. I will try that and see what happens, thanks for the tip!

    I know handbrake does all this for a reason but I am willing to sacrifice a little quality to get the file sizes down.
     
  4. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #4
    Concert DVDs can be bad enough to encode, I can only imagine how much trouble a bootleg video would be. In this case, I'd probably agree with you and use ~1750kbps for these discs.
     
  5. Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    I tried to use the vbv-maxrate and buffer but didn't really help much. I know have decided to encode all my concerts at 1600kbps, using the high profile preset (obviously changing from RF to average bitrate.) According to QT even though I tell HB to use 1600kbps QT is telling me the datarate is around ~1700. So I figure 1700kbps should be good enough for bootleg concert rips to be viewed on a 62" TV. Thoughts anyone?
     
  6. tombee macrumors member

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    #6
    I don't have an answer, but just wanted to say I have the same issue.
    My converted files seem to be too big. for example, a 22min tv episode converted from dvd is approx. 300MB. A full pro-shot retail concert dvd a couple hours long is about 2.6gigs. Just seems big. Used mostly default settings.
    Hoping to find a tweek or two to get smaller file sizes.

    (btw...saw your post on PTPhish and mt'd it there, glad to see it get some responses here...)
     
  7. rkuo macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    It depends entirely on your source material, how close you are sitting to the TV, etc. Given the price of storage these days, it really seems counterproductive to worry too much about manually squeezing down a few of your bootlegs. You could clip a few tough parts from your bootlegs and encode them at various bitrates to see how they hold up.
     
  8. Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Yeah, no love for me on PT. Way more helpful people over here.

    What I have decided to do, is encode the concert rips at 1500kbps. According to QT the Datarate is actually around 1600, but in handbrake I used 1500kbps on average bitrate. I basically used the high profile setting and just changed the bitrate to 1500kbps and changed the anamorphic mode in picture settings to strict.

    Antibalas - 2003-08-15 - Set I (1:37:26) came out to 1.35gb. It is a little bigger than I wanted, but I had that same file encoded under a crappier method in handbrake and the file size was 1.25gb and did not have dolby digital sound and the quality of video is WAY better now so I will take the 100mb increase in size.

    If you do that same show with RF 19-22 you will get sizes around 1.5-1.7gb roughly. This was the best compromise I found so that I get excellent quality for the TV as well as keeping the size down.
     
  9. NightStorm macrumors 68000

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    #9
    QT reports total bitrate (audio+video). Personally, if I was only saving .15gb, I'd stick with using a higher RF value for these bootleg concert encodes.
     
  10. Icculus, Dec 7, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2010

    Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    The problem with the RF setting is sometimes it is in the same ballpark, but most of the time its blowing out the files to 2GB+ in size. I copied 400 DVD's to my HD and plan to do 1 batch encode...I don't want to keep changing it from RF to average bitrate every 5-6 shows. Trust me I want to keep the RF 19 setting but its just too erratic between shows to keep it, imo.

    I am encoding 5 concerts using average bitrate of 1500kbps, and then doing the same 5 concerts at RF 19. I will post back here the results, because if anyone can help me keep the RF setting I am all about it. Thanks.
    * High Profile Setting, RF 19 (or Average Bitrate of 1500kbps), Anamorphic is set to Strict. Framerate 29.97 w/Peak Framerate (VFR) checked.

    Also I think QT just reports the data rate, because QT shows the datarate of ~1600kbps and iTunes shows the total bit rate of around 1848kbps.
     
  11. Wheeler macrumors member

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    Nov 29, 2007
    #11
    Thats gonna be one long a$$ batch encode- take a month?

    I may be missing something- but you know you can change RF to average bitrate in High Profile, hit the plus symbol and create a new preset, then make that preset the default one- no need to keep changing the High profile setting.
     
  12. Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I have this going on a Mac Pro, 2.66 quad core w/12gb of ram. I figure this will take around 14 days of 24/7 encoding. I might be a little off, but once I officially kick this off I will start a thread about it...if nothing else just for me so I have an idea of how long this will take.

    Yeah I know about creating presets. I have my 2 presets RF 19 and Average Bitrate of 1500kbps. I just reference the High Profile setting in posts because that is what I use but tweaked on 3 settings, easier for people to follow I hope.
     
  13. Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    Using the High Profile preset, changing the framerate to 29.97 with VFR checked, and picture settings anamorphic to Strict. Here are my test encodes. Done with RF 19 vs Average Bitrate of 1500kbps. The first size is the RF, second one is Average Bitrate. The RF is really inflating the size, and I cannot tell quality loss on a 62" TV. Anybody have any insight as to why the RF files are so much bigger?

    Antibalas - 2003-08-15 - Set I - 2.16GB/1.52GB
    Antibalas - 2003-08-15 - Set II - 1.62GB/1.27GB
    Beck - 2003-04-28 - 936.4MB/832.5MB (this was closer because it was proshot)
    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones - 2003-06-28 - 1.11GB/370MB
    Bela Fleck & The Flecktones Compilation - 1.79GB/895.2MB

    Unless someone comes with some magical settings I am going to stick with the average bitrate as going to RF just inflates the files to enormous sizes.
     
  14. rkuo macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Again, you're conflating the RF setting creating a large file with it doing something wrong. That just isn't the case. When an RF setting produces a higher bitrate file for one movie than another, it's because one movie needs more bits than another to look good.

    Using the RF setting allows you to generally specify a certain level of quality across all your videos. Using the bitrate settings will let you keep the size within a certain constraint, but when those bits are needed to keep the video looking good, they won't be there and you'll get artifacting. And conversely you may use too many bits to encode simple scenes, further wasting bits.

    If you're trying to optimize the visual quality vs the bitrate, I would start by making a few passes on one of your trouble files at progressively high RF's until you observe extra artifacting that you are uncomfortable with. I'm not clear on why you are so uncomfortable with the larger file sizes of a few files, but it's your call to do it.
     
  15. Icculus, Dec 8, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010

    Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Most of the sources are from old VHS tapes, and amateur recorded so they are not on tripods or such and after my research I have come to the conclusion, imo, that RF does not do a good job on these types of sources. If I was only doing lets say 25 concert rips than I would keep the RF setting because it wouldn't waste that much space but I am easily doing over 400 and that will burn a ton of space that I just would prefer keeping (as to my eye RF vs Average Bitrate the files look the exact same, but smaller size.) The quality of most of these DVD's is not HD/Proshot so I believe for me, I am going to stick with the average bitrate. I have encoded 100 files so far and they look as good as the original DVD's.

    I am not knocking RF as I used it for all my movies, I just disagree on concert rips (official or bootleg).

    1 Think that still doesn't make sense to me...1 of my DVD's is 4.2GB in size, how come when using RF 19/20/21 the files are 5+GB in size?
     
  16. rkuo macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    The RF is probably trying to preserve detail that you believe to be extraneous, such as tape noise. There's no way for the encoder to know this is unwanted data, but you might. You could try applying noise reduction externally with an editor or use handbrake to smooth out the noise with its own filters.

    Also, you need to try an RF setting that produces a roughly equivalent size to your constant bitrate files and do a quality comparison before you say it's doing a "bad job". It's not really accurate to say that otherwise. Like I said, you just don't like the file size it generates on those rips, but doesn't mean it's wrong for the setting you are using.
     
  17. Icculus, Dec 9, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

    Icculus thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    You are right about the comparison, I did not really think about that (my brain is fried from running so many encodes/video tests, my apologies!). I found that at RF 24.5 the size was about equal to my 1500kbps tests. However the bitrate was 1700kbps, and I could not tell a quality difference between the 2. Thanks for pointing out my errors, as I was about to almost give up on this project entirely, even though I already have all 400 dvd's copied to my HD.
    artificating
    Thanks for your help in getting me to keep the RF setting, and from what I read RF 24 is 52% of quality so I am guessing 24.5 is around 51%, and the rips look great to me. To be honest I ran RF 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 and I could not tell a difference between any of them. RF 24.5 seemed to produce a good enough of bitrate for me and filesize was right. Since these are bootlegs I am thinking to the naked eye it would be hard to tell a difference between the dvd/mp4, do you have any advice/suggestions about using such a high RF rate?

    Correction: At RF 24.5 after viewing it on the TV I could notice some pretty bad artifacting, but now I am trying RF 23 to see how it looks.
     

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