Handbrake Q: ripping SD dvds

JonLa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
359
19
Hi folks,

I apologise for this one - its a variant of a lot of questions that have come up about Handbrake but I haven't quite found the answer when searching the forums.

I notice that the illegal download community is now using x264 to encode tv episodes in good quality at a filesize of between 300-350MB per 42-minute episode. Quality is good for SD and very watchable.

Now I want to rewatch my X-files dvds and I thought why not rip them and watch them in bed on the laptop or iphone. Well I've ripped a disc and tried various different handbrake settings, but I can never hit that magic 300-350 MB filesize. It's not a big deal, really, but I'm curious as to where I'm going wrong - I've stuck to the presets, perhaps changing the RF by 1 or 2, and the quality is excellent - I wonder if its that they are scaling the picture size down slightly... Anyhow, my files are usually double that, at least... Any experts out there able to comment?
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,653
148
Hi folks,

I apologise for this one - its a variant of a lot of questions that have come up about Handbrake but I haven't quite found the answer when searching the forums.

I notice that the illegal download community is now using x264 to encode tv episodes in good quality at a filesize of between 300-350MB per 42-minute episode. Quality is good for SD and very watchable.

Now I want to rewatch my X-files dvds and I thought why not rip them and watch them in bed on the laptop or iphone. Well I've ripped a disc and tried various different handbrake settings, but I can never hit that magic 300-350 MB filesize. It's not a big deal, really, but I'm curious as to where I'm going wrong - I've stuck to the presets, perhaps changing the RF by 1 or 2, and the quality is excellent - I wonder if its that they are scaling the picture size down slightly... Anyhow, my files are usually double that, at least... Any experts out there able to comment?
How many x-file 42 minute episodes per dvd?
 

JonLa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
359
19
The sets have 4 episodes on most discs. The discs are dual-layer so about 7.8 GB per disc. I'm encoding the episodes individually, rather than whole 168 minute discs....

Ripped with ripit; fed into handbrake, then choose the individual tracks....

So my best effort is about 800mb for an episode and that's so good it reveals the poor quality of SD tv from the 90s.
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,653
148
The sets have 4 episodes on most discs. The discs are dual-layer so about 7.8 GB per disc. I'm encoding the episodes individually, rather than whole 168 minute discs....

Ripped with ripit; fed into handbrake, then choose the individual tracks....

So my best effort is about 800mb for an episode and that's so good it reveals the poor quality of SD tv from the 90s.
Changing the RF by 1 or 2 is a marginal change, more of a tweak. I would imagine the "illegal download community" use a low a quality setting as they can get away with so as to enhance the download speed. I would suggest you lower the quality (RF) setting to a point you either get the file size you are looking for or lower the quality to a point where it is noticeable. Trial and error as source material varies in starting quality.
 

JonLa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
359
19
Ha - you'd think so, but there are strict rules including using RF of 19 or 20...

My latest attempt involves resizing the 4:3 tv image to 640 wide... About to test on the PS3...
 

mic j

macrumors 68030
Mar 15, 2012
2,653
148
Ha - you'd think so, but there are strict rules including using RF of 19 or 20...

My latest attempt involves resizing the 4:3 tv image to 640 wide... About to test on the PS3...
Strick rules? Not sure I understand.
 

JonLa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
359
19
Yes - surprising isnt it! I'm not going to link to them but there's a whole array of standards if you want your captures/rips to be part of the "scene". But they're using command-line x264 so I'm not easily able to reproduce them...
 

evilguy

macrumors newbie
Jun 16, 2009
22
3
I've been using the Apple TV 2 preset with two pass encoding, fixed video bitrate between 800-1000 Kbit/s and two channel 160 Kbit AAC dolby downmix.

The Two pass encoding does the magic...

Works for me.
 

hafr

macrumors 68030
Sep 21, 2011
2,742
5
Hi folks,

I apologise for this one - its a variant of a lot of questions that have come up about Handbrake but I haven't quite found the answer when searching the forums.

I notice that the illegal download community is now using x264 to encode tv episodes in good quality at a filesize of between 300-350MB per 42-minute episode. Quality is good for SD and very watchable.

Now I want to rewatch my X-files dvds and I thought why not rip them and watch them in bed on the laptop or iphone. Well I've ripped a disc and tried various different handbrake settings, but I can never hit that magic 300-350 MB filesize. It's not a big deal, really, but I'm curious as to where I'm going wrong - I've stuck to the presets, perhaps changing the RF by 1 or 2, and the quality is excellent - I wonder if its that they are scaling the picture size down slightly... Anyhow, my files are usually double that, at least... Any experts out there able to comment?
This is where your problem lies... Download MediaInfo, check out one of the episodes you're talking about and try to replicate the settings.

For instance, the latest episode of Alcatraz is 40+ minutes at under 300 MB, and uses these settings in the Advanced settings: cabac=1 / ref=8 / deblock=1:1:1 / analyse=0x3:0x133 / me=umh / subme=9 / psy=1 / psy_rd=1.00:0.00 / mixed_ref=1 / me_range=16 / chroma_me=1 / trellis=2 / 8x8dct=1 / cqm=0 / deadzone=21,11 / fast_pskip=1 / chroma_qp_offset=-2 / threads=12 / sliced_threads=0 / nr=0 / decimate=1 / interlaced=0 / bluray_compat=0 / constrained_intra=0 / bframes=3 / b_pyramid=2 / b_adapt=2 / b_bias=0 / direct=3 / weightb=1 / open_gop=0 / weightp=2 / keyint=250 / keyint_min=23 / scenecut=40 / intra_refresh=0 / rc_lookahead=60 / rc=crf / mbtree=1 / crf=20.0 / qcomp=0.60 / qpmin=0 / qpmax=69 / qpstep=4 / ip_ratio=1.40 / aq=1:1.00
 

JonLa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
359
19
That's brilliant - thanks - and thanks for the tip on Mediainfo - I used to use GSpot when I had a PC but its ages since I've had to/had a PC...
 

Scarpad

macrumors 68000
Jan 13, 2005
1,881
366
Ma
Also remember that those downloads more than often are using the HD versions as source and they usually encode them at 672x, instead of 720x, coming from an HD source the encodes look pretty nice, the X Files are SD and because its a very dark series usually are'nt very welll detailed.
 

JonLa

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 22, 2009
359
19
Discovered that a CR of 22 and Decomb and Denoise filters will produce a file of between 3-400MB that is almost indistinguishable from the dvd, compatible with the Ipad, Iphone, and even plays in quicktime/itunes and on my ps3.

I do however wonder whether I should be using anamorphic for the 4:3 X-Files episodes - I always assumed that anamorphic was exclusively for widescreen...