Handbrake ?'s - Best Quality and Largest File Settings

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Dawson3000, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. Dawson3000 macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2013
    Handbrake (Version 0.9.9, x86)
    Macbook, 10.6.8, 2.4Gh Intel Core 2 Duo, 2 GB DDR3 laptop

    I have searched online and am unable to find a simple straight forward answer to a few questions I have regarding Handbrake. Any background information regarding my questions is very much appreciated.

    1.) What should be the Max settings in Handbrake for full quality (no matter file size), no encoding if possible? I just want straight pure video from MKV file. Currently I have used these settings Preset: Normal. Framerate: Same as source, Variable Framerate. Video Codec: H.264. Video Quality: RF=0. x264 Preset: ultrafast. x264 Tune:non. H.264 Profile:High. H.264 Level: 4.1. I used a 3.5GB MKV, (mpg2), unable to use MKV2VOB because of codec (error saying not supported) error. I used these settings and it made a file that was 16.4GB that was MP4, and it only took 20 minutes. The clarity looks terrific. I am confused how a 3.5GB mkv file can make a 16.4GB file, can someone explain this if possible. On the other hand, if I change the x264 preset to veryslow, in a few trials, it took over 16hrs to complete the file. What is the dfiference??

    2.) What does the x264 Preset relate to video quality? Options are from ultrafast to Placebo. What is the best setting for max quality without any regard to file size.

    I am only interested in the best picture quality as possible as file size is not an option, I have a server with over 20TB of space for movies. Or if anybody has any better experiences with other software, I am all ears. I would really like something simple and straight forward as I have tons of DVD and Blu Ray I would like to rip. Thanks for any and all replies. :eek:
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    1) Don't use HB for what you want. It is a transcoder and that is all it does.

    2) You can get a larger file size than the original because BR (and dvd) data is compressed. HB will un-compress it at high quality settings. But you gain almost nothing from this de-compression.

    3) Use Subler or mp4tools to repackage your mkv to mp4 without doing any transcoding of the original mkv data. The requirement of both of these (and any other repackaging app is that the h.264 codec must be used in the mkv. Most BR's are h.264. DVD's are not h.264.
  3. Dawson3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2013
    Handbrake question follow up

    Thanks so much. That was exactly the information I was looking for. Straight forward and easy to understand. Thanks for that. I am looking into those 2 pieces of software as we speak. You did make me think of one other question though. I have DVD's, when I rip them with MakeMKV, they are encoded into mpg2, seems like everyone I have done so far is like that unfortunately. What would be a straight forwad solution to take the MKV that is created with mpeg2 encoding and make it useable for those other 2 software pieces or to allow the software called MKV2VOB to process. As of right now, it always says unsupported codec when I try to process these rips I made from DVD, that mpg2 code issue. Ultimately, looking for no transcoding or processing, just take the mpg2 coded mkv and change it to be coded with h264. Would Handbrake do this? After running through handbrake, output the file as a mkv and then run that through MKV2VOB. Wow, there is so much to consider, I just started doing this recently and am finding out I only know enough to get myself into trouble. :) Thanks again for the reply, awesome response.
  4. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    You only have 2 options with files using the mpeg2 codec:

    1) use a player that will play mkv files
    2) transcode the file to an mp4 (which uses the h.264 codec)

    You did not state what you were using to play these files (aTV, Roku, VLC, etc). If you are using the aTV #2 is your only option. There is no way to just change the mkv container to an mp4 container. It's the codec that the container contains that is the real sticking point.

    Since you are using HB, I would suggest using the aTV3 preset, RF=19 to 20, picture=anamorphic strict, optimize for web checked. I highly doubt you will find any visual improvement past that setting, only a larger file size for no benefit. But since everyone and their viewing situation is different...give a higher quality setting a go (lower RF#) and compare to my suggestions above.
  5. Dawson3000 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 15, 2013
    Follow up to HB query

    Yes another awesome response and good information. Thanks alot micJ for the fast response! Sorry I didn't state how I would be playing, trying to keep what I want done straight in my head. Here goes, I have a WHS2011 server with 20TBs of space. I overbuilt for family pic, vids and movies, etc. We have a PS3 connected to a Epson Cinema HD Projector. Bridged wireless N connection to 5GHZ network and 1gig ethernet from bridge to PS3, so streaming large files is not a problem at all. I am aware of the PS3 server software, some say you can view mkv files just fine without doing anything to them. I am keeping this build simple and not very complex. Would like to use the WHS media server natively, but then again I haven't really looked into PS3 server and not sure if that would be the best option, pros and cons type of thing I have to determine. I have been happy with my current setup, but don't want to lose any quality off my dvd rips. After I rip them, I plan on getting rid of them, I want to be totally digital in the home. So, I want every bit of video data I can take off those DVDs. I do not care if the videos play on tablets, cellphones, that type of thing. We just love watching a really clear and high quality movies on the big screen. We just house music files and the family downloads music to their phones as they like, just one big depository of music, video and movies files. Does anything I mention here change anything? Unfortunately, what I am hearing from you ultimately, the DVD in MPG2 HAVE to be transcoded to H264 which seems to take a while to do. Not a fun process. Not happy to hear that, but very satisfied with all of your advice. Thanks Micj, your the best.
  6. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    I am totally unfamiliar with PS3 and WHS. So I am not going to try and comment on the suitability of your setup. I will say though, that I would expect that setup to be able to play mkv's which would mean you do not need to transcode your dvd's to h.264.

    Can you run Plex or XMBC on the PS3? Or does the PS3 use it's own propitiatory software to play video files? Both Plex and XMBC play mkv's marvelously.

    Edit: you might also want to post over in the home theater forum where there are lots of home theater knowledgeable people.

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