Has anyone converted their DVD's to MPEG4?

SheerGold

macrumors member
Original poster
Apr 20, 2006
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I'd like to know what their experiences were - how successful it was, how involved or difficult, what programs they used, etc.

I'd like to compress MPEG2 DVD's (most are 1.5 to 2 hours long) into MPEG4 format too save hard drive space.
But I have not yet found a way to do that.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
Handbrake.

Dead-set easy and it lets you encode with H.264 as well as MPEG-4 so you can get even smaller file sizes by using H.264 and a lower bit rate, takes a lot longer to encode though.

Best thing of all, Handbrake is free. Completely free.
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
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Melbourne, Australia
I've converted a heap of my DVDs to H.264 mp4 to keep on my HDD for when I'm travelling and I'll say ripping them at 1800 to 2000 kbits/sec with AAC audio at 128 kbits/sec (using Handbrake) makes for great viewing quality.
 

eenu

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2006
1,157
0
Manchester, UK
risc said:
I've converted a heap of my DVDs to H.264 mp4 to keep on my HDD for when I'm travelling and I'll say ripping them at 1800 to 2000 kbits/sec with AAC audio at 128 kbits/sec (using Handbrake) makes for great viewing quality.
New to the mac ways of doing this but to do one movie using your above settings is set to take 12hrs on my 1.42Ghz mini :(

Is this normal?
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
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Melbourne, Australia
H.264 is very slow on PPC. So yes it is normal. If you want to speed it up swap to using plain mp4 or avi. If you would like something nice and fast with decent quality go for at least 1500 kbps (average bitrate) AVI with AC3 audio, 2 pass encoding, and make sure you check deinterlace under Picture Settings. If you don't have the AC3 codec installed you may want to use mp3 audio.

HTH
 

Mantishead

macrumors newbie
Aug 16, 2006
21
0
PSP Rip

If I wanted to rip a typical 2 hour DVD film to PSP format, approx how large is the resultant file?

Also, how would quality of the video compare with a standard PSP movie disc?
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
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Melbourne, Australia
For PSP or iPod rips check out http://handbrake.m0k.org/ and have a look at the new Instant Handbrake designed for these 2 video players. As for file size there are too many variables to give you an exact file size. The higher the file size the closer you'll get to UMD video quality.
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
eenu said:
New to the mac ways of doing this but to do one movie using your above settings is set to take 12hrs on my 1.42Ghz mini :(

Is this normal?
Yep, that's normal. A Core Duo Mac will do roughly real-time H.264 encoding (it will take the same length as the movie to encode) and will do about 2x encoding in MPEG-4 (takes half the length of the movie to encode). It's one of the areas where the Core Duo stomps unequivocally on the old PPC processors.

It takes a lot of processing power to encode video.
 

eenu

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2006
1,157
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Manchester, UK
Chundles said:
It takes a lot of processing power to encode video.
I know i'm just used to doing these tasks on my PC even though i have been on OSX for over 2 yrs :p

I just about crapped myself when i saw that time! Got it doing the AVI recommendation now though and its down to around 2.5hrs.

I do have one remaining question however. I have always backed DVDs up to DVD format ie one movie to one disk. Whilst i see the benefit of getting 4 movies to one disk i am baffled that people want to lose quality and the ability to play it on thier DVD players on their big TVs. Can anyone twist my way of thinking here?
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
eenu said:
I know i'm just used to doing these tasks on my PC even though i have been on OSX for over 2 yrs :p

I just about crapped myself when i saw that time! Got it doing the AVI recommendation now though and its down to around 2.5hrs.

I do have one remaining question however. I have always backed DVDs up to DVD format ie one movie to one disk. Whilst i see the benefit of getting 4 movies to one disk i am baffled that people want to lose quality and the ability to play it on thier DVD players on their big TVs. Can anyone twist my way of thinking here?
Well, with the new Mac minis you have a handy way of navigating your media, with H.264 encoding you can have DVD-quality video at low file sizes all in the one place. No need to hunt through your DVDs and it's all ready to go.

Also beats carrying a wallet of DVDs when you're on the road, you can just rip some shows to your harddrive and watch it on your laptop.

If they come out with an iPod that plays decent resolution video I could load a bunch of movies onto it and just take that with me rather than all my discs.

Pretty soon we'll see the "DVD Player" just become a part of the computer that runs our entertainment systems, files will be just like DVDs.
 

eenu

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2006
1,157
0
Manchester, UK
so what kind of file sizes can i be expecting per movie for each of the different formats?

Just trying to gain a concept for this idea....i think i have always stayed away from it becasue i couldn't play it on my TV DVD and also becasue they take up A LOT of disk space
 

Chundles

macrumors G4
Jul 4, 2005
11,966
375
eenu said:
so what kind of file sizes can i be expecting per movie for each of the different formats?

Just trying to gain a concept for this idea....i think i have always stayed away from it becasue i couldn't play it on my TV DVD and also becasue they take up A LOT of disk space
I normally rip a half-hour to 40 minute TV to a file about 175MB.

I just set the size in Handbrake and the program works everything else out.
 

mulze22

macrumors regular
Jul 25, 2005
146
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Up Nort
An .h264 movie is about 600 MB and an AVI is probably 700 MB.
It is so easy using Handbrake. And yes I have done it, about 20 times.
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,594
3,218
SheerGold said:
I'd like to know what their experiences were - how successful it was, how involved or difficult, what programs they used, etc.

I'd like to compress MPEG2 DVD's (most are 1.5 to 2 hours long) into MPEG4 format too save hard drive space.
But I have not yet found a way to do that.
Handbrake. Don't use MPEG4, use H.264, with two pass encoding. Two hours compressed to 1 GB looks quite decent. Hope you have at least Core Duo or a Quad G5...
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
0
Melbourne, Australia
eenu said:
but how big is say a 2 hr movie in .H264 and the same movie in AVI?
That question doesn't make sense. The size is based on how many kbps you rip it at. The smaller the file size the worse quality you get. Having said that H.264 will look better at the same size than standard mp4 or DivX avi, _BUT_ if you want GREAT quality you want to rip the file (in any format) at over 1500 kbps. In my experience I've found that H.264 at 2000 kbps will give me pretty much perfect DVD quality copies of NTSC or PAL DVDs. 2000 kbps DivX will be pretty close to it, and standard mp4 (with handbrake at least) always gives the worst quality.

As for your question above about why back up to a compress format rather than mpeg2? The answer is simple you can fit more movies on your HDD when you are travelling, if you want to do DVD to DVD back ups there is no reason not to. I use an all in 1 app called Fast DVD Copy 4 that works perfectly. It will do everything from ripping, compressing, to burning with a single click.
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
0
Melbourne, Australia
dekaph said:
Once you've converted the dvd to mpeg4, .h264, or avi, can you import it into iMovie to be edited?:confused:
Why would you do that for? Just rip the DVD as mpeg2, and with the Apple mpeg2 component you can edit it uncompressed (well uncompressed when compared to the DVD).
 

eenu

macrumors 65816
Aug 11, 2006
1,157
0
Manchester, UK
just did a .H246 movie..... 2hr long and its 1.67GB at 2000kbits/sec.

Took 27hrs :p

Mini has issues playing back though it stutters, looks awesome though.
 

risc

macrumors 68030
Jul 23, 2004
2,756
0
Melbourne, Australia
Haha... like I said to you above on PPC you really are better off sticking to DivX avi. 27 hours is a long time to wait for a movie, I'm glad you like the quality though.

I'm amazed it stutters on 480p playback though, seems a bit weird. Oh well you should have no issues with DivX @ 2000 kbit you may not even notice the lose in quality.
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
I don't think it would stutter with H.264 at a lower bitrate. I've played 720p trailers on a PowerBook G4 1GHz without any stutter.

Why don't you try a smaller clip at 1000bps and see what the quality is like and if it stutters.