Help : How to create lossless DVD rips using K9copy to Handbrake to Apple TV2

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by davidoloan, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. davidoloan macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2009
    I got an Apple TV2 which is brilliant.

    I have set up Home Sharing on my iTunes which is equally brilliant.

    I would like to get rid of all my DVDs but I want to rip some of them in a lossless format first; those I can't get in HD/download including about 260 episodes of Frasier.

    I am using Ubuntu Linux for ripping and encoding using K9copy and Handbrake. I have iTunes on another computer.

    I have been ripping the DVD's using K9Copy to .ISO and the finished file is the same size as the DVD or the video content that I rip. So I am think I am achieving a lossless .ISO.

    Experimenting with Handbrake using the Apple TV2 setting is just OK on a 50' Plasma via Home Sharing on the Apple TV2. Dark backgrounds are not as good as the DVD played directly for example.

    So I encoded some .ISO's using video setting RF:0 on Handbrake which it says is lossless. (RF:20 is the Apple TV2 setting). But the Apple TV2 says "An error occured loading this content, please try again later".

    The second problem is the RF:0 encoded m4v file is about 4 times bigger than the .ISO. Handbrake says that the finished file will only be bigger than source file if the source file is not lossless. I think my .ISO's are lossless so does anybody know why this happens?

    Would appreciate any advice or a better method. I want original or better quality and hard drive space is not too expensive anymore.

    Also my finished files (when played on the computer) have jagged edges around figures which I think is interlacing or telecine effects which I don't know much about. This appears on the Plasma through the Apple TV2 on the Handbrake encoded files. When I play the DVD directly on the TV it is not nearly so bad.

    Appreciate any advice.
  2. Aidoneus macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2009
    First, use the Handbrake High Profile preset to encode your DVDs. Never, ever set RF to 0, as it creates a file several times larger than the original. High Profile will retain 99% of the DVD quality while resulting in a manageable file size.

    As for your picture quality issues, Handbrake has decomb and deinterelace filters built in. I'm not near a computer at the moment, so I can't check, but I believe they are in the Picture tab of the Handbrake GUI. Make sure both of them are enabled, and this should solve your problem.
  3. davidoloan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2009
    Thank You. i am giving it a go. I increased the sound bitrate to 320. However it won't let me adjust the use of the deinterlace settings which are preset to "Off" in Highline. As soon as I select one it deselects High Profile. I will encode in High Profile first to see how it looks and then figure out the deinterlace.

    Handbrake says that RF0 only creates a file size greater than the source if the source is not lossless. I was assuming my that my .iso files were lossless but maybe that is not what they mean. A DVD is compressed video. When they say lossless maybe they don't mean a lossless rip of a DVD, but the uncompressed video used to create the DVD.
  4. davidoloan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2009
    I encoded an episode of Frasier in High Profile.

    Played in VLC side by side with the DVD on the monitor they are remarkably similar.

    The jagged edge issue has been resolved in High Profile.

    However, on the 50" screen despite the high profile image being much less jaggier than the DVD player image and better in that regard, it is inferior in other ways. The contrast is much weaker with black backgrounds being greyish and blocky.

    Overall the DVD image is much more defined and stronger. This is not so obvious on a small screen.

    The DVD ISO of one episode is 1.2 GB and the High Profile file is 330 MB.

    I want something much better and I don't mind if the size is similar to the ISO. Is that possible with Handbrake?
  5. davidoloan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2009
    I have a 2 minute clip from a DVD which I am have encoded at RF20 down to RF1. I am going to see what the lowest number the Apple TV accepts.

    At RF20 which is used in High Profile the file produced is 1/3 the size of the source file. Between RF10 and RF11 produces a file the same size as the source. I don't know much about encoding. Is this an indication that roughly the same information in the source is in the file produced or is it more complicated?
  6. omni macrumors 6502

    Jan 20, 2008
    You are wasting your time.

    When encoding you are never going to achieve lossless, simple as that. If you really feel like you can see a difference no matter what you do - then look for ways to play the .iso straight from the appletv. I don't have an appletv2, only part 1, which can be hacked to do this. not 100% sure about the state of appletv2 hacks, sorry.

    I have a 60" panny plasma and with the appletv preset and RF set to 19 and I can tell a slight difference if doing an A/B comparison. But to be honest after a few seconds my eyes adjust fine and I could care less. Especially with the convenience of having everything at once and no scratched disks nor long ass menu's to fast forward through.

    One last thing is how is your appletv hooked up to your tv? Maybe the upscaler in your tv isn't liking something for some reason? Shrug.

    Although at the end of the day, SD looks terrible to me for the most part and I stopped ripping DVD and only rip Blu Ray now.
  7. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    The reason your encodes are bigger than your ISO is that DVDs aren't uncompressed: DVD video is compressed using mpeg2. So, as omni says, you're never going to get a lossless copy of your movie no matter what you do.

    Most people on the Handbrake forums seem to agree that RF19-19.25 is indistinguishable from the DVD source, so I'd go with the Apple TV 2 preset and adjust the RF to one of those if you really feel you can tell an encode with the stock ATV2 preset (RF20) from the DVD. It might help for you to do a few test encodes (one chapter of a DVD you know well) using the stock ATV2 preset, ATV2 preset with RF19 and ATV2 preset with RF19.25 and do a proper a/b/x comparison:

    • Play 1 version (A)
    • Play other version (B)
    • Play one of A or B (X) and note down which of A or B you think X is

    Do it with someone else starting the video for you so you don't know which is which. You could do the same for the source DVD vs your encodes too. If you can't reliably ABX your encode from the source DVD, then the encode is fine.
  8. davidoloan thread starter macrumors 6502

    Apr 28, 2009
    Thanks omni and alFR,

    I'm not very expert at this. I found a very short clip in the extras of a DVD and encoded it from RF 20 to 1. While I know most people see no difference in contrast at around the RF19 mark, I do on a big plasma screen and its very obvious. However it nowhere near as obvious on 21" LCD screen.

    Frasier has black screens between scenes and at the start with graphics or text which are useful for comparing how good the contrast is on each encoding. Its also 4:3. On the DVD you can hardly see the black bars on each side generated by the TV and it appears that the Frasier logo or the White text is on a 16:9 black screen. The colours are vibrant, edges strong and the white text has a strong colour. On Handbrake High Profile or around RF 20 I can clearly see the 2 black bars, the black 4:3 image is greyish and blocky. The White text is greyish and the colours on the Frasier Logo are not as vibrant. When I play the scenes the colours in general are greyed out compared to DVD. This is on a 50" Plasma which does handle contrast better than some LCDs.

    At RF 10 I can tell no difference in the contrast between the DVD but the motion seems a little jerky only fractionally. RF 11 is nearly as good contrast wise and I notice no motion problems so I think will settle at 11. I have no interlacing problems either at these lower values.

    I need to learn how to do the rest of the settings. I don't seem to be able to select Apple TV2 mode or High Profile mode and then lower the RF Value so I think I need to configure all the settings manually and save that as a favourite if possible.

    I also need to find out how to get the best sound. Some of the DVDs I want to keep are Music.

    omni : I don't want to hack my Apple TV. I just want to get the best I can from it in terms of the few DVDs I plan to copy and then I plan to rent most of my films from it. My Apple TV is hdmi to TV and optical to external Dac to stereo amplifier.

    aLFR : I was misunderstanding what Handbrake meant by Lossless. I knew DVD and Bluray was compressed, but as it is used by the public I thought they meant DVD, Bluray etc as the best possible starting source, but I understand how it works now and why the RF0 file is bigger as they say it will be.

    I am looking forward to getting the complete 11 series of Frasier on it and organised properly because it is great to navigate. It is also brilliant for a large lossless music collection and video podcasts. I am ripping a small number of other DVD's not available in HD and some obscure stuff and then I hope to banish discs full stop. Blu Ray quality would be nice but the whole concept of renting movies is great and the Apple Tv is really nice to use. Also I expect as the years go by quality and content will improve every so often and will eventually be of the highest standard.

    If anybody has any helpful pointers on the other settings I would be grateful to hear them.
  9. haoledoc macrumors member

    Jan 24, 2011
    If you are encoding for AppleTV 2, start with that preset and then change the RF value. The preset will no longer be highlighted as the RF setting itself is part of the preset. Everything else you can leave alone. You can save this as a custom preset, but it's pretty easy to start from the existing preset and change the RF each time.
  10. alFR macrumors 68020

    Aug 10, 2006
    To be honest it's all about finding what's right for your setup and eyes, so if you're happy with your chosen settings that's the main thing.

    There should be a slider in the HB window adjacent to where the RF value is shown: if you move it right it'll raise the RF and moving it left will lower it, even if you've selected a preset as your start point IIRC. Once you have it all set up you can save your settings as a custom preset.

    You haven't really got a lot of options there re: Apple TV - you can either have 5.1 surround by passing through the AC3 from the DVD, or you can have aac stereo sound. The Apple TV presets in HB set this up for you automatically so it should be sorted for you if you use one of those presets as a starting point.

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