How are these Handbrake settings?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by gpspad, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    I have some old workout dvd's i have been ripping, the original quality is kind of low. Most are SD quality and may have even been VHS tapes converted to DVD. The interlace lines were really noticeable when I first started ripping them. they looked terrible on my HD TV.

    I hate to admit it, but I have no idea what most of these settings do, i just got them from an internet blog and I may be over processing them, I have been using the following hand brake settings....

    1.) I set Constant Quality to 19
    2.) I set the encoder preset to "Slower"
    3.) Tune gets set to "Film"
    4.) Profile gets set to "High"
    5.) Level gets set to "3.1", no idea why
    6.) In picture settings I set Anamorphic to "Strict"
    7.) In the filter section I set the Deinterlace to "On" and "Slower"
    8.) Finally I set Denoise to "HGDN3d" and "Med"

    Is this over kill? It solved the problems with the lines. But I have no idea if I am over processing these old dvd's, now that i am moving to ripping my more commercial movie dvd's I want to rip them good enough to archive them, but fast enough to get through all the DVD's in my library.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated...
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    Have you tried just using one of the HB presets? I've used HB for years and have found I often make things worse trying to formulate my own setting. Lot's of work has been put into developing the presets (like the atV preset) by very knowledgeable people that are able to perform visual/audio comparison testing that is very hard to do in a home setting.

    I always used the aTV3 preset (might be a aTV4 now, not used the new update) for my dvd's (yes, some were VHS conversions) and BR's with excellent results. With some old material, especially animation, you may have to add deinterlacing to improve the line problem. One thing to keep in mind, you should be able to achieve a result very close to the original quality in most cases but not all. Good luck!
  3. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    Yea, I started with that, but got the lines running through the video files when there was motion.

    These are older DVD's, maybe filmed with video tape and meant for VHS tape. When I played the files made with original hand brake settings, the ATV filled the HD screen with them and they looked horrible. Somebody here suggested deinterlacing and that made the videos much better.

    Now that I am moving one to my regular movie dvd's, I don't what settings to go back to default and which are worth sticking with.
  4. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    More than enough for low-quality SD material. If file size matters, I'd try 20 or 21.
    Again, this seems overkill to me. "Medium" is significantly faster and the difference will be very small (note that this primarily affects the file size, not the quality which is primarily determined by the RF value)
    Those are fine. The level is by default determined automatically by the resulting bitrate and some other factors. This does not affect quality, but is simply a flag for the decoder.
    I'd try without Denoise unless the resulting file gets too big (noise makes video harder to compress). Deinterlace is usually best set to "Decomb" and "Default" (if you don't see these options, you may be using an outdated version).
  5. cynics, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017

    cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Strange, high profile should be a level of 4.1. That is the preset I use for DVD's. Handbrake was recently updated and/or you are using Windows version which I'm not that familiar with and could be different.

    I don't deviate as far from high profile though. For DVD movies (non animated) I use the Preset - High Profile, Constant quality RF19, Encode Preset - Slower, Tune - Film. If its an actual movie I also add Foreign Audio Search. Anamorphic I always leave at Loose however after the new version I'm going to experiment with 'Auto' (strict is not an options for newest version on a Mac, or its just called Custom?).

    This is about the most complex and highest quality as I can get a DVD and it still play on an AppleTV 3 or higher and iPhone 4S and higher. Typically its ~1/2 the size of the rip and retains all of its quality (lower RF # then 19 has no noticeable benefits with a DVD).

    My settings are definitely overkill but when you have as many movies as I do you need to start worrying about storage space. That is why I use an encode preset of SlowER. Any slower then 'slower' and the encode on those presets will be too complex for your AppleTV to decode. Keep that in mind, if you encode something and it won't play right, just up the Encode Preset up one step and try it again.

    For BD I'll use Veryslow but usually go for RF21/22 but set the resolution to 720p (lock the aspect and set the horizontal to 1280 which usually ends up being around 550-650 vertical pixels + black bars). I know many people here are now cringing but modern TV's can make up the difference and in testing I needed to use photos magnified to see the difference. Now that I went from a 46" to a 65" its a little bit noticeable but only at an unreasonably close viewing distance. I'll make exceptions for my favorite movies or movies that are intentionally supposed to be visually stunning but not very often. Typically the difference in file size doesn't warrant the unnoticeable difference. However before I get flamed it all comes down to view distance.

    Here is a great webpage that illustrates this in real time.

    Watch the file size difference between 480p and 1080p in comparison to image quality. If you open your browser to keep the image sizes the same (smashing the 1080p version) they are practically indistinguishable. The trick is find that resolution for your viewing distance in real life.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 23, 2017 ---
    If file size was a concern with a DVD I would go straight to a slower encode but try to maintain as much quality as possible, RF19. A DVD is already going to be bad enough no sense in making it worse.

    BTW completely correct with quality vs encode speed when using constant quality. However it should be noted if you use an average bit rate the encode speed directly effects image quality. Not sure why anyone would do that unless you were trying to force fit a movie somewhere (SD card, thumb drive, phone/tablet, 4gb FAT32, etc) but in those cases slower is better.

    Actually aside from making a video encode too complex for the decoder the slower the better IMO. Well assuming you have the time to spare. I let encodes run overnight because a BD on veryslow on my i5 can take 5-6 hours lol. It will make a noticeable difference in BD and across many movies.

    I find it to be quite the balancing act to try to get a single file for multiple devices while using a reasonable amount of storage. I want a movie to look good on my 65" 4k TV, and play on my iPhone and iPad but need them to be a reasonable size and not duplicates for other devices e.g. a lower res version for my iPhone, etc.

    You sound like you are really familiar with Handbrake. What settings do you typically use for DVD's and BD's? What is your main focus points? Speed of encode, quality, file size, etc?

    EDIT: Btw I use 'encode complexity' in place of 'encode quality' to avoid confusion with 'image quality'.
  6. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    The main difference between 4.0 and 4.1 is that 4.1 allows for a higher bitrate in High profile, but 4.0 bitrate is already more than enough for DVD encodes. And as I mentioned before, by default Handbrake will automatically determine the correct profile after encoding. Just leave it on automatic and it will do the righ thing. See here for the differences:
    I found that there are points of diminishing returns. Going slower than "medium" or "slow" encoding speed makes very little difference in my experience. I almost always use constant quality mode with an RF of 20 or 21 for BDs and 19 or 20 for DVDs. File size is generally a secondary concern for me, but if the material is very noisy (which can result in very large files) I sometimes use Denoise (NLMeans ultralight) to make it easier to compress within a given bitrate budget (in my experience this produces superior results than just lowering the encoding quality).
  7. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Hmm I did an experiment with a DVD and you are correct. Set to high profile, RF20 and tune - film, I ripped and encoded a DVD in medium and slower and what I found was the time of the encode process AND the file sizes were negligible, almost identical. So close in fact that I redid the first encode because I thought I must have set them both to medium.

    I wonder if that is something to do with the High Profile preset? I'm going to try the same with a BD tomorrow and see if it makes a difference.

    I could have sworn I've done this before and found it an option worth setting, apparently that isn't the case with DVD's at least.
  8. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    I do see a difference in speed, but the resulting file sizes are usually very similar. Probably depends on the material to some extent.

    If you want to try something that's hard to compress, try the BDs of the 2003 "Battlestar Galactica". Took me a while to find a good setting for the "Razor" movie that didn't result in a huge file ...
  9. cynics, Feb 17, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2017

    cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Sorry it took so long to reply.

    So on BD there is a difference, which might not matter too most. But considering the difference is only sacrificing time I think its worth mentioning.

    I used 3 different BD, an anime, and older movie probably remastered for BD and a new movie produced with BD in mind.

    Settings were high profile only difference being medium speed and veryslow speed (t00).

    Screen Shot 2017-02-08 at 6.34.17 AM.png

    These were all encoded at 1280x for so we're seeing ~5% which seems to translate to higher resolutions (1080p) making it even more significant. For my collection doing rough math is saving ~30gb (200 movies x 150mb each), with a collection encoded at 1080p it should be significantly higher albeit I haven't tested that.

    EDIT: I'll try another BD at 1080p since I imagine that is what most people will be using.

    BD 1080p medium vs veryslow (t00)

    Screen Shot 2017-02-18 at 8.02.59 AM.png

    Definitely would recommend the veryslow option for BD if encoding at 1080p.

    EDIT: I removed the titles of the movies because although I own them I don't want any issues for MR.
  10. mpainesyd macrumors 6502a


    Nov 29, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    I have been playing with the latest (non beta) Handbrake and have found the preset Devices:Apple 1080p30 Surround best for my needs. The resulting MP4 plays well with an ATV4 and the audio is great.
    The "30" means it will also work with an ATV3. Interesting that the file size is almost the same as using 1080p60 so there seems little point in going to the higher frame rate.
    Some presets will not work with ATV although they will play on my Mac so test your first conversion before doing a whole library.

    BTW - the online documentation for Handbrake has improved remarkably.
  11. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    The Apple profiles set the peak framerate (PFR). This does not mean that the framerate will be converted to that value (doubling the framerate wouldn't make sense anyway), it's just a limit. As long as your source video is below that, Handbrake will not change the framerate. So, if your source video has no more than 30 frames/sec, changing form PFR 30 to 60 does not have any effect.
  12. cynics macrumors G4

    Jan 8, 2012
    Edited above post for 1080p on a BD. Seems DVD which is the topic here encode speed makes little to no difference. However BD can be quite significant if you have the time to spare for the encode. Typically I let this process happen while I'm away however on my iMac performance for basic task (browsing, messages, video streaming, email, etc) is unaffected.

    Makes me wonder if I want to get an i7 in my next iMac. My current i5 running all cores at 100% doesn't increase the fan off 1200rpm so it remains virtually silent. That doesn't appear to be the case with many people using i7's albeit encode times should be significantly shorter.

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11 January 21, 2017