how do I get optimum quality handbrake rips?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by cnsoverload, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. cnsoverload macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2012
    I've been using handbrake to rip DVDs and downloads (4- 8gb) to play in my hometheater.
    Ripping these media gives me a 1.something (eg 1.2) gb file.
    I'm looking for optimum quality in sound and picture, I set:
    Framerate same as source
    constant quality RF:19
    audio same as source passthru
    So why is the file size so much smaller?
    How do people rip DVDs into 4 gb?
    Is their quality better or does handbrake have some type of special encoding
    yielding small file sizes? I check the framerate and it's usually the same as source. Am I really getting optimum playback for hometheater or should I use a different program?
  2. orestes1984 macrumors 65816

    Jun 10, 2005
    Click on toggle presets, set it to output for your device and forget.
  3. Moriarty macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2008
    File size is smaller because DVDs use MPEG-2 encoding, an old, inefficient standard. h.264 is much more modern, so you can have the same quality in a much smaller file size. That's the main difference.

    If file size is of not much concern, I would lower the RF to 16 or 17 or so for better quality, that should be nearly transparent to the source. On a large TV, you would likely notice additional artefacts at RF 19 that aren't in the source.

    Make sure your resolution is same as source, too. ie most DVDs are 720*480 (which then stretches out into the usual widescreen format). So you should re-encode at 720*480 (anamorphic). I also find for interlaced sources that Handbrake's default deinterlacing, which detects interlacing and only deninterlaces frames that it thinks needs it, does not work well and I often see slight interlacing. So on such discs I set deinterlace on the (slower) setting.

    You've pretty much got it though. Handbrake is a great program.
  4. cnsoverload thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2012
    Thanks all,
    for a while there I thought I was getting lower quality rips.
    I wonder if blu-ray also uses an inefficient "encoding" system.
  5. Bhunt macrumors member

    Sep 5, 2012
    Lowering RF gives better quality? How so? (just trying to learn)
  6. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    RF is the constant quality setting, where lower values equate to higher quality output.
    For SD video, I find 19-19.25 a good compromise setting. In a lot of cases, I still see artifacts at 20. Around 19, the experience is similar to what I've seen from a good DVD player and better than a bad one. Below that, you'll get progressively larger files, but I find any improvement in quality difficult to detect from my seat. It probably depends on how prodigious your eyesight is.
  7. bmcelvan macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2014
    Would you ever go lower than CQ16 for a Bluray Source (better quality in theory)? Or is 16 the level at which there really is no noticeable difference?

    Secondly, do you know if bluray ray rips are so big because they use a constant bitrate much much higher than necesary? Constant essentially just wasting a ton of space...or even average bitrate with just really high settings? Trying to figure out why CQ16 encodes are still so much smaller than source Blurays...Example 10 mins of X-men (2014) bluray (1:50:00.000 to 2:00:00.000) remuxed into an mkv file is 1.982GB where the 1920x1080 CQ16 encode is only 0.523GB.


  8. T'hain Esh Kelch macrumors 601

    T'hain Esh Kelch

    Aug 5, 2001
    I am by no means an expert in Handbrake but I like my movies to look good, so I just set RF to 19 for Blu-rays/DVD's, and RF to 23 for extra material, and I am perfectly happy with the results. We watch our movies on a 50" 1080p TV at 4 meters distance.

    And then I always passthrough AC3/DTS.
  9. RhythmAndBlues macrumors regular

    Jan 3, 2015
    I almost lost my mind a couple of years ago, trying to arrive upon my own, personal, ideal HandBrake settings.

    You seem rather preoccupied with achieving the "optimum". At the end of the day - if you're a 'quality freak' - you should just rip them and leave them as they are. Transcoding, by its very nature, will degrade your viewing experience. If it's drive-space that concerns you, well, 2TB can be bought pretty inexpensively these days... that'll store a ton of video content.
  10. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    The handbrake team themselves suggests RF=19 for quality hounds and that much lower than that will tend to be overkill (fattening file sizes for no apparent (playback) visual gain).

    The dramatic reduction in file size is mostly driven by more efficient encoding... especially for DVDs which are using a much dated standard. For BD, much of the time the BD is already using h.264 so you can use software to simply re-wrap without re-encoding it to maintain a duplication of picture (and raw file size). Other parts of why BD files have much bigger file sizes is that they are using much more modern audio encoding (bigger audio files than Dolby Digital), many languages, and many audio tracks (such as several different english audio tracks, director narration, etc). Typically, the HB user will eject much of that so that you end up with just a Dolby Digital and Stereo audio track, plus an h.264 video.

    If you re-encode, it will throw out some detail to cut that h.264 file down to smaller sizes. People often perceive this is going to be noticeable detail but the key is thinking about the Studio encoding. They know they have 50GB-100GB of space on the BD so they may choose to use the space than optimize the encoding.

    The best way to find the right setting is to start with a preset like :apple:TV3, encode a chapter or two, then slide the RF slider down a notch and encode the same chapter or two. Maybe do this 3-5 times. Then, go to your own set and play them back and see which one you like the best. If you have someone with you, ask them to randomly select each file so you don't know which encode you're judging (a blind test). Else, you get a bunch of opinions from people with all kinds of different technology, in different viewing environments, etc. You'll never get a consensus.
  11. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    I spent all kinds of time experimenting with the settings to achieve the perfect rips and finally realized that as long as I have a high quality source, the presets work really great. For my home theatre that I use my TiVo to serve movies, I just use the high profile setting. For everything else, I use the setting for the device. I am pretty picky about quality and these make nice rips. The only time I might mess with the settings is if I was highly constrained for space. But with storage so cheap that is seldom the case anymore.
  12. Mliii macrumors 65816


    Jan 28, 2006
    Southern California
    This may not be the right place for this post, but folks here seem to know what they are doing.
    When I try to encode using Hand Brake, the ripping stops midway through. It says it's finished, but it doesn't actually encode the entire movie.
    Any thoughts?
    Thanks for the help!
  13. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    There is probably corruption in the file/DVD. I forget how I fixed those, I probably started over again using another ripping tool to create a vido file that I then used handbrake on (maybe I used disk utility to create an image and then worked from that)
  14. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Mliii, ColdCase probably got it already with that good guess.

    Here's some questions:
    Is this a problem with every DVD you try to convert or just one?

    Is that DVD scratched?

    If you play the DVD on a DVD player does the point where it stops in HB show any visible pixelation or similar on screen?

    Could it be a 2-part DVD where you only have the first part?

    Could it be a 2-part DVD where you've used some tactic to try to merge 2 separate DVD files together?

    When you try to play the ripped file (before you send it through HB) does it cut off at the same point HB does or does it play right through that point?

    Do you have enough free space on the drive where you are trying to write the HB render?

    Are you using a standard HB preset or something you've set up yourself?

    If the above doesn't point you toward a resolution on your own, share the step-by-step details of going from DVD to ripped file to HB. What did you use to rip the disc? Are you changing any setting in HB? Etc.
  15. Boyd01 macrumors 601


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I have been ripping my large DVD collection over the past year or so, have done over 600 disks. But there have been 5 or 6 DVDs that behaved just how Mliii described. The file only contains about half the movie.

    Have tried other software on these same titles, like Ripit and MacX DVD and they didn't help either. The original disks seem to play fine. Never figured out what was going on, I wondered if it had something to do with dual layer DVDs? Finally gave up and bought those same titles on iTunes. :)
  16. jaysue macrumors regular


    Aug 4, 2011
    Tolleson, AZ

    Are u adding the DVD subs track?, Cause i had a similar problem with a couple of DVD's so i took out the sub track and just used the Foreign Audio Search track and that did it for me.
  17. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Double layer DVDs are usually OK. After ripping a DVD try playing the ripped file on your computer. Does it play through the point where it cuts off if you HB it? If it does, HB should be able to handle it.

    However, you need to let it play the cut-off spot. You can't skip ahead beyond the spot and then claim the movie plays just fine. Think about it like an old record album. You could take some sandpaper to the middle of the album and pretty much destroy the grooves leaving those before and after in fine shape. Drop the needle at the beginning and the album will play fine. Drop the needle beyond the sanded area and it will play fine. Is the whole album fine? No.

    Maybe the spot is the part that makes HB give up. Watch for heavy pixelation at the spot. Do this on your computer rather than the DVD in a DVD player as the DVD player may be better at handling error correction.

    If you see something at the spot, it's the ripping that is probably at fault (or the disc itself is bad). I had one that looked pristine (no scratches), appeared to rip just fine but did the same thing. Eventually, I narrowed it down the disc itself. Swapped the disc out and the new one converted with no problem.
  18. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2012
    Sorry, but this is BS. You typically need around crf 17-18 for transparent quality, sometimes even lower. crf 19 isn't terrible, and you may not care or notice the difference depending on your screen size and viewing distance, but at higher crf you'll start to get banding and detail loss.

    Also, Handbrake is a bit of a joke in the encoding community. It's a good starting point for noobs to get their feet wet but that's about it. I wouldn't listen to much of what they have to say.
  19. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    OK, I got RF=19 straight from the HB people themselves. If one gets it straight from the source, I don't know how it can be "BS". Did they tell you 17-18 directly? Maybe something has changed since they told me 19?

    And where's that joke referenced? What's better than HB among the "encoding community"? Why is it better? I'm sure more than just me are all ears on being enlightened about the replacement lauded by the "encoding community". Please enlighten us.
  20. FredT2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    I disagree. The HB preset defaults to 20foe Apple TV, and I've never had any problems just leaving it there.

    OK, tell us what we should be using if HB is such a joke.
  21. thekb macrumors 6502a

    May 8, 2010
    Yeah, I'd love to hear about this miraculous replacement software that runs rings around Handbrake.
  22. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    Really? I feel you are in an incredibly small minority.
  23. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2012
    The biggest issue with Handbrake is that it can't use Avisynth. That's why no one "serious" about encoding uses it. MeGUI is a popular x264 GUI that can use Avisynth.

    If you want to learn about encoding this is the best forum to read.
  24. Darby67 macrumors 6502

    Jul 5, 2011
    the corner of Fire and Brimstone
    So because HB doesn't use avisynth it isn't to be taken seriously and must be a joke in the encoding community? Sounds like the "serious encoding community" needs to take their heads out dark smelly places and recognize different people use different tools.
  25. StinDaWg macrumors 6502

    Apr 5, 2012
    Do you even know what Avisynth does? :rolleyes:

    All encoders are just a wrapper for x264. Handbrake does the least, and it's why people who are new to encoding use it. There's nothing wrong with that, but it doesn't have all the features power users need.

Share This Page