iTunes HD Film settings for HandBrake

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Wilder, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Wilder macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #1
    Does anyone know what settings to use in HandBrake to match the quality of HD films brought from the iTunes Store?

    I have just imported the four films in the Alien Anthology box set from Blu-ray as MKV files via an external Blu-ray drive. I now want to encode them using HandBrake, however, I want the encoded films to be exactly the same as the films downloaded from the iTunes Store, i.e. picture quality, sound quality, file size. I’m kinda OCT about these things. :)

    I’m also new (brand new) to importing films from Blu-ray to digital so please pardon my ignorance. :p

    Thanks,
    Wilder
     
  2. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
    Location:
    Saratoga, CA
    #3
    I just use Handbrake's "Apple TV 2" preset when transcoding Blu-Rays. It produces a 30 FPS 720P output file which is plays nicely on ATV2, iPad 1&2, iPhone 4, and later model iPod Touches. These files contain both AAC stereo sound, as well as 5.1 DD sound - similar to iTunes files. The file size is probably somewhat larger.

    The ATV2 preset is not compatible with ATV1, indicating that the specs are higher than Apple's iTunes HD format. However, it seems to be difficult to get Handbrake to produce HD files which play well on the ATV1, whose hardware is on the hairy edge of being able to play HD at all. I think ATV1 requires 24 FPS and a more restricted bit-rate. Apple probably knows how to customize their bit-stream so it does not choke an ATV1. Handbrake would need to use a more "brute force" bandwidth limit which would not look as good.

    Bottom line - unless you are trying to use an ATV1, it makes no sense to degrade your rips to try to exactly match the iTunes HD format.
     
  3. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    #4
    I don't think Handbrake has a "Crap" setting.
     
  4. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #5
    If you want the same quality as the iTunes HD content, you'll want:

    Video: x264, 2 pass, High@L3.1 profile, 4000kbps
    Audio: AAC 2 channel @ 160kbps, AC3 5.1 @ 384kbps

    To get that, use the ATV2 profile and change constant quality to bitrate based (4000kbps, enable 2 pass).


    I see what you did there.
     
  5. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

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    East Coast
    #6
    Just curious, why would you choose 30 fps? Most movies are in 24p.
     
  6. KevinC867 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 8, 2007
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    Saratoga, CA
    #7
    Good question. In fact I was encoding at 24 FPS [*1000/1001=23.976]. Handbrake's ATV2 preset specifies 30 FPS, but I hadn't noticed that it also set the "peak frame rate" flag. It looks like this means "same as source" unless source exceeds 23.976. I used Mediainfo and confirmed that my output files were in fact 23.976 FPS.
     
  7. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    Mar 27, 2003
    #8
    Absolutely correct when you use peak framerate hb will match the sources framerate (which is typically variable) unless it exceeds the specified peak.

    Also use Constant Quality and not some arbitrary average bitrate for your video , it will look better. That said from blu ray you should be able to match iTunes HD content, however realize that apple nor the studios are encoding from blu ray. Their source is typically *much* better than blu ray to begin with so its easier to get a cleaner encode.
     
  8. Wilder thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    #9
    I think I’ll stick with importing films individually. :p
    That said, I think that tutorial will help when I begin importing my Fringe box set.

    Haha, I get it. :)

    Thanks man. Appreciated.

    So what would you guys recommend? “Average Bit Rate” or “Constant Quality”?


    I thought that HD films brought from the iTunes Store would be the best setting for high quality content in a small container. I plan on creating a HD and SD version so I figured 3.5GB~ for the HD version and 1.5GB~ for the SD version, like iTunes. But I don’t want to compromise the quality too much so I’d be fine with a 5GB~ HD film.

    What setting would you guys recommend for high quality (@720p) at a reasonable file size.

    Thanks again.
     
  9. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

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    Feb 12, 2007
    Location:
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    #10
    Are you doing this for the Apple TV? If not, why 720p?
     
  10. Wilder thread starter macrumors member

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    Jun 28, 2011
    #11
    I have an iPad (32GB, Wi-Fi) and I’ve planning on buying the refreshed MacBook Air (13.3-inch, 256GB) in July. Also, I’m thinking of buying an Apple TV at some point, likely in September in case it receives a refresh. :)

    It’s my understanding (please correct me if I’m wrong) that the iPad and Apple TV support up to 720p. Also, since the MacBook Air doesn’t have a 1080p screen and doesn’t have the largest amount of storage space (same as iPad) that 720p would be the best way to go.
     
  11. tropic10 macrumors member

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    Sep 8, 2008
    #12
    Definitely constant quality. Dynaflash is a Handbrake developer so he knows what he's talking about. Use an RF of 21-23 for 720p content and 19-20 for SD.
     
  12. OptyCT macrumors 6502

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    Nov 9, 2008
    #13
    This threads crack me up. This is typical of people (myself included) wanting to be experts at something before they even try it. The truth is that ripping blu-rays to your taste is a matter of trial & error. My recommendation would be to start with the stock "AppleTV 2" preset in Handbrake and encode the file at 720p. Instead of encoding the entire movie, just encode 1% of the movie and then watch it (Handbrake allows you to encode partial files). If the quality is what you expected, then you're all set. If not, tweak some settings and give it another shot.
     
  13. EmpyreanUK macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2011
    #14
    Sorry to sidetrack the thread slightly, but it seems that the OP has had his question answered satisfactorily so I thought I might try to take advantage of the fact that the attentions of people who know a lot about Handbrake settings seem to have been captured by this thread...

    I recently read on a thread on the Handbrake forums in which somebody posted that it's best to set Anamorphic to 'Loose' and to have Modulus set to '2', but didn't really explain why.*Has anybody else come across this before? Does it sound like something advisable to any of you?

    Thanks in advance for any replies :)
     
  14. AdrianK macrumors 68020

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    Feb 19, 2011
    #15
    Some players will choke if your videos have some funky resolution which isn't evenly divisible (might have something to do with scaling...?). Eg 1280*720 = good. 1283/725 = bad.
     
  15. Xmeromotu macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    #16
    Can Apple TV support 30 fps @ 720p?

    Seems I read somewhere that even the 2nd generation Apple TV supports only 25 fps @ 720p. Of course, I can't remember where I saw that, but has anyone else heard that?
     
  16. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2003
    #17
    Correct for atv 1. Incorrect for atv 2. atv 2 and 3 can do 30 fps no sweat.

    Note: hacked atv 1 running linux / xbmc and a chd can run almost anything, including raw blu ray.
     

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