Need help & questions on Handbrake/MakeMKV settings for Blu-rays

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by megaman90, Jun 9, 2015.

  1. megaman90 macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2015
    Hi folks, I still a noob when it comes to using Handbrake I pretty much get the hang of using both Handbrake and MakeMKV just that I have some questions about which ones to use on encoding Blu-ray rips. Below I posted some pics of what I was experimenting with on doing an encoding off my The Goonies movie Blu-ray. I really plan to play these files on an 50 in. LED TV. Also will be using either Kodi or Plex...liking Kodi a bit more though. I don't have a theater system plan to get one in the near future but want my encoded mkv's to have quality audio. Also I won't be encoding all my Blu-rays some will just be uncompressed rips just that some of them I don't need to be 25-30+GB If they can be shaved down. Thanks in advance to anybody that can provide me with some suggestions and help.

    Here are my questions
    • I noticed the output resolution changes from the source 1920x1080 to 1916x798 , is this the right way to have it? How do you make it output to the original size? Is this a good to get a lesser resolution? Basically what is going on here? Please let me know what you guys do with this setting do you leave it or change it?
    • What about The RF value of 20? Is it ok?
    • For the audio tracks that shows in the picture for handbrake are they ok as is?
    • Now for MakeMKV in the picture am I selecting the right audio tracks?
    Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.00.09 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 2.01.18 PM.png

    Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 1.15.43 PM.png
  2. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    Can't help you with Kodi or Plex, both too messy to setup compared to iTunes/AppleTV combo. Has always worked for me. Now to your questions:

    1) Handbrake crops the black bars top & bottom to save you encoding them. It will vary slightly from disc to disc, unless you're encoding Avatar which has a perfect 16:9 ratio. I usually pick the AppleTV3 preset and
    2) Reduce RF to 22 for Bluray and leave it at default 20 for DVDs.
    3) Yes.
    4) Yes.

    Setting up Kodi(XBMC) or Plex will possibly give you TrueHD & DTS capability down the road, but my trials proved difficult to get the receiver to read them. Impossible via AppleTV, maybe doable connecting a MacMini via HDMI, but then running it in Windows since OS X won't work with lossless movie codecs. It's just easier to pop the Bluray in a player and enjoy the full audio experience on the "big" movies. Even if you'd get it to work, Cinavia will get you eventually and ruin the experience.

    Hopefully you're not advocating copying/ripping discs you don't own, that would be in contravention of T&Cs here. I only copy some of my Blurays, mostly Dramas with little extravagant audio "action", the rest I play directly off the source.

    Final note, Handbrake is capable of reading DTS and transcoding it to AC3 for iTunes/AppleTV compliance.
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    That is the right way. HB will jettison the black borders, so output resolution will vary so that it is always framing the actual movie portion and leaving out any borders. When it plays back on your TV, the playback will put the borders back in place.

    It is not "getting lesser resolution", it's just not storing plain black bar data. It is storing what it needs to store to recreate the movie on your TV.

    This is an eye-of-the-beholder question with no single right answer. That is the default setting, chosen to be a balance between recreating quality and small file size. If you want smaller file sizes, experiment by sliding that up to 21 or 22 or so. That will throw out more details to yield smaller file sizes.

    If you want better quality, slide RF down to maybe 19 or so. Much below that becomes visual ("I can't see the difference") overkill. Some argue for settings as low as 16 or 17 for quality maximization. However, you pay for capturing more detail with bigger file sizes.

    It's not easy for non-pros to see differences between RF settings of 18 to 22 for typical movies. So it seems to come down to a perception of higher quality vs. a desire for smaller file sizes.

    Yes if you want a file that will play surround sound on an :apple:TV AND play stereo on other devices like iPads or iPhones. If you don't want surround sound, you might want to choose one of the other presets or switch that second audio track to "none".

    Note be careful about tweaking preset settings. If you are rendering for :apple:TV, use the appropriate :apple:TV preset and you should be fine.

    Maybe. Those can work. In that particular screen, I'd probably make an mkv that includes the TrueHD track too just to futureproof the mkv file. In that screen you could select ONLY the TrueHD track and let HB convert that to the audio formats for :apple:TV. But grabbing the native 5.1 surround sound track too doesn't have a big file size expense.
  4. tentales macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2010
    Unless somethings changed lately, it's a waste of time. TrueHD is basically lossless Dolby Digital, ie. AC3.
    If you already have the AC3 (DD5.1) soundtrack encoded on the disc, you're wasting CPU cycles re-encoding what's already there. In fact, in the past Handbrake had problems encoding TrueHD and got bogged down, maybe that's changed, I haven't tried it lately.

    For Futureproofing, I'd just keep the Bluray stored away for when you'll need to re-encode to the newer more efficient H.265 standard. Chances are, you'll be re-encoding for video codec reasons before audio.
  5. megaman90 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2015
    Thanks to the both of you for your help and advice, and to tentales I own my Blu-rays that I rip just to let it out there , Amazon has a lot of them for $5.00 and under new been buying plenty of my favorites to add to my library :) Thanks A lot guys!

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4 June 9, 2015