One Handbrake setting to rule them all (Apple TV 2, iPad, iPhone 4)?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by wlow3, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. wlow3 macrumors regular

    Sep 9, 2008
    It use to be that one would have to encode using different settings for each device. I think the iPhone 4, Apple TV 2 and iPad all now handle 720p (even if they don't actually display at that resolution).

    Can someone suggest one complete Handbrake encoding setting that will give the best result on Apple TV 2 (connected to a 1080i 32" TV) yet still work fine on iPad or iPhone 4?

    (I'm also trying to simplify things for my parents who have a iPad and soon an Apple TV 2 but no iPhone, so if there is a different setting for that situation that would be good to know -- one that would also be optimal for iPad to Apple TV 2 AirPlay streaming, if that makes a difference.)

  2. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    I use the High profile preset. the only thing i change is turn off all the filters and set the RF to 18.

    Plays on iPad iPhone Apple TV iPod Touch..

    Quality is superb.
  3. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    Turning off the filters... What is the pro/con of doing this. Does it look better without or are you doing to save space or have it play smoothly?
  4. doboy macrumors 68020

    Jul 6, 2007
    I also wonder. One thing for sure is that turning off filters should speed up the encoding.
  5. BlackMangoTree macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2010
    Picture Settings
    The Picture Settings Inspector lets change how your video will look. It has two tabs, Size and Filters, as well as a button to bring up the Preview Window.


    The size tab deals with the dimensions of the video, as well as the closely related matters of cropping and anamorphic encoding.

    Width and Height

    The width and height boxes allow you to control the pixel resolution of the encoded video. The steppers increment up and down by increments of 16.

    Keep aspect ratio

    When Keep Aspect Ratio is checked, HandBrake will link the height and width so that the picture is never distorted from its original aspect ratio.


    Sometimes, movies have black lines on the sides. To get rid of the them, you crop the picture. HandBrake does this automatically. It chooses how to crop pretty well, but sometimes it doesn't catch everything. If this is the case, click the Custom cropping radio button. This will enable the 4 numerical fields below arranged in a T-shape. Each field controls the cropping for the corresponding side of the picture. The steppers increment by 2, because cropping works best with even numbers.

    Anamorphic (PAR)

    When this is enabled, HandBrake will encode anamorphically. giving you a bigger picture.

    There are three different ways of doing anamorphic in HandBrake: strictly, loosely, and custom. In strict mode, the full resolution of the DVD is preserved exactly. As a result, the picture dimensions will be locked and the "Keep aspect ratio" box will be dimmed out. Loose mode will tweak the dimensions slightly so they divide evenly by 16, and allows scaling the width of the stored video. Custom mode is just that -- all settings are configurable by the user. When it is enabled, extra controls appear in the inspector.


    Video filters run over a source before it is encoded, to correct different kinds of problems with their video content.


    From the Detelecine menu, select Default or Custom to enable inverse telecine. Hard telecining is commonly found only on TV shows and animation, but it's usually harmless to leave the filter on all the time. The duplicate frames left over from the filter process are discarded, and the frame rate varies to make up for them. If you do not want the frame rate to vary, set a constant frame rate instead of using "Same as source." It will duplicate or drop frames as necessary to make up the difference.

    When you select Custom, a text field will appear to allow you to enter parameters directly into the detelecine filter.

    Decomb / Deinterlace

    A slider bar toggles between controls for the decomb filter and the deinterlacing filter. Both filters handle deinterlacing, and only can be used at a time.


    If you see combing or mouse teeth (horizontal lines) in the preview images, you should apply deinterlacing.

    But deinterlacing is slow and reduces picture quality. And a lot of the time it isn't necessary. And it's not always easy to know a video is interlaced just from looking at previews. And then you waste a bunch of time deinterlacing frames in interlaced video that don't even show combing, slowing down your encode.

    Wouldn't it be nice you could tell HandBrake to just deinterlace a frame if it's interlaced?

    That's what Decomb does. It should be safe to leave it on all the time with a setting of Default. By selecting Custom, a text field will appear where you can directly set the decomb filter parameters.


    If you see combing or teeth (horizontal lines) in the preview images, choose a method from the Deinterlace pop-up menu. If that makes the lines go away, keep it enabled. For a fuller explanation, see the Deinterlacing Guide.

    Be aware that there is no difference in the previews no matter which deinterlacing method you choose. Single frame previews can only be filtered by "Fast." Even though you can't tell a difference from what happens to the still previews, fast deinterlacing seriously reduces picture quality compared to the slow methods, while the slow deinterlacing methods will seriously reduce your encoding speeds compared to the fast method.

    If you don't see horizontal lines, and enabling deinterlacing doesn't seem to improve the picture in the previews, disable it. You're better off leaving it disabled except when it's absolutely needed, because it will slow down encoding times and reduce picture quality for any frame that is not interlaced.

    "Fast deinterlacing" is the FFmpeg project's internal deinterlacer, avpicture_deinterlace. "Slow" and "Slower" are yadif, from the MPlayer project.


    Select a strength from the Denoise pop-up menu to remove excess grain or noise from a video. This can sometimes be useful to improve quality or reduce bitrate. HandBrake uses a high quality denoiser that works both spatially within a frame and temporally across frames. Still, be aware that denoising, by nature, loses detail from an image.

    "Custom" will allow you to enter parameters for the denoise filter in a text field.
    "Weak" is acceptable for general use. Too much denoising kills the picture quality, "Weak" only gives it a bloody nose.
    "Medium" will leave behind some artifacts (a little blocking) but is still useful for many more difficult sources.
    "Strong" should only be used on animation -- especially simple cartoons or cheaply produced anime.
    Note that because the denoiser works across frames, it is not possible to see its effects in the preview frames presented on the Picture Settings sheet.

    Denoise is a filter from MPlayer, called hqdn3d.


    Deblock will smooth away blocking and other artifacts from low quality sources. The further the slider moves to the right, the more intensely it smooths away detail.

    Deblock is a post-processing filter from the MPlayer project, called pp7.


    Check this box to strip color from the video, or with sources that are black and white to begin with.
  6. doboy macrumors 68020

    Jul 6, 2007
    Thanks for the awesome writeup. Guess there is no magic formula.
  7. Mr Kram macrumors 68020

    Mr Kram

    Oct 1, 2008
    there is no magic formula. i use the ATV setting with an advanced string provided on the handbrake forums. it works well for me. be careful about turning off filters. i always set mine to decomb just in case there is some random interlacing and i do deinterlace if i know that the source contains a lot of interlacing - mainly older tv shows (sesame street) :)
  8. canyonblue737 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 10, 2005
    BlackMangoTree that was incredibly useful. Thank you so much!
  9. Frosticus macrumors 6502a


    Oct 4, 2010
    Bristol, UK
    file sizes..?

    What's the average size of a movie ripped using the high profile setting?

    I'm trying to work out my future storage needs if I start ripping my DVD/BD collection and knowing this would really help

  10. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    I have never come across a Blu Ray that needed to be deinterlaced. They are always 1080p not 1080i so it makes sense that you should turn it off. Besides, I don't see anything all the filters do that your tv isn't capable of doing itself on the fly. TVs were made to do deinterlacing, detelecining, denoising, grayscaling, and etc. If not automatically, they do so by a setting.

    Correct me if I am wrong???
  11. peterjcat macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2010
    In Region B areas there are a few Blu-ray movies or TV shows that are interlaced (at 1080i50) for whatever reason, and even in Region A I think there's are some concert Blu-rays etc that are interlaced. But you're right, it's hardly ever necessary for Blu-ray material.

    I sometimes use a light denoise filter on particularly grainy films just to stop the file size from blowing out. Also TVs aren't very good at all at deinterlacing material that doesn't come from standard resolutions, or arrives at the TV in a progressive format, as would happen with a 480i file displayed at 720p by the Apple TV -- in that kind of scenario I would rather get it right with Handbrake than hope that the TV could disentangle everything.
  12. Mike Oxard macrumors 6502a

    Mike Oxard

    Oct 22, 2009
    I don't know if you are wrong, but I do know I've had encodes that look like they are interlaced. Re-doing the conversion with the Decomb filter set to default has sorted this out.

    I seem to remember someone saying that setting the decomb filter on is basically free as it will only come into effect if needed, if it's not needed then it doesn't add any time to the conversion. Not sure if I understood this right, but I always set it to on now anyway.
  13. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Well now it also depends on what you are viewing it on. This is where an LCD monitor is different from a real tv. I might be wrong but I don't think computer monitors are capable of deinterlacing and detelicining. It might be done by a software program while playing the video (like Quicktime or Eyetv) or some box attached to the LCD (like a Tivo) but not the LCD itself. So you might have had deinterlacing turned off or maybe the software playing the video just wasn't very good at deinterlacing. On a modern traditional tv (which do a very good job at deinterlacing), the results would probably have looked a lot better.
  14. MrMister111 macrumors 68020

    Jan 28, 2009
    Can I ask what the advanced string you use is please? theres a few knocking about. Also what does the advanced string do for the Apple TV preset in HB? speed it up? slow it down for better quality etc?


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