Question on Settings for Handbrake for converting files

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by hokiepokie07, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. hokiepokie07 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2009
    Right now, I am just using the default Apple TV 2 settings on the latest nightly build for Handbrake.

    I thought I read that the Framerate should be 25 or lower, however, this has it at 29.97 (NTSC Video). Should I change that to "Same as Source"?

    Also, should I change the quality to do Average bitrate:5000, and then click the 2-pass encoding, or keep it clicked on Constant Quality RF:20?

    I'm basically looking for the best quality possible for Apple TV. I'll probably use some of the same files for my iPhone and iPod, but I'll just use the Apple TV settings.

    Thanks for all the help.
  2. aelalfy macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Berlin, Germany
    Use iFlicks and save yourself the hassle. This will convert and tag stuff at the same time.

  3. hokiepokie07 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 20, 2009
    Thanks, but I am looking for advice on Handbrake.
  4. roidy macrumors 65816

    Dec 30, 2008
    Nottingham, UK
    Handbrake now has an option just under the framerate selector called Peak Framerate(VFR) which should be selected when using the ATV2 preset, this basically tells HB to use the framerate from the source (ie Same as source) but to never go above the framerate selected in the box above (ie 29.97fps). So in answer to your question, no leave it as the preset sets it.

    No, leave it on Constant Quality. The RF value will depend on the source, I find values of 21-20 work well for DVD and 19-18 for Blu-ray. The scale is actually backwards, lower numbers create larger better quality files, but it also depends on the quality of the source so some trial and error is needed to find a trade off between quality and filesize.
  5. Bad Cyborg, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011

    Bad Cyborg macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2006
    One would hope that people who answer questions should at least know the subject at hand before answering. iFlicks to which you refer is a movie organizer. It does not "convert stuff". See description.

    If you're still unsure what "convert" means after reading the description (which I hope isn't too much "hassle" for you), here's a page to guide you.

    As for threadstarter's question, here's a reference page for you. An important thing to be mindful of when you're ripping DVDs is 3:2 Pulldown, which in Handbrake's case is called Detelecine. This is where repeat frames are dropped so 29.97 becomes 23.976, which is the default for DVDrips found online. If you find any DVDrip to be in 25FPS, that means the source DVD is PAL, then the audio may be a little higher pitch, like speaking after inhaling helium. I find that a bit annoying so as a rule I always convert that back to 23.976.
  6. Busta999 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010

    I am mid rip of my collection of about 1,200 DVDs

    After some extensive testing I found:-

    Created my own Preset by starting with ATV2, then tweaking some bits:

    1. Set audio to always put AC3 - AC3 Pass Thru first then AC3 Stereo for iPads TVs in bedrooms etc that don't have surround sound. {Exception DTS then I pick Discrete 6 Channel then Stereo. I also include Director's Commentary

    2. I also add forced subtitles where Movie uses foreign language but I don't burn them in.

    3. I bump the RF to 18.

    4. Keep framerate as recorded

    5. I am not using 2 pass - 1 pass looks very good indeed

    6. On old movies I check they aren't padding movie with black bars so check cropping.

    7. I am including all DVD Extras over 4 minutes. {any less can't be that interesting and are probably Adverts, trailers for other movies or Copyright warnings - Yawn}

    8. I am naming the resultant file "Moviename [Year] DVD.m4v" so I can easily identify the rip as good quality later. DVD Extras have the word 'Extras x' at the end. I do it this way so A: Boxter/Plex can correctly identify the Movie and B: iFlicks ignores anything after a [Year] which speeds up the iFlicks stage.

    9. When ripped I drop the file into iFlicks - Flatten to Quicktime and Add to iTunes - iFlicks adds the meta data artwork etc and moves the file to it's final resting place and adds it to iTunes.

    10. If I get the energy I will open it with Subler with Chapter - Create Preview Images turned on in Preferences - it adds Chapter images that can be viewed on the ATV 2.

    Oh, up to you but I added three extra external DVD drives so i could q up 4 DVDs for ripping, which meant I only had to update the Mac every twelve hours instead of every three hours, ie it keeps the machine fully busy when I have to do other things like work sleep etc :)

    The DVD Extras I put in a folder with the Movie and call the folder the same name as the Movie.

    I think that is it.

    Good luck!!
  7. aelalfy, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011

    aelalfy macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Berlin, Germany
    Sorry man, One would hope that people who answer questions of people who already answered a question should at least know the subject at hand before answering. At least when you try to make yourself seem smart, get your facts straight. I convert everything using iFlicks. Not only do I find it easier to use and without hassle compared to handbrake, it actually does a very good job. Quality is barely changed (if at all), file size is either reduced or equal to the original file, and it tags everything instantly and adds it to itunes.

    I'll leave it at that, wont get worked up about it. I think you dissed yourself on your own, no need for me to get angry.

    P.S its this description that you are looking for, not the one above. Damn you are on fire man!!!

    Also if you didn't waste your time assuming everyone else on the internet was dumb, you could have put that effort into searching for the correct iFlicks. You know macrumors is full of people with brains you know, you aren't the only one (or from the looks of it, actually aren't). One actually with a degree in aerospace engineering, but ill let you figure out who that is.

  8. Busta999 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    Actually there are some problems with iFlicks (when converting file formats) and 5:1 AC3 soundtracks where is drops the AC3 component, Jendrick is looking into it.

    I only use iFlicks on videos with Stereo audio.
  9. aelalfy macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2010
    Berlin, Germany
    Yea I have heard about that. It seems that most of the files I have are only stereo anyways (downloaded files). I'll look to see if any files were originally 5.1. thanks for the heads up.

    which program do you use to read the info on files? I use VideoSpec.

    Also I'm in contact with Jendrick to update him with bug info on his beta version, his 768 beta is doing very well in some aspects but seems to have screwed up some other ones.

  10. Busta999 macrumors newbie

    Apr 15, 2010
    I am using Subler + QT Pro, I'll check out Videospec though

  11. DJRumpy macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2011
    Had to jump in here in case anyone else came across this topic. Using Constant Quality is a quick trade off for time. You can get a good quality encode, at the cost of file size. Depending on your goals, CQ can be a good choice if size isn't an issue. CQ will essentially throw whatever bitrate is needed to meet the quality setting you specify.

    That said, if you want a good profile for ATV2, then the default is a good baseline to start.

    For me personally, I have a very large BD collection so I tend to use 2-Pass. I also have a very large LCD screen (65") so noise is very noticeable. For BD sources, I tend to use 3500 for an average bitrate simply because mosquito noise on higher motion sources was too obvious to my eyes, but I've seen some people drop as low as 1500 for 720P sources.

    Video Codec: H.264
    Framerate: 23.976 (NTSC Film) (works for almost any BD or DVD film)
    Constant Framerate (Your FR typically won't change for a BD/DVD source)
    Average Bitrate: 3500
    2-pass encoding: Selected
    Turbo first pass: Selected

    HE-AAC (CoreAudio) (available with the latest nightly builds)
    6-channel discrete
    Samplerate: Auto
    Bitrate: 192

    Subtitles: User optional depending on source

    Reference Frames: 3 - 4
    Maximum B-Frames: 3 - 4
    CABAC Entropy Coding: Selected
    8x8 Transform: Selected
    Weighted P-Frames: Selected
    Pyramidal B-Frames: Default (Normal)
    Adaptive B-Frames: Optimal
    Adaptive Direct Mode: Default (Spatial) *
    Motion Estimation Method: Uneven Multi-Hexagon *
    Subpixel ME & Mode Decision: Default (7) *
    Motion Estimation Range: Default (16) *
    Partition Types: Default (most)
    Trellis: Default (Encode only)
    No DCT Decimation: Unchecked

    * These items can be increased for a speed hit. Note that the increases in quality compared to speed are not linear, meaning the higher you crank these, you get less and less improvement for the speed hit (diminishing returns)
  12. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Thanks for the above - I'll give it a try with a couple BD rips.

    What output resolution are you using? 1280 x whatever?
    What are your average file sizes like?
  13. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    Why use AAC 5.1? Last time I checked ATV can only decode it so something funky like left, centre, right, rear (mono); not full 5.1. That bitrate is exceedingly low too, at only 32kb/s per channel.
  14. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Its still the case. 6 channel aac sucks on the atvs. it ends up being basically 3.1.

    DPL2 would sound better and of course AC3 5.1 the best.
  15. dynaflash macrumors 68020

    Mar 27, 2003
    Personally for what its worth unless you really need to make sure a movie hits a given files size I can see no intelligent reason to use Average Bitrate. Why choose some arbitrary bitrate to try to get decent quality when that number varies so greatly from source to source ?

    Some sources it will look decent at a reasonable file size but some will have way to much bitrate for what is required and others will have too little bitrate. This is exactly what crf (constant rate factor) also referred to as Constant Quality encoding is designed to avoid. The x264 encoder in hb is extremely efficient and accurate in this regard. Personally I don't know of any serious video encoder dev that is using Average Bitrate unless as I said above they for some reason need to accurately predict the output file size.

    I suggest staying with Constant Quality and if you want it a bit better bump it up (the slider) a bit which as was mentioned above will lower the rate factor number (its kinda like golf, a lower score is better from a quality perspective).

    So as an example the hb built in presets use an rf of 20. For dvd's I prefer 19 ... for blu rays around 22 - 23.
    Just my .02. :)
  16. DJRumpy, Jul 27, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011

    DJRumpy macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2011
    I use Plex for my HTPC on a Mac Mini using the built in SPDIF optical out. Plex converts AAC to AC3 on the fly. Works perfectly with any AC3 compliant tuner. As for the Apple TV's, I just use much more simple setups for those as they are used primarily in bedrooms and such and they also typically use the built in speakers so dropping to stereo is a non-issue for me. If you want you can always include an additional 5.1 AC3 or Dolby track for those who need them.

    Average file sizes range from 2.5-4 GB depending on the length of the movie (These are for 720P encodes or a max pixel width of 1280). I noticed a large amount of mosquito noise when dropping closer to 1500 for bitrate. I've also used a Max of 5 B-Frames but haven't done any evaluations yet to see if it's worth it. Most encodings typically use less than 5. Finding the sweet spot depends on your setup, noise reduction settings, display size, etc. In my case, I have a large 65" LED display so flaws and compression artifacts are pretty noticeable below 2000Kbps. 2500 - 3500 is noticeably better.

    For DVD encodes, I drop the bitrate to 2000 and up the Deblocking to 1 an 1 for strength and threshold. Seems to give excellent results. Those tend to range from 1 to 2 GB in size.

    Of course all of the above will play fine on an ATV2.
  17. clbobman macrumors newbie

    Jul 27, 2013
    Is your RF a little high?

    Just wondering , very new to this game but note you have some really good advice..I thought that maybe your RF was a little high though (which is very confusingly, actually a lower number right?. Am I wrong?

    quoting from handbrake "See, DVDs use lossy compression to squeeze down the raw video the studios use to make them -- sort of like a quality level of RF 20. It throws away detail. When HandBrake uncompresses the video prior to conversion, the quality lost when the DVD was made is still gone. When you use RF 0 quality with x264, you're telling it to losslessly preserve the decoded, uncompressed video feed, not to losslessly preserve the DVD. Both have the same picture quality, but the uncompressed feed takes up a lot more space.

    To sum up: when converting from a DVD source, there is no reason to go above an RF of ~19, which is roughly equivalent to how heavily the DVD is compressed. If you do go higher, your output will be larger than your input!"

    I assume this means that it is better to have an RF like 20 which is of lower quality that RF 19.. Why did they not just reorientate the mathematical function to make a low number correspond to a low quality ...?

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