Reports on ripping with H.264

Discussion in 'macOS' started by supergod, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. supergod macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    I've had Tiger for the better part of the week, but I've just now gotten around to seeing what Quicktime 7.0 is made of. I got the pro version yesterday and also, Handbrake, a really good DVD ripping program, went Tiger compatible yesterday. I needed to rip a copy of my DVD for The Motorcycle Diaries to my comp for an assignment, so I thought I would try using x264 codec to incode the file as an Mpeg4 H.n264 and AAC, all of this on my 1.6ghz Power Mac G5.
    The result?... Still waiting. I'm done my first pass, which took all night, and now there are a few hours remaining on my second pass. I've been averageing a little under 5fps, and this is with no apps running and handbrake minimized most of the time and all background processes turned off.
    I was expecting to get a low fps encode, but this is simply slow. I can normally encode with divX and similar codecs at 20 + fps, so this is a big hit. I'm hoping the quality is worth it, as I'm leaving the file as 1.25 gigs and hope to see (near) DVD quality for that size.

    In a few hours when all is done I will report back with my analysis of the quality of the final file. In the meantime, something has become readily apparent to me: if Apple expects H.264 to take off the same way that AAC has, they will have to provide an external machine for encoding it. It's as simple as that. There is no way most people will be ripping H.264 anytime soon unless they either have (A), Xserves running full throttle to do so, or (B), some kind of set-top box, designed by Apple, that is dedicated to ripping the format. Rumors have said that Apple would use a Cell processor in a machine like this, but that seems very far out to me. Who know: maybe Sony will release their own machine for ripping H.264 (for an exhorbitant price, of course)... after all, aren't they using the format for Bluray?
  2. shidoshi macrumors regular

    Jun 28, 2004
    I tried using Handbrake yesterday on a 30 second clip from a DVD. (No way in hell my machine would do H.264 encoding for anything longer in any decent amount of time.)

    I tried ripping the clip both with the "regular" MPEG4 option in Handbrake (I think it uses 3vix), and the H.264 option, using the same bitrate. (Once at 1000, once at 500.) The results that I got were that the regular MPEG4 encoded file looked better.

    Because of this, I'm curious to see what results other people get. I don't know if my machine is too slow to encode H.264 properly, if the source material plays a biggere difference with H.264, if Handbrake's H.264 encoder just sucks, if I need to find the "sweet spot" for bitrate and the like settings, or what.
  3. Jmitch macrumors member

    Jun 23, 2004

    That's interesting. I too myself have a old G3 machine. There's no way in hell I'm going to be doing anything with H.264 until I get myself a new machine. But I am very intruiged and am eager to see what this thing can do. In fact my machine won't even give me the option to use the H.264 encoder. At least it's smart enough to know what its limits are! :rolleyes:
  4. supergod thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Finished encoding. Came out as 1.18gigs. This is coming from a DVD around 2 hours or so in length. The final quality was near perfect with absolutely no artifacts. The colors and lines looked a bit blurrier than DVD but otherwise the image quality was amazing: much better than divX.
  5. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    DVD MPEG2 streams typically average 4.5 to 5 Mbps for a 2 hour feature film. With H.264, you can get the same visual quality encoded at 1.5 to 2 Mbps or roughly a third to half the bitrate. This is great because encoding at 4 - 6 Mbps for a HD video (1280x720@24), you can get 90 to 120 minutes of HD quality on a DVD. This almost negates the need for HD-DVD.

    Or an entire season of a TV show can fit onto one DVD encoded in H.264. That would save a lot of money for distributors.
  6. supergod thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    I am incoding at a much lower bitrate than 2mbs, around 1200 k/s and the image is just phenomenal. I'll post some screen grabs I took of The Motorcycle Diaries, encoded in H.264 using Handbrake, running on my 20" display. If you see any artifacts, they're only because I had to scale down the file to fit 100k (scaled down from 1mb)

    /Users/michaelgoodbaum/Desktop/Picture 1.png

    Attached Files:

  7. Heb1228 macrumors 68020


    Feb 3, 2004
    Virginia Beach, VA

    I've been playing with H.264 a little now and I agree with most of the comments on this post so far. Incredibly SLOW! I've got a 1.33 g4 chip and 1GB of RAM so my machine isn't the fastest out there but its not slow either.

    BUT the quality is excellent, I think better than DVD (I'm encoding from an HD clip) quality at 2.0 Mb/s, I'm trying the same clip again at about 1.5. I'll write back with results.
  8. Phat_Pat macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2004
    I Live Where I Live
    H.264 requires a very powerful computer because of the quality. In fact these are apples offical specs for it.

    QuickTime 7 System Requirements for Mac OS X

    * 400 MHz Power PC G3 or faster Macintosh computer
    * At least 128MB of RAM
    * Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later

    Recommended Hardware Configurations for H.264 High Definition (HD) Playback

    To play high definition video, a large amount of data must be processed by your computer. A powerful system will deliver the best playback experience.
    For 1280x720 (720p) video at 24-30 frames per second:

    * 1.8 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer
    * At least 256 MB of RAM
    * 64 MB or greater video card

    For 1920x1080 (1080p) video at 24-30 frames per second:

    * Dual 2.0 GHz PowerMac G5 or faster Macintosh computer
    * At least 512 MB of RAM
    * 128 MB or greater video card

  9. supergod thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2004
    Yeah, my Power Mac is only the 1.6ghz, but could it be possible I get the equivalent performance because I have a radeon 9600 pro and 1 gig of Ram? Also, the radeon is overclocked 25%. If not then maybe they're just being very conservative with their estimates. While my comp may be too slow for ripping (twelve plus hours is outrageous), it can definitely view HD nicely.
  10. jtsimler3 macrumors member


    Jun 24, 2004
    Austin, TX
    I'm just curious as to what settings you all are ripping in. Where it says video, do you adjust the settings using the target size, bitrate, or constant quality?

    I'm trying to rip my Family Guy DVDs, and found that using the constant quality at 50% setting, the video looks incredibly good, and I have no clue why. When I rip it at 1000kbps, it gets blurry during "busy" moments. That doesn't make sense to me. Everyone else is saying they're getting phenomenal picture at 1000kbps. Not only that, doing it at 1000kbps is a larger file size than at 50%.

    To make matters more confusing, feature films seem to be the opposite. The 50% setting looks pretty awful. Yet 1200-1500kbps looks a lot better.

    I don't know.

Share This Page