Forum Thread

Handbrake settings

slugbug 1,380 568 August 24, 2012 at 09:21 AM
I've been using Handbrake exclusively to compress my video files, ever since someone suggested it to me when I was having trouble doing what I wanted with Nero Recode about 8 months ago. I was curious what settings other folks had ended up with, and thought I'd share mine.

I came up with these after playing around a lot with various settings. I'm mostly focused on smaller file sizes, and have increased the file size to the point where we can't see any difference when watching from the couch. Any smaller, and we start to see artifacts/pixellation.

container: mp4
video filter: deinterlace slow
video codec: h.264
avg. bitrate: 660 kbps, 2 pass encoding
audio: drc: 2 gain:3

The video filter seems to get rid of jerkiness I get on some DVD's, and the audio settings take care of a problem I've seen on some movies/shows where the music is really loud, but talking very quiet. The gain setting boosts the overall audio so that I can hear it well, even on my laptop or systems with underpowered speakers.

Would anyone else care to share their settings, and why they selected the ones they are using? Thanks!



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Nicely done. Can you also comment on your hardware and approximate time to accomplish this?
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For most contemporary TV shows and movies, you should be using Inverse Telecine (IVTC or Detelecine) rather than Deinterlace. This results in a output of 23.976fps rather than 29.97fps.

I used to always encode at 1200kbps for SD video. I used 2-pass encoding and always kept the source resolution (720x480 for SD content) and then used anamorphic resizing in the video container (either mp4 or mkv) to get to the proper aspect ratio (4:3, 1.85:1, 16:9, 2.39:1, etc).

However, nowadays, I, personally, tend to go for Quality-based encoding for faster, single-pass encoding. Reason being that I was having trouble always maintaining consistent quality with the same data rate. Some movies or TV shows would have a LOT more video grain than others and would get really blocky at some rates that would be just fine for other shows. So, I usually use a quality rating in a range, and decide if the file size is good for me.

I don't burn CDs or DVDs with video on it anymore and I don't tend to keep movies I've encoded on my HDD for very long after I make an encode. I also don't worry about scene rules in terms of sizes, formats, etc. Moreover, HDD space is very cheap. So, I let my movies blow up to as large as I want and I leave it as-is until I watched the video and just delete it afterward.

When given 5.1 audio sources, I tend to use AC3 audio. For DVD sources, that usually means I don't encode the audio at all. For Blu-Ray sources, I tend to compress the audio from DTS-HD, Uncompressed PCM and E-AC3 sources down to 5.1 AC3 @ 448kbps regardless of whether the source is actually 6.1 or 7.1. I don't have a 6.1 or 7.1 system, so the extra channels are lost anyways.
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I don't do nearly as much encoding as I use to. I play most of my content these days on my Nexus 7 and used to be the Touchpad. The Scene has switched to h.264 encoding on new TV shows they put out so stuff plays on the tablets nativity without the need of conversion. It's pretty slick. I have even had pretty good luck with older xvid files.
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I just took normal settings and change compression to 23 and Audio Bit rate to 128
With older version I had 25 but I had to lower it to 23 with latest HB.

my command line template looks like this:
"'C:\Program Files (x86)\Handbrake\HandBrakeCLI.exe' -i '{source}' -t 1 -o '{destination}' -f mp4 --strict-anamorphic -e x264 -q 23 --vfr -a 1 -E faac -B 128 -6 dpl2 -R Auto -D 0 --gain=0 --audio-copy-mask none --audio-fallback ffac3 -x ref=1:weightp=1:subq=2:rc-lookahead=10:trellis=0:8x8dct=0 --verbose=0"/>

Can you post your sample command line?
I just want to compare file size and quality.
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Not much point in using two-pass with a fixed bitrate/size unless you want to put the thing on CD or DVD and max it out. Fixed/average bitrate will always use either too much bitrate or too little bitrate. Constant Quality uses just the right amount of bitrate and takes less time too.

I rarely use anamorphic due to having run into playback problems a couple or three times.

Unless a video has impressive sound, I usually just use 2-channel stereo AAC since if I play it on something portable it won't matter with little speakers, and if I play it on my home computer or HTPC the stereo can turn it into surround sound on the fly. Doesn't sound quite as good, but it's fine and saves some space. And AAC/mp3 tends to be more compatible on portables than AC3.
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There are guides out there on how to get the best quality with the lowest file size. If I can find one again, I'll post it. Most are written around the techniques used by the big time rippers who put out brray rips in 300mb sizes and still maintain a high quality image.
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