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Handbrake MP4 conversion.

Last Impressions

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Afternoon.

I want to convert my 17GB Bluray file down to around 8GB without losing too much quality. I have played around with the settings in handbrake but keep getting finished files at around 3GB even though i keep the bitrate high. Any suggestions please?

Thanks
 

addiesin

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Not sure why that would happen. Let's try some troubleshooting?

First with Handbrake, make sure you've changed the default variable frame rate to match source file frame rate, every time. Not related to your problem but I've seen lots of new users skip over that or don't notice it.

Is the 3gb file playable? If not there might be something wrong with the source file or with your installed version of Handbrake.

The quality settings allow a few different options. RF value I think is lower for higher quality and higher for lower quality. Bitrate should be self explanatory. Can you post screenshots of your Handbrake video setting tab?
 

TM2YC

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Sometimes films seem to inherently take up less space than others because they have less grain, less diverse colours, less movement etc. So '90 minute film A' might be 6gb and '90 minute film B' might be 12gb on the same settings but 3GB seems low to hit that kind of issue.

What happens if you render at '0/lossless'? and what values are you typically going for? also how long is the film and at what resolution and aspect-ratio. 3gb could be perfectly fine depending on what you are working with.
 

Malthus

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Last Impressions said:
Afternoon.

I want to convert my 17GB Bluray file down to around 8GB without losing too much quality. I have played around with the settings in handbrake but keep getting finished files at around 3GB even though i keep the bitrate high. Any suggestions please?

Thanks

For what it's worth Thor was 30gb and it reduced it to 4.75gb. The quality looks fine. I always use fast 1080p30 and then manually select the frame rate. RF set to 20.
 

Last Impressions

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Thanks for your help.

The film is 1hr 43 minutes so not overly long...and my 3GB file looks fine on my 22" monitor - i will test it on my TV. I may keep the option of downloading the 3GB file for anyone who has bandwith limits set by their IP. I am also trying to make an 8GB file available as per this conversation. 

I have just started a conversion process using these settings - with RF set at 23 and Frame rate @ 23.976 same as the source and bit rate of 15000 - lets see what happens. Handbrake loves eating your cores...so i have disabled 2 using the set infinity in task manager. At least this will enable me to get on with some work whilst i wait.

RWqsuNL.png
 

Last Impressions

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Thanks for your help - i managed to get a good quality 8.5GB file rendered with a bitrate of 12500.
 

DigModiFicaTion

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I'm going to have to sit down and read these posts carefully. I've never had positive results from handbrake. Most likely a user error.
 

addiesin

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DigModiFicaTion said:
I'm going to have to sit down and read these posts carefully. I've never had positive results from handbrake. Most likely a user error.

I don't have the program open in front of me so this is from memory and the screenshot posted.
For you for later, and for anyone else who needs it:
  1. Open Handbrake, it should look something like this.
  2. Click "Open Source" button and navigate to your source file OR drag your source file onto this area of the interface, and release.
  3. (Optional) Choose an output preset to start from (this will choose settings that are mostly reliable, but specific settings can be altered manually in the tabs). Change the output name or path.

    Tabs:
    Summary
  4. Confirm the file format you want to output in the the Format drop-down. MP4 is a popular choice.
  5. Leave the checkboxes here alone pretty much, web optimization off, AV synch on, iPod 5G support off (or on, IDC).

    Dimensions
  6. You can pretty much set this to auto and it will try to crop the black bars and keep the correct aspect ratio, or you can change the values to custom values if you see the auto attempt is going to do something stupid, like crop out the sides because the movie starts with a 4:3 segment or something. Just check it, it's probably fine but sometimes it's not.
  7. You can also resize here, for example you can use a1080p source but encode a 720p option by changing the dimensions to accommodate, it does a pretty good job of shrinking

    Filters
  8. This has the ability to do some deinterlacing and decombing and some other things, and by default some of this stuff is set to be in automatically, I don't think it changes your video for the worse if it's already progressive and not interlaced but I always turn it off for Blu-ray sourced film footage.

    Video
  9. Frame rate. Change the frame rate to match source. I don't know why this isn't the default, but variable frame rate is not a good idea.
  10. Quality version 1: RF. Nobody knows what RF stands for, by which I mean I personally don't know, but you can use these numbers to estimate the quality you want your output to be. It's weird, and imprecise IMO but if you experiment a little apparently this method gives slightly better quality per file size. Try 18 to start, then 23. That's a large file and a smaller file respectively, compare them with each other and
  11. Quality version 2: Bit Rate. You can manually tweak the bit rate, use a constant rate you set, or a variable bit rate with an average you set and a higher cap you also set, to squeeze some quality into lower size files. Test at approximately 4000kb/s to 16000kb/s to see the basic smaller and larger sizes. The smaller is fine for sharing clips and the larger is better for a delivery format.
  12. There are other things to look at too. If you choose the bitrate side you can let it do 2 passes which takes longer but again is squeezing out slightly higher quality for less size.
  13. At the bottom of this tab you can change the speed of the encode to be slower, which will also increase the quality.

    Audio
  14. This tab will automatically detect valid audio from your source, but you can add more tracks or choose the default track or remove audio altogether.
  15. You also set the output format and audio bitrate here. By default I believe it will convert to stereo badly. Make sure if you want stereo, it's stereo before it gets to handbrake. If you want surround, make sure you choose an audio format that supports it (AAC I think).

    Subtitles and Chapters
  16. Mess with these if you would like to. I usually do not.

    Then...
  17. Hit the program's Start button and wait for it to encode. You're done. You broke hand successfully.

    This has been my basic tutorial on Handbrake.

Edit: fixed some typos, added some more details.
 

Moe_Syzlak

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addiesin said:
[*] Frame rate. Change the frame rate to match source. I don't know why this isn't the default, but variable frame rate is not a good idea.

This is the key I think. I used to have a lot of issues with Handbrake until I was told to do this. I agree with you that it should be the default.
 

Last Impressions

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Confirm the file format you want to output in the the Format drop-down. MP4 is a popular choice.
 I also suggest that you change M4V which seems to be the default. You can do this manually by erasing M4V and typing .MP4

5SKRFNO.jpg
 

Malthus

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Last Impressions said:
I also suggest that you change M4V which seems to be the default. You can do this manually by erasing M4V and typing .MP4

Absolutely. The program itself is fantastic but some of its defaults are rather unusual. Have you done a comparison between the 8gb and the 3gb files? Is there a noticeable difference?
 

Captain Khajiit

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addiesin said:
Frame rate. Change the frame rate to match source. I don't know why this isn't the default, but variable frame rate is not a good idea.
It's almost certainly the default because Handbrake is using lavf or ffms as the demultiplexer and can't supply this input without programming a diagnostic phase that makes reasonable assumptions based on metadata.  Try Hybrid for a more intelligent front-end to x264.
addiesin said:
Quality version 1: RF. Nobody knows what RF stands for, by which I mean I personally don't know, but you can use these numbers to estimate the quality you want your output to be. It's weird, and imprecise IMO but if you experiment a little apparently this method gives slightly better quality per file size.
It stands for "rate factor" and is precise as you are likely to get with quality-based encoding.  But if the OP wants a certain file-size (for some reason), it would be better to use a bitrate calculator and perform a 2-pass VBR encoding.  But unless authoring a disc is in view, experimenting with a lower CRF value is more likely what is needed.  As you say, 18 is a good starting point.
 

addiesin

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Thanks, Cap.

I can't prove to you it's the default, I wrote the above from memory and I'm a little dizzy on presets (and haven't looked at Handbrake since to be able to confirm) but to my knowledge I've had to change the frame rate setting in that drop-down every time. I have also had to walk two of my coworkers through the same problem/solution. I don't know what to tell you except to try it out.

Thanks for the info on RF. I meant imprecise in the sense that it's not totally self explanatory for a new Handbrake user, so it's guesswork what the numbers mean until one tests for oneself. It can feel like you're not being precise by choosing a number willy-nilly. I'm sure the software itself is very precise.
 

Captain Khajiit

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Sorry, addiesin.  I recast the sentence about the default setting for frame-rate and forgot to remove the word "not".  Read my post again, and it'll make sense now. :)
 

addiesin

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Captain Khajiit said:
Sorry, addiesin.  I recast the sentence about the default setting for frame-rate and forgot to remove the word "not".  Read my post again, and it'll make sense now. :)

I see now. Thanks for revising. :)
 
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