Best Video Format
#1
Question 
Hi All,

I want to convert my DVD's to flat files so I can store on my hard drive. I want to know which is the best video format to convert to (including any specific settings). I have a big plasma tv and want to retain the high quality screen resolution and audio quality. Storage is not an issue as I have a Qnap SAN.

Which software do you recommend?
e.g.

Handbrake
MakeMKV

or is something else better to use?
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#2
Try MakeMKV - and for SD conversion its free - no encoding - just true 1:1 rips.
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#3
I have looked at MakeMKV. Looks straight forward and easy. As you said, it is free for Standard Definition. Are there any other options?
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#4
I'd recommend HandBrake for ripping to h.264 if you prefer to save a bit more file space. You can get rips that are indistinguishable from the original DVD with file sizes of ~2 GB.
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#5
Yokozuna Wrote:I have looked at MakeMKV. Looks straight forward and easy. As you said, it is free for Standard Definition. How much quality do you lose going Standard Def. on a big screen? Are there any other options?

I also noticed through testing, MakeMKV created some 12 x .mkv files from a DVD I just ripped. Can you make it just create one single file?
it will rip all video files (main feature, extras etc), so the number of these will determine how many potential files you get. Just choose which ones you want and the Audio, subs options, save to a suitably named folder and your ready to go.

There is no loss in quality as you are ripping, not encoding and the visual quality will depend - as with all things - on the quality of the source. I watch both SD and HD content on a 50" Plasma and while there is an obvious difference, watching SD content is fine.
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#6
Handbrake is great for H.264 encoding. I use it set to High Profile, RF 19 for DVD (RF 18 for BD), Pass Through for audio formats.
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#7
Thumbs Up 
Handbrake Settings

I found the...
- Video Codec H.264 (x264) on the Video tab
- Constant Quality RF:19 on the same Video tab
- AC3 Passthru Audio Codec on the Audio tab


Do you output to MKV or MP4 format?
Can you please send me your preset file of the settings you use in Handbrake so I can import and try?
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#8
+1 for handbrake, encoding to MKV

I found it surprisingly easy to use. h264 at constant quality 19, with passthru audio (whether it's AC3 or DTS) works great. Especially if you are ripping multi audio channels from the DVD (directors commentary, different languages, subs etc) it gives you lots of easy options for defaults etc. And MKV seems to be completely standard with XBMC and other media players, right down to changing subtitles and audio channels etc. And I'm hoping that MKV will survive into the future as a "standard" home cinema format.

I'm just still not too sure what to do with Bonus material off the DVDs.
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#9
MidnightWatcher Wrote:Handbrake is great for H.264 encoding. I use it set to High Profile, RF 19 for DVD (RF 18 for BD), Pass Through for audio formats.

I am not sure if you meant to say that for Blu-Ray encoding, RF should be set to 18.

This section below is taken from Handbrake User Guide located at https://trac.handbrake.fr/wiki/ConstantQuality

x264 Recommended Quality RF Values

The Quality slider ranges from (Low Quality) 51 to 0 (High Quality) For good quality output at reasonable file sizes, the following values are recommended:

Standard Definition (e.g DVD's)
Use an RF value of around 20 +/- 1

High Definition (e.g Blurays 720/1080)
Use an RF value of 22 +/- 1


I would think that using an RF value of 18 for Blu-Rays would create massive file without discernable improvements to picture quality. In that case, may as well use MakeMKV to just rip the movie.

I personally use RF 21 for Blu-Ray and set the Width to 1280 in the Picture tab (set Anamorphic to Loose to be able to change the values). This gives me a file 2-3.5 Gb in size at 720p. Hope this helps
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#10
If as you state in your OP that 'storage is not an issue' why bother wasting hours of computer time encoding, when a rip will take approx 20 mins Huh
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#11
Smile 
I have decided to go with creating my movie content in MKV format.

I have about 8TB of available storage on a QNAP device so as you say, why worry about trying to trim the file size to save storage space and waste hours encoding each movie!

The decision really comes down to what your application needs are and what you want to do!

If you only want to carry the content on a portable USB drive or on your laptop hard drive and use your laptop as your output display device in a hotel room during your travels, then the output size/resolution will be be less than if you want to display on your big fat plasma in your lounge room!

MakeMKV is very straight forward to use.

However, I noticed that after I ripped the movie, the sub-titles are automatically displaying when viewing in XBMC. Is there a setting in XBMC that I need to switch-off?
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#12
I use DVDFab - quick, easy and free with the option to rip the full movie or just the main movie.

If you rip the full movie then it will copy the menu screen and all the extras on the DVD.
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#13
Yokozuna Wrote:However, I noticed that after I ripped the movie, the sub-titles are automatically displaying when viewing in XBMC. Is there a setting in XBMC that I need to switch-off?

Press M during playback to bring up the OSD, select audio settings, subtitles off and save as default.
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#14
Thanks T800. Worked a treat!

Cooksy, DVDFab is not free!
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#15
Someone mentioned that MakeMKV is free for DVD.
If you go on the MakeMKV forum you can get a free registration code to use while it is still in beta so you can use all functionality.
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