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[XBOX] HOW-TO use Handbrake on Mac OS X to encode H.264 videos for the Xbox
#1
Wiki page with screenshots and details: HOW-TO use Handbrake on Mac to encode H.264 videos for the Xbox

Spinoff from this thread: New Handbrake doesn't like XBMC for xbox?

First of all, I have a Mac, so this guide is about using Handbrake on a Mac.

This should still work on Handbrake for Windows or Linux, I'm sure people will let me know.

Tools:

VLC - Site
or direct download for 64 Bit Mac Build 1.0.2 here

Handbrake - Site

Extras:

Hanbrake Preset: Here

Info:

For this encoding process I have prioritised video quality over file size.

This is for encoding DVD sources to be used on the original xbox running xbmc. It uses the x264 codec so bitrate and advanced options have to be set specifically to allow it to run on old hardware.

This is for use with AC3 or DTS passthrough. You can try it with MP3 or AAC audio, but no guarantees as this will require CPU for decoding.

Basically, download VLC and Handbrake. Install them. On the Mac I would recommend running the 64 bit VLC build.

Download the Handbrake Preset and import it into Handbrake.

Load your source into Handbrake. You can rip straight from DVD using Handbrake, or load DVD images you have ripped previously with your ripper of choice.

Make sure you have xbox-x264 preset selected.

Make sure container is MKV. Audio is AC3 or DTS Passthrough. Don't mess with the advanced settings.

You should be able to leave your picture size at whatever Handbrake selects for the source. Make sure Anamorphic is off.

You can set chapter markers and set up subtitles if you so wish.

Press start and wait.

The only caveat here is 4:3 sources. I haven't had any to test with, so you may want to do a single chapter encode first to make sure it plays nicely with the xbox. (and let me know if it does, I'll update the guide)

16:9 and 2.35:1 Aspect Ratios should be fine.

Okay, it's late here, so I may have left out some bits, if I have, let me know, and I'll modify the guide. I'm looking for all feedback, good or bad. The more I get the better it is for everyone.

This is not going to be the greatest quality encodes, it will not be the smallest file sizes, nor will it be the fastest. But it is a good trade off between the three, and you can do it natively on a Mac!

Enjoy.

If I have helped you in any way, please forgive me, it was entirely accidental.
#2
Thank you, Cranial!
I'm going to try it as soon as possibile!
#3
Sweet. I've been waiting for this. Should help me reclaim about 1Tb of disk space currently used by DVD images. Thanks!
#4
Thanks for your hard work, Cranial. As an owner of two Xboxes, this is very useful!

One question: what does VLC have to do with the process? Is it used as the default background decrypter?
#5
Cranial thanks for all your hard work, im gonna try it out now. Just a quick question tho, say im doing a tv show will lowering the quality a little also lower the file size? or will it just increase something else to compensate?

EDIT: Tried out the new preset, in one word Awesome! The quality is amazing compared to the last, encoding times are less than halved, but you are right the file sizes are a bit bigger. I lowered the quality to 59.31 just for tv shows and they still look better than previously. Thanks again cranial.
#6
fritzk3 Wrote:Thanks for your hard work, Cranial. As an owner of two Xboxes, this is very useful!

One question: what does VLC have to do with the process? Is it used as the default background decrypter?

VLC is the background decryptor. Unless Handbrake has it's own libraries now. I'll have to check on that one. I've always had VLC so never had to check.

If I have helped you in any way, please forgive me, it was entirely accidental.
#7
umirza85 Wrote:Cranial thanks for all your hard work, im gonna try it out now. Just a quick question tho, say im doing a tv show will lowering the quality a little also lower the file size? or will it just increase something else to compensate?

EDIT: Tried out the new preset, in one word Awesome! The quality is amazing compared to the last, encoding times are less than halved, but you are right the file sizes are a bit bigger. I lowered the quality to 59.31 just for tv shows and they still look better than previously. Thanks again cranial.

I'm glad it's working well. You can lower % (raise RF) to suit your needs. You can go either way actually, as I've set a max bitrate cap in the advanced settings so you won't crap out the xbox CPU.

If I have helped you in any way, please forgive me, it was entirely accidental.
#8
Cranial Wrote:... I've set a max bitrate cap in the advanced settings so you won't crap out the xbox CPU.

Just curious how this works say if i set that I want my file to be a certain size as opposed to a %? will it just try keep the highest bitrate while keeping the file to the size i want it to be?
#9
umirza85 Wrote:Just curious how this works say if i set that I want my file to be a certain size as opposed to a %? will it just try keep the highest bitrate while keeping the file to the size i want it to be?

Encoding to a certain file size is a whole other animal, and not what this method is really about. It can be done, but it isn't the best method for video quality. Why do you want to encode to a fixed file size?

This method can be adjusted to output a smaller file, but not to an exact file size.

If I have helped you in any way, please forgive me, it was entirely accidental.
#10
Cranial Wrote:Why do you want to encode to a fixed file size?

This method can be adjusted to output a smaller file, but not to an exact file size.

That would be cool,I just have a lot tv episodes, I have all the seinfelds, entourage, BSG etc.. and a whole lot of other seasons of stuff. They dont need to be amazing quality anyways so i would prefer to save some space on my hd's as there are so many episodes.
#11
umirza85 Wrote:That would be cool,I just have a lot tv episodes, I have all the seinfelds, entourage, BSG etc.. and a whole lot of other seasons of stuff. They dont need to be amazing quality anyways so i would prefer to save some space on my hd's as there are so many episodes.

Can you give this preset a go and see if you're happy with the quality. You can also select MP3 - stereo as your Audio output on this one to save more space.

If it's okay I'll add it to the preset list.

If I have helped you in any way, please forgive me, it was entirely accidental.
#12
Cranial,

Handbrake 0.9.4 (Windows) locks up for me when I try to import your .plist file. Any chance you could post the settings as a step-by-step list of what to click, then we can save the preset ourselves?

Thanks...
#13
Didn't read the whole post but I use to do lot of encodings with HB on Mac; the answer is (from theyr forum): keep encoding at Constant Quality with RF between 58 and 62%. Looks that the best quality/filesize ratio is in that range. It the outputted filesize is too large check the mean bitrate of that file (just open it with a reader that can give you statistics ot the file or try the Get Info into the Finder) and reduce it setting the Average Bit Rat instead of Constant Quality. Much lower is the bitrate much helpful is the Double Pass option.
#14
fritzk3 Wrote:One question: what does VLC have to do with the process? Is it used as the default background decrypter?

As from 0.9.3 HB DOESN'T include anymore the library for DVD decription. Instead, it relies on the one included in VLC which MUST be in the main Applications folder (HB can be anywhere). Please note: [email protected] needs a 64bit VLC which is available just as alpha version BUT just for decoding DVD's. If you need to re-encode other formats you can use 64bit Handbrake alone with no problems (having a stable and official 32 bit release of VLC in the Application folder).
#15
Cranial Wrote:Can you give this preset a go and see if you're happy with the quality. You can also select MP3 - stereo as your Audio output on this one to save more space.

If it's okay I'll add it to the preset list.

I take it that its just the quality lowered all the way. This works perfectly with the LQ preset tvshows come out to a really good file size. I think the biggest difference probably came from setting the audio from the surround to mp3... Thanks again, I dont think anyone wants to watch seinfeld in surround sound & HD...... tho now come to think of it .... lol Rofl

fritzk3 Wrote:Handbrake 0.9.4 (Windows) locks up for me when I try to import your .plist file. Any chance you could post the settings as a step-by-step list of what to click, then we can save the preset ourselves?

Thanks...

What version of windows are you using? Im using Win7(x64) and i havent had any problems importing any of cranials .plist files. How are you importing them?
 
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[XBOX] HOW-TO use Handbrake on Mac OS X to encode H.264 videos for the Xbox52