What handbrake settings are you using?

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chops68 Offline
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Post: #1
I've been using xbmc on a Mini (livingroom) and ATV (bedroom) for the last 4 weeks or so and I'm loving XBMC .... many thanks to the developers and the entire community!

My typical media is h.264 transcodes from DVDs using Handbrake. I am seeing quite a bit of tearing on the videos when played on the ATV but not on the Mini... I think the ATV is struggling to "keep up". I'm going to test various settings and I'll post my finding, but was wondering if anyone has suggested settings that should work well for them...?

I use CQ 65%, which typically gives me aprox 3000kbps if the source is 23.9fps and anamorphic @ 853x480 (actual). I'm going to start stepping down the CQ percentage, but I'm reluctant to go to FBR settings as this gives large swings in video quality. Is this simply an issue with XBMC on the ATV playing VBR video?

BTW... I'm running XBMC 9.04.01 on ATV 2.3.1.

I haven't adjusted the playback settings in XBMC yet, because I'm still learning the software, but that is "on my list".

Thanks
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garyi Offline
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Post: #2
Not that answer you are after and I am in no way affiliated but I found DVD2oneX2 the other day and it really is something else.

To be fair I think its only for DVD rips. So basically I am using RIPIT to put the DVD on harddrive about 40 mins a disk then DVD2one will convert to a single VOB file at any size you want in 6 mins. Quite exceptional and about 2-3 times quicker than Handbrake at the same task. I converted 110 already ripped dvds in a day.
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Zeron Offline
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Post: #3
I have tried a bunch of CQ settings. I currently use 62. Going higher never gave a noticable improvement, but did give a larger file.
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chops68 Offline
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Post: #4
Thanks for feedback.

I have heard a lot of good things about DVD2one but haven't tried it yet. My concern is the ATV's ability to play MPEG2 VOBs... are you having good success playing them on an ATV? I suppose I'm willing to sacrifice the space if the playback is acceptable.

So far I've tried CQ 64% and don't see much improvement. Thanks for the suggestion of 62% Zeron, but I guess I am a bit to critical on the video quality... 62 shows to many macro blocks and compression artifacts for my taste... but it is a big world... room for everyone :-)
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garyi Offline
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Post: #5
I set the output on DVD2one to around 3 gig a DVD, in my experience this cuts the VideoTS folder in about half. It also strips out the menus and all the rubbish.

It makes handbrake look agricultural. I always felt handbrake was glacial slow, and I think DVD2one proves it.

3gig vobs play back flawlessly on my ATV.

I know I sound like a gushing infomercial, but at 6 mins a DVD, compare that if you will to handbrakes 1.3 hrs (av) I was getting before, so slow I never bothered using it. Basically my drobo was near full on a 2,2tb volume, I just freed up 600gigs and it was all done in 48 hrs. I have a significant home cinema, especially on Audio and it all looks and sounds superb.

Its a bit buggy though, you have to individually select each DVD in a batch, i.e. you cannot select a folder full of them. I have not tried it direct from DVD, I import them with Rippit. And for what ever reason it did not like minority report, crashed every time I tired to convert it. But then its Tom Cruise, perhaps it has a wanker filter or something.

IMO these are the premier for DVD import on mac right now unless someone knows different.
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S80_UK Offline
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Post: #6
chops68 Wrote:My concern is the ATV's ability to play MPEG2 VOBs... are you having good success playing them on an ATV?
For rips from regular commercial DVDs I have no issues at all. I even have one or two commercial DVDs from Taiwan which push the rules regarding bit rates and the ATV just calmly gets on with it.

Which platform would you be using for ripping? As a Windows user I use DVDFab HD Decrypter to rip to VOBs or ISOs (and IMGBurn - freeware) to convert VOBs to ISOs if needed.
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chops68 Offline
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Post: #7
Thanks S80_UK.

I am mostly a Mac user, so I rip using either MacTheRipper, Ripit or Metakine and then transcode to h.246 using HandBreak.

As I continue to test I'm not seeing any improvements in the video tearing even as the bitrates are getting under 2000kbps. I'm starting to suspect another issue. I have tested the following...

HB 65% cq - results in tearing
HB 64% cq - results in tearing
HB 63% cq - results in tearing
HB FBR 2800kbps - results in tearing
DVD2oneX single VOB - results in tearing

The "kicker" is... if I transfer any of the h.264 files using iTunes and play them in FrontRow on the ATV, the playback is smooth.... argghhh!!!

I'm starting to go thru the XBMC player settings to see if upscaling or something else might be the issue.

For what it is worth... I always copy the files to the internal ATV harddrive, so there is very little "access latency" (like there might be from a network share).

I'll post more resutls as my testing continues.
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S80_UK Offline
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Post: #8
chops68 Wrote:The "kicker" is... if I transfer any of the h.264 files using iTunes and play them in FrontRow on the ATV, the playback is smooth.... argghhh!!!
I see you got an answer for the XBMC sync setting... http://forum.xbmc.org/showthread.php?tid=52334

The other reason that h.264 is clean in FrontRow is that Apple use the graphics hardware accelleration features in the ATV - XBMC does not, so h.264 in XBMC will have lower bit-rate and other limits than when playing from FrontRow.
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chops68 Offline
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Post: #9
Yes I did.

After several tests and seeing in your post that you were not having issues... I started to suspect something else was going on.

I'm now back to cq 65% as my "default" and LOVING IT!

Thanks for your help.
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