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post #1 of 9 Old 06-24-2014, 08:59 AM - Thread Starter
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How much quality am I losing from BD rips using this method?

I take all of my Blu-Ray's, use MakeMKV to wrap them into an MKV then I use handbrake with an 'AppleTV2' preset, using 'Large file size'.

With that said, roughly how much quality (both audio and video) am I losing? I know all of the rips are 5.1 DD and surround is working. However, I'd assume I'm losing Dolby TrueHD audio? Or is that strictly 7.1 anyway? I want to make sure I'm getting the highest quality possible, while keeping file sizes in check.

Initially I was ripping an ISO of the BD and playing with PowerDVD on WMC. However, this proved to be way too many moving parts and clunky. Now, I'm using the process above and playing everything through my Apple TV/iTunes.

Am I better off ending the process with an MKV and using something like Plex? Or is my process not 'handicapping' the quality?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 06-24-2014, 09:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnick1 View Post
I take all of my Blu-Ray's, use MakeMKV to wrap them into an MKV then I use handbrake with an 'AppleTV2' preset, using 'Large file size'.
Have you played with the preset settings at all? Otherwise you're looking at a CQ RF setting of 20 (my AppleTV2 preset).

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnick1 View Post
With that said, roughly how much quality (both audio and video) am I losing? I know all of the rips are 5.1 DD and surround is working. However, I'd assume I'm losing Dolby TrueHD audio? Or is that strictly 7.1 anyway? I want to make sure I'm getting the highest quality possible, while keeping file sizes in check.
the audio and video are handled separately, so lets tackle them separately. You're going to get a wide range of opinions, but with RF=20, you really aren't losing much video quality at all, IMHO. I use RF=22 on my bluray and don't see any noticeable difference on a 60" plasma.

on the audio, you certainly aren't losing any quality on the rip with MakeMKV provided you choose the TrueHD audio track. If you are only choosing the DD track, well, then yes, you are losing the TrueHD track in the process. But you are choosing not to rip it, it isn't degrade by the process.

In handbrake, the appleTV2 setting has a DTS/Dolby passthru, so you aren't losing any quality there at all. TrueHD doesn't have to be 7.1, it can be 5.1. It is more about supporting uncompressed audio rather than the number of channels. If you are using regular old Dolby Digital, there is still compression in the audio track that is on the disc. But if you choose the standard DD and use the passthru setting, you aren't losing anything more. You are getting 100% of the DD audio track, which is, by definition, compressed.

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Originally Posted by jnick1 View Post
Am I better off ending the process with an MKV and using something like Plex? Or is my process not 'handicapping' the quality?
I don't think your process is hurting you at all. Just make sure you are ripping the TrueHD audio tracks when you choose which titles to rip in MakeMKV and you're good to go. Depending on how much storage you have, you may want to take the RF to 22. That gets my blurays down to about 5gb (with DD audio) on my network. I suspect they are much larger at RF=20, and not sure how much benefit you're getting there.

Not sure what you're asking re: plex. I use pretty much the same process as you do, and I use Plex to play them back. are you asking about Plex's transcoding?

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post #3 of 9 Old 06-24-2014, 09:24 AM
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An Apple TV 2 only does 720p. That's the biggest hit right there in my mind.

Next up, is the conversion to 30 FPS from 24 FPS sources. So some weird judder shows up.

Going up to RF=22 will give some not so awesome gradient banding in my experience.

And I'll be beaten up for this, but properly converted Lossless audio to 640kbps is honestly not as big of a hit in quality as one might be led to believe. (Kind of like 256kbps MP3 vs an .aiff file. Pretty darn close in practice.)
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post #4 of 9 Old 06-24-2014, 10:18 AM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the responses, guys! Glad to know that I'm not losing much!

In regards to the Plex comment, my understanding is Plex plays, basically, everything. Whereas, with Apple TV and iTunes, I need to convert the MKV to an MP4. Since I wasn't sure if I was losing quality, I was thinking staying at the MKV stage and passing it to Plex may be better. Glad to hear that's not the case since plex would require me to get another media streaming device since it's not native on the ATV.

I am currently waiting for the next gen Apple TV, and then I will be all over it, to get the 1080p bump!

Thank you again!
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post #5 of 9 Old 06-24-2014, 03:09 PM
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Could you be a little more specific?

Quote:
Now, I'm...playing everything through my Apple TV/iTunes.

Which Apple TV do you have?

Do you have an Apple TV 2 is that why you chose that preset? Have you hacked it or is it stock?

How are you playing your transcodes back with iTunes? On a Mac, a PC or do you mean you're merely adding them to your iTunes library and then letting the aTV play them back?

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I am currently waiting for the next gen Apple TV, and then I will be all over it, to get the 1080p bump!

The Apple TV 3 has had the 1080p bump for a few years now, well worth the $75 even if an aTV 4 comes down the road soon…and with a $15 upgrade the very old Apple TV 1 has been able to play full-size 1080p MakeMKV blu-ray rips plus run XBMC for years as well.

I think the most important consideration that hasn't been touched on is what you're watching these on…how big a display, what kind of display? Tell me that, and how far you sit away from it, and then I'll tell you how much quality you're losing, i.e. whether you might be able to tell the difference.
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post #6 of 9 Old 07-07-2014, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I have an Apple TV 2, stock - NOT jailbroken.

After they are ripped, I add them to my iTunes library then through the apple tv, I play the movies under the Computers "App".

I'm watching the playback on a 60" Vizio LED TV at about 18' viewing distance.

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post
Could you be a little more specific?




Which Apple TV do you have?


Do you have an Apple TV 2 is that why you chose that preset? Have you hacked it or is it stock?

How are you playing your transcodes back with iTunes? On a Mac, a PC or do you mean you're merely adding them to your iTunes library and then letting the aTV play them back?




The Apple TV 3 has had the 1080p bump for a few years now, well worth the $75 even if an aTV 4 comes down the road soon…and with a $15 upgrade the very old Apple TV 1 has been able to play full-size 1080p MakeMKV blu-ray rips plus run XBMC for years as well.

I think the most important consideration that hasn't been touched on is what you're watching these on…how big a display, what kind of display? Tell me that, and how far you sit away from it, and then I'll tell you how much quality you're losing, i.e. whether you might be able to tell the difference.
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post #7 of 9 Old 07-07-2014, 04:03 PM
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I'm watching the playback on a 60" Vizio LED TV at about 18' viewing distance.

At that distance and screen size you're probably too far away to notice much of a difference, your 720p encodes for the Apple TV 2 should be just fine. Find the chart that compares viewing distance to screen size to resolution to make sure, but from memory I suspect you'll have to sit a lot closer to your display for 1080p to make a visible difference.

That said, it wouldn't be a bad idea for you to start looking and planning forward, pick up an aTV3 and start experimenting with an aTV 3 1080p preset and getting file sizes where you want them because those encodes you'll keep, unlike the 720p ones you're doing right now. You can sell your stock un-hacked aTV2 for quite a bit, buy a $75 aTV3 now and still have good money set aside for the next gen aTV if one is ever released.
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post #8 of 9 Old 07-07-2014, 06:44 PM
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The statistical loss is irrelevant. The important thing is how much quality loss can YOU see.
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post #9 of 9 Old 07-09-2014, 01:56 PM
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I have a fairly large collection of Blu-ray rips (approaching 300) using a similar process. I'm sitting slightly closer at 15' on a 65" Sony 3D LED screen. Initially I had Apple TV2s and upgraded to Apple TV3s for 1080p. There is additional detail I can see at 1080p. It looks much closer to the original Blu-ray if not indistinguishable. I've noticed banding every so often and adjusted the CQ/QF slider to compensate.

Currently, I start with the Apple TV3 preset and turn on Intel QuickSync and adjust the slider to 18 and the H.264 profile to 4.1. I have an Intel Ivybridge processor so under Windows it's QuickSync quality is very good. Those tweaks make it as good if not better than software encoding. 4.1 seems to keep the file size down as well. All the current Apple products are compatible with 4.1.
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