720p/1080p mkv quality vs. blu-ray quality - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 107 Old 05-04-2008, 04:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Obviously the answer is Blu-Ray, as the x264 in the MKV are taken from Blu-Ray as a source.

The thing I want to know is how much of a difference is there? same as a retail DVD rip to a 1400mb xvid file for instance?

Anyone done any direct comparisons? I ask as I haven't seen Blu-Ray but have seen a lot of mkv's and i'm very impressed with them.

edit - I posted in this forum as mkv are only playable currently on computers afaik.
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post #2 of 107 Old 05-04-2008, 06:19 AM
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Depends on the bitrate and resolution, largely. Obviously some stuff compresses significantly better than others too.

If you take a typical 9GB mkv with a 2hr film, you're looking at 9.5mbit average bitrate for the video. That's more than a little tight, and a 1080p encode at that bitrate will certainly suffer with most content. That's why many are scaled down to 720p, for which 9.5mbit is way more than plenty. In fact, with that 9GB, you could easily do 3 hours at 720p without losing any significant quality.

For that same 2hr film, if you used 13.5GB then you have 14.5mbit video to work with, and that's definitely enough for 1080p with almost anything. Indeed, some of the very best HDDVD encodes like the Matrix2 used 15.5mbit average for the video (and even some quality Blurays like PotC2 are only 17mbit or so, and they have no limits).
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post #3 of 107 Old 05-04-2008, 07:14 AM
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I haven't done a direct comparison of the same movie, but I've watched plenty of both and the main difference I can see if that I've NEVER seen a touch of compression artifacts on Blu-ray discs (not even when strobes are involved), they are apparent on a few scenes on MKV files. Audio is the other obvious difference as mkv files don't usually include lossless audio.

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post #4 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 12:23 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm getting the impression its not night and day then.

So impressed with MKV at the moment, just a shame that it requires steep cpu speeds for the high bitrate encodes.
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post #5 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 09:31 AM
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I too have been wondering the differences and can't find any great screenshots/sources. Is this h/x264 thing that great? Based on the encoder knowing what they are doing, would a 1080p source, encoded at 720P, still be better than a regular 480p dvd? I know the resolution would say so in theory, but what about real world results? And further to the comment above about 1080p being compressed too much (ie: 2 hour video around 9gigs is too much compression, it should be around 13 gigs for 2 hours)....What does that overcompressed 1080p source look like beside 480p original dvd? Me wants screenshots!!!!!

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post #6 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 09:36 AM
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IMO, a 1080p rip downrezzed to a decent bitrate 720p encode is far and away better than a 480p dvd, even a DVD upconverted to 720p.

I haven't done any HD encodes with h264, but all my DVD rips are encoded to h264 with a 2 pass encode with a 1500 bitrate. Takes a 4-5GB file down to around ~1.5GB without noticable (to my eye) quality loss. I usually wrap the unconverted AC3 5.1 soundtrack and maybe a 2ch directors commentary into the container as well.
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post #7 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 10:05 AM
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It's possible to encode an x264 so close to the source now that it's basically irrelevant. A recent feature was added called "FGO" or "film grain optimization". That has finally made it possible to fully capture the grain/fine detail that some encodes were missing. Typically a near lossless encode is around 13gb and a very good, almost lossless is around 8-10gb. Filesizes may jump up a bit with FGO since it is retaining more detail, say 14-17gb for near perfect encodes.

.mkv is the container
x264 is the codec (h264 derived, i.e same as what is used for hd dvd/bluray)
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post #8 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 10:15 AM
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Quote:


x264 is the codec (h264 derived, i.e same as what is used for hd dvd/bluray)

My understanding is that h264 is the codec, x264 is the opensource implementation of the codec.
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post #9 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 11:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbaese View Post

I too have been wondering the differences and can't find any great screenshots/sources. Is this h/x264 thing that great? Based on the encoder knowing what they are doing, would a 1080p source, encoded at 720P, still be better than a regular 480p dvd? I know the resolution would say so in theory, but what about real world results? And further to the comment above about 1080p being compressed too much (ie: 2 hour video around 9gigs is too much compression, it should be around 13 gigs for 2 hours)....What does that overcompressed 1080p source look like beside 480p original dvd? Me wants screenshots!!!!!

JB

I've watched 4.3GB 720p mkvs that were much better than DVD quality, on an 8' screen. They lack all the detail of BR, but are free of the blocking inherent to most cable HD content. I was amazed at how good they looked.

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post #10 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 05:18 PM
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I'm still debating what's better to view on 40" 1080p LCD........720p mkvs or 1080p mkv. When I compare Hitman 720p to 1080p version on my computer, 720p seems to have more detail and better colors but in no way rivals Blu-ray quality.

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post #11 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 10:44 PM - Thread Starter
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The difference between a decent DVD and a 4-5 720p x264 is quite a big just imo, the x264 is a lot crisper and colours seems to stand out a lot more.

ajamils - 1080p should obviously be better so I would think that perhaps the 720p may have a higher bitrate for that resolution or perhaps it was ripped encoded differently etc.
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post #12 of 107 Old 05-06-2008, 11:09 PM
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Most 1080 mkvs tend to be just too tight on the bitrate front, so they really drop a lot of detail and start having some artifact problems. If you look at h264 bitrate/subjective quality graphs, they tend to gradually lower then plummet quickly past a certain minimum - for 1080p that's around 8-12mbit depending on the content, and many 1080p mkvs are below that.

By contrast, 720p only needs around 6mbit to look tremendous with most content, and that's easily doable even with the 8.5GB limit most mkvs have (even possible with a 3hr film).

X264 really is a tremendous encoder - at normal DVD bitrates you can have quality 720p instead, and that's 2.66* as many pixels.
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post #13 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 10:57 AM
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I'm no expert, but yes it does seem to me that there is a very large quality difference between a ~4 gb mkv 720p rip and a DVD, viewing on a 37" philips hdtv. I don't have any pictures or anything, but the higher res makes a huge difference and colors seem more vivid in an mkv. I do notice that a lot of mkv's for episodes of lost for example, which are not BR ripped, but recorded at 720p from cable broadcasts frequently have artifacts (it is aired w/ artifacts btw, I watch every week), so I doubt that is the codec/containers fault. The 8 gb mkv rips are stunning to me, example casino royale 8.5 gb rip mkv looks amazing, no artifacts, even in fast pace scanning sequences (a shitton in this movie). In short, yes a 4 gb mkv is much better than any dvd if you ask me, probably no noticeable difference on comp monitor, but on HDTV, yes.
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post #14 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsbach64 View Post

I do notice that a lot of mkv's for episodes of lost for example, which are not BR ripped, but recorded at 720p from cable broadcasts frequently have artifacts (it is aired w/ artifacts btw, I watch every week), so I doubt that is the codec/containers fault.

Yes, those have been recoded tons of times. 1080p original, scaled to 720p for the network, then probably remuxxed in real time (ie badly) depending on what else is being broadcast at the same time, and then sent out at a woeful bitrate for mpeg2 HD. Only then is it re-encoded again, to just over 3mbit (very very short for 720p). On top of all of this, Lost is usually quite challenging for encoders, with tons of scenery detail, especially the forest scenes. Frankly, it's very impressive how good it looks at that end of that.

If you ever want to see quality Lost, check out the Bluray of season 3. So much better it's not funny.
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post #15 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 11:22 AM
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Personally I find rapidly diminishing returns after 720p mkv. Comparing that to the Blu-Ray original, the difference is there but fairly minimal to my eyes. This on a 120" screen RS1.
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post #16 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 11:40 AM
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Lately, I've been getting a lot of 1080p and 720p rips and even though they might not be in the same league as a blu-ray... they look great on my 40" 1080p LCD and for me they are a perfect solution for movie collection on HTPC.

With the same note, I've compared couple of 720p rips with their 1080p rips and I did not see a big difference and in case of Hitman, 720p version looks better than the 1080p version (maybe its because how it was ripped and encoded).

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post #17 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 11:58 AM
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So you are saying that on a 120" screen, a 720p mkv is most times so great that it is hard to tell the difference between it and bluray 1080P? Impressive if I am reading that correctly.
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post #18 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 01:24 PM
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Pretty much agree with everyone here. 720p rips look fabulous and miles ahead of standard dvd.
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post #19 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 03:26 PM
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To make 8-9mbp 1080p mkv a bit more sharper and looking closer to its HD source, I use ffdshow unsharp mask at 30.

Using unsharp mask 30 on a 13GB 1080p mkv of Transformers, it looks ALMOST EXACTLY the same as the HDDVD. (This is on a 60" Sony SXRD at 10')

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post #20 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 05:31 PM
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Funny thing is that I went and built a new HTPC that can play Bueray and spent 30 freakin bucks on Spiderman3....I am SO not impressed. The MKVs look good enough for me not to consider it an issue. This is on a 119" 1080P native front projector. Likely my first and last BD title ever.
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post #21 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 07:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N3W813 View Post

To make 8-9mbp 1080p mkv a bit more sharper and looking closer to its HD source, I use ffdshow unsharp mask at 30.

Using unsharp mask 30 on a 13GB 1080p mkv of Transformers, it looks ALMOST EXACTLY the same as the HDDVD. (This is on a 60" Sony SXRD at 10')

Do you use any other setting ?

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post #22 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 10:20 PM
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I would have to agree with the genral consensus here and say mkv x264 rips are just as good as blu ray for the most part. A blind test and most probably couldn't tell the diffrence. This all being that the person who encoded it knew what they were doing.

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post #23 of 107 Old 05-14-2008, 11:28 PM
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I too agree with this, mkvs are simply amazing and all they can do with so small files compared to BR. I have checked Transformers vs my HD-DVD and was so blown away by how close they that I am going to get the whole thing and compared them with pictures over the weekend.
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post #24 of 107 Old 05-15-2008, 12:16 AM
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Has anyone used SUPER to convert HDTV content to h264? It appears that the highest bitrate it will allow me to use is 9600kbps. That should be OK for most of the OTA HD stuff I record, I think. I need to get the file size on these movies down to something reasonable. If anyone else has used it, I'd be interested in what settings you use. The nice thing about it is the GUI and huge list of output types for just about any device you might have.
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post #25 of 107 Old 05-15-2008, 04:41 AM
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It has been my experience that a 720p x264 re-encode (8-10 mbps in mkv) done well is as good as a 1080 blu ray scaled to fit a 720p screen (100" DLP projection) either by standerlone or HTPC. I have done this with many of my rips and I am really pleased with the results, infact with really high bitrate source material then the x264 encoder can actually do a BETTER job than the scaler. 1080p (shown at 1080p) their will inevitably be quality loss but this is dependent on the quality of the re-encode and the options/bit rate etc used (blu ray at high bit rate suffers from the law of deminishing returns), it is possible to create a 1080p mkv with a little effort that is perceptually the same as the origional source but obviously their will be information missing. Just my experiences.
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post #26 of 107 Old 05-15-2008, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JiffOrange View Post

It has been my experience that a 720p x264 re-encode (8-10 mbps in mkv) done well is as good as a 1080 blu ray scaled to fit a 720p screen (100" DLP projection) either by standerlone or HTPC.

That makes sense - you're using an offline scaler instead of a realtime one, and using a gigantic bitrate for 720p so the extra re-encode has only a minimal hit on quality.

For comparison's sake, the 1GByte 720p TV x264 rips are using about a third of that bitrate (as well as being encoded from low bitrate mpeg2 HDTV rather than huge bitrate 1080p Bluray).
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post #27 of 107 Old 05-15-2008, 08:03 AM
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I forgot to also add like others have said, that sound is the thing that really gets hit badly here. Most of the sound tracks are very compressed and bass specially is very loose and boomy compared to the HD-DVD or Bluray. May using flac or similar, if possible, is the way to go.

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post #28 of 107 Old 05-15-2008, 08:14 AM
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I like my 720p/1080p rips to MKV. Size is much smaller with little quality loss. However, some of the other features of an actual blu-ray disc/player combination might be lost depending on your HTPC, for instance 24p support.

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post #29 of 107 Old 05-15-2008, 04:38 PM
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Can anyone tell me what the differences are between the mpeg4 avi output that ati's software does and the mpeg4 mkv that is being discussed here and is also an option in SUPER? Just from playing around with both of them, it seems like the ati mpeg4 transcodes much faster. Quality seems about the same with both of them but I would really need side by side monitors to compare them accurately.
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post #30 of 107 Old 05-20-2008, 10:27 PM
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After reading this post i decided to join this form. this was my very first viewing of a HD film put into a MKV container with the h.264 codec.
i have a 19inch lcd monitor and am viewing via a DVI connection along with HD audio output. the picture though looked amazing in comparison to my old avi movie collection with 1gb films that look like crap compared to this
(i plan on upgrading as many films as i can with the new HD MKV files) .

if your looking for a great HD container and codec that will take 1/3 of the space as BR, then this is the right for you.
The Island 720P
7.96GB
dual audio tracks ENG/ITA and many subtitles.
here are the screen shots taken via vlc.
don't know bitrate sorry guys.
wtf cant post a url wtf.

the vlc player seems a very very small bit laggy when playing this MKV file. i have all the codecs i needed is there a better player for windows vista to play HD MKV files?
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