In Handbrake > Video tab, there are two places to control quality:Qualtiy
The most important, of course. CRF (Constant Rate Factor ["constant" means that the quality or rate is constant throughout the video file]) = 0 means "lossless" (i.e. compress the decoded video in a lossless way), that will usually result in larger file size than the original. CRF = 18-20 is a good choice, usually you won't see any quality degradation compared with the original. File size of a 2 min clip (ripped from a BD movie):
- Original: 457MB
- CRF=0 : 1787MB
- CRF=20: 94MB
You can't predict the final file size with CRF. If you want to set the file size, choose "Avg Bitrate" with "2-Pass Encoding".
Optimize Video > x264 Preset
This is literally a preset of important x264 parameters (x264 MeWiki
). I think Handbrake's default is "Very Fast". x264's default is "Medium" (and I usually use it, a good compromise of quality and encoding time). A faster preset implies faster encoding time, larger file size and generally lower quality. For example,
- Ultrafast: Baseline@L4.0, no CABAC, 1 ReFrame etc.
- Veryfast: High@4.0, CABAC, 4 ReFrame etc.
- Medium: High@4.0, CABAC, 4 ReFrame etc.
Try to encode a short clip and you can check the differences.
You can leave "Profile" and "Level" to "Auto" because the preset automatically determines them.