mkv vs. mp4 with Handbrake Audio Options - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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AVS Forum,

I have been using makeMKV for some time for my movie collection. I rip the main movie and the main HD audio file, be it Dolby True HD or whatever best option. Movie is normally 25 gig or so. So for years, I have decided on MKV as the best format. Now I may be changing to MP4, possibly, due to the fact that my family uses Apple TV, ipad etc. So I have a couple of questions and I wanted to see if I could get your feed back and help with Handbrake:

1) Do most of your just rip your movies with Make MKV and just buy more HD space as you need it?

2) For those with AppleTV and ipads, would it be best to just use Handbrake to compress with Dolby Prologic Sound and just have it as a compressed movie for those devices? Effectively I would have two copies of each movie - one for the main home theater and one for the other devices and streaming. Is that what many of you do as well?

3) If I decided to convert my blu-ray from MKV to MP4 using Handbrake, I am right in saying that Mp4 can't hold certain audio streams like MKV? What audio stream format do you use with Handbrake to keep full surround sound? I converted one movie from MKV to MP4 and it had a great picture, smaller file size, but no sound. I think the audio setup on the conversion was wrong.


Thanks,
Stephen
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:28 PM
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I use Plex for the exact scenario you describe. All my movies are ripped as MKV with HD audio track.

Plex will transcode/stream those files to any device (ipad, iphone, etc.) to a format/bitrate it can play. You'll need a fairly beefy CPU on the computer you run Plex Media Server, but it will prevent you from having to re-encode/manage multiple copies of your movies.
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:34 PM
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My i5-650 runs Plex Server just fine.. An i3 may struggle a bit.

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post #4 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

My i5-650 runs Plex Server just fine.. An i3 may struggle a bit.

Even an i3 3220 has a higher Passmark (4232) than your i5-650 (3149). The "lowly" i3 doesn't get much respect and never has.

I have an i3 2100 (got one for $80 or so brand new) in my server using Plex Server and have no issues streaming to multiple devices all over my house.

Here are 5 playing with a 6th playing in my bedroom (full disclosure: 2 are using XBMC and 4 are using Plex. All 4 Plex devices were via wireless. The 2 XBMC devices (HTPCs) were over gigabit LAN)
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:57 PM
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Okay. Let me clarify. My i3-550 will struggle a bit running Plex and watching a Blu-ray on the main screen at the same time.

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post #6 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:59 PM
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I didn't buy it to do Plex because I can run the server elsewhere.. preferably on the PC with all the drives in it.

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post #7 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Assassin, I am on your blog site now.

I kind of forgot about plex. So that will work. Outside of the time it takes to do this, is there any downside to using Handbrake to compress the movies down to a smaller size? If I keep the right settings, will the quality and sound be fairly close? Bottom line, it the best thing to do still is rip the movies with MakeMKV and just buy more space as needed?


Thanks,
Stephen
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Okay. Let me clarify. My i3-550 will struggle a bit running Plex and watching a Blu-ray on the main screen at the same time.

Gotcha. Admittedly I haven't tried that as I don't even have a monitor connected to my server where Plex is installed.

I think its also dependent on the size and bitrate of your files.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 06:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smdavis1004 View Post

Assassin, I am on your blog site now.

I kind of forgot about plex. So that will work. Outside of the time it takes to do this, is there any downside to using Handbrake to compress the movies down to a smaller size? If I keep the right settings, will the quality and sound be fairly close? Bottom line, it the best thing to do still is rip the movies with MakeMKV and just buy more space as needed?


Thanks,
Stephen

If money and space are no object then --- yes --- it is still best to leave the MKV alone and buy more space as needed.

But it also really depends how picky you are. The purist videophile with a 150" screen, $10K projector/screen running Madvr at highest settings will say that there is absolutely is a difference and touching the full rip MKV in any way is a sin.

The "Best Buy Average Guy" (B-BAG --- TM pending tongue.gif ) is not likely to notice a difference at all even on a highly compressed rip.

If you are somewhere in the middle then I suggest taking a movie and shrinking the video down to a certain percentage of the original (I would personally leave the audio untouched). Then try to play it back blindly if you can to see if you can see a difference. Once you get to a point where you can't, then you might consider using handbrake using these settings to save you some storage if storage is becoming an issue. You can always leave a few of your reference movies or favorite movies at full size.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

If you are somewhere in the middle then I suggest taking a movie and shrinking the video down to a certain percentage of the original (I would personally leave the audio untouched). Then try to play it back blindly if you can to see if you can see a difference. Once you get to a point where you can't, then you might consider using handbrake using these settings to save you some storage if storage is becoming an issue. You can always leave a few of your reference movies or favorite movies at full size.

Just keep in mind that while that will work great for newer movies with low grain, if you heavily compress a movie like "The French Connection" (which has a crapload of grain)...you will see a massive drop in quality. Other movies (like the newer Star Trek or CGI movies) might align with the above referenced thought overall. Basically, just keep in mind that some movies need a much higher bitrate than others to maintain the same perceived quality. So picking an arbitrary bitrate for all movies isn't going to fly in my opinion.
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post #11 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmerfreak0 View Post

Just keep in mind that while that will work great for newer movies with low grain, if you heavily compress a movie like "The French Connection" (which has a crapload of grain)...you will see a massive drop in quality. Other movies (like the newer Star Trek or CGI movies) might align with the above referenced thought overall. Basically, just keep in mind that some movies need a much higher bitrate than others to maintain the same perceived quality. So picking an arbitrary bitrate for all movies isn't going to fly in my opinion.

Good point. I think shrinking is more of an art than science anyway. I have seen some incredible results and some not so incredible results.
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post #12 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by assassin View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sammy2 View Post

Okay. Let me clarify. My i3-550 will struggle a bit running Plex and watching a Blu-ray on the main screen at the same time.

Gotcha. Admittedly I haven't tried that as I don't even have a monitor connected to my server where Plex is installed.

I think its also dependent on the size and bitrate of your files.

Most all my movies are full Blu-ray rips so they are pretty large with high and/or variable bit rates. Plex has to work relatively hard to stream these to an android phone. I still would rather do this than compress my collection.

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post #13 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 07:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Plex works. So I will not both having compress file and a full bluray. Disk space really isn't an issue since, after all, disc space is relatively inexpensive.

Plex is working fine and I have plex installed on my Apple TV, but it will not stream - It seems the plex server, but just doesn't do anything once you select the movie. however, if I load plex on my ipad and select the same movie, I can air play to the apple tv. Any thoughts on why AppleTV isn't pulling the stream?

Thanks,
Stephen
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post #14 of 15 Old 07-29-2013, 11:36 PM
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it the best thing to do still is rip the movies with MakeMKV and just buy more space as needed?
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post #15 of 15 Old 07-30-2013, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by alanajqwv View Post

it the best thing to do still is rip the movies with MakeMKV and just buy more space as needed?
I would say so, if cost is no concern.
Personally, I use handbrake because to me cost is a concern. I keep the HD audio track and use the constant quality setting at around 18. My file size is usually around 10GB per movie, give or take a few GB. I figure this saves me 50% or more on my hard drive costs, and I haven't been able to notice a significant difference in quality. The smaller size seems to make it easier to stream over wifi as well. Streaming full bitrate rips to my laptop (54g wireless) usually doesn't work all that well. but the compressed rips play just fine.
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