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post #1 of 21 Old 05-16-2020, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Encoding Blurays/4Ks via Handbrake Maximum Quality

Hi everyone,

I recently started converting my Blurays and 4Ks to backups in the .MKV container using MakeMKV. I planned on keeping them all uncompressed but the storage is going to add up quickly so I'm going to do a few test encodes for some action Blurays and 4Ks and compare with the orginal disc.

I used to encode my Blurays with Megui and Handbrake back in the day so I do have experience with encoding.

I'm looking for the best quality settings to use for encoding via handbrake. It seems the easiest versus something like Megui.

Here is what I'm thinking will yield really good quality on my 1080p and 4K encodes.

.MKV container
Custom resolution 1920x1080 (1080p)
CRF 18
Preset Very Slow
x265 or x265 10 bit for 4K
Audio leave uncompressed orginal
Subtitles (scan for forced and then have each sub track on there as well?)

What do you guys think of these settings? Is there any manual settings I need to type in on the command line? I remember I used to have to put in commands manually like "ref 5"

I did the settings I posted and even with an i7 8700k processor and 32GB RAM, the estimated time is 17 hours. Is this normal? I know I can do the Nvidia GPU H265 but I've heard you suffer a lot of quality this way since it takes like 17 minutes to complete the encode vs 17 hours with the CPU one I'm doing. Thoughts?

Please let me know what you think of these settings and if you have any tips on maintaining maximum quality. I do not care how big of file the encoded video is but I obviously want to shave off a few GBs.

Thanks for any help!
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-17-2020, 03:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Any help on this guys? I did a x265 10 bit encode on Pulp Fiction last night and used the "slow" function in Handbrake and it took 6 hours on my i7 8700k overclocked CPU.

I tried to do x265 10 bit with "very slow" and it was going to take almost 2 days to complete so I aborted that.

Any help on settings for 1080p blurays and 4K UHDs to maintain the best quality (with original uncompressed audio track) would be appreciated . Thanks
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 07:10 AM
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There is no magic settings. Anytime you re-compress the video, it will get worse. And everyone has different tolerance about the acceptable video quality. I have done some basic experiments in the past with Handbrake and found in many cases, trying to preserve the maximum quality often ended with a file that is either larger or very close to originals in size. Waste of time for sure.

I found Intel's QSV is slightly better than nVidia's in video quality. Encoding without these hardware assist will be slow as hell with very small PQ advantage.

In the end, you just need to experiment yourself and pick one you are most satisfied with.
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 07:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Foxbat121 View Post
There is no magic settings. Anytime you re-compress the video, it will get worse. And everyone has different tolerance about the acceptable video quality. I have done some basic experiments in the past with Handbrake and found in many cases, trying to preserve the maximum quality often ended with a file that is either larger or very close to originals in size. Waste of time for sure.

I found Intel's QSV is slightly better than nVidia's in video quality. Encoding without these hardware assist will be slow as hell with very small PQ advantage.

In the end, you just need to experiment yourself and pick one you are most satisfied with.
Thanks so much for getting back to me. I am going to experiment with nvenc with my 2080 super card. The goal is to only cut the files down by a smaller margin to retain as much quality as possible. So for instance if I have a 30gb file from MakeMKV, I would be fine with the compressed file being 20gb while maintaining the orginal audio (DTS MA 5.1 for example). I only want to reduce the video a bit and leave the audio alone. Hardware encoding seems like a good way to go since it takes much less time and with the RTX 2080 it seems like it is getting better, especially if you do not compress the end file down to a really small file/bitrate.

Ultimately I'm trying to find out advanced settings I can use to create a script to run the hardware encoder at (maybe something like staxrip).

Here is an example of script that I have seen used but it is outdated and not sure what each piece of it means.

cqp 21 --codec h265 --preset quality --profile main10 --output-depth 10 --aq --ref 16 --gop-len 600 --lookahead 32 --strict-gop --cuda-schedule auto --vpp-edgelevel strength=10,threshold=15,black=5,white=1 --vpp-deband --mv-precision q-pel --cabac

Thanks for any insight. I just know it means that they are striving for 21 quality, 10 bit H265 compression. I do not know what everything else means. I also know you can put B frames into the script now with these new graphics cards.
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post #5 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 08:14 AM
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I agree with Foxbat. Everybody has a different tolerance for amounts of compression, so you're going to get opinions that are all over the board (pun intended). I use some old legacy presets that don't seem to be in the new version of Handbrake. I tried to manually replicate my previous results but they never seemed right. I also checked with a few members of the board and tried their recommendations, but to me for my likes, they weren't quite right. I ended up downloading a previous version of handbrake and using my old preset. It takes me approximately 3-4 hours for a blu ray and the average 30gb movie gets compressed to between 7-13gb, with quality set at 20...that's also with having the main audio passing through. All compression will degrade the picture in various degrees, but for me I'm quite happy with the results...just not the time it takes. LOL

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Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
I agree with Foxbat. Everybody has a different tolerance for amounts of compression, so you're going to get opinions that are all over the board (pun intended). I use some old legacy presets that don't seem to be in the new version of Handbrake. I tried to manually replicate my previous results but they never seemed right. I also checked with a few members of the board and tried their recommendations, but to me for my likes, they weren't quite right. I ended up downloading a previous version of handbrake and using my old preset. It takes me approximately 3-4 hours for a blu ray and the average 30gb movie gets compressed to between 7-13gb, with quality set at 20...that's also with having the main audio passing through. All compression will degrade the picture in various degrees, but for me I'm quite happy with the results...just not the time it takes. LOL
I have always been happy with the quality that Netflix provides as far as video goes. The audio on the other hand is quite terrible. I remember being in awe watching "Ozark" in 4K on Netflix so I definitely think compression for the video portion should be fine. I just need to figure out the best settings for encoding via hardware with the 2080 super. I probably need to try something like staxrip to get more control since handbrake doesn't have many advanced settings. I agree, encoding is not fun and takes too much time which is why I'm looking more into hardware encoding and keeping the bitrates and file sizes higher.
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 09:19 AM
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Originally Posted by iStorm View Post

Please let me know what you think of these settings and if you have any tips on maintaining maximum quality. I do not care how big of file the encoded video is but I obviously want to shave off a few GBs.

Thanks for any help!

Honestly, it's time to really rethink if the exercise is worth it. Often, it will cost you MORE (depending on where you live) to try and re-encode to save size.


With a 4TB hard drive, the cost per GB is ~$0.02 (Newegg shows many 4TB drives for ~$90). If you re-encode a movie and save 10GB that's a whole $0.20 savings.


There's more to that story however... Doing a processor intensive re-encode for 17 hours on a high end computer will burn ~450 Watts of power if you are maxing it out (add a monitor being on the whole time can push that to ~650 Watts... but let's say you turn that off).


450 Watts * 17 hours = 7.65 KW/hr.


Average energy cost in the US is $0.13 per KW/hr.


Cost to re-encode your movie: 7.65 * $0.13 = $0.99. Even if you have a super efficient computer and use only 100 Watts under load, that's still more over those 17 hours! (1.7 KW/hr * $0.13 per KW/hr = $0.22).


There are many factors that play in to the cost and your situation but essentially you are either even in cost or actually losing money by re-encoding. If dropping ~$90 in one chunk is more prohibitive than adding $5 - $10 / month to your power bill then re-encoding may be the way to go.


Considering you are on AVSForum, I'm guessing that looking at this from another perspective will push you towards more storage and keep the full visual and audio quality of your rips!
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post #8 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Lost Dog View Post
Honestly, it's time to really rethink if the exercise is worth it. Often, it will cost you MORE (depending on where you live) to try and re-encode to save size.


With a 4TB hard drive, the cost per GB is ~$0.02 (Newegg shows many 4TB drives for ~$90). If you re-encode a movie and save 10GB that's a whole $0.20 savings.


There's more to that story however... Doing a processor intensive re-encode for 17 hours on a high end computer will burn ~450 Watts of power if you are maxing it out (add a monitor being on the whole time can push that to ~650 Watts... but let's say you turn that off).


450 Watts * 17 hours = 7.65 KW/hr.


Average energy cost in the US is $0.13 per KW/hr.


Cost to re-encode your movie: 7.65 * $0.13 = $0.99. Even if you have a super efficient computer and use only 100 Watts under load, that's still more over those 17 hours! (1.7 KW/hr * $0.13 per KW/hr = $0.22).


There are many factors that play in to the cost and your situation but essentially you are either even in cost or actually losing money by re-encoding. If dropping ~$90 in one chunk is more prohibitive than adding $5 - $10 / month to your power bill then re-encoding may be the way to go.


Considering you are on AVSForum, I'm guessing that looking at this from another perspective will push you towards more storage and keep the full visual and audio quality of your rips!
Lost Dog, you're a genius ! This is the same reason I didnt want to encode again in the first place. The time alone for me wasn't worth it and I wanted the best possible quality. I'm already cutting out special features so I guess that should be enough for me anyways lol especially since I'm a quality whore lol! I have a ton of space and as you mentioned, the space barely costs anything per GB (my hard drives are roughly $.03 to .$04 per GB) . I am just going to stick with the main movie through MakeMKV and call it a day. Even 4Ks are not that costly for the main movie "uncompressed." Thanks so much for shedding this light. It has been stressful considering this and I just need to focus on MakeMKV rips. thanks !!
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post #9 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by iStorm View Post
Lost Dog, you're a genius ! This is the same reason I didnt want to encode again in the first place. The time alone for me wasn't worth it and I wanted the best possible quality. I'm already cutting out special features so I guess that should be enough for me anyways lol especially since I'm a quality whore lol! I have a ton of space and as you mentioned, the space barely costs anything per GB (my hard drives are roughly $.03 to .$04 per GB) . I am just going to stick with the main movie through MakeMKV and call it a day. Even 4Ks are not that costly for the main movie "uncompressed." Thanks so much for shedding this light. It has been stressful considering this and I just need to focus on MakeMKV rips. thanks !!
It sounds like money isn't the issue, so yes buying the drives and going uncompressed (especially if you're a quality whore ) would be the way to go...but remember (and I'm trying to remember from your other thread what you bought) even an 8x16tb NAS will fill up pretty quickly, believe it or not. Not sure how many of the 4000 movies you have are Blu Ray and 4k, but you probably can get an average of 35 blu rays per TB. Obviously, if you had all 4000 as BD you wouldn't have a lot of play room. Also sounds like you are going to eat up another 6-7tb X 2 (for backup) every year, so you might want to plan on a solution in the next couple of years...an additional NAS, etc.

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post #10 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by iStorm View Post
Any help on this guys? I did a x265 10 bit encode on Pulp Fiction last night and used the "slow" function in Handbrake and it took 6 hours on my i7 8700k overclocked CPU.

I tried to do x265 10 bit with "very slow" and it was going to take almost 2 days to complete so I aborted that.

Any help on settings for 1080p blurays and 4K UHDs to maintain the best quality (with original uncompressed audio track) would be appreciated . Thanks
Check out CloneBD!

Their x265/HEVC encoding is much much faster than Handbrake as long as you have an NVIDIA GPU (I have an old GTX 1070 with a Ryzen 7 1700 CPU)! I can compress a 50GB disc down to around 15GB in around 6-7 min with such amazing quality that you'd be hard-pressed to find a difference between it and the original.


Last edited by SuperFist; 05-18-2020 at 12:46 PM.
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
It sounds like money isn't the issue, so yes buying the drives and going uncompressed (especially if you're a quality whore ) would be the way to go...but remember (and I'm trying to remember from your other thread what you bought) even an 8x16tb NAS will fill up pretty quickly, believe it or not. Not sure how many of the 4000 movies you have are Blu Ray and 4k, but you probably can get an average of 35 blu rays per TB. Obviously, if you had all 4000 as BD you wouldn't have a lot of play room. Also sounds like you are going to eat up another 6-7tb X 2 (for backup) every year, so you might want to plan on a solution in the next couple of years...an additional NAS, etc.
Hey, yeah money isn't an issue when you consider how much time I would be spending testing different encodes, encoding, how much my PC would be on and wearing down the internals of it, etc. It just seems too stressful to go through the encoding route, even on 4K UHDs that I want to backup digitally.

I did get 8x16tb, but then I'm running RAID 5 so I only get around 12.4 TB of actual use instead of the 14.8 TB or whatever that it would normally be per drive.

My biggest concern and the reason that I was considering doing the encodes was because there are movies like "Army of Darkness" for instance that have like 4 different cuts of the movie on the bluray disc so that is eating up a lot of extra space. I'm not really good at deciding whether I want the "extended cut" or "theatrical" or "unrated" etc. I feel like on a lot of movies I'll be missing out if I just backup the "unrated" vs "theatrical" cut of the movie. Plus there are blu-rays like Criterion releases that are over 40GB for the main movie ONLY, which definitely adds up.. but as mentioned, I want the best quality possible and the cost per GB on the hard drives really isn't that bad and I can always add another ADD ON storage unit that connects via Thunderbolt to my QNAP NAS. You can daisy chain like up to 6 or 8 of them so storage long term shouldn't be an issue, especially with the fact that they are always finding out ways to make bigger Hard Drives.

Another concern I have and hopefully someone can answer it (I might just make another thread) is MakeMKV is very picky sometimes on certain discs and will fail completely (tested on 3 different blu-ray drives) but other programs like AnyDVDHD will be able to rip the same disc to my drive just fine. The only problem with this is that it is not converted to .MKV this way. It rips it to a subset of folders with AnyDVDHD. Is there another program that I can use to make it a .MKV? I have tried using the decrypted folder from AnyDVDHD to MakeMKV but it still fails so it doesn't like the files inside the blu-ray "disc." I know there is Clone BD (Anydvd creators) and also DVDFAB, but are they going to yield the same 1:1 quality uncompressed like MakeMKV? Hopefully someone can answer this or I'll just make a new thread pertaining to this.

Thanks again for all of the help and I am at ease now .
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
Check out CloneBD!

Their x265/HEVC encoding is much much faster than Handbrake as long as you have an NVIDIA GPU! I can compress a 50GB disc down to around 15GB in around 6-7 min with such amazing quality that you'd be hard-pressed to find a difference between it and the original.
Hey there SuperFist! I was just asking about CloneBD by the AnyDVD people. If you choose the 1:1 quality with this program, is it the same quality as MakeMKV? I'm assuming you have to purchase this software, right unlike MakeMKV? I know DVDFAB also has a way to do a quick encode, but the quicker the encode means that it will not be as good of quality unfortunately. From my research, it sounds like the only way to truly encode using Hardware (graphics card) that will yield decent results is to do a 2 pass encode, slow, with a high quality scaler "in handbrake this would be the CFR value." Have you tested your CloneBD encodes with fast action content like Captain America Winter Soldier? Do you notice any blocking in the blacks and loss of detail? I'm sure there is some compared to the original of course, but how bad is it? I am really trying to stay away from encoding, but it could be an option for some of these movies that have multiple cuts of them and I want to keep those.

Thanks for any insight!
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 12:53 PM
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Hey there SuperFist! I was just asking about CloneBD by the AnyDVD people. If you choose the 1:1 quality with this program, is it the same quality as MakeMKV? I'm assuming you have to purchase this software, right unlike MakeMKV? I know DVDFAB also has a way to do a quick encode, but the quicker the encode means that it will not be as good of quality unfortunately. From my research, it sounds like the only way to truly encode using Hardware (graphics card) that will yield decent results is to do a 2 pass encode, slow, with a high quality scaler "in handbrake this would be the CFR value." Have you tested your CloneBD encodes with fast action content like Captain America Winter Soldier? Do you notice any blocking in the blacks and loss of detail? I'm sure there is some compared to the original of course, but how bad is it? I am really trying to stay away from encoding, but it could be an option for some of these movies that have multiple cuts of them and I want to keep those.

Thanks for any insight!
A 1:1 quality rip bypasses encoding just like MakeMKV, but I think CloneBD is much better in conjunction with AnyDVD HD. I don't even want to talk about DVDFab, which I also have, but I've had BD rips saved to a folder structure that wouldn't even open later... don't get me started on that! Needless to say, I will ONLY use that program if I need to convert home videos or other extraneous video files.

With regards to "fast action content like Captain America," if you look closely with some x265/HEVC encoding, you will notice some macro blocking; however, I read this is mostly due to certain overclocked cards, not all of them. That's why I've mostly relegated my conversions to x264/AVC, for 1080p which is what my TV is, and I don't notice a difference between it and the original. But like you've already said, you like quality so you don't need to compress the movies if you don't want to.
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
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A 1:1 quality rip bypasses encoding just like MakeMKV, but I think CloneBD is much better in conjunction with AnyDVD HD. I don't even want to talk about DVDFab, which I also have, but I've had BD rips saved to a folder structure that wouldn't even open later... don't get me started on that! Needless to say, I will ONLY use that program if I need to convert home videos or other extraneous video files.

With regards to "fast action content like Captain America," if you look closely with some x265/HEVC encoding, you will notice some macro blocking; however, I read this is mostly due to certain overclocked cards, not all of them. That's why I've mostly relegated my conversions to x264/AVC, for 1080p which is what my TV is, and I don't notice a difference between it and the original. But like you've already said, you like quality so you don't need to compress the movies if you don't want to.
Very well said! Is there a reason why you don't like MakeMKV? I'm assuming because your end goal is to encode the BD structure down to a more reasonable file size? I like MakeMKV because I am able to decrypt it and have an end result file all at once since I do not plan to encode. I do like the thought of CloneBD in conjunction with AnyDVDHD for the ones that I have trouble with via MakeMKV. It seems pretty stingy on certain discs (I had issues with 2 discs from the same boxset but AnyDVDHD and CloneBD had no issues with them at all). I'm assuming MakeMKV will be my best option for most movies if I do not plan to encode vs AnyDVDHD/CloneBD because that is double the time needed for a 1:1 main movie title rip?

Thanks for sharing your experience with DVDFAB. I have their player right now because it shows me which main title to use but their player has been really stuttery on my PC for some reason and crashes a lot. I have already had a lot of issues with it so if I can just use AnyDVDHD and CloneBD for Lionsgate titles that might make more sense. How much did you pay for AnyDVDHD and CloneBD combo by the way?

Thanks again!
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You should be able to use MKVtoolnix to convert the file to MKV without compressing it. You can download it from the internet much like Makemkv.

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You should be able to use MKVtoolnix to convert the file to MKV without compressing it. You can download it from the internet much like Makemkv.
Are you referring to using this in conjunction with AnyDVDHD when MakeMKV cannot rip a certain disc? I could take the AnyDVDHD decrypted folder and put it into MKVtoolnix and create an uncompressed .MKV just like MakeMKV?

Thanks!
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Are you referring to using this in conjunction with AnyDVDHD when MakeMKV cannot rip a certain disc? I could take the AnyDVDHD decrypted folder and put it into MKVtoolnix and create an uncompressed .MKV just like MakeMKV?

Thanks!
It will take the movie file in whatever format it's in (I only convert from MP4 to mkv, so I'm not sure of other formats...but probably easy enough to look up or ask on this forum) and basically puts it in an MKV container. It's a tool to work in conjunction with makemkv or anydvdhd etc.

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post #18 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by SuperFist View Post
Check out CloneBD!

Their x265/HEVC encoding is much much faster than Handbrake as long as you have an NVIDIA GPU (I have an old GTX 1070 with a Ryzen 7 1700 CPU)! I can compress a 50GB disc down to around 15GB in around 6-7 min with such amazing quality that you'd be hard-pressed to find a difference between it and the original.

Are you serious? If those numbers are correct, I would shave massive amount of time on compressing blu rays. I have a NVIDIA GeForce MX250 on my laptop, and I mainly convert to x264, so are you saying that a quality compressed rip of 30gb file would take me only a few minutes instead of 3 or 4 hours? Also, which of the clonebd products do you use?

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post #19 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 01:36 PM
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Very well said! Is there a reason why you don't like MakeMKV? I'm assuming because your end goal is to encode the BD structure down to a more reasonable file size? I like MakeMKV because I am able to decrypt it and have an end result file all at once since I do not plan to encode. I do like the thought of CloneBD in conjunction with AnyDVDHD for the ones that I have trouble with via MakeMKV. It seems pretty stingy on certain discs (I had issues with 2 discs from the same boxset but AnyDVDHD and CloneBD had no issues with them at all). I'm assuming MakeMKV will be my best option for most movies if I do not plan to encode vs AnyDVDHD/CloneBD because that is double the time needed for a 1:1 main movie title rip?

Thanks for sharing your experience with DVDFAB. I have their player right now because it shows me which main title to use but their player has been really stuttery on my PC for some reason and crashes a lot. I have already had a lot of issues with it so if I can just use AnyDVDHD and CloneBD for Lionsgate titles that might make more sense. How much did you pay for AnyDVDHD and CloneBD combo by the way?

Thanks again!
I mean, MakeMKV is fine if you're doing what you're doing, it's just that I've been using AnyDVD for years and had lifetime licenses with the old and the new company and somewhere along the line I picked up CloneBD. I can't remember what I paid for them, but I think it's worth the investment. And because I had AnyDVD before I even heard about MakeMKV, I never bought it and just survive off the beta keys whenever I want to use it, which is rarely.


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Originally Posted by mr266 View Post
Are you serious? If those numbers are correct, I would shave massive amount of time on compressing blu rays. I have a NVIDIA GeForce MX250 on my laptop, and I mainly convert to x264, so are you saying that a quality compressed rip of 30gb file would take me only a few minutes instead of 3 or 4 hours? Also, which of the clonebd products do you use?
Yep!

EDIT: I checked and meant to say I got the Blu-ray Copy. (I was thinking about DVDFab with the all-in-one.)

Last edited by SuperFist; 05-18-2020 at 01:50 PM.
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-18-2020, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you guys for taking the time to reply! This helps me out EXTREMELY! I am definitely sticking to uncompressed files
*Also the MKVtoolNix works great for no added compression if MakeMKV cannot finish a disc * Thanks for the tip!
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Last edited by iStorm; 05-18-2020 at 02:54 PM.
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post #21 of 21 Old 05-19-2020, 07:36 AM
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My biggest concern and the reason that I was considering doing the encodes was because there are movies like "Army of Darkness" for instance that have like 4 different cuts of the movie on the bluray disc so that is eating up a lot of extra space. I'm not really good at deciding whether I want the "extended cut" or "theatrical" or "unrated" etc. I feel like on a lot of movies I'll be missing out if I just backup the "unrated" vs "theatrical" cut of the movie. Plus there are blu-rays like Criterion releases that are over 40GB for the main movie ONLY, which definitely adds up.. but as mentioned, I want the best quality possible and the cost per GB on the hard drives really isn't that bad and I can always add another ADD ON storage unit that connects via Thunderbolt to my QNAP NAS. You can daisy chain like up to 6 or 8 of them so storage long term shouldn't be an issue, especially with the fact that they are always finding out ways to make bigger Hard Drives.

What a fantastic movie...


What are you using for playback? Do you have hardware that can play a unencrypted full backup (iso or folder structure)? If you do, just using something like makemkv to backup the entire disk unencrypted then play it with menus to select the feature you'd like.


Can Kodi do this? I've not played around with it recently so I'm not sure of it's bluray menu capability.
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