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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am about to start encoding my blue ray and dvd collection and was wandering what the best encoder was. I know handbrake i very popular, but i was hoping tu use a gpu accelerated encoder like Badaboom or Media Show Espresso. I will be encoding into MKV/X264 for compression sake. Quality is more important than encoding speed, but i would like to use gpu acceleration if possible. MOst Badaboom reviews are old and show complaints of audio quality. Media Show Espresso is newer and reviews seem better but al info is limited.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree that a direct copy is the best, but from what i have read, compression can be done without major loss of quality. This is the route i have chosen so i need answers to the encoder question.
 

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"Major loss" is a matter of opinion, display, and attention to detail. When I did experiments with DVDs, I couldn't even save 40% without introducing noticable quality issues, and that's not enough IMO to justify the effort. As far as I'm concerned the idea that you can "compress" a DVD to 1/4 or 1/8th it's original size without impacting quality is a myth.


As far as encoding goes, MeGUI is probably the "best" out there, but it's got a huge learning curve.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So, in your opinion, creating a high quality mkv.x264 file greatly affects the quality of the picture. My understanding(limited) was that the x264 codec did a very good job of preserving quality. If i want to store DVD's and BR's ion their standard format, i would need an enormous storarge capacity.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzforb /forum/post/18277946


So, in your opinion, creating a high quality mkv.x264 file greatly affects the quality of the picture. My understanding(limited) was that the x264 codec did a very good job of preserving quality. If i want to store DVD's and BR's ion their standard format, i would need an enormous storarge capacity.

No, it doesn't greatly reduce quality if done right. Someone mentioned MeGUI, this is one of the tools I use it, tsMuxer, eac3to, and MKVMerge, and can make essentially transparent backups. Stanger89 is right though, it has a steep learning curve, but once you figure out what the x264 settings, and how to use MeGUI it is a cakewalk, and you're getting 12-40GB BD's down to 8-15GB with, as I said essentially no loss of quality, and if you have the right setup for playback, can even encode them with HD audio.


For DVD I was using AutoGK , worked great.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzforb /forum/post/18277946


So, in your opinion, creating a high quality mkv.x264 file greatly affects the quality of the picture.

To be clear, I said "noticeably" not "greatly". But for me noticeable is enough to whole undertaking a non-starter.

Quote:
My understanding(limited) was that the x264 codec did a very good job of preserving quality.

It is quite good, but it's only at it's best with a clean, uncompressed source. With DVD, you're starting it with a handicap. And from my testing, to get the quality to the point where there weren't noticable new compression artifacts from the transcoding, I had to crank the bitrate up so far as to make the space savings negligible compared to the massive effort of tweaking encoding settings, running test encodes, and checking the results (re-encoding with different settings if necessary).


I know h.264 can produce quite good results at 500-600MB/hr (SD), but only when viewed in isolation. If you've got the origital source (the DVD) around to compare to, you can (depending on display and attention to detail) easilly see the artifacts caused by the recompression process. And for me the whole point of having the discs stored electronically is rendered moot if it's inferior to the DVD sitting on the shelf in the back of my HT.

Quote:
If i want to store DVD's and BR's ion their standard format, i would need an enormous storarge capacity.

You can get about 400 DVDs or 40-80 BDs on a 2TB ($150) HDD.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When you speak of copying the dvd directly to the HDD, what format will be present when you are done. AnyDVD seems to rip a TS Video folder. Do i want to rip an iso or a TS file. Please be patient as I am learning. Some of my questions have come from reading this article.

http://imouto.my/watching-h264-video...itecture-cuda/


I know he is talking about the watching end of things, but he seems to imply that the source would be h.264 codec. What benefit would this acceleration have if it were not using encoded material. Will this native format your are speaking of stream over a wired network. Will MCP-HC play the files in the format you are referring to. Just to let you know, I have MP 1.1RC installed to watch on bedroom moniter and had planned on streaming my HDD based movies to my either PS3 through a software called stream PS3, or another smaller form HTPC with MP on it.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzforb /forum/post/18279291


When you speak of copying the dvd directly to the HDD, what format will be present when you are done. AnyDVD seems to rip a TS Video folder. Do i want to rip an iso or a TS file. Please be patient as I am learning. Some of my questions have come from reading this article.

http://imouto.my/watching-h264-video...itecture-cuda/


I know he is talking about the watching end of things, but he seems to imply that the source would be h.264 codec. What benefit would this acceleration have if it were not using encoded material. Will this native format your are speaking of stream over a wired network. Will MCP-HC play the files in the format you are referring to. Just to let you know, I have MP 1.1RC installed to watch on bedroom moniter and had planned on streaming my HDD based movies to my either PS3 through a software called stream PS3, or another smaller form HTPC with MP on it.

For a DVD you'll have a Video_TS folder, that will contain .VOB, .BUP, and .IFO, the important ones are the .VOB, those are you movie files. You want to rip as the folders, if you do the .iso, you'll have to mount it to rip the movie.
 

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Re-encoding is a personal choice. Be aware that various people's opinions about it have a lot to do with how nice their watching environment is. If someone sitting across the room from their 32 TV says they can compress the bajesus out of a bluray with no perceptible loss of quality, they are right. If someone else says they can see any loss of quality when they normally watch them on a 10' wide projection screen, they too are right.


The best way to determine if it is worth your time is to learn how to use the tools so you can experiment for yourself what looks best for your setup (but keep in mind that you may not have that particular setup forever.)


That said, personally I think compressing discs is only valid if you are planning to steal rentals. It's not worth the quality hit and time it takes to put in the effort to reduce the quality if you already have the original on a disc sitting across the room. but I don't normally watch my blu rays on my 32 TV either.


-Suntan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzforb /forum/post/18279291


either PS3 through a software called stream PS3

Be aware that not all functionality is available on the PS3 when streaming movies that is available playing them off the disc (or playing them off of a USB attached drive.)


Audio formats are affected (which can be worked around if the streamer you are using can convert them to LPCM on the fly), as well as the ability to playback video in native 24p (which can not be worked around when you are streaming.)


-Suntan
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I have quite a few BR's and DVD's, many that are mine personally, and some that my friends own. For me the advantage is access(all in one easily accesable spot - MP1.1RC) as well as not having to depend on a disc that my three children like to use as throwing weapons or sleds on their feet. NO beating them does not seem to stop them. Kids! MEGui doesn't seem to difficult from what i have seen on internet reads. Perhaps i will give that a go. What kind of quality do you think you would get from Media Espresso or Badaboom. They both utilize gpu acceleration during the encoding process.
 

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@stanger89: I understand your point, but for some of us - me included - it's worth a good amount of time to be able to get even a 10% - 15% savings on the file size. If that savings leads to me having to buy even one less hard drive, then that's worth it to me. Plus, when you consider that backing up large amounts of these files will mean twice the number of hard drives, then you're talking about some serious savings.


I'm as interested in this as buzzforb is. I'd like to know what codecs are best to use (most importantly, can the Xbox 360 read them or do I need to go with an HTPC that I can add codec support to), as well as which programs are best to rip/encode with.


@Suntan: I disagree that you have to be stealing rentals to get value from this. First off, I would like to have the movies readily available so I don't have to search through my physical library to find something. Secondly, I have a Blu-Ray drive on my main computer, but not in my media extender, so this allows me to view content in whichever room I choose. Finally, in addition to having discs scratched, I lose DVDs all the time. I'm very particular about my collection and I almost NEVER let people borrow them (because I'm too stupid to remember to get them back), but I still manage to lose movies I've bought - if nothing else, when I move.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzforb /forum/post/18279291

http://imouto.my/watching-h264-video...itecture-cuda/


I know he is talking about the watching end of things, but he seems to imply that the source would be h.264 codec. What benefit would this acceleration have if it were not using encoded material.

First thing you have to realize is everything we have access to is encoded. DVDs are MPEG-2, and BDs are MPEG-2, VC-1, or H.264. As far as accelleration goes, most all current video cards support full hardware decode or at least accelleration of all three codecs.


As far as using CoreAVC's CUDA decoding, IMO if you're ripping yourself it's completely irrelevant, you should be encoding to a DXVA/standalone compatible profile to begin with.

Quote:
Will this native format your are speaking of stream over a wired network. Will MCP-HC play the files in the format you are referring to.

Yes you can play "native" DVD rips over the network, and yes MPC-HC will play them. Frankly that's one of the advantages of native (folder) DVD rips, just about anything can play them these days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/18279636


The best way to determine if it is worth your time is to learn how to use the tools so you can experiment for yourself what looks best for your setup (but keep in mind that you may not have that particular setup forever.)

Agree completely which is why I tried to frame my comments in context of my interpretation of my test results.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 27HoursLater /forum/post/18280177


@stanger89: I understand your point, but for some of us - me included - it's worth a good amount of time to be able to get even a 10% - 15% savings on the file size. If that savings leads to me having to buy even one less hard drive, then that's worth it to me.

See, I just don't see it, but maybe I don't have enough DVDs (I've only got ~500 DVDs and ~50 HD discs). 10, 20, even 30% doesn't change the scale of the storage I need. If we were talking about the mythical 70, 80, 90% reduction some have proclaimed, then yeah, I'd be all over it.


But unfortunately for me, if I go big enough to where my re-encodings are truly transparent, the size is negligibly smaller than the original.


Of course the other issue is that over time my equipment improves. When I started ripping DVDs IIRC I was using a "cheap" 720p projector on about an 80" 16:9 screen. It was in a light colored room, overall not a great setup.


Now I've got a mid-high end 1080p projector on a 110" wide scope screen with full light control. If I'd have ripped my DVDs down to 1-2GB where they looked "OK" on a smaller, worse display, I'd have ended up doing all that ripping over again as my equipment improved and the issues became apparent.


Ripping with no recompression is "future proof". You'll never have to re-rip again to get a version with less sacrifice in quality.

Quote:
Plus, when you consider that backing up large amounts of these files will mean twice the number of hard drives, then you're talking about some serious savings.

You have the original discs, they're the backup.

Quote:
I'm as interested in this as buzzforb is. I'd like to know what codecs are best to use (most importantly, can the Xbox 360 read them or do I need to go with an HTPC that I can add codec support to), as well as which programs are best to rip/encode with.

H.264 and VC1 are the best codecs to use, should you want to go that way. VC1 is probably better (more compatible) if you're going the Xbox route.
 

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I never said that ripping discs is only useful if you're stealing. I said that compressing them is only useful if you're stealing. Basically, if you are interested in obtaining and storing the videos for the absolute minimum cost possible, it makes sense.


As I said, just my opinion. I just don't see the value in storing the movie on a HDD if it is going to be of inferior quality to the version that is also in your house already.


-Suntan
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suntan /forum/post/18280573


I never said that “ripping” discs is only useful if you’re stealing. I said that “compressing” them is only useful if you’re stealing. Basically, if you are interested in obtaining and storing the videos for the absolute minimum cost possible, it makes sense.


As I said, just my opinion. I just don’t see the value in storing the movie on a HDD if it is going to be of inferior quality to the version that is also in your house already.


-Suntan

The point is though that with x264 you can make greatly reduced size copies of BD's that are virtually transparent to the source.


50GB BD disc http://hdimage.org/images/hoy375n9mz...v4_0676556.png


9.8GB encode http://hdimage.org/images/80kvjbg4iy...my_0576556.png


And why would someone wanting to save space be only interested in stealing? I'd rather sink my money into games, and BD's than new TB HDD's, but that doesn't mean I want to sacrifice quality for back-ups, and I don't have to. My son uses our HTPC, and I encode his movies to his HDD so he can just crank up MC7 and scroll through to what he wants to watch, I'd much rather encode his cartoons and movies to smaller sizes since he isn't exactly a critic


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stanger89 /forum/post/0


But unfortunately for me, if I go big enough to where my re-encodings are truly transparent, the size is negligibly smaller than the original.

Not necessarily true, well the for you part may be, but you can get transparent encodes that are MUCH smaller than the originals. Generally when I make full size remuxes they are still 23-40GB, and well, see the screens for what can be done with x264. Of course if you are also adding in HD audio, you're looking at another 4+GB vs 1.5 for the core.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If i chose to rip the DVd's and BR's in native format, i would get vob files as a result. what do i need to do with them after that. Should i combine all the vob files together or leave them in seperated form. MEGui seems to have excellent quality reviews so i may look into that. Do you guys use or like MP or should i just use mcp-hc and stream to ps3.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzforb /forum/post/18280880


If i chose to rip the DVd's and BR's in native format, i would get vob files as a result. what do i need to do with them after that. Should i combine all the vob files together or leave them in seperated form. MEGui seems to have excellent quality reviews so i may look into that. Do you guys use or like MP or should i just use mcp-hc and stream to ps3.

I use MPC-HC from my HTPC, I didn't have a PS3 so I didn't take it's limitations into account on my encodes, now I am looking into what it needs to be used to stream movies since I bought one last week, and it doesn't see any of my encodes



As far as MeGUI, I can PM you a tutorial I made a while back (I think it's linked in the content streamers forum ...somewhere), but it is a general how to, the real magic is in the x264 settings, though nowadays there are profiles you can load and go with that will produce some really good encodes. I did a lot of reading on x264, talked to a couple friends that were great encoders, but it's still a lot of trial and error. If I really care about the movie, I'll do sample encodes with 150MB pieces, and change a few settings until I get one that works best.


Here's info on x264 settings http://mewiki.project357.com/wiki/X2...#x264_Settings
 
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