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Discussion Starter #1
Just want to make sure I'm doing this right before I get going. I "think" I know what I'm doing, but I don't want to waste a buttload of time if I'm wrong.


Got my new laptop (i7-3610QM) with a BluRay player, and I have the Inception disk. The goals:


1. makeMKV the main movie into a lossless format for backup, keeping all English subtitles and English audio tracks for playback on my home theater system using the highest quality settings and the full HD lossless audio

2. handbrake the mkv, into a version that will play on a laptop using the non-HD audio

3. handbrake the mkv into a version that will play on an iPod



However, the Inception disk has a pile of titles. Most of them are fairly obvious, but there are a pair of 14-chapter titles, one that is 37 GB, the other that is 32 GB. The audio has the following choices:


- DTS-HD Lossless English

- DTS 3/2+1 English



my primary points of confusion are

1. What, exactly, is the difference between DTS 3/2+1 and the DTS-HD? Is the 3/2+1 simply a compressed version of the lossless audio track? I know the 3/2+1 stands for the speaker setup, but what is the difference?


2. If the DTS-HD lossless is selected ONLY, will I lose the ability to later on convert into whatever format is necessary for my daughter's iPod?


3. Handbrake's audio track section has a few options in it that kinda have me confused. Source makes sense, but the other columns give me a headache. When the heck do I select each of the options in the Audio Codec and Mixdown dropdown menus? From what I gather, the "Codec" portion should be AC3 unless it needs to be put onto an apple device, in which case it needs to be aac. However, what is the practical difference between "faac", "aac passthru", and "ffmpeg"? Mixdown gives me multiple options including Dolby Pro Logic II, Dolby Surround, Stereo, and 6 channel discrete. When do I use what? Would I simply use Stereo for the version I rip for my daughter's iPod, since she'll have a set of earbuds in? Shoult d I mess with the Samplerate section at all? What about the bitrate?


ugh. It's scary that I'm light years ahead of where I was a few weeks ago when I first started looking at this stuff, but I'm still so mind-numbingly clueless.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
wow. handbrake'd from the 37GB to a 3.5 GB in about 4 hours. Sweet....I'm liking this i7.



kinda impressive to be honest. If anyone gets a chance or has the expertise, would love to get a brief "audio for dummies" explanation for the above. I've read a variety of information on it, but I'm still not quite 'there' yet
 

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From Wikipedia


"According to DTS-HD White Paper[5], the DTS-HD Master Audio contains 2 data streams: the original DTS core stream and the additional "residual" stream which contains the "difference" between the original signal and the lossy compression DTS core stream. The audio signal is split into two paths at the input to the encoder. One path goes to the core encoder for backwards compatibility and is then decoded. The other path compares the original audio to the decoded core signal and generates residuals, which are data over and above what the core contains that is needed to restore the original audio as bit-for-bit identical to the original. The residual data is then encoded by a lossless encoder and packed together with the core. The decoding process is simply the reverse. Note that DTS-HD lossless audio coding is always variable bit rate."


So basically DTS-HD will always contain the "core" DTS track (3/2+1) for backwards compatibility. You'll be fine keeping just the DTS-HD track for all your mkvs. Note that the same is not true for Dolby TrueHD.


As for the rest, i never mess with it. But in a nutshell, anything labeled "pass through" means the audio is more or less untouched. AC3 and Dolby Digital are the same thing. Dolby Pro Logic is, in my opinion, an obsolete format. Google it if you're interested. Ffmpeg and faac are encoders and you probably shouldn't mess with the default settings. As long as you have an aac track, which handbrake should automatically select using most presets, the ipod player will downmix to the correct number of channels (2).


Long story short, pick a preset and stick with the default settings. The developers of handbrake are apple users and decided on those defaults based on their very extensive knowledge of a/v encoding. I like high profile personally.


My question for you is what program are you using to play video files on your laptop? Some players can decode the DTS making handbrake compression unnecessary unless you're really concerned with disk space.
 

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Discussion Starter #4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh3693  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22250310


From Wikipedia

"According to DTS-HD White Paper[5], the DTS-HD Master Audio contains 2 data streams: the original DTS core stream and the additional "residual" stream which contains the "difference" between the original signal and the lossy compression DTS core stream. The audio signal is split into two paths at the input to the encoder. One path goes to the core encoder for backwards compatibility and is then decoded. The other path compares the original audio to the decoded core signal and generates residuals, which are data over and above what the core contains that is needed to restore the original audio as bit-for-bit identical to the original. The residual data is then encoded by a lossless encoder and packed together with the core. The decoding process is simply the reverse. Note that DTS-HD lossless audio coding is always variable bit rate."

So basically DTS-HD will always contain the "core" DTS track (3/2+1) for backwards compatibility. You'll be fine keeping just the DTS-HD track for all your mkvs. Note that the same is not true for Dolby TrueHD.
ou sir

oh wow, so if I understand things, the DTS-HD already has the DTS 3/2+1 within it, so my "main" mkv only needs the DTS-HD. When I go to handbrake down to the laptop format and the iPod format, I'll be able to use the DTS 3/2+1 and then use the AC3 for the laptop format and the AAC for the iPod format.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh3693  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22250310


As for the rest, i never mess with it. But in a nutshell, anything labeled "pass through" means the audio is more or less untouched. AC3 and Dolby Digital are the same thing. Dolby Pro Logic is, in my opinion, an obsolete format. Google it if you're interested. Ffmpeg and faac are encoders and you probably shouldn't mess with the default settings. As long as you have an aac track, which handbrake should automatically select using most presets, the ipod player will downmix to the correct number of channels (2).

excellent! Thank you sir!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh3693  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22250310


My question for you is what program are you using to play video files on your laptop? Some players can decode the DTS making handbrake compression unnecessary unless you're really concerned with disk space.

VLC on my laptop.
 

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Quote:
VLC on my laptop.

VLC is great in that it will play pretty much anything you throw at it. Give a couple of your makemkv rips a shot and see how well they work. You might be surprised. Now if you ever decide you'd like to experiment a bit, give the "Advanced MPC-HC" sticky post a look. Many feel that set up gives better quality (YMMV) and it sets you up for bitstreaming HD audio something VLC doesn't do.
 

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Does VLC decode HD Audio?
 

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No HD Audio = No Go for me..
 

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Discussion Starter #9
so is there every a reason to bother with AC3? I did a bunch of testing, and it seems that the differences in handbrake between


stereo, discrete 6-channel, DPL-II filesize-wise, are almost irrelevant. I took the Karate Kid (2010) Blu-Ray and handbrake'd it (handbroke??) to a 1280, DP22 format using all manners and combinations of the choices in mixdown and codecs, i.e. faac, ffmpeg, aac, ac3 with all other settings being equal. filesizes ranged from 2,212,000 to 2,200,000, or a 12 MB total difference in a file just over 2.2 GBs, which is irrelevant as far as I'm concerned.


There's gotta be a reason to use one over the other, right? If it isn't filesize, then what is it?
 

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AAC is used mostly for iDevices. It's the only format they play natively in fact. It's fine for a pair of earbuds but generally speaking it's pretty poor quality sound. AC3 is used by AppleTV

(in addition to AAC) and virtually everything will play it. It is quite old. It support full 5.1 sound if you have that type of setup. If you're just using your TV speakers your probably won't notice any difference between AAC and AC3 5.1/Dolby Surround/Dolby Pro-Logic etc. If you have good quality 5.1 speakers then one of the HD audio types is easily the best however some people can't really hear the difference between AC3 5.1 and HD Audio.


So, if you want to play it on a portable device, especially Apple, then include an AAC track. if you have a home theater with 5.1 setup add an AC3 6 channel track also to get the proper surround. Otherwise AC3 Dolby Surround or Dolby Pro-Logic might suffice for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #11

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22266221


AAC is used mostly for iDevices. It's the only format they play natively in fact. It's fine for a pair of earbuds but generally speaking it's pretty poor quality sound. AC3 is used by AppleTV (in addition to AAC) and virtually everything will play it. It is quite old. It support full 5.1 sound if you have that type of setup. If you're just using your TV speakers your probably won't notice any difference between AAC and AC3 5.1/Dolby Surround/Dolby Pro-Logic etc. If you have good quality 5.1 speakers then one of the HD audio types is easily the best however some people can't really hear the difference between AC3 5.1 and HD Audio.

So, if you want to play it on a portable device, especially Apple, then include an AAC track. if you have a home theater with 5.1 setup add an AC3 6 channel track also to get the proper surround. Otherwise AC3 Dolby Surround or Dolby Pro-Logic might suffice for you.

As pitiful as this is going to seem, please let me make sure i understand what you mean for my 'process" as I am still learning what everything means in handbrake and a lot of stuff which should be obvious...isn't quite so obvious to me. So please let me talk this out...


My process:

Step 1 - makeMKV the original disc. I'll use this on my home theater system for a lossless copy. I'll store these files on my big hard drive, so I have no issue with the 25-35 GB mkv files from BluRays. Max quality is key. I have a decent home theater system and a big ole' Blu-Ray capable TV.

Step 2 - Handbrake the fullsize MKV into a smaller mkv suitable for use on a laptop or smaller home system. I'll store this on a smaller portable hard drive to take with me on deployments, and for my older daughter to take with her to school to watch on her laptop. I'd prefer to keep these under 1.5 GB, but this needs to be a step up from just "earbud/headphone" sound because I want it to be playable in our 'family room' which has a 37" TV and a cheap, older 5.1 speaker system

Step 3 - Handkbrake the MKV into an mp4 suitable for use (and temp storage) on an iPod. Quality can be lower, small file size IS important, I want these to be under 650-700 MB at most. These are just earbuds and at most 960 resolution or whatever the little portable devices can use today.


so that means:


Step 1 - Include original DTS-HD/TrueHD (BluRay) or DD/DTS 3/2+1 with makeMKV

Step 2 - Use Handbrake's AC3 (ffmpeg) and Dolby Pro Logic II to allow for at least reasonable sound on lower quality "home systems" plus maxing out any laptop type sound system

Step 3 - Use handbrake's aac (faac) or aac (ffmpeg) for the audio


Does my process make sense? If so, I think I'm *almost* there!
3 questions, please:

1. you mentioned the "add an AC3 6 channel track". Is that the "6-channel discrete" Mixdown setting?

2. If I'm using the "full sound" available from the orignal source mkv for my home system, I wouldn't need anything more than DPL-II for a 'lesser' system, correct?

3. Is there really any difference between faac or ffmpeg as the audio codec? I notice the file size difference is neglible. Is there a compatibility difference? Or is it basically a to-MAY-to to-MAH-to type thing?


Thanks a ton for putting up with my questions. I'm sure it'll make perfect sense once I get it all in, but for right now, it seems like calculus.
I've been doing my reading and I've makeMKV'D/handbraked several dozen files in the last 2 weeks (pretty much 24/7 with the queue and whatnot), and I only have so much time to test in each of the various environments. Even with an i7-3610, it takes over an hour to makeMKV a BluRay and another 4 or so to Handbrake the sucker (less for the iPod), so that's a lot of time. Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrobo  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22266512


As pitiful as this is going to seem, please let me make sure i understand what you mean for my 'process" as I am still learning what everything means in handbrake and a lot of stuff which should be obvious...isn't quite so obvious to me. So please let me talk this out...

My process:

Step 1 - makeMKV the original disc. I'll use this on my home theater system for a lossless copy. I'll store these files on my big hard drive, so I have no issue with the 25-35 GB mkv files from BluRays. Max quality is key. I have a decent home theater system and a big ole' Blu-Ray capable TV.

Step 2 - Handbrake the fullsize MKV into a smaller mkv suitable for use on a laptop or smaller home system. I'll store this on a smaller portable hard drive to take with me on deployments, and for my older daughter to take with her to school to watch on her laptop. I'd prefer to keep these under 1.5 GB, but this needs to be a step up from just "earbud/headphone" sound because I want it to be playable in our 'family room' which has a 37" TV and a cheap, older 5.1 speaker system

Step 3 - Handkbrake the MKV into an mp4 suitable for use (and temp storage) on an iPod. Quality can be lower, small file size IS important, I want these to be under 650-700 MB at most. These are just earbuds and at most 960 resolution or whatever the little portable devices can use today.

so that means:

Step 1 - Include original DTS-HD/TrueHD (BluRay) or DD/DTS 3/2+1 with makeMKV

Step 2 - Use Handbrake's AC3 (ffmpeg) and Dolby Pro Logic II to allow for at least reasonable sound on lower quality "home systems" plus maxing out any laptop type sound system

Step 3 - Use handbrake's aac (faac) or aac (ffmpeg) for the audio

I don't think you need 3 different files really. I'd suggest the following but it might depend on how much space you have on your iPod or iPhone and how old it is. What I'd suggest is:


Step 1 - MakeMKV of the original disk for home use.

Step 2 - Handbrake to .m4v for both use on a laptop or iPod. Add 2 audio tracks to the file. The first should be AAC and the second should be AC3 downmixed to 6-channel discrete. .m4v will play fine on a laptop with most players.


You'll save youself 1 conversion and the disk space of having 3 seperate files instead of just 2. One is for the big screen, the second is for everything else.
Quote:
1. you mentioned the "add an AC3 6 channel track". Is that the "6-channel discrete" Mixdown setting?
Yes
Quote:
2. If I'm using the "full sound" available from the orignal source mkv for my home system, I wouldn't need anything more than DPL-II for a 'lesser' system, correct?
That is technically correct. I like to include the 2nd AC3 6-channel discrete audio track to future proof it, say for an AppleTV or plugging an iPad into an AVR for playback. But, you're right that it's not needed for a laptop or iPod that only has stereo speakers.
Quote:
3. Is there really any difference between faac or ffmpeg as the audio codec? I notice the file size difference is neglible. Is there a compatibility difference? Or is it basically a to-MAY-to to-MAH-to type thing?

Thanks a ton for putting up with my questions. I'm sure it'll make perfect sense once I get it all in, but for right now, it seems like calculus.
I've been doing my reading and I've makeMKV'D/handbraked several dozen files in the last 2 weeks (pretty much 24/7 with the queue and whatnot), and I only have so much time to test in each of the various environments. Even with an i7-3610, it takes over an hour to makeMKV a BluRay and another 4 or so to Handbrake the sucker (less for the iPod), so that's a lot of time. Thanks again.
The big reason for AAC is that it is required for playback on iPod/iPhone/iPad. It is not really superior sound in any way. faac and ffmpeg are just the conversion mechanism. The final codec is AAC. faac has always worked well for me but there's really probably only very minor differences between the 2.


I'd say you're probably about right with your timings. 45-60 minutes to MakeMKV a blu-ray. Make sure not to pick uneeded titles, audio and subtitle tracks. 4 hours for a good conversion in Handbrake is about what is to be expected. Just queue them up and let them run overnight or while at work.


Let me know if you have more questions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22269459


I don't think you need 3 different files really. I'd suggest the following but it might depend on how much space you have on your iPod or iPhone and how old it is. What I'd suggest is:

Step 1 - MakeMKV of the original disk for home use.

Step 2 - Handbrake to .m4v for both use on a laptop or iPod. Add 2 audio tracks to the file. The first should be AAC and the second should be AC3 downmixed to 6-channel discrete. .m4v will play fine on a laptop with most players. You'll save youself 1 conversion and the disk space of having 3 seperate files instead of just 2. One is for the big screen, the second is for everything else.

well, I have a 3 TB and a few 1 TB externals, and a 1 TB internal. I also offload the "mini-Pod" files onto the iPod itself (iPod classic). I've found that setting handbrake to get me an mkv around 1~1.5GB seems to be a pretty decent mix of filesize and quality for playback on the laptop and the 32" in my dayroom. I don't want to toss a 1.5 GB file on the ipod, since I'm able to get the ipod files to about 500 MB and my daughter is perfectly happy with them. Since I'm offloading them anyway, space isnt' an issue, and I just set up handbrake's queue to do about 10 of the "mini-pod" files while I sleep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22269459


That is technically correct. I like to include the 2nd AC3 6-channel discrete audio track to future proof it, say for an AppleTV or plugging an iPad into an AVR for playback. But, you're right that it's not needed for a laptop or iPod that only has stereo speakers.

The big reason for AAC is that it is required for playback on iPod/iPhone/iPad. It is not really superior sound in any way. faac and ffmpeg are just the conversion mechanism. The final codec is AAC. faac has always worked well for me but there's really probably only very minor differences between the 2.

I'd say you're probably about right with your timings. 45-60 minutes to MakeMKV a blu-ray. Make sure not to pick uneeded titles, audio and subtitle tracks. 4 hours for a good conversion in Handbrake is about what is to be expected. Just queue them up and let them run overnight or while at work.

Let me know if you have more questions.

one of the things I'm considering is doing a handbrake of the original BluRay using RF19 and pass-thru audio, and using that as my "play file" for my big screen. I honestly can't say I notice any differnce at all between an 8 GB BluRay that I handbrake'd at RF19 and the original 30GB full-size mkv, other than some stuttering with the 30 GB.


Understand, I have an i7-3610, so CPU *shouldn't* be that much of an issue. I wonder if that 8 GB file won't just play a little smoother?
 

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When you said iPod, I just assumed an iPod touch. For an iPod classic I can see why you would want smaller files so if you don't mind spend the extra time then do it. However, I imagine that some point you may wish to upgrade the iPod classic so you might want to re-encode then.


If you don't notice the difference between the full size .mkv and an compressed handbraked file then I'd suggest doing that. A lot of people don't notice the difference, it may be their TV, their distance from the TV, their eyesight or whatever. If you don't notice the difference then no problem going for a smaller file size. Do you have a 5.1 audio setup on the main system? Does it suppoer DTS-HD or TrueHD? If so then keep those audio tracks as pass-through.
 

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Discussion Starter #15

Quote:
Originally Posted by JMGNYC  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22271769


When you said iPod, I just assumed an iPod touch. For an iPod classic I can see why you would want smaller files so if you don't mind spend the extra time then do it. However, I imagine that some point you may wish to upgrade the iPod classic so you might want to re-encode then.

If you don't notice the difference between the full size .mkv and an compressed handbraked file then I'd suggest doing that. A lot of people don't notice the difference, it may be their TV, their distance from the TV, their eyesight or whatever. If you don't notice the difference then no problem going for a smaller file size. Do you have a 5.1 audio setup on the main system? Does it suppoer DTS-HD or TrueHD? If so then keep those audio tracks as pass-through.

yeah, what I've been doing is "future proofing" (tee hee) the iPod classic rips, into a format that has suitable resolution for the classic as well as the higher resolution touch and iPhone. Tested on both as well as my wife's Droid 4, which I think does 960 resolution, and I can get pretty much every movie down to the 500ish MB level with acceptable visual and audio quality


I do have a 5.1 audio, so I am doing pass-thru for the files. For example, I did the Platoon BD, which was over 25 GB "whole" as an mkv, then hadnbraked using RF20 and DTS-HD pass thru, and it ended up being 12 GB, which is obviously more manageable. I'm learning how strange it is with compression though, some files compress really well, others, not so much. I did the Karate Kid (2010) BluRay with my 'laptop' settings, and I couldn't get it under 2 GB, yet using identical settings, I am Legend is barely over 1 GB, and I got Inception just under 1 GB.


Interesting how some movies compress way better than others, even with identical settings.
 

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Yes you can't use the same settings for different content. Stuff like pixar animations which are obviously digital and very clean compress very well.


Films with a lot of grain usually demand a lot of bitrate.


X264 has a lot more settings than you see in handbrake. To account for things like that. But that's only if you want to get really serious. I don't pretend to be an expert.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22273297


Yes you can't use the same settings for different content. Stuff like pixar animations which are obviously digital and very clean compress very well.

Films with a lot of grain usually demand a lot of bitrate.

X264 has a lot more settings than you see in handbrake. To account for things like that. But that's only if you want to get really serious. I don't pretend to be an expert.

haha...95% of what Handbrake has is completely over my head. I've managed to get a basic grip on the RF slider and I'm starting to "get there" with the basics available on the audio tab. I'm just happy that I am starting to 'get a clue' what the difference between aac, ac3, and DTS are (ha....)
 

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No I'm with you man. The pros do it all via command line. And they have scripts that are 3 or 4 lines long with all the various settings.


Rf is a great way to start though.

 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgtrobo  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22273484


haha...95% of what Handbrake has is completely over my head. I've managed to get a basic grip on the RF slider and I'm starting to "get there" with the basics available on the audio tab. I'm just happy that I am starting to 'get a clue' what the difference between aac, ac3, and DTS are (ha....)

Join the club. I've been messing with CLI and just recently figured out all of the audio commands. But subtitles are still over my head. I've spent enough time on it that I'm giving up and want to just pay someone so I can move on to my other projects. No one wants my money
.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by scl23enn4m3  /t/1421734/so-complete-newb-ready-t...ng-handbrake-questions-included#post_22273954


Join the club. I've been messing with CLI and just recently figured out all of the audio commands. But subtitles are still over my head. I've spent enough time on it that I'm giving up and want to just pay someone so I can move on to my other projects. No one wants my money
.
Pay someone to what? Encode your whole movie collection?
 
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