The Power User's Guide to Video Encoding with Handbrake



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No Fast P-Skip: Improves encoding speed by blocking on-solid colors, but also reduces quality.

No DCT Decimate: Tells x264 to "zero out" blocks when they won't be noticed by the viewer. Can be useful in reducing file sizes, but can also introduce unintended artifacts.


Fast P-Skip improves encoding speed by blocking on solid colors, enabling "No Fast P-skip" can sometimes help preserve dither and solve blocking issues, but slows down encoding, so that explanation was kinda backwards.

It is the same for "No DCT Decimate" it is backwards, "DCT Decimate" zeros out blocks, and enabling "No DCT Decimate" disables it from zeroing out blocks.




I have to say been a subscriber to mag since it was boot mag and this is best article you have had.  But it really needs updating now.  Since it was written much has changed with Handbrake, they dropped the xvid codec support and now only support H.264, support Bluray, and support of new built in profiles.

And we now have WD Live, Android Phones, iPads and MKV is becoming a more standard container for home media while MP4 remains the dominent choice in portables.

I think the importance of an updated article like this is huge with portable pads taking off and now Android in the mix.  Please update it!

Also there are some good commercial one click choices out there for the tech challenged as well but maybe thats a separate article.

I believe MakeMKV has had some big updates and BD-Rebuilder while in beta is pretty solid now and recently the author added hidden opts to provide for ability to remove certain bluray content while still keeping the menus. tsmuxer has fixed bugs and so has eac3to.

I know this article was titled Handbrake, but it really went alot farther then I would expect which was great.  Please do the same for next article but I might call it the ripping guide or something.  I know you did a ripping guide article as well but that was in 2009.




Nice Post! Considerate and in great details- really appriciated.

"Rip Blu-ray to MKV (and Retain Chapters and Subtitles)" I'm just to add a comment for this solution- a new released app called ByteCopy now rips Blu-ray to MKV and retain chapters and subtitles like MakeMKV does, and meanwhile downmix TrueHD/DTS-HD audio to AC3 if you like. I think it very useful and recommend it as a top Blu-ray to MKV ripper.




Has anyone found a freeware alternative to DVD2One for merging different video files.  I downloaded the trial version and found that I couldn't join a 2 disc movie because of a 2 hour limit built into the trial version.  I've only got a few 2 disc movies to do this to, so I'm not willing to spend the $60 for the full version.



I don't know if this is a new change or not, but I just
installed DVDFab HD Decrypter on my Win7 64 OS & it said it was free to use
HD Decrypter but all the others (DVD to DVD, Blu-Ray to Blu-Ray, etc) were available
for "Trial User" License for 30 days. When I open up the
"Free" HD Decrypter & select Full Disk or Main Movie under DVD to
DVD it tells me that I'm now starting my 30 trial of DVD to DVD.

Now, sorry for my ignorance if my question if it's one of
those "DUH!" things but I'm new to the world of 64; Why doesn't DVD
43 work in 32bit mode? More than half of my software is 32bit, I'm gonna copy
the decrypted Folder to my HDD & run from that anyways. If I have to I can
always Copy the folder on my 32bit laptop, transfer it over & encode it in
Win7, but if I can avoid the extra step & transfer. Now that I think about it, HandBrake runs in 32bit mode, so what's the
problem with DVD43? Does the, essentially compatibility mode, prevent it from accessing
the proper resource?



Needs more information on how to get the subtitles to work. And I don't just mean this guide, I mean the entire internets. I've scoured around Google and Bing to try to find some help but I still can's get the "soft" subtitles to work despite countless attempts.



I have used these settings for the Xbox 360 and am trying to backup all my dvd's to stream them. I rip the files using DVD fab and then use handbrake to convert the Video_TS folder to a .mpeg4 however the resulting mpeg4 file is not playable in windows media center. I have tried this 3 different times on 2 different DVD's and it has failed to play every time. Any suggestions?



Tried using handbrake, but the devs have pretty much stated they have absolutely no care to even try and get support for enconding to WMV. So if you want 5.1 audio on your XBox, you'll need to look somewhere else for your encoding software. TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress does a fantastic job of this and supports a wide array of formats. Been using it to encode my entire DVD collection. About 130 DVD's down and a lot more to go.



Thanks for the handbrake update. It could have used a how to rip the dvd (movie/TV series) from anydvd section. I get the encoding part with Handbrake but not the part where you rip the dvd to hard disk. Do I just rip the entire disk to HD or do I select certain files, format?....I do have clone dvd2.

Also, I've been searching online for weeks and there seems to be no clear guidelines for ripping TV series DVDS. We need a how to rip TV series with menus and without menus and what to use to play them back? It took me a while to realize if I rip the entire DVD to VOB or ISO I could play it back with menus with VLC but it doesn't work with PS3 media server (not with menus when viewing). Its this kind of stuff that is driving me crazy and makes me just want to buy this instead.....

 Also what is the best app to play them back on? There seems to be many options but which works best for each device. In my case I can hook my Laptop with Windows 7 to my TV and stream from my Windows Home server or use my PS3 or 360. Guess my issue is I have to many options which makes it even more complicated. ;)

Sony 400 blue ray disc player/changer 

Around $500 at Amazon



Just got done two days ago encoding the last of my ripped DVDs. I think it was about 60 or so movies in all. It's great to have them on the PC, all compressed and easily archivable. May I recommend using a DVD drive you don't care about? Basically, if you got a Bluray drive, you wouldn't want to run up the mileage on it because it's more expensive than a $40 Light-On DVD+RW.

My friend was encoding straight from the DVD and his laptop DVD drive went up (I warned him). Fortunately Asus is replacing the drive and he borrowed a USB drive to get the job done, but still...ripping it to the drive then queing it up is the best way. It spins the DVD drive less. I even discovered that toward the end, my Plextor IDE drive I had was giving me some trouble during a rip and would freeze the OS (Windows 7 of all things!).  I was forced to rip the rest with the SATA LG Bluray drive I had (faster). This reminded me of how I hate popping a disc in to a PC and no matter what, it seems to halt everything until it spins up. My new WD Black hard drive would go solid, and lock the OS up forcing a reboot. 

Just some words from the wise who just did it...been there, done that.



I love articles that explain everything thoroughly and in "English". Great article and continue the good work!



This completely makes up for the POS article on routers... this article is EXCELLENT!  Bookmarked for reference.



This was great i have been useing handbrake for some time now but had
no idea how to use some of these features.  This should really come in

As a side note does anyone know how to rip out individual
episodes form TV series dvds.  With some shows each episode is a
different .vob file in the vide_ts folder and it is a simple matter of
cutting and pasting, but other shows have all the episodes on the disc
jamed together in two or three files.  Is there a simple way to split
apart these episodes without manually entering in time segments to
create 'clips'?



I have a few episode discs formatted this way and was able to create files for each episode by selecting the chapters that contain that episode. For example, lets say disc 1 has 4 episodes on it, but only 1 VOB thats just under 4 hours long. If you play it in PowerDVD (or others) first, you should notice that episode 1 starts at chapter 1, episode 2 on ch 9, etc. Make a note where each episode starts and then narrow down the chapter range in HandBrake so it creates 4 files like this:
Episode 1: VTS_1 Chapters 1-8
Episode 2: VTS_1 Chapters 9-16
Episode 3: VTS_1 Chapters 17-24
Episode 4: VTS_1 Chapters 25-32

Of course, this is just an example and your details may vary.



Yeah, this is good stuff. I was totally bummed they removed all the presets from 0.9.4. Now I don't have to fart around and try to figure this stuff out myself (or spend hours googling for the info).



Thanks for the great article!!!

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