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I was late making the switch to digital, but here I am finally converting my movie collection. Problem is, they're taking up more space than I anticipated. I'm using Handbrake, and even though I'm lowering the quality considerably, most of the files it generates are still close to a gigabyte. I used to see full-length movie titles years ago that'd take up less than half that space. I haven't spent much time tweaking settings; can anyone suggest what I might be doing wrong?

Old Post 11-05-12 00:12 #
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I use handbrake and my files are usually less than a gig. I just use the default setting for ripping DVDs, which is FFmpeg codec with an average bitrate of 1000 kbps. The audio is 128k mp3 joint stereo.

I suggest, too, using 2-pass encoding for a better quality compression at a smaller file size. Mind you, it doubles encoding time. Usually a good quality DVD rip should be about seven hundred megs, unless you are shrinking the aspect ratio for portable devices, I don't know.

Old Post 11-05-12 01:19 #
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I'm OK with sub-DVD quality, so I'm experimenting with downsampling. We'll see how that turns out in a few hours. If I can get <750MB per movie, I'll be happy.

Old Post 11-05-12 02:01 #
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If you're willing to sacrifice encoding time, using higher-quality settings in things life reference frames, max b-frames, motion estimation method, subpixel ME & mode decision, motion estimation range, etc. will pack a lot more quality into a smaller overall filesize.

By doing that, I've consistently shaved off well over 10% of a file's default "Normal Mode" size while increasing video quality from RF:20 to RF:19 and boosting audio quality from AAC 160K to AAC 192K. They'd be even smaller if I kept video quality at RF:20 and audio at AAC 160K.

Of course, that makes my encode times take ~6 hours rather than ~30 minutes for the average movie, but the space saved and quality gained is worth it to me.

Old Post 11-05-12 05:12 #
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There's an idea. Handbrake lets you form a queue, right? I'm not at my computer right now. I could just as easily render a few movies at a time and leave the PC run overnight. What settings do you use?

Is it worth ripping a 30-second video to see how different settings work? Waiting 2 hours to judge slight changes in quality is a hassle.

Old Post 11-05-12 05:22 #
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Yeah, that's part of why I spent nearly a month trying to get the right quality:filesize ratio. Aside from picking apart nearly every available setting, I didn't realize the encode times would go up exponentially. Had to do a few overnight jobs near the end.

Anyway, here's a normal low-quality quick-encode profile and here's my floofy high-quality take-forever-to-encode profile.

And here's some filesize comparisons between the two profiles:

Frank Herbert's Dune E1:
Normal: 1,004,422
Floofy: 881,360

Independence Day (Extended Edition):
Normal: 1,377,168
Floofy: 1,294,261

Kick-Ass:
Normal: 1,199,470
Floofy: 1,031,909

Shutter Island:
Normal: 1,236,649
Floofy: 1,139,004

Again, the smaller filesizes use RF:19 and AAC 192K while the larger filesizes use RF:20 and AAC 160K. That's because the stupidly-high-quality settings in the advanced tab max out the image optimization (within reason) and thereby eliminate nearly all the garbage data that gets dumped into a file that's been optimized for quick encode speed.

You can also leave the RF and AAC alone. That's what I do for informational TV shows or documentaries. Here's a filesize comparison of a 30-minute TV episode that featured mainly interviews and historical footage:

Telecast 1:
Normal: 530,527
Floofy (RF:19/AAC 192K): 499,522
Floofy (RF:20/AAC 160K): 414,367

Significant size savings, slight quality decrease but still better than normal settings.

And yes, queue's essential if you're going for filesize optimization. I always let it run overnight, or when I go to school or work. Just pick whatever encoding settings you want, then click add to queue. It'll save the video video along with a snapshot of those settings, so you can have multiple files with multiple settings in the queue rather than having the current settings applied to every file in the queue. You can set it to "shut down after encoding" too. Just remember to cancel that setting if you want to encode while actually using the PC >_>

Old Post 11-05-12 06:58 #
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I would think there's an advantage to the "average bitrate" setting. Have you tried it?

Old Post 11-05-12 07:35 #
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No, because they highly recommend against it. The only advantage is matching a target file size, which again, they insist is a bad idea.

Adjusting for filesize by using the RF slider is your best option. But, as you'll note if you follow the Constant Quality link on that page, the slider is logarithmic, not linear, so you don't have to move it too far to make a significant adjustment. Best to stay within 20 +/- 1.

Old Post 11-05-12 08:44 #
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OK, great. I've imported your settings, as well as ratcheting down the audio/visual quality a notch. New-ish movies are 500-600MB, and the older stuff ends up at 300-400MB. This is exactly what I was shooting for, thanks.

Old Post 11-05-12 20:27 #
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Sure, no problem.

You know, originally I was only aiming for what you're doing now. Even though I don't own a lot of movies, the idea of a near-perfect archive hardly seemed like an efficient use of space. But when I found out how much time the optimization process would take, and how changing the RF from youtube quality to archival quality only added a few minutes to the encode time, I was like, fuck that, there's no way I'm spending so much time encoding only to blow it on shoddy compression. So now the files average 850MB - 1.25GB, but they're within 98% - 99% of the original quality. Fair trade, I think.

Oh and one more thing: if you ever need to remove any kind of interlacing, use the Decomb filter, not the Deinterlace filter. It's a far better process of far better quality. It's also supposedly smart enough that you can leave it on all the time and it'll be able to tell what frames need it and what don't. I don't actually do that, but when I ran it on a video that didn't need it, the filesize was only a few K larger and there was no visible difference. So leave it on if you're not sure.

Old Post 11-08-12 10:10 #
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