DVD Rip Quality on Plex/Roku Ultra


#7

@TrendyGuy said:
Right now I am just using makemkv and told it to make an exact copy of the DVD no compression or anything.

@JuiceWSA said:
If, for some reason, Plex is transcoding that item - it will look like it’s being bounced off the moon. Take steps to ensure direct play and what goes in comes out.

My Roku does say it is being transcoded. What format do I need the file in to be able to use direct play?

If you are ripping BluRays with MakeMKV and those BluRays have a VC-1 video stream your Roku is going to tell Plex to transcode. Your Roku may also tell Plex to transcode DVDs with an MPEG2 stream to transcode. If your Roku’s Plex app is set to anything other than Original Quality and you’re trying to play a MakeMKV stream @ a bit rate of 30Mbps+ your Roku is going to tell Plex to transcode. If for any reason your Roku is telling Plex to transcode you are never going to see that original quality MakeMKV rip. You are storing 30GB files @ 30Mbps when Plex is delivering something way less. Depending on your Roku’s settings and your network you may never get a magnum bit rate to it.

You’ll need to post the XML information for one of these files that your Roku is transcoding:
https://support.plex.tv/hc/en-us/articles/201998867-Investigate-Media-Information-and-Formats
about halfway down the page - the XML info.

There could be a Plex app setting to tweek to get Direct Play happening.

It is very likely you’ll need something to go along with MakeMKV so you can create material your Roku can Direct Play. Handbrake is my favorite, it’ll take some time to learn how to use it fully and the conversions will be lengthy, but in the end the quality you’re committing to storage will be the quality you’re seeing. You’ll probably, eventually, find out that a 5Mbps stream looks enough like that 30Mbps stream it won’t matter and it’s gonna take up a whole lot less room.


#8

Geeesss.
He is talking about DVDs
But Let’s confuse the issue Huh??

(30MBPS for DVDs a Little overkill don’t ya think??)

Even 5mbps is kinda overkill for DVDs I Think…

The idea is to GET the thing to direct play I thought.


#9

Sorry for what looks like a double post - this forum suddenly won’t allow edits.


#10

@jjrjr1 said:
Geeesss.
He is talking about DVDs
But Let’s confuse the issue Huh??

(30MBPS for DVDs a Little overkill don’t ya think??)

Even 5mbps is kinda overkill for DVDs I Think…

The idea is to GET the thing to direct play I thought.

2Mbps is overkill for a DVD if you ask me. I stop seeing any improvement above 1800Kbps.

A lot of people call the disc in a BluRay box DVDs and MakeMKV will churn those out as fast as you can load 'em. In fact I’ve got one of 'em with a VC-1 stream in Handbrake right now. From 28.5Mbps to 3.2Mbps in… about another 92 minutes and by the time I’m done it will absolutely Direct Play on every device I have.

If @Ryanboost is, in fact, speaking only of DVDs the good news is that if he’s got a box like mine he can Handbrake one in 20 minutes and I’ll be happy to provide my exact settings with pictures to boot. :slight_smile:


#11

@JuiceWSA

That would be great.
I do not use handbrake but am interested in exploring it.
Anxious to see what settings you use…
Also.
Any Idea as to settings for a 4K rip on handbrake???

Thanks


#12

ATTENTION!
All Windows versions after 0.10.5.0 remove Custom Anamorphic Settings and are deemed unacceptable for DVD creation in Plex! This guide covers Handbrake settings that will allow Plex to properly report 480p resolutions and maintain that 480p material at it’s full resolution. Custom Anamorphic Settings are the ONLY way to achieve these two goals simultaneously. This guide is written for Version 0.10.5.0. This version is easily found here: https://handbrake.fr/old.php .

Good News! It appears this will be corrected one of these days: https://forum.handbrake.fr/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=35664&p=167374 . Until then we’d better stick with 0.10.5.0

Let’s get to it.

Select the container you want. I’m an MP4 guy. Do check Web Optimized.

Picture:
For America (NTSC) a DVD can store a Maximum resolution of 720x480. That ain’t right, so in steps Anamorphic Settings. A Flatscreen TV is 16:9. In the USA the Custom Anamorphic Width setting should be 854 (854x480 - is 16:9) Every flatscreen TV in America needs a width setting of 854 for widescreen material. Set the cropping to Automatic and Handbrake will get it right most of the time. Check it before pressing the button and make an adjustment if necessary.

For 4:3 (1.33) material the width should be 640, for 16:9 (1.78) the width should be 854. Crop out the black bars and you’re golden.

DVDs in PAL territory carry 720x576. The magic number there is 1024 (1024x576) for 16:9.

Get the Width setting right and that squishy looking preview blossoms into a full 480p image (or 576 in PAL land) and you get the most you can get out of your SD material - that’s important.

Also be aware that some DVDs (Documentaries mostly) have mixed 4:3 and 16:9 content. Handbrake can get confused and auto-crop it all to 4:3. This is extremely annoying when you go to watch it later and find out most of the picture is missing. It is a good idea to check Handbrake on the auto-cropping before pushing the go button.

Filters:
Some DVDs are progressively scanned - others are interlaced. It’s maddening when some episodes on the same disc are progressive and some are interlaced. Set the filters tab as I have them and leave them alone. If there are no combing artifacts the filters do nothing. If there are - they work wonderfully.

Video:
Framerate - Same as Source
Variable
If you’ve never seen what happens when a Star Trek episode switches frame rates on you for Live Action vs CGI you just haven’t lived. Don’t live that way. It’ll take years off your life. Handbrake will give you the framerate you need. Make it variable and stop worrying about it.

I don’t use Constant Quality. It’s pretty foolproof, but the results were too unpredictable. I use an average bit rate instead. For DVDs I use a baseline of 1800Kbps and adjust it up or down depending on how the source looks (like dogmeat - lower. Super-Duper - higher). I stop seeing any improvement above 2200 to be honest, but you’ll have to use the eyeballs in your head to make that call. There’s no need to waste a lot of bit rate and storage for Dog Meat. You can’t turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse by jacking up the bit rate. You’ll just end up with a super-sized version of Dog Meat.

I always use the Advanced Tab and if you don’t follow my lead in that section you can easily create video that won’t play on anything. Insane values produce insane results. My settings work because most of them are the defaults. More on that later.

Audio:
I have an ear on each side of my head. I have a speaker for each ear. I like Direct Play. I use AAC 2.0 Nuff said. You can futz with audio till the cows come home by pulling down those drop downs and experimenting, but AAC 2.0 works across all my devices and everything I create direct plays.

I also set the DRC (Dynamic Range Control) to 1.8 (I’ve found that works well) so that a DVD with an AC3 track can be ‘normalized’ - clipping the loud bits to even out the overall experience. Don’t you just hate it when you crank up the volume to hear dialog, then two seconds later you get blown through your picture window when something explodes? I do. I also run every single file through Xmedia Recode after Handbrake to ultimately bring that evened out audio track up to 89db - the industry standard. Every single file I have sees the same volume setting. I like that. You will too.

Now music vids, concerts, Movies with incredible audio tracks get more audio bit rate - up to 320 - but most of the stuff gets 128 and that’s plenty for me. Sample at 48k.

If the DVD has commentary tracks, Add a track, select the second track, make the adjustments and name it Commentary. You don’t need a lot of bit rate for a commentary track. 96 is plenty.

Subtitles? Chapters? You’re on your own.

The Dreaded Advanced Tab:
Most of this stuff is the default, but I have given DVDs one more reference frame to 4. You can see my settings. Match 'em and you won’t create stuff that won’t play. That’s about all I have to say on that.

Here are the corresponding screens for the above. TL:DR - open up Handbrake do what I do. Create something and post your results.


File Naming Structure for 4 versions of the same movie
#13

Attention!
This guide is written for Handbrake Version 0.10.5.0. I have tested both subsequent versions and found no appreciable difference in their makeup with the exception of many Custom Profiles that will likely allow you to create material that will NOT Direct Play in Plex. Use at your own risk. Version 0.10.5.0 can be found here: https://handbrake.fr/old.php

Book 2 - BluRays:

This is going to be pretty easy. Almost all my settings are the same except for…

Picture:
No Anamorphic settings are needed. Use ‘None’. Always ‘Keep The Aspect Ratio’ and if you make a User Profile to use Automatic Cropping always check it’s done it’s job and if you want 1080p make sure the width is 1920. The height will be whatever is left after cropping. My example below shows 1920x800 and that’s a 2.40:1 Letterboxed version of The Drop (2014). You can knock it down to 720p if for some reason you feel you must and in that case it would be 1280x534.

I suppose in this area is where you’d create your 4k resolutions. I have no idea what those are. You’re on your own and if I live long enough to need to figure it out I’ll post up my settings later… somewhere.

Filters:
Off.

Most of the BluRay stuff is Progressive - but sometimes you may run into an interlaced item. Not very often. Do check though. MediaInfo will tell the tale or a static preview in Handbrake and close inspection will reveal it. Check high motion scenes.

Sometimes I’ll run a recorded TV Show through Handbrake, if MCEBuddy is busy doing something else or I want to give the item some TLC and in that case I will turn the filters back on because HD material that arrives via the airwaves is interlaced and there’s no two ways about that. In order to get a 1080p image from the tower to my antenna it has to be 1080i while it’s in the air. The bandwidth doesn’t exist at the frequencies it’s being transmitted. They have to send two frames at 1920x540 and blend them back together at your TV to make one 1920x1080 frame. Your TV is the master of putting that back together so you’ll never see any strangeness, but your recording device SUCKS at it and there will be combing artifacts in high motion scenes. Handbrake’s filters are the master at fixing it, but you should be aware that a lot of combing will add a lot of time when Handbrake has to fix it. Deal with it. I do. Same filter settings.

Don’t get all ate up with film grain. Denoising takes decades and it will cause artifacts of it’s own. Some film is grainy. Get over it. Add some bit rate. Deal with it.

Video:
Here’s the other area where your 4k comes into play I guess. Again, you’re on your own. You’re also on your own with 265. Good Luck.

Stick with the old settings for frame rates - Same as Source and Variable. Use the Advanced Tab and here’s where your eyeballs are going to tell you what Average Bit Rate to use. For The Drop (2014) I used 3800 because it was a great source picture, one of Gandolfini’s Last and I pumped it up a bit. I hardly ever go beyond 3200, but sometimes I will pump it up. I gave Casablanca (1942) 8500 and there’s no way on this green Earth that made it any better than the 3200 I usually give stuff, but… it’s Casablanca for cryin’ out loud. :slight_smile: The source for that one is absolutely gorgeous and my copy is too.

Use the bit rate you feel you must.

Audio: Whatever floats your boat. Create something that will Direct Play or deal with a Direct Stream. Your call.
Subs and Chapters: Whatever. Do what you want.

Advanced:

This one is dead simple. Pull Sub Pixel Motion Estimation back to 7:RD in all frames - to save a bit of time - and push the button.

As with the DVD section - and as I failed to mention there - that custom string gets created as you make adjustments (or use the defaults), but if for some reason you aren’t getting a 4.1 264 level enter it as I have at the head of that string just as you see it. I have no idea what would happen if you used a higher level, but I do know that above 4.1 causes transcoding on some devices and 4.1 causes transcoding on my FireTV-V1s, but I deal with that by cranking up the max level in the Plex app settings. 4.0 is just stupid for a FireTV. Those things are powerful enough for sure.

That’s it. Happy encoding. Make adjustments where you feel it necessary, but these settings create material that Direct Plays on every device I have - with one adjustment to my AFTVs.


#14

I just replaced my media encoding reference bookmarks with this thread, so if I have issues I’ll come lookin for you. :smiley:


#15

The Handbrake Guide to Direct Play Bliss or How I Gave Up Hoping Plex Would Transcode a Decent Version of Anything and Learned How to Encode.

I can’t find any bugs in the process and if my machine could talk it would tell you it never gets a break - there always seems to be another encode in the queue. If Direct Play and reliable, repeatable, great looking results trips your trigger… welcome aboard, Sailor (wink, wink).

:smiley:


#16

I just happened to think about this:

If anyone is as annoyed as I was about Handbrake appending (-1) to every single file, open Tools/Options/Output Files and whack that second tag in the Format window (I can’t remember what it was now) so it looks like this:

Note:
Handbrake will complain if you insist on overwriting your original file to the point that it just won’t do it, but it’s a DARN good idea to set your Handbrake destination folder to a place where all your Handbrake files go. I have cryptically created a folder called ‘Handbrake Dumps’ on my local ‘work drive’ and aimed HB at it. Everything I drag into HB comes from somewhere else - and it’s a good idea to create another folder to put stuff in you want to Handbrake - something like ‘Handbrake Deck’.

I also have one or more ‘On Deck’ folders on every drive to drag large files into before moving them into my libraries - so they’ll instantly show up in the library and not be part-way in when Plex notices them.


#17

Any way you can post your Handbrake presets?


#18

Well… it would be easy enough to open up Handbrake, make the settings above and save it as a preset for DVDs and HDs, but if it needs to be even easier…

remove .txt (the extension I added to get the forum to accept them) from these files and try to get them imported - assuming you have the same version as I do (0.10.5.0 64bit Version) it may even work.

You’re still going to have to adjust the bit rates. I make slight adjustments to every encode and I’m not even sure what the starting bit rates are. Maybe 1500 for DVD and 1800 for HD, but those change every time after I get a look at the source. Also you’ll need to add 480 to height in the window beside 720 for DVDs 'cause I didn’t save a hard resolution in the preset. Handbraking is a flexible operation here in Juice Valley.

:-/


#19

@JuiceWSA said:
I also set the DRC (Dynamic Range Control) to 1.8 (I’ve found that works well) so that a DVD with an AC3 track can be ‘normalized’ - clipping the loud bits to even out the overall experience. Don’t you just hate it when you crank up the volume to hear dialog, then two seconds later you get blown through your picture window when something explodes? I do. I also run every single file through Xmedia Recode after Handbrake to ultimately bring that evened out audio track up to 89db - the industry standard. Every single file I have sees the same volume setting. I like that. You will too.

First of all, many thanks for creating an incredibly easy-to-follow guide.

Would you be so kind as to elaborate on Xmedia Recode? I’m guessing I should choose the “Copy” mode on the video tab to prevent re-encoding. Then choose the “Convert” mode on the audio tab. Which codec do you use? What about the other tabs?


#20

That’s exactly right.

One of the great things about Xmedia Recode is it’s so easy to use. The guys that are developing it are Germanish/Dutch/Something or other, but they have developed a hunk of code that bridges all language barriers in it’s ease of use.

You can do just about anything with it. A few moments ago I remuxed an MKV file, copied a video track, created an AAC 2.0 audio track in slot one while copying a backup AC3 5.1 audio track in slot two while normalizing the AAC track to 89db (the industry standard) while packing up the end result in an MP4 file and it took all of about 50 seconds.

It’s amazing.


#21

Thanks again, JuiceWSA. It took me a little over 6 minutes to normalize an AAC track, but that’s with a 4 year old Core i3 and a separate HandBrake encode going.

The normalized track sounds good to me. I used the default codec (Fraunhofer FDK AAC), any comments on whether I should continue using that or switch to plain-old AAC?


#22

That coder is fine, just make sure you’re using LC (Low Complexity) - an option near the bottom. HC is incompatible with many devices - my Rokus and Fire TV being among them. Everything used to be LC, but now it’s different and everyone gets in a panic when they see ‘Low Complexity’ thinking it’s somehow not as good. It’s as good as it ever was.

The only difference I hear is LC makes great audio tracks and HC makes tracks that sound like a train wreck. :slight_smile:


#23

Ha, I’ll be sure to avoid HC then.

I think I’m all set then. I know everything I need to know. I guess you could say I got Juiced! (er, wait, no, please don’t say that)


#24

If you think that a 30Mb/s HD bluray looks good at 3Mb/s someone needs to get their eyes checked.


#25

@Stephen3001 said:
If you think that a 30Mb/s HD bluray looks good at 3Mb/s someone needs to get their eyes checked.

I use the eyeballs in my head. If my eyeballs can’t see the difference why should I waste the space?

You’ll have to use the eyeballs in your head. That guide takes you up to the point where your eyeballs are needed. You take it from there.


#26

@ubce88m said:
Ha, I’ll be sure to avoid HC then.

I think I’m all set then. I know everything I need to know. I guess you could say I got Juiced! (er, wait, no, please don’t say that)

One more thing.

If encodes are taking entirely too long sacrifice a teenie bit of compression (100Mb or so) and change every setting in the advanced section to defaults except Reference Frames. Set that to 1. A reference frame plays no part in quality. It’s purpose is to allow the encoder more reference points to improve compression. It does this at the cost of increased encode time. More frames to check means longer time to check them.