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Vidcoder is giving poor results from a large mkv

Mar 29, 2012 at 8:21 PM

I have had some success with the Vidcoder and Makemkv combination of programs.


For several days I have been trying to get the 6Gb Makemkv video file (which is near as I can tell the same size as the original disk file) to encode at a lower size.  Encoding at 700 and 1400 mb gave a pixelated picture in spots and also showed some black bars in images.  My goal is to just get a viewable copy here and nothing extraordinary.


So two questions need to be answered:


What is the minimum file size needed to encode based on the size of the Makemkv file?

I have viewed the Makemkv mkv file and none of these glitches appear.

Secondly,  is there a desired preset to avoid these pixelated, glitch and I'll call it sideband problems where the image looks like it is rolling on an old style TV for a moment.  Also some "pulling" is observed where the image pulls out of shape.

Runtime of this piece is 2 hours so it is larger than a standard movie and accounts for the larger output file size of the

Makemkv file used to Vidcode the file.


Also I don't see how to word wrap on here.  ;-)




Mar 29, 2012 at 8:36 PM

What do you get with Constant Quality 20? Is this a DVD or Blu-ray?

Not familiar with "sideband" or "pulling" problems.

Mar 30, 2012 at 1:46 AM

My reason for asking has to do with setting up Vidcoder properly.  I'm not familiar with Constant Quality but suspect it is one of the item on the setup page/or window.  Those have not been set at all.   Is it covered by one of the presets?

I cannot process Bluray at all since no player for that.  The dvd is a standard type but I'd have to examine the disc for more detail.

The goal is to get the Vidcoded mkv as small as possible.

I use VLC which is the best player so far as I know.  Sideband is an extra image outside the frame-- like rolling old style television.  There is no rolling but one of the glitches is this extra "visual noise" that appears on the playback.

Pulling as opposed to pixellation shows the image to be pulled like a funhouse mirror or a degause procedure.  And a black bar appeared once in the middle of  the image.

All of this is quite strange since I've had good succes with Vidcoder previously.  Repeating : the original made in Makemkv does not show any of these


Returning to your question, if Constant Quality 20 is set, what is a good file size to set in settings.

How about the word wrap?


Mar 30, 2012 at 2:30 AM

All of the built-in presets use constant quality. When you use that you don't specify a file size: the encoder will instead target a picture quality level and the size will be whatever it needs to be to get to that quality level.

Picture problems: I don't own the code that's dealing with the picture. Try and reproduce with HandBrake if you're having problems.

Word wrap: That's CodePlex's editor. If you're having problems, give them feedback about it.

Mar 30, 2012 at 2:43 AM

Which preset works best with VLC?  Or is the preset (which I see for a lot different devices) dependent on the hardware?

I surely can redo everything because I want to get a working proicess going.  But I have never used Habdbrake and so that is another wrinkle.

As I understand it, Handbrake also needs a decrypted file to work with and the Makemkv decrypting job should work for that.


For now please recommend a preset in setup given things discussed so far.  In the meantime I will see if I can locate constant quality.  I had not been using the "speed setting shown .  And the job is being done on a dual core CPU which should provide enough CPU juice.



Mar 30, 2012 at 2:47 AM

For VLC, just use "High Profile". You might want to tweak the audio if you don't want AC3 passthrough.

Mar 30, 2012 at 4:43 AM

Ok I saw where high profile is.


There is another group of three settings of h.264 also on the page.  Anything to be done with them?  I first learned about Vidcoder at which has always been helpful.  They showed a similar 'what are the settings for h.264 in Vidcoder?' during my Google search.


I have seen AC3 on audio and dropped sound down from 5 channel to stereo.   What is the keystroke to minimize audio and pass through to the simplest form?


Vidcoder is an important open source product.  I hope development continues as has been the case with VLC.


Is Handbrake downloadable directly from 'handbrake' ?  I am unsure how to look it up.  The search engines have shown a lot more useless links lately.


With Handbrake I can try another recode attempt.


Mar 30, 2012 at 5:40 AM

A good simple audio strategy is to use one encoding. Codec: AAC (faac), Bitrate: Auto, Mixdown: Dolby Pro Logic II, Sample rate: Same as source. HandBrake is the open source project that VidCoder is based on:

Also see:

Mar 30, 2012 at 3:13 PM

I dll'ed Handbrake yesterday and did indeed see the similarities in the programs.  I don't see why Hb demands that a 1024 screen rez be used.  I prefer Mr. Magoo size images and icons on screen.  Bear in mind that I do not know a lot of the lingo for video programs-- or audio for that matter. 

You don't indicate any downward limit on resizing the mkv.  Even so it's liklely better to approach the lower limit gradually.  For a two hour length I'll stick with

1400mb.   The goal at this point to get rid of all the artifacts and then increase compressed size if possible.

At this squinty resolution word wrap isn't much of an issue.

Mar 30, 2012 at 4:11 PM
Edited Mar 30, 2012 at 4:12 PM

You keep on talking about specifying file sizes but that has nothing to do with Constant Quality. "Getting rid of artifacts and then increasing compressed size" is exactly what constant quality does automatically. USE THIS SETTING:

Mar 30, 2012 at 4:41 PM

Yes, I have seen the error I made about either file size or constant quality.  I made the correction and am running another pass.

I do not have any background in Handbrake so all the terms are new.  I come from the DVDFab world. 

I moved to Vidcoder on a tip at Videohelp.  Working on the file instead of the DVD has everything run cooler and less stress on the DVD burner.

I'll redo with the setting above if different from the one that's running.

Mar 30, 2012 at 4:44 PM
RandomEngy wrote:

You keep on talking about specifying file sizes but that has nothing to do with Constant Quality. "Getting rid of artifacts and then increasing compressed size" is exactly what constant quality does automatically. USE THIS SETTING:


Other question on the container type:

I've been changing to mkv from mp4.  But your sample shows using the default at of mp4 for encoding.  Which is correct for a final mkv container output?

Mar 30, 2012 at 5:04 PM

MKV is a good container choice for playing from the PC like you are doing. MP4's main advantage is compatibility with different devices like smartphones.

Mar 30, 2012 at 6:38 PM


I saw the file type change in destination and so restarted it as mkv.

The job is still going.

I want to use your options before running Handbrake and want to avoid it if possible.  The screen size and small print are fatiguing.

Apr 1, 2012 at 5:27 AM

I have run the options you suggest and the same artifacts appear beginning with that band of duplicate image above the

main titling of the piece.


Is a 6G source file just too big for Vidcoder to handle?  Is Handbrake likely to give any other result.  I'm stumped. 


I'd report a bug but I'm no expert in describing what is happening with this particular cd source. 


To review: VLC plays the 6Gb file  made with Makemkv with no artifacts.  But any manipulation of that file's data produces the same artifacts described above.


Apr 1, 2012 at 5:28 AM

Apr 1, 2012 at 6:49 PM

Should I proceed to Handbrake in order to duplicate the problem using the 6Gb file?  Since I seem to not be able to describe the problems in terms to be understood I cannot make a bug report.  I read the bug report criteria,  it is unknown right now if Hb will produce the same artifacts-- artifacts is here used to describe the collection of briefly duplicated images on the same screen, black bars appearing in the middle of a guy's chest and some "pulling" of image that I described above.  I have not watched the whole two hours.


I takes a dedicated time to set up Hb since I use Mr. Magoo images rather than what appears in 1024 rez.  I fail to see why it is an Hb rquirement.


Happy Sunday.

Apr 1, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Testing with HandBrake is the only way to 100% verify if a problem is in the HandBrake core or in VidCoder. If the problem is in the HandBrake core, I cannot help you and you have to ask them to fix it.

Apr 2, 2012 at 12:05 AM

I have viewed the Handbrake test file and those artifcats have gone and the picture looks like the playback in the large 6Gb file.  The Handbrake job using Constant Quality 20 is 1.5Gb-- bigger than I wanted but in the acceptable range.  Thinking that my low rez screen setting might have been the problem I played the file in that too.  The image is still stable.

My first choice is Vidcoder.  I'm glad to know there is an alternative if needed.  I have used neither program previously.

If you are using the same core I do not know how the encoding could have gone so differently.  In any case keep the discussion open.  I have subscribed to all Vidcoder topics.  However reporting the bug you will have to do.  I simply can't describe it well enough.


Apr 2, 2012 at 12:55 AM

Well then don't try to describe it. Send me a log from both HandBrake and VidCoder and get me access to that source file.

Apr 2, 2012 at 1:51 AM

Where does Vidcoder store its logs?  Ditto Handbrake.


PM sent.

Apr 2, 2012 at 3:14 AM

VidCoder: Windows -> Log
HandBrake: Activity Window

Apr 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I looked in the Vicoder log but didn't see much.   Does it log in real time and have to cut and paste?  I've seen no prompts to save log.

Also noted is that a new version 1.3.2 of Vc downloaded. 


Apr 3, 2012 at 12:41 AM

Please just copy the log and post it to pastebin or something.

Apr 4, 2012 at 5:10 PM

I'm not familiar with postbin.

I could try to redo the encode discussed above with the 1.3.2 version of Vidcoder then examine the log.  As it is I have seen no log nor can I find and previous logfile entries.  Can you give a path to where they are stored?  The only folder used for these operations is c:/video.


Time spent doing this is worth it if I can get Vidcoder and it's format to work rather than Handbrake.




Apr 4, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Logs from previous runs are in %appdata%\VidCoder\Logs
HandBrake logs

Apr 4, 2012 at 5:37 PM
RandomEngy wrote:

Logs from previous runs are in %appdata%\VidCoder\Logs
HandBrake logs

We're getting closer.  Can you give the full path.

Apr 4, 2012 at 6:00 PM

The full path can be different depending on what drive you have Windows installed on. Please just copy that path into Windows Explorer or a Run dialog. I promise your computer will not blow up.

Apr 5, 2012 at 8:24 PM

A coincidence that you mention things blowing up.

I continue to try to get this file plus its subtitles converted to mkv from a disc file.  The file was made in Makemkv.

Since Handbrake gave no errors on one file I was going to use that.  On inspection it had no subtitles.  I inspected it's program setup and thought I had it, and redid it but  when rerunning the Handbrake still no subs.  It's default quality is .25 and reset that tp what Vidcoder uses which is  20.

Handbrake ran really hot and with full cpu use at 99%.  I had never really seen that before.  My normal fan is low speed.  I switched to a higher speed fan  just to get the job done.  It completed in 20 mins or so but contained some errors.  I still haven't found a good combination to get this thing made.



Which brings me to log files.

In Handbrake I saw where to move the log file into the video folder to find them so I checked that box..


I have one completed log from Hb and I can paste it in here.  This does not get me anywhere with Vidcoder.  I want my system to run cooler with low fan speed and not blow up.


Right now there's too many problems to control.Bad files everywhere. Why Hb wants you to se;lect English by a means of arrows instead of simple selection I don't know.The interface is poorly done and I prefer Vidcoder.


For the Vidcoder logfile I understand that you want me  to copy %apps% whatevs from above into Explorer to find the logfile.  Wouldn't it be easier to do to find it as one of my text files?

more later.   I'm not following well all the error paths and cross program problems.What I mean is Hb is producing the same sort of errors at Vidcoder under the setup I made and no subs.


Apr 5, 2012 at 9:28 PM

"For the Vidcoder logfile I understand that you want me  to copy %apps% whatevs from above into Explorer to find the logfile."

That's correct.

"Wouldn't it be easier to do to find it as one of my text files?"

I don't know what you mean by this. The folder location I gave you contains text files sorted by date. Open the correct one and there is your log.

"What I mean is Hb is producing the same sort of errors at Vidcoder under the setup I made and no subs."

If HandBrake is having the same problems as VidCoder, it's a HandBrake issue and you should ask them about it.

Apr 6, 2012 at 3:45 PM

The  log files may be sorted but I'd have to make a fresh test and delete the old to know which is which-- and have a naming convention to match them like the date made.


In the end if I'm the only one having these problems it may be something I'm doing wrong.  But the common thread might be subtitles and the code for adding them since that's where the newest problem occurred in Handbrake where before it was behaving.


I don't  have good understanding of how  the Hb forum works.  It seems to be littered with advertising junk so as to be distracting.  And there's the overheating problem.