Newbie, Vidcoder settings help

Jul 11, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Converting DVDs library to MKV, have read a few tutorials but they are out dated, is there a recommended set of presets for the best compressed quality? I have been saving everything as VOB (dvdFab) until now , would like to free up space going forward by converting to MKV, whilst retaining best picture quality. Have a 35in TV, maybe go to a 42in, regular home setting, to be used with XMBC (just moved to that, so learning also) quad core, win7, 16gb ram 64bit computer.Would appreciate any pointers...Thanks in advance
Jul 11, 2014 at 2:04 PM
I usually convert to mp4 and choose the normal profile which is quite good so I believe that converting to mkv is the same.
But I see you've a 35in screen so you could use the high profile for better display.
Try converting a small video sample (to save time) and don't change any setting because there is a learning curve for that, the quality is already good so load it in XMBC and see which profile suit you better.
Jul 11, 2014 at 3:01 PM
Is mp4 a better way to go? have read differing opinions (suprise), being as i'm starting out on this road I'm not set on any one format. the results i've had messing with MKV look good, if MP4 is as good maybe i'll go with that. Are there benefits to one over another? Would you still copy DVD to VOB with DVDFab/other softwrae then shrink down, or is there a better method?
If using the high profile setting, is that all i need chose, is that a preset of sorts, so I would just select it & encode? So many questions...
I followed this links directions (for the most part) http://digiex.net/guides-reviews/guides-tutorials/media-guides/10725-vidcoder-settings-tutorial-high-quality-h-264-x264-mkv-video-encoding.html

Thanks again



Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Jul 11, 2014 at 3:27 PM
Use constant quality and find a number you like with experimentation. Then fiddle with the x264 preset. That preset trades off compression efficiency for encoding time. If you aren't worrying about compatibility with smartphones, use Profile: Automatic and Level: Automatic. Using MP4 vs MKV isn't going to make a big difference quality-wise, it just affects what players support it. For example you can't play an MKV on an XBox 360.
Jul 11, 2014 at 4:20 PM
Puerly for home thetre, no ipods, xbox etc. also not overlly concerned with the encoding time, will take quality first and formost. I shall experiment!
Thanks all for the help, feel free to offer any other pointers
Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Jul 11, 2014 at 11:16 PM
Floodville wrote:
Is mp4 a better way to go? have read differing opinions (suprise), being as i'm starting out on this road I'm not set on any one format. the results i've had messing with MKV look good, if MP4 is as good maybe i'll go with that. Are there benefits to one over another? Would you still copy DVD to VOB with DVDFab/other softwrae then shrink down, or is there a better method? If using the high profile setting, is that all i need chose, is that a preset of sorts, so I would just select it & encode? So many questions... I followed this links directions (for the most part) http://digiex.net/guides-reviews/guides-tutorials/media-guides/10725-vidcoder-settings-tutorial-high-quality-h-264-x264-mkv-video-encoding.html Thanks again Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !
Why do you want to make your life hard when there is no need?
Just convert 1 DVD, use the high profile and don't change anything because you said that you're a newbie, after conversion load the file in the player, you like it, done no more struggling!
I like many others already did the research an found out that Vidcoder is my best choice because of its simplicity, the output quality, no installation messing and interfering with other codecs in the system, it doesn't take too many resources and while encoding I can still surf internet, download and use Windows.
You could try other software if you like to experiment and improve your knowledge, but you'll get confused because everyone will tell you use this or use that not to mention that you can risk to have Windows corrupted because that is what happens when codecs (especially codec packs) conflict with each other.
Jul 12, 2014 at 2:32 PM
Allcoder,
Sorry, not quite following you...so, rip DVD (dvdFab etc) then convert with Vidcoder to either MP4/MKV using High profile setting.
By selecting the High profile, is that in itself a predefined setting, a one click n' go type of thing?
Also, do you prefer mkv/mp4 as the compression option
Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Jul 12, 2014 at 10:04 PM
Floodville wrote:
By selecting the High profile, is that in itself a predefined setting, a one click n' go type of thing? Also, do you prefer mkv/mp4 as the compression option
Exactly, Vidcoder can be a click and go solution, just select high profile and don't change anything, the result is very very good so why do you want to mess with it?
I don't know what file format XMBC works better but I think that mp4 is the most compatible right now.
Jul 13, 2014 at 3:04 AM
Thanks for all the advice, do you have a media player you prefer over XMBC?

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Jul 13, 2014 at 4:55 AM
Floodville wrote:
Thanks for all the advice, do you have a media player you prefer over XMBC?
You need to tell why do you need a media player, what do you want to do with it and how and what is your hardware.
Jul 13, 2014 at 1:03 PM
Home network, streaming music & movies to multiple computers & tvs throughout house...Ones I've tried so far, XMBC & Zoom player

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Jul 13, 2014 at 1:38 PM
Floodville wrote:
Home network, streaming music & movies to multiple computers & tvs throughout house...Ones I've tried so far, XMBC & Zoom player
Same here, there are many different opinions, I always advise that if it works, stick with it and don't change anything unless you got "plenty" time and effort to spare.
There are many forums specialized in live streaming recording or home TV theater set up so in there you'll find plenty of information and "opinions"!
Jul 14, 2014 at 11:29 AM
Messed with a lot this weekend, and agreed quality at High profile is fabulous! I was flicking back and forth between original and compressed and was really surprised at the lack of apparent degradation, tried Blade 2 (not best choice, very dark, hard to see contrast) & the Avengers, my eyes are not as sharp as they once were but I can't believe that a 6.5gb movie down to 1.74gb looks that unchanged. I did stick with MKV, had no issue playing, even with WMP & that's impressive in its self! much easier than navigating VOB folders, only hope my DVDFab rips convert to MKV ok, as a lot of folks believe its not the best ripping software, errors etc, although i can't say I've seen many issues, and been using for years, now I'll stick with MakeMKV then compress.
Did not mess with Media players much MPC seemed to work better with MKV files than previous VOB files, XMBC is good, slight learning curve, Zoom player about same, lots of bells & whistles, too many really, although I mainly stream music on network, and have freezing issues at times, may give Win media center a shot.......
So thanks to both of you for help, and for the awesome VidCoder software....compress on!!!!

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Jul 14, 2014 at 11:32 AM
One other thing, if a DVD is an episode disc (star trek etc), is there a way to retain menus?

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Jul 14, 2014 at 2:39 PM
I don't know of any way to compress the video and retain menus. Usually you just do a raw rip and leave it if you want the interactive menus to stick around.
Jul 14, 2014 at 3:39 PM
Ok, thats what I thought but figured i'd ask..thanks

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Jul 15, 2014 at 1:54 AM
Floodville wrote:
One other thing, if a DVD is an episode disc (star trek etc), is there a way to retain menus? Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !
Maybe DVD Decrypter can do it, it can reduce the size of the DVD but I don't remember if it can retain the menu.
Jul 30, 2014 at 2:41 PM
I pretty much followed your suggestions, just used High Profile, did not change anything other than CRF to 18, I tried on The Avengers, i hard a hard time finding a lot of difference from the MakeMkv rip (I have stopped using DVDFab in favor of MakeMkv), pretty amazing, from 6.9gb to 1.9gb (just kept looking back n' forth, original to compressed expecting to see some glaring difference, did not, still amazed!)
This will free up a ton of space for me, well worth the time it will take to convert all the movies ...
I figured out the menus issue by just saving each individual episode, time consuming but....
Have not tried any Martial arts movies with subs yet, thats next
thanks again, great piece of software, totally changed my movie ripping agenda, just wish i'd found 600 movies ago......
Aug 5, 2014 at 11:36 AM
Do have a question: Copied Wolverine, original is in Letterbox, copy comes out full screen (not sure what i checked) but the image does seem stretched, not quite natural..how do you get vidcoder to just copy like as like per say, if letterbox, copy is letterbox?
Thanks
Coordinator
Aug 5, 2014 at 2:30 PM
Well, what you checked would be rather important here. Do you have an encode log? Generally Loose Anamorphic with auto cropping will do things correctly.
Aug 5, 2014 at 3:07 PM
I'll have to get that for you to look at. So, as a rule if those two settings are as suggested, letterbox would stay letterbox?
What i wonder did i check to have a letterbox movie, become full screen, I had followed some set up instructions from web previously, maybe thats where issue lies, as The avengers is fine, although its a full screen movie. Maybe i'll start a fresh, just select high profile @ 18CFR and see what happens. So, autocropping does not remove the black bars?
Sorry for all the confusion, i'll get it straight soon, i hope!

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Aug 5, 2014 at 3:13 PM
If you have auto cropping it should get rid of black borders. If you have Loose Anamorphic, it should retain all of the picture and keep it in the right aspect ratio. I can't tell you exactly what is going on because the terms "letterbox" and "full screen" are ambiguous.
Aug 5, 2014 at 3:39 PM
To clarify (hopefully), so..if a movie is letterbox, black bars top n' bottom, and you want it to stay that way, should I just select no crop? It would seem that because I selected auto cropping it does away with said black bars. I know i have loose anamorphic selected but with black bars gone the picture seems stretched, to me anyway but as you say i may have something else checked
I initially followed a lot of this for direction: http://digiex.net/guides-reviews/guides-tutorials/media-guides/10725-vidcoder-settings-tutorial-high-quality-h-264-x264-mkv-video-encoding.html


Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Aug 5, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Cropping away the black border shouldn't stretch the picture if you have Loose Anamorphic picked. But I have no way to telling for sure with no logs and no screenshots.
Aug 5, 2014 at 4:53 PM
Ok thanks, I'll post later when i get home

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Aug 5, 2014 at 5:42 PM
Actually wondering if I have something checked incorrectly on the player, using MPC, I'll check that too

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Aug 6, 2014 at 11:22 AM
Yep, seems it was the zoom feature on MPC, sorry, no idea how that changed.....

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Aug 7, 2014 at 9:59 PM
Do you have a recommendation for converting DVD rips (DvDfab) to mkv, other then MakeMKV, which balks at DVDfab rips?

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Aug 11, 2014 at 2:15 PM
What is actually gained from having Constant quality @ 16, just messing with settings....

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Aug 11, 2014 at 3:03 PM
Over RF 17? A small increase in quality. You can observe for yourself by encoding samples...
Aug 11, 2014 at 3:05 PM
So, 17 really is pretty much the way to go...thanks, hope to have all this straight soon!

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Aug 21, 2014 at 11:34 AM
So, started to convert DVD library but am noticing some encoded size inconsistencies, maybe? I am using High profile, with CFR @ 17, these are some conversion sizes
original encoded
THE LORD OF THE RINGS - THE RETURN OF THE King 7.05 5.49
THE LORD OF THE RINGS - THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING 6.98 4.32
BEWARE OF MR. BAKER 3.64 2.26

Am I doing something incorrectly? Quite a few of the other movies I have encoded drop down, at same settings, similar size movies also, to much smaller sizes

Just trying to figure out if I have got something backwards here....

Thanks again
Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Aug 21, 2014 at 11:32 PM
Constant Quality, not cfr... Also, encoded the Waterhorse a 3.73gb dvd, came out at 3.43gb, same settings as before, re encoded it, same settings , this time 1.73gb? Not sure what I' actually doing wrong at all, being as settings stayed exactly the same.

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Aug 22, 2014 at 3:54 AM
Some sources take more space, and some are easier to compress. You won't necessarily see the same sizes on everything.
Aug 22, 2014 at 11:17 AM
Ok, so that seems normal, thought I had miss set something, although I did re run LOTR Return, on HP on Handbrake (point of reference) & it barely changed 5.49gb Vidcoder/4.8gb HB, the movie is also full screen version, sure that accounts for space too.
Thanks for helping me understand all this, don't want to have to do over for lack of knowledge. I am not sure what happened on The Waterhorse one, for it to be at the same settings and come out differently second time around? Is there a way to estimate approximate final GB's of an encoded disc when using HP settings?

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Coordinator
Aug 22, 2014 at 2:54 PM
Without logs I can't begin to tell you why the same encode came out two different sizes.
Aug 22, 2014 at 2:55 PM
Realised that after I'd rerun, next time, if theres a next time...thanks

Have a great day............. unless you've made other plans !


Sep 13, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Edited Sep 13, 2014 at 1:00 PM
Please allow me to step in here, also as a Newbie: am in the same boat as Floodville.
Would like to convert
  • DVD (VIDEO_TS .vob)
  • BD
  • .TS (TV-recordings)
to .mkv

Preferrably with hardly any loss on quality.
I tried to convert a BD (settings, highest quality (slider to the left)
results 24GB->13.7GB .mkv
I tried to do the same with a 2.5GB .ts-recording, result 7.8GB

Am also wondering what to choose (.mkv or MP4)... (same as Floodville)
I do like to have a high quality output - it should at least be 'reasonable' (preferrably: good) when viewing on a 55" screen.
The current NON-converted quality is okay, but the sizes should be a little smaller. The .ts files are often 7-8 GB.

TIA

Coordinator
Sep 13, 2014 at 2:32 PM
You probably want to start with a quality of 16 or 18, and not just drag the slider to the left. There's a good chance you won't be able to perceive the drop in quality. If you're looking for something completely lossless, MakeMKV is probably a better bet.

As far as MP4 vs MKV, it won't make a difference size-wise. The different containers support different stuff you can put in them, and have different player support. For example you can't play an MKV on an Xbox 360, but you can put DTS audio in an MKV container.
Sep 14, 2014 at 8:17 AM
Edited Sep 14, 2014 at 8:18 AM
Thanks for the above.
To be honest, being a Newbie, I am unsure about the differences between converting to mkv using VidCoder or MakeMKV.
Somewhere I read VidCoder is based on Handbrake. On VideoHelp they say Handbrake is excellent software. VidCoder is highly appreciated there (MakeMKV as well, though).
I didn't try MakeMKV. VidCoder is portable - I like that.
Also, I'd like to convert .ts to mkv or mp4 and allegedly VidCoder can do that.
(Haven't had the time yet to try this with VidCoder)
Coordinator
Sep 14, 2014 at 3:10 PM
VidCoder compresses the video to make it smaller. MakeMKV just preserves the audio and video streams and puts it into a different container. If you want to preserve quality exactly, use MakeMKV. If you want an MP4 file or want to save some space, use VidCoder.
Sep 14, 2014 at 5:04 PM
Okay, I understand.
I have used VidCoder for a few things and for a newbie it is nice that the default settings are perfect already, so one does not need to 'puzzle' what to set how and where and ...
Will definitely check out MakeMKV. Not sure if it can handle .ts files though.