Yesterday, Sept. 7th, jdobbs released a new version of BD Rebuilder with some interesting input changes. Now you can import dvd-video, or mkv or mp4 files that use H264, mpeg or VC-1 video.
I've been testing the way BD Rebuilder imports dvd-video, and it seems to be a bit of a kludge. Instead of rewriting the import functions, jdobbs has added the ability to convert dvd-video to blu ray format (without re-encoding anything). So the program goes through the steps necessary to make a blu ray video out of the dvd input, and is then ready to work with this new blu ray. Its actually a pretty fast process. The dvd I used was converted to blu ray format in three minutes.
It took me a minute to realize that the dvd video was ready to process. Once you hit the button to import the video, the program takes off and changes it automatically, but it stops everything once the new blu ray is made. You have to hit Backup to start the conversion to whatever your final target is.
Using a copy on the hard drive as my source, it took BD Rebuilder three minutes to convert to blu ray, then 32 minutes to convert to a mkv file with H264. This is a 2hr, 24 minute long movie. I used a one pass CRF encode with the default setting of 20, no auto trimming of black bars, and made a custom output to allow the AC3 audio to pass through without changes.
The resulting file is 2.15gb from a 4.3gb dvd, which is not a huge change in size I realize, but quality is excellent.
I tried a similar setup in Handbrake, which took 32 minutes altogether and resulted in a 1.89gb sized file. Also excellent quality. Handbrake, even on the High setting outputs High@L3.0. BD Rebuilder seems to use High@L4.1 unless you use one of the presets for portables.
I accidentally did one encode with Handbrake using the Normal setting, instead of High format. It was done in 9 minutes, and I couldn't see any difference in quality on my computer.
I've been trying to use MediaCoder to test the Intel encoder available with my new i5 3570K processor, but it has been an exercise in frustration so far. It fails in remuxing most of the time. And if I remux manually outside the program, I get audio/sync issues. Doing just the video, no audio, took about 7 minutes, but it is not worth the effort if it screws up sync every time. I'm going to try using AviSynth instead of the default source. Edit: Well, that didn't work.