Best Settings for Backing DVD to HD

vbimport

#1

Hi all! After years of using the free version of DVDFab to backup my DVD-9s to DVD-5s, I have finally bit the bullet and bought DVDFAb Platinum. I’m getting more devices that support video (Zen, mobile phone) and having a (nearly) one-click app to handle the entire rip-transcode-burn cycle is a dream.

I have a Popcorn Hour A100 on the way (huzza!) so now I really want to start creating high quality backups and storing them on my NAS. I don’t have unlimited storage (and I have lots of DVDs) so I don’t want to store entire ISOs, nor the special featurettes, etc. So my question is this: “what is the best video/audio encoding and what is the best container format to use”? I only want to store the main movie plus the accompanying AC3 or DTS audio track plus English subtitles if available. I’m only backing up standard def DVDs, and my biggest concern is video quality (on mostly action flicks). The A100 plays pretty much everything so all options are on the table. Is h.264/audiocopy/mkv the way to go? How should I pick bitrates, etc?

Thanks for any help!


#2

i would use Dvd to dvd main movie only at 100% quality. if you conmpress to lower quality you’ll probably end up wishing you hadn’t, further down the line, & doing them all again.

If your internal hard drive fills up, then a 500Gb external USB hard drive will hold close to 100 min movies at full quality, at less than 1 dollar per movie. main movie size is 4-6 gb depending on length & original quality. compare the cost of more disc pscae with the time & hassle of doing 100 movies twice & maybe you’ll take the point.

Once you have preserved the original quality, you can them put individual movies into various portable formats, working with fab from these HD backups - no need to touch the originals again.

backup only the audio streams that you need and lose any unessary languages/subtitles to save space.
acton flicks iare where you will see the compression artifactrs most, so why compromise


#3

[QUOTE=jason.sherlock;2023919]Hi all! After years of using the free version of DVDFab to backup my DVD-9s to DVD-5s, I have finally bit the bullet and bought DVDFAb Platinum. I’m getting more devices that support video (Zen, mobile phone) and having a (nearly) one-click app to handle the entire rip-transcode-burn cycle is a dream.

I have a Popcorn Hour A100 on the way (huzza!) so now I really want to start creating high quality backups and storing them on my NAS. I don’t have unlimited storage (and I have lots of DVDs) so I don’t want to store entire ISOs, nor the special featurettes, etc. So my question is this: “what is the best video/audio encoding and what is the best container format to use”? I only want to store the main movie plus the accompanying AC3 or DTS audio track plus English subtitles if available. I’m only backing up standard def DVDs, and my biggest concern is video quality (on mostly action flicks). The A100 plays pretty much everything so all options are on the table. Is h.264/audiocopy/mkv the way to go? How should I pick bitrates, etc?

Thanks for any help![/QUOTE]

I disagree with Cybmole as I have been doing this for years as I have a plethora of different Network Media players installed in my house (current count 5 but changes nearly every week) and have over 500 movies stored centrally.

The most compatible format that I have found in the DVD Fab armoury is a variation on the generic,avi.xvid.audiocopy which I use with the following settings:-

I retain the resolution as close to possible as I can
Bitrate 1100
Use DD5.1 track as this is most compatible.
2 pass encoding.

This gives a file around a third the size of “Main Movie”, approx 1.5Gb with little discernable loss in quality.

For movies where there is a lot of quick movement (like The Matrix) I bump the bitrate up to 1500.


#4

[QUOTE=GregiBoy;2024438]I disagree with Cybmole as I have been doing this for years as I have a plethora of different Network Media players installed in my house (current count 5 but changes nearly every week) and have over 500 movies stored centrally.

The most compatible format that I have found in the DVD Fab armoury is a variation on the generic,avi.xvid.audiocopy which I use with the following settings:-

I retain the resolution as close to possible as I can
Bitrate 1100
Use DD5.1 track as this is most compatible.
2 pass encoding.

This gives a file around a third the size of “Main Movie”, approx 1.5Gb with little discernable loss in quality.

For movies where there is a lot of quick movement (like The Matrix) I bump the bitrate up to 1500.[/QUOTE]

a yeart ago I would have agreed with you - I used to compress everyting into Divx to save disc space, but hard drives just keep getting bigger and cheaper, as larger video & TV screens, so why not stay in the original format , and preserve surround sound audio streams in case you ever upgrade your sound system.?

like I said earlier - whish is more valuable - the time you spend re-ripping to a less compressed format versus the 20 cents worth of disc space you save in the short term ?

of course, if you only ever plan to watch on hald held size screens , then compress away, but if your next years hand-held uses a different format or screen size to your current one, then again you’ll wish you had the original dvd files to hand so as to avoid mutilple format conversions.


#5

[QUOTE=cybmole;2025571]a yeart ago I would have agreed with you - I used to compress everyting into Divx to save disc space, but hard drives just keep getting bigger and cheaper, as larger video & TV screens, so why not stay in the original format , and preserve surround sound audio streams in case you ever upgrade your sound system.?

like I said earlier - whish is more valuable - the time you spend re-ripping to a less compressed format versus the 20 cents worth of disc space you save in the short term ?

of course, if you only ever plan to watch on hald held size screens , then compress away, but if your next years hand-held uses a different format or screen size to your current one, then again you’ll wish you had the original dvd files to hand so as to avoid mutilple format conversions.[/QUOTE]

I understand your points but there are a couple of other constraints with Network Media Players.

Some will just downright not play ISO/IFO backups of DVD’s so there is the compatability issue there.

The other constraint is how your player (and this can be software on a PC) is hooked into your infrastructure. If it is wireless, “B” wil not provide the streaming bandwith, “G” is hit and miss, “N” works fine.

Also, with the parameters I indicated above, we had a family challenge over the Easter Weekend where I hooked up a new player that I am alpha testing (Ziova CS615) via HDMI to a 42" LG LCD panel.

The challenge was pick the original from the encode.

Everyone picked the encode… It seemed to upscale better to the Ziova than the commercial DVD.


#6

[QUOTE=GregiBoy;2025595]
The other constraint is how your player (and this can be software on a PC) is hooked into your infrastructure. If it is wireless, “B” wil not provide the streaming bandwith, “G” is hit and miss, “N” works fine.

.[/QUOTE]

I tested this, & wireless g works for for me - 54mbs is faster than the needed data rate.

to copy a 90 minute dvd movie - say 5Gb - over my wireless connection takes about 40 mins, but the constraint there seems to be how fast my media PC hard drive can write the data. If I rip directly on to that PC it takes almost as long. Even so, that is 2x real time, so wireless G will stream a DVd OK provided there are no other active heavy users on the same router.

I can watch a Dvd which is stored on an external USB drive on a different PC, so the data is flowing from External hard drive via USB2 then from that PC by ethernet to the router then by wireless g to the media PC , & all of that works fine.

the nice thing about original file formats plus a good DVD software player is that you have lots of options e.g. zoom, slow/fast playback, angles, colour profiles - that are not all available in the conversions.


#7

Cybmole

Please note that the OP was referring to a Popcorn Hour which is a NMP, not a PC software player.

You must have great wireless reception in your place. I do too, but if the signal strength drops below 70%, ISO’s will not stream without stuttering and this is problem that others have had.

Als0, wireless security also adds a bandwith overhead, WPA more than WEP.


#8

[QUOTE=GregiBoy;2025918]Cybmole

Please note that the OP was referring to a Popcorn Hour which is a NMP, not a PC software player.

You must have great wireless reception in your place. I do too, but if the signal strength drops below 70%, ISO’s will not stream without stuttering and this is problem that others have had.

Als0, wireless security also adds a bandwith overhead, WPA more than WEP.[/QUOTE]

i don’t bother with any wireless security - too much hassle if someone visiting needs to get a laptop online quickly.

there’s only one next door house within reach of our signal & I don’t think he’s a bandwidth leech


#9

Just want to thank all parties for their input on this topic. I’m currently experimenting with h.264/original audio in mkv containers. There is no way that I have the bandwidth to stream ISOs over my 802.11g. The reception between my “server room” and the living room + WPA overhead is a deal breaker.


#10

The most compatible format that I have found in the DVD Fab armoury is a variation on the generic,avi.xvid.audiocopy which I use with the following settings:-

I retain the resolution as close to possible as I can
Bitrate 1100
Use DD5.1 track as this is most compatible.
2 pass encoding.

This gives a file around a third the size of “Main Movie”, approx 1.5Gb with little discernable loss in quality.

For movies where there is a lot of quick movement (like The Matrix) I bump the bitrate up to 1500.

so far I’ve been using generic “avi.h264.audiocopy” and using your suggestions for a bitrate of 1100-1500 which really seems to work well, but it was only this evening that I noticed that you said you use “svi.xvid.audiocopy” …
Should I be using xvid over h264? … differences? quality?

thanks again
Allen


#11

The reason that I use the XVid version over the H264 is for compatability with my Network Media Players as some of them will not play H264 encoded files, hence I have gone for the lowest common denominator.

If all your equipment plays H264 fine, stick with it.


#12

A final wrinkle to this discussion: can anybody provide an overview of selecting the best Frame Resolution?

I’ve just encoded Blackhawk Down (NTSC) to h.264 using the default frame resolution and a 1500 bitrate. To compare my encoded file with the original DVD, I used VLC player. The first thing that I noticed was that the video window that opened for my encoded video was noticeably smaller than the video window that opened for the DVD. When I displayed both video streams in full screen mode I noticed that the text quotes that show up early in the movie were substantially blurred in my h.264 video compared to the DVD. I have a feeling that this is do to the frame resolution I used on my encoded video. What is the meaning of the frame resolution setting (should this be set to match the resolution original material or should this be set to the format of the targetted playback device)? Should I ever use the default value? In the near future I will probably get a 1080p tv, should I always pick the option for the max resolution? As an additional note, I will be converting both PAL and NTSC DVDs, does this enter into the equation? I know that I need to keep the bit rate high enough to achieve a certain bit/pixel ratio so I would prefer to leave bit-rate out of any following discussion if possible.


#13

[QUOTE=jason.sherlock;2026829]A final wrinkle to this discussion: can anybody provide an overview of selecting the best Frame Resolution?

I’ve just encoded Blackhawk Down (NTSC) to h.264 using the default frame resolution and a 1500 bitrate. To compare my encoded file with the original DVD, I used VLC player. The first thing that I noticed was that the video window that opened for my encoded video was noticeably smaller than the video window that opened for the DVD. When I displayed both video streams in full screen mode I noticed that the text quotes that show up early in the movie were substantially blurred in my h.264 video compared to the DVD. I have a feeling that this is do to the frame resolution I used on my encoded video. What is the meaning of the frame resolution setting (should this be set to match the resolution original material or should this be set to the format of the targetted playback device)? Should I ever use the default value? In the near future I will probably get a 1080p tv, should I always pick the option for the max resolution? As an additional note, I will be converting both PAL and NTSC DVDs, does this enter into the equation? I know that I need to keep the bit rate high enough to achieve a certain bit/pixel ratio so I would prefer to leave bit-rate out of any following discussion if possible.[/QUOTE]

The frame resolution is the number of pixels across and down.

You should encode at a resolution as close as possible to the original but not go any higher and leave the upscaling to your player/TV.

These are the most common settings for PAL DVD’s (NTSC slightly different)

4:3 Aspect ratio = 720 x 576
16:9 Aspect ratio = 720 x 400

Some movies have different ratios such 1:2.25, 1:2.40 in widescreen format and the resolution of these will be arounfd the 720 x 300 mark.

A little tip. Make sure that the dimensions are always divisible by 4.

I would also compare the DivX profile also as the DivX codec, although old, has been around longer than H264, and hence is more mature giving slightly better quality (My perception only :))


#14

Excellent information, thanks a bunch GregiBoy!


#15

[QUOTE=GregiBoy;2026840]I would also compare the DivX profile also as the DivX codec, although old, has been around longer than H264, and hence is more mature giving slightly better quality (My perception only :))[/QUOTE]
Probably all videophiles would be up-in-arms with what you just said. :flower:


#16

[QUOTE=linx05;2026931]Probably all videophiles would be up-in-arms with what you just said. :flower:[/QUOTE]

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not what bloody videophiles have to say.

Whatever works best for you is the best !!!


#17

[QUOTE=GregiBoy;2027013]Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, not what bloody videophiles have to say.

Whatever works best for you is the best !!![/QUOTE]
They’re a picky bunch :cool:


#18

[quote=GregiBoy;2026840]The frame resolution is the number of pixels across and down.

You should encode at a resolution as close as possible to the original but not go any higher and leave the upscaling to your player/TV.

These are the most common settings for PAL DVD’s (NTSC slightly different)

4:3 Aspect ratio = 720 x 576
16:9 Aspect ratio = 720 x 400[/quote]

I was under the impression that DVDFab did not do square pixels (in the DVD to Mobile settings) and as a result the normal 720 px horizontal became 876 or something along those lines.