DVD Fab Settings for: MP4.H264.AAC or AVI.H264.AC3

vbimport

#1

I looked for an answer in previous postings, but haven’t found a Strait answer that isn’t over a year old! What I am looking for is the following. My environment follows so you have a better understanding of what I am trying to do.

DVD Fab Settings for best quality SD and BR disc using MP4.H264.AAC or AVI.H264.AC3

  • Video Bitrate
  • Frame rate
  • Audio Bit rate
  • Frame Resolution

DVD FAB Output?

  • H264 Profile?
  • AAC output: HE-AAC/ Multichannel?

I recently purchased DVDFab5 Platinum with mobile option. I intend to rip backups of my DVD collection, which consists of SD DVD, BR, HD-DVD. At this time, I am only interested in backing up this media to my NAS (DNS-323) or the HD on my Popcorn Hour A-110.

I intend to stream the content to multiple endpoints in my house. These consist of the PH A-110, PS3, Xbox360, and PC. I plan to encode everything in MP4.H264.AAC or AVI.H264.AC3, so I can reduce the size of the VOB file. I was previously everything in AVI.XVID.AC3, but reading hear, everyone prefers H264 to the XVID codec, due to the better quality output. Also they prefer the MP4 container compared to the larger overhead of the AVI container. Toughts? MKV is interesting, but amongst my devices, only the PH and PC support this container.

My desire is to keep the video quality as high as possible, while keeping the Audio as close to the original disc quality (HE-AAC, AC3, or DTS). I do this because I don’t want to notice any quality loss while watching it on my 60" 1080P TV and hearing it over my 5.1 surround sound system. Both the PS3 and Xbox connect to this TV, via HDMI, so I need to produce a container/video codec/audio codec that is supported by one of these devices. I most likely will use the PS3 for the MP4 codec, since the the Xbox doesn’t support AAC multichannel sound.

The process I use is first rip (DVD9) the movie only into a VOB file. I do this with DVDFAB or AnyDVD, depending on the protection. Sometimes I skip the VOB file process and use DVDFab Mobile to encode the source into the H264 codec. Where I need help is to understand the video bitstream, frame rate, audio bitstream, and frame resolution I need to use to ensure I get the best quality and not make the saved file larger than it needs to be.

I really appreciate your help on this. If you can help me determine this on my own, it the future, that would be great! I heard the calculators aren’t good due to VBR, so that is why I haven’t used those to solve my problem:eek:


#2

Based on my experience, I would NOT recommend converting to AAC if you can help it. DVDFab only outputs 2-channels and other conversions left the middle channel rather muddled.

Also, AVI/H264/AC3 does not work directly on the PS3. You would need to use tsMuxer to create and M2TS file and then rename the file to a VOB extension to get it to work. I’m not sure what the Xbox360 can handle but the PS3 is the best upscaler that I’ve seen. The PH will play just about everything.

The bigger question is, how much degredation can you stomach vs. how much space do you want to save? Another consideration is whether you are going to need the subtitles on some of the movies. And lastly, what options are there in the way of processor power and tinkering you are willing to do?

The easiest answer to save space and create the most versitile file is to create and AVI/Xvid/AC3, select creation of external idx/sub for subtitles, and then combine the output in an DIVX container. Instructions here:

http://club.cdfreaks.com/f116/xvid-ac3-selectable-subtitles-ps3-251989/

All you need to do is tweek a custom profile to have the settings that look good to you. For most movies DVDFab should automatically drop the framerate to the original film rate of 23.976fps. Let DVDFab auto-crop but leave the resolution as close to the original 720 width as possible. As for bit rate, that is very subjective. You will want to do some tests with random movies to figure out which value is the best trade-off (between 1000 and 5000).

After telling you all this I must confess that I don’t use it very often. I found that it was just easier to buy really big hard drives for my NAS and keep almost everything in the original VOB quality. When I need subtitles is the only time I convert to the DIVX file using a 5000 bit rate.


#3

Thank you for your response.

Since I posted this, I have read and learned a lot about different codecs.

Unfortunately, most programs only encode AAC in 2 channel, as you stated in your response, so this discourages me greatly.

Also, for a PS3, it only accepts AAC5.1 and outputs it via PCM to your reciever, only if you have it connected via HDMI.

My set up has HDMI to the TV, but optical to the receiver.

This basically leaves me with only a few options in regards to codecs.

Those are the following:

  • mkv.h264.AC3
  • AVI.xvid.ac3
  • VOB

I am leaning to VOB, but the space required is enormous, especially if I start backing up BR or HD-DVD discs. The container MKV seems interesting, but there isn’t much support amongst playback devices, espeically the consoles. This probably will change in 2009, but who knows. AVI.H264 is heavily frowned upon, so I have abandoned the thought of using this, and focused on MP4 or MKV. I unfortunately don’t have a good method to watch MKV, beyond converting it to VOB. VLC seems to give me jagged edged lettering in movies, so I don’t know if the VLC players renders H264 badly or if the rip with DVDFab is poor. I ultimately have to convert the MKV into a VOB to truly understand.

I am still confused on the bitrate. I know the higher you go, the better, but I also understand you increase it to a point, and then it doesn’t make a difference. Most folks on this forum say 1500. I was doing XVID at 5K but this produced a file size near the VOB, and that is the case, I would rather go with the VOB. For H264, I was ripping at 2000, but again, i don’t know if this is enough.

There might not be a clear cut answer, and this may be subjective, but what is the most common bitrate used when burning H264 or XVID for SD discs and BR discs.

Last thing you mentioned that was interesting regarding subtitles. I have requested for DVDFab to output external idx/sub for subtitles, and when I view the VOB or other codecs, I notcied the files in the main folder. Per your post, it makes me believe the only way to view subtitles is if I combine these files again into a VOB or encoded codec. Is correct. if so, then would I be able to select the subtitle as a option when viewing the movie?

Thank you all for your help and responses!


#4

Putting the subtitles back into the VOB file is difficult. It is easier to use another tool such as Ifoedit or DVD Shrink to create a VOB file with the subtitles already in it (these create a DVD structure but have the option to not split the VOB files). However, this will only allow subtitles on the PH because it can read the DVD structure directly (using file mode instead of DNLA). One of the problems is that the VOB file does not have all the information for how to display the subtitles. Things such as pallet and frame size are kept in the IFO files. This method would allow you to play the file on the PS3 without subtitles and the PH with subtitles.

As for bit rate, another factor is the encoding options used. These cannot be controlled in DVDFab very well. DVDFab is geared more to mobile devices and smaller screens. The next problem you will run into is that getting the best quality out of a small bit rate (1000-2000) requires lots of processing power. I’ve got scripts that will generate great results but only run at less than 1fps on my Pentium 4. Does this even interest you? It is definately not the one-click solution.