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720p HD Settings - Original

This guide is written for Handbrake 0.10.0. on Windows 7. See current version here.

First select the High Profile preset from the presets column on the right side of the program. Next, under Output Settings, select your container type. Select MP4 if you want a video file that is compatible with Roku and other devices such as Apple iPad and Android tablets (results may vary on Android.) Select MKV if you want to include DTS audio and PGS (blu-ray) subtitles (MKV is not widely supported by many devices.) If using MP4, put a check in web optimized box (not used with MKV.) The large file size box is no longer present as Handbrake automatically accounts for it as needed. Now you are ready to configure your Handbrake tabs with settings below. You can check your settings against the screen grabs for each tab. Please note the screen grabs will open in a new tab in your web browser.

Picture Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Size Set width to 1280. Leave the height alone and put a check mark in the Keep Aspect Ratio box. This will automatically set the height of your video to the correct dimensions for your TV screen.
Anamorphic None. Most blu-ray material is not anamorphic.
Cropping Automatic.


Video Filters Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Detelecine Off.
Decomb Select the Decomb option. Next, select Fast from the drop down box. This may add a little bit of time to your encoding process, but it will keep your video looking normal. If you know your video is progressive and not interlaced, you can select Off.
Denoise Off.
Deblock Off.
Grayscale Encoding I leave it unchecked, but it could be useful if you are encoding black and white source material.

Video Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Video Codec H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS) Usually 23.976 or 29.97. When steping down from 1080p to 720p, you have to manually set your FPS to keep your audio and video in sync. Do not use the same as source option. Use MediaInfo to find the FPS of your source video so you can select the correct FPS for Handbrake.
Quality Use Constant Quality. I use RF:20 as a starting point for my 720p HD encoding. I find RF setting between 19 and 21 work well for 720p encoding and generally keep the video file size under 4 gigs. Most of my videos come in around the 2 to 3 gig range. You can play with the RF slider to find your own preference. Moving the slider to the left will give you a smaller file size, but it will degrade video quality. Moving to the right will increase file size but also retain more video quality.


Audio Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
I use two audio tracks on my video encodes. I set the first track to AAC analog and the second track to digital passthru. This covers me for both digital surround and regular two channel audio, which ensures compatibility with other devices like the iPad and Android devices (MKV is not compatible with Apple devices.) It should be noted that you can only get digital audio out of the Roku with via HDMI (or optical cable if you have a 1st generation Roku that supports it) and your Roku must be set to Digital 5.1 audio mode (surround sound) in the settings menu (failure to do so will give you video playback with no sound). AAC analog audio will work with composite, component and HDMI cables (I don't know about optical) and is compatible with a wide range of modern devices. If you want to include more than one analog and digital track in your video, you will need to use PLEX to select between tracks as Roku will only play the first track (of each type) by default (depending on your sound setting) and has no option to switch between them.
Source I always use the main digital audio track (Dolby 5.1, Dolby 2.0 or DTS.) Just make sure it is the main movie track and not a commentary track.
Audio Codec 1st track: AAC (avcodec).
2nd trackAC3 (Dolby Digital) Passthru or DTS Passthru. Roku only supports DTS Passthru with the MKV container, but Handbrake will convert DTS to AC3 if you want to stick with a MP4 video file. All you need to do is select the DTS soundtrack and then select the AC3 Passthru codec (screen grab.) This sounds good on a TV, but I have not tested it on a digital surround system. If you are using the MKV container, you can select DTS Passthru.
Mixdown 1st track: Dolby Pro Logic II or Stereo. I use stereo as it sounds the best on my TV and gives me maximum compatibility with other devices. DPII sounds a bit odd when it comes to blu-ray encoding. Sometimes the voice for the front channel ends up on the rear channels, which leads me to believe the conversion is a best guess for DPII sound.
2nd track: auto selected with passthru.
Samplerate 1st trackAuto
2nd track: auto selected with passthru.
Bitrate 1st track128 or 160. I use 160 myself.
2nd track: auto selected with passthru.
DRC 1st track1 to 1.5 for a AC3 audio track, 2 to 2.5 for a DTS audio track.
2nd track: N/A with Auto Passthru.
DRC stands for Dynamic Range Compression. This setting will do it's best to increase the volume of softer (quieter) sound in movie sound tracks. This is handy for movies where the volume fluctuates from scene to scene. I use this on movies with DTS sound tracks that have low volume dialogue scenes and high volume action scenes, so I don't have to constantly turn the TV up and down. The Handbrake Wiki states this only works on AC3 (Dolby Digital), but it also works on my DTS to stereo conversions.
Gain (dB) 1st track: Set to 2 for AC3 and 3 for DTS.
2nd track: N/A with Auto Passthru.


Subtitles Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV

Sadly, Roku does support DVD and blu-ray subtitles. The only subtitles supported by the Roku is the SRT format. For now, lets talk about foreign language in movies. Some movies may have subtitles appear on screen when a character speaks a foreign language. These foreign subtitles are not always hardcoded into the movie and will not be included with your newly encoded movie if you don't burn them in during the encoding process. The tricky part is figuring out which subtitle track contains the foreign language. My default method for foreign language subtitles is to select the first subtitle track (this is usually the first subtitle track for the movie) and then put a check mark in the forced only box and also the burned in box. Handbrake will now burn in any foreign subtitles that are marked as forced on the track you selected. This works about 90% of the time. The other 10% of the movies I encode have a separate subtitle track for foreign language, like the Marvel movies. This Google spreadsheet lists the foreign language subtitle track for over 450 movies and TV shows. If your movie is listed on the spreadsheet, then select that subtitle track in Handbrake and put a check mark in the burned in box. Handbrake will now burn in the foreign subtitles for your movie. If your movie is not listed in the spreadsheet, then it's trial and error for you.

Click here to read more about Roku and subtitles.
Source Select a subtitle track in your preferred language. If you know your foreign subtitles are on a separate track, select that track.
Forced Put a check in this box to let Handbrake know to look for forced flags. Leave unchecked if using a separate subtitle track.
Burn In Put a check in this box to burn in the foreign language subtitles into your movie.
Default Leave this unchecked.


Chapters Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Hopefully the Roku will support chapters in the future. I include them on every video encode I do. Check the Create chapter markers box.


Advanced Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
I leave it all alone, except for the following options.
Adaptive B-frames Select Optimal.
Adaptive Direct Mode Select Automatic.
x264 Encoder Options Copy and paste the following code string over whatever is listed:


Now that you have your tabs configured, you should save them as a preset. Locate the plus button in the lower right hand corner of Handbrake, under the preset column. Now, enter a name for your preset. Next, select custom for Max Picture Size. Next, type in 1280 for width and 720 for height. Finally, put a check mark in the video filters box and click the add button. Your preset is now saved and can be found in the presets column in Handbrake (screen grab.)

Now onto encoding your video. Use the browse button to point Handbrake to the folder where you want to save your video. Name it and press the start button.


Need instructions for prior versions of Handbrake? Check the Archive.

About Rokoding

Rokoding is a site devoted to video encoding for the Roku Streaming Player, with compatibility for Android and Apple devices as well. This site is designed to help you spend less time learning how to encode video and more time enjoying your movies.


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