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480p DVD Settings

This guide was written for Handbrake 0.9.8. See current version here.

I start with the High Profile preset and set my container to MP4 (Use MKV if you want DTS audio. Read more about Roku and MKV here.) Put a check in the web optimized box (Used for MP4/M4V only, does not apply to MKV.) I then set my tabs to the following:

Picture Tab - screen grab
Size - Check the Keep Aspect Ratio box. This will automaticlly set the height of your video to the correct dimensions for your TV screen.
Anamorphic - None or Strict. Strict works well on wide screen tv's and preserves the anamorphic aspect ratio of the dvd, which gives you an extra 20% of your movie to work with. None will crop your movie accordingly and works well with CRT (tube) tv's. Do a 30 second test clip for Strict if you play movies on a CRT (tube) tv to make sure the picture is not distorted.
Cropping - Automatic.

Video Filters Tab - screen grab
Detelecine - Off.
Decomb - Default or Fast. This will add a little bit of time to your encode, but it will keep your video looking normal. Default works great for hand drawn animation.
Deinterlace - 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
Video Codec - H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS) - Same as source. If you experience audio sync issues or buffer problems, set your FPS manually. Use MediaInfo to find the FPS of your source video files so you can select the correct FPS for Handbrake. This is usually 23.976 or 29.97. Use Variable Frame Rate only if you have a video that needs it. You will know because your video will wil look fine and then it will be choppy.
Quality - Use Constant Quality. I use RF:19 for DVD as a starting point for my encodes. I find RF setting between 20 and 18 work well for DVD encoding and generally keep the video file size under 2 gigs. Most of my videos come in around the 1 to 1.5 gig range. You can play with the RF slider to find your own prefrence. 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: AC3 Passthru | DTS to AC3
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 and ensures compatibility with other devices like the iPad. 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 Roku 1) and your Roku must be set to Digital 5.1 audio mode (surround sound) in the device settings (failure to do so, can give you the "unsupported codec" error message). AAC analog audio will work with composite, component and HDMI cables (I don't know about optical) and most modern devices. If you want to include more than one analog or digital track, you will need to use PLEX to select between tracks as Roku will only play the first track by default and has no option to switch between them.

Source - I always use the digital track (Dolby 5.1, Dolby 2.0 or DTS) Just make sure it is the movie track and not a commentary.
Audio Codec
- 1st track: AAC (faac).
- 2nd trackAC3 Passthru or DTS Passthru. If your audio track is AC3, select AC3 Passthru. Roku only supports DTS Passthru with the MKV container. Use AC3 (ffmpeg) to convert DTS to AC3 if you want to stick with a MP4 video file. This conversion sounds good on a TV, but I have not tested it on a digital surround system.
Mixdown
- 1st track: Dolby Prologic II or Stereo. Your choice really, I use stereo as it sounds the best on my TV and give 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. When encoding analog audio, you will want to stay away from the 6 channel discrete setting. Roku does not support 6 channel discrete analog, only 6 channel discrete digital.
- 2nd track: auto selected with passthru or 6 Channel Discrete if converting DTS to AC3.
Samplerate
- 1st trackAuto
- 2nd track: auto selected with passthru and AC3 (ffmpeg) 6 channel.
Bitrate
- 1st track128 or 160.
- 2nd track: auto selected with passthru. Use the standard 640 for AC3 (ffmpeg) 6 channel.
DRC - Advanced Button (Handbrake 0.9.8 no longer lets you adjust this setting)
- 1st track2 to 2.5 for a DTS soundtrack or 1 to 1.5 for a AC3 soundtrack.
- 2nd track: auto selected with passthru and 0 for AC3 (ffmpeg) 6 channel.
DRC stands for Dynamic Range Compression. This setting will do it's best to increase the volume of softer (quieter) sound in movie soundtracks. This is handy for movies where the volume fluctuates from scene to scene. I use this on movies with DTS soundtracks that have low volume dialouge scenes and high volume action scenes so I don't have to constantly turn the TV up and down. The Handbrake Wiki claims this only works on AC3 (Dolby Digital), but it works on my DTS conversions. You can still use Handbrake 0.9.5 to edit this option if you need it. Just install 0.9.5 in a different directory to have two copies of Handbrake on your PC.
Gain (dB) - Advanced Button
- 1st track: I leave it at zero.
- 2nd track: auto selected with passthru and 0 for AC3 (ffmpeg) 6 channel.
This option is for increasing the soundtrack volume. This would be useful for movies with a quiet soundtrack. I don't use it.

Subtitles Tab - screen grab
I'm not sure if the Roku will ever support embedded subs, but I add them to my DVD video encodes. Add whatever track you like. I leave the 3 check boxes unchecked. If you know the track you are selecting is a foreign audio track, check mark the burned in box to burn it into the movie.

Advanced Tab - screen grab
I leave it all alone, except I put Adaptive Direct Mode to Automatic. Your code string at the bottom should look like this: b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50:direct=auto

Use the browse button to point Handbrake to the folder where you want your video saved, give your video a name and start encoding.

These settings work with the official USB Media Player channel and the Direct Play option for PLEX. The speed of this process depends on your PC. I used an old Pentium 4 PC for awhile and DVD's would take 6 to 8 hours to encode. Blu-ray was not a possibility. I have since built a new quadcore PC and now DVD's take 45 minutes while my blu-ray encodes take 3 to 6 hours.

Prior version for Handbrake 0.9.5

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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