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480p DVD Settings - Original - HB 0.9.9

This guide was written for Handbrake 0.9.9. See current version here.

First select the High Profile preset and then select your container. Select MP4 if you want a video file that is compatible with Roku, Apple and many other devices. Use MKV if you want to include DTS. If using MP4, put a check in the web optimized box (Not used with MKV.) Now, set your tabs to settings below.

Picture Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Size Check the Keep Aspect Ratio box. This will automatically set the height of your video to the correct dimensions for your TV screen.
Anamorphic None or Strict. I recommend using the Strict setting on widescreen DVD's. Strict preserves the anamorphic aspect ratio of widescreen DVD's, which gives you an extra 20% of your movie to work with. I believe it's important to preserve as much quality as possible when watching 480p on a HDTV. The None setting will crop your movie accordingly and I believe it works best when encoding fullscreen DVD's. The Strict setting may cause some issues on Roku 1 boxes or CRT (tube) tv's, so I recommend creating a 30 second test clip to make sure the picture is looks fine.
Cropping Automatic.

 

Video Filters Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Detelecine Off.
Decomb Fast. This will add a little bit of time to your encode, but it will keep your video looking normal. If you know your video is progressive and not interlaced, you can select Off.
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: MP4 | MKV
Video Codec H.264 (x264)
Framerate (FPS) Usually 23.976 or 29.97. I recommend manually setting your FPS to ensure audio and video stay in sync on your digital files. This will also help with buffering issues on the Roku 1 and other devices. Use MediaInfo to find the FPS of your source video so you can select the correct FPS for Handbrake. You can use Same as source if you would rather not worry about finding your FPS.
Quality Use Constant Quality. I use RF:19 for DVD as a starting point for my encodes. I find RF settings 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 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 (MKV 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 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. Roku only supports DTS Passthru with the MKV container, but Handbrake will convert DTS to AC3 if you want stick with a MP4 video file. All you need to do is select the DTS sound track 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. Your choice really, 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.
2nd track: auto selected with passthru.
DRC 1st track2 to 2.5 for a DTS sound track or 1 to 1.5 for a AC3 sound track
2nd track: auto selected with 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 claims this only works on AC3 (Dolby Digital), but it works on my DTS conversions.
Gain (dB) 1st track: I leave it at zero.
2nd track: auto selected with passthru.

 

Subtitles Tab - screen grab: MP4 | MKV
Roku only supports SRT subtitles in a separate external file. You will need to search for them on the internet. Plex is supposed to scan your video file and automatically download the SRT subs for you. If that works for you, great. If not, google SRT subtitles and good luck. I no longer mess with SRT subtitles, I just embed the original subs whenever possible. Roku only supports SRT subtitles in a separate external file. You will need to search for them on the internet. Good luck. Roku may never support embedded VOB subs, but I add them to my DVD video encodes. Why? I try to make my videos compatible with other devices. Apple devices and RasPlex do support VOB subtitles, so why not include them? Add whatever track you like, leave the 3 check boxes unchecked and the VOB stream is repackaged into your video file. 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. You can also select foreign audio search to let Handbrake discover forced subtitles.
Source Select a subtitle track in your preferred language. You can also select foreign audio search to let Handbrake discover forced subtitles.
Forced Put a check in this box to let Handbrake know to look for forced flags.
Burn In Put a check in this box to burn subtitles into your movie. Handy for forced sub tracks like foreign language.
Default Put a check in this box to flag a specific subtitle track as default. Video players that support this flag will automatically display the sub track while they play the movie.

 

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 Your code string should look like this:
b-adapt=2:rc-lookahead=50:direct=auto.

Now that you have your tabs setup, you should save them as a preset. Locate the plus button in the lower right hand corner of Handbrake, under the preset column. Enter a name for your preset, set picture size to none, put a check mark in 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.

Enjoy.

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

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