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Old 21 Feb 2013, 03:43 AM   #1
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Default Question regarding vidcoder tutorial

Usually I convert / resize my mkv files using VidCoder and just by default setting, and so far so good (acceptable), but since I read the tutorial on Digital Digest I think with the same file size I can get better quality if I follow it.

And regarding this I have few questions, would be great if someone can help me.
  1. What is format profile high@5.1 and what is the difference between main@3.1 or high@4.1
  2. What is the output format profile result if I follow the tutorial 100%
  3. Actually since my br player cant play high@5.1, I want to make it to high@4.1 (assuming higher is better, and this is the max I can play on my br player)
  4. What happen if my main file source is MKV format profile main@3.1 and I want to resize it to smaller size and I follow the tutorial (assuming the output if I follow the tutorial will be high@4.1 or high@5.1), since usually lower source cant / not good if make it into higher output
  5. On Digiex VidCoder setting tutorial, it says to adjust the advance tab for optimum result, but sadly my computer cant cope with it (it took almost 1 day to convert and after 5h I cant take it anymore so I cancelled it). Would adjusting the advance tab give me big difference in quality?

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Old 21 Feb 2013, 01:49 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.

I wrote the guide, so I guess I should be the one answering your questions

1. Levels and profiles determine the complexity of the encode, and thus, determine the compatibility. Levels refer to resolution and bitrate, while Profiles refer to the encoding features being used. Less powerful devices may only support a lower level and profile, so you don't want to encode using say high@5.1 if you plan on using on an older generation iPod Touch, for example. This page has all the specifications for the profiles and levels, but which one you choose will depend on where you want the file to be played mostly - the device's manual/specs may provide information on what's the maximum profile/level supported.

The Level setting cannot be directly set with a selectable option in VidCoder I don't think, and it isn't really that necessary as it will be determined by your resolution and bitrate settings anyway. I think you can set a level by going to Settings -> Advanced -> Options String -> and appending :level=40 to the string that's already there (the ':' is a separator for the various options, and 40 is 4.0, so 4.1 would be 41).

2. The tutorial doesn't actually pick and choose a particular profile/level, it just explains some of the more basic settings and leave the rest to the reader. VidCoder already includes several encoding presets for popular portable devices, so these are a good place to start. For the PS3 and Xbox 360, high@4.1 is what you should be using.

3. See 2.

4. You're right. You will only lose quality with re-encoding, but you can minimize this by using a higher bitrate or using a more complex set of encoding options (eg. going from Main to High). A higher bitrate defeats the purpose of re-encoding, but using more complex encoding options may get you a very similar quality output at a smaller file size. You should only re-encode when it's absolutely necessary, as the difference between going from Main to High may not be all that huge unless you have access to the original source encoding (the one that the MKV main@3.1 was encoded from).

5. The advanced settings, if you read my guide, are best left alone unless you really know what you're doing and are complicated enough to require another guide on its own. Not only can they increase encoding times exponentially, they can also break compatibility. The default settings I find more than acceptable as a balance between encoding speed and quality, but if you really do want to mess around with these settings to get the best quality given the smallest possible file size, then more info here:

A quick search on Google reveals several other guides that deal specifically with these more advanced settings:

The best H.264 / x264 settings for Handbrake -
Best Quality Handbrake Settings for BRRips Re-Encoding
[Guide] Optimal Blu-Ray Setting Using Handbrake - xda-developers

Hope this helps.
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