Handbrake output files too large


Core

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Due to pressure from my family to finally get it done, I have been capturing video from analog sources (8mm and VHS) for the purpose of producing digital versions for safekeeping and easier viewing. These are old family movies going back as long as 26 years.

The device I use for capturing content has its own software which produces MPEG-2 files at standard DVD (PAL) resolution and at 25 fps.

The trouble is, a 20-minute clip is about 900 MB in size. This doesn't really work for me. I want to convert these videos into a more easily shared format. Most of my family uses Apple devices, so H.264 would be the standard. Unfortunately, using Handbrake to convert them results in an even larger file.

I've been reading a lot of threads on various forums and Reddit, and have tried various suggestions, but the size never drops below 800 MB. If anyone has any suggestions, I would be grateful.
 
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V_R

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Obviously the smaller the file size the lower the quality, something to keep in mind. But I take it as your ripping VHS its only 480p anyway?

I haven't used Handbrake for ages, but I take it none of the presets are any good?

Basically it sounds like you need a lower average bit rate.

This any good to you?
https://www.engagemedia.org/help/video-compression-step-by-step-handbrake-tutorial

or this?
http://blogs.it.ox.ac.uk/adamweblea...files-without-losing-quality-using-handbrake/

How are you sharing them?
 

Ian

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I'm sure you can get those sizes down, without sacrificing too much :). What sort of filesize were you after?

Have you re-encoded the audio as well as the video? It may be that there is a codec without compression in use and that's bulking things out.

I'd have thought that MP4/H.264 is a good option - are you able to manually select a target bitrate in Handbrake?
 

V_R

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Have you re-encoded the audio as well as the video? It may be that there is a codec without compression in use and that's bulking things out.
Ah good thinking.
 

Core

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Basically it sounds like you need a lower average bit rate.
I think you hit the nail on the head. Thank you for the links; one of them helped me grasp a better understanding of the CF value in Handbrake and what it actually does.

Using MediaInfo, I found that the average bitrate of the captured MPEG-2 files is 6500 kb/s. This is obviously fine for the original capture as I want to get as good a replication of the source as possible. However it is complete overkill when re-encoding considering the low resolution and general quality of the material.

Apparently, what I failed to understand previously, is that the CF method attempts to retain the original quality as much as possible. All my Handbrake encodes to MP4 carry a bitrate of over 6000 kb/s.

I'll have to do some testing to see where the sweet spot is, bitrate-wise. 2000 kb/s results in a 350mb file for a 17 minute clip, which is much closer to where I want to be.

How are you sharing them?
Not sure yet. I think either through iCloud Sharing, Dropbox, or a USB stick. I personally will keep copies in my Plex library, but no one else in my family uses that. Most will want to watch them with an iPad and AirPlay or Chromecast, without running a media server. File size is an issue with any of these scenarios, when you are talking about tens of hours of footage.

I'm sure you can get those sizes down, without sacrificing too much :). What sort of filesize were you after?
I have no specific number in mind, but certainly a lot less than my original captures. This isn't HD after all.

Have you re-encoded the audio as well as the video? It may be that there is a codec without compression in use and that's bulking things out.
Yes, I do, thank you for asking as this is indeed a matter of some concern. I re-encode to AAC stereo with a bitrate of 96. I find that the audio quality is bad enough that a lower bitrate is quite sufficient and saves space.
 
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V_R

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Not sure yet. I think either through iCloud Sharing, Dropbox, or a USB stick. I personally will keep copies in my Plex library, but no one else in my family uses that. Most will want to watch them with an iPad and AirPlay or Chromecast, without running a media server. File size is an issue with any of these scenarios, when you are talking about tens of hours of footage.
Ah, I was going to say if you're sharing via Plex you could just let Plex handle it by transcoding them on the fly.
 

Urmas

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This is borderline off-topic — a day late, a € short at best, but in the spirit of "For Future Reference" — for those in the Finnish Capital Region:

Makerspace in Sello Library

VHS-DVD digitization: Device for digitizing is the LG Digital & DVD Recorder/VCR player combi RCT 699H. It can be used to digitize standard VHS cassettes and VHS-C cassettes. VHS-C tapes are digitized with the use of an adapter. In addition, we have a device that can also digitize VHS-8 tapes. The time to digitize a VHS tape takes just as long as the viewing time of the tape. For example, if the tape is one hour long, it will take about an hour to digitize the tape. Recording for DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW or DVD-RW discs can also be done here.

Cine film digitization: digitization is done with the use of a Retro8 device. It can digitize both Super-8 and Regular-8 cine films. The speed of the scanning is about 30 meters per hour, which is equivalent to about two frames per second. Therefore, it’s best to reserve enough time and prepare for ten times of the length of the film. For example, a 15-minute reel would take a little more than two and a half hours. The digitized film can be converted to either a movie file or image series (each track would be separate). It’s recommended to book either an external hard drive, a large memory stick (preferably a minimum of 16GB) or a DVD disc for storage. For more information, please visit the manufacturer’s website: http://www.moviestuff.tv/moviestuff_home.html.

Digitizing LPs or C-Cassettes: the device for digitization is the TASCAM CC-222 SL MK 2. Digitizing vinyl LPs and C-Cassettes takes the time of the rate of listening. Recording may be used only for R or RW-CDs.
 
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Core

noot, noot
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I've found 2000-2500 kb/s to be sufficient with two-pass encoding and a variable bitrate. I can live with a little under 300 MB for a 17 min. clip.

Thank you all for your contribution. This thread got more attention than I expected.:cheers:
 

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