I've been monkeying around with this. So I rip my Saving Private Ryan (SPR) DVD using dvddecrptyer into 1 VOB file. Then I use Super C to encode in mp4 format (using H.264) I set the Video Scale to 854x480, the bit rate to about 1500, and the audio to 128kbps. The MPEG2 bit rate is just under 5k and the audio is 192kbps. its encoding as i type this.
I also downloaded the latest version of Act1 as it now supports the Droids screen resolution.
I tried a sample of this on 1 chapter and it filled the screen completely, audio sounded good, no jerkiness. THis was the 1st chapter in SPR so its action packed. I'll report back with the full monte.
Tried handbrake - It didn't work too well.
UPDATE 1 :
I let Super C crank on it overnight - it choked. could be numerous things so says Super C. I was working on my laptop during the encoding process. Tonight I'll let it run stand alone. Could also be a memory problem.
UPDATE 2 :
I let Super C crank on it overnight again. - it choked.
update 3 : I bought DVD Catalyst. Works great. $10 well spent. I use the Droid preset and modify it for 848x480 video. Next release will be 854x480. It's faster than Super C to boot.!
Building up my library.
I have a Family Guy episode that I am trying to convert for the Droid. The original file is 512x384. I am assuming that I can't go any bigger than that for the conversion, so does this mean I will have the black bars? Is there any way around this?
I have switched from HandBrake to DVD Catalyst. The main reason why is because when I would skip around the movie with Handbrake, the audio would become unsynced momentarily. Now that I have Catalyst I don't notice that. But I have run into one roadblock with Catalyst. How do I get the movie to appear in full screen mode. I have the Verizon Droid preset at 848x480 and have tried to remove bars from file, device, even crop them out.....each and every single time I get the horizontal black bars or part of the movie missing.
Correction...I have switched back to HandBrake (never switched back and forth so many times). The main reason is because I want to utilize the full screen on the Droid. Sure movies look great in their native 16:9 format, but after awhile the black bars on top and bottom start to annoy me. I managed to get ful screen on the Droid using DVD Catalyst 3, but it was at the sacrifice of chopping the picture off during playback. I like that Catalyst allows you to skip back and forth in a movie and there is little to no lag time or un-syncing of the audio.
After playing around with HandBrake, here are my new settings.
iPod Legacy preset
Constant Quality: 100%
Audio: Stereo / 48 KHZ / 160 KBPS
By far the best or my most favorite settings I have done.
Black bars will happen if the AR of the movie is not exactly 1.77 : 1. What movie are you converting?
One thing I've found that helped with the audio/video becoming unsynced was ripping the DVD to my hard drive first (I used DVD Decrypter and ripped only the main movie and 5.1 audio streams) and then used Handbrake. It was also nicer this way as I could que up movies and then go to sleep.
iPhone & iPod Touch preset with "width" set to 720 and "height" left blank. That's it. You can try playing around with the Constant Quality setting, but 59% (the default) seems to be a sweet spot. The program suggests that "70% is fine for most users" - that setting will render a movie unplayable on the Droid. At no point did FFmpeg produce a better picture than h.264, but h.264 was also slower in the encoding process.
On widescreen movies like Sin City and Watchmen, the entire screen is filled.
On fullscreen movies like Ninja Scroll, black bars appear on the side but not on top.
I just downloaded this. The quality looks good, but the aspect ratio doesn't...people with thin/long heads.
Originally Posted by JTAC
I just wanted to chime in here, as I've been struggling with getting exactly the right settings for my Droid videos but finally hit on the correct formula to take advantage of the entire screen and high quality. Most of what I've seen so far converts things decently, but you end up with the black bars because of the difference in aspect ratio between the film and the Droid, and also a slight bit of "scrunch" to the picture where people aren't quite the right shape.
I use Handbrake for the conversion. Make sure you are saving as .M4V (obviously). Select the "iPhone & iPod Touch" preset as a starting point.
Width/Height: 854 480 ("None" for Anamorphic)
Select "Custom" crop. For any movies where the source is in 2.35:1 aspect ratio (many films), use whatever Top and Bottom values Handbrake fills in (Handbrake calculates the black bar size/placement and fills these in), and replace the Left/Right values with 90. 90 is an approximate value, I find it looks correct on every 2.35:1 movie I have converted so far but results could vary.
This has the effect of converting your movie to fit the Droid's screen resolution exactly, with no black bars, and crops the outer edges of the film off so that the people are not distorted. You will lose the outer 90 pixels on each side of the screen, but it is generally not noticed (nowhere near as severe a crop as going to 4:3 or something) and is comparable to using the zoom feature on a 16:9 HDTV to eliminate the bars.
*Note: If your film is true 16:9, you don't need to alter the crop settings. Most films these days are not true 16:9 but you may encounter a few.
Under the Video tab, use target file size as 750 MB. You could probably go even smaller, but this seems to preserve virtually all the quality of the film. If you don't set a target size and use the default 59% quality, the movie file comes out between 1.5-2.25 GB, and the Droid seems unable to play anything 2 GB or over.
Audio Tab, I select the 5.1 track from the DVD rip, and convert to AAC Stereo 44.1 khz 160 bitrate. Sounds great through the external speaker and fantastic through headphones.
I hope you find this info useful, I've done a dozen films so far on my Droid and they turn out awesome.
Spy Game, The Dark Knight, most, if not all of my movies are wide screen format. Trying to find a way to use the full Droid screen in Catalyst 3....without cutting parts of the picture out.
Originally Posted by valnar
I am trying to convert a movie with Handbrake. I am unable to make the picture settings any larger than 640x272. This setting left black bars on the top and the bottom of the movie when played on the Droid. What do I need to do?
How-to encode good videos for Droid:
1) Download latest version of HandBrake
2) Start with the iPod Legacy preset and create a copy (add button). Call it "Droid" or something.
3) Go into the user_presets.xml file is creates and edit it.
(On XP, this is in C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\HandBrake\)
4) Edit average bitrate from 1500 to less than 1000 (700-800 is good) and AAC audio from 160, to 128 or 96. Remove analyze=all: (keep one : between other parameters). Save file.
This will give good compatibility and decent file size to your encodes. There is no reason to go up to 1500 avg bitrate on a movie only 848x480 at best. 1000 is more than enough for transparent quality and could probably go even lower. Using CRF 22-23 instead of a set bitrate is okay too. The iPod-Legacy preset works fine, but the files are bigger than they need to be.
Make sure you choose other appropriate settings as necessary, such as de-telecine film, etc.
If you are using a HD or Blu-ray source, lower width to 848. The reason you shouldn't use 854 is because it is not divisible by 16 (compression works better this way.) Handbrake should remove top/bottom black borders on 1.85 or 2.35 AR material appropriately. Yes, the video will still show them during playback, but you don't want to encode them. For 1:77 material, it should end up a perfect 848x480 video. For 4:3 video, set height to 480 and let HandBrake choose the width. You will get side black bars during playback, which is okay (AR is correct).
For DVD or native sources smaller than 854 wide, set either Width (to 720 for DVD) or Height to 480 and let Handbrake choose the other dimension. If the source video is smaller than both 854(H) and 480(W), leave it be. Don't re-size it bigger.
And finally, download and buy Act 1 Video Player. It's worth it.