How to: Handbrake and A500

Search This thread

WereCatf

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
774
232
Many people still seem to have lots of misunderstandings about H.264 support and they often try to feed wrong kinds of files to their tablets resulting in choppy playback, so I create this thread to help atleast some of them:

*****************************************************

* The Iconia Tab A500 does support H.264 video in 720p baseline-profile on 3.0.1 stock ROM, it doesn't support hardware playback of 1080p video at all and that will be choppy. The tablet simply doesn't have enough processing power to do 1080p video in software fast enough, so you'll have to update or install a custom ROM for that.

* The tablet on 3.1 (or newer) does support H.264 video in 720p resolution in baseline-, main- and high-profiles, but 1080p resolution video only in baseline-profile. This means that if you're getting choppy video playback on 1080p video then it's not baseline-profile and doesn't use hardware playback.

* The difference between baseline-profile and high-profile is that high-profile produces better quality output and smaller files. On a mobile device with limited storage it's obviously then better to use high-profile as often as possible.

* The tablet only has 720p screen so it's pointless to play 1080p on it. You should only use 1080p video if you plan to display it on big screen via HDMI.

*****************************************************
Handbrake: what and where?

Handbrake is an application that is meant for easy transcoding -- ie. converting from one format to another -- of video. It does the transcoding job in software so it can take a lot of time, especially if your computer isn't too beefy, but then again it produces a lot, LOT better quality output than any of the applications that utilize hardware encoding.

Handbrake can be downloaded from http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

Handbrake can't use encrypted DVDs as input, ie. almost any regular DVD-movie. You need to strip those first to your HDD and then use Handbrake for transcoding. On their website they suggest using Fairmount paired with DVD2OneX if you're on Mac, or AnyDVD on Windows.

As transcoding jobs usually take several hours per movie I personally like to set up what I want transcoded and add several movies to queue and leave Handbrake to do its job during the night when I'm sleeping. That way it doesn't bog down the system when I'm actually using it myself.

As for hardware-assisted encoding: such solutions are really a whole lot faster, like using Cyberlink MediaEspresso I can transcode a whole 2 hour movie in just 15 minutes. But the downsides are bigger files and lower quality, and so far I have not seen a single hardware-assisted transcoding application that does high-profile, only baseline-profile. Thus I personally only recommend using such when you're in a hurry, otherwise use Handbrake.

*****************************************************

Set-up a 720p high-profile job on Handbrake:

* Load up a video
* On the first tab ("Picture") find a setting called "Anamorphic" and change it to "Loose"
* Set "Width" to "1280"

* Go to the 3rd tab ("Video") and select "Constant Quality", set it to 20.0

* Go to the 4th tab ("Audio"), select the audio track(s) you wish to use, and set the settings as follows: Audio Codec AAC(faac), Mixdown Dolby Pro Logic II, Samplerate Auto, Bitrate 160, DRC 0.0

* Go to the last tab ("Advanced") and set the settings as follows:
2zexnrn.jpg


Set-up a 720p baseline-profile job on Handbrake:

Do otherwise the same as in above steps, but replace the last step with the following:

* Go to the last tab ("Advanced") and set the settings as follows:
rifzvb.jpg



*****************************************************

Set-up a 1080p baseline-profile job on Handbrake:

* Load up a video
* On the first tab ("Picture") find a setting called "Anamorphic" and change it to "Loose"
* Set "Width" to "1920"

* Go to the 3rd tab ("Video") and select "Constant Quality", set it to 20.0

* Go to the 4th tab ("Audio"), select the audio track(s) you wish to use, and set the settings as follows: Audio Codec AAC(faac), Mixdown Dolby Pro Logic II, Samplerate Auto, Bitrate 160, DRC 0.0

* Go to the last tab ("Advanced") and set the settings as follows:
rifzvb.jpg


*****************************************************
How to add subtitles

Handbrake doesn't support rendering of external subtitles in the output, ie. your only option is to use a videoplayer application that supports external subtitles, or use another transcoder software. Mediacoder can handle rendering of subtitles in the output if you really want hardcoded subtitles and Mediacoder has a pretty nice configuration wizard you can use, but it also has a GAZILLION different options and tweaks and thus there's plenty of things you can ruin your transcoding with if you don't know what you're doing.

Mediacoder also supports using CUDA on NVIDIA GPUs for speeding up the transcoding but again it cannot do high-profile H.264 then, you'll need to use CPU encoding for that.

If you're interested in using Mediacoder instead then go to http://www.mediacoderhq.com/ and download.

As for media player software that supports external subtitles: Moboplayer for example is one that has worked fine for me so far. If it doesn't work for you then leave a comment and state clearly what fails and what kinds of files you're using.

Where to get subtitles then? Well, I for one like to use www.subscene.com, they've got a great selection there for almost all possible languages.

*****************************************************

Disclaimer: I am not an expert in these things and thus I don't promise anything whatsoever nor accept any responsibility for anything. However, these instructions SHOULD work :)

UPDATE: Added ready presets in a zip file at the bottom, just import them in Handbrake and you're good to go.
UPDATE #2: Had a major brainfart and forgot to add a preset for encoding DVD-videos; they're only 480p or 576p, depending on the DVD, so using even 720p preset is a waste of bandwidth and storage space. Do find the dvdsource.zip - preset in the attachements below! :)

HALEP, Why is the resulting file so big?!
I personally seriously hate compression artifacts and wish to retain every single possible detail so I had left the Constant Quality setting somewhat high. In hind-sight I should have included presets with Constant Quality set lower so the output files are also smaller. Well, now you have it; just download the "Smaller output files.zip" from the attachments, import the profiles and use those instead when transcoding if you want smaller files and do not mind the slightly lower visual quality, the resulting output file should be anything between 30%-60% smaller.
 

Attachments

  • Presets.zip
    2.8 KB · Views: 1,783
  • dvdsource.zip
    990 bytes · Views: 500
Last edited:

dj898

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2011
60
3
cheers!
I do fair number of encoding using Handbrake and this will certainly help me to encode in 720p high-profile
 

edgie168

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2007
378
95
NYC
Might be a good idea to create some profiles too, so folks can just import them into handbrake.
 

WereCatf

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
774
232
Updating the thing a bit, planning to add a few more sections to it like e.g the subtitles and so on. Ask away if there's something you don't understand, I'll try to clarify things.
 

WereCatf

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
774
232
What video player do you use Cat?

I find MoboPlayer good for my uses. I usually have subtitles in .srt as a separate file in the same directory as the movie so I don't have to do anything special to get subtitles working, and otherwise I don't need any kind of special features from a video player.
 

edgie168

Senior Member
Dec 31, 2007
378
95
NYC
Weird. I tried the 720p high settings on a 1080p video and there was a lot of artificing. I'll try a different vid and see what happens.
 

Aaron Camp

Senior Member
Dec 2, 2009
83
32
Ok
I used the 720p preset for a DVD and it came out very "soft". There was no detail and everything was blurry. Think this is because its native format was 480 (dvd) not 720. Is this correct or is there a bigger issue here?
 

WereCatf

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
774
232
I actually went out and asked the Handbrake developers if they're planning to add the option of burning-in external subtitles to the output file, their response was that "no one needs that" and thus they will not add it.

I found the response.. well, not too convincing, and was disappointed to hear that. I doubt it'd be much work for them to add that. But I guess that's that then.

I'm now wondering if I should do a similar how-to for MediaCoder in case some people wish to use that instead, like e.g. if they really need the ability to burn in their subtitles.
 

tedpc01

Member
Aug 1, 2011
24
0
Stupid newbie question. How do you get going watching movies. Ie; What format are the movies in, file size, program used and now I'm confused about this Handbrake thingy! I appreciate any help!
 

WereCatf

Senior Member
Jun 16, 2011
774
232
Stupid newbie question. How do you get going watching movies. Ie; What format are the movies in, file size, program used and now I'm confused about this Handbrake thingy! I appreciate any help!

The files created by Handbrake are .MP4, but the A500 can also play some .AVI files by default. You can also install one of the players from Market to get support for extra formats. I personally use MoboPlayer.

The file size for 720p high-profile videos created by Handbrake are something around 1.5Gt-2Gt, depending on the length of the video obviously.
 

Top Liked Posts

  • There are no posts matching your filters.
  • 77
    Many people still seem to have lots of misunderstandings about H.264 support and they often try to feed wrong kinds of files to their tablets resulting in choppy playback, so I create this thread to help atleast some of them:

    *****************************************************

    * The Iconia Tab A500 does support H.264 video in 720p baseline-profile on 3.0.1 stock ROM, it doesn't support hardware playback of 1080p video at all and that will be choppy. The tablet simply doesn't have enough processing power to do 1080p video in software fast enough, so you'll have to update or install a custom ROM for that.

    * The tablet on 3.1 (or newer) does support H.264 video in 720p resolution in baseline-, main- and high-profiles, but 1080p resolution video only in baseline-profile. This means that if you're getting choppy video playback on 1080p video then it's not baseline-profile and doesn't use hardware playback.

    * The difference between baseline-profile and high-profile is that high-profile produces better quality output and smaller files. On a mobile device with limited storage it's obviously then better to use high-profile as often as possible.

    * The tablet only has 720p screen so it's pointless to play 1080p on it. You should only use 1080p video if you plan to display it on big screen via HDMI.

    *****************************************************
    Handbrake: what and where?

    Handbrake is an application that is meant for easy transcoding -- ie. converting from one format to another -- of video. It does the transcoding job in software so it can take a lot of time, especially if your computer isn't too beefy, but then again it produces a lot, LOT better quality output than any of the applications that utilize hardware encoding.

    Handbrake can be downloaded from http://handbrake.fr/downloads.php

    Handbrake can't use encrypted DVDs as input, ie. almost any regular DVD-movie. You need to strip those first to your HDD and then use Handbrake for transcoding. On their website they suggest using Fairmount paired with DVD2OneX if you're on Mac, or AnyDVD on Windows.

    As transcoding jobs usually take several hours per movie I personally like to set up what I want transcoded and add several movies to queue and leave Handbrake to do its job during the night when I'm sleeping. That way it doesn't bog down the system when I'm actually using it myself.

    As for hardware-assisted encoding: such solutions are really a whole lot faster, like using Cyberlink MediaEspresso I can transcode a whole 2 hour movie in just 15 minutes. But the downsides are bigger files and lower quality, and so far I have not seen a single hardware-assisted transcoding application that does high-profile, only baseline-profile. Thus I personally only recommend using such when you're in a hurry, otherwise use Handbrake.

    *****************************************************

    Set-up a 720p high-profile job on Handbrake:

    * Load up a video
    * On the first tab ("Picture") find a setting called "Anamorphic" and change it to "Loose"
    * Set "Width" to "1280"

    * Go to the 3rd tab ("Video") and select "Constant Quality", set it to 20.0

    * Go to the 4th tab ("Audio"), select the audio track(s) you wish to use, and set the settings as follows: Audio Codec AAC(faac), Mixdown Dolby Pro Logic II, Samplerate Auto, Bitrate 160, DRC 0.0

    * Go to the last tab ("Advanced") and set the settings as follows:
    2zexnrn.jpg


    Set-up a 720p baseline-profile job on Handbrake:

    Do otherwise the same as in above steps, but replace the last step with the following:

    * Go to the last tab ("Advanced") and set the settings as follows:
    rifzvb.jpg



    *****************************************************

    Set-up a 1080p baseline-profile job on Handbrake:

    * Load up a video
    * On the first tab ("Picture") find a setting called "Anamorphic" and change it to "Loose"
    * Set "Width" to "1920"

    * Go to the 3rd tab ("Video") and select "Constant Quality", set it to 20.0

    * Go to the 4th tab ("Audio"), select the audio track(s) you wish to use, and set the settings as follows: Audio Codec AAC(faac), Mixdown Dolby Pro Logic II, Samplerate Auto, Bitrate 160, DRC 0.0

    * Go to the last tab ("Advanced") and set the settings as follows:
    rifzvb.jpg


    *****************************************************
    How to add subtitles

    Handbrake doesn't support rendering of external subtitles in the output, ie. your only option is to use a videoplayer application that supports external subtitles, or use another transcoder software. Mediacoder can handle rendering of subtitles in the output if you really want hardcoded subtitles and Mediacoder has a pretty nice configuration wizard you can use, but it also has a GAZILLION different options and tweaks and thus there's plenty of things you can ruin your transcoding with if you don't know what you're doing.

    Mediacoder also supports using CUDA on NVIDIA GPUs for speeding up the transcoding but again it cannot do high-profile H.264 then, you'll need to use CPU encoding for that.

    If you're interested in using Mediacoder instead then go to http://www.mediacoderhq.com/ and download.

    As for media player software that supports external subtitles: Moboplayer for example is one that has worked fine for me so far. If it doesn't work for you then leave a comment and state clearly what fails and what kinds of files you're using.

    Where to get subtitles then? Well, I for one like to use www.subscene.com, they've got a great selection there for almost all possible languages.

    *****************************************************

    Disclaimer: I am not an expert in these things and thus I don't promise anything whatsoever nor accept any responsibility for anything. However, these instructions SHOULD work :)

    UPDATE: Added ready presets in a zip file at the bottom, just import them in Handbrake and you're good to go.
    UPDATE #2: Had a major brainfart and forgot to add a preset for encoding DVD-videos; they're only 480p or 576p, depending on the DVD, so using even 720p preset is a waste of bandwidth and storage space. Do find the dvdsource.zip - preset in the attachements below! :)

    HALEP, Why is the resulting file so big?!
    I personally seriously hate compression artifacts and wish to retain every single possible detail so I had left the Constant Quality setting somewhat high. In hind-sight I should have included presets with Constant Quality set lower so the output files are also smaller. Well, now you have it; just download the "Smaller output files.zip" from the attachments, import the profiles and use those instead when transcoding if you want smaller files and do not mind the slightly lower visual quality, the resulting output file should be anything between 30%-60% smaller.
    2
    Updating the thing a bit, planning to add a few more sections to it like e.g the subtitles and so on. Ask away if there's something you don't understand, I'll try to clarify things.
    1
    Thanks for the tut! Gave you a click, truly awesome help for those that watch movies on their A500s! :D
    1
    What video player do you use Cat?
    1
    I have Avatar.dcf on my Vibrant phone, will Handbrake play that?

    It's a DRM-protected file, ie. it's encrypted and will not be playable on any other device.