Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

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Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Sun May 03, 2009 12:48 pm

Here's the deal guys, I've been trying to rip by DVD collection to my Home Theatre and its going well, except I feel like its taking too long. Now the program I am using is Handbrake on Windows Vista. Handbrake takes advantage of 4 cores but I feel like it could be faster. Right now I have the following specs

AMD Phenom Quad Core
4GB Memory
Raid 30GB Core 2 SSDs
IDE DVD Drive

Now the rips at the settings I like is taking 3 hrs per DVD. Now lets keep in mind I have 750 DVDs, and I do about 1 a day. We are looking at at a minimum 2+ years to rip all my DVDs.

So like most men I was thinking I need more power.

So my thoughts were either a Dual Quads (Server Motherboard, there is one that is ATX and allows Nehalam CPUs and regular DDR3 Memory)

or

an i7 Intel

So what are everyones thoughts? Anyone have a system close to the ones I'm thinking that would rip a dvd at the settings I supply and tell me what I'm looking at?

I tried Badaaboom, but I could get it to rip to 720p correctly. I have a 9800GTX, so it would be a good GPU to rip with.
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by Skippman » Sun May 03, 2009 1:25 pm

Would uping your RAM help any?

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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Sun May 03, 2009 1:29 pm

Skippman wrote:Would uping your RAM help any?
Doesn't seem like it, I barely use have the ram when encoding
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by Major_A » Sun May 03, 2009 2:40 pm

Handbrake is too slow. Do yourself a favor and get AutoGK. Depending on how you are ripping your times should be cut down substantially.

Example (see sig):
Black Hawk Down DVD9 to forced 720P 1.4GB XviD avi file with 5.1 DD audio roughly takes 45 minutes using 2 pass encoding. If I bump it to force 1280P it can recode the avi in near realtime 30 FPS, so roughly the time of the movie.

Link to AutoGK

If you want more control over the entire process you can use better software but you have to pay for it.
Adobe Premiere Elements - For some reason the big brother Premiere Pro doesn't import DVDs
TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress

Historically the newer Intel CPUs are better served at video encoding than AMD CPUs. If you want to get the job done faster then Intel is the way to go. I would see if AutoGK suites your needs better though.

I would love to show you a log file of AutoGK but my motherboard just shot the 8 ball. First time I've ever had a BIOS flash go bad.

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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by Alathald » Sun May 03, 2009 5:02 pm

Haven't really messed with it at all but there's a newish linux API that uses nvidia cards to decode video. ffmpeg has also added support. Not sure if you've sworn off linux but if not it may be something to look into.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDPAU
FFmpeg Gets Mainline VDPAU Support
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Sun May 03, 2009 5:05 pm

I use MediaPortal and its Windows, so yes.
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Sun May 03, 2009 5:42 pm

Major_A wrote:Handbrake is too slow. Do yourself a favor and get AutoGK. Depending on how you are ripping your times should be cut down substantially.

Example (see sig):
Black Hawk Down DVD9 to forced 720P 1.4GB XviD avi file with 5.1 DD audio roughly takes 45 minutes using 2 pass encoding. If I bump it to force 1280P it can recode the avi in near realtime 30 FPS, so roughly the time of the movie.

Link to AutoGK

If you want more control over the entire process you can use better software but you have to pay for it.
Adobe Premiere Elements - For some reason the big brother Premiere Pro doesn't import DVDs
TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress

Historically the newer Intel CPUs are better served at video encoding than AMD CPUs. If you want to get the job done faster then Intel is the way to go. I would see if AutoGK suites your needs better though.

I would love to show you a log file of AutoGK but my motherboard just shot the 8 ball. First time I've ever had a BIOS flash go bad.
I'll have to look at AutoGK. Does it rip to MKV as well?
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by Major_A » Sun May 03, 2009 6:57 pm

No but there is an AutoMKV. It's not as user friendly though.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia ... oMKV.shtml

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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by KnightRid » Mon May 04, 2009 5:57 am

mkv converting is a LOT more time consuming - Handbrake may be your best bet for good quality! Have you tried converting something on an Intel Quad or an I7 to see if the processor would be the hold up? I could download the program and give it a try here on my quad core 6700 if you would like. If you want to try the exact same dvd, just give me a list of 10 or so - I have over 700 dvds myself sitting here, so we will probably have a lot of overlap :)

Mike

Here is a good read - http://www.networkedmediatank.com/showt ... 160&page=2
I posted this earlier on another post regarding avi's, although it applies more so to making .mkv files. I think meGUI uses the same codec as Ripbot264. With regards to subtitles, DVDFab supports one subpicture at the moment (multiple subs coming soon, I hear), and will render direct to video if you wish. I haven't tried subtitling in Handbrake or Ripbot, but I'm pretty sure they're supported.

I've experimented with a few programs. Here's my breakdown (links to the programs are in the titles):

DVDFab:
Advantages:
Rips (copy-protected) discs with ease.
VERY fast conversion to x264 .avi or .mkv with decent PQ (you can skip the 2-pass, no appreciable difference).
Frequent updates to the program.

Drawbacks:
Sometimes buggy with a rare crash while encoding.
Current version has problems with encoding some interlaced material.
Encoded video quality is good but not stellar.
Limited options for encoding parameters.
Commercial software.

Handbrake:
Advantages:
Higher quality encodes than DVDFab.
Reasonably easy to use for basic conversions.
Has presets for various formats.
Free.

Drawbacks:
Slower than DVDFab.
Weird interface, kinda clunky. Requires a bit of knowledge of video formats for complex conversions.
Needs another program to rip protected discs.
I didn't find the support forum folks terribly helpful/friendly.

Ripbot264:
Advantages:
Very high quality conversions to x264 .mkv or .mp4 or (best I've seen).
Easy to use interface with good mix of options without being overly complicated.
Plays nicely with other programs so not to hog CPU (if you specify).
Free.

Drawbacks:
Slowest encoding times.
Requires you to download/install a combination of (free) tools for it to work (it's a front end).
Needs another program to rip protected discs.
Tech support consists of a single, 209 page (as of this writing) thread on doom9's forums.

Based on my experience, if you want quick and easy with pretty good quality, go with DVDFab. If quality is your top issue and you don't mind waiting for your encode to finish, Ripbot264 is definitely the way to go. Handbrake is somewhere in the middle.

=caduceus=
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Mon May 11, 2009 6:41 am

Major_A wrote:No but there is an AutoMKV. It's not as user friendly though.
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia ... oMKV.shtml
Tried it over the week, unfortunately its not faster than Handbrake seeing it just uses the same programs without the fancy shell.

I have pretty high settings on my rip, seeing its on a LCD, I can see the ghosting in the backs, and I want to eliminate that as much as possible. I'm going to be possibly going Vista -> Win 7 RC in the future, so I may do the upgrade then. I'm really actually thinking about going the dual Quad road, but I believe I heard Handbrake can only support 4 cores, I'll have to look it up.
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by hnzw_rui » Mon May 11, 2009 11:08 am

Lol, if you visit AVSForum, this is the point where people will mention you're better off buying more storage than converting to a smaller format. Not only do you get to keep the original quality, you also cut down significantly on the time and effort required for encoding. If you just rip the main feature as individual vob/mpeg files, you still save quite a bit of space.

On to other things, what dual quad-core set-up are you planning on? LGA 771 boards? I seem to recall seeing benchmarks floating around that Core i7 is near/on-par with dual LGA771. When you take into account the cost of FB-DIMMs and that you have to buy two expensive processors, going the Core i7 route might be the better deal.

Here's a pretty good benchmark for x264 encoding:
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=442
There are results there for 8-core set-ups. If you browse the TechARP forums, you'll also find results for Core i7 processors that haven't been added to the list yet. There's also an HD version of that benchmark. Link's in the article. Almost all GUI I know rely on x264 for the actual encoding so barring differences in encoding options, all of them should work around the same speed. x264 is pretty efficient and scales quite well on multi-core set-ups. Some of the x264 devs hang out at the Doom9 forums so maybe you can ask some questions there. I've found Doom9 to be an excellent resource for anything video encoding related.

From your comments, though, I'm guessing you don't really need faster hardware. You just need a better workflow.

How are you ripping the DVDs? Are you encoding directly from the physical discs? If so, I would suggest allocating a largish hard drive (internal SATA or eSATA) for containing temporary rips, then doing batch encodes from the rips. It'll only take maybe around 10 minutes to rip a full DVD to ISO format or VIDEO-TS folder. Assuming it's actually 12 minutes per disc including the manual labor of changing discs, etc, that still equates to 6 discs per hour. In 3 hours, that's 18 discs. Set-up an encoding queue for all 18 discs and let it batch encode. I'm betting it'll probably finish (the encoding part) in 2 days tops. If you allocate a whole weekend to doing straight rips to, say, a 1TB drive, you can get even more efficient. Granted, you pretty much can't use your PC while it's encoding, but I'm pretty sure you've got 3 or more spares you can work on. 8)

Other tips:
  • Use local drives. Windows' (particularly XP's) TCP/IP stack seems to be somewhat lacking. That or the default options just suck. Trying to read/write from network hard drives will probably slow down the process, even if all computers are on gigabit.
  • Use a SATA DVD drive. If you encounter DVDs with RipGuard, ARccOS or similar copy protection mechanisms (intentional "corrupted" sectors), IDE drives can regress into PIO mode (2x-4x speed) and oftentimes, you'd have to re-install the IDE channel and reboot to fix it.
  • If you're buying a new DVD drive, make sure it doesn't have RipLock or the "feature" can be turned off.
  • Don't bother with SSDs. You're better off getting huge hard drives for use as temporary drives. Sequential read/write speed on those are pretty good already. The Western Digital Caviar Black and Samsung Spinpoint F drives are pretty fast. I'd go with the WD for the 5-year warranty. :)
The most time-consuming part of the whole DVD-ripping/conversion process is the manual labor, in this case, changing discs and setting-up the encoding options. The actual encoding is just number-crunching which the computer can easily handle without supervision. If you finish the first two parts and let the computer do its job encoding without any breaks, you can finish much more quickly. There's a reason why the production line was developed. :)

Phew. Hopefully, you haven't fallen asleep after that long-winded reply.

Addendum:
Yeah, yeah, this is an excruciatingly long post but I just noticed this.
dicecca112 wrote:I tried Badaaboom, but I could get it to rip to 720p correctly.
Don't bother encoding your DVD rips to 720p. You won't be getting more detail than what the original DVD came with and quality would actually suffer because you have less bits per pixel (assuming you use the same bitrate). Chances are, the video processor on your TV will do a much better job upconverting from 480p to 720p/1080p than the encoding software will.
Last edited by hnzw_rui on Mon May 11, 2009 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Mon May 11, 2009 11:31 am

hnzw_rui wrote:Lol, if you visit AVSForum, this is the point where people will mention you're better off buying more storage than converting to a smaller format. Not only do you get to keep the original quality, you also cut down significantly on the time and effort required for encoding. If you just rip the main feature as individual vob/mpeg files, you still save quite a bit of space.

On to other things, what dual quad-core set-up are you planning on? LGA 771 boards? I seem to recall seeing benchmarks floating around that Core i7 is near/on-par with dual LGA771. When you take into account the cost of FB-DIMMs and that you have to buy two expensive processors, going the Core i7 route might be the better deal.

Here's a pretty good benchmark for x264 encoding:
http://www.techarp.com/showarticle.aspx?artno=442
There are results there for 8-core set-ups. If you browse the TechARP forums, you'll also find results for Core i7 processors that haven't been added to the list yet. There's also an HD version of that benchmark. Link's in the article. Almost all GUI I know rely on x264 for the actual encoding so barring differences in encoding options, all of them should work around the same speed. x264 is pretty efficient and scales quite well on multi-core set-ups. Some of the x264 devs hang out at the Doom9 forums so maybe you can ask some questions there. I've found Doom9 to be an excellent resource for anything video encoding related.

From your comments, though, I'm guessing you don't really need faster hardware. You just need a better workflow.

How are you ripping the DVDs? Are you encoding directly from the physical discs? If so, I would suggest allocating a largish hard drive (internal SATA or eSATA) for containing temporary rips, then doing batch encodes from the rips. It'll only take maybe around 10 minutes to rip a full DVD to ISO format or VIDEO-TS folder. Assuming it's actually 12 minutes per disc including the manual labor of changing discs, etc, that still equates to 6 discs per hour. In 3 hours, that's 18 discs. Set-up an encoding queue for all 18 discs and let it batch encode. I'm betting it'll probably finish (the encoding part) in 2 days tops. If you allocate a whole weekend to doing straight rips to, say, a 1TB drive, you can get even more efficient. Granted, you pretty much can't use your PC while it's encoding, but I'm pretty sure you've got 3 or more spares you can work on. 8)

Other tips:
  • Use local drives. Windows' (particularly XP's) TCP/IP stack seems to be somewhat lacking. That or the default options just suck. Trying to read/write from network hard drives will probably slow down the process, even if all computers are on gigabit.
  • Use a SATA DVD drive. If you encounter DVDs with RipGuard, ARccOS or similar copy protection mechanisms (intentional "corrupted" sectors), IDE drives can regress into PIO mode (2x-4x speed) and oftentimes, you'd have to re-install the IDE channel and reboot to fix it.
  • If you're buying a new DVD drive, make sure it doesn't have RipLock or the "feature" can be turned off.
  • Don't bother with SSDs. You're better off getting huge hard drives for use as temporary drives. Sequential read/write speed on those are pretty good already. The Western Digital Caviar Black and Samsung Spinpoint F drives are pretty fast. I'd go with the WD for the 5-year warranty. :)
The most time-consuming part of the whole DVD-ripping/conversion process is the manual labor, in this case, changing discs and setting-up the encoding options. The actual encoding is just number-crunching which the computer can easily handle without supervision. If you finish the first two parts and let the computer do its job with the encoding without any breaks, you can finish much more quickly. There's a reason why the production line was developed. :)

Thanks for the tips

I was looking at Nehalem, so it would be unbuffered DDR3 with the ASUS Board. That being said, its too expensive. I may upgrade to a Phenom II, 6GB of DDR3 and a new motherboard. I may change to i7 if the benchmarks say so.
I rather do the DVDs one at a time, for QA reasons its easier.
I have just an IDE, so I should look at a new SATA one
I only use SSDs for the OS, Movies and Music are stored on 3TB of Storage
I use Handbrake and I have a profile created that does my settings, so its three clicks and its done.

You can see my HTPC Config here http://forums.legitreviews.com/about19300.html#p143088

I'm also going to look into Badaboom. It seems to do what I want, only using the GPU which should be faster. If I can get it to work, and its faster, and provides the quality I want, I may just upgrade the GPU and be done with it
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by hnzw_rui » Mon May 11, 2009 12:27 pm

dicecca112 wrote:I rather do the DVDs one at a time, for QA reasons its easier.
For conversion, yes. However, you can still do batch ripping of full DVDs directly to hard drive. I'd limit the actual conversion to "overnight" sets (maybe 3~4 flicks, because seriously, 1 DVD per day just isn't practical :roll:), but aside from space constraints, I see no reason not to do the DVD decrypting/ripping portion in large batches. It's a 1:1 copy, anyway, and if you're doing multi-pass encodes, it'll be less wear and tear on your DVD drive/disc if you rip to hard drive first.
dicecca112 wrote:I use Handbrake and I have a profile created that does my settings, so its three clicks and its done.
Yeah, but it's still more efficient if you do it in batch mode. You tend to click faster since your muscles have memorized the movements. :)

Be honest, though, you're just looking for an excuse to upgrade, aren't you? Because speaking from experience, a change in workflow will do more to speed up the conversion process (at least in human time) than faster hardware will. 8)
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by Zertz » Mon May 11, 2009 7:41 pm

Badaboom will be much faster than even an i7

I did some testing with 720p/1080p movies with a stock GTX260 and i7 at 3 GHz. They're not even in the same league, I just gave up on i7. Badaboom can't do protected DVDs though so you'll have to rely on something like AnyDVD

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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by dicecca112 » Tue May 12, 2009 4:50 am

Zertz wrote:Badaboom will be much faster than even an i7

I did some testing with 720p/1080p movies with a stock GTX260 and i7 at 3 GHz. They're not even in the same league, I just gave up on i7. Badaboom can't do protected DVDs though so you'll have to rely on something like AnyDVD
Did yours come out widescreen? I kept getting stuck at 4:3 when I was trying to rip them
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Re: Thoughts on Pure Encoding Power

Post by Major_A » Wed May 13, 2009 12:11 am

My main rig is back up and running so I can run some quad core tests for you. Sorry it isn't an i7 but it clocked pretty high. See if you have any of theses DVDs and if you do show me the application settings you are using with Handbrake and I'll run one to give you the results.

See if you have one of these DVDs...
Saving Private Ryan
Black Hawk Down
Gone In 60 Seconds (Nic Cage version not the original)
Gladiator
Band of Brothers box set
Generation Kill box set
Terminator 2

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