I've been playing around with different settings using the handbrake
GUI on my ubuntu laptop. Transcoded the same movie a bunch of times
to see what I could figure out. "The Three Burials of Melquiades
Estrada" (highly recommended) has plenty of English and Spanish mixed,
so I figured it was a good candidate for playing with subtitles.
"Normal" mode looks much better on my TV (sony XBR) than "High
Profile". For some reason, the latter stretches the frame vertically
while squashing it horizontally. This makes the characters look all
skinny and tall, so I stick with "Normal". To get a slightly better
picture quality all I need to do is move the RF quality slider down
from 20->18 under the "Video" tab.
As for Audio, the truest sound can be had by selecting the 5.1 AC3
track, and for the encoder select "AC3 passthru". Using this setting
my Marantz AVR lights up "Dolby Digital 5.1" when the movie starts.
Subtitles: after some googling around, discovered that the Sony
players simply don't do subtitles with streaming video. You need to
burn it in while transcoding the film mkv->m4v. Under the Subtitles
tab, there's a dropdown selection for each of the available subtitle
streams in the film. At first, I tried the default English track with
"forced" subtitles. This produced a fully subtitled movie... no good
for me, I'm not deaf. Then I noticed that there was a second
English subtitle track after all the foreign languages. I selected
that, and "forced/burn" and now I'm getting subtitles for only the
spanish sections. Just what I need (except that they're super-titles,
I.e. at the top of the screen. Whatever, good enough.)
Macross: As for anime', I've never watched any but I assume it's in
Japaneese? If there's an English subtitle track in the MKV you should
be able to select it from the dropdown. Just be sure you use the
"burn" option or it won't show on your Sony. You probably don't need
"forced" for such a film since it's all in a foreign language.
Also I've noticed that some films which are primarily English, have
the subtitles there already in the film whenever someone is throwing
around non-English script lines. (e.g."Inglorious Basterds", thanks
Quentin). So no need to capture subtitles for those.
Basic lesson, I think the settings may often need to be tweaked a bit
depending on which movie you're transcoding.
For this particular experiment, normal encoding ran in about 15
minutes on my lenovo quad-core laptop. (8gb ram) Intel(R) Core(TM)
i5-2520M CPU @ 2.50GHz. Handbrake is nicely multi-processor aware,
reports how many CPUs it sees, and uses them. I.e. my load-average
was pegged at 4 during the encode, which is what I would expect for
nicely multithreaded code. I think my HP Microserver dual-core 800
Mhz is way underpowered for the job, so I'll keep it on my laptop for
now. Besides I don't want to have my streaming music sounding choppy
while the encoding is going on.
Handbrake is an amazing piece of code for open-source, high-quality,
fast and accurate. Very impressive.
If I figure out anything else over the weekend I'll post again to this
thread. e.g. haven't tried many blu-rays yet.
I'll give it a shot, unfortunately the files were created by fansub groups, I have Cowboy Bebop/Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood mkv's that I would like to convert to hard coded subtitles. Thanks for the suggestions.
If you are using my script make sure you use the -s switch, also make sure you don't use -s and -hq, it's one or the other.
If that fails try the manual command (for testing purposes you can remove --preset="High Profile to speed it up):
nohup HandBrakeCLI --preset="High Profile" -i "/storage/movies/MovieName.mkv" -o "/storage/movies/mp4/MovieName.mp4" -N eng --subtitle-burn > /storage/movies/MovieName.log &
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