Best Handbrake Settings for Universal Tasks

Handbrake is a popular DVD ripper and video converter for Mac, Windows and Linux. It's a multi-platform and totally free tool you should not miss. This article will share the best Handbrake settings for general tasks, like Handbrake picture settings, quality settings, iPad 2 output settings, and Handbrake settings for media library.

Things you should know before adjusting Handbrake settings:

1.Good to good, crap to crap. The video output is mainly depended by the quality of your input source. You can't get a much better video quality if your original video quality is terrible.

2.Quality definitely differs between low, medium and high but low isn't going to make your video look like crap either. All your options are designed to be watch-able, but the bigger the screen the higher you'll want to set the quality. When in doubt, Medium is always a good choice.

3.If you're encoding for your portable device, be sure to check its encoding specifications (like resolution, frame rate, bit rate, etc.). Please double-check this especially when you want to put a long movie to your portable device. Or you can use a short movie to have a test.

4.Handbrake settings are not an exact science, as perception of quality varies from person to person, from application to application.

handbrake settings

Now find your desired Handbrake settings to use in your Handbrake.

1.Handbrake Picture Settings

a.Size: The size options allow you to reduce the dimensions of your movie. The Keep Aspect Ratio option makes it possible that the Width or Height setting changes and the other setting will follow, maintaining the same aspect ratio as the source movie. For a widescreen movie, the Width will be 720 or 1080. There are 4 items in the Anamorphic drop-down list. The Strict option ensures that the aspect ratio conforms exactly to the ratio of the original movie. A Loose setting alters the dimensions so they are more efficiently encoded. To make a custom video dimension, select Custom.

b.Crop: By default, HandBrake attempts to remove black bars by cropping them away. If it works no good, do it yourself. On the other hand, if your source material is a DVD burned from a video tape and that video has scan lines at the top or bottom, you can use crop option to remove them.

2.Handbrake Quality Settings

The Handbrake video quality settings are pretty open to experimentation, but it's widely accepted that doing a constant quality encode is the best option, and usually about 55% (or an RF of 22) will get you as much space savings as possible but still be nearly "transparent", or indiscernible from the original to your eyes. Again, this is personal preference, though, so if you have particularly sensitive eyes you may want to move it closer to, say, 59%, or if you can't tell the difference, you could probably slide it down more for saving more spac3. 55% is the setting that a lot people tend to use and recommend, and it works well for me.

3. Best Handbrake Settings for iPad 2

iPad 2 is recently released. So what are the best Handbrake settings for iPad 2? Do the settings for iPad still work the best? In fact, There is no option at present for selecting iPad 2 profile for the output format.

Tips: Video Converter has built in profile for converting and converting video for your Apple iPad 2, so you don't worry about the output video and audio. You would instantly enjoy movies on iPad 2 without any hassle.

To hack on Handbrake, here are the potential best Handbrake settings for iPad 2, try at your own risk. iPad 2 and Apple TV can both handle higher resolution, so you are recommended to use Apple TV profile if you want to make the most of your iPad2's HD feature. Besides, the iPad 2 supports 720p 30fps video, so a good maximum resolution would be 1920*1080. Among Apple devices, iPod has lowest restriction, you could use iPod profile, but these are definitely not the best Handbrake settings for iPad 2.

4. Best Handbrake Settings for DVD Movie Library

a. Video Settings: select MP4 file container, video codec is H.264, check Avg Bite rate (kbps) and input 1400.

b. Audio Settings: if possible, audio codec is AAC while mixdown is usually Dolby Pro Logic II, sample rate is either Auto or 48, and bit rate is 160, try to always use higher settings because you won't regret it later.

By the above Handbrake settings, you can convert your DVD collections to a computer or a portable device like PS3, through which you can watch DVD movie on TV with similar quality. Using these settings, Handbrake will produce about 1.5GB video from a 2 hour DVD disc.

See Also: 

>> View step by step tutorial about how to convert DVD to AVI with Handbrake

>> A Better Alternative to Handbrake for Mac and Windows

Handbrake Settings Tips:

1.The copying time will be a few minutes to many hours mainly depending on the length of the video, the Handbrake settings, and the hardware in your PC.

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Josey Wales
I'm getting scrambling of some sort on a Waterboy movie I own and am converting. Rates? or encryption issues?
This above, is pretty much the "Universal" setting within the Hand Brake application. I'm not about to make multiple copies of media, for all my devices. I just use Universal and go with it. Considering that when I do watch media, it's usually on my PS Vita or laptop, not my smartphone, Universal is the way to go. The only difference, is that the video/ABR is about 2500 for Universal, not 1400 like this recommends. Good article, solid recommendation.
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