video.NET user guide
What is video.NET?
video.NET is a video conversion program that supports most of the common media (video|audio) file types, including disc inputs (blu|dvd|iso), and outputs low, standard, or high definition mkv and mp4 files for your PC, media player, game console, or Apple idevice like the iphone|ipad|ipod, and more. No need to wonder which sets of files contain the movie, or extras, or whether the 'black-bars' will be cropped, or whether the conversion will be the correct screen size, this is all taken care of automatically.
Both the input and output buttons have dual functions, you can left-click and right-click them. Left-clicking the input button (shown here in the top left as a 'Blu-ray Disc' button) will allow you to load in a media or dvd iso file. Right-clicking will allow you to load in a ripped disc, either a blu-ray or dvd but please don't do it directly from the disc, you must 'rip' the disc first. video.NET is not a ripper!
Once you media file, ISO or disc has loaded and been scanned the input button icon will change to reflect your current input format.
Below the input button is another dual function button, output (shown in above screenshot as the 'MATROSKA' button). Left-clicking allows you to choose a path and file name for your destination (converted) file, right-clicking will take you to the output options screen allowing you to access most of the options you will need. Again, the output button icon will change to reflect your current output format.
If you load in a ripped disc, or ISO, you be presented with a title selection screen similar to that shown here. The main title, usually the longest, will be selected by default.
Click the green tick and your selected title will have its contents (tracks) listed.
The next screenshot shows a typical title with its video, audio, and subtitle tracks listed. First video and audio track selected by default. Most popular video|audio|subtitle formats supported.
Brief track information is shown including language (if available), audio frequencies, bit rate, and subtitle format, along with video dimensions and chapters selected. You can choose to select as many, or as few, tracks as you require. The video track has to be selected and cannot be 'un-ticked'.
The output options screen is accessible, as previously mentioned, by right-clicking the output button and it's where we can change and amend most of our video|audio|subtitle settings.
There's obviously quite a few settings here but it's basically split into four starting with chapters at the top, followed by the video, audio, and subtitle sections.
If you have loaded in a single file, there will be only one chapter. If you have loaded in a disc|iso then you can if you wish, just select one chapter which is great for testing rather than having to wait for a whole disc to convert.
The first option we have are the profiles which in some ways are the most important. Changing the profile selection will change a lot of the other video and audio settings. So choose you profile first, then your other settings. Profiles allow you to have a different group of settings for different tasks. Basically they lock, or force a particular H.264 profile and level (same as handbrake) to allow your output files to be compatible with various systems, players and devices.
Here's a brief rundown of the various other video options. The 'preset' option can be changed from 'very-fast' all the way to 'very-slow' and will have a great impact on how long your encode|conversion takes to complete, along with quality and compression efficiency (see the 'encoding' section from the information menu for some tests). 'tune:' allows for some x264 fine tuning, for film or animation for example.
Two encoding options are available: 'crf' or 'bits'. BITS mode converts using a 'bit-rate' that you enter and does a two-pass to complete. First pass to determine where the bits should go, second pass to do the actual encode. CRF (constant rate factor), or 'quality' mode is pretty much the 'norm' these days simply because we care about quality, it uses a constant quality throughout the encode and only needs to do a single pass. Lower numbers equal higher quality|larger file size and thus higher numbers equal smaller file sizes|lower quality. It's thought that a good starting point is 20 for a dvd source and 22 for a blu-ray or HD file. But you be the judge, the crf scale is not linear, small changes can make a big difference and remember, lower the number, higher the quality, longer encode time, and bigger the output file.
The output screen size option is referring to the 'maximum' screen size in terms of vertical resolution, like 1080p, 720p, 480p, etc. video.NET tries to make this easy by allowing you to select your required 'p' size. So if you have a blu-ray source, or any 1080p source and select 1080p, your encoded file will be 1080p. Maybe you want it reduced to a maximum size of 1280x720 (720p), just select 720p and it will be reduced in size accordingly, keeping the correct aspect ratio and with black bars removed. So have faith, your size and aspect ratio will be fine. Although please remember, this is a 'maximum' screen size, you can't force a bigger (upscale) size than what you already have. You can't make a beautiful 1080p video from a 480p DVD, that's just silly and a waste of encoding time, bits, and file size.
If for some reason the automatic cropping, screen dimensions or screen ratio are failing somehow, you now have the option to manually control them using the crop and resize option.
The first four (T|B|L|R) boxes are showing you the crop (black bars) detection values which you can change. Next the output screen size allowing you to enter both width and height or select either one and let the program calculate the correct ratio.
Clicking the green tick will use these setting, clicking the red cross at any time will revert back to default values and discard your changes. If you're using this option often, then you're doing something wrong!
Away from the screen size but somewhat still related is the anamorphic option. I suggest you read the 'anamorphic' page on this web site and other sites if you don't know what it is. As a rough guide, use anamorphic if your input is a dvd or is already anamorphic (its PAR will not be equal). Again for the deinterlace|detelecine (IVTC) options check out the 'interlacing' page and links for more information.
There's also some additional video filters you can use. Denoise is handy if you have a 'noisy' source, it will try to smooth out the video, this also helps with compressibility. You have a 'greyscale' option, which is kind of self-explanatory, it makes the video grey. Finally, 'flip 180°', handy for those that for some reason don't look whether their camera lens is up or down before taking a video on their phone.
The one option I did fail to mention at the start was the Intel® Quick Sync check box. This will only be enabled if you have the relevant capable CPU (i3|i5|i7). Make sure you have the latest graphics drivers installed (go to Intel). Higher CPUs will have more capabilities, again, drivers are important. Lastly, this option is experimental, if problems occur, try again without the QSV option checked. Checkout the 'encoding' page for more information.
Multiple audio tracks can be selected from the main screen and each track will be listed here using its track number. You can convert to ac3 or aac and also pass through (untouched) many different audio input formats. You can choose the downmix method, stereo or Dolby Pro-Logic II and apply Dynamic Range Compression, which without makes the audio both too quiet (usually speech) and then too loud (action parts), extremely intolerable in my opinion, I don't want to keep turning the volume up and down.
As with the audio tracks, you can also select multiple subtitle tracks, of which you can make permanent (burned into the video - always there) or selectable, you can turn them on and off. Obviously you can only 'burn-in' one subtitle track, the rest would have to be selectable no matter what option you select.
foreign audio search
This last option is referring to 'forced-subtitles', something that many people seem to think means 'permanent' subtitles or 'burned-in'. Forced subtitles refer to the subtitles that are displayed automatically in movies when someone speaks in a foreign language, even though you don't have subtitles selected. It's recommended to use this option for all blu|dvd|iso disc inputs unless you know they don't exist. As with the normal subtitles, you can also select whether to 'burn-in' the forced subtitles or make them selectable. Burning in forced subtitles may be an appropriate option on occasions.
When you're happy with your settings go back to the main screen and add the job (blue + button).
The job queue shows you a little picture of both the input and output file for that job. Tooltips are active for the jobs in the queue.
Waiting jobs can also be deleted if required, simply click on the relevant job. Once you have a least one job waiting you can start the encoding process. Current job progress and speed will be reported.
The configuration screen is available by clicking the left most button in the top right hand corner of the main screen (next to the minimise|exit buttons). There are some important options you can select by default from the main configuration screen which are certainly worth noting as they have a global effect on the program. Please note: whilst video.NET is beta these configuration options have a habit of changing between versions and updates.
These drop down boxes allow you to change the modulus, dvd read access method and lastly, the output frame rate mode. Modulus is a number the screen can divide by, this was more important some years ago with older codecs etc. If you're having problems scanning a disc, change to libdvdREAD (or vice versa) then scan again. Output frame rate can be constant, or variable.
Commercial movies (and some MKVs) usually contain multiple chapters. You can preserve the chapter markers if the input has multiple chapters, allowing you to select the various chapters during playback.
Apart from just clicking the input button to load in your file, you can also load in a previously ripped dvd or blu-ray disc.
Left clicking the input button allows you to load in a file or dvd iso. Right clicking the input button allows you to select the drive (mounted iso) or folder of your ripped dvd or blu-ray disc. For dvd select the 'VIDEO_TS' folder, for blu-ray, just select the root drive or folder. When loaded, you'll be presented with a title selection screen, select your title, main feature chosen by default, which you can change to whichever title you require.
Please remember that when converting commercial dvd or blu-ray discs, they are almost always protected. You can’t just get the files off and do what you want with them, they need to be ‘ripped’ to your hard drive first.
Both the input and output folder locations are persistent; they are remembered between program loads|unloads. Also, by default, unless you change it, the output file will share the same name as you input file, excluding extension, which is named depending on the output format.
Chapter selection is inclusive, so if you only want the first four chapters, chapters 1,2,3,4 select: 'chapter start: 01' - 'chapter end: 04'. If you only require chapter 3, you select: 'chapter start: 03' - 'chapter end: 03'. To aid in selecting the correct chapters, not only is the chapter duration displayed but also the start time of each and every chapter.
Different profiles have an affect on other options so it's best to select this option first. Current profile selection is remembered between program starts.
constant rate factor
Which value to use? That’s like saying what bitrate to use or what file size shall I choose? The answer is unknown, it’s up to you, trial, error and experience will give you your answer. Although, as a starting point many people seem to prefer a value of about 20 or 21 for dvd conversions and a value of about 22 or 23 for HD sources.
Because of HD sources superior quality there’s no need to use the lower values you would with dvds, but hey, choose whatever you want, but going too low will just take longer to encode, make the file larger, sometimes dramatically, and there will be no discernible quality difference.
Don’t worry about these; they will be dealt with accordingly, automatically and correctly.
No need to worry, the aspect ratio of your encoded movie will be correct, and display correctly.
If you select multiple subtitles from the main screen, but also select permanent, only one will be permanent, and the others selectable, you cannot burn-in multiple subtitle tracks.
Forced subtitles are subtitles that appear in movies when someone talks in a foreign language. If you’re watching an English speaking movie and someone speaks Chinese for instance, you need that subtitle to appear. You do not need to manually select a subtitle track for ‘forced’, just select a 'forced subtitle' option in the 'foreign audio search' box. When you start your encode, the program will scan for, and include if found automatically.
Because of device constraints, and the mp4 format in general, certain things, or options, won't work with mp4 files like they do with mkv so please bear this in mind. Having selectable subtitles from dvds (vobsub) and blu-ray discs (pgs) is currently an unsupported feature of mp4, thus, selecting these will force them to be burned in (permanent) into the video if outputting to mp4.
Currently, video.NET is still 'beta' software so there may be bugs or problems that need to be 'ironed out'. Please give feedback.
video.NET uses the handrakecli for scanning and transcoding your input video files, handbrake does all the hard work, and video.NET releases are usually always compiled with the latest stable nightlies of handbrake.