video.NET user guide
What is video.NET?
video.NET is a video conversion program that allows various movie disc inputs (BLU|DVD|ISO) and also various file types like MKV, AVI, MOV, MP4, M2TS, MPEG1/2, TS, and outputs standard or high definition MKV or MP4 files for your PC, mediaplayer, game console, or Apple iDevice like the iPhone|iPad|iPod.
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. video.NET uses the excellent 'HandBrakeCLI' for its core conversion routines but don't be fooled into thinking video.NET is just like the HandBrake GUI or any of its 'clones', it is not, nor are its profiles/presets.
video.NET the basics
Top right of the main video.NET screen (see screenshot) there’s three button: CONFIG|MINIMISE|EXIT. The ‘CONFIG’ option will be discussed later and I’m sure I don’t need to explain what ‘MINIMISE' or 'EXIT' do.
The INPUT|OUTPUT buttons (shown in the screenshot as the big ‘DVD|MATROSKA’ buttons) have dual functions, meaning they do different things depending on whether you 'left-click' or 'right-click' them.
Left-click, loads in a file or ISO, right-click loads in a disc. If using a ripped disc or ISO as your source (input), you'll be presented with a title selection screen.
When you load in a DISC, ISO or FILE you'll eventually be presented with the video, audio, and subtitle contents of your selected title.
Basically, you select your required tracks then add the current title to the 'job-list' by clicking on the green arrow. Once added, you'll see the job (input and output format icons) shown on the bottom section of the video.NET interface, you can now add another movie or start the conversion process by pressing the other green button (right-hand side). Yes I know, that all sounds a bit too easy, but, once you've used video.NET, and set your options, the normal every day usage will be that easy.
video.NET remembers most of your settings, so once you have used it a few times, your favourite settings are always remembered. I hate programs where I have to go through loads of options, usually the same ones, over and over again, every time I load in a file. But, it's now time to get serious and take a deeper look into all the settings, yeh I know, boring, but what else can I say? I write a program, I have to explain all the settings, hopefully you'll only have to do this a few times, once you're happy, you'll find video.NET one of the most user friendly video conversion programs you've ever used. Sorry I can't offer you a 'money-back guarantee', video.NET is free but hey! You can always email me and have a moan ;-)
Output format and options
So with the basics out of the way, we'll now move onto the output settings. First thing, 'right-click' the output button, as previously noted, the output button in the screenshot above is the 'MATROSKA' button, you'll now be presented with the output options. You'll see two sets of the same options; I chose to have two seperate sets of options to allow independent MKV|MP4 profiles and settings.
The top row is referring to the profile in use and how the video will be encoded.
Profiles are a set of x264 encoder options, nothing else, except for the Apple device profiles which force a maximum screen size so your encodes are always the correct screen size.
The ‘Normal Profile’ will use settings for everyday usage which should be acceptable to most people. Those wanting to use higher quality settings, which of cause will take longer to encode, can change to ‘High Profile’. You can output your encoded video conversion to either a particular size, bitrate, or choose to output using a constant quality factor; you have no control over the output size using this latter option.
Constant rate factor (CRF) will encode using a constant quality, the quality will be the same throughout the whole of the video conversion, also, this option only requires a single pass to encode, that means a finished conversion in half the time in comparison to size or bitrate mode. CRF values in video.NET range from 17 to 26. The LOWER the value, the more bits used and therefore the higher the quality of the video encode, which brings with it, longer encode time, and larger the file size. The HIGHER the value, less bits are used and therefore the lower the quality, less encode time, and smaller the file size (yes that’s right – HIGHER CRF values are LOWER quality, LOWER CRF values are HIGHER quality).
Once a title is loaded, the audio options will become active. From the main screen the first audio track will be selected by default and from within the output options you can select your track and decide whether you want to pass-through the audio if DTS|AC3, or convert to AC3|AAC using either 6 or 2 channels along with a selected bitrate of your choice. If you are going to select MKV as your output format you can individually set the audio output options for each track by changing the track number.
The next set of options refers to the output size limit, anamorphic, and subtitle handling. If you load in a 1080p and select 1080 you’ll get 1080 out, select 720, and the 1080p will be scaled down to 720p, or DVD size if selected. Load in a 720p MKV for example and limit the size to 720, so it comes out with the same dimensions or choose DVD to have it downscaled to 576/480p depending on PAL|NTSC. The size limit option is NOT setting the output dimensions,, it’s the dimensions limit. video.NET will never upscale, that’s just silly, so if you load in a DVD for example, it will come out, be converted, using the same size.
If you don't know what the anamorphic option does then don't use it, or read the 'anamorphic' information page from this site before using. I'll just say that if you choose anamorphic strict, you can't resize, nor can you use anamorphic strict on any of the MP4 device profiles.
Once you have your desired settings, which of course are remembered, the output mode and settings used are determined by which button you press from within the output options to return to the main screen. You can output your file as either an MKV or MP4.
Once you have a least one job added, you can click the start button to begin or add more files as needed. Each double set of icons represents your input and output file formats. Left clicking will display some brief information on that job, right clicking will give you the ability to remove that job if required.
Further configuration options
Clicking the ‘CONFIG’ button (top right) will open up this configuration screen shown below. Again, all configuration options are saved between jobs (excluding chapter selection). When dealing with BLU|DVD discs, or ISO images, if the chosen title has multiple chapters you can select a start and end chapter, good for testing your settings as you can convert just a single chapter, also good if you only want a certain section of a movie, or song from a music concert disc.
‘Decomb|Detelecine|Deinterlace:’ all refer to options you can set if the source file needs decombing or deinterlacing (getting rid of ‘combing’ or ‘jaggies’). Sometimes it is difficult to know if you need any of these options. You may need to physically view your source file; you won’t need any of these options on 1080p/720p sources, mainly just DVDs and sources that were made for broadcast. I recommend reading the 'interlace' information page from this site before using. HandBrake does flag if it feels the source has ‘combing’, it’s detection is a bit on the ‘shy’ side, obviously to prevent false-positives, but I have found it pretty good when it DOES flag combing, it’s usually right. Click ‘Only do above if detected:’ if you want to only do your decomb|detelecine|deinterlace settings if the source file is flagged as such.
‘Denoise’ and ‘Deblock’ are pretty much self explanatory. But, as with many settings in ‘CONFIG’, they will have an impact on the amount of time your encode takes, sometimes quite dramatically. The final option is ‘Write 64bit MP4’. This is needed if you are in MP4 output mode and the conversion is going to result in a file over 4GB. If you do select this option don’t expect your file to work on consoles or devices, even if the file is below 4GB. If you don’t select this option and you breach the 4GB limit, the encode will crash.
From within the 'CONFIG’ screen you have a further three clickable buttons/icons. The first (top) button is a link to the ‘clone.AD’ website, the second, a link to PayPal for those that wish to donate to this project for the time and effect I’ve put in, and no doubt for further time I’ll put in updating this program. ‘clone.AD’ is not a company, or a ‘we’, it’s just a ‘me’. The last button (the ‘X264’ on fire) gives you the ability to set your own x264 settings, enabling you to have your own custom user profile, which can then be selected just as you would with the ‘High’ or ‘Normal’ profiles from within the output options screen.
If you do not know what these options mean, you shouldn’t use them!
I hope you enjoy this program, I've just tried to make the process as simple as possible, with the least amount of option changing between each file you load in. video.NET is still in early days, it's a new project, but will be updated regularly as new features and fixes get added to the HandBrakeCLI core. Lastly, please, please remember, when using BLU|DVD disc sources, always remember to 'rip' them first!
Just select your ripped BLU|DVD folder, doesn't matter whether it's the actual BDMV|VIDEO_TS folder or the folder containing these folders, either will suffice. When loaded, you'll be presented with a title selection screen, main feature will be chosen by default, which you can change to whichever title you require.
Please remember that when converting commercial Blu-ray or DVD 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 shut-downs and re-runs. 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.
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, and 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 a 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.
Because of device constraints, MP4 output mode can only have one single audio track, which will be converted to AAC. Also, if one of the device profiles are used, the audio will only be 2 channels.
If you select multiple subtitles from the main screen, but also select permanent, only the first will be permanent, and the others selectable, you can not burn-in multiple subtitle tracks. Again, because of device constraints, MP4 output mode can only have one single permanent subtitle.
You'll notice that traditional resize options are not included within video.NET. Device profiles will resize as required depending on the device. HD sources will allow you to resize to 1080|720|DVD sizes, DVD sources will allow you to keep to the size of the original DVD. Other sources being output to non device profiles will keep their original size. This is good!
Don’t worry about these; they will be dealt with automatically.
No need to worry, the aspect ratio of your encoded movie will be correct, and display correctly.
Chapter selection is inclusive, so if you only want 4 chapters, chapter 2,3,4,5 for example, select ‘Start chapter:’ 2 and ‘End:’ 5. If you only require chapter 3, you select ‘Start chapter:’ 3 and ‘End:’ 3. To aid in selecting the correct chapters, not only is the chapter duration displayed but also the start time of the chapter.
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 'scan for forced subtitles' and they will be searched for, and included automatically.