Handbrake Finally Hits 1.0

Posted on December 28, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Music + Videos with 17 Comments

Handbrake Finally Hits 1.0

Handbrake, which I recommend for ripping DVDs, has just reached the 1.0 milestone. And it only took 13 years.

“After more than 13 years of development, the HandBrake Team is delighted to present HandBrake 1.0.0,” the team announced over the holiday weekend. “Thank you to all of our many contributors over the years for making HandBrake what it is today.”

In an interesting coincidence, I just installed Handbrake again over the past week, for the first time in several months. As you might imagine, my DVD ripping needs have declined over the years, but I received up a “Rick Steves” TV series for Christmas and wanted to make it available to myself digitally. I am now curious to see that the presents have changed, and dramatically, in version 1.0.

You can learn more about DVD ripping with Handbrake in my article How to Rip DVD Videos, which I’ll likely be revisiting soon, as per my “revisiting the fundamentals” thing for 2017. Blu-Ray ripping is, alas, far more complicated. You can use Handbrake, but it’s not ideal on a number of levels, especially if you want soft captioning. Though, again, I’ll be revisiting this topic soon.

There’s also some official documentation now. Amazing what you can accomplish in 13 years. 🙂

As a historical aside, I’ve been using Handbrake for over 10 years. I don’t recall the exact timing, but back when we did our first home swap (in August 2006, in Paris), I recall discussing this with a friend there, and at the time I had to rip DVDs on an Apple iBook. (I think because the decoding stuff was available in Handbrake only on the Mac, but I can’t recall.) Today, those 720 x 480 rips would seem as tragically SD quality as you’d imagine, and as I’ve sold off/given away my DVD collection, I’ve stopped even backing them up.

Anyway. Interesting news.

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Comments (19)

19 responses to “Handbrake Finally Hits 1.0”

  1. Avatar

    212

    Knowing that you are not a fan of physical media,I really appreciate that you still give out this great info to those of us who like it and in the case of blu ray love it. Thanks Paul Happy New Year! P.S. "I never met a Commodore 64 I did not like"

  2. Avatar

    5812

    I use this program every time I buy a new blu-ray so I can make a copy for my house system of Android TV Boxes with Kodi install. All my Blu-ray movies are a finger press away in a better quality than any of the streaming solutions. You just can't beat Handbreak if you know how to set it up and you have a good processor and lots of time. I have a server that encodes everything and is my file server and since I only buy a new blu-ray every week or two I have plenty of time to encode movies in the highest / slowest possible mode and they are almost always excellent. I seriously owe Handbrake some $$ as they made one of the best apps ever.

    • Avatar

      7046

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      Yep. Handbrake is a big reason why buying physical media even makes sense anymore, for exactly the use-case you described. 

    • Avatar

      9518

      In reply to Nicholas_Kathrein:

      With hard drives so reasonably priced nowadays, there's really not so much of a reason to re-encode Blu-Ray video. Or just stick with the Blu-ray discs.

      There are Blu-ray players that can handle the bandwidth using video stored on a hard drive, USB stick, or via a wired network connection. Or you can opt for a NUC type box running Windows, & use a USB BD drive -- I can use Kodi &/or derivatives, & there's LAVFilters & madVR to help out, but IMHO PowerDVD 16 Ultra outperforms them with a better picture.

      That said, if your heart's set on re-encoding, using the Sony encoder in Vegas or Nero Ultimate's encoder, with an OK, not extreme by any means PC, I can usually get somewhere around realtime 1080p encodes, i.e. a 2 hour video takes ~ 2 hours to re-encode.

  3. Avatar

    722

    For ripping blu-rays I use MakeMKV for the initial rip, then take that output and run it through handbrake. This greatly reduces the size of the MakeMKV rip.  Now that I have this process down to a science 4k blu-rays are out.  So I'll need to get a new drive and then figure out how to rip these - hopefully I can use the same process. If you know how I can rip blu-rays using just Handbrake and nothing else I would love to know how to do this - it would save me some time.

    • Avatar

      4326

      In reply to Travis:

      I haven't paid a lot of attention to the 4K situation, but I believe they used a different security system, and I don't think it's been cracked yet.  Might want to look into that before spending money on a drive.  AnyDVD HD (now by RedFox) sits in the background and decrypts as it reads so you only have to use Handbrake, but of course that costs money.

      • Avatar

        722

        In reply to lezmaka: Thanks for all the info.  I've used AnyDVD in the past but at some point I switched to MakeMKV, I don't remeber why.  I may look into using that again to get down to a single rip.  And I definitely won't buy a drive until I see a working process for 4k.

         

  4. Avatar

    9518

    Just FWIW... [and bearing in mind (C) issues/legality]

    Myself, I'd humbly suggest checking out the couple of apps Wonderfox is currently giving away during their Christmas promo. They're ffmpeg-based, add files to the program's folder & My Documents, & the only registry entries besides uninstall are for the QT [BTW NOT Quicktime] cache.

    videoconverterfactory[.]com/christmas/?em12

    Ripping today means conversion, usually to H.264/AVC. There's little or no reason to downsize DVD 9 to DVD 5. Keeping things mpg2 still works with caveats -- the ffmpeg [& most free] mpg2 encoders are rather poor, you need an mpg2 decoder for Android, & ARM usually includes hardware AVC decoding, not mpg2. A plus, using AVC with or on ARM also means you can use anamorphic frame sizes to keep files a bit smaller.

    The DVD fame size can look surprisingly OK on a fairly good 4k TV, because of the TV's filtering/enhancing features, with the exception of subs if you use them. In that case it's a [fairly slight] bit of extra work, but the subs or captioning can be redone in HD, & the video stuck in Blu-ray format -- the Blu-ray spec includes the DVD video frame size in mpg2 or AVC.

    IMHO the biggest obstacle to quality conversions is the rather poor quality of most DVDs nowadays. OTOH the DVD frame size can work very well on lower powered ARM devices when/where 720p or 1080p using the most common AVC enhancements can stumble. Downsampling 1080p to DVD frame sizes should let you get the quality most current DVDs are missing.

    For converting DVD video to AVC, Nero Recode has the AFAIK unique capability of retaining switchable subs in the video file -- note however fewer players will display them. [The more usual approach is to OCR them to special format text files that more players will display.] The most common, high quality AVC encoder is X264, which is included in ffmpeg -- X265 can also of course work, with the caveat that fewer devices have x265 acceleration. There are ffmpeg-based freeware converters, plus dozens of payware converters out of China that are frequently given away free.

    For the most part speed & quality are comparable as ffmpeg is responsible for the actual encoding. That said, there is software that leverages Intel's Quick Sync, &/or OpenCL, &/or CUDA to achieve sometimes huge amounts of acceleration during encoding. Note that the end quality most always suffers, which is the trade off. [If you run AMD graphics hardware you might already know about A's Video Converter.]

    Handbrake... Back in the day video was captured, when the already digital files on a DVD were just a dream. Captured analog video could often benefit from filtering. Today the parts that improved captured analog video have morphed into features that might improve the video you've shot. If you want a simple conversion, those sorts of features may be overkill -- every feature, menu item etc., means more to deal with, to learn.

     

    • Avatar

      5525

      In reply to mikiem:

      "For the most part speed & quality are comparable as ffmpeg is responsible for the actual encoding. That said, there is software that leverages Intel's Quick Sync, &/or OpenCL, &/or CUDA to achieve sometimes huge amounts of acceleration during encoding. Note that the end quality most always suffers, which is the trade off. [If you run AMD graphics hardware you might already know about A's Video Converter.]"

       

      I just noticed that the new release of Handbrake 1.0, included Intel Quick Sync support for HEVC in addition to the support they have had for a while for H.264.

  5. Avatar

    9518

    In reply to Travis:

    >>"For ripping blu-rays I use MakeMKV for the initial rip, then take that output and run it through handbrake. This greatly reduces the size of the MakeMKV rip. Now that I have this process down to a science 4k blu-rays are out. So I'll need to get a new drive and then figure out how to rip these..."

    FWIW, the reason a movie on Blu-ray is better than the same movie via streaming is the extra bandwidth, meaning there's less video compression on the Blu-ray. Reducing the bandwidth, i.e. size, reduces quality -- the process of re-encoding also reduces quality. NOT saying you [or anyone else] shouldn't re-encode, but simply noting the price you're paying.

    As far as 4k Blu-ray goes, Fengtao [DVDFab] has stated several times they'll make no attempt to handle 4k Blu-ray, ever. Slysoft wasn't making enough $ to continue with AnyDVD HD, so I'm a bit pessimistic that the company that took over the software will be anxious to spend the cash on the newer format. I would guess that the price of 4k Blu-ray players would have to come down more than 1/2 before any manufacturer even looked at making a drive for PCs.

    • Avatar

      722

      In reply to mikiem:  Yes I realize that there is a drop in quality with compression.  Honestly I don't think I can notice a difference though.  If I wasn't concerned about filling up my NAS maybe I wouldn't compress, but I don't want to run out of space any time soon if I can help it. 
      I started buying discs in 4k but I don't even have a 4k TV yet, just trying to plan for the future.  But ideally the included digital copy would be 4k as well but that doesn't seem to be the case.

       

  6. Avatar

    9622

    In reply to lezmaka:

    Correct me if I'm wrong but MakeMKV is legit. I paid $50 so I sure hope it is. I hope the developer is buying a decryption license with that money. I would have bought a player for the same money but this seemed a better deal, as now I can use Chromecast with the ripped Blu ray. Ripping with MakeMKV and compressing with Handbrake seems like an ideal solution. I paid for the software and rented the Blu-ray so it should all be nice and legal.

    • Avatar

      722

      In reply to Thisisausername:  MakeMKV is legit I've been using for years.  But your statement about being nice and legal is questionable.  I buy all my discs so I have nothing to worry about.  But renting and ripping...pretty sure nothing about that is legal.

       

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