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Handbrake: Convert videos for your tablet

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  • Handbrake: Convert videos for your tablet

    Convert videos for your tablet

    This tutorial aims to convert our videos to a more mobile format while trying to preserve the quality as much as posible but reducing the video size. HandBrake is an open source multiplatform video transcoder that will let us achiveve this.

    As you can see, HandBrake lets us choose from different presets and we can save our presets too, to make bulk conversion easier. For this tutorial, we will start with the Normal profile selected, you just need to change the following things in each tab.

    Picture Tab

    Change the following, to resize the video to 720p:
    • Anamorphic: None
    • Modulus: 16
    • Check Keep Aspect Ratio
    • Change dimensions to 1280x720 (720p)

    Video Tab

    Change the Rate Factor. Lower Rate Factor equals to better quality but higher file size. A good value is around 20-24 RF in Constant Quality.

    Audio Tab

    Change the following to adjuts the audio parameters. A bitrate around 128-192 is good enough.
    • Mixdown: Stereo
    • Bitrate: 128-192

    Subtitles Tab

    If the video has subtitles, you can embed them by selecting from the dropdown and hitting the 'Add' button. Also Handbrake lets you add an external srt subtitle if you have one and want to embed them in the container.

    Advanced Tab

    Change the following to achieve a baseline H.264 profile:
    • Maximum B-Frames: 0
    • Uncheck CABAC Entropy Coding
    • Uncheck 8x8 Transform
    • Uncheck Weighted P-Frames

    Encode the video

    Just hit the start button and watch your video encode.

    Save your preset

    If you're satisfied with the quality of the final encoded video, don't forget to save your preset for future use. This can be done by clicking on Preset > Save preset and giving the preset a name.

    Extras for MKV

    If you have a video with SSA/ASS (Sub Station Alpha) subtitles and you find they doesn't show well in MP4, reencode the video with the previous settings and change the container to MKV. If you still find the MKV file doesn't play as smooth as it should, get mkvtoolnix and follow these instructions:

    1. Click on add button to open the mkv file
    2. Select the first track
    3. Go to the Extra options tab
    4. Set Compression to none
    5. Repeat with the rest of the tracks
    6. Click on Start muxing

  • #2
    useful guide, especially for beginners. Thank you


    • #3
      Excellent job!

      I remember using HandBrake several years ago to encode several DVDs; it's very user friendly yet it can provide fantastic quality.

      I'll give this a try so my sister can watch a few movies on her iPhone.


      • #4
        Great tutorial! I started streaming with Air Playit when I'm home so I don't need to convert anything by hand anymore.


        • #5
          Thanks for the tutorial. I've been looking for an easy way to convert for tablets and now I've found one. Superb!


          • #6
            Interesting tutorial, I'll try the settings you describe. Thanks.


            • #7
              Thanks! I didn't know this converter. I'll give it a try