Serato Video and Video-SL General Discussion

Talk about Serato Video and Video-SL.

Handbrake Videos choppy - preset problem?

DJ Nitro 7:57 PM - 4 May, 2008
Hey everyone. I just took the plunge and bought a Macbook Pro 2.4ghz, 2 gig ram, 200 gig HD, Onboard NVidia graphics card (256 meg dedicated video memory), and the Video-SL plugin.

Heres the issue: massive choppiness from my ripped videos using the Handbrake plugin and recommended Handbrake/Serato settings. I know it has something to do with Handbrake because when I play my iTunes Plus videos, or videos from ilovevideos.com I have no problems.

I've loaded up my Activity Monitor and watched my CPU Monitor as I play the handbrake encoded MP4 files and my CPU almost peaks at 100%. When I Play the iTunes plus videos, the CPU runs at a cool 60-65%. When I load 2 handbrake encoded MP4s onto both my decks and play them at the same time, the computer starts really peaking..

I've tried all the necessary adjustments (buffers, sliders, etc) but still cannot make heads or tails of it. Frustrating to say the least, considering I'm over the recommended specs (with the exception of the RAM - at the minimum 2 GIG).

I've been browsing the forums and seem to find a common thread with this - but no one seems to have a resolve. I've noticed in Handbrake a strange error that when you click another one of the presets the output settings change for the Serato setting.. as a workaround i've made the Serato setting the 'default'. I've even tried lowering the bitrate to 1500.. and no dice.

Some other info: I'm using the newest handbrake 0.9.2 and my new macbook pro is updated to mac os x 10.5.2. (possibly an issue with the latest handbrake release?)

Help!! :)

Kevin
BriChi 7:17 PM - 5 May, 2008
did you try using the serato handbrake preset that you can import into handbrak, I use it and all is good
BriChi 7:19 PM - 5 May, 2008
the preset is in this article, follow the instructions after donload

www.scratchlive.net
Nick_Max 7:27 PM - 20 May, 2008
Hey Nitro
I've got the same spec of wat U got..
Me having the same problem.. the waveform and the dial runs choppy when 2 videos run at the same time.. so when am using the internal mode, and when i hit play it starts a second late.. so mixing is becoming a problem..
Been tryin to sort out from the time i bought these stuff..
Plzzz Guide..
Thanks
DJLRock 9:11 PM - 20 May, 2008
do this. get mac the ripper and visual hub. i had the same issue with handbrake. but when i use ripper and visual hub i have no issues.
Steve Dub. 9:43 PM - 20 May, 2008
Quote:
do this. get mac the ripper and visual hub. i had the same issue with handbrake. but when i use ripper and visual hub i have no issues.
trido 3:44 AM - 21 May, 2008
Quote:
do this. get mac the ripper and visual hub. i had the same issue with handbrake. but when i use ripper and visual hub i have no issues.

This is the way to go! Handbrake sucks!
BriChi 12:10 PM - 21 May, 2008
trido, I use handbrake and have mixed feelings, Can you tell me why you think it sucks so i can compare to my observations too.

FTI: I noticed when I ripped with VH, the video was a little smaller than when I ripped with the handbrake serato preset
trido 5:41 PM - 21 May, 2008
Quote:
trido, I use handbrake and have mixed feelings, Can you tell me why you think it sucks so i can compare to my observations too.

FTI: I noticed when I ripped with VH, the video was a little smaller than when I ripped with the handbrake serato preset


Maybe I was a bit harsh in saying that it "sucks". I just find that with both my configs as far as hardware goes I like using VH better. Here are my reasons:

1. Speed - I think Vh is a lot faster than HB. (Maybe this is my hardware config?) And when ripping 100s of PO DVD's every second adds up.
2. Videos on VH seemed to come out a lot crisper and clean. It seemed that using HB the videos were kind of blurry almost.
3. File Size - you are right try ripping the same vob file on HB and VH and the VH one comes out smaller. Kind of weird.
BriChi 6:58 PM - 21 May, 2008
what I meant by a little smaller, was the actual video on the screen looked small from vh than when i ripped in hb, hb filled the screen more
BriChi 7:03 PM - 21 May, 2008
thanks for the info by the way
matt212 4:09 AM - 23 May, 2008
I think the choppiness comes from the number of key frames that is present when the video is converted. With VH, you can set the number of key frames you want..don't think you can do that with HB.
mr groove 9:31 AM - 2 February, 2010
i'm having the same issue with handbrake. however its only when i rip handbrake with my mac. when i had handbrake loaded on my PC (tho it took forever), the video playback ability was fine. Now that i've got the speedier mac, the past 10+ PO dvd's i just ripped look really choppy, esp when i play 2 of them at a time. awful. i thought i tweeked the setting, but turned out i didn't n wasted another hour ripping dvds that i can't play. anyone have a solution? i like the size/look of handbrake, just seems that their recent upgrade has something to do with the choppy video. it worked fine before.
djchrishart 8:21 PM - 19 February, 2010
WOW, I have a post over at www.serato.com that Zack S from Rane was trying to help me with.

Glad I am not the only one with this issue!

Here is my .02! I use a Windows machine with Handbrake installed, and have the Serato provided Handbrake Preset installed, and am getting exactly what you all are talking about. If I try to use the test videos from Serato, they run great. If I try to use the promo videos that came with the Serato Video-SL plugin box, they run great (1 video loaded, 2 videos loaded, doesn't matter).

So all in all, IMO, it doesn't matter what OS you are using to encode with Handbrake, it seems like maybe something with the Serato Handbrake Preset. Unfortunately, when I look at the settings that that the Preset provides, I don't have enough technical background to know what to try changing or tweaking.

I am going to keep following this thread and hopefully someone will have a HB answer. I will also make Zack S from Rane aware of this post in case it helps with his troubleshooting.
carter 8:58 PM - 19 February, 2010
You can make adjustments to the preset, but I never had much luck with Handbrake either. I bumped up the bit rate to 2500 on some and 3000 on others. Still didn't turn out great.
I switched over to MPEG Streamclip. You will either need to have Quicktime Pro or you can buy the MPEG2 Playback Component through Apple for like $20. There's not a plug in with all of the settings, but there are a lot of threads on getting the right settings. Plus it's just a great tool to have.
djchrishart 9:56 PM - 19 February, 2010
Quote:
do this. get mac the ripper and visual hub. i had the same issue with handbrake. but when i use ripper and visual hub i have no issues.


DJLRock - Any chance you still have a copy of the VisualHub? According to www.techspansion.com, the developer's website, he's out of business.
DJMark 1:09 AM - 20 February, 2010
You have to use the command line in Handbrake to specify keyframes.

I actually just did a test-encode of about a dozen new videos with Handbrake (using a keyframes setting of 20, and some other custom settings I figured would probably work well in either VSL or Mix Emergency)...assuming the videos actually *do* seem to work well, I'll post the full command-line I used in the next day or so.

One thing that originally soured me on Handbrake was the old 160kbps limit for the AAC audio encoding, which they've lifted in the newest 0.94 version.
djchrishart 1:52 AM - 23 February, 2010
Quote:
You have to use the command line in Handbrake to specify keyframes.

I actually just did a test-encode of about a dozen new videos with Handbrake (using a keyframes setting of 20, and some other custom settings I figured would probably work well in either VSL or Mix Emergency)...assuming the videos actually *do* seem to work well, I'll post the full command-line I used in the next day or so.

One thing that originally soured me on Handbrake was the old 160kbps limit for the AAC audio encoding, which they've lifted in the newest 0.94 version.


DJMark,

Have you had a chance to figure out the command-line to adjust the keyframes? I am curious to see if this helps, because as a test, I tried a Serato competitors product and didn't have nearly the CPU spike or the choppy playback, and it was with the same exact encoded video file from that I tried with my Serato. Also, when I play it with ANY other video player (Windows Media Player, Quicktime, etc.) it plays perfect.

At this point, I am wondering if it's an issue on with how Serato is decoding the MPEG container. I am assuming they are utilizing a codec and wondering if it's old or not compatible with how the HB preset is encoding these files.
GRiNDBoX 4:13 AM - 24 February, 2010
same thing with me i need a full command of handbrake..some of the vidz are choppy...:(
carter 9:14 PM - 25 February, 2010
Here's the settings that I'm using for Mac:
Edited the SSL Preset...
Picture Settings - Size tab - 720x480, Anamorphic None, Cropping Custom 0 all - Filters Tab - Detelecine Off, Slider to Deinterlace, Slower, Denoise off, Deblock off.
Video codec is H.264(x264) 29.97, 2 pass, Turbo first, Average bitrate 3500
Audio is 48kHz, stereo 224.
File then goes to MetaX for tag writing.
carter 9:48 PM - 25 February, 2010
Oh...and also adjusted the Key Frame from 50 to 15. I'll upload the preset I use. I tested it in VSL and it works well with the Promo Only discs. If you're using anything else you can adjust the Framerate FPS back to "Same as Source." The picture settings should transfer as well. Let me know if it works out.
carter 9:52 PM - 25 February, 2010
DJMark 11:43 PM - 25 February, 2010
Sorry for the wait there...I wanted to make sure that whatever I posted actually worked correctly.

So the commands to specify Keyframes in Handbrake is simple enough: "min-keyint=XX" and "keyint=XX". Command-line expressions are separated with colons. You need to do this in the advanced settings, command line is at the bottom of that window.

The full command-line I used for my test a few days ago is:

[b]min-keyint=20:keyint=20:ref=3:bframes=2:subq=9:trellis=2:b-adapt=2:
direct=auto:me=tesa:analyse=all:no-dct-decimate=1[/b]

This produced really nice looking videos which seem to play fine in SSL, but each song took 25-30 minutes to encode on an early-2009 2.66gHz MacBook Pro. I used 2-pass encoding, "turbo first pass", and an average bitrate of 3500. I also have the video processing set for auto-cropping and "default" detelecining (which, as discussed at great length in another recent thread, is almost always far preferable to simple "deinterlacing").

The encoded videos I got out of this test were definitely better-looking/better-sounding than what I was getting with the older Handbrake versions (when the AAC encoder topped out at 160kbps), and setting the keyframes as I did definitely makes the "test" files behave better in SSL (and the "preview" function of the Mac OS Finder) when skipping around to different places in the video.
carter 11:52 PM - 25 February, 2010
Just finished a whole disc with my settings...still choppy. Aggravating. Testing with deinterlace off, detelecining on default and the command line changed.
carter 12:39 AM - 26 February, 2010
Helps to not test videos while you're encoding other videos. Ok. With my original settings the video played pretty smoothly with no lines. It had a few glitches with very minimal pauses. The average viewer wouldn't notice them. Mark with those settings it played very smoothy with very few glitches but the progressive lines were pretty noticeable on a big screen at 800x600. Running another test with combined settings.
carter 1:29 AM - 26 February, 2010
Here is the combined setting: If someone else can verify whether it works for them or not that would be great. tinyurl.com

I tested 3 different settings and this one produced the best video output. Tested video source is from Promo Only Old Skool Classics.
DJMark 3:51 AM - 26 February, 2010
Quote:
Mark with those settings it played very smoothy with very few glitches but the progressive lines were pretty noticeable on a big screen at 800x600.


Unless maybe you encoded something unusual, I don't think you should be seeing any lines.

Is it possible that you had BOTH detelecine and deinterlacing on?
DJMark 3:56 AM - 26 February, 2010
Oh, and don't specify a frame-rate...just use "same as source".

Then the detelecine process will give you a file with (more or less) the same framerate as the original source, minus the telecine process used for NTSC.
DJMark 4:01 AM - 26 February, 2010
I just loaded your "Serato Test 2"...you indeed did make the mistake of hard-setting your framerate to "29.97" AND you have deinterlace turned on in addition to the detelecine.

Slide the little slider back to "decomb", leave detelecine where you have it, and set the framerate to "same as source". I think you'll be way happier with the results.
carter 8:23 AM - 26 February, 2010
Quote:

Is it possible that you had BOTH detelecine and deinterlacing on?

During that test I used your settings with deinterlacing off and detelecine on default. I was converting a Promo Only disc. So nothing unusual, but you could visibly see the interlaced lines on the preview and the output. I'll run it again with those settings. Thanks for working with me on this. I appreciate it.
carter 8:57 AM - 26 February, 2010
Detelecine at default, Deinterlace off, Decomb on default works well with the Promo Only video I'm testing with. And that was with Same as Source.
djchrishart 4:28 PM - 9 March, 2010
Carter,

Hey, thanks for helping out with this, and basically re-writing the HB Serato Preset for Rane :)

Reading through the threads, it looks like your 'Serato Test 2' still needed to be tweaked and on your last post, right before this, you got it perfect. Would you mind exporting your Preset again, with the new values, and posting? This makes it easy on people like me to just import and then test :)

Again, thanks a million! I know you've been following one of my other posts to Rane/Serato Tech Support, and they are just beating around the bush saying it's an issue with the OS that I am encoding with, and not admitting that there is a misconfiguration issue with the HB Preset that they provided. Thanks for stepping up for them!
DJMark 1:17 AM - 10 March, 2010
You're welcome.
carter 4:07 AM - 10 March, 2010
Yeah, credit definitely goes to DJMark for rewriting the command line for the x264, and for being patient with me during the testing. I'm still learning this stuff.

If someone could test this on both Mac and PC and see how it works out that would be great. Curious to see how it does on converting different source material as well. Also if someone wants to host it that would be even better. Right now I'm sharing it through my Dropbox account.
tinyurl.com
DJMark 12:25 PM - 10 March, 2010
Quote:
Yeah, credit definitely goes to DJMark for rewriting the command line for the x264, and for being patient with me during the testing. I'm still learning this stuff.


Thank you...and so am I (still learning this stuff).

I think the main critical thing in those settings (for performance in SSL) is the keyframes settings. Handbrake's GUI doesn't allow any user-specified settings, and the "automatic" amount that Handbrake puts in seems to be more ideal for "home viewing" rather than DJ-ing.

More keyframes allows better random-access within the file (which obviously is important to DJ-ing, but less of an issue for non-DJ use). The tradeoff is that the file size will be somewhat bigger.

Despite what the one guy from Rane said in that other thread, I find Handbrake 0.94 way preferable to the earlier versions. The videos look better to me, and being able to encode audio above 160kbps is a definite plus.
victor_M 2:55 PM - 10 March, 2010
Quote:
Quote:
Yeah, credit definitely goes to DJMark for rewriting the command line for the x264, and for being patient with me during the testing. I'm still learning this stuff.


Thank you...and so am I (still learning this stuff).

I think the main critical thing in those settings (for performance in SSL) is the keyframes settings. Handbrake's GUI doesn't allow any user-specified settings, and the "automatic" amount that Handbrake puts in seems to be more ideal for "home viewing" rather than DJ-ing.

Mark,
I saw in a thread that 160kbps was the same as 320 in mp3. are they mistaken?

More keyframes allows better random-access within the file (which obviously is important to DJ-ing, but less of an issue for non-DJ use). The tradeoff is that the file size will be somewhat bigger.

Despite what the one guy from Rane said in that other thread, I find Handbrake 0.94 way preferable to the earlier versions. The videos look better to me, and being able to encode audio above 160kbps is a definite plus.
carter 4:31 PM - 10 March, 2010
The other thing is the data limit. 2000 isn't that big either and with the bigger drives available now you can go with a higher data rate.
Quote:
Mark,
I saw in a thread that 160kbps was the same as 320 in mp3. are they mistaken?

Audio depends on the source file and the codec. But generally 192 AAC is CD quality. 256-320 MP3 is CD quality. I usually encode AAC at 224. You sacrifice about a Meg of data in your encode for the difference.

Quote:

I think the main critical thing in those settings (for performance in SSL) is the keyframes settings. Handbrake's GUI doesn't allow any user-specified settings, and the "automatic" amount that Handbrake puts in seems to be more ideal for "home viewing" rather than DJ-ing.

Agreed. You should be able to run a min=1, keyint=20 as well. I think before it was 1 and 50. Some of my friends using Vegas for edits have been averaging around 60-70. This is one advantage I like using MPEG Streamclip over Handbrake. There is no line command and when using "Export to Other Media" and selecting h.264 you can set the key frame rate within the options. But for stripping DVDs or my archived iso files without creating individual vobs first, it's the only way to go.
Jimbo 6:37 PM - 25 March, 2010
try this custom decomb setting. i don't know exactly what it means but it's given me some stellar results.

7:2:6:9:80:16:16:10:20:20:4:2:50:24:-1
xplycyt 3:38 AM - 3 November, 2010
i remember months back the HandBrake preset for VSL that was on the Serato forum was not ideal and that they were fixing it...anyone know if the preset version they have now works as it should?
GRiNDBoX 3:11 PM - 3 November, 2010
it still works...i been using that preset in the converting videos in handbrake..
ta2423 4:56 PM - 3 November, 2010
Ive been using the vsl presets and seems to be working for me.
DVJ Rick Kraft 6:47 PM - 2 December, 2012
DJMark: Thank you, I was looking at Smashvision's settings and thinking it had something to do with keyframes, and after reading this and dropping it in the command line i went from an average of 95% CPU use with one SV vid and one of mine simultaneous playback down to about 75%. When I run two of my own encoded vids, they do 75% percent as well, so this really solved things for me. Thanks!

Just sharing: my handbrake 0.9.8 command line (GUI-advanced tab) on PC reads
weightp=1:subq=7:rc-lookahead=10:trellis=0:8x8dct=0:me=umh:keyint=20:k
eyint=1
DJMark 2:38 AM - 3 December, 2012
Glad that helped...though I have to add that what I wrote was almost 3 years ago and I haven't used Handbrake for a long time.

There's more than just Keyframes that can make a video "difficult" to play back, but that's a common problem. Worst are videos with NO keyframes. Some of the "sketchy" video services are infamous for that and other issues.

Just out of curiosity I checked the "updated" Serato Handbrake preset (just browsed the plist file). A couple things seem odd to me...they seem to be outputting at 720x400 (seems blatantly wrong), and still encoding video at 2000k/sec (seems a bit on the low side).
DVJ Rick Kraft 8:50 AM - 16 December, 2012
Agreed, current SV vids are all 640x360 and 3000k/sec and the visual quality between 2k and 3k is very noticeable. Serato needs to update the spec for video pros, although I can understand keeping a lower spec to suit the masses, including people with lower end notebooks.
Actually 640x360 and 720x400 are both widescreen formats, for my own use I'm doing 400p because of the 25% increase in pixels (and picture quality) but when I start submitting to Blastvids I'll follow their 360p spec. I also rendered at 1080p but good luck DJing two 1080p vids together stably with scratching during a live show without the fastest notebook and luck on your side!