Page 4 of 4: StaxRip Encoding: Step 7 to 11

7. Compressibility Check

This step will run the compressibility check to give us some indication of what resolution and/or file size we should be setting in the next step, and to give us an estimation of the output quality. Click on the "Run Compressibility Check" option (just below the "Codec Configuration above") to start the compressibility check. This will start x264 and it will encode a portion of the video - you can have a look at the encoding framerate to give you an indication of how long the total encoding will take.

x264: Encoding

8. Resolution and File size Configuration

Once the compressibility check has been run, the "Target" section will now display the estimate quality and the bitrate of the encoding. You can also change the output file name/path here.

x264: Target

The aim here will be to increase or reduce the file size and/or resolution so that the "Quality" rating is at something acceptable. StaxRip recommends a quality setting of around 55%, and any higher, it will give you a warning about the quality being set too high. Decreasing the resolution and increasing the file size will obviously increase the quality rating, and the trick will be to get a good combination of resolution and file size to produce the right quality (55% being the recommended). To change the resolution, simply drag the resize bar or manually enter the values (any aspect ratio errors as the result of changing the resolution will also be shown).

x264: Resize

After some adjustments, this is what I have for my sample clip (the resolution unchanged at the original DVD resolution):

x264: Target

9. Container Configuration (optional)

The container configuration allows you to add subtitle and chapter information for the container format you have selected. SRT subtitle files are supported and chapter information is to be in OGG format.

x264: Container Config

10. Preview or Cutting

You can preview the output video and also to cut the video by pressing the "F5" key or selecting "Preview" from the "View" menu.

x264: Preview

It's important to make sure the video has the right aspect ratio by using the preview.

11. Start Encoding

We are almost ready to start the encoding now. Press the "Next" button to step through the StaxRip wizard, which checks to ensure you have selected all the required settings. Take note of the message displayed in blue text next to the "Next" button for hints on what you may need to do - you can sometimes click on the blue text to perform certain functions (like opening the crop window or adding the current encoding to the job queue).

x264: Next

One of the steps ask you to verify the filters. If you are resizing the video (please note that converting an anamorphic DVD to a non anamorphic video file is considered resizing), then you can right click on the resize filter to select the resize property (Sharp, Neutral or Soft). You can right click and add additional filters if needed.

x264: Filters

If a warning/error occurs, the affected options will be highlighted in red and the settings which can help fix the warning/error is highlighted in orange.

Eventually, you'll get to a step where encoding will begin and after what could be several minutes to several hours, your encoding should be ready. And that's all there is to H.264 encoding in StaxRip.

From the clip I used, I was able to produce a 26 MB H.264 MP4 file that had 5.1 AAC audio. I also produced an XviD version of the same clip (using AutoGK) which was nearly 32 MB large and only had 2 channel audio (MP3 VBR), and clearly (at least to me) was worse in quality than the H.264 version (looking at the window blinds and the phone at around 2:55, especially the artifacts present in the XviD version). If you wish, you can download these two clips and see the differences for yourself:

H.264 MP4 with AAC 5.1 (26 MB)
XviD AVI with 2ch VBR MP3 (32 MB)

I even encoded an anamorphic version of the same clip (also with AAC 5.1 audio), and it was only 35 MB with the same video quality. Not bad when you consider the original MPEG-2 VOB file was nearly 110 MB.



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