Doing UHD Blu-ray backups with Handbrake on an M1 Max Pro

Well, this is pretty amazing, right now, I’m doing a live Slack and also a full UHD Blu-ray backup. And it is running at an incredible frame rate, the CPU is at 80% and the GPU is at 20%, and 57% of the RAM (of a 64GB machine).

Here are the tricks you need to make this work:

  1. Handbrake is the tool and is M1 Silicon of choice here but you need to make sure to make this work. But the basic things to do are to twiddle the parameters properly. You can get it with brew install handbrake.
  2. Then you can just open the Blu-ray and it automagically find the titles on it and just look for the longest chapter and that should be the video that needs to be backup up.
  3. Now you pick the Preset H.265 MKV 2160p60 and change a few parameters
  4. Now comes the hard part which is setting the parameters correctly, basically you want to use the encoder called “H.265 10-bit (VideoToolbox” which basically calls the Apple APIs which call on the hardware encoder, so it is not CPU and it is not GPU but there is a hardware encoder. And 10-bit means HDR. And then if you know it’s a movie, you can set it to 24fps, although the default which is the peak framerate is not so set Framerate (FPS) to same as source
  5. Set the CQ value. Ok this is not well documented, but the RF is the factor for the default encoder and the CQ is for the Video Toolbox. The normal mode is 66 CQ which leads to a 50GB Blu-ray being.
  6. Turn off the filters. The filters which do things like detection of various things. This stuff is all CPU bound, so if you don’t need things like this turn them all off. This for me took a huge load off of the CPU. Without the Toolbox. The default for instance is Interlace detection and deinterlace with decomb. Since these are in interlaced all all (no major current formats are you, can turn these to off
  7. Change the audio so that they are set to DTS passthru if you have DTS and DTS-HD MA to DTS-HD Passthru

How large will the backups be

Well it is hard to predict, but some benchmarks:

  1. CQ = 66. At this level, you get a 20GB file
  2. CQ = 70. You get a 50GB file, so a small change makes a big difference in the size of the file

I’m Rich & Co.

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