av: Blu-ray Handbrake backup at RF18 and Naming conventions for Kodi movies and TV shows

Most of the time when I get a reference quality Blu-ray, I will use Handbrake to make an archival copy. I find that with a 60GB Blu-ray if I set it for H.265 MKV 2160p60 as the default and make a custom one that matches the frame rate. For instance, NTSC is a really bizarre 23.976 for NTSC Film, and also adjust the Constant Quality in the Video tab to different settings, I get different compression and the numbers are definitely not linear, but here’s a sample. Most encode take a while like 8 hours on an M1 Max, so do not just fire them off willy-nilly:

  • CQ of 24RF: 7.66GB
  • CQ of 22RF: 10.55GB
  • CQ of 18RF: 13GB
  • CQ of 16RF: 26GB

These are pretty decent quality, but I really want archival, so trying some lower settings like 18RF. Note that this is some sort of relative measure they recommend 18-24, so I’ll go a bit lower. And you can see the RF settings are very non-linear, so be warned. I’m using 16RF for really cool Blu-rays’ that are not film transfers.

Kodi naming conventions

To view all this stuff, I normally use Kodi against SMB shares on Synology which has its own complexities. That way I can put the Blu-ray discs away and only use them when necessary. But, when I do this, there’s the problem of how to name the files. Well, Kodi does tell you, and its a little unintuitive:

  • Movies. They want a format that is Movie Name (Release Date) and they are particular about it. If you have some other files or just want to backup the whole Blu-ray then just have a folder of that name and dump everything into it. I also typically include in brackets which Kodi ignores other things like the encoding so I might have The Matrix (1999) [UHD HEVC HDR DTS-HD] as an example which is the resolution where UHD is 2160p or Blu-Ray and HD is 1080p. HEVC is High-efficiency X.265 and then the sound formats in it. While they recommend putting each movie into a folder, I find that I only do that if I have multiple things, Kodi seems pretty robust if you just put the movie into a flat directory.
  • TV Shows. These are series and they are pretty similar, the main trick is that the top-level folder should be the name of the series and the release date of the first season. You can’t just dump all the episodes into the top level. That was pretty confusing to me, so if you have say the Mandalorian on disk, then it would be The Mandalorian (2020)/Season 1 at the top level. Now each episode would confusingly have the name with the original release date so it would look like The Madalorian (2020) S01E02 for Season 1 and Episode 2. I normally put after that the title of the Episode if I have it.

I’m Rich & Co.

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