Andrew (R.S Admin) is a user on retro.social. You can follow them or interact with them if you have an account anywhere in the fediverse.

Here's a quick update on my box.

I'm less thrilled with this paper the more I use it, but this is more or less what the finished boxes will look like.

I've figured out most of what will go in them, too.

I have made some decisions about the video files too, but I'll talk about that in another post.

Andrew (R.S Admin) @ajroach42

I am considering, for my delivery method for the video files, to transcode from my DVD rips to a format that will play back in a modern web browser, becuase I can be reasonably certain that everyone will have a modern web browser.

I kind of hate this idea! But I can make small vp9 videos that I can guarantee most users can play back, and also I can include an index page with info about the videos and history and stuff.

This is the most efficient way to do this I can think of.

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I'm open to better ideas though! Technically I could use MP4, there are patent concerns with h264, and h265 doesn't have as wide of support as VP9.

I haven't tried to ship digital video via any mechanism other than a web browser or a torrent, ever. If I'm shipping video via a torrent, I can be reasonably certain that the recipient has VLC or equivalent.

I can make no such assumption about this project.

On the other hand, many bluray players have USB support and will play back some video files, usually AVCHD MP4 files, at least.

Maybe I want to go with MP4 for the widest market?

Does your Blu-ray player play video files from flash media? What formats?

@ajroach42 Please don't use VP9, it rules out playback on a lot of devices.

MP4 is probably the best choice, most widely supported.

@thomasfuchs yeah, VP9 support on things other than phones and computers is basically non-existent.

I was hoping to get slightly better compression than h264 provides, but it might be my best option, and I could still use the browser workaround in the event that people don't have suitable playback software...

@ajroach42 given that DVDs are even less quality, it should't really be a big deal tbh

Be sure to keep the MPEG2 streams around, in the future maybe you can use HEVC

@thomasfuchs I'm not sure what your comment about DVD quality is supposed to mean.

My goal with using a more efficient codec is a reduction in file size. I'm trying to maximize the 2GB of storage I'll have available for delivery.

I keep my mpeg2 master files in cold storage and transcode hevc copies for personal use. I do a lot of this stuff for personal use, and I know how to do it correctly. My concern is mostly about making things usable for non-technical folks.

@ajroach42 well, the original encoded MPEG2 streams on DVDs aren't the greatest and who knows how they encoded it and what the source material was like :) MP4, even with lowish bitrates shouldn't really make it worse.

@thomasfuchs oh. I have to disagree with that pretty strongly.

The original mpeg2 streams are often garbage, but the original film sources are also often garbage. A low bitrate h264 transcode converts that film noise to smears and blocks, makes the resulting movie almost unwatchable.

The difference in file size for my minimum threshold of acceptability for a noisy film source is 2:1 from h264 to h265, and about 1.6:1 from h264 to VP9 in my test so far.

@ajroach42 what encoder/transcoder do you use? I had good results with Appleโ€™s Compressor fwiw.

@thomasfuchs ffmpeg, 8 times out of 10.

I've dabbled with other stuff, but I keep coming back to it.

@thomasfuchs I watch a lot of low bitrate mpeg2 from noisy film to low bitrate MP4 files.

Like, a lot.

I have a device that I basically use exclusively for playback of low bitrate MP4 files.

I know how far I can push the format (and it's about half as far as I can push hevc, too bad it's impossible to get hevc playback on my palm pilot!)

@ajroach42 not sure how feasible an idea this is (or really even if such a thing exists), but what about bundling a JS media player with the videos so that the index file could double as a player, too?

@eli_oat web browsers have video decoding baked in, no need for JS. That's the point of using a browser friendly format.

It looks like Samsung bluray players support vp8 and h264, and sony only supports h264 and mpeg, but both support mkv wrappers???

I guess I'm back to MP4.

@thomasfuchs Thanks! I'll keep that in mind when I get the first files prepped.

@ajroach42 I've got access to a PS3 (modded/CFW), PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One S and Xbox One X that should all support playback from USB devices if you need stuff tested, though I bet I could get a list of what they support online as they're super common.

I think my AV receiver can play from USB as well - Pioneer VSX-1124

I *do* also have an original Xbox but it's not modded for XBMC or anything.
I know the PS3 struggled to decode 1080p H.264 fast enough in some cases.

@kithop this is largely SD stuff. Only one HD item, and I'll probably knock it down to SD for distribution.

@kithop I appreciate the offer though, I'll send you some files one day this week!

@FiXato I will be delivering the files physically, on flash media.

I am trying to determine the file format that will maximize files per disc And msximize playback ability for the average user.