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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.

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.

Andrew (R.S Admin) @ajroach42

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.

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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.