Tech Support: I Need Your Help

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As you may know, I’ve been working on building a media center for my home, A few months back, I bought a portable hard drive and started burning DVDs – ones that I legally own, mind you – and putting them into iTunes. I had a few hiccups, but it was going well until I started working on TV shows.

Pictured above is a still from The Family Guy, Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story [iTunes Link]. I burned it onto my computer with Handbrake, using the exact same settings that I had for every other DVD. As you can see, there is this weird transition that happens anytime anything moves on the screen. Were this just an issue with animated programs, I’d go on my way. But this is happening with other TV shows such as Dexter and Caprica, so I know it’s nothing having to do with that. From what I can tell, it’s all TV programs, no matter what they are.

So. I have two questions for you all, the dedicated readers of Apple Gazette.

1. What is this problem and how do I fix it?

2. What about BluRay discs? I know I’ll need a BluRay drive and I know that OSX doesn’t recognize the format, but what do I do to rip the drive and keep it hi-def?

If you have an answer or a link to one, please let me know. I’d really appreciate it.

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6 thoughts on “Tech Support: I Need Your Help

  1. As for the Blu-ray ripping, I know there are a couple programs that do it, Mac Bluray Ripper Pro and MakeMKV do it, probably a handful of others can do it as well.

    The file will probably need to be compressed a bit to be shown with no choppiness on your machine (though I’ve read the real issue was with the audio track conversion, and if you have HDMI pass through enabled that may not be an issue, you’ll have to play around with the settings to get it right).

  2. It is called interlacing, and is common on television shows. The short version of what is happening is that every-other line is updated each frame during a broadcast, but that is not how computer files work… so you get interlacing.

    Handbrake has a setting called “deinterlace”. Select that for most/all television series and it will fix the problem. To make life easy you can always select it, but if it is not needed (i.e., there is not interlacing on the DVD) the output quality will go down compared to if you hadn’t asked Handbrake to deinterlace it. Use the Preview option in Handbrake to make a best guess as to if you need it. Rule of thumb: Television = Deinterlace; Movie = not necessary.

    Blu-Ray can suffer the same issue. It is the content on the disk causing this, not the disk technology.

    Some playback programs (VLC, Plex, Boxee) offer real-time deinterlacing I do not know if there is any advantage to letting the playback application do the work for you. It would only seem, to me, to require for processing power to do it and is there to fix an interlacing problem on a file you aren’t able to re-rip (such as a torrent).

    Handbrake’s forum is probably a better place to get tech support for Handbrake. =)

  3. I think it has to do with interlacing. I’m not sure where they’ve buried that setting in the newer version of Handbrake, but if it was on, turn it off and if it was off, turn it on. I burned The Simpsons and Futurama and they both had issues with that setting. Change the setting and do one chapter to see if it makes a difference–it should.

  4. Check out the Telecine settings as well — closely related to Interlacing, but different. You may just have to do a few test rips to figure out what settings to use.

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