We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to convert DVDs to play on a WDTV box

Converting video formats

QUESTION I need some advice about video conversion. Using DivX, a WDTV Live drive and a large hard drive, I've copied my entire DVD collection to disk. I've been reading about the H.264 format, however, which apparently retains the same quality at a lower bitrate. I'm interested in switching DivX Converter for Handbrake, which is free. Will it really give me the same quality with smaller file sizes, and is it only beneficial for HD video? Paul Gazzard

HELPROOM ANSWER Converting video from one format or another is often a minefield. Differences in file size can be down to a variety of factors, including the screen resolution and picture quality. If you convert a DVD to display in full-HD, a DivX conversion will have a larger file size than H.264.

If you're converting DVDs to go on your WDTV box, you'll want the best image and sound quality. Try the following settings in Handbrake: Mpeg4 file format; AVC/H.264 video codec; AAC audio codec; x.264 encoder; average bitrate of 200K; two-pass encoding enabled. An audio bitrate of 192Kbps will result in the best sound.

Finally, under Picture settings, choose ‘Keep aspect ratio: On (unless needs correction)' and ‘Crop: Automatic (unless needs correction)'.

See also: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

Free tech support in the Helproom Forum

> Windows 7 downloads, details and screenshots
> Buy Windows 7

> Microsoft downloads, details and screenshots
> Buy Microsoft products

IDG UK Sites

Amazon Kindle Voyage release date, price and specs UK: a high-end eReader with Amazon’s best-ever...

IDG UK Sites

Why local multiplayer gaming is rapidly vanishing: we look at the demise of split-screen and LAN...

IDG UK Sites

How to successfully bridge the gap between clients and creatives

IDG UK Sites

How to update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 8: including how to install iOS 8 if you don't have room