Originally Posted by FearMeAll
hmm I did a sample with wmv and it did look pretty good. I encode dvds at a 3000 bitrate just to make sure they look the same and I just encoded a movie at 2000 1 pass and it looked just like the source I used.
Maybe I should switch to WMV and save all the headaches..
Gotta see how tv shows look now if I put them at a low bitrate. I don't like tv shows to be higher than 175megs a piece. If they can look good at that size then I'm done.
-edit..ok wmv takes more space than h264 codec. Even at the same bitrate...doesn't make sense. h264 also still looks better at low bitrates. I'll use it for tv. Surround doesn't matter a whole lot there.
For dvd movies I'll use the bigger wmv vidz with 2 pass encoding just to save the trouble of remuxing 5.1 audio. I've got 4tb of space and counting so it doesn't really matter. It just needs to play well and look good in XBMC.
H.264 uses a very advanced compression algothrim.
I'd also suggest handbrake as it has worked well for me in the past. it uses x264 rather than FFDShow and should look as good as if not better. The hardest thing for me was finding a program that would keep the audio and video in sync. Handbrake seemed to be good at that. (Better than MeGui)
Also you don't have to use an mkv container either if you can find another container that will keep your audio intact. I think you can use an mp4 container with ac3 audio and h.264 video.
from handbrake's website
HandBrake can now pass-through DTS audio from a source when encoding to the Matroska container, just like it has previously for AC3 audio.