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Old 9th July 2022, 20:17   #1  |  Link
Rojones
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Join Date: Jul 2022
Posts: 9
BD Rebuilder 4k Blu-ray with FORCE_NOENCODE=1 was working perfectly, then stopped.

(Note: I'm aware that someone just posted about something with a problem also related to the FORCE_NOENCODE=1 parameter, but my case is very different, that's why I started a new thread)


Short version:

I need to author 4K Blu-rays from home videos edited in FCP and encoded to HEVC in Compressor or Handbrake for Mac. Then transfer to PC for authoring without re-encoding. I authored 3 discs in BD Rebuilder with the FORCE_NOENCODE=1 parameter perfectly without re-encoding, then all of a sudden it started trying to re-encode everything I imported, no matter how compliant. What did I mess up?

Long and detailed version:

I came across BD Rebuilder when I posted a question in this forum asking if there were any free or inexpensive solutions for burning 4K BD-Rs from my home videos encoded to HEVC using my Mac, because my Mac is new and encodes to HEVC really fast, while my PC is one I built myself in 2012, and it was and still is a fast PC, but back then HEVC didn't exist, so while it can encode pretty fast to H.264, it takes days for even a one video to HEVC. But last year I bought a brand new Pioneer burner with the plan of editing all my home video footage from years and authoring to 4K BD-Rs and burn to Verbatim M-Discs.

The idea is to edit in Final Cut Pro X, encode with Apple Compressor and then copy the renders to the PC, where I would author the disc. So being the audio/video nerd that I am, I started doing all kinds of tests, like encoding directly from FCP, which is very basic, to making all kinds of presets in Compressor that I thought would get the render as close as possible to something compliant (even though I could not find anywhere the full specs other than the basics).

And then just for fun, I also exported the same timeline to Prores 422HQ to bring into Handbrake, and did a few encodes in it as well. The good thing is that Handbrake allowed me to use Apple's VideoToolbox as encoder, so it's faster than x265 on machines that fully support it, although it's not as fast as when using FCP or Compressor in the "faster" mode, which you can also select in Handbrake but it's still slower than Compressor. But still way faster than my PC, so it's fine.

So, I downloaded the latest version of BD Rebuilder about a week ago, and loaded the test files in it. At first it didn't give me the results I needed because it wanted to re-encode all the files to HEVC, and that would take days, so no way. But I wanted to see if maybe there was a specific set of encoding parameters that I could set in Handbrake that would make it 4k blu-ray compliant, and see if that would work. In searching for that, I came across a post where someone was talking about the FORCE_NOENCODE=1 parameter for the bdrebuilder.ini file, so I tried that. I put it in the second line right after the version number.

And to my surprise, it worked perfectly! I threw in there 5 files that were very different. Some were rendered to HEVC from Final Cut Pro itself, using the only HEVC option, which is for Apple Devices. Others were encoded in Compressor, one at 8 bit and another one at 10-bit with HLG. Compressor has many more options than FCP itself, but it still doesn't have any preset for 4k Blu-ray, only for 1080p Blu-ray. So I created some presets based on the Apple Devices ones, and others from the Broadband High ones.

So when I clicked the backup button and I saw at first that the log said re-encoding but then changed to another message I can't remember now but basically saying that it didn't re-encode, and then I had an ISO image in about a minute ready to burn, and even better, when the burn to a BD-RE finished and I put it in one of my players and it showed me a basic menu with my files, I was happy as I could be. Maybe it wasn't the most elegant solution like Adobe Encore with a menu in Photoshop, but at least it gave me an authored disc with no re-encoding, with a list of my videos. Even better, later on I learned that I could customize that menu a little bit with parameters in the hiddenopts file, like font, background and a few more things.

And it's not that all these files were exactly compliant. All the Apple encoded ones had no sound because FCP and Compressor can't encode anything HEVC with AC3 (and by the way, these people behind the 4K Blu-ray standards, I don't know what they were thinking to keep AC3 instead of AAC), so those four files had no sound, even though I saw in the log that it had converted to AC3, but my receiver said "Decoder off" when playing those files. And one of them was so extremely non-compliant, that when I tried to play it in my Oppo player, it gave me a message that the player didn't recognize the disc with an OK button that when I pressed, turned off the player. The same file in my Sony player, it simply stopped the disc. But the file encoded in Handbrake was perfect, it had sound because it was already AC3, and motion was fine, while in the Apple Devices files, they had this weird stutter that was kind of different in the Sony and the Oppo. But the Handbrake one played fine in both.

So I said, this is great! Next paycheck I'm making a nice donation to the Handbrake guy, and to the BD Rebuilder guy.

But then it all went downhill and I still can't figure out why. I encoded more tests, with all kinds of different settings, all 4k HEVC, but some 8 bit, some 10 bit with and without HDR, others with HLG and Dolby Vision, some in Compressor, some in Handbrake, and ended up with like 12 files. I sent them to the PC, imported them into BD Rebuilder, pressed the backup button and after the Extracting A/V streams step, it started re-encoding, instead of showing me that message saying that it wasn't going to re-encode. I thought, no big deal, it's probably because I made all these different files with so many different encoding parameters that some of them are super incompatible. So I started pulling some of them one by one, but no matter what I did, it kept trying to re-encode. So I thought it might be a good idea to go for the sure thing, the Handbrake file as the only file. I went into the ini file to delete the source path and then deleted all the files in the working folder. Then closed BDRB, opened it again, and imported just that file. And it still wanted to re-encode it.

The really weird thing here is that I didn't make any changes to my Windows installation in any way since the last successful disc authored with no re-encoding, and the first time it disregarded the FORCE_NOENCODE=1 parameter and started encoding everything I threw at it. I even encoded more files in Handbrake, and these are very elemental files, 4k HEVC 8-bit, 29.97p and 23.98p, without any filters in Handbrake, constant bitrate, AC3 448 kbps stereo audio. Simple as can be. But I keep encoding test files and sending them to the PC, and BD Rebuilder keeps trying to re-encode them.

I even tried starting with a new instance, I added _old to the BD-RBV06128 folder, and then unzipped the original download. I barely touched anything but setting the target size to a BD25 and to save the output to an ISO image. Well, that didn't work either.

I even tried the same thing with older versions of BD Rebuilder, like 61.25, 61.22 and others with the same result.

But I know for a fact that version 0.61.28 worked perfectly for not just one, but three different discs. One of them I even authored as a BD50 and burned to a BD-RE DL.

So why, after successfully authoring 3 4k Blu-ray structures without any problems, then suddenly it stops working? Nothing changed in my PC, I didn't install any new software, or uninstall anything. The 3rd party programs that BDRB needs such as FFDShow, LAV filters, Avisynth and so on were installed when I installed BDRB, and they worked fine for those 3 discs, so that's not the problem.

And then there's this really weird thing. The last try I just did, I imported 3 files, all from Handbrake and 8-bit. Nothing fancy. So I see the .inf file in the working folder, and these 3 lines catch my attention (the numbers don't have thousands commas but I'm going to insert them to make it easy for reading purposes):

VERSION=v0.61.28
SOURCE_SIZE=5,450,596,665
SOURCE_VIDEO_SIZE=5,449,783,296
TARGET_SIZE=24,641,536,000
REDUCTION=4.52141329162311

So that's a total of 3 files, one of which is about 3 GB, and two about 1 GB. As I said, I selected a BD25 as output, which you can also see in the .inf. So 3 files totaling 5 GB more than fit into a 23 GB disc. So why would it show that reduction of 4.5 times? I doesn't make any sense. And just in case, I tried setting that Reduction parameter to 0, but it still tried to re-encode. And, when I opened the inf file again, it had changed it back to REDUCTION=4.52141329162311

I just don't get it. This was working without a hitch. Then all of a sudden, without changing a single thing, preferences or anything else, it stops working. And I hope it's just user error, because I doubt it's the program's fault. If it worked perfectly for about two days, it can't stop working the same way all of a sudden with no changes.

If anyone has any clues, please enlighten me.
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4k blu-ray, bd rebuilder, handbrake, no re-encode, uhd

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