The size tab deals with the dimensions of the video, as well as the closely related matters of cropping and anamorphic encoding.
Width and Height
The width and height boxes allow you to control the pixel resolution of the encoded video. The steppers increment up and down by increments of 16.
Keep aspect ratio
When Keep Aspect Ratio is checked, HandBrake will link the height and width so that the picture is never distorted from its original aspect ratio.
Sometimes, movies have black lines on the sides. To get rid of the them, you crop the picture. HandBrake does this automatically. It chooses how to crop pretty well, but sometimes it doesn't catch everything. If this is the case, click the Custom cropping radio button. This will enable the 4 numerical fields below arranged in a T-shape. Each field controls the cropping for the corresponding side of the picture. The steppers increment by 2, because cropping works best with even numbers.
When this is enabled, HandBrake will encode anamorphically. giving you a bigger picture.
There are three different ways of doing anamorphic in HandBrake: strictly, loosely, and custom. In strict mode, the full resolution of the DVD is preserved exactly. As a result, the picture dimensions will be locked and the "Keep aspect ratio" box will be dimmed out. Loose mode will tweak the dimensions slightly so they divide evenly by 16, and allows scaling the width of the stored video. Custom mode is just that -- all settings are configurable by the user. When it is enabled, extra controls appear in the inspector.
Video filters run over a source before it is encoded, to correct different kinds of problems with their video content.
From the Detelecine menu, select Default or Custom to enable inverse telecine. Hard telecining is commonly found only on TV shows and animation, but it's usually harmless to leave the filter on all the time. The duplicate frames left over from the filter process are discarded, and the frame rate varies to make up for them. If you do not want the frame rate to vary, set a constant frame rate instead of using "Same as source." It will duplicate or drop frames as necessary to make up the difference.
When you select Custom, a text field will appear to allow you to enter parameters directly into the detelecine filter.
Decomb / Deinterlace
A slider bar toggles between controls for the decomb filter and the deinterlacing filter. Both filters handle deinterlacing, and only can be used at a time.
If you see combing or mouse teeth (horizontal lines) in the preview images, you should apply deinterlacing.
But deinterlacing is slow and reduces picture quality. And a lot of the time it isn't necessary. And it's not always easy to know a video is interlaced just from looking at previews. And then you waste a bunch of time deinterlacing frames in interlaced video that don't even show combing, slowing down your encode.
Wouldn't it be nice you could tell HandBrake to just deinterlace a frame if it's interlaced?
That's what Decomb does. It should be safe to leave it on all the time with a setting of Default. By selecting Custom, a text field will appear where you can directly set the decomb filter parameters.
If you see combing or teeth (horizontal lines) in the preview images, choose a method from the Deinterlace pop-up menu. If that makes the lines go away, keep it enabled. For a fuller explanation, see the Deinterlacing Guide.
Be aware that there is no difference in the previews no matter which deinterlacing method you choose. Single frame previews can only be filtered by "Fast." Even though you can't tell a difference from what happens to the still previews, fast deinterlacing seriously reduces picture quality compared to the slow methods, while the slow deinterlacing methods will seriously reduce your encoding speeds compared to the fast method.
If you don't see horizontal lines, and enabling deinterlacing doesn't seem to improve the picture in the previews, disable it. You're better off leaving it disabled except when it's absolutely needed, because it will slow down encoding times and reduce picture quality for any frame that is not interlaced.
"Fast deinterlacing" is the FFmpeg project's internal deinterlacer, avpicture_deinterlace. "Slow" and "Slower" are yadif, from the MPlayer project.
Select a strength from the Denoise pop-up menu to remove excess grain or noise from a video. This can sometimes be useful to improve quality or reduce bitrate. HandBrake uses a high quality denoiser that works both spatially within a frame and temporally across frames. Still, be aware that denoising, by nature, loses detail from an image.
- "Custom" will allow you to enter parameters for the denoise filter in a text field.
- "Weak" is acceptable for general use. Too much denoising kills the picture quality, "Weak" only gives it a bloody nose.
- "Medium" will leave behind some artifacts (a little blocking) but is still useful for many more difficult sources.
- "Strong" should only be used on animation -- especially simple cartoons or cheaply produced anime.
Note that because the denoiser works across frames, it is not possible to see its effects in the preview frames presented on the Picture Settings sheet.
Denoise is a filter from MPlayer, called hqdn3d.
Deblock will smooth away blocking and other artifacts from low quality sources. The further the slider moves to the right, the more intensely it smooths away detail.
Deblock is a post-processing filter from the MPlayer project, called pp7.
Check this box to strip color from the video, or with sources that are black and white to begin with.