DVDFab Forum - Hulu video compression (v5.0.0.9)

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Hulu video compression (v5.0.0.9)

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    StreamFab v5.0.0.8 (Win) Hulu video compression (v5.0.0.9)

    I'm trying out Hulu today and have a couple of questions:
    1. General question: Is there a reason I can't direct the output to somewhere other than my C:\username\Documents directory? I've tried setting it to multiple locations on a scratch internal drive (G), but StreamFab ignores the setting. Given the fragmentation these sizable downloads will create (I move them to another computer on my network after ripping), I really don't want the app to use the C: drive at all for processing or saving video files.
    2. Hulu compression: Hulu downloads everything at 720p, which is fine. DVDs are all 480p, so Hulu/StreamFab downloads should be at least the same quality. As a test, I downloaded some of the same files from Hulu that I previously ripped from the original DVDs using the MKV Passthrough profile. For the Hulu downloads, the bitrate is1/2 to 1/10 of the DVD rips. For example, for episodes of The Tick (1994) cartoon, the MKV passthrough rips have a bitrate of around 11,000 and a file size of 830MB, while the Hulu downloads have a bitrate of only1,000 and a file size of 160MB. Does h.264 result in that much compression? Is whether there's any way to improve the bitrate and resulting quality of Hulu downloads?
    Steve
    Last edited by zapt; 12-09-2021, 07:31 PM.

    #2
    Last sentence should be: “Is there any way to improve the bitrate and resulting quality of Hulu downloads?” The forum software didn’t apply my edit. Sorry.

    Comment


      #3
      Note: Ignore item 1. StreamFab suddenly--and inexplicably--started using the correct drive and folder for downloads. No idea why, but it's fixed.
      Last edited by zapt; 12-09-2021, 11:18 PM.

      Comment


        #4
        Had you restarted Streamfab after changing the download locations? You have to close out first before any of the changes to the settings take effect.

        Comment


          #5
          Not sure,
          fosse76 . Good to know, though. Thanks.

          I hope someone weighs in on point 2. Since there doesn't appear to be a way to turn off the compression, I'd like to know:

          (a) whether this is what I should expect from Hulu downloads,
          (b) given the massive reduction in file size and bit rate, how much are we losing in terms of quality (H.264 is a lossy codec, not a lossless one), and
          (c) should we ever expect an option to skip the compression?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by zapt View Post
            Not sure,
            fosse76 . Good to know, though. Thanks.

            I hope someone weighs in on point 2. Since there doesn't appear to be a way to turn off the compression, I'd like to know:

            (a) whether this is what I should expect from Hulu downloads,
            (b) given the massive reduction in file size and bit rate, how much are we losing in terms of quality (H.264 is a lossy codec, not a lossless one), and
            (c) should we ever expect an option to skip the compression?
            720P is bigger than 720x480 (DVD), and bit rate controls quality within a resolution. StreamFab wasn't recompressing (processing before)..and I just updated to the newer V5.x.x..and noticing it's rerendering again. The quality is very good, but I'd prefer lossless (original) from Hulu or anywhere else.

            Maybe Hulu has changed their protection? I just downloaded something in H.264/5; both...and it still rerendered the video.

            There aren't any lossless videos unless you're using using uncompressed and those files can be large to extremely huge. When video is compressed it's lossy because SOME quality is lost even at high bit rates (placebo..).

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by zapt View Post
              Hulu compression: Hulu downloads everything at 720p, which is fine. DVDs are all 480p, so Hulu/StreamFab downloads should be at least the same quality.

              As a test,I downloaded some of the same files from Hulu that I previously ripped from the original DVDs using the MKV Passthrough profile. For the Hulu downloads, the bitrate is1/2 to 1/10 of the DVD rips. For example, for episodes of The Tick (1994) cartoon, the MKV passthrough rips have a bitrate of around 11,000 and a file size of 830MB, while the Hulu downloads have a bitrate of only1,000 and a file size of 160MB.

              Does h.264 result in that much compression? Is whether there's any way to improve the bitrate and resulting quality of Hulu downloads?[/LIST]Steve
              I added some separation in the quote.

              There isn't a way to improve StreamFab downloads as it downloads the "best" on that service provider and title based on your settings. i.e. if you set StreamFab to download 1080p H265 and EAC3 if available, that is what you will get if its available, other wise you'll get the next best version to those settings.

              All streaming providers use lossy compression so they use less data as they stream, and can help reduce buffering, accommodate for internet congestion, etc. Discs don't need to worry about congestion, etc. So they can be a higher rate.

              For example, Hulu's help article https://help.hulu.com/s/article/speed-recommendations says:
              For a consistent, quality viewing experience, we recommend that your internet connection is capable of achieving at least the following sustained download speeds:*

              3.0 Mbps for Hulu's Streaming Library
              8.0 Mbps for live streams
              16.0 Mbps for 4K content
              *Viewers may be able to stream at a reduced video quality with 1.5 Mbps
              When you consider
              Your 11,000 (presumably kb/s) data rate of MKV Passthru rips of The Tick is going to exceed that.

              Consider many 1080p Blurays can be around 40 Mb/s data rates and 4K UHD discs are 60-128 Mb/s data rates, fitting that much into a 3 Mbp/s or 16. Mbps "recommended connection speed" for is obviously going to need to be compressed

              Does H264 give that much compression? Yes it gives that much compression, and smaller file sizes, but its lossy so there will also be some video quality loss. Can you or I see it? some can, some can't. H265 is more efficient than H264 and you can get about the same video quality at lower bit rates and therefore lower file sizes.

              Many of my 4K "Pass Through" rips can't play on my Roku Ultra (4K HDR support) because of its built in 100mbps ethernet port, so I re-encode them to H.265 and lower their bit rate. For example, Ready Player One 4k as pass through has video bitrate of 63 Mb/s and a file size of about 63.9GB. After compressing to H265 using NVENC and CQM=21 with intact audio, I get a 31.7Mb/s bit video rate and 37.2 GB file size, that looks identical to my eyes on my 65" Sony XBR. Even that 31.7Mb/s bit rate would be too high to stream.

              Comment


                #8
                KidJoe Thank you for that very helpful explanation. It’s much appreciated.

                As long as Streamfab isn’t applying it’s own compression during its “Processing” phase for each downloaded file, the resulting files are what I should expect; i.e., exactly what Hulu or any other service is streaming for those movies and tv shows.

                I also used the free trial on 3 movies from Disney and HBO. One (or both of those) supports 1080p downloads, and the resulting files were about 50% LARGER than my Passthrough DVD rips. Thus, I was expecting that Hulu’s 720p downloads would be roughly the same size as the DVD rips rather than half, a quarter, or 1/10 their size. Hence, my confusion.
                —————
                Added: ….I just thought of something. Since it’s StreamFab offering us a choice between h.264 and h.265 compression, does that mean that IT is applying the compression? Or are they instructing the service which of the two compression methods to apply for my downloads?

                Steve
                Last edited by zapt; 12-12-2021, 04:01 PM.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by zapt View Post
                  KidJoe Thank you for that very helpful explanation. It’s much appreciated.

                  As long as Streamfab isn’t applying it’s own compression during its “Processing” phase for each downloaded file, the resulting files are what I should expect; i.e., exactly what Hulu or any other service is streaming for those movies and tv shows.

                  I also used the free trial on 3 movies from Disney and HBO. One (or both of those) supports 1080p downloads, and the resulting files were about 50% LARGER than my Passthrough DVD rips. Thus, I was expecting that Hulu’s 720p downloads would be roughly the same size as the DVD rips rather than half, a quarter, or 1/10 their size. Hence, my confusion.
                  —————
                  Added: ….I just thought of something. Since it’s StreamFab offering us a choice between h.264 and h.265 compression, does that mean that IT is applying the compression? Or are they instructing the service which of the two compression methods to apply for my downloads?

                  Steve
                  (Replying from my phone, so please excuse any typos)

                  HBOMax does support 1080p video with ac3 audio, where as Disney+ downloads are 720p and E-AC-3 audio. So there will be differences.

                  It will be hard to compare those downloads to DVD rip, because they will be higher frame height and width.

                  The streaming services do not all use the same bit rates or audio codecs. In another thread I used an example of the same Start Trek Undiscovered Country movie from Amazon Prime and Paramount+. The Prime copy had higher bit rate and better audio, and as a result a larger on disk size. See -> https://forum.dvdfab.cn/forum/softwa...408#post403408

                  And yes, StreamFab basically queries what is available from the service and downloads what best matches your StreamFab settings. It doesn't download h264 and re-encode to h265 or vice versa. If you have download in h265 set, it downloads the h265 stream, but If the provider doesn't have a h265 copy, you'll get the h264. Same with audio, if you have AC3/EAC3 set, that is what you will get, but if the service doesn't have that, then StreamFab grabs the next best option.

                  In other words, StreamFab is not recompressing the downloads as it processes the files. You're getting the downloads exactly as they are presented to StreamFab.

                  Oh and some other things to note:

                  StreamFab saying "processing" or "remuxing" doesn't mean it's re-encoding. There was a post from the mods that explained what exactly was happening, and unfortunately I don't recall the specifics as it was a while ago. Re-encoding certainly will take a lot longer than the Processing or remuxing steps take.

                  Since the Dec 1 DRM changes, some video downloads will be lower resolution than expected, re-encoding is a necessary step. StreamFab will pop up a warning, and you will see "re-encoding" as a step on the progress. This is happening as a work around until the Fab team can solve this new DRM. The Release Notes for Streamfab 5.0.0.8 or 5.0.0.9 mention this and says they are trying to keep as close to the original bit rate and size as the download.

                  And finally, even though the services may offer 4k, HDR or Dolby Vision video, and Atmos audio using a streaming device or app, doesn't mean that you can do that with a browser based tool like StreamFab (Hence the limit of 720p on some services like Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV+, etc. Using Streamfab and some other similar tools).

                  Edit: sorry, something else... Amazon and Netflix do have movies that stream to devices/apps at 1080p, but are only available to download at 480p or 576p. This isn't StreamFab's fault, as I experience the same using a competing product.
                  Last edited by KidJoe; 12-13-2021, 12:47 PM.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    KidJoe Excellent information. Thank you for taking the time to provide it. (It--or something similar--should be a Sticky topic.)

                    It seems a shame that these fairly basic things aren't explained in the Streamfab manual. It would avoid a lot of support issues and forum questions if the manual explained more, rather than just stating what various menu options do (leaving users to try to figure out a very complex subject on their own). Previously, I had similar issues with trying to understand DVDFab and its myriad options, but eventually just decided to wing it and hoped that my assumptions were correct.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by KidJoe View Post
                      (Replying from my phone, so please excuse any typos)
                      That is what proof-reading is really good for. I do it for my Desktop and Phone. I don't see a Phone as a reason to not proof-read. Anyway, good info..which most I already knew but it's helpful for the masses that don't.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by SirRush View Post

                        That is what proof-reading is really good for. I do it for my Desktop and Phone. I don't see a Phone as a reason to not proof-read. Anyway, good info..which most I already knew but it's helpful for the masses that don't.
                        Yeah I proof read, but on that small screen, with small window for the text, it gets to me sometimes with longer posts my eyes aren't as good as when I was younger, even with glasses and a big phone like the Samsung Note 20 Ultra.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by KidJoe View Post
                          Yeah I proof read, but on that small screen, with small window for the text, it gets to me sometimes with longer posts my eyes aren't as good as when I was younger, even with glasses and a big phone like the Samsung Note 20 Ultra.
                          That's a really lousy reason!! (Pauses for affect..) I AM joking with you, teasing. I'm where you are, and my phone is larger (Galaxy S21 5G). So, well, okay, you're excused. Smiling. Actually, it dawned on me about the small phone today..and I was going to reply letting you know. I wasn't meaning to "seem" like I was getting on your case. Appreciate the reply. Now, back to topic.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by zapt View Post
                            KidJoe Excellent information. Thank you for taking the time to provide it. (It--or something similar--should be a Sticky topic.)

                            It seems a shame that these fairly basic things aren't explained in the Streamfab manual. It would avoid a lot of support issues and forum questions if the manual explained more, rather than just stating what various menu options do (leaving users to try to figure out a very complex subject on their own). Previously, I had similar issues with trying to understand DVDFab and its myriad options, but eventually just decided to wing it and hoped that my assumptions were correct.
                            There is a sticky now if that helps Thanks to the mods for accepting what I wrote.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by KidJoe View Post

                              There is a sticky now if that helps Thanks to the mods for accepting what I wrote.
                              Think it was quite awesome for the Fab team to add your FAQ as a sticky, it is very informative in question. Some know but not all is why you see the same asking post and questions to why....it's all by trial and error and the process can be overwhelming for some and some just do not have the time to put forward into it, so big ups for taking the time to post your findings in helping.

                              Comment

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