Finally, I found a solution that is, at this moment, about 75% of the way through the latest MiniDV tape.
Steps and 3-line windows script (batch file) are:
- Import the raw DV files from your camcorder to disk. This part should be the easiest and requires little cpu, but a lot of temporary disk space (about 60G/hr).
- Install Handbrake if you haven't already. On Windows, the GUI download option now includes the CLI (command line interface). You can test one-off compression while tweaking settings in a mostly-complete UI. Note: Some options in the CLI are not yet in the Windows GUI, such as the latest de-interlacing option which uses less cpu while producing far higher quality video.
- Run the following script, by copying it's contents exactly to a file "compress.bat" in the directory with the video files you wish to encode. Note: you can rename the compress part, but need the ".bat" suffix. Also, this script will by default compress *all* *.avi files in the directory.
for %%i in (*.avi) do (
"C:\Program Files (x86)\HandBrake\HandBrakeCLI.exe" -i "%%i" --decomb -t 1 -c 1 -o "%%~ni.mp4" -f m4v -p -e x264 -b 1500 -2 -T -a 1 -E faac -B 160 -6 dpl2 -D 1 -x ref=2:bframes=2:me=umh -v
Items of note:
- As of today, the Handbrake Windows GUI didn't support the --decomb option, so I added it manually while removing the older-style de-interlace flag.
- The "%%~ni.mp4" line is something I copied from another script on the Handbrake forum. I thought "ni" was part of the filename so changed it to "vi" (i.e. *.avi"), and this broke the script. Thus, leave as-is for an exact filename usage while substuting the .avi for .mp4.
- I used the current Handbrake defaults, with the exception of --decomb, so this is probably pretty safe.
- Always make backups and do not run this script on files that are not backed-up. I take no responsibility whatsoever if this script does anything crazy. No warranty blah blah...
- You may need to change the path to "C:\Program Files (x86)\HandBrake\HandBrakeCLI.exe" to match your local install.
Hope this helps someone out there... Good luck!