Handbrake is an open source video transcoder capable of ripping DVD and Blu-Ray discs as well as cropping, resizing and applying filters to videos. Furthermore, Handbrake can combine multiple files into a single one for easier transmission.

To achieve its tasks, this application uses third-party audio and video libraries (such as FFmpeg and x265).

What is Handbrake?

Handbrake is a free and open-source software application for transcoding video files and DVDs into multiple formats. With its simple dashboard interface, users can simply drag-and-drop videos before choosing from an extensive selection of presets to fine-tune their outputs.

HandBrake can also upscale videos, an essential capability for some. It can easily handle HD, 2K and even 4K content with ease and deinterlace it if necessary; additionally, this program can adjust image settings for optimal quality while eliminating black bars from movies – an invaluable feature if viewing movies with black bars on either side is problematic for you.

As well as this feature, the software also supports audio pass-thru. This means you can listen to the audio track while your video file is being ripped; an invaluable feature for those who enjoy watching films on their laptop or mobile device.

This app also allows users to resize and crop videos for optimal viewing, featuring built-in presets that simplify setting configuration. Furthermore, multiple titles at once can be extracted – a significant advantage for those with large movie collections.

However, some users may encounter problems with Handbrake. A frequent issue is the app crashing prior to finishing its ripping process; this often occurs when using Apple presets or too-long movies are converted. Furthermore, not all types of copy protection may be supported, which can make DVD ripping frustratingly inefficient; so before downloading Handbrake it’s essential that users understand its capabilities and limitations before doing so.


Encoding converts video data to an MP4 or MKV file and compresses it in order to reduce its size without compromising quality. Handbrake uses various algorithms for compressing video, audio and metadata into its output file while performing other functions such as adjusting for aspect ratio changes, selecting subtitle tracks and creating chapter markers.

Handbrake presets are created to be compatible with various software and devices while taking into account performance, quality and file size requirements. You may however adjust individual preset settings such as encoder preset or other video/audio/decomb/subtitle/container options to customize conversion for specific conversion tasks.

Constant Rate Factor (RF), often abbreviated CRF, is an important setting in video encoding settings. This value determines how much of the source video is encoded during a pass and increasing it will result in increased quality; decreasing it will result in decreased quality; when making adjustments it is best to adjust gradually as even small adjustments can have noticeable results; when DVD ripping it is recommended not exceeding 22 RF as this value.

Encoding video data with Handbrake can be time consuming on older systems. As your RF value increases, more video data Handbrake will encode during each pass resulting in high CPU utilization during encoding. If your GPU is fast enough, try turning on NVENC encoding in the Video tab of Preferences for faster GPU use.


Handbrake decodes data from DVDs or other sources you submit, striving to preserve as much quality while simultaneously decreasing file size and using less computational power than would otherwise be required to produce an equivalent video from scratch. Furthermore, it utilizes special filtering and optimizations tailored specifically to the type of movie or video file being processed.

The main interface is very straightforward. Just one click of the “Open Source” button in the top-left enables you to import video and select where it should be outputted. There are a variety of tab options in the middle, offering access to various settings or you can take advantage of one of our many built-in presets for a faster experience.

Handbrake presets often utilize constant quality encoding methods, which ensure your video will have consistent quality throughout its length. While increasing this value may result in greater video size on your computer or playback device, be wary: increasing quality usually requires more space.

Dependent upon the input format and output destination, audio pass-thru may be an option for you. This feature is particularly beneficial with multichannel formats like Dolby Digital Surround, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio that require multiple channels for playback; you may have the option to convert these formats to stereo or mono audio files for maximum portability and compatibility with most devices.

The Chapters tab allows you to manage existing chapters in your input file, import or export chapter markers using a CSV file, create or delete new chapters for encoded output and enable or disable subtitle tracks for video playback.


Handbrake can convert DVDs into digital files in multiple formats, including MP4, AVI, MKV, WMV, WebM, 3GP and FLV. It can also digitize Blu-ray discs. Furthermore, this program rips multiple titles at the same time or only the audio tracks, as well as change video/audio parameters to ensure optimal quality results.

First, insert and launch Handbrake onto a DVD disc, which will scan for titles automatically. If your disc contains multiple titles (such as movies and special features), select which title(s) you’d like ripped in the “Title” menu; alternatively you may also choose chapters within this menu for ripping.

From here, you can select your encoded file’s destination via the “Destination” menu. If you wish to save it to a specific folder on your computer, just browse and select it in the dialog box that opens. Similarly, in “Quality”, set your preferred quality – although most DVDs typically don’t require anything higher than 480 lines as this should do the trick!

Within the “Picture Settings” menu, you can customize options like picture size and resolution, filters, cropping and deinterlacing. There are a number of presets that may help get your photos looking their best; it is best to customize them instead.

Handbrake doesn’t break copy protection. While it can rip most standard, unprotected movies and multi-episode TV show DVDs, it won’t decrypt copy protection found on commercial DVDs sold at stores. For that task, the free libdvdcss library must first be downloaded and installed – then Handbrake can rip your protected DVDs!


Handbrake can convert many different video file types to formats compatible with modern digital devices like phones, tablets, TV media players, game consoles and computers. It can also rip DVDs and BluRay discs as well as compress data so the final file size is smaller while offering users flexibility in terms of file compression or quality levels.

Handbrake uses two containers (MKV or MP4) to hold encoded video and audio tracks, chapters and subtitles in an easily viewable file format. It supports various predefined audio/video codecs such as H.264/H.265 MPEG-2 MPEG-4 AV1 Vorbis which allow it to pass sound through without being encoded, providing support for things such as Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround and DTS-HD Master Audio formats.

Once you have configured and opened a Source, use the Add to Queue button on the toolbar to add it to the Queue and store the job until you tell it to begin converting. Multiple sources can be added simultaneously – and the Queue window displays an overview of your jobs for easy modification as necessary.

Use the “Activity” icon on the toolbar to see a log of activity since opening Handbrake, including when it was opened and closed as well as any conversions or encodes completed since you opened the application. This can help with troubleshooting and performance analysis. Furthermore, preview allows users to see static images captured from different points within video as well as live preview of what the output will look like.

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