In Part 3 we will be looking at the resulting MKV files, their file size and Codec information, check if they play and look at a file renaming tool.
Looking in Windows Explorer in the location where I opted to save my final .MKV files you can see I have the six episodes now split in to individual video files. And because I took the important step of naming them correctly with the SXXEXX format in Handbrake in Part 2, they are already in the correct order.
Looking at the file sizes shown above, I guess by playing around with the settings in Handbrake like bitrate settings you could reduce the file size further, but you would lose video quality. I am not totally sure if the process I have done means there is no loss in video quality, but judging by the size of each MKV and how they appear on my TV screen I think not. But perhaps the TV Show “Steptoe and Son” was not the best example as the quality is poor anyway. But I am confident your converted episodes will look good on the TV screen!
As a comparison below you can see the 70’s TV Show Planet of the Apes, that I converted from DVD last night with the exact same settings in Handbrake and their file sizes are larger
The first thing to test is do they actually play? I used VLC as its my default player on my workstation and yes they do playback fine.
If you would like to examine any video files in more detail you can download and install the MediaInfo application from here.
Once installed open the MediaInfo application, select File – Open – File and browse to one of your newly created MKV files.
You can see information like the video stream is AVC, that there is one AC-3 audio stream and that its 2 channels, that there is one text stream VOBSub i.e. the subtitles I opted to include. We can also see the video size 720×592 and the frame rate is 25,000 fps etc.
This is general advice really, but If for any reason you are ever unsure what is the correct order in which episodes should be listed, i.e. the order / naming of your TV Show video files, you should always refer to the website TheTVDB.com.
For example if you are manually renaming your TV Show files to include the SXXEXX format which XBMC and MyMovies require, you may find issues like IMDB might order the episodes differently to that of TheTVDB. Because XBMC and MCE / MyMovies both use TheTVDB, it is this website you should refer to.
A closer look
We are getting to the point of step three in our five step plan.
3. Bulk rename the video files with a re-naming program (Possibly Optional)
Looking at our newly created video files as they are named now, after the Handbrake process in Part 2, XBMC could import these as is and it would work OK.
However it is my personal preference to add in the Episode title in to the file name so for example the first video file would be named like: Steptoe and Son – S01E01 – The Offer.mkv
To do this and to also rename other video files you may have downloaded from the Internet, so XBMC or MyMovies can import them, I use an application called TheRenamer. You can download it from here.
TheRenamer can be used to rename both TV Show and Movie video files, however I only use it for TV Shows. When you open the application it looks like this. Note it says theTVDB in the bottom right hand corner, I set TheTVDB as the website that TheRenamer program will use to obtain the names / order of the episodes.
If you click theTVDB in the bottom right hand corner you can change it so TheRenamer program will use other websites such as IMDB, EPGGuides, TV.com. I recommend you change this to use theTVDB.
First thing is to look in the Settings and change a few things. I want my TV Show video files to be named like this:
nameofTVShow – S01E01 – nameofEpisode.mkv
So I had to change the Separators 1 and 2 in the settings, with a: space dash space
You can see the Renamed Format Preview, you can use this preview to play around with the separators until you have your desired naming format nailed down.
OK I think that’s all I changed in the settings, so select Close and its time to auto rename some TV Show Video files.
Open Windows Explorer in a Window not full screen and browse to the location of the video files you want to rename. Select them all and drag and drop them on to theRenamer application.
I then get a preview of before and after or old and new. You can see under new that the names of the episodes will be added in to the actual video file names.
I can then double check this against theTVDB.com website itself, to see if the episode order and names match, which they should do.
Once happy I click Proceed and all six files are automatically renamed in to my new desired naming format.
To start a new renaming operation with a different set of video files you must first click the New button to reset theRenamer so its ready again etc.
Here you can see the files after they have been renamed in Windows Explorer.
The other thing I should mention I guess quickly, is the folder structure for your TV Shows that are Video files, it should be something like mine:
nameofTVShow – S01E01 – nameofEpisode.mkv
nameofTVShow – S01E02 – nameofEpisode.mkv
nameofTVShow – S01E03 – nameofEpisode.mkv
nameofTVShow – S02E01 – nameofEpisode.mkv
nameofTVShow – S02E02 – nameofEpisode.mkv
nameofTVShow – S02E03 – nameofEpisode.mkv
At this point I am now ready to proceed to step four which is: Import the video files in to the XBMC TV Show library with TheTVDB.com scraper. Which I will cover in Part 4 soon.