Best Encoding Settings for HandBrake to Convert Videos to Play in Plex (2021 Update)

Last Updated on April 30, 2021 by Leo Standy

When you need to convert videos to play in the Plex media server, what is the best HandBrake settings for Plex? Plex is a media server that enables you to stream videos between different devices, such as a computer, smart TV, tablets, smartphones, game consoles, and more. But it only supports limited video formats, how to set up the optimal encoding settings for HandBrake for Plex? Just learn more details from the ultimate guide now.

Part 1: Best HandBrake Settings to Convert Videos for Plex

To encode the videos for Plex, you should know the supported file format beforehand. Plex media server supports MKV, AVI, MP4, TiVo, H.265, and MPG formats. When you need to convert videos via HandBrake, you can learn more about the best HandBrake settings for Plex video playback.

Video/Audio Settings of HandBrake for Plex Video Playback

Format: MP4 or MKV. If you just need to stream videos to a smartphone or portable device, MP4 is the best option. As for extracting the movies from DVD and Blu-ray movies with subtitles, MKV is an optimal video format for Plex media server.

Video Codec: H.264 or H.265. H.265 delivers higher quality video at the same bitrate as H.264. H.265 supports resolutions up to 8192×4320, including 8K UHD. But it will be much difficult to stream the videos from your computer to other devices.

Framerate: Same as source. If you need to preserve the original video quality, the same as the source is the optimal HandBrake settings for Plex. When the original video is 30FPS or less, you cannot enhance it to 60FPS even if you set up the frame rate.

Constant quality: When you need to convert DVD to MP4 or MKV, you can set it to RF18-20. As for the Blu-ray disc, you can set it to RF 20-23. To preserve the videos with high quality, you can choose a low value of the RF, especially for some low-quality video files.

Audio Settings: AC3 pass-through for track 1, which maintains compatibility with other devices like AppleTV/PS3. AAC with Stereo for track 2 mixdown 96 bitrate that compatibility for when the file is played in not Plex- not needed if the file is only for Plex.

HandBrake Guide Video

Advanced Settings of HandBrake for Plex Video Playback

The basic settings of HandBrake should be enough for most of the video files. But if you need to get the optimal HandBrake settings for the Plex media server from the Advanced Settings, here is a chart you can take for reference.

Reference Frames5
Mixed ReferencesOn
B-Frames5 if live-action, 15 if animation
Direct PredictionSpatial
Weighted B Frames/ Pyramidal B FramesOn
Motion Estimation MethodUneven Multi-Hexagon
Motion Estimation Range16-32
Subpixel Motion Estimation2-9
AnalysisAnalysis
8×8 DCTOn
DeblockingDefault
Trellis2
No DCT DecimateOff
CABAC EntropyOn

Handbrake Video Optimise

No mention about the difficulties to set up the best HandBrake settings for Plex, you might not able to extract the DVD/Blu-ray movies with DRM protection. If you want to convert Blu-ray and DVD for Plex with ease, you have to choose an alternative solution instead.

Part 2: The Best HandBrake Alternative to Convert Videos for Plex

What is the best HandBrake alternative? When you need to convert videos, instead of the difficult HandBrake settings, Leawo Prof. Media Ultra is an 11-in-1 media solution combo to download, convert, copy, burn, play, edit, and more at 6X higher speed. It enables you to convert DVDs and Blu-ray discs with the original video quality.

  1. Extract Blu-ray and DVD to more than 180 audio and video file formats.
  2. Tweak the frame rate, bitrate, sample rate, audio codec and more easily.
  3. Remove the DRM protection and region code of any Blu-ray and DVD.
  4. Support 1080P and 4K video output, no quality loss in video and audio.

Step 1: Download and install this HandBrake alternative, you can launch the program on your computer. Go to the Convert menu or select the Video Converter button. Then click the Add Video button to import the desired videos you want to convert.

Win DOWNLOAD
Mac Download
Win DOWNLOAD
Mac Download

Prof Media Interface

Step 2: Go to the Profile option next to the Add Photo button. You can choose the MP4, MKV or even a device preset. Moreover, you can choose profile from Common Video, Common Audio, HD Video, and 4K Video. It also enables you to tweak the video parameters.

Prof Media Convert Profile

Step 3: To set up the similar HandBrake settings for Plex, you can click the Edit profile button on profiles from the Format tab and the Device tab on the Profile panel to enter the Profile Settings panel. It enables you to tweak the video codec, audio codec and more others.

Prof Media Convert Profile Settings

Step 4: After that, you can click the Convert button to set an output directory to save the output files. Once you have clicked the Convert button, it will start converting the videos/Blu-ray/DVD to Plex compatible formats. Then you can share it to the media server accordingly.

Prof Media Convert Video

What is the best HandBrake encoding for Plex? The article shares the basic video and audio settings of HandBrake, which you can convert the desired videos for Plex. Moreover, you can learn more from the chart to tweak the advanced settings. Leawo Prof. Media Ultra is an ultimate solution to convert video/DVD/Blu-ray for Plex files with ease.

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