How to simply remove subtitles and language streams from TS videos with Handbrake?

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QUESTION :

I use Handbrake to transcode some of my MPEG-2 Transport Stream videos, but I’m not pleased with the resulting quality, even if set to high bitrates.

So my idea is to simply remove unwanted audio tracks and subtitles, and keep the rest as it is. The video should ideally not be re-encoded.

Is this possible with Handbrake and if yes, what are the required settings for that?

ANSWER :

This question is old but it is worth an answer — as it pops up in searches anyway:

Considering Handbrake, as said in a comment, the answer is ‘you CANNOT’: that tool always trans-codes the video and thus alters it. It is not meant for a simple change of container, as asked here.


I cannot imagine why one would want to have TS files instead of other format like mp4 or MKV. But if such reasons exist, there is a versatile ffmpeg frontend called dmMediaConverter that can do it. Just check ‘Enabled’ what stream you want to keep and ‘Copy’ those that you don’t want transcoded (that is default). Set your desired extension in the output name, including ts if you must.

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The installers can be downloaded for free from the gdrive link.


As said, it makes little sense keeping the TS files and not converting them to MKV (that is, without trans-coding: just changing the container to MKV but keeping the actual video stream). MKV is one of the container formats that can be used for most video stream formats.

For simply changing the container I use a context menu entry running the command

ffmpeg -i "$0" -map 0 -c copy "${0%%.*}".mkv

To run in terminal do

ffmpeg -i YOURFILE.ts -map 0 -c copy YOURFILE.mkv

For adding or removing streams MKVToolNix is a great opensource tool, also available for Windows.

Uncheck the streams you want removed and press “Start…”

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