Handbrake is a very capable video converter, and while it's not the only option out there, it's one of the best. But that could soon change. A new video conversion utility (Windows only) is putting a spin on many of Handbrake's best features — and the results aren't half bad, either.
Of course, Handbrake is known for being fast, and that's where Freemake needs to compete. Fortunately, the results from both are similar. Both Handbrake and Freemake were able to rip and encode a 90-minute film using a single pass of h.264 in just over 40 minutes on our test machine. The results were particularly interesting because Freemake uses CUDA — GPU-based encoding — to decrease rendering time, but didn't fare much better than Handbrake's CPU-only encode.
There are other shortcomings, of course. Compared to Handbrake, subtitle support is all but absent, and there's not quite the same selection of video filters and post-processing options. For most, this will hardly make a difference, but if you're the type that likes messing about with pixel aspect ratios and drop frames, Handbrake may be betters suited to your needs.