I'm looking at using something like Arcsoft Media Converter, DVDFab or Mirillis to compress mkv files, using Quick Sync. Since I don't have direct access to the codec settings like I would in say, Handbrake, how can I tell what they are? Mirillis only has a "Quality" setting and AMC was something similarly simplified, how do I know what a given quality setting is as far as actual h264 settings/presets? I'm assuming all the preset profiles are hard coded in the QS codec, and the software quality setting just accesses different profiles of these hard coded presets? BTW this regarding the Ivy Bridge implementation of QS. Thank you.
Unfortunately we cannot help much when it comes to your question. It is up to the individual application to choose what settings and levels of control they expose to the users.
Media SDK exposes 7 levels to control encoding quality. Application that uses Media SDK to access the QuickSync encoder capabilities decides on what quality level to use and how to map it to a user option.
If you need to know this mapping I suggest you contact the individual application vendors. They may be able to share this information.
If you want to play around with the encoder quality levels exposed by Media SDK directly I suggest to take a look at the encoder sample that is part of the SDK package.
Thank you for the informative answer Petter. One last question: what are the settings of the 7 levels? Or how can I found out? I'd probably only be interested in the highest quality one anyway. Basically the issue is this, a lot of people are wanting convert their blurays to mkv and compress them down, while still keeping the highest visual quality possible. The question is how best to do this. Handbrake is very good, but takes a very long time to encode at the settings I find acceptable visually. I want to see if the highest quality setting QS is a similar profile to what I use in Handbrake. Than we can petition the software manufacturer (in my case DVDFab) to provide access to this highest quality setting, and hopefully we can save a lot time doing the video conversion.