This guide is now obsolete. I have replaced this guide with a newer one which greatly reduces the time required to create MP4 files. Also, the new guide shows you how to convert non PS3 compliant MKV files to PS3 compatible MP4 files. I am keeping this guide for reference. To see the new guide, go here.
This guide shows you how to convert an MKV file (with 5.1 surround) to MP4 so that it can be played on the Playstation 3. Unlike most other guides, this guide will show you how to convert an MKV file without converting the video and hopefully, without converting the audio. Conversion is a time consuming process, so in this guide, I will aim to avoid that as much as possible.
|AC3||Dolby Digital Surround audio. 5.1 channel lossy surround. (Lower quality than DTS).|
|AVC||The proper name for "H.264", short for "Mpeg-4 AVC".|
|DTS||Dolby Digital Surround audio. 5.1 channel lossless surround.|
|M2TS||The Blu-Ray version of DVD video. Supports AVC, AC3 and DTS.|
|MKV||The Matroska container format. Used for storing almost any kind of video and audio format.|
|MP4||The Mpeg-4 container format. Used for storing AVC, AAC or AC3 audio.|
For the longest time, the only way you could play high def videos with 5.1 surround was to use the M2TS container. In short, the M2TS container is the Blu-Ray version of a DVD video. The M2TS container is bad because converting an MKV to M2TS can inflate the filesize by up to several hundred megabytes, making movies sized to fit DVD media too large to be burned without resorting to severely decreasing the quality of the audio stream. This is unacceptable. Not to mention, M2TS files are hard to fast forward and rewind due to poor seekability.
Recently, the latest beta version of YAMB (Yet Another MP4 Box UI) added AC3 support. Now you can mux an AC3 audio stream directly into the MP4 container without any conversion or loss of quality. To make matters even better, the PS3 can play an MP4 AC3 file without any issues. As a result, the MP4 container is now the perfect container format for playing high definition surround videos on the PS3.
L5.1 (Level 5.1)
Lots of MKV files contain an AVC stream (otherwise known as H.264). This stream has to be L4.2 or lower in order to play on the PS3. If your MKV file contains an L5.1 AVC stream, then you must convert the video into L4.2 or lower. This process is very time consuming and does not fit into this guide, so you're on your own to figure out how to do this.
Playback Issues with Quicktime
The PS3 has a filesize limitation. Files over 4GB cannot be played on the PS3's harddrive. However, files larger than 4GB can be played from a burned dual layer DVD or Blu-Ray. Alternatively, you can stream your MP4 file from your PC to the PS3 over a local network using PS3 Media Server. For instructions regarding how to play your MP4 file on the PS3, refer to "How to Play your MP4 file on the PS3"
|MediaInfo||Required for viewing information about your video.|
|YAMB (Yet Another MP4 Box UI)
(Version 18.104.22.168 Beta 2 or newer Required)
|Required for converting MKV to MP4.|
|MediaCoder||Required for converting DTS to AC3.|
- Install MediaInfo
- Install YAMB 22.214.171.124 Beta 2 (or newer)
During the installation of YAMB, be sure to check MKVExtract.
- Install MediaCoder
Not every video is perfect and as such, not every video will apply to this guide. It's up to you to educate yourself about which videos will work with this guide and which videos will not.
Is your Video L5.1?
- To determine if your video is L5.1, open it with MediaInfo.
- It's best if you switch to Tree View. Go to the View menu and click Tree.
- Beneath Video, you will see Format Profile.
If it says High@L5.1, then you can't go any further. You must figure out a way to convert the video to High@L4.2 or lower, which is a time consuming process.
Does your video contain DTS?
If your video contains a DTS audio stream, then you must convert the audio to AC3. For instructions on how to do this, refer to "How to convert DTS to AC3".
If your video contains AC3, then proceed to the next section.
Assuming you didn't skip step 1, you should be trying to convert an MKV file with L4.2 (or lower) AVC and AC3 audio. If you do not have this combination, then you need to refer to Step 1.
- The first thing you should do is run YAMB. You will find it in your Start Menu.
- Once it's running, double click Click to create an MP4 file... If you don't see that, you need to click Creation in the left-hand column.
- Drag the file you would like to convert into YAMB. Alternatively, you can click Add and browse for the MKV file.
- Once opened, you should see the AVC and AC3 streams in the input window. Afterwords, press Next.
It should begin the process of extracting the video and audio to individual streams. During this process, it will create the MP4 file. Depending on how fast your computer is, this should take about 10-20 minutes.
When it's finished, you might have some temporary files sitting in the output directory. Simply delete any remaining .h264 or .ac3 files, as they are not necessary.
If you're satisfied with the result, you can delete the MKV file too.
Converting DTS to AC3 is relatively easy if you have the right tools. For this, you will need Mediacoder.
- Run Mediacoder from your Start Menu
- Once it is open, drag your MKV file into mediacoder.
- Note: Just as a rule of thumb, you should revert your Mediacoder back to default settings. This is to avoid any issues that may occur after having used the program for a while. To do this, go to your File menu and click Revert All Settings.
- (1) In the lower half of the program, you should see several tabs. On the left, click the Video tab.
(2) Uncheck Enable Video.
- (1) Go to the Audio tab.
(2) Next to Encoder, choose FFMPEG.
(3) Next to Format, choose AC3.
- On the right, set the bitrate to 640.
Note: AC3 can only go up to 640. I am uncertain if the bitrate can go higher than 640, but what I am certain about is the standard for Blu-Ray movies is 640 bitrate. If you go any higher, you're swaying from the "norm" and you risk breaking compatibility with certain decoders.
- (1) On the left, click the Container Tab.
(2) Set Container to Default.
- (1) On the left, click the Sound tab.
(2) Set Channels to Original.
- At the top, click the Start button.
When it's finished, you should have an AC3 file in the same folder as your MKV file.
- Now, proceed to "Step 2 - Use YAMB to Convert MKV to MP4". When you go to import your MKV file into YAMB, you will get an error that says "Yamb has detected one stream is not compatible for the Creation".
- This is normal. Simply ignore the error and add the AC3 file into YAMB.
That's it. When you're done, you should have an MP4 file with AC3 audio.
There are several ways to play your MP4 file on the PS3. Due to the 4GB filesize limitation of the PS3, it would be best to try and play your MP4 file by streaming it from a PC to the PS3 over a local network. If you do not have this ability but you have plenty of DVDs or Dual Layer DVDs, then you can try your hand at burning your MP4 files to DVDs.
Burning an MP4 File
There's a great tool called ImgBurn that will allow you to burn your MP4 file to CD, DVD, DL-DVD or Blu-Ray. The best part about this is ImgBurn is absolutely free. All you have to do is burn the MP4 directly to the media of your choice. You don't have to convert it with some special DVD conversion software.
How to burn DVDs using ImgBurn (Special Thanks to InsaneNutter from www.digiex.net forum)
Stream your MP4 file across a local network from your PC to your PS3
Streaming your MP4 to your PS3 couldn't be easier with the PS3 Media Server. It's basically a two step process. First, you install Java. Next, you install PS3 Media Server. If your PS3 is connected to the network, the PS3 Media Server will detect it and automatically configure itself. That's pretty much it.
Last Updated (Sunday, 04 July 2010 11:17)