In my quest to get the best possible quality files that can be streamed to the PS3 I wanted to try H264 and see if it was worth the CPU cycles for DVD source material. Since this is not an easy task with DVDFab, I thought I would share how to do it. The default PS3 profile is limited to stereo AAC which isn't well suited for home theater use.
The short version:
- Use custom profile in DVDFab to make AVI with H264 + AC3
- Use mkvmerge to create mkv file.
- Use mkv2vob to create non-standard vob file that plays on PS3
Lets start with the obvious questions:
Why not just skip a step and use the generic H264 profile for MKV with audiocopy?
- The existing profile only allows maximum of 5000 bitrate while the PS3 profile allows a maximum of 10000.
- The MKV profiles in DVDFab use the wrong fourcc value for H264 content making the file unreadable by mkv2vob.
Why not just modify the MKV profile?
- Tried that, the fourcc="H264" required to make a compliant file works when creating an AVI but does not work when creating an MKV for some reason (bug?).
Couldn't you just make a profile that creates the vob file directly so we can skip all these steps.
- Tried that too, but it doesn't result in a playable file.
- Maybe DVDFab will able to create the special vob file for the PS3 directly some day. My understanding is that mkv2vob is simply creating a m2ts file and renaming it to vob.
Won't all these steps take a lot of time?
- Actually no, only the first step is time consuming depending upon how fast your PC processor is. The other steps are simply file copies.
- Create a new file under Program Files/DVDFab 5/Profiles and name it something like "ps3.avi.h264.audiocopy.480p.xml"
- Edit the file and put the following:
<profile name="PlayStation 3 - AVI" version="200" device="ps3" tag="dvdfab" description="The profile is used to create avi(h264 + audiocopy) file, which can be played in Playstation 3.">
<file format="avi" mode="0" number="1" />
<audio copy="1" />
<subtitle mode="0" />
<outfps mode="3" value="29.97" list="23.976,24,25,29.97,30" />
<encode codec="h264" fourcc="H264" bitrate_kbps="5000" maxbitrate_kbps="10000" >
<mode value="real_time" list="real_time, high_quality" />
<generic profile="0" level="30" />
- Select PS3 under DVD to Mobile
- Select the source content
- Click Conversion settings and select the "Playstation 3 - AVI" profile
- Encode as usual
- Open mkvmerge GUI from MKVtoolnix
- Select the avi file you just created
- Click Start Muxing
- Open mkv2vob
- Click on Configuration tab[LIST]
[li]Set Video Transcoding to Never (ignore the warning, we know what kind of files we have)[/li]
- Set Output File Extension to vob
Click on Add File tabChoose mkv file created in previous stepChoose destination (can be your streaming server location)Click Add File button
- Set Transcoding Codec to x264
The result is a perfectly playable H264 file for the PS3 with the original AC3 Dolby 5.1 audio.
In the end, re-encoding to H264 did not keep the quality I was looking for. If you are a quality junky like me and aren't afraid of the command line then you'll find instructions to make a high quality MPEG2 file from DVD Film content here: