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Help me watch my games on my TV, as it was meant to be.
April 29, 2012 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Looking for programs that will reliably change .mkv files to files watchable on a PS3 or iPad.

I've been using various programs for a while, and they all have shortcomings. I've used MKV2VOB, aura, and several other programs, but they all sort of suck. MKV2VOB has pretty much stopped working (I need to use MKVmerge to remux the file before I even put it into MKV2VOB), and now every time I try to use it, I get a message that tsmuxer.exe has failed, and the program crashes. Aura seems to keep crashing too.

What I'm looking for is a simple, no frills program that I can just click on an output profile. I want to be able to say "This one will be played on my iPad. This one will be played on my PS3." If there's a good, free player out there, I'd love to hear about it, but at this point (after years of dealing with the annoyance) I'm willing to pay for a program, rather than lug my laptop downstairs and plug it in to the TV over HDMI.

Nuts and bolts: Windows 7 64 bit, yes, I know about PS3 Media Server, but my PS3 runs off of wifi, and I don't think it can handle streaming a 720p file for two hours.
posted by Ghidorah to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
Have you taken a look at Handbrake? It's got presets for iPad, not sure about PS3 but I bet you can whip up a preset if you know what output form you'll need.
posted by musicismath at 6:46 PM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


AVPlayerHD can play .mkv files (along with wifi file transfer) on your iPad.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:47 PM on April 29, 2012


I use BuzzPlayer on the iPad to watch pretty much any file. It can stream files or transfer them.
posted by sid at 6:50 PM on April 29, 2012


IIRC, the "Normal" preset in Handbrake works for both PS3 and iPad, though you might have to scale it down to 720p if your source is higher def than that? If so, you can then save that as another preset of your own.

(FWIW, I've never found the Windows builds of Handbrake to be much chop. Plenty of people seem to be happy with it, though, so I'll just assume it's some oddity of the PCs I've tried it on…)
posted by Pinback at 7:34 PM on April 29, 2012


I've got Goodplayer on my iPad, which lets me watch mkv files, but it's pretty buggy, and it freaks out if I try pausing it. Synching is also a major issue. One of my main goals is watching NBA games, and having the sound just a little off from the picture is maddening (especially hearing the sound of the ball hitting the rim while the shot is still in the air).
posted by Ghidorah at 7:35 PM on April 29, 2012


Huh, I didn't realize Handbrake had a version for Windows. I'd always thought it was a Mac program.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:38 PM on April 29, 2012


The fact that mkv2vob just stopped working makes me wonder if your more recent source video is encoded with settings incompatible with the PS3 or if it has Cinavia (blech). Is your video encoded in profile level 4.1?

Have you tried ps3muxer or GOTSent?

And don't use Handbrake unless you plan on trans-coding the video, which will reduce quality and possibly take forever.
posted by drpynchon at 7:42 PM on April 29, 2012


drpynchon, I'm not sure if I understand correctly, but are you asking about the file on the PS3? I'm not even getting to that step, MKV2VOB is just crashing, full-stop as soon as it starts on the video. I used to use GOTsent, but it was pretty buggy, too. I'll look into it again, as well as ps3muxer, thanks.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:45 PM on April 29, 2012


Try Free Video To Tablet PC Converter. Be careful and slow as you install it, it tries to install a browser toolbar but you can opt out. I have only tested it on one file, one specific conversion, but it was OK for that.
posted by caclwmr4 at 7:47 PM on April 29, 2012


Handbrake. The Windows version is good now, too.
posted by Nelson at 7:59 PM on April 29, 2012


The fact that mkv2vob just stopped working makes me wonder if your more recent source video is encoded with settings incompatible with the PS3

The problem isn't that the source video isn't compatible with the ps3. When that happens, mkv2vob just transcodes. The problem is that mkv2vob (or one of its components, tsmuxer?) is incompatible with a compression switch. My understanding is that an authoring tool started to default to turning this switch on, which freaks out mkv2vob.

I can't see why conversion software would notice cinavia.

I don't remember if I've used it for converting mkvs for ps3 use, but I've had generally good look with anvsoft's Any Video Converter (nagware, iirc) as a general toolkit.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:20 PM on April 29, 2012


I used to have great luck with tsmuxer for getting mkvs playable on the PS3 with minimum fuss. It would only work if your source video/audio streams are playable by the PS3, though.
posted by wierdo at 8:40 PM on April 29, 2012


You want MPEG Streamclip! Free and awesome.
posted by yellowbinder at 8:49 PM on April 29, 2012


The problem isn't that the source video isn't compatible with the ps3. When that happens, mkv2vob just transcodes. The problem is that mkv2vob (or one of its components, tsmuxer?) is incompatible with a compression switch. My understanding is that an authoring tool started to default to turning this switch on, which freaks out mkv2vob.


Oh sorry op, I thought it was the output from mkv2vob that wasn't working. If ROU_Xenophobe is correct, I wonder if it has to do with header compression. Can you check and make sure that you have DISABLED header removal compression under "mmg options" on each track (MUST do this for every track) in mkvmerge during remux before you pass through to mkv2vob? This might well be the problem as it causes issues for lots of software.
posted by drpynchon at 8:53 PM on April 29, 2012


I gave it a try with ps3muxer, but the sound is at least a full second out of whack with the video, and the settings for handbrake don't include a ps3 profile. Giving Any Video Converter a try next.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:24 PM on April 29, 2012


So far, Any Video Converter produced a horrible, pixelated video, and the video I made with gotsent worked fine until nine or so minutes in, the sound cut out, and I lost the ability to fast forward, or even restart the file. I'm giving ps3muxer one more chance. Still, pretty much out of time to watch the game tonight. Thanks for all the help.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:07 AM on April 30, 2012


For the iPad, have you tried FlexPlayer? It lets you copy files directly to the iPad without converting, and I've found the playback is excellent.

(Copying files can be a bit confusing at first. You need to have your iPad connected in iTunes, then click on the device name in the left-hand menu. Choose the Apps tab along the top, and scroll down to where it says File Sharing. Choose FlexPlayer, and then you can select which files to copy over.)
posted by Georgina at 3:44 AM on April 30, 2012


Just because Handbrake doesn't have a "PS3" setting doesn't mean you should ignore it. You can play with the settings for creating an mp4 (which I believe is what you're really looking for). Obviously, the PS3 can handle a much higher resolution and bitrate than the iPad, so experiment with the settings.
posted by kuanes at 4:14 AM on April 30, 2012


Handbrake is what I use for this purpose. Many MKVs, especially DVDrips/BDrips, come with audio in the AC3 format, which is not supported by iPad (not even by the awesome VLC for iPad). Your converting computer may support it, but PS3 may not. You'll have to convert both the container type (to mp4) and the audio (probably to mp3 or aac), in addition to any video transcoding required.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:54 AM on April 30, 2012


I gave it a try with ps3muxer, but the sound is at least a full second out of whack with the video, and the settings for handbrake don't include a ps3 profile. Giving Any Video Converter a try next.

FWIW, a Google search brought up several results that say running the "High Profile" preset creates a PS3-compatible file.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:39 AM on April 30, 2012


I recently figured out how to get Handbrake to output videos that I could playback on my buddy's Xbox 360 using this article, which also has a section about PS3. It says all you need to do is "use the High Profile and leave the default settings. In the Destination field, manually change the file extension to .mp4."
posted by Edogy at 7:45 AM on April 30, 2012


Yeah, Handbrake can do PS3. It's annoying they removed the PS3 preset in 2009, but if you just recode the video to "normal" or "high" settings it will work. Just for reference, here's what the Handbrake team said when they removed the preset
There are no more presets for the PSP, PS3, or Xbox 360. Quite frankly, they didn't work well. None of the development team members own the devices, so testing was minimal and support was nonexistent. Keeping up with the firmware vagaries and ambiguous specifications of these devices was not fun--we get enough of that from Apple's kit, and those we all have around to test on. The new "Normal" preset should work perfectly fine on any device that supports standard Main Profile H.264 with AAC-LC audio in an MP4 file, which the PS3 and 360 ostensibly do.
The article Edogy links looks good, but skip straight to the PS3 section if all the details overwhelms you.
posted by Nelson at 8:58 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't done it in a while, but I can definitely say that Handbrake's "normal" profile has worked for my PS3 in the past. In fact, in my experience, the "Universal" profile under the Apple section turns out an MP4 file that plays back on nearly everything I've tried it in, including my PS3, so I only need to keep one file around. YMMV.
posted by raygan at 9:30 AM on April 30, 2012


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