HandBrake and PS3, Part II


At the beginning of the month I discussed the Mac OSX application HandBrake. I wanted to use this application to rip DVD’s to watch on my PS3. I have a NAS on which I wanted to store some of my DVD images. I ran into some problems, the main one being that HandBrake produced an MP4 file that the PS3 couldn’t read.

But recently a new version of HandBrake was released – 0.8.5 beta 1 – which promised to fix that. It has a preset for PS3 video, which is great, though it took me a while to find. (There’s a button near the top that says “presets” which when pressed will open a drawer. That wasn’t very obvious.)

These are my experiences.

Encoding

I wanted to create a high-quality MP4 of a DVD, so in HandBrake I chose to set the file size to 3.5GB – large but it would still fit on a MemoryStick if required. I also set it to use 2-pass encoding. Well, after a couple hours of chugging along on my MacBook, HandBrake unexpectantly quit. Nice.

So last night I just decided to use the PS3 defaults and encode the video that way. That worked fine. It create an MP4 file just over 2GB in size.

Transfer to PS3

I wanted to store my video on my NAS (a ReadyNAS NV+) and access it from a webpage on my PS3. But for some reason, my PS3 can see the file structure on my NAS, but it can’t actually read any files. Which is annoying.

So I used mcloki’s instructions to set up a web server on my Mac. My PS3 saw the directory structure just fine. I put a JPG in there to test, and the PS3 could view it just fine. Great! I plunked the video into my Mac sharing folder, and the PS3 saw that it was there (after a quick refresh). I clicked on it and my PS3 prompted me to save. So far so good. So I saved the file on my PS3′s HDD, but the PS3 downloaded it as size 0! It showed up in my PS3′s video folder as a size 0 file that the PS3 does not recognize. Bummer.

So I re-encoded just one chapter of the DVD to see if maybe it was a file size issue, and that was it. The PS3 downloaded the 200MB MP4 just fine. And the cool thing is that background downloading works for downloading using the web browser!

Playing MP4 on PS3

So I played back the smaller video, and that worked fine. Well, mostly. I didn’t get 5.1 surround sound – just ProLogic-encoded stereo. So I went back to HandBrake and looked at the audio encoding options. It was a little confusing. I think what it said was that you could select both the source audio and the destination audio. The destination was set to Dolby ProLogic II. So I changed that to “6 discrete channels” or something like that, and re-encoded a bit of the movie.

On the PS3 side, however, it still showed up as two-channel audio. Anybody know how to fix this?

Remaining Questions

So that leaves me with three problems to fix. If anybody could help me with any of them, I’d really appreciate it:

  1. How do I transfer files from my NAS? Why can I download files from my Mac’s webserver, but not from my NAS’s webserver? If I remember correctly, I see a little lock symbol in the address bar when accessing the NAS. Is that relevant?
  2. How do I transfer files to my PS3 over a webpage that are really big? Like 2GB?
  3. How do I get 5.1 surround sound encoded in my MP4′s?

Ideas anyone?


Written by: Blackstaffer - News Contributor


  1. #1 by mcloki on April 25th, 2007 [ 2355 Points ]

    I can’t answer #1. Since I’m still experimenting with stuff. Nothing is a great solution as of yet.

    2. There’s no gig limit as far as I’ve seen. But i’ll check that out this weekend, hopefully. Life keeps intruding. It’s been Christenings and Birthdays sucking up most of my time.

    3. I’ll look into that. But I believe that’s one of the things that gets sacrificed first. Again something to look into.

    I’ve also heard of Red KAWA and some of their software. I just got it so I’ll play around with it. I don’t mind hacking around but it’s a lot of work for something that should be a button press.

    Again the PS3 just cries out for an Itunes/front Row like solution. It would turn the PS3 into a fantastic media center with great download capability overnight.
    I don’t like the PS Store. It’s a bit ugly and hard to navigate. And I’m surprised that Apple can have a fully functioning media centre that is run by a remote control with essentially one button. But Sony has a ham handed store, that’s slow, Browser is weak, and harder to navigate.

  2. #2 by mcloki on April 25th, 2007 [ 2355 Points ]

    And now that you’ve shown the website I’m going to have to spruce it up a bit to make it look good.

  3. #3 by Segitz on April 25th, 2007 [ 1470 Points ]

    Afaik, theres yet not way to make videos that are multi channel compatible yet. I have read about this issue on the PS3 board (the official one) a while back.

    AC3 does not work either, albeit all DVDs sport this a its native dolby soundtrack and work as 5.1 multichannel (tried it myself)

  4. #4 by B4tm4n on April 26th, 2007

    I had problems transfering media files larger than aprox 1Gb via the built in web server on my mac aswell. I then found Vilvic Media Center and this lets you download large files with ease, and I mean large I ‘ve transfered files up to 18Gb with this app and its runs on both Mac and PC’s.

    http://www.vilvic.com/index.html

    Use the latest version I had an older version and it would transfer files over 1GB.

    Good luck.

  5. #5 by B4tm4n on April 26th, 2007

    Forgot to say while its downloading the progress bar on your PS3 screen will stay at 100% all the way till its done, so don’t think its stalled just wait till it tells you its done.

  6. #6 by Scott on April 28th, 2007

    I believe that with Apache 1.3 (should be the default on Panther, 2.0 is default on Tiger) there was a directive to increase the max file size served. It needed to be increased for files larger than 2GB. I tried digging it up on the Apache site, but I couldn’t find it.

  7. #7 by B4tm4n on April 29th, 2007

    I think the default Apache is still 1.3 on Tiger.

  8. #8 by Spencer on May 10th, 2007

    I managed to get this up and running. The new Handbrake (.8.5b1) has a PS3 preset that looks fantastic. I had a bit of trouble at first. If you have had a previous incarnation of Handbrake (especially, the one right before .8.5b1) you need to run the “update presets” feature before you encode or it will use the old incompatible settings.

    I use Vilvic to transfer files right off my Mac to the PS3. Background downloading is awesome.

    My only problem: encoding is about 3:1 on my powerbook G4. Yikes!

  9. #9 by Henning on May 10th, 2007 [ 0 Points ]

    The only problem I’m having is that I can’t encode my MP4′s with 5.1 surround sound.

  10. #10 by Spencer on May 10th, 2007

    I think the consensus on that is that you can encode the a 5.1 AC3 track or an 6-channel AAC track into the MP4 file itself, but the PS3 won’t play it back. I’m not sure if that mean it won’t play at all or if that means it will play 2-channels only. A future PS3 update would be able to support this, though.

  11. #11 by Spencer on May 10th, 2007

    To follow up, I tested a DVD encoded with AAC/Dolby Pro Logic II, which could conceivable play 5-channel sound on my HDTV with a surround sound setup, but I only got 2 channels out of the PS3. I hope Sony will enable this feature in the future.

  12. #12 by Robin on January 13th, 2008

    I’ve ripped a movie using Handbrake with the PS3 preset using Handbrake 0.8.5b1. Currently using PS3 firmware 2.10. I tried playing the file but I only get sound. I’ve tried ripping using the latest Handbrake with the PS3 preset, it still not working. Any suggestions? BTW, the level=41 x.264 option is on.

  13. #13 by Henning on January 13th, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    Dunno man. I stopped using Handbrake after I realized I couldn’t encode 5.1 surround sound.

  14. #14 by Robin on January 14th, 2008

    But you were able to get picture and sound to playback on the PS3, correct?

  15. #15 by Henning on January 14th, 2008 [ 0 Points ]

    Yes, but I didn’t do anything beyond what I’ve already said in the article above.

  16. #16 by Robin on January 14th, 2008

    Thank you.


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