How-To for PS3

nutmac

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 30, 2004
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My sister's family was very kind to give PS3 for Christmas. I have looked everywhere for a guide on using PS3 with a Mac, but nothing definitive.

Here's my month-long impression.

Streaming seems to be the least painful solution. For details on streaming, there's a helpful thread on using open sourced PS3 Media Server. 1.10.5 (March 2009) is the latest stable version, but I found the beta build 382 (January 30, 2010) to be stable enough and more pleasant to use. PS3 Media Server is a Java app, so the user interface isn't the greatest.

In short, streaming apps allow your Intel-based Macs to act as a DLNA server that PS3 can understand, transcoding audio and video on-the-fly as needed. (It would be nice if iTunes adds DLNA streaming in the future.)

Nullriver's MediaLink is an alternative with much nicer UI (resides on the Preferences pane). But it's a $20 commercial app. The latest version (2.0b6) is in beta (and therefore seems to be essentially free for now).

PS3 video implementation: Although PS3 uses Linux-based file system for internal hard disk (probably EXT2), it allows only FAT-formatted USB storage. FAT does not support file size larger than 4 GB so to get around it, you will need to use one of the streaming apps, either stream or copy files into internal hard disk over the network (triggered by the triangle "option" button when browsing video files).

On the whole, PS3 does pretty good job upscaling video to whatever resolution you need, and the overall playback performance is smooth and responsive. On the down side, there aren't a ton of playback options (e.g., cannot force aspect ratio) and there's no playlist for video (just one big huge list of video files).

I am using $20 BD remote from Sony, which improves the user experience tremendously. But the UI remains so so still. And it is inconsistent at remembering the last played position. Sony releases firmware update every few months, so I am hoping the situation will improve.

Since PS3 supports wider range of codecs than Apple TV, I assumed using Handbrake to rip my DVD collection would work. I quickly learned that just about every codecs and containers it supports have a gotcha or two.

MP4 container: PS3 allows only H.264 High Profile video with AAC LC audio. I like using AC3 passthrough to maintain original multichannel audio but if you transcode this way, PS3 will only display images without sound. If your receiver has HDMI multichannel PCM support, you will be able to use multichannel AAC option, but mine doesn't and I hesitate to transcode lossy audio into another lossy format. In addition, PS3 does not support subtitle nor chapter stops within MP4 container.

AVI container: My wife watches international programmings in DivX container (yes, these contents are legal). PS3 seems to support most DivX files fine (with MP3 or AC3 audio), but increasing number of contents are using Xvid with H.264, which it doesn't support consistently. If you are looking for most space saving container with AC3 audio, AVI is probably the way to go, but I haven't found a good app that does this for Mac.

DVD VOB: DVD's VIDEO_TS directory contains a bunch of files with .VOB extension. I rip my DVD collection using RipIt, a $20 software. If you rename them into .MP4, PS3 will play them. But it does not let you change audio or select subtitle. In addition, chapter search won't work. And because most DVDs have multiple VOB files for main feature, you will need to name the MP4 files with a numerical postfix (e.g., "Cars - 1.mp4") and enable "sequential playback" option hidden in PS3's settings.

MT2S: This appears to be the best solution. I use MakeMKV app (free) to convert ripped DVD into MKV container (it supports BD as well). This process does not transcode audio nor video in anyway, 100% identical in quality as the original. I normally select only the main feature and audio that I am interested in. MakeMKV isn't super stable yet, so ripping some titles may not work.

If you prefer to play files locally (if you prefer streaming, PS3 MediaLink will mux MKV on-the-fly), I "mux" MKV files into MT2S container using tsMuxeR. If you are using Snow Leopard, look for comments from VoxMac or his/her page at Use tsMuxeR on Snow Leopard. VoxMac built a version that won't crash (you may need to follow his other comment to delete or rename two Korean fonts as well). Select M2TS as the output and mux away. The final file (with .M2TS extension) will play in PS3 in full original quality. Chapter stops won't function but I found 5-minute scene jump to be good enough.
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
1
What's been your experience with wireless streaming? It's been completely worthless for me thus far, making the PS3 as a streaming front end a non-starter. The ATV works perfectly with the same files, same network, same physical location, etc. It's the PS3 wireless networking that's been a bust for me.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 30, 2004
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What's been your experience with wireless streaming?
I, too, found WiFi to be inconsistent for streaming. I have RJ45 so I could wire PS3 if I wanted to, but I prefer not to leave iMac (with PS3 MediaServer) running all the time.

So I copy files over the network and play them locally (USB external for files less than 4 GB). It peeves me that PS3 does not copy files on the background though. I have to leave it running overnight to batch copy multiple files.
 

pbelmore

macrumors member
May 3, 2006
35
0
Seattle, WA
Just a quick note on organization: If you hit triangle while in the video screen, you can tell the PS3 to sort by album, which I use to organize my video library. I have different albums for each TV series, as well as one album for Movies. On the same screen that comes up when you hit triangle, you can also see the information (for either a specific video file or an entire album) which allows you to change the album name.

If you already have a lot of files on the PS3 it might not help, but what I do is copy over a group of files at the same time that are the same type (such as 3-4 movies I just ripped or a few discs of a TV show) and then select the new album (which when copied to the PS3 is named by the date, if I recall correctly), edit the information to change the album name, and voila!

If you have any questions, let me know, explanations that make sense in my head don't always translate well to the screen!
 

dont24

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2005
241
2
Northeast
Same here, as far as PS3 wifi goes. Photos and music no issues. Movies have been mixed at best. Example: I have a IOmega Home Media Network drive. wifi streaming to my 360s was perfect. Movies to the PS3 was always stuttering. No longer have the PS3. Will be purchasing an ATV soon.
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 30, 2004
4,171
2,031
Just a quick note on organization: If you hit triangle while in the video screen, you can tell the PS3 to sort by album, which I use to organize my video library. I have different albums for each TV series, as well as one album for Movies. On the same screen that comes up when you hit triangle, you can also see the information (for either a specific video file or an entire album) which allows you to change the album name.
I've looked for sort by album option on PS3's video screen (by hitting the triangle) but nada.
 

pbelmore

macrumors member
May 3, 2006
35
0
Seattle, WA
I've looked for sort by album option on PS3's video screen (by hitting the triangle) but nada.
I'm away from my PS3 at the moment, but from what I've been able to find online, you first have to edit some video files' albums in the information screen in order to sort album. I guess the sort by album command won't show up until there are actually albums to sort.

Sorry for the confusion!
 

mrgreen4242

macrumors 601
Feb 10, 2004
4,352
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I wonder if using MediaLink makes a difference because my wireless streaming experience has been good thus far.
I tried the demo of medialink as well as PS3 media server and neither worked for me. What sort of wireless router are you using? I'm using an Airport Express (.11g model) and wonder if the PS3 just "doesn't like it".
 

HarryKeogh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 25, 2008
594
743
Anybody have any suggestions for my problem..

Whether I use Vuze, PS3 Media Server or Medialink I have the same issue. My PS3 sees the media servers and I could see the files I want to play when I click on them but nothing plays. Just a black screen. Can't stream or copy the files even though the PS3 lists them.
 

jeremy.king

macrumors 603
Jul 23, 2002
5,478
1
Fuquay Varina, NC
I tried the demo of medialink as well as PS3 media server and neither worked for me. What sort of wireless router are you using? I'm using an Airport Express (.11g model) and wonder if the PS3 just "doesn't like it".
Airport Extreme N. Most of my movies are mp4 encoded with h.264 at a target bitrate of 2500kbps (handbrake).
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
nice thread :D

if you can tell me how to playback my ripped BDs (mkv format) then everything will be sweeeta ;)

i currently stream to my PS3 (gigabit ethernet) using PS3MS.

check my detailed thread about it for information on settings and whatnot.

PS3MS Thread
 

nutmac

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 30, 2004
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no! i refuse to have to convert all my ripped .mkvs into crappy m4vs! :mad: ;)
You could convert MKV to M2TS format like I suggested (via tsMuxeR). M2TS is a container format used by AVCHD camcorders and Blu-Ray and like MKS, it leaves the original video and audio tracks completely intact (no transcoding quality degradation).
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
You could convert MKV to M2TS format like I suggested (via tsMuxeR). M2TS is a container format used by AVCHD camcorders and Blu-Ray and like MKS, it leaves the original video and audio tracks completely intact (no transcoding quality degradation).
thanks. i would do that, but i get an error :(

i go "add" on the input tab, select my mkv file and i get the error :(

(version 1.10.6)

edit: apparently it has something to do with subtitles?
 

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Mister9

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2008
151
0
thanks. i would do that, but i get an error :(

i go "add" on the input tab, select my mkv file and i get the error :(

(version 1.10.6)

edit: apparently it has something to do with subtitles?
I'm getting the same thing... I was really hoping this would work too :(

Thanks anyways tho
 

DoFoT9

macrumors P6
Jun 11, 2007
17,494
26
Singapore
Wirelessly posted (nokia e63: Mozilla/5.0 (SymbianOS/9.2; U; Series60/3.1 NokiaE63-1/100.21.110; Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 ) AppleWebKit/413 (KHTML, like Gecko) Safari/413)

Mister9 said:
thanks. i would do that, but i get an error :(

i go "add" on the input tab, select my mkv file and i get the error :(

(version 1.10.6)

edit: apparently it has something to do with subtitles?
I'm getting the same thing... I was really hoping this would work too :(

Thanks anyways tho
frustrating Hey.. Grr
 

dagomike

macrumors 65816
Jun 22, 2007
1,450
1
If we could get the PS3 to PCM/bitstream TrueHD/DTS-MA HD I'd be happy. As far as I know, that's not possible except from a physical BD.
 

VoxMac

macrumors newbie
Dec 24, 2009
23
0
Belgium
If you prefer to play files locally (if you prefer streaming, PS3 MediaLink will mux MKV on-the-fly), I "mux" MKV files into MT2S container using tsMuxeR. If you are using Snow Leopard, look for comments from VoxMac or his/her page at Use tsMuxeR on Snow Leopard. VoxMac built a version that won't crash (you may need to follow his other comment to delete or rename two Korean fonts as well).
By the way my initial post was on this forum and not in instantitunes (where i'm not the owner) ! Have a look here

VoxMac
 

adstan

macrumors newbie
Mar 18, 2010
1
0
If we could get the PS3 to PCM/bitstream TrueHD/DTS-MA HD I'd be happy. As far as I know, that's not possible except from a physical BD.
You could... PCM in m2ts can be streamed to PS3 via PMS (or MediaLink).

TrueHD and DTS-MA needs to be converted to PCM and muxed with the Video as m2ts as before playing.

I am using Windows freely available software to perform the abovementioned... following the steps of this post:
http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/704460

Make sure the PCM sound output is enabled in PS3... last but not least (and obviously), you need a HDMI receiver if you want to play 6 or more channels.

To date, I have successfully converted TrueHD (TopGun) and DTS-MA (Zombieland) MKVs to m2ts and stream it to my PS3.
 

Manuganu

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2010
6
0
I've been up all night using tsmuxer for snow leopard and once I convert from mkv to mt2s then transfer the movie to a FAT hard drive for my PS3, the movie will play...but with no sound.
Please help!
 

Mister9

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2008
151
0
I've been up all night using tsmuxer for snow leopard and once I convert from mkv to mt2s then transfer the movie to a FAT hard drive for my PS3, the movie will play...but with no sound.
Please help!
Do you have a surround sound system?



Try opening the file in VLC on your computer. Does it sound like squeeling demonic pterodactyls?
 

Manuganu

macrumors newbie
Jun 4, 2010
6
0
I dont have sorround sound. The sound works great on the VLC, but it doesnt work on my PS3 for some reason. Just absolutely no sound.
I don't know what to do????
i select the MKV file and check off the DTS and VIDEO, click on M2ts and convert, then it works on VLC, but once I transfer to an external FAT32 hard-drive and play on the PS3, there is video, but no sound.
:(