DivX Converter: PS3/Xbox 360 compatible H.264 Encoding Guide

Original Page URL: http://www.digital-digest.com/articles/DivX_Converter_H264_PS3_Xbox_360_Guide_page1.html
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Date Added: Jan 13, 2009
Date Updated: Jan 13, 2009


DivX 7 introduces H.264 (MPEG-4 AVC) support, both for encoding files and decoding (playing) them. The Pro version of DivX 7 includes a simple one-click encoder called DivX Converter, which supports a wide variety of input formats and allows you to convert them to various DivX profiles, including DivX HD Plus (H.264). The DivX HD Plus profile uses the MKV container format with AAC audio.

This guide shows you how to use the DivX Converter tool to convert your video files to H.264 with AAC audio, and then how to get that file to play on your Xbox 360 or PS3 by converting the MKV file produced to MP4 (without re-encoding).

Note that the file produced will have a file size limit of 4 GB if using MP4, so be wary of this limit and split your files accordingly.

It is obviously advantageous to make sure you are able to playback H.264 clips on your computer first. Otherwise, you can't test what you have encoded until you get the file to your Xbox 360/PS3. Consult our H.264 Playback Guide if you are unsure.

This guide, like the DivX Converter tool, is squarely aimed at beginners.

Software you'll need:

Hardware you'll need (Optional):

  • PS3 (with firmware 2.01 or above)
  • Xbox 360 (with Spring 2007 Update or later)

Step 1: DivX Converter

Download and install DivX Pro 7. Start DivX Converter.

DivX Converter


As you can see, the DivX Converter interface is extremely simply. Right click anywhere within the converter and select "Preferences". Here, you can set some encoding options, the most important being the output folder (by default, it's set to your "My Documents\My Videos\DivX Movies" folder). Press "OK" to close this window when finished.

DivX Converter: Preferences


Back to the main DivX Converter interface, first, use the left/right arrows to select the profile to encode to. In this case, we need to select "DIVX PLUS HD". Then press the "VIEW LIST" button to open the file list. Press the "Add" button and add in the video file you wish to convert the H.264. You can load in multiple video files and each will be converted after one another into separate H.264 files, unless you check the "Combine videos ..." option box, then DivX Converter will combine all input files into one output file with a menu to select which segment to play (accessible on the PC or DivX Ultra certified devices, otherwise the file will just play through each segment one after the other).

DivX Converter: File List


Left click on each loaded file and press the "Modify" button. This brings up the file settings window. Here, we can set a limit to the file size, so that the output file will fit into your storage medium. Otherwise, you can leave the file size up to the DivX encoder, which is not recommended. The estimated file size is shown below, make sure this is what you need (to be safe, you should make sure the file size limit is set a couple of MBs below the actual capacity of your storage medium, as sometimes the encoder can go over the set file limit by a couple of MBs.

DivX Converter: File Settings


Back to the main DivX Converter interface, press the "CONVERT" button to start the conversion process. The process should take a few minutes to a few hours, depending on the length of your input video - the conversion progress is shown. Once done, DivX Converter will inform you and you can use the "View Files" button to get Windows Explorer to open the folder that contains the output video file(s).

DivX Converter: Conversion Progress


DivX Converter: Conversion Complete


We've now got our MKV file with H.264 video and AAC audio. The next page/step will show you how to get this file to play on your Xbox 360 or PS3.



Step 2: MKV to MP4

In this step, we'll convert our MKV file to MP4. We don't need to re-encode the file, as we'll basically extract the H.264 and AAC tracks from the MKV file using MKVExtractGUI and then multiplex the two streams into a MP4 container.

MKVExtractGUI requires MKVToolnix to be installed first, so go and download and install Windows version of MKVToolnix. This should, by default, install MKVToolnix to "C:\Program Files\MKVtoolnix". Now download the MKVExtractGUI ZIP package and extract it to the directory where MKVToolnix is installed. This should create a "MKVExtractGUI" sub-folder under the main MKVToolnix folder, with 4 files. Move these 4 files down to the main MKVToolnix directory, so that MKVextractGUI.exe and mkvextract.exe are in the same folder.

MKVToolnix


Start MKVExtractGUI by opening the executable (MKVextractGUI.exe).

MKVExtractGUI


Press the "..." button next to the "Input" text box to load in your input MKV file. The "Content" text box should now show the two tracks present in the MKV file (what will be listed as "V_MPEG4/ISO/AVC" and "A_AAC"). Check the two checkboxes for the two streams and press the "Extract" button to extract these two streams as separate files. The stream files will be saved in the same folder as your input file by default if you haven't changed the output location. You can close MKVExtractGUI when the extraction process is finished.

MKVExtractGUI: Contents


You should now have two extra files, a .h264 file and a .aac file.

Demuxed files


Now we'll put these two streams into a MP4 container. There are many tools to do this, but since I've already written some brief instructions for YAMB, I'll use this tool. The instructions are here, just follow the "MP4 Multiplexing" instructions in the middle of the page. Note with .h264 files, you'll have to manually enter the framerate. This should be the same value as your original input file - you can find the framerate of video files using various tools, such as MediaInfo. Once YAMB finishes, you should now have a MP4 file.

This file will be ready to play on the Xbox 360 and PS3 without further modification. To play the MP4 file on your Xbox 360, please follow the instructions on this page. The PS3 equivalent of the instructions can be found here. And we're finished!



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