Step 8: TVersity: Playing the H.264 file on your PS3
There are two main methods to getting the MP4/VOB/MPG/M2TS to play on your PS3. The first is to use a USB drive/CD/DVD and play it from these media on your PS3 - this is the easiest way to set up, since you all need to do is to copy the MP4/VOB/MPG file to the USB/CD/DVD, and then insert it into your PS3. When using the USB method, make sure you put the video file in a folder named "VIDEO", otherwise you will have to select the USB drive, open up the options using the triangle button, and then select "Display All".
The other way is a bit harder to set up initially, but it will make it easier in the future to play your MP4/VOB/MPG/M2TS files, since you can play them directly from your computer. Basically it involves setting up a UPnP server on your computer and then telling the PS3 to connect to the media server - the PS3 will then be able to read all the media files on your computer and play them back by streaming it across the network.
We will be using TVersity as our media server, mainly because it includes built-in support for the PS3 and supports H.264 MP4/VOB/MPG/M2TS files quite well. I'm using the latest Release Candidate (not final release) version of TVersity due to it being able to support the latest PS3 firmware updates.
At this point, I shall refer you to our TVersity Setup Guide, which features instructions on how to install and configure TVersity. When you have finished following the TVersity tutorial, come back and continue on with the instructions below.
We must first set up the PS3 so that it accepts the media server connection. Go to the Settings -> Network Settings -> and make sure the "Media Server Connection" option is set to "Enabled".
As mentioned before in the MeGUI audio encoding section of this guide, if you have equipment to either decode AAC audio or to accept a PCM 5.1 audio through HDMI, then you can enjoy 5.1 channel audio from your H.264 MP4 file, but you will need to configure the PS3 to output the required audio. If you followed the guide with the alternative VOB/MPG/M2TS file technique, then you don't need to select AAC or PCM 5.1 from the steps below, you only need to ensure AC3 is selected.
If you have an AAC/AC3 compatible decoder/receiver, go to the Settings -> Sound Settings -> Audio Output Settings -> select the type of audio output you are using (HDMI or Optical) and then proceed until you get to the screen that ask you which audio formats your TV/decoder can accept - make sure AAC and/or AC3 are selected.
If you don't have an AAC compatible decoder/receiver, but you do have one that supports PCM 5.1 through HDMI, then go to the Settings -> Sound Settings -> Audio Output Settings -> HDMI -> proceed until you get to the screen that ask you which audio formats your TV/decoder can accept - make sure one of the PCM 5.1 options are selected (depending on which is supported by your decoder).
Connecting to TVersity from the PS3
We finally move on to playing our MP4/VOB/MPG/M2TS file on the PS3. This tutorial assumes you've already setup the PS3 for network and Internet connections. Start TVersity and make sure sharing is enabled.
Now on the PS3, go to the "Video" section. The TVersity icon should show up as one of the video options, with the name of your computer and the words "TVersity Media Server" next to it. If you do not see this, use the "Search for Media Servers" option to get the PS3 to find your computer that is running TVersity.
Select the TVersity server you want to connect to (you can have multiple TVersity servers running, one per computer) and then browse the folders until you get to your sharing folder (eg. Video -> My Video -> Folders -> ...). Your H.264 files should show up and you can simply select them and they should play. You can bring up the "Display" option during playback (using the "Display" button on the Blu-ray remote control, or using the controller to bring up the options select screen and select the "Display" option there) to display information about the current file - the screenshow below shows an AVC (H.264) file playback with the current bitrate at 20.8 Mbps and with AAC 5.1 48 kHz audio.
TVersity also shared pictures and audio files, and you can browse for those as well if you added them into the TVersity sharing section. Audio and image playback should be much more compatible than video playback, so you shouldn't run into any problems there.
Got more questions? Post them in our H.264 Conversion/Encoding or PS3 forum and get them answered by other expert users.
If things didn't go well, then try these troubleshooting tips:
- If you are unable to connect to the computer running TVersity, double check your firewall settings again. Also make sure the TVersity media sharing is actually enabled on the computer.
- Make sure that the PS3 is not already connected to another media server or media center. Use the "Search for Media Servers" function to re-scan for new servers..
- If all else fails, then you might want to post your problem in the official TVersity support forum - remember that TVersity is still in beta, so problems are bound to be present (it's also free).