Page 8 of 10: Method 2: VOB/MPG container with AC3/DTS audio

Step 7.2: VOB/MPG container with AC3/DTS audio

As mentioned previously, this method allows you to use a VOB/MPG container to hold your H.264 file, and allows for AC3 or DTS 5.1 audio. If you chose one of the other methods, you don't need to look at this section/page.

Press the "AutoEncode" button or from the "Tools" drop down menu, select "AutoEncode" to launch the Automatic Encoder setup windows.

MeGUI: Automatic Encoder

This is pretty straight forward - just specify the output size of your video file either as a file size, or as an average bitrate. Note that certain profiles, which are based on quantizer selections, do not let you set an output file size (for the Xbox 360 or PS3 profiles, only the "2-pass" profile allows you to set the file size). Then, make sure the Container is set correctly, to "MKV". For AVI/DivX/XviD conversion, you can get the same quality video at roughly 80% of the original AVI/DivX/XviD file's filesize. For 720p/1080p QuickTime HD (MOV) files, these are already using H.264 so you should try and match the file size whenever possible (again, make sure the "Average Bitrate" is under control). For maximum compatibility with the PS3, the bitrate peaks should not exceed 15 Mbps (15,000 kbit/s, although I've observed brief peaks of more than 25 Mbps that seems to not cause problems, and that the Xbox 360 handled peaks better than the PS3), otherwise you could see skipped playback. There is currently no way to control the bitrate peaks for the encoded file, and so as a general rule, try to keep the average bitrate of the video under 9000 kbit/s. The output location can be changed as well - this file will be the final output file that you want, so make sure you remember where you put it and don't accidentally delete it when cleaning up (I like to put this file in a different folder to all the other files, just in case).

When you're ready, press the "Queue" button and all the necessary jobs will be added to the encoding queue.

Click on the "Queue" tab and all the jobs should be listed there. Below is an example job queue where a trailer is being encoded, an explanation of the queued jobs shown in the screenshot below:

  • job4: Encoding audio track for clip
  • job5: Encoding video, 1st pass for clip
  • job6: Encoding video, 2nd pass for clip
  • job7: Muxing audio and video to MKV for clip

MeGUI: Queue

New in MeGUI 0.2.6 or above is the idea of "workers". This has been introduced to take advantage of multi-core processors, allowing parallel job execution (processing more than one job at a time). Of course, certain jobs are dependent on another previous job being completed before it can begin (for example, job2-4 above requires job2-3 to be finished, and job2-5 requires all previous jobs to be finished), and so parallel execution is not always possible. But if you are encoding multiple video clips at the same time, then parallel execution allows each core of your CPU to be fully utilized at all times, allowing up to 4 video encodings at the same time on a quad core processor, for example. In essense, each "worker" represents a CPU thread that can be run on an individual core - so if you have a dual core processor, then you might want to create two workers, quad-core => 4 workers, etc. Even if you have only a single core CPU, you will still need to create at least one worker before MeGUI can start encoding video. To create a worker, from the "Worker" menu, select the "Create New Worker" option and then enter a name for this new worker.

MeGUI: Create New Worker

Create as many workers as you need (again, 2 for dual-core, 4 for quad-core ...). You can right click on each job to specify which worker it will use, or you can leave it unset and MeGUI will automatically assign workers (recommended). You only need to do this the first time you use MeGUI, as worker settings are remembered.

MeGUI: Send to Worker

When you are ready to start encoding, press the "Start" to start the encoding. You can view the status of your workers by selecting the "Workers Summary" option from the "Workers" menu.

MeGUI: Worker Summary

When it's all finished (and this one could take a while, an hour or more for even a short clip, depending on your CPU), your MKV file should be ready. You can delete all the other files, unless you plan on making more encodings from them. We will now use a trick to convert the MKV file to a VOB/MPG file.

Even though technically the VOB/MPG file requires MPEG-2 video, the way the PS3 software works, a VOB/MPG file with H.264 video and AC3/DTS 5.1 audio will work just fine, and provide you with 5.1 channel audio without the need for an AAC decoder or HDMI PCM 5.1 output. In this step, we will use the mkv2vob package to convert the MKV file to a VOB file (no re-encoding is needed, so the process should only takes a matter of minutes, not hours).

Now that you have the MKV file, we'll use mkv2vob to get it to a format that's compatible with the PS3, without re-encoding. I have written a full mkv2vob guide here, or you can just follow my shortened instructions below.

download mkv2vob and follow the installer. Run the mkv2vob executable Click on the "Add File" tab and use the "Browse" button to load in your "Source File". You should also specify an output location. The "Delete source file after conversion" will remove the source MKV file after conversion, but this is not recommended.

mkv2vob: Add File

When the entire process is finished, the following prompt will show and your VOB/MPG file is ready to use.

You can now proceed to Step 8, which is to get the PS3 to see your VOB/MPG file through TVersity.

I have made a test clip from the instructions in this guide, that you can download. Download the I Am Legend 1080p AC3 5.1 VOB Trailer.



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