27 Replies Latest reply on Sep 8, 2009 8:51 PM by Jay Friesen

    Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file

    akira3d Level 1

      I've been doing a lot of tests and I can't seem to find a combination of settings that will produce a mp4 h264 video file I can play back on the PlayStation 3.  I've compared my settings with game trailers I've downloaded from the PlayStation Store and I can see that I have almost everything set the same regarding h264 (I'm using Main, Level 4.0) and AAC.  The only place where I think I have an issue is in the multiplexer.


      If I choose standard multiplexing, I cannot play the file at all on the PS3.  Looking at the mp4 info using MediaInfo, I see that the Codec ID's match (mp42), but I'm missing "Format profile: Base Media / Version 2".


      If I choose iPod multiplexing, I can almost play the file on the PS3, but it freezes the system (requiring a reboot).  Looking at the mp4 info using MediaInfo, the Codec ID for this file is "m4v"...and I'm still missing "Format profile: Base Media / Version 2".


      In both cases, MediaInfo lists the incompatible file's video ID as 1, audio ID as 2.  All of the working files have the video ID as 2, audio ID as 1.


      I would REALLY like to be able to do this, because a PS3 compatible MP4 h264 file will play nicely on my PC, PS3, stream from my media server to my PS3, and upload to various media hosting sites...making it a very convenient format to target.

        • 1. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
          akira3d Level 1

          An interesting footnote: while After Effects CS4 renders an equally incompatible mp4 h264 file, MediaInfo finds the "Format profile: Base Media / Version 2".  So the only thing I can see that's different between working and non-working files are the video and audio track IDs

          • 2. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
            akira3d Level 1

            Now I'm really confused.  I've noticed in the past that I can download mp4 .h264 clips from SmugMug and play them on my PS3 with no problem even though they have the video ID as 1 and audio ID as 2.  So maybe I'm wrong about that being the problem.


            Only catch with the SmugMug files is that they do not use the same AVC profile (Baseline Level 3.0) as the ones I am trying to encode...and they are a bit more compressed than what I'd like to store on my media server.

            • 3. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              Sounds like you are burning the resulting file to DVD and trying to play on the PS3?   Ive never attempted that.  But I have burned blu ray disks just accepting the default blu ray settings and they play fine in PS3's... fyi

              • 4. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                mickkeay Level 1

                Try TSMuxeR  (1.9.1 beta I think) You can correct the AVC level. I tried a while back and got it to output m2ts and burnt with IMGBurn and the result was OK on a PS3

                • 5. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                  akira3d Level 1

                  The plan isn't to go to an optical disk format at this time (these clips are not large enough to justify burning to disk...I just want to be able to stream them over DLNA from a central media server).  As mentioned above, it's convenient to keep them in .mp4 h264 format simply because the files I have that do work play well on both PC and PS3 and can be uploaded to my photo/video hosting service.  I just can't seem to match the settings straight from Premiere Pro CS4 (Adobe Media Encoder) or After Effects CS4, which seems odd given that I can specify h264 profiles and levels and AAC settings that compare with working files.


                  I still suspect it has something to do with video and audio multiplexing.  I have successfully authored compatible mp4 files in the past with other tools (weird thing is that I could have sworn I used Adobe Media Encoder to do this when I first got CS4), I would just like to reduce the need for encoding an uncompressed file before going to my target.

                  • 6. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file

                    Try exporting your project to the media encoder and selecting the format "h264 bluray"

                    • 7. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                      p6889k Level 1

                      I'm strugling with the same problem. I'm trying to export DV AVI to H.264 for playback on PC and also for streaming to PS3. Here is what I've tried:


                      1. BlueRay H.264, TS Muxing, CBR 10Mbps, Dolby Digital 2 Channel

                      This creates a *.m2t file.

                      On PC: choppy playback, able to fast forward

                      On PS3: plays well, fast forward is slow/choppy

                      I'm unable to extract the raw streams via TsMuxer.


                      2. BlueRay H.264, No Muxing, CBR 10Mbps, Dolby Digital 2 Channel

                      This creates a *.m4v and *.ac3 file. Both files are then muxed into M2TS via TsMuxer.

                      On PC: plays well, unable to fast forward - audio keeps playing, but video stops

                      On PS3: plays well, fast forward doesn't work


                      3. BlueRay H.264, TS Muxing, CBR 10Mbps, PCM Audio

                      I get an error message that PCM Audio is not allowed. I would have thought that it shouldn't be an option if it's not compatible with TS Muxing.


                      4. BlueRay H.264, No Muxing, CBR 10Mbps, PCM

                      This creates a *.m4v and *.wav file. Both files are then muxed into M2TS via TsMuxer.

                      On PC: plays well, unable to fast forward - audio keeps playing, but video stops

                      On PS3: plays well, fast forward doesn't work



                      Exporting to various formats of MPEG2 works great on both PC and PS3.


                      H.264 files and MP4 files generated by other tools, e.g. Nero Recode, play great on both PC and PS3.


                      I think that for the moment that I will stick to MPEG2 and recode everything in the future to H.264 after I figure out a workable solution.

                      • 8. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                        akira3d Level 1

                        Thanks.  Thiks doesn't exactly solve my problem, but it certainly saves me a lot of frustrating trial and error.  I just started trying to deal with m2ts files, but couldn't get the sound to work.  I also chanced resolution being an issue (one clip encoded at 852x480 took the pixels along the right edge and stretched them to the right for at least 10 pixels), but it doesn't appear to have an impact on the compatibility.  And I've tried a few AVC Profiles (from 3.0 through 4.1, primarily main and baseline) with no success.


                        Weird thing is I did encode a few 1080p mp4 h264 clips from my Canon 5D Mark II late last year when I downloaded a trial copy of Premiere Pro CS4 before buying the Production Premium CS4 Suite...and those clips play okay on the PS3 (did have some issues) and PC.  This was part of the reason I went ahead and made the purchase!

                        • 9. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                          p6889k Level 1

                          I remember when I first tried creating MP4 files from Adobe Media Encoder CS3, that I was able to play some files on PS3, but only if they were extremley small, I think they were under 1 minute. Anything bigger than that never worked. I eventually gave up on it and was now hoping that CS4 may have some improvements. I just tried to create a small MP4 file in CS4 and it doesn't work, even after I remuxed it into M2TS.


                          Also, not sure if you're aware, but PS3 will not play MP4 file that's larger than 4GB, even if it's being streamed. The only way to play H.264 larger than 4GB is if it's inside of M2TS.


                          Please post back here if you ever find a solution.

                          • 10. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                            p6889k Level 1

                            I just did few more tests. I was able to create m2ts that played great on both PC and PS3. The key was to make sure that the output is Progressive and not Interlaced. What I did was select H.264 Profile, Set appropriate fps, in my case for PAL video I tried both 25 and 50, Field Order set to Progressive. Multiplexer set to None (MP4 still doesn't work), Audio set to LPCM. This created two files m4v and wav, I muxed them together with TsMuxer into M2TS and the resulting file played great on both PC and PS3, with proper fastforward search. If I repeat the steps, but switch from Progressive to Interlace, I start having problems.

                            • 11. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                              p6889k Level 1

                              Ok, one more test. I think I finaly figured it out. The Progressive mode worked because when I used Interlaced, I have incorrectly selected Lower field instead of Upper field on my PAL source.


                              Here are the steps I will use to create H.264 M2TS file that plays on PC and PS3


                              Select BlueRay H.264 profile and customize it to reflect correct resolution, PAL/NTSC format, and correct Field for interlaced footage, select None for Muxing and select either AC3 or PCM audio. This will create two files: *.m4v and *.aac or *.wav. Mux these with TsMuxer into M2TS. Regarding AVC profile, anything up to High 4.1 works with PS3.


                              It's still a little bit inconveniet that I need to manually mux the two files with TxMuxer.

                              • 12. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file

                                I have a canon 5d mark II, and had no success exporting for PS3 via Media Encoder CS4 (DLNA streaming). However, I downloaded "PS3 Video 9" (a *free* progam), and it just works.  Create a custom profile and you can set data rates up to 15000 kbps. The video looks really nice.


                                C'mon Adobe! C'mon... (Yes, I am frustrated and puzzled)

                                • 13. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                  akira3d Level 1

                                  I've used PS3 Video 9 (and a couple of other tools) to produce PS3-compatible mp4 h264 files before, I just am hoping to do so from within Adobe so I don't have to encode an uncompressed intermediate clip.  Totally annoying that their encoder seems incapable of such a simple task.

                                  • 14. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                    dewblue Level 1

                                    Yes, especially since the encoder has iPod and PSP presets. I wonder how Adobe can *still* ignore PS3. And the 5D MarkII footage, which is a nightmare to edit in Premiere. I've paid EUR 2000+ for CS4 Production Suite and I can't believe that it's not capable of such a trivial task, and that I have to resort to free software from the net.

                                    • 15. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                      akira3d Level 1

                                      And the PSP preset is sadly not full resolution...it's been awhile since Sony started supporting 480x272 off MemoryStick!


                                      Being mp4 h264 in a MOV container, I suspected 5D Mark II footage would be a challenge to edit regardless of the package.

                                      • 16. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                        akira3digital Level 1

                                        Amazingly, I have FINALLY found a way to export a compatible h264 mp4 file from within at least ONE of Adobe's products.


                                        In After Effects CS4, if I export my composition directly to MP4 (not via Render Queue), AE launches QuickTime's mp4 dialog.  As long as the settings I choose produces a level 4.1 h264 file with LC-AAC audio, the resulting file will play smoothly on PS3 (though I can't shake the feeling that the audio is a frame or two out of sync).  Baseline@4.1 seems to offer the best compatibility between Windows MediaPlayer, QuickTime Player, and PS3...no visual issues and near if not perfect audio sync in all players.


                                        My tests have ruled out all combination of settings from Adobe Premiere Pro CS4's Media Encoder or via h264 in AE CS4's render queue.  I have even tried using various methods (including QuickTime Pro) to remux h264 video and aac audio rendered by Premiere Pro to no avail.  So I am now fairly convinced that the problem does not like in the multiplexer after all.


                                        Upon close inspection via MediaInfo, one consistent difference I found between working files (including those I have not personally authored) and non-working ones is the number of reference frames.  Files with 2 ref frames play correctly...regardless of whether or not they were encoded with CABAC enabled.  PS3 should play mp4 h264 files with high, main, and baseline profiles...level 4.1 and below.  But none of those I have authored using an Adobe product with any combination of those profile settings work...with the above exception and something else I forgot to mention.


                                        Back when I first evaluated whether or not I wanted to buy CS4 Production Premium, I installed the trial version of Premiere Pro CS4 at work.  I imported a video file from my Canon 5D Mark II, did a quick edit in Premiere Pro CS4, and exported it using Adobe Media Encoder's h264 settings.  That particular file worked, so I just assumed that CS4 did exactly what I needed it to do.  But since purchasing the software, I have not been able to produce a file that will play on the PS3 until today.  I loaded that original mp4 file into MediaInfo to see what the deal is...and it was encoded with 2 ref frames.  Is it possible that something changed within the Media Encoder between trial and release or updated versions?


                                        This brings me to another issue...why isn't there a way to expose advanced encoding options to users?  Some compatibility issues may go away if the user had more control over the encoder.  This certainly would allow more useful presets.


                                        And before my tirade sounds like a complaint specific to authoring for PS3 playback, one of the things I noted while trying various h264 settings within Media Encoder / AE's Render Queue is that, while some of the authored files would play nicely in Microsoft's Media Player, those same files may not play well in Apple's Quick Time Player (such files would start with a green frame and flicker back and forth between good and green frames).  My primary reason for targeting PS3 playback is a file that is compatible across the widest possible range of platforms, including PS3, PC, and Mac.  And I know there are mp4 h264 files out there that do satisfy that particular criteria.

                                        • 17. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                          rsperry314 Level 1

                                          That seems like a valid workaround, but the thing to remember about Quicktime H.264 as opposed to Main Concept H.264 is that Quicktime is fragile at best, and tends to break Adobe software about every time Apple updates it.


                                          The short and sweet answer for why the encoding options aren't listed in Premiere/AME is that Adobe didn't include them. As far as the "why" I can assure you it all has to do with licensing and royalties to other companies. (Such as Apple to name just one.)

                                          • 18. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                            akira3digital Level 1

                                            AE's QuickTime mp4 encoding module isn't a perfect solution either...it too has extremely limited encoding options for h264 files.  Heck, you can't even encode a high profile h264 file with the QT module.  Even stranger, you can't use AE's QT module to encode a MOV with AAC audio (all of which is possible with QT Pro, options which I would have thought would be exposed in AE's QT module once I upgraded to QT Pro).  Fortunately, the QT module just happens to have a combination that works as is...and I only found it after lengthy trial and error.


                                            For example, you can't specify the level of the h264 profile you are encoding, but I found setting audio compression to "better" leaves the level at 4.1, but "best" changes it to a higher level...odd since I thought profile level  was specific to video encoding.  Specifying Main vs Baseline profile also produces a file that could play on PS3, but audio was completely out of sync when played Windows Media Player.  These are the strangest quirks.

                                            • 19. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file

                                              I have the same problem, but when i use Sorenson Squezze to encode it works OK.


                                              It also uses Main Concept h.264 codec, and the same settings as in Adobe Media Encoder.

                                              I can only asume that the Media Enoder is not doing it right.


                                              I tried to re-encode a file from Media Encoder that did not play on the PS3 with Sorenson.

                                              The new file played ok.


                                              So now i have to first export an uncompressed file with the media encoder, and then encode ie with Sorenson...


                                              Someone need to fix something!! Fast!

                                              • 20. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                                Someone need to fix something!! Fast!


                                                Well, the way to get things fixed is to file a Bug Report/Feature Request and furnish all details, so that Adobe can replicate the problem in the lab. Now, that won't be "fast," but might yield a "fix."


                                                Good luck,



                                                • 21. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                  p6889k Level 1



                                                  did you try to generate an m2ts file as I have suggested in one of my post above? It works for me 100% for hundreds of HD files for my PS3. I simply wrap the H.264 stream into M2TS instead of MP4. It even allows me to have multiple audio streams, e.g. original soundtrack, music soundtrack, commentator soundtrack. Also, PS3 has a 4GB file limit when streaming with MP4 container, not with M2TS.

                                                  • 22. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                    akira3digital Level 1

                                                    Note tha I am Akira3D...not sure how I ended up needing a different identity when logged in via my Adobe ID.


                                                    The only catch I see with m2ts containers is that PS3 won't play AAC audio streams within them...and QuickTime Player  won't play them.  I like the tsMuxeR GUI...and mkv2vob is a useful tsMuxeR based one stop shop for converting m2ts files from mkv containers with h264 streams (it handles the AAC issue by converting AAC streams to AC3 prior to muxing as m2ts).  Frustrating that PS3 can play nearly all of the h264 combinations I can encode within a m2ts container, but not within a mp4 container...and its strange that m2ts is the only way we can get a 5.1 mix to play on the PS3.


                                                    If you have QuickTime Pro, I  found settings that sorta work via Adobe Media Encoder...exporting via QuickTime.  Since I can't specify AAC audio within AME, I specify uncompressed.  Within QT Pro, I simply export mp4, pass through the h264 stream and encode the audio using "better" LC-AAC.  Note that encoding h264 in QuickTime via AME introduces a gamma shift, so I must reduce the gamma level by 0.818 prior to export via AME...which is not ideal.  Personally, I'd be happy if I could simply bring my Premiere Pro projects into After Effects and use my previously mentioned export technique, but things like transitions do not translate on import...necessitating a means from within Premiere Pro directly.


                                                    Again my main goal with all of this is to minimize the intermediate steps I need to take for getting my personal video projects into a most compatible h264 mp4 file...especially without the need for exporting an uncompressed intermediate render from AE or Premiere Pro CS4.  The one thing I haven't even started to investigate is outputting for Blu-ray (since I don't want to spend bucks on BD-Rs until I have a solid system going).  Something I haven't even mentioned is my hope that the mp4 files I encode for playback on PS3 will also be easily converted into a Blu-ray format mp4 without re-encoding

                                                    • 23. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                      p6889k Level 1

                                                      akira3digital wrote:

                                                      Something I haven't even mentioned is my hope that the mp4 files I encode for playback on PS3 will also be easily converted into a Blu-ray format mp4 without re-encoding


                                                      I think the only way your H264 files would play on Bluray is if they're inside of m2ts - thats how commercial bluerays are setup. They have m2ts with either h264 or mpeg2 or VC1 video stream and for audio they have ac3, LPCM and various versions of DTS HD and True-HD, I have not yet seen any Bluray with AAC or with mp4 container. If you export with AME with BlueRay H.264 profile and then mux it into m2ts, you will get a file that's compatible with both ps3 and blueray. If you want better quality than ac3, you can mux in LPCM or both.


                                                      Also, regarding aac in m2ts, I have never tried it, but you may be able to mux it in as the first audio track and then provide ac3 version as a second audio track. That way when playing on a computer you can choose aac (assuming your playback software supports it). When playing on PS3, PS3 will ignore all unsupported audio tracks (in this case aac) and automatically uses the first valid soundtrack (in this case ac3). A similiar scenario happens if you take a comercial Bluray movie with DTS-HD track and AC3, PS3 cannot play DTS-HD when streamed and instead automatically uses AC3 or LPCM. You can still however play the DTS-HD track in various other PC software players.


                                                      Here's what I do for my home HD movies from HDV camcorder:


                                                      1. Export as Bluray H.264 at 24mbps, audio as LPCM and second audio stream as AC3 (I have to do a separate audio only export for the second audio stream as AME profiles don't allow multiple audio stream outputs.

                                                      2. I mux the video and both audio stream via tsMuxer into m2ts


                                                      This creates a PS3 and BlueRay compatible m2ts files. My intention is to produce a file in a maximum quality for both playback and archival purpose (24mbps H.264 and LPCM audio is high enough quality for my purpose). The only reason why I also include the ac3 stream is because windows media player in Windows 7 doesn't recognize lpcm in m2ts. In Vista things are easier as you can use ffdshow to do the audio decoding in Windows Media Player. In Windows 7, ffdshow cannot be hooked into WMP. You can use other media players though that would play it just fine.

                                                      • 24. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                        akira3digital Level 1

                                                        Funny...I just assumed from my experiments with Canon 5D Mark II MOV files that the m2ts container couldn't contain LPCM (which I should have realized makes no sense given DVD's have always had the option for PCM audio.Further investigation of the 5D's MOV files shows that the uncompressed audio contained is in 44.1K...and apparently LPCM tracks in m2ts containers need to be 48K for tsMuxeR to accept them.  Can mp4 containers contain LPCM audio streams too?



                                                        I've learned more about file containers, video and audio codecs, and whatnot in the past month than in all the years I've worked with audio and video...and still don't have easy solutions.  As I mentioned above, I have not yet authored a Blu-ray disc, so I haven't been too concerned with what is necessary for burning a legit one that will play in a commercial player / PS3.  My PC does have a BD burner, just haven't wanted to spend the bucks on the writable media until it gets more reasonable.


                                                        What I meant about authoring h264 files for multiple uses is that I'm crossing fingers that all I need to do for burning a Blu-ray disc will be remuxing it into whatever format is specifically necessary without the need for re-encoding the h264 video itself.  I'm still trying to resolve how I can best preserve my 5D Mark II's video clips in a more usable container than MOV, but without having to re-encode the h264 video (1920x1080p 30 fps h264 baseline @ level 5.0).  Does Blu-ray spec even permit a 1920x1080p 30 fps clip?  Adobe's Blu-ray encoder blocks out such an option, forcing to go interlaced or drop the resolution to 720p.

                                                        • 25. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                          p6889k Level 1

                                                          The support for LPCM in M2TS is spotty. BlueRay supports it, PS3 supports it, various 3rd party software players support it, but WMP in Windows 7 does not and most importantly Adobe Premiere CS4 nor AME nor Encore do not. If you try to import m2ts with LPCM into CS4 products you just get a static noise instead of the real audio. Even if you take a comercial BlueRay m2ts file with LPCM, same result.


                                                          Regarding mp4 and LPCM, I really don't know. I gave up on mp4 container because it's not compatible with BlueRay and has limitation with PS3.


                                                          Regarding your 5D MOV files, I'm not sure if 30fps is supported by BlueRay standard, maybe google it. Or better yet, open AME and see what are the options under Blueray h.264 profile, it should limit your fps choices to only valid BluRay choices.

                                                          • 26. Re: Problem solved - no need for tsmuxer or anything else :-)

                                                            I've worked with this for days and tried everything to get Premiere H264 to work with PS3


                                                            H264 Bluray-profile will work both muxed or unmuxed - But you have to check: "Macro adaptive Frame-field config" under "advanced"


                                                            Every setting suggested by p6889k will work if you just check this flag in "Export Settings"-window


                                                            H264 will then play fine both on your computer and ps3 - fast forwarding and seeking works as well!


                                                            So please tell me if it worked for you (I registered at the forum just to share this with you..)




                                                            • 27. Re: Can't export PS3 compatible h264 mp4 file
                                                              Jay Friesen Level 1

                                                              I've been messing around with this myself and came up with following: Load the H.264 .m4v Blu-Ray file you rendered out of AME (I used the preset) into Encor, then burn a Blu-Ray folder. Pull the .m2ts file out of the "Streams" folder in the master Blu-Ray folder and play it back on your PS3. Cake.Watch the bitrate as mine was too high and the 1080 file played back choppy.


                                                              More on my blog here: http://blog.jayfriesen.com/2009/09/ps3-blu-ray-streams-out-of-encore/