How to convert video for Playstation 3 / PS3

How to convert video for Playstation 3 / PS3

I know that downloading and converting video is an old-style procedure that, at the moment, it seems useless and time-consuming. But my PlayStation 3 still works like a charm and I can watch a movie while seating on the couch using the controller as a remote, so quite better than a computer on my legs connected to a streaming website.

A non-confortable position for watching movies

The problem is that the PS3, PlayStation 3, only plays some type of files and very often you need to convert downloaded files to a suitable format. After googling and looking around, I’ve finally found my perfect settings. First of all, you need to use ffmpeg to convert the file. ffmpeg is a super powerful tool that can do a lot of stuff with video and audio. We’ll use it to convert the input file into a format that can be played by PS3. Suppose you have a file named 


(.mkv is a format that PS3 can not play) Then, to convert it just use this command:

ffmpeg -y -i "INPUT_FILE_NAME.mkv" -vf scale=1024:-2 -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt nv12 -acodec aac -b:a 192k -ac 2 -ar 44100 -af "aresample=async=1:min_hard_comp=0.100000:first_pts=0" -f mp4 "OUTPUT_FILE_NAME.mp4"

If you hate dubbing (I know that are a lot of movie lovers that hate dubbing, I’m not one of them, to be honest) you can also put the subtitle that is (often) in the .mkv downloaded file, directly into the mp4 in output. Unfortunately, you can not disable it, but it’s a good trade-off.

In this case, use this command

ffmpeg -y -i "INPUT_FILE_NAME.mkv" -vf scale=1024:-2 -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt nv12 -vf subtitles="INPUT_FILE_NAME.mkv":si=0 -acodec aac -b:a 192k -ac 2 -ar 44100 -af "aresample=async=1:min_hard_comp=0.100000:first_pts=0" -f mp4 "OUTPUT_FILE_NAME.mp4" > /dev/null 2>&1 < /dev/null &

Where I’ve just added the part

-vf subtitles="INPUT_FILE_NAME.mkv":si=0

that basically tells ffmpeg to “get the subtitle from the input file, get the first subtitle track, number 0, and render them into the output file”. You can change the file name and, as long as ffmpeg can read the input file, you’ll have a file usable by your PS3. Another option I’ve added it’s the > /dev/null 2>&1 < /dev/null & at the end of the command so that it’ll run in background.

The first part > /dev/null 2>&1 basically tells ffmpeg to put any output to nowhere.

The second part < /dev/null tells ffmpeg that there is no interactive input (yes ffmpeg is an interactive tool!)…

… and the last part & means “run in background“!


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