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  1. #1
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3
    This seams to be a topic going round quite a bit at the moment. I, like a lot of people now, have some hi def .mkv files.

    Let me first explain exactly what i'm doing and working with. I have a iMac G5 2ghz Power PC (1.5gb RAM), with the mkv files on. I have a home network running with a netgear 108mbps router. Downstairs is a xbox 360, networked, connected to a HDTV.

    The files i have are 720p.x264.AC3_5.1ch

    So as many others i want to l play my hi def mkv files on the big screen downstairs. I've done quite a bit of research already and have found various techniques. The only one that has worked so far is by converting the whole file to mp4 (h.264 encoding, "go nuts" settings, then in "advanced" set "fit each video in" 4096mb - cos i believe xbox 360/PS3 can't read files over 4gb) in visualhub. The trouble is that takes about 25-30hrs to complete on my machine.

    Then after more investigation i found people saying that you can convert the file without re-encoding the file (changing the container basically). The best way to do this was with quicktime pro 7. As from my understanding xbox/PS3 can't support AC3 5.1ch audio, however they do play the video part which is h.264. So i loaded the mkv file into QT. Exported the video to MP4 movie ("passthrough" set for video options, "AAC" set for audio). It did this really quickly as it was only re-encoding the audio, not the video. The MP4 file then played on my mac fine like it normally would but when i try it on my xbox 360, i get sound but no picture!

    Anybody having similar problems? Or able to help in anyway?

  2. #2
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3
    crazytreeman's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 26, 2007
    Posts
    60
    burn to dvd then rip it again. that is you dont have many files.

  3. #3
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    UPDATE: for anyone who's having this same issue as me, Good Luck!!

    Been trolling the internet for days and still can't find anything. The only way i've got it working so far is by using GotSent - great bit of software that coverts .mkv files to .mp4 for xbox/ps3 without re-encoding the video stream. Works great and is fast, sadly it's windows only

    There is something called MKVtools for the mac which claims to do the same but it's still in beta form and i'm not having much luck with it.

  4. #4
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    UPDATE 2: Ok so i MAY have found a solution for us mac users. I've just tested this method on a small mkv clip but it should work.

    So after days of looking the best i can do as follows:

    1) Extract both the video and audio streams from the mkv file using iMKVextract or MKVtools etc. This will leave you with 2 files, video.h264 and and audio, more than likely audio.ac3

    2) Convert the audio stream to AAC 2ch - i used Quicktime pro but use whatever.

    3) This bit is strange but needs to be done. Open the video.h264 file in hexedit. You will get a document open up that's just full of code. In the top line of code you should see the numbers "67 64 00 33" - in the second block along i think. You need to change the 33 to 29. Then save the file.
    This is so the xbox or ps3 can read the file. Don't ask me how it works!

    4) Now you have both your video and audio streams ready to be muxed back together. To do this i used mp4box in the terminal.

    This is a bit tricky but goes something like this:

    1/ Locate your ffmpegX application
    2/ Right-click (or control-click) on ffmpegX and choose "Show package content"
    3/ Go to Contents > Resources and locate mp4box
    4/ Open a terminal window
    5/ Drop mp4box on the terminal window
    6/ Type "-add" followed by a space, then drop your video .264 file
    7/ Remove (delete) the last space, then type "#video" followed by a space
    8/ Type "-add" followed by a space, then drop your audio .mp4 file
    9/ Remove (delete) the last space, then type "#audio" followed by a space
    10/ Type "-fps" followed by a space, then enter the framerate number of your video (usually one of the following : 23.976 , 25 or 29.97, don't forget to use stops instead of commas) - this will prevent some synchronization problems
    11/ Type another space
    12/ Type the desired name for your output movie (for example : video_out.mp4)

    At this stage your code in the terminal should look something like this:

    /Applications/ffmpegX.app/Contents/Resources/mp4box -add /Users/jpschuck/Desktop/video.264#video -add /Users/jpschuck/Desktop/audio.mp4#audio -fps 23.976 output_video.mp4

    14/ Hit return and wait for the multiplexing process to be achieved
    15/ Your completed .mp4 file is in your Home folder

    So after all that you should have a mp4 file that is playable on xbox 360 or ps3. Once you have your mkv file, the whole things takes about 30 mins or less really.

    PS - I DON'T WANT TO TAKE ANY CREDIT FOR THIS - This is just information i've found else or forums and the like. I just figured if i could someone the hassle I've been thru it's worth posting

  5. #5
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Aug 07, 2006
    Posts
    19
    I just stumbled on to this thread and have tried the QT passthrough method many times. I use Connect360 to stream the video from my mac to the xbox and LCD. Most of the time when i click on the mp4 to play it just goes to a black screen and that's it, doesn't work at all. In a few instances, though, the video worked but the audio was out of sync. However, the audio is only out of sync when played on the xbox 360, it plays fine on my macbook pro. Haven't tried the last method listed but does anyone know why some work and some don't and why the audio is out of sync on the xbox 360.?

  6. #6
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    Yeh - the reason you get audio and no picture (i.e. just a black screen) is because HD files that are encoded with h264 have different profile levels. Usually they are 5.1 (xbox/ps3 can't read these) however some are 4.1 (xbox/ps3 can read these - that's why sometimes you'll get picture). You need to download hexedit and follow the instructions above in my other post.
    As for the sound being out of sync, i'm not sure, using the above method i have never had that problem. I did however when i first started and was using visual hub to convert the entire file.

    On another note - one problem I've been having recently when using mp4box is that when i have the finished mp4 the sound cuts out half way thru. I can't figure out what's making it do that. It only does it for a few of the mkvs i have tried but very annoying. I have tested the sound file both before and after encoding and it has been fine, it's only when it is muxed back together. Any ideas???

  7. #7
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    Ok for those still following the problem i was having was because the file output was over 2gb in size for those movies. So first you have to split the mkv file. Do this using the unlikely named mkvmerge terminal shell - the command line is as follows: --split size:1500m your_file.mkv -o your_new_file.mkv

    then obviously do the above steps to both parts, then join your two mp4s back together with something like visual hub.

  8. #8
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Aug 07, 2006
    Posts
    19
    OK i just tried this windows app called XenonMKV and it converted the .mkv to mp4 perfectly that streams to my xbox 360 - didn't take that long either and very simple to use. So for all you guys with intel macs - this is an option.

  9. #9
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Sep 26, 2008
    Posts
    3
    I've got a slight problem with the hex-editing part. When I open up the h264 file in HexEdit, the fourth double of digits isn't 33; it's 1F. When I change that to 29, mp4box doesn't want to import the file, saying the bit stream is incorrect. Help!

  10. #10
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    Quote Originally Posted by automachete View Post
    I've got a slight problem with the hex-editing part. When I open up the h264 file in HexEdit, the fourth double of digits isn't 33; it's 1F. When I change that to 29, mp4box doesn't want to import the file, saying the bit stream is incorrect. Help!
    I have never found a mkv with '1F' before. I have had a '1E' before and i found that i didn't have to change that at all for it to work. Only ever had to change it when it reads '33'.

  11. #11
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jul 23, 2008
    Posts
    10
    USEFUL INFO

    it appears it's ONLY when it reads '33' in the line that you have to change it to '29' - 1E, 1F etc all work fine.

    For people streaming their video content to a xbox or ps3: If you have an mkv file that is over the 4GB size limit that these consoles have. Don't worry. Even if it's up to about 5GB or a touch under say, by the time you have extracted the files you need from the mkv file, re encoded the audio and remuxed back into a mp4 file (then joined the mp4s together) - the finished file will be under 4GB - Just small enough to stream

  12. #12
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Aug 23, 2010
    Posts
    1
    Thumbs up The Sure way to play mkv files on ps3 using a Mac
    Hey all Ive been looking everywhere around the net in order to figure out a way to play Hi-Def movies and transfer them from my MAC to my Western Digital External and play them on my PS3, I was looking and looking but recently ...and I mean a couple weeks ago, a program called Vuze which I use to download torrents and what not, came out with an integrated converter that will shrink convert and allow a transfer over to a FAT-32 External Hard drive because PS3 only reads FAT32.

    Google VUZE and download the free program, they are badasses for making it possible....any questions just let me know

  13. #13
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,109
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    Seems like you're doing it the hard way - plus you're reviving a thread from 2 years ago.

    1) it's a Mac, not a MAC which stands for Media Access Control.

    2) If your Mac is on a network with your PS3, you can get the PS3 Media Server to host files for the PS3 and stream them to it. You can get here: PS3 Media Server

    3) I'm not sure why you would have trouble transferring the movies. Just format the external drive Fat32, OSX can read/write to it without an external program. Any video files that aren't in the correct codec/container you can use Handbrake or MPegStreamClip to get it into a format for the PS3 if you don't want to use the media server I mentioned above (which doesn't require transcoding).
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)

  14. #14
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Sep 29, 2010
    Posts
    3
    MKV - xbox360 in 2010?
    any suggestions for converting MKV - Xbox 360 in 2010?

  15. #15
    help with playing MKV files on xbox 360/PS3

    Member Since
    Jan 05, 2011
    Posts
    1
    "Converting" is not "Playing"
    I'm amazed how many forums out there have threads with 'play mkv files on xbox' as titles! Converting to another format is NOT playing!

    I just bought a new xbox kinect for Christmas and am even more amazed that it has such little codec support. Specifically MKV's (which is my entire TV/Movie library).

    Been searching for a workaround for days! Guess I'll be keeping my WDTV Live for a bit longer...

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