and more than that , if you intend re-encoding the input files to make them Directly streamable on the 360 and PS3 etc rather than have to realtime transcode them first, then it may be Very wise to start useing no more than ref=3
as that can also be directly played/streamed on the 360 and many more 3rd party HD AVC capable streaming boxs today.
if you want do it simply, the best and simplest option with a few mouse clicks iv found so far is to use the very latest AVIDemux from Mulderhttp://mulder.dummwiedeutsch.de/home/?p ... s#avidemux
Current Revision: r5181 (2009-07-30)
see also its D9 thread http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?p ... ost1006659
its now default set for the newest CRF mode With a value of 26 when you select "Video"/Mpeg-4 AVC(x264)
also get and install MediaInfo, your best option for getting detailed info about your content, USE IT,
infact it might be nice if PS3MS could find a way to integrate this cross platform MediaInfo apps detailed output text info into the main java pages
and the new web PS3 Media Server HTML console.http://192.168.0.1:5001/console/scanhttp://mediainfo.sourceforge.net/en
run your file through "Media Info" by right clicking it, to get the details and if they are above the 360/PS3 limits run it through AVIDemux....
assuming your input file is a high profile@L5.1 ref=4 or above, AC3 or A-DTS audeo .mkv ,
for smooth playback on the Xbox360 simply load it up in AVIDemux
select "Video"/Mpeg-4 AVC(x264), "configure" and change the quality slider to your prefered rate.
lower is better quality at the expense of filesize, the D9 pro's dont usually use less than 21 or higher than 26 for your average generic 1080P file,
hence the default 26 setting, try both extreams and see for yourself on a few minute hd clips...
heres the part you need to pay attention to ,
by default the IDC level that chooses the output level automaticly is over that at the end under "output"
selecting NO Higher than Level.4.1 manually is your best option, but level 4.0 is also more widely playable on far more 3rd party devices,
once you set that, click on "frames" and you will see that the default should also be ref=3 and again thats the Best option for most playability...and the highest officially the 360 uses for smooth playback.http://www.xbox.com/en-AU/support/xbox3 ... ackfaq.htm
you might also run a clip of the main file through auto and see if it picks an even lower Level for the given input file as you may be using to high a level setting already.....
infact, while you may come across a few so called BR pulled mkv's that use crazy H@L5.1,ref=15 etc settings there IS NO Real REASON What so ever,
to ever use more than the high@L4.1,ref3 for any BR pulled master video, for streaming to your 360/PS3 etc,
only the max bitrate/s need change for highest quality high action live footage IF your Real picky....and got a massive 52"+ HDTV to watch it on but then you probably would'nt be using your 360/PS3 as that screens streaming device.
spread the word, and set the good example everywere you go,
and the advantage is the 360 with its lowest HD 1080P thresh hold (some might say crumby internal AVC/AAC codecs that need updating ASAP due to their low set max rates) can only safely/smoothly play HD AVC upto 10Mbit/s, 1080P, ref3, AAC=2,inside an mp4 container.
but you know, thats fine for Most HD video upto 1080P you find today taken from good quality BR masters, until MS see fit to finally update these firmware codecs to at least full generic 40 Mbit/s, L4.1,ref=16 standard, IF ever, as codec/container updates dont appear to be in the upcoming 360 firmware update on the 11th anyway.
so also remember to set the "Audeo" to AAC (faac) "filters" stereo, and i like to usually set "gain mode" 3db, and finally set mp4 as your output container,and save it out to your freeNAS LAN storage from PS3ms to index and directly stream to the 360 and the ps3...
sure the ps3 can play higher rated files, but ask yourself if its werth the extra space its taking or is the above 10Mbit,ref3,H@L4.1,AAC=2,mp4 good enough ?
make the time to try some AViDemux x264 CRF mode
re-encoding of your highest HD clips you have, and see for yourself, it only takes a few minutes on a core2 8200 quad so go ahead and report back.
if you really want better sound OC, you can always put two converted audio files in the newly Encoded and muxed ref=3 H@L4.0/4.1 mp4 , the first being stereo AAC for the 360 to find, the other second track being 5.1 AAC to be selected from the PS3 etc but that increases the overall files sizes a little, but then you have already saved a LOT of space by selecting and using the newest x264 CRF mode/code to re-encode your files
so werth the effort it seems, if you really want that.