MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

General discussion about PS3 Media Server (no support or requests)

MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby writher » Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:56 am

Hello all,

I really appreciate the efforts of the PS3 Media server. It is a great software application. I have many video files in mkv format which I am able to successfully transcode in Real Time using the PS3 Media Server. I am a native English Speaker, and 95% of my videos are in English. I realize that by keeping the files in mkv format I can take advantage of subtitles, but other than that what would be the benefit of keeping the files in mkv format and transcoding in real time when you could pre-transcode the files to VOB and have them play natively? Pre-transcoded VOB files have the advantage of not requiring hardly any processing power on the server because they are natively compatible with the PS3, and the seeking is much better as it does not need to transcode in real time while fast forwarding and rewinding.

Any feedback on this issue is appreciated as I am currently debating if I should transition my entire 1.5TB collection over to VOB format.

Thanks in advance,
Adam
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby writher » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:04 am

One clarification:

By "Pre transcode to VOB" I actually meant remux to VOB using an application such as MKV2VOB: http://www.afterdawn.com/software/video ... kv2vob.cfm.
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby ExSport » Fri Jan 23, 2009 2:50 am

Why use mkv2vob?It was only hack in time of non existing utilities as tsMuxer to mux audio and video stream to m2ts container. MP4 doesn't support AC3 and because that VOB was used to play it on PS3.
But now tsMuxeR exist here so it is not needed to use VOB anymore. mkv2vob do exactly same things as tsMuxer but PMS can do it on the fly with compatible MKV files and you are aware of manually recreating mkv to vob. Conclusion is: If you will use tsMuxeR in PMS, it will do exactly same job as mkv2vob but on the fly without any modification to original video and manual work.
For playstation3 the best container is m2ts, not VOB nor mkv. h264 video in VOB in not a standart at all.If SONY will remove this, your VOBs will not play anymore on PS3 without 3rd party applications ;)
P.S.
I am talking about HD MKV/VOB files with H264/x264 codecs.
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby writher » Fri Jan 23, 2009 3:05 am

Exsport,

Thanks for your reply; although I'm afraid it does not quite address the original question. Reliability of choosing TsMuxer has been limited, often times I get no audio or video when choosing TsMuxer. Have not seen similar with a VOB converted using mkv2vob, but even given that TsMuxer was 100% reliable - the question would still remain: Why use Mencoder/Avisynth to transcode the MKV formatted files on the fly using large amounts of processing power when the same streaming could be done with TsMuxer/MKV2VOB with very little processing power involved and have full seek capability?

Other than subtitles, what is the advantage of transcoding MKV on the fly using Mencoder/Avisynth? Am I losing some quality in the audio or video? Please if there is a good reason to keep my MKV files as they are I would really be interested in that information.

The point on m2ts is not really relevant to the question, and I am not aware of any threat of removing H264-VOB support, are you?

Thanks,
Adam

PS I am referring to HD x264 encoded MKV as well
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby Joksi » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:17 am

The main reason for using Avisynth or MEncoder to transcode instead of tsMuxer to remux, is to add external/embedded subtitles to the playback.
tsMuxer doesnt make this happen on the PS3, because of a limitation in the PS3 as I recall.
So, there isnt any other advantages, the best quality and least load on the CPU is achieved by tsMuxer in PMS. Oh yes, there is one feature, if the content is 720p and your hooked up to a 1080p TV you could use MEncoder tu upscale to 1080p, which wont be happening with tsMuxer.
But as we know, there are some incompatibility issues with some MKVs and tsMuxer (mainly 1080p encoded in L5.1) so these are forced to be transcoded, even without subtitles.

If your movies mainly play, and your not in need of subtitling, your best way is tsMuxer no doubt. Same quality as source, no conversions, and least CPU/bandwitdh required.
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby ExSport » Fri Jan 23, 2009 11:18 am

If audio is not working, then it is DTS,vorbis etc. ;)
MKV2vob do exactly same things as tsmuxer, mux compatible streams to new container. But mkv2vob do some checkups as a bonus. If it will detect DTS/vorbis and it will convert it to compatible audion format(AC3). If it will detect not compatible compression parameters(level 5.1, reference frame above specification), then it converts video to compatible one(take longer)
Example:
You have 4 MKV videos, one not compatible(video compressed with parameters above l4.1 specs), one compatible but with DTS audio, one fully compatible(audio/video) and other also compatible but also with subtitles.
1. mkv2vob will re-convert video to mpeg2/xvid/x264(video is much bigger or compression takes days when using x264). PMS will do the same but on the fly. Uses MEncoder for that(mpeg2). Benefit for PMS is no manual work in advance(converting to VOB before playing)
2. mk2vob will reconvert DTS to AC3 and mux it with untouched video to VOB container. PMS do the same, video is muxed without any quality loss and audio is re-encoded to AC3 or LPCM(for now recompression still buggy little bit). If you will not reencode audio, you will have no sound because DTS is not supported when not played from medium(bluray,avchd,dvd,cd), can't be streamed. License limitation.
3. mkv2vob will mux all audio and video streams to new container VOB. PMS mux only first audio track+video to m2ts on the fly. No problem to remux all audios, so maybe in new version 8-)
4. mkv2vob reencode it to burn subtitles to the stream. Same does also PMS. It is because subtitles can't be stremed in the stream separately.
New version of mkv2vob uses work of deank http://forum.doom9.org/showthread.php?t=143744 as I can see to create compatible AVCHD structure also when mkv resolution is not avchd compliant(green bars), but it is not about streaming at this point. For burning/USB dongles, video with menu, multiAVCHD is best you can use for now, for streaming without any manual work, PMS is best software around. My opinion.
You can use VOB and convert every video manually to this container or use PMS without this work and only stream it without any work around.
Also I said that m2ts is the best for PS3 because it is bluray/avchd format so if you will have original videos in this format, perhaps 100% will play without any conversion/remuxing done on them.
Then mkv is better for me than vob because no extra work needed before you wanted to watch it. Also DivX v7 supports MKV container so if PS3 wants to be DivX compatible, in future maybe PS3 will support MKV natively...
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby Joksi » Fri Jan 23, 2009 5:47 pm

PMS doesnt "burn" texts with tsMuxer, on the contrary tsMuxer can set the subtitle as separate track (special format for m2ts) but that isnt supported by PS3. Thats why there is no subtitle support in tsMuxer, if it burned in the text just like mkv2vob you would have subtitle support on the fly.
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby ExSport » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:36 pm

ExSport wrote:4. mkv2vob reencode it to burn subtitles to the stream. Same does also PMS. It is because subtitles can't be stremed in the stream separately.

Same thing I already said :D
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby Joksi » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:41 pm

No, you said "reencode it to burn subtitles to the stream". If that was the case, the subtitles would be merged in the video itself and shown on PS3 with tsMuxer. But that isnt the case, so PSM doesnt do the same thing as mk2vob
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Re: MKV vs. VOB - Why use MKV?

Postby ExSport » Fri Jan 23, 2009 6:55 pm

Burn subtitles to video stream ;) When I am talking about "reencode", it means recode video stream with subtitles burned to picture(can't be disabled).
You can't use tsMuxer for re-encoding but only muxing.
So that mkv2vob do same thing as PMS for example nr.4!!! When you need subtitles, you need re-encode video stream because subtitles can't be streamed separately(in container). And in this example PMS uses MEncoder to burn subtitles to video stream to be visible.
Hope it is now more understandable... 8-)
Edit: You mean with your post that subtitles can be stremed in VOB container? I don't think so. mkv2vob must reencode video stream also to support subtitles, same way as PMS.
But maybe I don't understand you and you me... :mrgreen:
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