This article is a sequel to our previous guide, which explained how to convert .MKV files to .m2ts for PlayStation 3 playback. Absolute novices are recommended to read it before continuing with this one, as we intentionally leave out some basics covered in the previous guide.
This time we show you how to convert .MKV (Matroska) files into Blu-ray or AVCHD format. The AVCHD is a fairly new format introduced by Sony and Panasonic mainly for video camera recording, but the PlayStation 3 has native support for this format. Most likely some Blu-ray players also support, or will support the AVCHD format. Generally the AVCHD is nothing new – it is basically a Blu-ray file structure and content recorded on a regular DVD media. The media capacity is lower than with Blu-ray, so the quality is not as good but still AVCHD can store high definition 720p movies on a single DVD-R.
The using AVCHD format has a few advantages over the .m2ts method:
- DVD-like playback experience with chapters and auto-start in PS3
- Multiple audio streams are supported
- Support for subtitles (currently not supported with tsMuxer 1.7.6, but this feature is expected in the future)
If one has the ability to use Blu-ray discs, then there is the obvious advantage of huge recording capacity. But as Blu-ray recorders are at the time we are writing this rather costly and rare, we focus on AVCHD. However the same rules should apply for Blu-ray, but this is not tested.
- tsMuxeR software. Download from here and extract to appropriate folder
- ImgBurn software. Download from here and install
- Matroska .MKV video files with AVC (h.264) video and AC3 audio streams
Make sure you have some free space on your hard drive as a file with roughly the same size than the original file will be created in this process.
Using tsMuxeR to author a AVCHD or Blu-ray disc
Once again the process of remuxing the files and authoring the AVCHD / Blu-ray disc is a very simple process using tsMuxeR. Through the process the video and audio remain untouched, so the quality is not impacted and the process is very fast.
Perform the following steps:
- Open a .MKV file with AVC/AC3 content using the Add button
- Observe the track info for AVC profile information. If it shows a value higher than 4.1, then use the Change level function to adjust it down to 4.1
- Choose to Create Blu-ray disk as Output
- Click browse button and choose the name and location for your file
- Click Start muxing to begin
As a result a complete Blu-ray file structure is created to your destination folder. Note that this process will increase the file size of your video, so if you have an .MKV file exactly the size of a DVD-R (4.4GB), then it may not fit on the DVD-R in AVCHD format. The next step is to record it using ImgBurn.
Adding subtitles (19-May-2008 update)
The version 1.84 of tsMuxeR introduced the support of .SRT subtitle files. If you want to add subtitles to your AVCHD project, then read our new guide: Create AVCHD discs with subtitles using tsMuxeR
The recording process for AVCHD or Blu-ray is not very different from regular DVD recording. In AVCHD / Blu-ray file structure there are two root level folders to record, and the file system must be set to UDF 2.50.
Perform the following steps:
- Add folders \BDMV\ and \CERTIFICATE\ to be recorded
- Under options choose File System UDF 2.50. Note that this change is persistent, and will be effective next time you start ImgBurn, unless reverted before that. Also be sure to have Recurse Subdirectories checked
- Click the icon to start recording
- The ImgBurn may prompt you to auto correct file systems settings – accept the proposed change. It will also prompt you for a Volume Label, where you may enter a title for the disc if you wish.
Watch the recording process go, and after it is done you are ready to watch AVCHD/Blu-ray on your PlayStation 3. Just slip in the disc and the PS3 will recognize it as a video disc, and auto-start playback. You can now switch in between multiple audio tracks (if available) just like using a DVD. With the defult settings the tsMuxeR will also place a chapter point every 5 minutes for skipping back and forward in the video.