In the PS3 XMB settings there is an option for "Sequential Playback" turn this on and the PS3 will automatically playback the next chunk of the video (obviously you need to make sure the naming of the chunks is done so that they appear in the correct order).
The jump from one chunk to the next is pretty seamless and is usually just a split second pause much like a dual layer DVD.
Upscaling of external storage and streamed movies used to be pretty basic but mid way through 2008 Sony pushed out a change with a firmware update to allow the PS3 to use the same algorithm as it does when upscaling DVD's.
Is playback actually seamless though when you do that ? I'm not sure if it is, or if you experience just a slight "jump" when it moves to another file.
Thats very good info, thanks,
So contrary to what I thought, you can convert full 720/1080p dvd's from mkv to vob, have them play in order and have it upscale in the case of 720p (or DVD) files into a 1080p format, in the best quality possible?
Will it be satisfactory to run these files from my external HD through the PS3, or do I have to copy the vob files onto the internal HD of the PS3?
Running from an external USB HDD is fine, a nice method personally for me as i get 24fps playback which I think makes a difference when implemented on my TV (especially for fast-panning shots or action scenes).
Yes, running the mkv through mkv2vob will do one of two things :
1. It'll just change the header of the mkv file so that it comes out as a playable mpg (or whatever file extension you've chosen), whilst patching the sound (if DTS) to trick the PS3 into playing back DTS sound (as you can't get DTS playback via a file, without this trick), or you can have it convert the DTS to AC3.
2. If it needs to, mkv2vob will set about actually transcoding the file. This can be due to a number of issues in the source mkv itself. If it's a 1080p mkv, then dependent on your pc spec (and depending on the codec you use, x264 being the best but the slowest), this may take a number of hours to do - this VERY rarely happens with a 720p mkv, but is more frequent (30-50%) on 1080p mkv's.
I get what you are saying there in some ways I think (forgive my ignorance).
My PC is pretty good spec, cant remember off the top of my head but is a Duo Core with 2GB RAM.
I am just trying to work out whether a PS3 is the way to go, if the mkv to vob conversion is quite easy and quality isnt compromised then this is what I am looking for. My TV is new and latest spec P42G10 so it does support 24fps so whatever I do I want to get the most out of it.
So to summarise, everything you want to do is possible, you just need to make some choices as to a) which method of conversion/transcode you want and b) if your current audio/visual setup can benefit from a change in any of the settings...
The dynamic duo strike again eh Uridium
Just to confuse you even more if you stream the MKV's using PS3 Media Server it will do the transcoding on the fly so you don't even need to do the conversion before hand
What other devices are you considering?
Transcoding is nothing to do with judder i don't think. 24fps is to more linked with that.
Transcoding happens because of a number of reasons, mainly due to the original mkv not being in the correct "profile". You can read up, if you want, on what these reasons are in more detail.
However, if you truly want THE best quality possible, the IMO you'd follow something like i do :
Get the best quality 1080p mkv there is.
Transcode using AVCHD - USB more with the x264 HQ codec (this usually takes around 5-6 hours on my quad-core 6GB Ram machine).
Transfer resultant "AVCHD" folder to USB HDD
Playback, in full DTS, with 24fps enabled on my TV.
I don't watch a great deal of things, so to me, this little bit of effort is justified.
If you can't be bothered with any of that you could pay around £70 for a WDTV which will play the original mkv back without you doing anything...
You guys are swinging me here , I am talking about the little black box yes but if 720p only takes minutes to convert then I think that will do me just fine.
For 1080p I can just leave the thing running to transcode and if not I will just run a physical disc!
720p Blu-rays are about 6GB tops so you will only get 1 changover judder?
What are the differences in noise between models of PS3, does the 40GB have enough ports?