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  1. Member
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    Aug 2013
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    Having loads of fun trying to convert my DVD's to HDD format for use with a PS3; this device seems to be a poor media server.
    As I have quite a lot of DVD's I don't want to re-encode them using Handbrake; far too time expensive. And I'm trying to use them on a local HDD - I'm not interested in streaming.

    I've trialled VOB2MPG and it does a really good job of packaging the VOB's into a MPG file which plays well on the PS3, but it can't seem to find the subtitles. Before I get the PRO version and invest a stack of time converting the whole library, does anyone know how to get a PS3 to play subtitles in a MPG file?

    Seems this PS3 is determined to stop me doing what I want; its a horribly inflexible device. And pretty backwards when it comes to media support.
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  2. Member
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    A much easier way would be to keep the DVD dumps as VOB and use a streaming media server that supports DLNA like TVersity, that way the streaming media server handles all the compliance issues that arise with different devices and formats not to mention the immense amount of time required to transcode your DVDs while probably losing quality and time for no real gain. If you still want to do it your way then use this program to embed subs into your video files without re-encoding them: http://www.calcitapp.com/AVIAddXSubs.php

    Hope this helps.

    Edit: I forgot that MPEG-2 (VOB) were huge, so transcoding may be your only option depending on how large your storage is.
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  3. Member
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    Hey, thanks for the tips.
    For reference I have been trialling PS3MediaServer to do streaming, but I want to avoid the whole streaming thing as it needs me to have another machine on pretty much always, and always running the server. I'm a minimalist - and I don't update my media every day so I wanted to see if I could hang it next to the PS3.

    I also notice that streaming doesn't seem to help, as the PS3 still cant get the subtitles. Did I mention I'm really unimpressed with how difficult the PS3 makes this simple task!
    Storage size is not an issue, the disk I'm using is 2TB and can easily extend that.

    I'll give your other suggestion a try and report back.
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  4. Member
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    Well, have yet to try the idea of using AVIAddXSubs, mainly because I haven't seen how you get easy access to the subtitle (.srt) files - is there a really simple way to extract these from a VOB? Because I don't want to muck around with some OCR technique - I'm trying to get this done in less than 30 minutes per movie
    (and that includes DVDshrink to compress the movies to the FAT32 size limit of 4GB)

    I did try converting the VOB's to an MKV file using MakeMKV. That looked like a really simple and fast option! The MKV files play subtitles when streamed (though you have no control over them it just forces the default subtitle on), but of course the PS3 can't see MKV files on a local drive...
    The common suggestion seems to be to mux the MKV file into an M2TS which is "PS3 Friendly". It also adds about 8% to the file size, but like all other options refuses to allow subtitles when played locally on a PS3.
    Real shame this didn't work, as the two conversions take about 15 minutes for a 4GB movie on my cruddy ol' laptop.

    I'm starting to smell a rat - Sony must have put some design effort into making this so hard to do. There's no reason a comparatively modern, multi-generation device should not be more compatible. I mean - every digital DVD player in the world can read VOB files from a HDD, and the PS3 can only read them from a physical disk?
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  5. Member
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    OK, I tested the idea of embedding "XSUBS" with AVIAddXsubs.

    I extracted the subtitle streams (which exist in the MKV file) using MKVExtractor - gives me the idx/sub subtitle files easily enough in only a few minutes.

    Then I used AVIAddXsubs to re-embed the subtitles into the movie while converting the whole package into an AVI file. Great in theory, and a nice flexible little program, but the output file is bloated by about 2GB (a 4GB mkv is converted to a 6GB avi) and it takes about an hour to do this.

    In fact, just to test it on the FAT32 external drive, I tried compressing the movie as far as it would go with DVDShrink - about 62% with an output size of about 2.8GB (I'd normally consider this unacceptable quality). But the final avi file was still too big to fit on a FAT partition at about 5.2GB.

    So this solution is unworkable, and it seems to me you can't run subtitled DVD movies on a local drive with a PS3 without the massive overhead of re-encoding them with hard subtitles.
    Real shame PS3 doesn't read MKV files as that route seemed the least overhead, and the MKV container seems fairly efficient and otherwise compatible. I'm guessing (from my very limited experience) this is why its so popular with the Linux peeps?

    My preferred solution now is just to keep using physical disks! Though I may look at a simple media server box that does a much better job of presentation than a PS3 - anybody have any recommendations?
    (I did try an AppleTV box before I got the PS3; what a serious waste of time... I have no wish to be locked into what Apple decide is suitable content)
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    You've been busy lol well it looks like the only two options are either play the DVDs on the PS3 without ripping them, or use a media streaming server that supports remuxing subs into the stream on-the-fly, not 100% sure which of these do this but you have a choice from TVersity, PlayOn, Serviio and Mezzmo.

    It's a shame the PS3 only supports 32-bit LBA addressing in FAT, there is an extension that exists to make FAT 64-bit compatible but the PS3 doesn't support it, nor exFAT, HFS, NTFS etc...

    Edit: Almost forgot, you can get decent subtitles from these two websites:

    http://subscene.com/
    http://www.opensubtitles.org/en

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  7. Member
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    Yeah that pretty much sums it up.
    Every way I turn I seem to hit some limitation in the PS3. I was using PS3MediaServer and I could see subtitles when streamed, but as I said I don't want a streaming solution (I might be uncommon in that regard).

    I'm actually going to just buy a WDTV Live to plug into the HDD, which blissfully supports NTFS, pretty much any video format and subtitles (which may need to be external).
    So my ripping process will likely be a direct copy of the VOB's from disk. At worst it will be a rip to MKV using MakeMKV which is about the same time, followed by stripping the subtitles.
    So this solution saves me time also, though it does require another device, another remote, another plugpack, etc - I'll chalk that up to my mistake in relying on Sony to get anything right.
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  8. Member
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    The resulting solution:

    bought a WDTVLive for about 50 bucks on ebay, and this neatly plays ANYTHING (allows streaming too, if you want). It's about the same vintage as the PS3 but so far ahead in terms of compatibility.

    I'm ripping my discs to MKV files using MakeMKV, which is fast, but a little flakey as it uses loads of memory and isn't very tolerant of a computer without much memory. But MKV is a neat container - slightly smaller than the equivalent VOB and can be renamed as its a single file.
    The WDTVLive plays subtitles from the MKV without any external files, so this is a really simple solution - and I like simple.

    Presentation in the WDTVLive is no better than the PS3 really - just a simple hierarchy - but the control works well and you don't need too many buttons to find anything. The idea would be a playlist of video covers, but I'm not complaining.
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