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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old October 31st, 2009, 09:45 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Paulo Teixeira View Post
It really is very easy. You just put any file you want on a Data DVD and the PS3 will play them flawlessly. Never mind the fact that it can also play other types of files such as HDV, DivX and WMV and put those on the Data DVD as well. For Windows, you can use something like Roxio Easy Media Creator to burn the Data DVDs.

You can also transfer them to it’s internal Hard Drive or an external Hard Drive.
Re hard drive usage: I've been doing AVCHD playback (along with MP3s, JPEGS, etc.) for about 2 years that way. Video from older converted 8 mm film was put onto DVDs first and then migrated back to the hard drive, so it has menus and the like. For video from about 2005 on, I just name the video files appropriately and play them back without menus.

I bought the larger PS3 originally to hold video, but stopped doing that as soon as a 500 GB USB drive became available for about $130. There's a specific set of high-level folder names on the PS3 that you mimic on the USB drive, putting all your pictures under one name, video under another, music under a 3rd, etc. So I have something like 70 folders underneath the top video one representing about 50 years of old video converted to MPEG-2 files and then all the video I've taken myself since about 1992. The video for the last 3-4 years is AVCHD video from Sony camcorders. You just edit it on a PC and pop the m2ts files onto the USB drive, naming them as you please. To play it back, you just browse through the folders to the clip and select it to play it, using the normal PS3 video remote.

I actually prefer browsing around like this to having to go to a bunch of DVDs, finding the right one (maybe), popping it in, waiting for the menus, etc. I use folders every day for a living so it's what I know how to do really well, not something inconvenient. If you're in a folder of JPEGs (stills), you just click on the first one and then use the remote to wander back and forth through them.

Western Digital produces a $99-range media playback device that has similar features.

So basically, knowing that DVDs really don't last forever and since huge hard drives are now cheap, I've dropped discs altogether and store everything on USB drives (actually, one copy on my PC's hard drive, two USB drives for TVs in the house, and a third USB drive kept at the office in case the house ever gets destroyed). When I've got the TV and the PS3 on, I can access every digitized personal photo, document, music file, or video file without doing anything other than using the remote. I wish I could do the same with all the commercial DVDs we have (without buying a 100-disk changer!).
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Old November 13th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #47
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hi Tom

Id like to hear more about how you managed to get the USB drive working with PS3. As Ive understood the USB drive needs to be formatted to fat32 and this doesnt allow larger then 4GB files. Is this the case?

I tried to attach my USB hard drive but PS3 did not seem to recognize it. It was NTFS formatted.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 12:34 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Sami Sanpakkila View Post
hi Tom

Id like to hear more about how you managed to get the USB drive working with PS3. As Ive understood the USB drive needs to be formatted to fat32 and this doesnt allow larger then 4GB files. Is this the case?

I tried to attach my USB hard drive but PS3 did not seem to recognize it. It was NTFS formatted.
Someone who gets it!!!

You are exactly right!
- You must split your files into 4gb chunks. There are many ways to do this, I use TSMuxer or multiAVCHD.
- And the USB flashdrive needs to be formatted fat32.
- And the file folder naming convention must conform to 8.3. This is accomplished using the AVCHD-ME utility.

Basically, here are the steps:

1.) Format the USB flash to fat32
2.) create a folder in the root called AVCHD
3.) Put your authored BDMV folders inside the AVCHD folder above. Your files have to be in 4gb chunks or smaller.
4.) Point the AVCHD-ME utility to the BDMV folder. It takes 1 second to reconform to the fat32 naming conventions.
5.) Plug the USB flash drive into the PS3, and play it.

Start with something simple at first to get the hang of it. If your authored BDMV folders don't contain any complicated java, it will play with menus, chapters, sub-titles, and also 24p.

Other than playing from BD media, this is the only way to make the PS3 output true native 24p without the 3:2 60i container it otherwise outputs with. The PS3 does not output 24p from it's hard drive, nor from USB flash drives, except with this trick.

Here is the link to all you need to know. It contains a download link for the AVCHD-ME utility. Do it! It's fun and it's easy!

AVCHDMe: Make AVCHD folder PS3 compatible - Doom9's Forum
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Old November 13th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sami Sanpakkila View Post
hi Tom

Id like to hear more about how you managed to get the USB drive working with PS3. As Ive understood the USB drive needs to be formatted to fat32 and this doesnt allow larger then 4GB files. Is this the case?

I tried to attach my USB hard drive but PS3 did not seem to recognize it. It was NTFS formatted.
Sorry, I missed your request for a reply until today. Your USB drive does have to be FAT32 formatted. So that limits the length of full HD clips you can play back directly in this manner. At least I haven't tried using an NTFS drive with the PS3...

In addition to the suggestions in the posting above, you can just mimic the PS3's own folder structure (at least I think that's what is going on). If you create a folder called PICTURE at the root of your USB drive or one called VIDEO, I think you can then use the Sony interface to find all the files. For example, plug in the drive and go to the little "Film" icon for PS3 video playback. Click on it. This will bring up a list of movies on its internal hard drive but it should also show your USB drive as a selectable device. Move to it (cursor until it's highlighted), then press the triangle key. This brings up a small menu - choose Display All. Then you'll see your folders on the USB drive. Scroll down to the VIDEO one and click on it. Now subfolders and/or clips can be found and you just move to one and select the video file to play it.

There's no need to use any kind of special AVCHD or Blu-Ray folder structure. Once you make the top-level connection, you're just tree-walking. It's easier than it sounds.

Here's a similar explanation:

Re: external hard drive folder structure - Technical Help - Official PlayStation® Community -PlayStation.com
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Old November 13th, 2009, 03:50 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post
Your USB drive does have to be FAT32 formatted. So that limits the length of full HD clips you can play back directly in this manner.
No, playback length isn't limited by the Fat32 formatting. You just have to split the clips into 4gb chunks.

Quote:
In addition to the suggestions in the posting above, you can just mimic the PS3's own folder structure (at least I think that's what is going on). If you create a folder called PICTURE at the root of your USB drive or one called VIDEO, I think you can then use the Sony interface to find all the files. For example, plug in the drive and go to the little "Film" icon for PS3 video playback. Click on it. This will bring up a list of movies on its internal hard drive but it should also show your USB drive as a selectable device. Move to it (cursor until it's highlighted), then press the triangle key. This brings up a small menu - choose Display All. Then you'll see your folders on the USB drive. Scroll down to the VIDEO one and click on it. Now subfolders and/or clips can be found and you just move to one and select the video file to play it.

There's no need to use any kind of special AVCHD or Blu-Ray folder structure.
I disagree.

There is a significant difference between "finding all the files" and playing back with BDMV menus and functionality. There is a very definite need for the Blu-ray folder structure, perhaps not for you, but you won't get native 24p output (except inside a 3:2 60i container), or subtitles, or VC-1 support.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #51
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Re splitting into 4GB chunks: right, that's the same to me as limiting the length of a given file (the same technically as a clip logically in this case). If I have 60 minutes of continuous video to break up into chunks, it will end up in some number of files on the drive, and each plays only when you click on it - they don't daisy-chain together upon playback.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Tom Roper View Post
No, playback length isn't limited by the Fat32 formatting. You just have to split the clips into 4gb chunks.



I disagree.

There is a significant difference between "finding all the files" and playing back with BDMV menus and functionality. There is a very definite need for the Blu-ray folder structure, perhaps not for you, but you won't get native 24p output (except inside a 3:2 60i container), or subtitles, or VC-1 support.
I'm just saying you can play back video files at normal frame rates without wrapping them in containers, supplying menus, submenus, subtitles, etc. The clips are files and inherently self-contained. That you choose to do otherwise is perfectly fine by me - it's just not a technical requirement for the video I've shot. And I'm 100% comfortable with browsing through logically named folders looking for logically named video or MP3 or MPEG files - I prefer it to having to wade through menus and submenus. The latter brings nothing extra to the table for me except the work of creating them, which is a minus, not a plus.. This is an entirely personal decision which other people won't all want to do. But they don't HAVE to do all the formal folders and structures just to play back standard files. So I was making sure that was clear.
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Old November 13th, 2009, 09:28 PM   #53
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Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post
Re splitting into 4GB chunks: right, that's the same to me as limiting the length of a given file (the same technically as a clip logically in this case). If I have 60 minutes of continuous video to break up into chunks, it will end up in some number of files on the drive, and each plays only when you click on it - they don't daisy-chain together upon playback.
That is not correct. When authored into the BDMV folder structure, the split 4GB chunks 'do' seamlessly playback, without pauses or gaps. It is just like a normal dvd, where multiple .vob files are daisy-chained into a continuous playback of a longer clip.

You're correct on this, that if all you want to do is put files on a USB flash drive, navigate to the clips you want to play you can do that.

But what I am describing is a way to cause a USB flashdrive to mimic an actual Blu-ray disk, complete with full motion menus, chapters, subtitle support, multiple audio streams, VC-1 and 24p output. People understand this important distinction.
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Old November 15th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #54
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Sure, that's just not the question I was answering directly. You're highlighting a different capability with different results for different purposes, which is great.

In fact, a third capability implied in the CX500V manual is that you can write AVCHD video from the cam to a stock DVD and then successfully play back the AVCHD video through a Blu-Ray player. I think it uses the Blu-Ray folder structures to make this happen. If you try the same thing with that same disc through a regular DVD player, it will either not work or it will actually damage the disc's contents and make them unplayable on any drive. I haven't tried this since I just don't write to discs any more at all. But this is an intermediate approach to playing back AVCHD that works with a Blu-Ray player but doesn't require a Blu-Ray burner.

At least, that's what the manual seems to say pretty clearly. i haven't heard anyone comment on this elsewhere.
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