This is for those who wants to play .MKV movies in their PS3. As you know even the latest firmware will not support .MKV natively. The effort is worth since you can watch 1080P/ 720P movies with DTS and AC3 sound with outstanding video and Audio quality in a large screen >40".
After little bit of experiment finally I could play all the .MKV files on PS3 which I believe the best media player out there. I have experimented with other players before thinking of converting it which takes approx. 3 minutes to 6 minutes per movie. You can do batch processing too. All the software used are freeware.
1. MAC Mini connected to TV
All .MKV plays very well except 1080P which was not smooth. Navigation is good with Logitech Bluetooth D ‘Novo keyboard. Issue was basically with sound since I did not have the Mini Toslink to Toslink optical cable to connect to Onkyo AV receiver. I have both Mini Toslink to Mini Toslink and Toslink to Toslink. So Audio is limited to 2 channel.
2. Western Digital Media player (WD-TV)
It plays .MKV files (almost all the formats out in the market!) but the audio for some of the movies gives trouble. Navigation is poor with a not very responsive remote. I have not experimented much on this since I ran out of all HDMI ports in both TV and Onkyo and I do not have HDMI an switcher. So it is connected whenever it is absolutely required.
3. PCs and Laptop, cumbersome and lacks the HD experience. Latest media players WMP and VLC support .mkv files.
The steps followed for converting .MKV to AVC/ MP4 with DTS sound .
- Use MKVmerge software for stitching the .MKV files so that further splitting to 4GB (FAT 32 limitation) will not result in too many fragments. This step will not be required for single .MKV files. http://www.bunkus.org/videotools/mkvtoolnix/doc/mkvmerge-gui.html
- Use MKV2VOB for converting to PS3 format (AVC) with two options selected. (a) FAT32 (4GB) if you are using external hard disk for connecting PS3. This may not be required if you are using Network to copy. I have a Wi-FI network, not Ethernet. (b) Include subtitles. (C) Choose .X264 Max bit(Slow) to preserve the original quality and size.
All AC3 and DTS sound will be preserved. If the movie uses .ogg Vobis it will be transcoded to AC3 which takes time.
It is better to avoid any transcoding since it takes lots of time.
PS3 plays both 1080P and 720P equally well and navigation is superb which is unheard of any other player known to me. You can fast forward up to 120X and see previews at the bottom of the screen at intervals chosen by you 15 sec to 5 minutes