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Guide Video encoding to play on the PSP

Discussion in 'Sony Handhelds' started by Zymz, Feb 8, 2015.

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  1. Zymz

    Zymz Member

    Mar 19, 2013
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    I currently use VidCoder for encoding videos, VidCoder is a free program for people just getting into video encoding, it's basically a tweaked version of Handbrake with a different GUI that explains most of the settings to the user while they adjust them via mouse-over descriptions, the settings described here were used with VidCoder but you can usually figure out how to duplicate the listed settings in just about any video encoding program.

    I'll list my main profile settings first then discuss them after so that you more advanced users can optionally continue reading if you want to comment or learn / teach what you have learned.

    Max Width: 480
    Max Height: 272
    ~ You can also encode videos at 720x480, but the PSP will only play such videos at EXACTLY that size, I'll go into greater detail further down the post.
    -Keep Aspect Ratio
    -Anamorphic: None
    -Cropping: Automatic

    All Off unless you need to do something specific with your video.

    Video Codec: H.264 (x264)
    Constant Framerate: 23.976 (you can use peak framerate and experiment with other framerates)
    Constant Quality: 20 (the lower the number the higher the quality, if you want to save disk space try quality 25 or 30, looks worse but smaller file)
    Encoder Settings Basic:
    Profile: Main
    Level: 3
    if you are using the newest Vidcoder you can click "Advanced Tab" after selecting your profile to use the advanced settings, just know the encoding speed slider can muck up several advanced settings if you are trying to be specific. if you don't want to mess with any of this then set the profile to "Main" for the highest compatibility, but you'll lose some detail in your video. (it is still a tiny screen though so *shrug* )

    Reference Frames: 2
    Max B-Frames: 0
    CABAC: On
    8x8 Transform: Off
    Weighted P-Frames: Off
    *The following can be adjusted for Encoding Speed preference, I use high settings, so the video looks great.
    Motion Estimation Method: Uneven Multi-Hexagon
    Subpixel Motion Estimation: 10: QPRD in all Frames
    Motion Estimation Range: 16 - 64 (pure speed / quality preference)
    Partition Type: All
    Trellis: Always

    Codec: AAC
    Bitrate: 128
    Mixdown: Stereo
    Sample Rate: 44.1 ~ 48

    As was mentioned earlier, you can encode videos to 720 x 480 for use on the PSP, this mode is very fickle though and will not allow you to play a video in any other close dimensions, like a video encoded to 720 x 406 (a 16 x 9 aspect ratio) the PSP will not play it, it will show it as "unsupported media" in the menu.

    Since 720 x 480 isn't of a ratio that most movies or TV are shot in, it makes the mode difficult to use unless you want to have your videos stretch to fit the resolution (which kind of looks crappy, but if you want to do it un-check the "keep aspect ratio" in your "PICTURE" settings) or you can edit to add black bars to fill the remaining area; which you cannot do with VidCoder, the only tool I've used to do this was "Uncrop MKV" problem is to use it you will also need to install additional software that it needs to function like Haali Media Splitter etc. it is quite a headache and requires you to encode the video with the uncropping first before re-encoding it to the PSP, the overall process will additionally cause your video to take up more disk space which will already be limited as it is, since you are after all using a PSP with the proprietary Sony Memory Card.

    So my ultimate advice is to skip the headaches and extra work and just keep your videos restricted to the 480 x 272 resolution, it still looks really good on the PSP screen, albeit a bit "buttery" if you connect your PSP to an external HD TV, but on a standard TV it'll look great.

    Good Luck and Happy Encoding! ;)
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2015
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