PlayStation 4's Media Player is very picky in terms of supported video formats, codecs, and resolutions. This becomes specifically difficult when converting high-quality virtual reality content for PS4's Media player to play it with the PSVR.

I wonder: What is the best format and quality to bring 360 degree videos to PlayStation 4?

I found this help page from Sony that shows the supported formats (version October 27th, 2016 for Media Player v2.5).

To my knowledge the best format in the list for my purpose is

MP4 file format with:

  • Video: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
  • Audio: AAC LC

I have also tested different resolutions, but for the current version 2.5 of Media Player, it accepts 1080p Full HD max.

The current version of Media Player allows 360 degree videos in VR mode, however, I found no way to play stereoscopic videos (side-by-side, or top/bottom).

Yet, the best ffmpeg command to convert videos for the PlayStation 4 I found is:

ffmpeg -i file.mp4 -an -vcodec libx264 -profile:v high -level:v 4.2 -s 1920x1080 -preset slow -crf 18 -c:a libfdk_aac -vbr 5 file_ps4.mp4

Any suggestions or hints are welcome!

  • Did anyone test whether the Media Player running on an PS4 Pro accepts higher resolutions? – NDB Nov 23 '16 at 10:06
  • 1
    I tried a few 4k videos with Media Player v2.51 on a PS4 Pro - no luck unfortunately :( – David Ganster Jan 9 '17 at 20:58
  • Thank you, David. During your test, did you have a 4k display connected? I did read somewhere that the ps4 pro only enables 4k when a 4k display is connected. – NDB Jan 12 '17 at 9:49
  • I know it may not be what you’re after, but you may have more success encoding for Littlstar VR on PS4/Pro. – SaltySub2 Feb 11 '18 at 3:36
  • When I looked at Littlestar a while ago, it was a cloud service and I would have to upload videos, correct? As I create the videos on my own, I do not want to share it anywhere, so I keep the copyright. Therefore Littlestar is not an option. – NDB Feb 12 '18 at 5:49

A new Playstation Media Player has been released. As of version 5.0, more possibilities exist for media. At least photos worked very good so far, I watch equirectangular 360° images that I took with my Xiaomi Mi Sphere camera, stitched with the camera's software. But it didn't play any videos I tried.

However, I managed to watch videos that I took in 3.5k (3456x1728) with the Xiaomi Mi Sphere, stitched with the camera's software and then converted with "Littlstar PSVR Encoder" by Stormware: http://stormwave.uk/#downloads. It even kept the original resolution of 3456px width, but the result still doesn't look awesome. For macOS and Linux, you can try littlestar's official ffmpeg wrapper tool: https://github.com/littlstar/ls-psvr-encoder, I haven't tried it so far.

Littlstar will play stereoscopic videos, too. You can read more on "sideloading" in Littlstar (means: Not streamed from the Littlstar cloud) here: https://medium.com/@littlstarmedia/side-loading-now-available-on-the-ps-vr-app-fe362f6c3e94

I used a PS4 Slim, so a PS4 Pro is not required. I dunno whether the results might be any better on a PS4 Pro.

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