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Thread: PS3 as a media front end

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    PS3 as a media front end

    As my media pc is now being sold in the classifieds, Im falling back on my ps3 to stream my movie collection too.

    I know I can get something like ps3 media server so that the ps3 can then access shared folders...

    My question is, can the ps3 display things like cover art or wallpapers for each film in a 'media centre-esque' way?

    Or will it just be a no frill's basic file browser?

    and are there limits to what it can playback? I really dont want to have to re-encode my raw m2ts streams into anything else.

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    Senior Member mikemikemi's Avatar
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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    I use TVersity, pretty much no-frills basic browser, but I like it as I don't need to re-encode anything as it can transcode things on the fly.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    I've never tried cover art for movies, just gives me a list of films with the first few seconds in a loop showing (with the name obviously)

    I find drilling down to the correct folders a pain when streaming though, certainly not how i'd like a media centre

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Use PS3MediaServer, and you'll be able to stream pretty much anything to it. Works much better than TVersity.

    But it looks dreadful - you're spot on, it's just a glorified file browser.

    And if you want to send over 1080p MKV content, anticipate a world of pain. You can remux it, using mkv2vob, which helps a lot because the PS3 can natively play VOB and doesn't require the server to do the legwork, but in my case the remux process didn't always work and usually caused the video to muck up. So I ended up not remuxing it, and then ultimately giving up because it never worked properly. Oh, and you can't fast forward/rewind properly either. It's hardly ideal, but I've made it sound pretty rubbish... it does work - I used the PS3 for about a year for this purpose, it's just very frustrating. Which is why I bought an HTPC.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    It will play m2ts files without re-encoding, as previously mentioned it doesn't support cover art, I found that going from a PS3 to windows media centre that even though it didn't do cover art the PS3 was a lot faster at just finding the file and playing it.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Fortunately all my films etc are in raw m2ts streams (or rarely xvid) - iv always had an aversion to mkv files purely because the majority of dlna devices and media players iv used seem to struggle with mkv, but never m2ts.

    So basically iv understood correctly that the ps3 will be able to access my folders / movies / music etc etc, but with no art or media info what so ever?

    I didnt know about no fast forward / rewind either - does it support chapters? most of my m2ts files have either chapters inserted at the original disc points, or every 10 minutes depending on the original source. Can it literally not ff/rw at all? thats going to be a royal pain if I have to stop half way through something

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    I dont think it supports chapters. See link below. It can display thumbnails

    http://code.google.com/p/ps3mediaserver/

    The ps3 is a good solid media player that will handle most things. If you have good pair of homeplugs (200mbps) then you can stream 720p and some 1080p stuff quite easily. However if you want to go fancy and play large high definition files with chapters, cover art, wallpapers, etc then a cheap htpc is the way to go (thats what I did). As much I think the PS3 is great console a htpc is so much more flexible.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    My PS3 is playing content from an Athlon X2 5400 running Linux Mint 8 with Mediatomb and MythTV UPNP servers. Mediatomb can transcode a lot of formats on the fly and MythTV allows me to watch Freeview TV that I've recorded.
    Supposedly Mediatomb has album art support for the PS3, but what this entails I don't know. Remember, this is Linux so you'll more than likely have to get your hands dirty with editing xml config files to get things working properly.

    http://mediatomb.cc/

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Thanks for the help guys - i'll have to slug it out with ps3 media server and my existing home network setup (200mbs homeplugs and a gigabit router) - should be enough for 1080p streamed playback?
    I get around 12mbs transfer speeds across the network atm - damn old wiring!

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Quote Originally Posted by vrykyl View Post
    I didnt know about no fast forward / rewind either - does it support chapters? most of my m2ts files have either chapters inserted at the original disc points, or every 10 minutes depending on the original source. Can it literally not ff/rw at all? thats going to be a royal pain if I have to stop half way through something
    Well, it can do ff/rw - but not willingly. If we were talking about an .avi stored on the hard disk, then sure. An .avi stored remotely, yeah okay. A 1080p file stored remotely, no chance. It just skips a lot and then dies.

    A lot of the time as well if I paused something it would never actually start playing again properly. So you'd have to start from the beginning, but if you can't fast forward, that's not an option. Great . And a lot of my 1080p MKVs just wouldn't play - came up as corrupted data or wouldn't actually play properly. That's with a gigabit network and my Q9550 desktop as server .

    Only way to truly find out is to test it really - it might do for your needs. Install PS3MediaServer (it's very quick and easy) and then just see what happens.

    Personally, I found it a pain in the neck, but it does sort of work.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Yeah I'm with jim on this, download ps3 media server and see how it goes.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    This is interesting.

    My better half's boy has a PS3, so I had thought about using that as a media streamer in his room, along with WD Live's in other rooms. At least I know where to start looking now

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Quote Originally Posted by shadowmaster View Post
    The ps3 is a good solid media player that will handle most things. If you have good pair of homeplugs (200mbps) then you can stream 720p and some 1080p stuff quite easily.
    I honestly think that homeplugs aren't enough... 100Mbps hard wired ethernet struggles to transcode 1080p stored in mkv container so you really need at least 1.0Gbps + C2D 2.5Ghz and above. PS3 Media Server is a good choice but you ideally want to have dedicated machine to do the work i.e. transcoding.

    PS3 itself if powerful enough but Sony won't enable mkv playback but since DivX can play mkv's and PS3 already plays DivX.... maybe later on down the line.

    That's my personal experience.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    I use mediatomb on a linkstation nas.

    I dont transcode, but it has no problem serving avi/mp4/.m2ts to my ps3.

    Why have a huge power sapping machine doing the work when you can have the same on 13 watts.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Quote Originally Posted by spoon_ View Post
    I honestly think that homeplugs aren't enough... 100Mbps hard wired ethernet struggles to transcode 1080p stored in mkv container so you really need at least 1.0Gbps + C2D 2.5Ghz and above. PS3 Media Server is a good choice but you ideally want to have dedicated machine to do the work i.e. transcoding.
    I am quite sure it does (it worked the last time I tried unless I was hallucinating ). I'll try again tonight with a mix of low and high quality high definition mkv files and get back to you.

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    Re: PS3 as a media front end

    Shouldn't need to transcode 1080p mkvs, remuxing should be adequate. My Atom server could remux happily.

    And the gigabit connection certainly wasn't used to its limits, although I suspect that the 100mbps ethernet was struggling a little.

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