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How To Stream Audio/Video to Your PS3, Xbox 360, and more!

Well, it’s time to give a little update, since it’s been so long (oops….). Since I have been messing with video streaming in my apartment recently, I thought I would publish an article on how to stream music, videos, images, and more from your Windows PC, Linux PC, or your Mac. It’s all possible through the wonderful use of PS3MediaServer.

Despite the name, PS3MediaServer (PMS) now supports a plethora of devices, with more added all the time. The current stable version only supports PS3′s and some Xbox 360′s, but the development versions all support everything from the new Sony Bravia TV’s to a host of other UPNP streaming devices. For the rest of this article we will be talking about the current stable version (1.10.5)

Overall, setup is simple. If you have a home network, preferably Gigabit LAN, you should be headed in the right direction. I have also gotten WiFi (802.11 G) to work as well, but the greater bandwidth that Gigabit LAN offers is preferred.

1)

Make sure that your PS3 or Xbox 360 is connected to your network. I know it seems obvious, but even I didn’t plug in the cable once.

2)

Next, start up PMS (assuming you have installed it, of course). You should see a screen similar to the one below. Since I have an Xbox 360 connected to my network, it recognized my Xbox. If I had a PS3, it would recognize the PS3, etc. In new (beta) versions of PMS, support for a number of devices has been added so chances are you would see the corresponding device in this window.

If you tab over to the Traces tab, you will see a log similar to the one below. This is mostly there for you (the user) to be sure that everything is working correctly and that there are no errors. For the sake of this tutorial, you can pretty much ignore the General Configuration tab if you want. It’s all pretty self explanatory, so you can come back to it if you want in the future.

PS3 Media Server Main Window

PS3 Media Server Log Window

3)

Now, in the Navigation/Share Settings tab, you will want to select your source directory(s). This is where all of your videos are stored that you want to serve up to your PS3, Xbox, etc. In this case it is my Videos folder on my E: drive. Use 1 to navigate to your desired directory.

Next, and you don’t have to do this, I check 2: Hide #Video Settings# Folder, as it can get kind of annoying when you are navigating directories with your device. Do what you want here.

Lastly 3: Save the configuration file so that PMS can serve up the changes to your network. Also, click Restart HTTP Server if it bothers you, but it isn’t necessary in this tutorial.

PS3 Media Server Navigation Settings

4)

The Transcoding Settings area is the most important in my opinion. Here you can select how big of a buffer you want to use, the quality of the output video, etc.

First off, use 1: Video Quality Settings to select your maximum bandwidth (25 Mbits in this example because I am on a wifi network). Note that you do not have to do this, but I think it is good practice so as not to saturate your network. HD material can take up to 50 Mbits, so if your network can support it, go for it! For those of you who don’t care, you should have no problem using zero (no limit).

Next up is to select your profile. Use the drop-down list to select a profile that works for your setup. In this case, I’m using the profile that offers me good quality on a wifi network. You can play around with each profile until you find one that offers you the best quality/bandwidth balance. For those (lucky!) of you who are on Gigabit networks and have powerful enough machines, go ahead and go with the crazy quality setting!

Remember, each profile also depends on the power of the computer doing the conversion. I have a quad-core, so I have little trouble transcoding to any profile, but that may not be your case. Again, experiment and find the best that works for you.

Lastly, use 2: General Settings to set your buffer size. This depends on the amount of ram you have in your system. Personally I don’t remember why it’s set to 250 in this picture, but it is usually safe to stick with the default 600, unless you have less than 1 GB of RAM. Also, make sure that you are using all of your cores when transcoding, unless you have a good reason, as it can reduce performance if you don’t. Nobody likes choppy video!

Then again 3: Save.

PS3 Media Server General Transcode Settings

5)

Time for the final tweak! Under Video File Engines select MEncoder (this is the most often used encoder) and set it to something similar to what I have below. Notice how I have Enhanced multicore…. turned on? This will only work for people who have a multicore system. Most of you probably will, but if you don’t, make sure that this is unchecked.

Small note: if you have a lot of interlaced video on your computer (chances are you don’t) then check the Deinterlace Filter checkbox.

As to the Switch to tsMuxer…option, use this only if your device supports .ts files. My rule of thumb is this: If I’m streaming to a PS3, check it. Else, leave it unchecked.

Okay, that about does it. And remember 2: Save!

PS3 Media Server Transcode Settings


  • creghead

    Does it matter whether you have XP, Vista( i have) or 7

  • http://www.adubvideo.net Adub

    It shouldn’t. Not really anyways. The program as a whole is run on Java, so as long as you have the necessary java files installed, you should be okay I believe. You can visit the forum for more troubleshooting if you have issues.

  • Devin

    This is really sweet. Works great with my PS3. Very simple and easy to understand instrcutions provided above. Just follow his instructions and you’ll be good to go. I have Windows Vista 64-bit Home Premium Edition.

  • Larry

    I am having one heck of a problem. I am getting this in the traces tab. “Maybe another process is running or hostname is wrong and it says Somes serious errors occurs.

    Also under the transcode tab I noticed that the Videolan video streaming engine is not loaded nor is the videolan audio streaming engine… Can you help me out?

    I never had this problem until I loaded Windoes 7

  • http://www.adubvideo.net Adub

    Well it sounds like you need to look further up on your log. There should be a more detailed description of the problem at hand. The “Maybe another process…” sounds like it’s describing an error that was previously printed.

    It maybe that Windows or your firewall is blocking PS3MediaServer’s connections. Make sure that you have told these programs to trust PS3MediaServer and Java as well.

  • http://gotuwired.com/ san diego audio video

    Amazing, never knew I could do all that with the old PS2 stored in the closet, thanks

  • Larry

    Adub,

    Further up on my log it reads “AVISynth not found! Transcoder profile Avisynth/MEncoder will not be used. Then a little below that it reads AviSynth in not installed! You cannot use avsmencoder as transcoding engine.

    I also see Executable of transcoder profile Videolan Audio Streaming not found.

    Unable to bind port 5001 Adress already in use:bind

    how do I let my firewall or java know to use this as a server as you recommended?

  • Larry

    ADub,

    I fixed it. So that other readers can fix it if they have the same problem this is what I did…

    Under the general configuration tab I chose Force networking on interface and chose my wireless adaptor.

    I then FORCED the port of the server on 6001 by defaut it is 5001 which must have been conflicting with something!!!

    No clue what but its fixed.

  • Larry

    Hey ADUB, ‘

    Not sure if you’re still reading this blog or supporting it but I have another question.. I recently upgraded to 120 gb ps3 so I had to change the media server to support it… NOW in the Videolan Video Streaming section under the transcode tab it says that the Videolan video streaming engine is not loaded as well as the videolan audio streaming engine under the audeio web streaming engines…

    DO I NEED THESE and if so where can I get them so I have green arrows…Please advise…

    THanks..

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Yep, I’m still supporting this blog.

    You do not need the VideoLan Streaming section to be enabled in order to stream to your PS3. It’s just there as a framework for some future features that are in the works.

    If you want to enable the VideoLan section, simply install VLC.

    Do note that there isn’t much support integrated into PS3MediaServer just yet. It’s mostly there for testing purposes right now.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • dewaylando

    Really useful article – made it really easy to set up.

    It’d be great if you could let us know how to get VOB files to play without the commentary running though – it’s driving me mad trying to figure it out.

    Thanks again though,

    dewaylando

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    dewaylando,

    I must say I have never head of this problem before. However, there are a couple of workarounds. First of all, if you are ripping the disk using something like DVD Decrypter or DVD Fab Decrypter, just remove the commentary track before you even do the rip.

    DVD Shrink in “Re-Author” mode can remove the audio track from the entire dvd in one fell swoop.

    You can also use something like PGCDemux to demux the audio and video tracks, and then use something like Muxman or Rejig to remux your desired streams back together.

    Last but not least, Rejig in IFO mode with automatic DVD Authoring enabled will allow you to select your main movie’s IFO file and then choose you video/audio streams which will then be demuxed and re-authored to a DVD structure. How’s that for a run on sentence?

    I’ve got a couple of other ideas, but let me know if these work for you!

  • dave c.

    or, download TVersity.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    TVersity is a nice program, but the great thing about PS3 Media Server is that it is Java based and runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

  • dk

    umm why dont you just use the program called Vuze? its free works great and its super easy

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Because Vuze doesn’t have on-the-fly transcoding built in.

  • stacy

    hey please help me. somehow vuze has been blocked from streaming videos from my compter to hubbys xbox. how do i fix it?

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Sounds like a firewall issue. Make sure that you have opened all of the necessary ports in your firewall that Vuze needs. I don’t have Vuze installed right now, or a Xbox or PS3 to test on (I’m at work) so I can’t tell you the specifics.

    How do you know that it was blocked? Did something say something about ‘blocking’?

    Normally when something is blocked, it’s the firewall. Windows has it’s own built in version, in addition to the plethora of free firewalls available on the net. Since I don’t know which one you haven’t, I can’t tell you the specifics, but if your stuck, a quick Google search should clear up your problems.

  • Josh

    Hello Adub, I’m sure you’re probably not checking over this page anymore, but I just wanted to say thanks for the great instructions.

    I’m currently having the same problems Larry was, I have several items that have a caution symbol and say that ” This engine is not loaded “.
    Unfortunately his fix didn’t work for me :/

  • Richard

    He’ll be along. He’s good like that :)

    TBH I never got on with PS3MediaServer and just went back to using WMP12 with my W7 set up.

  • Josh

    That’s good to know than :)
    I’ve tried WMP before, I enjoyed how fast it would stream the films, but my problem was the compatibility problems with different file types n such.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    @Josh
    Yep, still here!

    Now as to your problems, are they actually a problem? Just because a particular engine is not loaded doesn’t mean that your videos will not stream necessarily.

    I believe that a new version of PS3 Media Server came out recently, and I haven’t used it yet. If you are actually having problems with streaming your media, I’ll update to the latest version and see if I can look at what you are talking about.

  • Josh

    Thanks for your reply Adub :D

    I’m not quite sure if they’re the cause of the problems, or maybe my problems with the media server are common regardless if they’re loaded or not.

    I have a wired connection, but whenever I’m streaming a film it takes a pretty long time to start, and I get some studdering. I’m guessing this is just because it needs to buffer so I kinda just overlook it. Whenever I try to rewind, even if it’s just for a second, everything will just freeze up for 2 or 3 minutes and I’ll usually have to wait ’til I can quit the video, and restart it. I can still pause it at least.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Due to the nature of streaming media, seeking can be a bit of a pain.

    What are the details on
    a) Your computer that you are streaming from.
    b) The device that you are streaming too.
    c) The network that you are streaming over (Gig-E or no?)

    What encoding profile are you using for your transcodes?

  • Josh

    1.80 Ghz CPU and 3 Gigs of Ram, Vista SP1 32x

    I’m streaming to my PS3 (through a router which is connected to my PC)

    And to be honest, I’m not quite sure if it’s Gig-E or not, I’m sorry.
    It’s a standard Ethernet cable.

    My settings are the same as the ones in the pictures above (except mine is set to 2cores)

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    So it is a dual core cpu. Do you know the model number on it, just for reference (not mandatory, ex Core 2 Duo E6600).

    What resolution is the video that you are attempting to stream?

    Oh, and define “pretty long time”. Are we talking 10 or 30 seconds, or 2 minutes, etc…?

  • Josh

    Yeah sure, it’s an Intel Pentium Dual CPU E2160 1.80 GHz.

    Sorry for not being specific, when I say “pretty long time” it usually depends on the quality and length of the film, for a good reference, a 720p 90 minute movie will take a good 2 or 3 minutes to actually start.
    When it does it will just keep skipping, so I usually just pause the film while it buffers to the halfway mark (PS3 Media Server shows me the buffer progress), that doesn’t take as long as I thought it would, maybe 5 minutes.. I usually just pause it and go downstairs to grab a drink and it’s good to go by the time I get back.

    Also, thanks for taking the time to actually look into this problem with me.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Yep! It looks like a good old fashion not-quite-powerful-enough-processor problem. Especially when dealing with HD content (like your 720p), transcoding is a very processor intensive application. This is further evidenced by your “If I pause it and let it buffer” cure, as the pause lets PS3MS get crunching as hard and as fast as it can on your media.

    Frankly, its kind of to be expected. I have a Q6600 quad-core machine at home that I use and everything is instantaneous, even though I’m on a ‘g’ wi-fi network.

    So, I have two suggestions:
    1) Use a faster computer
    or
    2) Try a faster/lower quality encoding profile.

    The fact is that when you are compressing video at a lower bitrate, it will actually result in a faster encode (generally) as the encoder has to make less decisions based on rate distribution.

  • Josh

    Alright thanks, I’ll give a lower quality encoding profile a try and see if it the quality loss is too noticeable or not.

    Thanks for all your help.

    How would I go about lowering the quality?

  • Richard

    Sorry to bring this up again but if you don’t want to lose quality and don’t have the $$$ to splash out on a new system then try WMP12 again. I’ll have a stab in the dark and say you’ve got HD .mkv files. If so just run them through mkv2vob before you drop them into your monitored media folder and Bob’s your uncle.

    See here http://tech-nonsense.blogspot.com/

  • daveyjane

    I am trying to stream an mkv file to my ps3., from an intel dual core 3400mhz Asus homebuilt machine with 2gb ram. using winxp sp3.
    the fps for the mkv file indicates 25.000 as below:

    Width : 720 pixels
    Height : 576 pixels
    Display aspect ratio : 16:9
    Original display aspect ratio : 5:4
    Frame rate : 25.000 fps
    Resolution : 8 bits
    Colorimetry : 4:2:0
    Scan type : Progressive

    For the 720 and 576 i have put 720 and 480 into the “use video scaler” blocks, since i am in the usa and my lcd tv uses 480 resolution, (as well as 720 and 1080)
    Now, do I need to put any lines into the “expert settings” button?
    like your example:
    framerate == 23.976 :: -speed 1.042709376 -ofps 25

    Just what line would i use instead of the example
    for this particular mkv file?

    any changes to the audio track likely? its aac and 48000 at 640.

    Or do you need any additional info?

    thanks for supporting this great java software.

  • Richard

    Here’s one for you Adub.

    Contrary to my previous posts here I’ve now been using PS3MediaServer successfully for a few months. I obviously didn’t give it a chance last time and now it’s running as a service very successfully. However, I have an mkv where the audio is Swedish and the subs are in English. I’ve dropped the file in my monitored folder and it streams to my PS3 with the subs but not the audio. Any ideas? It’s like PS3MS is blocking the foreign audio, as if English is a default. Info on the PS3 confirms that no audio is being streamed. I’ve had a look under the various tabs but drawn a bit of a blank.

  • Richard

    …and of course now I’ve been into settings it’s buggered up the flaky Service side of things Actually I think that’s why I got a bit cheesed off with PS3MS last time…

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    You know Richard, I have heard some good things about TVersity. I haven’t had time to look at it yet myself, but it may be worth a look if you are having problems with PS3MS.

  • Richard

    TVersity is another I’ve tried before but I’ve decided to give that another go too. I’m a media server software tart!

    It seems to be OK but still a little hit and miss in some areas. I’ve got it starting at boot which is always good but to get .mkv playback I’ve had to follow these instructions http://forums.tversity.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=27398 Unfortunately that recommends the CCCP codec pack which obviously buggers up carefully chosen codec settings discussed on this site. It seems you can’t have everything.

    It does annoy me that these software solutions seem to be knocked up in someones back bedroom. Actually PS3MS probably was so I can let them off. The fact that TVersity charge for their Pro version is a bit rich when their support forum is full of people using voodoo just to get the damn thing working

    “I accidentally poked myself in the eye last time I set up Tversity and now I can run .mkvs perfectly. Make sure you always poke yourself in the eye at set up and it will work flawlessly”

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Ha! You have a good point Richard. I must agree, none of the streaming offerings are perfect these days.

    Personally, I have become much more fond of the HTPC bandwagon. Really simplifies things, and a decent build can be both cheap and power efficient these days.

  • Richard

    Well I think I’m more than likely going to go down the WDTV Live route. It should play everything I throw at it. I’ve got one on order from Amazon and if that’s not suitable I can send it back. The other alternative is one of the HDI Dune players http://dune-hd.com/index.php?do=players A nice bit of kit but a bit pricey.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Huh, I’d never heard of the Dune players before. I’ve heard good things about WDTV’s and Popcorn Hour as well. Good luck with your new toy!

  • Richard

    Thought I’d post back about the WDTV Live. It plays everything I’ve thrown at it! Very pleased.It even plays the English subs on the Swedish language movie I mentioned earlier. Smooth too though I may be seeing a slight judder on some of the higher bitrate 1080p movies. Either way it’s better than a software solution.

    An added bonus is I’ve been able to ditch any server software (TVersity/PS3MS) and all the codec packs they insisted on. I’ve got my PC back to how it was after your playback/decoding chain guides. Just WMP12 and a nifty little WDTV Live.

    I ought to add I’m not knocking this guide. PS3MS is an amazing if a little amatuer piece of work. I just didn’t get on with it.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Very nice! I must admit, I’m a little jealous Richard! I currently hoarding away my money to build a proper NAS for my home. Jeez does it get expensive.

  • Richard

    $98 from Amazon Adub. You know you want too :)

    I suppose NAS is my next logical step. Maybe you could branch out into hardware how-to’s. That would be interesting reading.

  • A55K1KKR

    2 problems with the pms, 1st is it will not allow me to save my settings, unable to save the configuration to the file. 2nd is the avisynth/MEncoder engine is not loaded and i dont know how to get the bloody thing up and running. Any ideas?

  • Richard

    As I previously said, it’s voodoo A55K1KKR. The software seems to be a permanent beta and their support forum is full of questions from people with odd glitches that only seem to be solved (if ever) by ‘I don’t know what I did but it works now’. I’m no tech but I can only put it down to the huge variety of hardware/software configurations out there. That says unfinished to me. When it works it’s great and huge respect to the developer but alter a setting and you run the risk of just fucking it all up. I’ve been there. More than once.

    Save yourself the pain and ditch the PS3 as a media player for formats it doesn’t natively support. Sony will never do full high bit rate mkv support because they know who uses it and they have too much to lose.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Yeah, PMS appears to be a finicky software. The original author doesn’t appear to be doing any heavy development, so who knows when/if it will get better.

    One thing I can say is that I’ve had no trouble saving settings in the past. Make sure that you have your system setup so that PMS can write out its settings.

    As for the Avisynth engine, make sure that you have Avisynth installed and Mencoder configured with the execution permissions (which should be on by default in a Windows installation).

    Currently, the only serious alternative that I’ve heard (from a Windows standpoint) is TVersity. I’ve never used it myself, but I’ve heard good things from those that have no other option.

  • Josh

    Hello Adub, it’s me again from quite a while ago.
    I got a new pc and it plays videos perfectly now.
    On the downside, for some reason the one thing I can not play is King of the Hill episodes, they’re .mkv formatted, but I swear I might have played .mkv videos before, could you please help me out once again.

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Josh, make sure that you have a proper MKV splitter installed. Assuming that you are on Windows, install Haali’s Media Splitter. This is necessary if PS3MediaServer is using Avisynth mode.

  • Dagon

    I don’t use PS3MS or Tversity or Vuze or WMP2 for streaming. I stream from my Network Drive.

    Yes, I have tried the programs above but I prefer to keep my laptop free. And I prefer a less messy setup.

    What causes the choppiness is often the original encoding. The PS3 can handle streaming high quality rips so long as they’re encoded more compatibly. You won’t find this out if you’re relying on the above programs.

    If the rip has been encoded less compatibly then it will stutter – in that case it simply gets copied over to the PS3 for that viewing, all of 10 mins and a cup of tea!

    Although I don’t know what makes one rip more compatible than another I do know that it’s NOT just a matter of how much action is going on (or even due to other devices such as network-connected iphones, wifi printers and laptops).

    I don’t have time to rip myself but in one case I’d downloaded a good copy of my Unleashed bluray that worked fine this way with NO chop whatsoever. Ps, I have two PS3s – I stream to my bedroom PS3 rather than load Blurays.

  • Dagon

    I would however appreciate any insight you might have on what makes one rip more compatible than another. In the exampe above it’s an mp4, I think with AAC encoding (for sound anyway). If so I may well perform my own rips in future, time permitting. Thanks Adub for this blog-forum.

  • Strumin

    I’m well liking what Dagon has to say here – I’m just posting to receive any follow-ups to that post. Cheers to Adub for this blog :) .

  • http://adubvideo.net Adub

    Compatibility depends on a range of factors. For instance, the Xbox 360 does not support 5.1 AAC audio, only 2.0 AAC. But it supports 5.1 AC3 audio, so it really depends on the device and the setup.

    However, some of the most important factors in a “compatible” encode are the bitrate and buffer settings, along with the number of b or reference frames.

    For instance, most hardware devices support the H.264 High Profile up to level 4.1. Now, you maybe wondering what a “level” is. Here is your answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264/MPEG-4_AVC#Levels

    In short, a “level” is just a specification for a max video bitrate and framerate at a specific resolution. Any files that are encoded with values higher than this may not be compatible, but videos encoded lower than this are much more likely to be compatible with your desired device.

    As I mentioned before B-frames (Bidirectional frames) are a bit more finicky. Some devices support lots of b-frames, some only support a few (such as up to 3 or 1) and some support none at all. It’s up to you to figure out your desired device specs.

    Nonetheless, if you aim to keep your video at around 23.976fps, with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 or even 1280x720p, using level 4.1 and a decent vbv-buffer, with max 3 b-frames, chances are you can play it on most modern hardware players.

  • http://www.casinospinpalace.ca Dylan

    This is a pretty sweet tutorial, I had no idea you can do it with this method. I was using my online network drive to stream my movies and games. This works well also.

    Dylan,
    Gaming Author
    Spin Palace

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