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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!