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AVCHD (or M2TS?) on Windows Server: Panasonic G20 TV & SD60 Camcorder

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
I've spent many days trying to sort this and am now crying.

:(

See?

We have the above kit: (Windows Home) server, Panasonic G20 plasma & a Panasonic SD60 HD video camera. The Panasonic G20 manual says it's happy with AVCHD files, and the SD60 records in this format natively.

So, I simply copied the entire memory card from the camera to the server (so file structure remains identical). However, the TV can't even see the AVCHD folder, let alone it's contents. What do Panasonic expect users to do once the camera memory card is full? (Have I broken a rule or something?)

(We have CyberLink PowerDirector which seems to be able to 'convert' an M2TS file to H264 (i think???) but: a) it takes a very long time to convert even a short file (I gave up), and b) the G20 manual suggests that should not be necessary.

We simply cannot spend any more money here! :lease: What do other Panasonic users do to view their camera files?

Cheers,

Chris
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
Hmm - I've got a Panasonic HD Writer disc here. Perhaps if I install that onto my laptop it'll be able to find the files on the server. Does anyone know if HD Writer will search over a network?

:thumbsdow I may have to give it a try, though I'm loathed to install yet another unwanted program on my computer...

Cheers,

Chris
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Media players built into TV's universally suck.

The quick solution without doing much is to install Serviio (free) or Mezzmo (commercial) on your WHS and let is transcode the video material in real time to a format the TV can play.
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
Ah - that sounds like an interesting idea. (I've never heard of these programs before. I've heard of Twonky but never looked at it.) Anyway, though I hate the idea of installing software onto the WHS, it seems worth a go at least. I'll let you know how I get on - I'm going to give Serviio a try.

Many thanks next, it's much appreciated.

Cheers,

Chris
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
I've been trying Serviio for a fews days now. It's potentially a great utility but very flaky - I can never get it to load all the files into the library. It tends to find about half. If I reboot the server it helps, and when it sees the video files - particularly the Panasonic M2TS files which is what I'm after - it's wonderful. Plays smooth & clear with surprisingly good, crisp sound (it's only stereo).

But usually it can't see the folder, or sees the folder and can't see any files inside it. I can set them manually under the Library tab, but that works for about half the times. (I may try a reinstall but the Serviio forums indicate lots of 'niggles'.)

Anyway, it's the only way forward for us at the moment, so there we have it.

Thanks again next,

Chris
 

next010

Distinguished Member
You could try asking for specific help on the Serviio forums the developer (zip) is quite helpful, or try out Mezzmo the commercial DLNA server it has a fully featured demo version.

I'd double check the permissions on the folder, make sure guest or everyone can read them, thats my best guess as to why it's so flaky although under WHS their may be other considerations to take into account that the developer may know about.
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
Thanks next, I appreciate the help. :smashin:

I'm gritting my teeth after having to download another program (Seviio) and now having to join yet another forum... :mad: But it's a bullet I've had to bite. My thread is here, for anyone who wants to follow:

Serviio • View topic - Library not compiling: permissions problem?

Still, Serviio does seem to be a great little utility & when I get it to work, it'll be just ace!

Thanks again next - you're a gent. :)

Chris
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
Well, it works! Finally. :thumbsup:

Thanks again next, your suggestion of Serviio was spot-on. It's a simple to use utility, an excellent option for Windows Home Server (WHS), but video streaming/transcoding is all very foreign to me so it's been a bit a steep learning curve. (I.e. it's taken five days worth of hassle to sort - many, many hours. I imagine someone with a little more savvy my well get on better!)

With Serviio, the permissions thing was confusing initially (not sure I've got it right now): log on to the server, and go to Administrative Tools from the Start button, select Services and scroll down to Serviio. Right-click Properties and under the Log on tab, select the user & password. (I used the WHS 'administrator' option but I'm not sure if I shouldn't have used my laptop (shares) name. Anyway, it works so I'm leaving it!) :blush:

The other thing that foxed me was the Library in Serviio. It's straight forward enough to select the Local drive and the 'shares' folder (were all the users' data is stored in WHS) but it took all night to find all the video files. (Some it found quickly, but less than half.) We've not got a large video collection - mostly home movies - but still, it takes a time... In the end, if Serviio doesn't find the video files, you'll just have to leave it running for a long time! (Not a problem with a server since it's on 24/7.) And then, for us, it took two nights since the AVIs didn't register first time round. No idea why... :confused:

Anyway, Serviio is wonderful. It's free, which is most important for us at the moment, but the Serviio forums are well supported, busy resource which helps enormously. Special thanks go to zip (Petr) - the Serviio creator who offers huge amounts of support through the forums & with updates - and moltra (Mark) who also helped me (both were quick too!).

Serviio: :clap:

next010: :smashin:

Thanks from me!

Cheers,

Chris
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
:) Well, Serviio got me out of a bit of a spot (specifically with the AVCHD/M2TS thing), but it's not 100%. It falls over lots of times. Most, I imagine, can be sorted with tremendous input from Petr (and others) in the Serviio forums, but it's a long slog.

I got fed-up: WAV files won't play and FLAC files sound strangely 'woolly'. I'm sure it's all mendable but I'm not trying anymore. I've gone onto a 15-day trial of Mezzmo. (They're offering potential free licensing if you do a YouTube video. I'm going to give it a go.)

See: Buy products - Special Offers for DownloadStudio, Mezzmo - Conceiva

Cheers, :smashin:

Chris
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Is it worth all the transcoding just to use the poor media player built into the TV ?

A WDTV Live for £79 won't require transcoding for most media types and should work a lot better, you can also bypass DLNA and read the shared folders on the server via SMB.
 

ChrisOfTheOT

Standard Member
Hi next :smashin:

I've seen you singing the praised of these media players in many places - especially the Western Digital jobbie. And I agree, it would be much better ('transcoding' seems the same as 'downgraging' to me). For us the AVCHD home video thing was key and both Serviio & Mezzmo sort those very well. The other important thing turned out to be MP3 playing which also sound really good with both.

I went with Mezzmo cheifly because Serviio seemed to be causing file conflicts on the server - it was trying to access files from folders deleted many days ago. (Serviio is very slow at refreshing it's library - often a week was not enough.)

A WD streamer would be best but we really don't have the cash. :( Alas. But if we did... Our solution must be free; so Mezzmo it is (assuming I can get the video sorted & accepted!).

Cheers next,

Chris
 

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