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Media Guide - Video / Audio / Photo - Streaming & Playback

Axum

Novice Member
I've now split the Media Guide up into separate posts as there's a post-max-character limit now. Plus this way makes it easier to link through to things.

Times have changed and we thought it was a good idea to re-write the original PS3 Media Playback Explained thread.

Big thanks to Uridium who helped me compile this new guide.

By no means is this an exhaustive (although it may feel like it if you read through it ALL!) guide, so if anyone has any other contributions then let me know and I'll get them added.

The main changes are to the areas around HD-streaming, as this section was out-of date.

None of the information below is condoning any form of illegal activity, ripping DVD's etc, as far as i know, is still illegal if you are bypassing copyright protection (although this may of changed now!), so this is a disclaimer to ensure that this guide is not seen to be promoting or actively encouraging the playback of media that may have been obtained via non-legal sources.

I thought that we should approach the guide in a slightly different way this time, covering the following topics :


Remember, when we mention any USB device we'll assume you already know it MUST be formatted as FAT32 (NOT NTFS). This places certain restrictions on single file sizes but ways of working within these restrictions can be found below. Use this to format your drive to FAT32 - it's tried and tested, very quick, and VERY easy to use.
 
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Axum

Novice Member
Streaming

Below is a quick run-down of the available streaming applications that are most popular with Windows users that want to be able to stream content via their PC to their PS3.

Why Stream ?
Streaming is a very flexible way of making whatever is available on your PC, in terms of media i.e. photos/music/videos etc, available to play on your PS3. The following will not go into any detail about the different formats etc, please see the appropriate section for more details, but here's a starting point :
Video formats the PS3 supports "out of the box"
Audio formats the PS3 supports "out of the box"
Photo formats the PS3 supports "out of the box"

Streaming means you don't have to copy things to a USB drive, or to the PS3 HDD, so saves space, duplication of data etc. As most people's media storage solutions are their PC's, it makes sense to be able to open this storage up so you can do stuff like listen to all your music libraries on your PS3, view all your photos on your PS3, and of course, the most obvious, watch your videos on your PS3 and not on a PC monitor...

One downside to streaming is of course the fact your PC must always be on when you want to stream.

Besides just streaming and making things available to your PS3 to play, you can of course COPY most things from your PC to your PS3. This means once the copy is finished, you can turn your PC off, which is particularly good for photos and music, but for videos, internal PS3 storage can soon become a problem (although here's a guide on how to increase your internal storage). You also have different media formats to consider when doing this (see relevant sections).

When streaming, with any software, there are two connection methods : Wireless and Wired
At all times Wired is the preferred method. Being wired means you can connect the PS3 to a Gigabit network (as long as both your router and your PC network card allow this - older setups will connect at 100Mbps), this offers exceptional speed in terms of streaming or copying content. Things will stream quicker, i.e. reduced waiting times if any, videos (especially HD) will hardly stutter during playback, so overall this is the best option. If you can't wire your PS3 directly to your router or PC then you could use Homeplugs. These are clever devices that attach at either end of the router and the PS3, and plug into your mains supply, utilizing your mains to transfer the signal. There are various types of Homeplugs, operating at different connection speeds, the fastest is currently 200Mbps which would be ideal for all forms of streaming.

Nowadays most ISP's will give you a free wireless router. These are fine for streaming content such as photos and music, however as the wireless capabilities of the PS3 aren't great (it's based on a slower Wireless G protocol, not the quickest Wireless N), playback of video can be problematic and majority of people will struggle as their signal strength won't be that great. Some people can stream HD content without much difficulty, but this is rare.

There are numerous guides and walkthroughs about setting up either of the connections, indeed the built-in walkthrough of the PS3 is easy enough to follow so search online if having actual connection problems or ask in the forums.
 
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Axum

Novice Member
PS3 Media Server (PS3MS) - (media server of choice - don't use anything else unless you just cannot get this to work!)

PS3 Media Server is a free DLNA streaming application which you can install on your computer. It can be found here PS3 Media Server

So why use PS3 Media server ?

Written from the ground up specifically for the PS3 by a developer fed up with TVersity and WMP11
Written in Java so truly cross platform (Windows/Linux/Mac)
No codec packs needed, all files needed for basic functionality included in the application install
On the fly MKV transcoding without huge hardware demand
Very configurable should advance users wish to do so
Adds Internal/External subtitle support for SD/HD streams
Internal database for fast XMB browsing
Adds Custom cover art for streamed movies to PS3 XMB (see below)
Restriction of Media Server availability (in case you have more than one PS3 and don't want the kids accessing your media server and viewing your content) is also achievable : Goto Ps3 Media Server>General settings tab>IP Filter, just add in the IP address of the PS3 you do want to receive media streams.

So how do I use it?
Simply download, install and run (Vista/Win7 users should right click and choose 'Run as Administrator' on first Run after install to allow Java update)
With no configuration the application will by default make all drives on your PC available to the PS3 however if you wish so you can customize the application to only display specific drives and/or folders via the 'Navigation/share settings' tab and adding or removing drives in the 'Shared Folders' section.

No other configuration should be needed for you to begin streaming with MKV transcodes should your backend PC hardware be fast enough. (The Developer recommended specs for MKV transcoding are Pentium4 Dual Core for 720p MKV's or Core2Duo or higher for 1080p MKV's).

Adding Custom Artwork for streaming
There's a great site that will generate some very nice thumbnail images that you can use when streaming, it's nicely customizable and has some great in-built searching to find nice source images for you to use :
PS3 Media Server Thumbnail Generator

For a single DVD/Coverart image to display for each Video file just drop a jpg/png named EXACTLY (with a suffix of ".cover.jpg") the same as the video file into the same folder on the PC as the video file e.g.
Transformers.avi
Transformers.avi.cover.jpg

If the above doesn't work then try without the ".cover" bit in the filename.

To apply an image for a whole folder full of video files (Useful for TV show seasons etc..) Just drop an image named 'folder.jpg' in to the same folder on the PC as the Video files.
e.g.
Folder '24 Season 1' would contain files below and show the same image for each video file.
24S01EP01.avi
24S01EP02.avi
Folder.jpg

Cover art is not supported when streaming directly from an external HDD, only via this method or the internal HDD.

Helpful Links for PS3MS :
Java PS3 Media Server for dummies – chapter 1 introduction
Java PS3 Media Server for dummies – chapter 2 networking and technical basics
Java PS3 Media Server for dummies – chapter 3 installation and basic configuration
Java PS3 Media Server for dummies – chapter 4a configuration
Java PS3 Media Server for dummies – chapter 4b configuration
Java PS3 Media Server for dummies – chapter 5 Videolan- and Avisynth
 
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Axum

Novice Member
TVersity - (copied from existing guide - not updated due to emergence of PS3 Media Server as preferred streamer)
TVersity is a free media server application which you can install on your computer to allow the sharing of media files. More information about TVersity can be found at its official homepage: TVersity - Home

I've decided not to write a step by step on installing TVersity as the Quick Setup page (TVersity - Quick Start Guide) does a good explains it well enough. I'd only be repeating it! However, if some one wants to write one I'd be happy to add it.

TVersity Troubleshooting
Instead of a setup guide I think a list of common problems and solutions would be pretty handy.

My PS3 cannot find my media server automatically or when I search for media servers, what's the problem?
Check your firewall settings to allow the following file to be accessible through network connection; "C:\Program Files\TVersity\Media Server\MediaServer.exe" (Install location may be different).
Has the TVersity Media Server started ? In the start menu go Start > All Programs > TVersity Media Server > TVersity Tools > Start TVserity Media Server.​

The quality of my video is poor when streamed, what can I do about it?
I need your help here; if you're a user of TVersity please post your TVersity settings, your processor type and speed, amount of RAM, and graphics card.​

Can you suggest any recommended TVersity settings?

Well I can't but thanks to nolive for sharing his:

When to transcode:
Only When Needed
Uncheck "Decrease the bitrate"

Optimization:
Select "Speed"

Connection Speed and Quality:
I selected Wired 100 since that's what I have but pick what best represents your network

Compression:
Average

Video Resolution:
Select what suits your TV. I have a 1080p so I input 1920 x 1080.

Decoding Speed:
Uncheck "Decode the media as fast as possible" I found this to be extremely important. Otherwise the computer, contrary to how it sounds, can't work fast enough and the videos will pause and time out on the PS3. Changing this allowed them to run all the way through.

I have discovered that while older systems such as mine will stutter in video for the first 30 seconds or so, this is only a buffering process, and will catch up after around that time. They should play flawlessly here on out.

Also, be sure to have ffdshow installed as your divx/xvid/mpg codec.

For reference, my pc specs:
Athlon XP 1800+
1 GB of RAM
Gigabit ethernet card
Windows XP SP2

Why would I use this instead of Windows Media Player 11?
You might come across a file format which the Playstation 3 cannot play back – normally results in you seeing an “Unsupported file format error” if you try. TVersity can convert that file on-the-fly into a format that the PS3 can playback, this is known as transcoding.

Windows Media Player - (copied from existing guide)

With WIFI technology built into the Playstation 3 connecting your Playstation 3 to a networked PC couldn't be easier.

Windows Media Player 12 has transcoding built-in now. Although not as precise/customizable as PS3MS it is most likely installed "out-of-the-box" on most new PC's running a new OS. Please let me know if you want me to add anything regarding WMP12

How do I do that?
You may have come across the term ‘client-server' when dealing with networks. All that really means is one device provides something (the Server) and the other device uses it (the Client). Your PC will be the server, and your Playstation 3 will be the client.

To manage the media access from Playstation 3 to the PC you need a Media Server on your PC. Now that's not as scary as it might sound. If you have Windows Media Player 11 installed then you already have a media server! This part of the guide will explain setting up a media server with Windows Media Player 11.

Using Windows Media Player 11
This method by far is probably the easiest to setup. If you don't already have Windows Media Player 11 because you haven't updated it, you can download it from this link: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/win...1/default.aspx

PreConditions:​

To have Windows Media Player 11 installed.
To have your Playstation 3 setup to use wireless networking and that it actually works on your network. You can do a network test for this to check.​

Once installed follow these steps:​
  1. Hover the mouse pointer over the ‘Library' button and when the little arrow appears just below it, click that arrow to open the submenu.
  2. In that sub menu click on ‘Add to Library'.
  3. In the window that appears, select ‘My Personal Folder' (See note about this below).
  4. Then use the ‘Add' button to add the folders which contain the media files you want to share. These folders can include music, pictures and video.
  5. Use the ‘Remove' button to remove any folders that might be in the list by default which you don't want to be shared.
  6. When you finish, click ‘Ok' button. If this is the first time you're setting up Windows Media Player 11 to share media you'll have to wait a few seconds while it adds the new files to its library. Click the ‘Close' button when it has finished adding the files.
  7. Turn on Playstation 3 if it isn't already on.
  8. Click on the arrow under the ‘Library' button again, and select Media Sharing. You will see a window that shows all the devices which your PC can see, and which of those devices is allowed access and which isn't. Put a tick in the ‘Share My Media' box.
  9. Your Playstation 3 should show up as ‘Unknown Device' in the middle box, select is and click on the ‘Allow'button. Click ‘OK' to finish.
  10. On your Playstation 3 look in the menus for the different media types. The Playstation 3 should have automatically connected to your Windows Media Player media server and displayed it in the list.
  11. You're good to go, you can now browse and view your media files through your Playstation 3.
Notes:​
When adding folders to the Windows Media Library you have the option of 'My Personal Folders' or 'My folders and those of others I can access'. The first option is the simple just my folders. Whereas the second option lets you also share folders owned by other users of the PC​

OK, so that's you all sorted in terms of which software to use (hint hint use PS3MS!), now it's onto actually streaming content...
 
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Axum

Novice Member
HD (High definition - 720p/1080i/1080p) content playback

The normal HD files that you would want to playback are MKV files.
Others, such as .m2ts/.ts files exist also, but these are rarer and follow different procedures to achieve PS3-playback.

There are two distinct types of HD files, in terms of picture quality/resolution, 720p and 1080p.

If you do not have a FULL HD TV (sometimes known as HD Ready) these can only support 720p content so there is no need to get 1080p files.

FULL HD TV owners can choose between 720p/1080p. Some people say they cannot tell the difference, so it's worth trying as 1080p files are on average 2.5 times the size of 720p files (around 4.5GB for 720p to 10-12GB on average for 1080p).

Depending on what type of file you choose depends on how you can go about playing back this media on the PS3.

The following scenarios assume that you have a FULL HD TV, which is connected to an amp which can playback (decode) DTS sound. If you have an HD-ready TV, then just follow the same procedure, ignoring the 1080p section.....

Streaming 720p

Wireless (if you can't wire the PS3 to the router using CAT5 or using Homeplugs)
Some people are lucky and can actually stream 720p content directly from their PC, as they have excellent signal strength. Most people cannot do this however, they would need to be wired.

Around 99% + of 720p MKV's do not require video transcoding, they just need the header information changed and the audio changed/patched for the PS3 to be able to play it.

If you're lucky and have a great signal strength, you can :
Use PS3 Media Server - Transcode on the fly​

Benefits :
PS3MS is easy to use
Don't need a high-spec PC as it's just converting audio (you could setup a low-powered PC just to do this job if you so wish)
DTS-patching (if your AMP supports DTS) so don't need to downsample to AC3 sound
Only storage required is your PC storage - no need for external storage, no need to upgrade your PS3 HDD​
Disadvantages :
PC always has to be on whilst streaming.​

However, if you have poor signal strength, you can :

Use mkv2vob to pre-convert the files (UPDATE mkv2vob now available for use on the Mac - mkv2vobMac), patching the audio, or downsampling to AC3 if amp doesn't support DTS, or you have no amp (screenshot of mkv2vob with checkboxes etc)
Set Output Type to be "File" (more on the other options later)
Set Video Transcoding to be Automatic
Set Codec to be anything, it should really ever use this (but MAY in the 5% of 720p's that do need transcoding, so be aware)
You then have a choice :
  1. Copy (via streaming software, can use any but again PS3MS is recommended) to PS3 internal HDD - play off PS3 internal HDD
  2. Copy onto USB HDD/stick and playback via attaching to the PS3

Wired (either by "hard-wiring" your PS3 to your router via a cable, or by using Homeplugs)

The choices here are pretty much the same as above. You will however be more likely to have the ability to FFwd and Rwd files. Being wired means the bandwidth available (not to be confused with your internet download speed!) is easily sufficient to stream HD content.

Streaming 1080p

Wireless (no chance of wiring the PS3 to the router using CAT5 or using Homeplugs)
Chances are you will not be able to stream 1080p content (which is decent - i.e. a fairly high bitrate ~ 10Mbps) using a wireless connection. The likelihood is you will get bad stuttering, or the file will not play at all. Your choices here are quite limited :

Around 50% of all 1080p mkv's (UPDATE : Apparently due to some changes, there is now a much lower percentage because most 1080p's are more compliant, meaning it should be less than 10% that require a transcode) will need to be transcoded, meaning the video needs touching, which in turn multiplies the time it takes greatly.

You will NOT be able to transcode on-the-fly using PS3 Media Server. You would need a high-spec PC to do this anyway, but combine this with the limitations due to wireless and the likelihood is you will get bad stuttering during playback.

Only real choice is to pre-convert with mkv2vob :
If your amp can decode DTS then again, allow mkv2vob to patch the file, otherwise check the "Always Transcode DTS" checkbox - giving you AC3 sound.​
Transcode the file :​
Set the Video Transcoding drop-down option to "Automatic"
Choose your codec (MPEG2 is quicker but not as good quality, x264 is best quality but slower, x264 HB is ultimate quality (but unless you have a 60inch display you won't notice))
Transcoding a "normal" (10GB) 1080p mkv file will take a few hours on a fairly high-spec machine, it could take more than a day on a lower-spec one.
You then need to choose your "File Extension" - leave this to be Automatic
You do not need to split the file (bypassing the FAT32 < 4GB limit) with this method​

You should then have a .mpg file as an output. As you're wireless the only real thing you can do is COPY the file over to your PS3 HDD (remember, the internal PS3 HDD is NOT limited by FAT32 restrictions). The time it will take will vary on your signal strength. You can copy using any streaming software, PS3 Media Server, TVersity, Windows Media Player (WMP). As you are not really "streaming", this is literally just relocating the file onto the PS3.

You will then be able to play this file back on the PS3 with no stuttering and have full FFwd/Rwd capabilities.

Benefits :
No stuttering​
Disadvantages :
Transcode could take HOURS
Copy operation could take a long time and could fail if the wireless connection drops
Using internal PS3 storage so you'll soon eat-up your space requiring an HDD upgrade​

Wired (either by "hard-wiring" your PS3 to your router via a cable, or by using Homeplugs)
This is the much better option if watching 1080p content is what you want to be doing regularly.
You can now either use mkv2vob to pre-convert, or you can transcode on-the-fly using PS3MS (as long as your PC is a fairly high-spec). If you are still experiencing stuttering, then it may be because your PC is not up to the task. You may need to alter/tweak some of the quality settings in PS3MS (such as bitrate settings etc) to ensure no stuttering. If you're not sure if PS3MS is transcoding or not there is a simple way of finding out - When you playback a video file, e.g. a h.264 HD-video, press select on your PS3 controller. If MPEG2 is displayed for video codec PS3MS is transcoding, otherwise AVC is displayed which means muxing.

mkv2vob operations are exactly the same as above, you'll still need to transcode etc.

With PS3MS, this app can utilize various encoding engines to try and convert your content on the fly. You can tweak lots of different settings via PS3MS to alter the processing power needed to transcode.

Using a USB device with streaming
Remember with both wired/wireless streaming, you can utilize greater storage by sharing your external USB HDD and storing files on there instead of your PC's HDD, if space is running low. Exactly the same procedures and rules apply with this method as it just acts as another shared folder via the streaming software.
 
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Axum

Novice Member
HD playback via USB

If you're not able to stream, either wirelessly or wired, or you want THE most comprehensive playback support (depending on your Output Type), then USB might be the way you choose to achieve playback on your PS3.

Using either a USB stick or a USB External HDD (which MUST be formatted as FAT32 - the PS3 will NOT connect to NTFS-formatted USB drives) you can pre-convert mkv's using mkv2vob, load them up onto the USB device, and play off of that by connecting it to the PS3.

One thing of note : DO NOT set the temp folder for mkv2vob to be this external USB device, the transcoding procedure may produce large files (> 4GB) that may fail as it will try to store them temporarily on the USB device.

The method of pre-converting for USB playback is exactly the same as above, you need to set the File Splitting to FAT32 however. The same comments about the codecs and transcoding times apply.

The only difference is once you have your resultant files, you transfer them to anywhere on your USB device, connect up to the PS3, then play them back.

You need to enable "Sequential Playback" via the PS3 settings to make sure it plays the files back one after another, otherwise you'll need to stop and select the next file manually.

Benefits :
Expands storage capabilities
PC does not have to be on during playback​
Disadvantages :
Requires the "extra step" of transcoding then storing the file
Extra storage space needed
Manoeuvering the USB device to the PS3 all the time (easy with a stick, bit more cumbersome with an HDD)​

Alternatively.....

This also opens up a new method of playback - AVCHD. AVCHD-playback is, in essence, "tricking" the PS3 into thinking it's playing back a Blu-ray disc. AVCHD has built-in DTS support, as DTS is only supported via external media (i.e. USB or disc) playback. It also has selectable subtitles and selectable audio (if applicable). But the main benefit is 24p playback. This is, if your TV supports it, all to do with the framerate, resulting in a smoother motion on some TV's, eliminating "judder" in panning/fast-action scenes. Your TV must support 24p playback (this only works @ 1080p resolution) and you must enable it via the PS3's settings.

AVCHD and MKV files
The method of pre-converting for USB playback is exactly the same as above, however, you could now choose the Output Type to be AVCHD - USB. This will automatically split the generated files up for you into chunks that are smaller than 4GB, so you can transfer them onto the USB device.

The resultant folder, called AVCHD, should be placed at the ROOT of the drive, for example, if my external HDD was connected via Windows and assigned the "F:" drive letter, it should look like this : F:\AVCHD

You can have other folders/files in the root, but the AVCHD folder MUST be there.

Multiple AVCHD instances in the same folder
There's a great piece of software that enables you to have MULTIPLE "AVCHD" folders at the root level, it's called multiAVCHD. This software is excellent as it allows you to have lots of different movies, it can create bespoke menus for you, you can alter all sorts of things. This software does actually do a similar thing to mkv2vob if required, but i just use it to combine multiple AVCHD folders. When you load up an AVCHD created with this software, it can bring up it's own menu, with selectable movies using your own custom thumbnails etc, you can do a LOT of different things with it. There's a tutorial here.

Say if you have lots and lots of different files you want to make into AVCHD folders, obviously these will only play correctly if they're under the same "root" AVCHD folder on the drive. You can achieve this by following these instructions using multiAVCHD (taken from the tutorial) :

1) You have an existing multiAVCHD compilation - named AVCHD
2) Rename it to AVCHD_old
3) Drag AVCHD_old to multiAVCHD
4) Add new files
5) Make sure you have [x] Move transitional files in Settings checked
6) Select TARGET and TEMP to be the drive where AVCHD_old is - this will speed up things.
7) Create your compilation
8) Close multiAVCHD and remove AVCHD_old folder

When you navigate to the "Video" area on the PS3 XMB, click on your USB device (once connected directly to the PS3 of course!), you should see an "AVCHD" folder appear. You need to PLAY THIS FOLDER. Pressing Start on the folder should initiate playback.

DO NOT navigate into the AVCHD folder. There will be lots of .m2ts files inside a "STREAM" folder, these contain the video and the sound. However if you play these directly, you are losing all the benefits AVCHD playback gives you. If you do this you are now playing back as a normal "file", thus not "tricking" the PS3 any more.

NOTE :
When using AVCHD, you will get a strange result (basically the picture moves up the screen and the black bar that used to be there goes to the bottom) with the following video heights:

< 584 = transcode, which will give you normal black bars at the top and bottom, video centered
>= 584 = no transcode, but will have video pushed up to the top and a black bar at the bottom (unless the file is exactly 1280x720 or 1920x1080. the bar will turn green if you stop/start the movie. need to restart to remove the green back to black) - a FULL transcode will center the image
1280x720, 1920x1080 = video is normal. no transcode, no video pushed to the top, no green/black bar at the bottom

AVCHD - Non-mkv
You can also use multiAVCHD when you have .m2ts/.mts files to start with. If you're not dealing with mkv files and have some other source files (either from a Blu-ray disc that you own and have ripped to enable playback without the disc, or you also find AVCHD folders on the new HD camcorders, or if you have .mts/.m2ts files from a different source) then you can use multiAVCHD to create a single PS3-friendly AVCHD folder, or you can use it to make multiple instances as above. It's fairly self-explanatory to use however there is a guide available here. multiAVCHD will, in essence, prepare any other files to be in a state where they can be played-back on the PS3 using the AVCHD method. It will split up the files into 4GB chunks (it may do this automatically when you choose the PS3 as a target device, if not you can set this in the split options), and it will prepare the AVCHD folder to have the right files in the right places.

Original Blu-ray re-authoring to work on the PS3 via external HDD
When you have the original Blu-ray discs and want to make an electronic copy to be able to play them on the PS3 without having to load the disc and protecting the disc, multiAVCHD can also to do this for you. This will only work as-designed (with all the extras that AVCHD playback gives you) via USB HDD playback :

1) You load the blu-ray BDMV folder into multiAVCHD
2) Answer with [YES] to the prompt to enter RE-AUTHOR mode
3) Click start and select Playstation 3

You'll get a copy of your original blu-ray disc (with original menus) ready for your PS3 external USB HDD.

More info can be found here and here

mkv2vob - Helpful screenshots

The above image shows settings you can use when streaming via PS3MS.
Note:
Output Type set to "File"
Video Transcoding set to "Automatic"
Output File Extension set to "Automatic"
NO File Splitting (unnecessary when streaming or copying to internal PS3 HDD)
Transcoding Codec - x264 HB - this is THE SLOWEST codec to use, but provides the best quality. A 1080p transcode using this codec could take more than a day on a low-spec PC.
No other checkboxes checked, apart from auto-update
You can use the above when using a USB device connected to the PC, then copy resulting file over to the USB device and stream

Same as above, but this time, if you're only connected to your TV for audio, or your amp does not support DTS, check the "Always Transcode DTS" option.
All other notes from above apply.
You can use the above when using a USB device connected to the PC, then copy resulting file over to the USB device and stream

Same as above.
Only difference here is we're using "File Splitting - FAT32" - this is assuming you'll be copying to a USB device, and playing back directly off that when it's connected to the PS3.
There is no need to do this if you're using a USB device and just streaming when the device is connected to the PC.
Again, check the "Always Transcode DTS" if your amp doesn't support DTS, or you're connected direct to the TV

The above shows how you can use the AVCHD method of playback
Video Transcoding is set to "Always" - this will ENSURE that the video is aligned correctly when played back (otherwise you may have a big black bar at the bottom) - this however will mean EVERY conversion will take hours, depending on the codec you use.
No need to choose File Splitting as it's automatically split into < 4GB chunks
This method SHOULD NOT be used when streaming, this is only for when the USB device is connected directly to the PS3.
 
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Axum

Novice Member
Other helpful info - (subs/media organisation etc)

Viewing subtitles in HD movies
Unfortunately the PS3 does not as yet support selectable subtitles within HD video files this means to view subtitles in HD movies you will have to do a little 'prep' work should you wish to view the subtitles.

Let PS3MS transcode the MKV and display an internal subtitle stream
When browsing your movie files using PS3 Media Server on the PS3 you will see a folder named &#8216;#Transcode' at the top of the list; navigating to this folder will then display an additional folder for each movie you have on your PC. Open one of these folders and you will see the movie file listed with the different transcoding engines and different language subtitles. Select the movie file with the subtitle language you require and playback. This will involve a full transcode by PS3MS though so is only for faster PC's.

You can if you wish limit the number of languages subtitles are offered in by specifying a country code in PS3MS Transcode settings tab under &#8216;video files engines'>subtitle settings'

Let PS3MS transcode the MKV and display an external subtitle
To use this option you need to ensure the box named &#8216;Autoload *.SRT/*.SUB subtitles with the same filename' check box is ticked. This can be found in PS3 Media Server Transcode settings tab under &#8216;video files engines>Mencoder' in the left hand panel. Then place your .SRT/.SUB subtitle txt file in the same folder on the PC as the movie file is stored in. The movie file will then be displayed in the PS3 XMB with the suffix &#8216;External subtitle'.

Note the .SRT/.SUB must be named identically to the movie file for this to work.

Hardcoded the Subs with a full transcode with MKV2VOB.
This option is more time consuming as it involves MKV2VOB carrying out a full transcode operation on the MKV file (Even if it is a file that only needs a simple remux) Essentially MKV2VOB will &#8216;burn' in an overlay of the subtitles onto the movie.

Open MKV2VOB and click the configuration tab; check the &#8216;Always encode subtitles' box and choose your desired subtitle language from the dropdown button in the option named &#8220;Preferred Subtitle Language' now convert the video as you would usually using your preferred options.

Removal of mkv2vob DTS patch - thanks to easyrider for this information!

Using the mkv2vob information above, you can see that, if you want DTS, the application patches the resultant file tricking the PS3 into passing-through DTS. However, if you then go and delete the original, the patched file's audio will be unplayable on other devices.

To make the patched file's audio playable, perform the following :

1. Use TSremux to remux the the mpg with the "PS3" DTS stream in to M2TS file. (takes about 2mins on [email protected])
2. Load the M2TS file into TSmuxer and Demux
3. You will have two seperate files one H264 video file and one .WAV file
4.Open MKVMerge and load both the H264 video stream and the .WAV file
5.Start Mux

What you are left with is a MKV file with DTS 6 channel audio that will play on other devices.

mkv2vob tsMuxer error workaround - again, thanks to easyrider
Sometimes mkv2vob may error, reporting an issue with tsMuxer.
It has something to do with the version of MKVtoolnix used to create the MKV files and MKV2VOB does not like them.
Install MKVtoolnix 4.2.0
Import the MKV
Choose none in the extra settings bit under compression
Run
Then Import into MKV2VOB and convert without issue.

Media Storage Organisation on the PS3 HDD
If you copy a lot of content onto your internal PS3 HDD, the chances are you'll have lots of random folders of content floating about and trying to organise it all isn't always the most straightforward task. Thanks to the OP of this thread for some useful information on an easy way to achieve good media organisation on your internal HDD

Other Video formats
If certain video files are giving you problems, such as MP4 files, or others, then your first point of call should be PS3 Media Server if streaming is an option for you. Opening the #transcode# folder via your PS3's XMB when connected to PS3MS should give you a transcoded version of your problem file. This can help remedy a number of different issues with other formats that aren't natively supported by the PS3.

If streaming is not an option then you'll have to pre-convert the problem file into a natively supported format for the PS3, then playback via a USB drive or stick, or DVD/CD. There are numerous conversion programs out there, if people would like to PM me with ones they have found to generate good results (and include their settings etc) I can post them up here...

Copying files from PC to PS3 without using PS3MS etc and being able to perform it as a background process
Read this post/guide to be able to copy pre-converted content to your PS3 without chunking etc

Problems with 5.1 sound and Panasonic systems
Read this if you're having issues with sound through a Panasonic system.
 
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Axum

Novice Member
SD (Standard definition) content playback

DVD Playback - Streaming option - PS3 Media Server
Streaming SD video via PS3 Media Server is for the most part pretty simple due to the PS3's wide SD codec and container support. There are a thousands of DVD ripping applications out there to get your DVD library ripped to your PC however I've always has good results with DVDShrink.

There are countless DVDShrink guides on the net so I'll just quickly run through how we use it for PS3 streaming. Use the Re-Author tab to rip just the main movie and audio track you want. Also uncheck the 'Split into 1Gb chunks' option. No need to worry about changing the target size as we will be streaming so have no file size limit issue as per USB.

Once ripping is complete you will be left with several output files (1x .Vob file and some .BUP & .IFO files ). Delete the .BUP & .IFO files as they aren't needed then simply rename the .Vob file to the name of the movie and move it to your shared movie storage location on PC.

Should you want the movie to appear on the PS3 XMB with a Boxart image instead of a video thumbnail then this is very easily done, Just download a picture of the DVD boxart (google image search good for this) and save the image file in the same location as the movie you ripped. The image file must be a .BMP or .PNG and must be named identically as per the movie file.

DVDShrink has not been updated now for several years so may have issues with the copy protection on some newer DVD's. Should you find a DVD that it has issues with simply use a Background decrypting application. Generally these applications run in the background and scan newly inserted discs, decrypt them then present them to any other applications as an unprotected disc.
There are many of these decrypting applications around (some free, some paid) the one i use is Slysoft AnyDVD which is a paid application but it works well so i think it's worth the small outlay. There is a fully functional trial version.

If you have a DVD ISO image then it should be just a case of making sure these files are part of your shared library, navigating to them, and playing. There have been some issues regarding ISO-playback previously, so if you're having problems doing this then a quick Google search should help resolve them.

DVD Playback via USB

Most of us will want to use this method to get rid of loads of old DVD's etc that may be taking up room or gathering dust (and there may be other reasons (!). I'm not going to go into the ins and out's of DVD-ripping, I'll just recommend a method that I have used successfully.

Problems:

* Most DVD's will be greater (in total size, with menu's, extra's, different languages etc) than 4GB, so they will not fit as one file on the USB HDD.​

Possible solution:

Compress the DVD using DVDShrink (freeware - just google for it). - Follow instructions above as well...

This little program will basically load up a DVD, show you which parts are the main movies (so not displaying extras/languages etc) and will compress it and save it on your PC's file system in one large .VOB file

I have tried using the various compression methods, but I've opted to use the default "Sharp" setting, this seems to work fine. OK, now you have a single .VOB file, you can then either copy this to the PS3 Hard Drive (not sure why) or you can just play it back via your USB HDD.​


Notes:
Make sure you uncheck the box under Edit > Preferences > Output Files > "Split VOB files into 1GB size chunks (recommended)".
I also change the Target DVD size to "Custom - 3999mb", making sure that any ripping I do will produce ONE large .VOB file around the 4GB mark. - ****NO NEED NOW WITH SEQUENTIAL PLAYBACK****
So that's basically that, to summarise, Original DVD > Rip using DVDShrink > Play on PS3!​

Addendum :
Now the PS3 has a "Sequential Playback" option. Once turned on the PS3 will play all files in a folder sequentially, thus meaning you don't have to play each piece manually by selecting it and pressing "X".​

If you do have a folder with multiple .vob files in it, usually found under a VIDEO_TS folder, then you could use the DOS command prompt to join them up :

Because the VOBs are simply split files created from previously contiguous larger file, you can reconstruct the larger file using the window copy command. To do this:
a) Open a cmd window using the Windows run command.
b) cd to the folder containing your VOB files.
c) At the command line, enter a command similar to:
copy /b vob1.vob + vob2.vob + vob3.vob outputFile.mpg

This will join multiple VOB files into one output file.
 
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Axum

Novice Member
Music and Photos

Music

What will it Play?
The PS3 can play back the following files stored on it's internal hard drive:
Memory Stick Audio Format (ATRAC)
MP3 (MPEG-1/2 Audio Layer3), (MP3 Surround)
MP4 (MPEG-4 AAC)
WAVE (Linear PCM)
WMA

In addition if you stream your music files using PS3 Media Server any non supported music files will be transcoded into a PS3 compatible stream. This is particularly useful for Lossless audio files such as FLAC. (FLAC for example will be transcoded to PCM audio so remains in a lossless format)

Playlists
Playlists can be created and stored on the PS3 internal hard drive, however these are limited to only tracks stored internally. Playlists Cannot at this time refer to tracks stored on an External or streamed media source.

A workaround to this can be to create a Playlist on your PC using something like Odd Gravity Playlist creator and save the playlist as a .PLS playlist. Then simply move the playlist (not the music files) to a PS3 Media Server shared folder on your PC and simply stream the playlist from the Music>Media Sever connection PS3.

Album Art

You can display album art from ID3 Tag's when streaming music if you use PS3 Media Server. You can also display it if the music is on the hard disk.

The Playstation 3 can automatically download album artwork and track data for ripped cds from a source called All Media Guide, however I haven't seen it work...

...So what's the best way to add your own album artwork and what is a Tag?

MP3 music files have some hidden data stored within them called 'ID3 tags' or 'metatags' these tags contain the information that your MP3 player or the PS3 will use to display information about the track. A 'Tag' can also store an Album cover image.

How do I 'Tag' my tracks?
There are lots and lots of Tagging apps around on the Web; WMP and iTunes will even Tag your tracks for you but the results can be a little unpredictable. A couple of the more popular tagging apps are MP3Tag or Jtagger. MP3tag is a more automated solution whereas Jtagger is a little more manual but does offer a little more control.

A brief guide to MP3Tag below:

* we'll assume you have a basic organisation of music on your PC hard drive
  1. Click 'File' > 'Change Directory' and open the directory that contains your album.
  2. Highlight all the songs by Clicking on the first track, hold the Shift Key and click the last track.
  3. Click 'Tag Sources' and select Amazon.com.
  4. Check the album name to search for is correct.
  5. In the search results box select the result that is the most appropriate.
  6. Click 'OK'.
  7. The next window will show you track data and album artwork that will be applied to your album. If it all looks good make sure 'Save image to tag' is ticked and click 'OK' to save the data or click 'Cancel' and start from Step 2 to find another option.
  8. The application will write the data, and after a short time will complete.
  9. If streaming it copy it to your Shared folder on the PS3 or Transfer the album to the Playstation 3 hard drive by copying it to a USB Stick, External USB Hard Drive or over the network.
  10. You should now see the album artwork and track data when browsing the Music menu

Notes:
You can also add artwork by copying your music to your Playstation 3 hard drive, and then copying the image and then adding it to the album by selecting the track and selecting 'Information', then highlighting the album icon and pressing 'X' to edit and then selecting the image. Though that seems a bit more tedious than the method above!

Photos
I personally quite like the built-in PS3 Album that you can utilize when you've transferred photos to your PS3's HDD. Please refer to online documentation or the in-built documentation for help around this functionality.

Unfortunately at the moment Sony haven't seen fit to include Streamed photo use into the Gallery app on the PS3. Until then there isn't too much you can do with streamed photo's; functionality is limited to basic browsing/slideshows but hey it works OK.
 
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sussertown

Standard Member
I did what I could to set up my win 7 to stream to my ps3. I read a couple of threads. the ps3 shows an icon for the computer. I finally saw a few photos from the computer but i have a feeling it is not from streaming. I think the COPY worked becuase some of the photos are visible and some are corrupted and no matter what I do the the photos on the computer and even if I close WMP, the photos on the ps3 remain as they were, some visible and some corupted. some needing rotation and some not. So I can't get clear on the streaming bit. I have win7 home premium on this laptop. The posts I have read seem to have various versions of things that don't match what I've seen on my machine.
 

pesser

Well-known Member
PS3MS detects my ps3 but when i go to to play any file its just a black screen but the same files play fine of a usb stick, does this mean my PC is crap ?
 
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Axum

Novice Member
I did what I could to set up my win 7 to stream to my ps3. I read a couple of threads. the ps3 shows an icon for the computer. I finally saw a few photos from the computer but i have a feeling it is not from streaming. I think the COPY worked becuase some of the photos are visible and some are corrupted and no matter what I do the the photos on the computer and even if I close WMP, the photos on the ps3 remain as they were, some visible and some corupted. some needing rotation and some not. So I can't get clear on the streaming bit. I have win7 home premium on this laptop. The posts I have read seem to have various versions of things that don't match what I've seen on my machine.
Use PS3MS rather than WMP to stream, see how it goes...
 

UndaKrust

Standard Member
I wanted to add some stuff about Windows 7, WMP12 and PS3 streaming through AVG's firewall.

I wont go into the WMP12 side of things as there is already alot of info around about that already, but not much at all in regards to AVG's firewall.

Setup everything as you would in the other guides around, and dont worry about AVG firewall just yet. When you get to the point where you have to disable AVG's firewall to get streaming to work, this is where you will need this info.

Ok, now open up AVG and double click on the firewall. You will see the basic firewall page. Now just to be sure, disable the firewall and try streaming to the PS3 (To make sure its AVG's firewall causing you problems). If you dont succeed in streaming at this step, you need to go back through a relevant guide to setup WMP12 and Windows etc, and also make sure you have a static IP or at least have you PS3 in a DHCP server with address reservation (Psuedo static IP). Its probably worth stating that is a good idea to have your PS3 setup with DMZ in your router too, as you wont have any issues with having to open ports for your PS3 etc.

If you manage to get streaming going with the AVG firewall disabled thats good. Also if streaming works but you get the 'No titles available' etc, you need to point WMP12's library to your files location on your PC manually.

Now you should be able to stream files on the PS3 with AVG's firewall disabled. Banana's! This is where you want to be.

Now go back to AVG's main page and go to 'Tools'>'Firewall settings'. Now in the left panel open up the relevant profile, for me this is 'Small home or office network'. Now open up 'Applications'. Now the first thing to do here is add WMP12 networking to the exceptions rule.

Now on the right you will see 'Add', click this. Now where it says 'Path' click the tab to browse to the location of wmpnetwk.exe.

Which normally will be... C: Program files>Windows Media Player>wmpnetwk.exe.

Ok so now you should be back to the 'Page Actions' in AVG. Go ahead and make the description 'PS3 Streaming'. The 'Application Action' should be set as 'Allow for all'.

Ok so now apply this new setting. Now once you have done this, look in the left panel again and go to 'Generic Host Process'.

You should now see a similar 'Page Actions' for the Generic Host Process info. Again here click 'Add'. Now the only things i changed here were 'Local ports', 'Remote ports', and 'Remote Addresses'.

This is how you want it...

Local port(s) All ports (0-65535)
Remote port(s) All ports (0-65535)
Remote address(es) Enter you static IP for your PS3.
Allow for all.

Also down the bottom change the 'Rule detail name' to 'PS3 streaming'. Now click 'Ok'.

Now the PS3 rule will be at the bottom of the list. Highlight it and click 'Move Up' until the PS3 rule is at the top. Make sure you click 'Apply' in the bottom right corner!

Now you should be good to go! If you still have the AVG firewall turned off, leave it turned off for now. Check to see if the PS3 will pick up your PC. Do the search for 'Media servers'. Once found, play something to make sure its streaming correctly still, if so you havent stuffed up!

Now go back to AVG's main page and double click on the Firewall. Set the firewall to 'Enable', and continue to play something on the PS3. You can even start a video or something on the PS3 first and then enable the AVG firewall just to make sure it doesnt stop it directly as you enable the firewall. Which it shouldnt.

Now shutdown and reboot both devices (PC and PS3). This is all you should need to do!! You will be now streaming directly to your PS3 through AVG's firewall!!!

I hope i havent forgot any crucial infomation? If you cannot get it to work, let me know, and ill see if i can work out whats going wrong.

Hope it helps some people, like myself, who couldnt find the detailed info regard AVG's firewall and the PS3.

Cheers!! :thumbsup:

Matt.
 

corradolab

Standard Member
I would like to add some information related to playback of high definition audio.

I'm talking about 6 channels (5.1) 24 bits 96 KHz audio tracks, which equate to more then 13 Mbps of raw data.

HARDWARE
You'll need a PS3 connected via HDMI to a suitable audio/video amplifier, which will drive the 5.1 speakers.
(AFAIK the DIGITAL OUT will not work because it can supply at most 20 bits at 48 KHz).

FILE FORMAT
FLAC (Free Loseless Audio Codec) is probably the file format of choice. It's feature rich, freely available, loseless compressed (about 2:1), and found in online audio stores.
The only drawback is PS3 does not support it.

High definition audio on PS3 can be played back as PCM (wav).

(Another option would be "DTS Master Audio 24/96", but I dont know how to create them nor if it would give any advantage).

STREAMING
PMS (PS3 Media Server) can transcode on the fly HD Flac files to uncompressed PCM and stream them to PS3.
The drawback is bandwidth.
You need to push down the wire about 15 Mbps.
If you actually have the wire you'll have no problem.
If both your PC and the PS3 are connected by Wifi you'll get no enough bandwidth. Your 54g access point can really delivers about 20 Mbps total, and you'll need 15 + 15 (PC to access point and access point to PS3).
It will works if you have one wired + one wireless connection(ie PC --> wire --> acces point --> wireless --> PS3).

COPYING TO PS3
Despite being capable of playing back HD audio, the PS3 will not do it directly from audio files, but only from audio tracks of a video file. So you must convert your audio file to a suitable video file, ie a M2TS file like the ones found in BluRay or AVCHD.

There's a size limitation.
The PS3 only recognize FAT32 on USB pendrives or external hard disks, and FAT32 have a maximum file size of 4 GB.
At 13 Mpbs, a 4 GB file will allow you to store about 40 minutes of audio.

Probably you want to store all the songs from the same album inside the same file, so you can create "chapters" for every song and move back and forward beetwen them, but
you cant if the resulting file is greater then 4 GB.

Actually you can create a AVCHD made up of multiple files with multiAVCHD, but every file will be treated as a separate film, so you'll have to go back to "disc menu" (which you must author with multiAVCHD) to move beetwen songs.

I've found easier to create the single MTS files (using multiAVCHD) and copy them directly on the VIDEO folder on a USB pendrive, and from there to the PS3 hard disk.

This way I can quickly access the songs from PS3 XMB.
The only problem is a short gap between tracks.
 
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Wolfie666

Active Member
I would like to suggest a couple of changes to UndaKrusts solution for AVG Firewall configuration to allow PS3 Media sharing.
Everything UndaKrust described upto the Generic Host Process from Applications I could follow.However in AVG 8.5 Generic Host Process Is not there, so instead I used Microsft File sharing & Printers from System Services. To open more ports it is necessary to create a new service, call it PS3.
Then 'Allow All'.
In the System Rule Action click 'ADD'.
In Service Name Box underneath, select 'Add Service'. Here It is similar to UndaKrusts description but you have to create a rule for TCP both directions open same port ranges 0-65535 and repeat but for UDP.
When done tick the box corresponding to the PS3 service and cllick the Apply button.
As a precaution I rebooted then started up PS3 and Lo I was able to stream.

Thankyou to UndaKrust for sorting this out I know theres a big crowd out there having similar problems.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

ODB_69

Distinguished Member
Sorry to bump an old thread but wondered if anyone could help me

I've setup WMP to share files so I can stream from any of the PS3's, 360's etc in the house BUT as all my vids and pics are stored on an external HDD attached to PC I am currently only seeing the sample vids on the main PC. Is there a way of allowing access to this via the PS3 so I can access anything at will? I tried sticking a shortcut in the 'My Videos' folder but it didnt work
 

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