PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests - Page 2 - Home Theater Forum and Systems - HomeTheaterShack.com

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post #11 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 04:35 AM Thread Starter
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Friday Night with a PS3 Media Server!

I just loaded up around a dozen CDs on the internal 60GB hard drive... never touched the external 320GB drive and the internal still has plenty of space left.

My wife is a full blown convert now and loves this thing, and I think that says volumes! We loaded up a ton of pictures she scanned from the family photo albums, as well as pictures from the digital camera and tonight instead of just watching movies, we cued up a CD that was stored to the drive, selected a photo album stored on the hard drive, and reminisced at 1080p with some good tunes and a nice photo slide show. After that we threw in a couple DVDs and watched Evolution and Night at the Museum upconverted to 1080p.

If this thing ever accepts the XBox HD DVD USB drive the Toshiba is moving to the bedroom!

More testing and playing to come...

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post #12 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 08:39 AM
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

The only problem I could see with using the dvds in their native uncompressed format is how quickly the harddrive would fill up. For people with hundreds of dvds in their library, you could easily start tilting the scales at the terabyte range. I would maybe take another look at reencoding the dvds... There is some more advanced software out there called meGUI combined with AVIsynth that can reencode almost any video format into x264 mp4/avc. The best part is the queue system, you could rip 10-20 of your dvds at a time to your hd, then set them all to convert, and then run the encode process at lowest priority and let it run for a few days without any interruption to your normal work.
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post #13 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 08:50 AM
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

Yeah, I've toyed with the idea of using one of these things as a media player also. Both my kids have Xbox 360's at their houses, but I feel from looking at them and their possibilities for myself as a media hub that these companies are missing the boat. They could unlock so many features that people want and it would move the units way past simple game machines.

Good thread wbassset. You've shown me a possibility here that I didn't know about.....

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post #14 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 03:52 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

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The only problem I could see with using the dvds in their native uncompressed format is how quickly the harddrive would fill up. For people with hundreds of dvds in their library, you could easily start tilting the scales at the terabyte range. I would maybe take another look at reencoding the dvds... There is some more advanced software out there called meGUI combined with AVIsynth that can reencode almost any video format into x264 mp4/avc. The best part is the queue system, you could rip 10-20 of your dvds at a time to your hd, then set them all to convert, and then run the encode process at lowest priority and let it run for a few days without any interruption to your normal work.
I'll definitely take a look at meGUI and AVIsynth.

I don't plan on putting my entire collection on hard drives, more like TV and movie series. It sounds like you've done this before, is it DVD quality when you're done? The two software programs I used to encode to mp4 just didn't give me what I was looking for and I spent a lot of time to find that out. I certainly have no problem or issues with re-encoding, this was just so easy to do though that I thought it was worth presenting.

Also how big are the file sizes after the encoding is done? Most of the ones I transfered were already at or under 4GB in size, and PS3 Video 9/PS3 DVD Converter were around 2GB in size. To me saving between 1.5-2GB per movie and losing PQ wasn't worth it. If these programs work better it's worth checking out.

The quick down and dirty method I mentioned will get anyone rolling with a very low learning curve and time invested. I'm actually pretty pleased, 21 movies and several bonus discs and it only took up around 80GB. I'm actually trying to think of what I want to do next, I still have around 240GB left.

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post #15 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

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Yeah, I've toyed with the idea of using one of these things as a media player also. Both my kids have Xbox 360's at their houses, but I feel from looking at them and their possibilities for myself as a media hub that these companies are missing the boat. They could unlock so many features that people want and it would move the units way past simple game machines.

I don't promote 'modifying' these units, but take a look at this TV program on modding an xbox into a media center and it lets you see how much these things could actually do for you if the companies would sell them this way. The answer to why microsoft and sony don't use this hardware as shown in this program must be that they're selling some very powerful hardware for cost, then hoping to make a profit on the games alone. If they sold it as a media center, perhaps there's no money to be made?

Good thread wbassset. You've shown me a possibility here that I didn't know about.....

brucek
Thanks bruce, and this was actually a lot of fun to do too. It's been awhile since I took on a project that I really had this much fun doing. I feel like a kid at Christmas at times .

I have some friends that have an XBOX 360 that have done some playing around with for eeking out every last bit of it's capability. I'll check with them and see if they set theirs up as media players yet.

Honestly, prior to the 1.81 firmware update, the PS3 just sat there. I only used it to watch Bluray movies, and most of the titles I like are in HD DVD, since the Toshiba upconverts SDVDs exceptionally well, it is/was pretty much the work horse in my setup. Sony should have included the ability to upconvert SDVDs all along with the PS3, but I have my own personal theory why they didn't: They were trying to sell their flagship model BD player. The PS3 got reviews in some magazines that put its playback and speed up there with $1500 players, and I must say it is fast. If they had all of it's features unlocked right away, why would people have wanted to spend several hundred dollars more on their 'real' Bluray player? They would have killed their own product and marketing.

It is also a computer that is dressed as a game console, so that appealed to me as far as updating and future abilities. When I set my new system up (Kept the projector, speakers, receiver, and the Samsung DVD –HD931... ditched the 36" Toshiba CRT set, Laser Disc player, and VCR player that was never used) I toyed with the idea of an XBOX 360, but at the time the lack of HDMI wasn't too appealing to me, and the VGA input on the Sony SXRD doesn't support 1080p resolution.

I truly am format neutral and don't push one format over another, however I must say the PS3 is really a good value if you look at it's overal capabilities and the fact it has the potential to get updates that could add on features not even thought of yet.

Pioneer actually tried something similar to this years ago. They had an Elite Laser Disc player that had a drawer that you could slide in various game sytems and play cartrige based games or some special content Laser discs that were supposed to come out. It of course never made it.

My son is coming up from PA for a week and I plan on renting the PS3 Pirates game while he's here. As much as I love my Toshiba HD DVD player, I have to conceed that it's only a player (a great one at that) while the PS3 is starting to become an entire entertainment system.

Interestingly and a finaly note for this post- Sony is very very protective of it's movie copyrights, and understandably so, however I thought it was amuzing that to load a CD to hard drive you just put the disc in, hit the triangle button, and select 'Import' from the menu that comes up. If it were only that easy for DVDs.

(As far as CDs go, those I will probably end up deleting off the internal 60GB drive and actually rip those to smaller mp files.)

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post #16 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 05:19 PM
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

With mpeg4, and moderate compression you can get a 2.5 hour movie down to about 1.4 gb with little to no detectable loss in quality.
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post #17 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

Interesting, the other software had final file sizes around 2.3GB in size and there was a dramatic drop in quality.

What settings do you use?

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post #18 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 05:33 PM
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

As far as specific settings, I wouldnt know about the ps3. I believe on doom9.org forums there is a discussion about profiles for the ps3 using those 2 pieces of software, and even a gui written specifically for this purpose. The encoding time will probably be higher with this software (close to 1x or slightly slower) depending on the hardware involved.
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post #19 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

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As far as specific settings, I wouldnt know about the ps3. I believe on doom9.org forums there is a discussion about profiles for the ps3 using those 2 pieces of software, and even a gui written specifically for this purpose. The encoding time will probably be higher with this software (close to 1x or slightly slower) depending on the hardware involved.
When you say 'close to 1x or slightly slower' are you refering to it taking the same amount of time it took me to do the 21 plus DVDs (between 6-7 hours from start to finish and actually watching them) or the same amount of time that PS3 to DVD Converter took, which was 9 hours for one movie?

I can definitely see a benefit for file sizes that are half the size or smaller, especially when I am looking at doing the complete Highlander TV series which has six seasons with between 6-9 DVDs per season. I must say though that I don't relish the idea of it taking me 6-9 months to do it. I'll have to do a test run and see how long it takes to do one DVD.

Oh question, do you need one continous VOB file for the conversion or do you do them individually and then recombine them after the encoding is done? For me personally, hard drive space isn't an issue at all. If I have to extract one continuous VOB file first anyway, since drive space isn't an issue I'm fine with just the simple rename method. I can see though that others would be very interested in conserving hard drive space and possibly getting twice the amount of movies on the same drive.

Would you be willing to do up a tutorial for the method you're talking about, that way people will have more than one option to go with, and I am all for people having options.

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post #20 of 411 Old 07-07-07, 07:41 PM
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Re: PS3 Video Server, Media Server Preliminary Setup and Tests

Yeah I can probably work on a tutorial here in a few days when I get some downtime. About the 1x thing, I was referring to it taking about the same amount of time it would be to play back the dvd. Also, it would be best to have all of the vob files you want combined together, BUT if you are trying to do a tv series and not a movie, typically you have multiple episodes per disc, so it would be best to see if the vob files are split by episode, then just encode them seperately and name the files as needed.
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