Just a note, thanks for the info guys I have ps3 media server installed on an eee pc 900 running linux, attached to the console with ethernet cable (not sure what speed, guess is 100 mbit, but could even be gig)
Anyway, the eee probably isnt capable of transcoding 720p (which is all i need for my 32 inch panny) but your suggestions have clarified how I can test whether bandwidth or cpu are the issue, so i just wanted to log in and say thanks for your informative posts, and I will try them out this afternoon.
My guess is that the eee pc is just too weak to transcode 720p .mkv files, so if anyone has any suggestions for something small and noiseless, either laptop or media tank, that will handle this load, I'd be very keen to hear from them. I have been looking at the new VIA Revo board, which is coming to market now, with much interest. Looks like something based around that is the best thing to go for.
Anyway, thanks again, your recs have not fallen on deaf ears!!!