Network Topology

General discussion about PS3 Media Server (no support or requests)

Re: Network Topology

Postby Val Killmore » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:55 am

Well, glad you got it working. Personally I think you took the long, hard route. I hate converting, or re-encoding if not needed, and prefer to just play a file.



But in the end it works so.........great. :)
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Re: Network Topology

Postby pawnslinger » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:02 pm

Val Killmore wrote:
pawnslinger wrote:
Val Killmore wrote:If her computer is visible, why not install PMS on her PC, and share your network folders ?

At least until you can sort out why your PC is not visible.

But streaming via PMS over a double wireless bridge, regardless if it's "N" or not, might be tricky and troublesome. In my experience PMS likes to have nice open highways to run on, and the less wireless involved the better. I know you might say "well everything else works" . But streaming with PMS over wireless can be tricky, especially if you involve transcoding.


Okay, I got this setup. And, for the most part, it works well. I had to change permissions on some of the files, and re-setup PMS... but that didn't take too much effort. Most of the videos play fine, a few stutter a little, but not as bad as when using the 2 ghz band. I don't know a lot about media sharing with the PS3, but it seems like the PS3 does buffer the stream, as it stutters less if I pause the playback for a little bit. Or am I just dreaming?


I am not sure about whether the PS3 caches.

Now, I am assuming all your files are native to the PS3 as you stated in iPad ready format. So I assume mp4 or m4v


Try this:
- Make sure 'switch to tsmuxer' is enabled under MEncoder settings
- Enter : mp4,m4v into the "force transcode for the following extensions"

Save settings and restart PMS.

Now, your mp4's and m4v files should be forced to transcode. If the video specs are PS3 compliant as you say, tsMuxer will take over. This will give you a buffer but also keep your bandwidth usage down by muxing the video rather than transcode. AAC audio should be re-encoded to AC3.

You may lose your ability to FF or RW, but you should be able to use "Go To" function and hopefully have stutter free streaming. In effect, you are presenting a buffer to the PS3, with as little altering to the file as possible......ie no full video transcode. Verify by hitting triangle and going to the info icon. Check that the video codec is coming thru as : AVC . Then you know tsMuxer is working.

Can't hurt to try :)

If you don't like this method, simply delete the mp4 and m4v values from the "Force transcode......" box, save settings and restart PMS.


Just for grins, I gave this a try... and bingo, it works! Now, I am curious, what is MEncoder? And why is it having a beneficial effect in this situation. And, yes, all of my files are m4v's that have been renamed to mp4. They all have 2 channel stereo AAC at 128 kbps... h.264 coding. They all work very well on my iPad, and PMS streams them well to my iPad (using Good Player as UPnP client app).

So I am just curious, I would like to learn about this process.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby pawnslinger » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:41 pm

Okay, a bug in the MEncoder method. It doesn't handle the PAL videos!! They are mp4/m4v just like all the rest, but the fps is odd, 25, instead of 24 or 30. These playback just fine without transcoding, but will hardly play anything with transcoding. Even with a good video converter, it is difficult, if not impossible to convert to standard formats, because of the loss of audio sync.

So, even though my initial solution was the longer road, it appears to be the only option at this point. Unless you can suggest how to get MEncoder to handle them.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby Val Killmore » Mon Mar 12, 2012 9:46 pm

If your entire collection is PAL, and MEncdoer doesn't work with them, unfortunately I have no definite answer.
If only some are PAL, then you could still use my method to play back most, and convert the ones that need it.

You could also try this with vids that don't want to work with my method:

1-Make sure the #Video Settings# folder is visible.

2-When you run into a PAL video that won't work, go into the #Video Settings# folder

3-disable (untick) Default H264 Remux with MEncoder

4-go down to Save Configuration

5-exit the #Video settings# folder and try to play the movie using "Play from the Beginning" option.

This allows you to either use the tsMuxer/MEncoder combination that I described in last post, or by disabling this option in #Video Settings#, you force MEncoder to do the job alone. This will ensure MEncoder transcodes the video, and that tsMuxer is taken out of the picture, pardon the pun :) . This MIGHT be all that is needed to make these files work.
And by doing this from the #Video Settings# folder, you don't have to run to the serving PC all the time to enable/disable "Switch to tsMuxer...." everytime you run into one of these PAL files.

It's easy enough to try, before removing mp4,m4v from the "Force transcode for the following extensions......." box. If it doesn't help, then just remove them and carry on with your method of converting.

As far as what is MEncoder ? It's a transcoding engine that allows a user to feed a non-compliant file to a renderer, by re-encoding 'on the fly' . It changes the audio and/or video stream to a compliant format (in the case of PS3, it serves up basically an .m2ts file which is highly PS3 compliant). Combine MEncoder with tsMuxer and you can get a more efficient team of encoding software.

I suggest browsing the Tutorialto get more info with regards to the differences and benefits of each.

Why did my suggestion help reduce stutter ? By using either engine, you create a buffer. By using the MEncoder/tsMuxer team, you build a buffer, but you ensure low CPU and bandwidth demand.
When full transcode of the video takes place (MEncoder alone) in the case of serving to a PS3, MPeg-2 codec is used. When combined with tsMuxer, the file is still repackaged to an M2TS stream, but with AVC as the video codec. AVC is MUCH more efficient than MPeg-2.......it hogs less bandwidth for the same quality video. IE. when you transcode an AVC video stream ....say 5 Mbps. That same video stream in MPeg-2 codec is going to hog about 20+ Mpbs of your bandwidth in order to pass along the same video quality. AVC is far more efficient for HD video than MPeg-2, hence the push to try to use tsMuxer as often as possible. :)

Which is why I suggested this route and why I tried getting it thru to you that streaming to iPads or other handheld devices over wireless 'N' is not the same as trying to serve to a PS3.
And........the fact you are pushing across a double 'N' wifi network. Your handhelds are tied via wifi directly to your router. The data going to your PS3 has two hops to complete, from the serving PC, to the router via wifi, then from the router to your other bridge via wifi....... a double wireless configuration. The PS3 likes a steady stream with native files (probably because of it's shitty cache system).......and any little hiccup in your network can cause that stream to break. By using the method I suggested, you are in effect, giving the PS3 a giant cache from which to draw it's 'data' but in theory you keep the network demand down at the same time because of tsMuxer.


Hopefully I didn't confuse you more. Just a trick I have used in the past to get PMS working more efficiently and to get stubborn, stuttery files to play 'nice'.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby Val Killmore » Mon Mar 12, 2012 11:04 pm

I found this post online, when looking for tips to improve my wireless "N" capabilities.

In that post I found a link to a program called LAN SPEED TEST (Free Version) .

I just tried the test. My router claims that my DAP-1522 is connected at or near 100 Mbps average. I ran the test to a specific folder on my PC in my bedroom which is connected to the DAP with Cat5e cable. The actual thruput of my wireless 'N' bridge............46 Mbps both directions (reading/writing).

This is not good for my Xbox360 in the bedroom as nearly everything needs to be transcoded for it, and the PC in the bedroom is nowhere near powerful enough to constantly transcode video to WMV for the 360. Netflix works great on the 360 in my bedroom, but PMS server in the living room has trouble serving anything other than native files to it. The wired 360 in the living room enjoys stutter free streaming, for the most part, but a have a vastly superior streaming device in the PS3 right beside it, so the 360 in the living room is there for gaming.

My setup is as such:

http://i1090.photobucket.com/albums/i36 ... orkMap.png

As I stated before, you have a double-hop wireless setup which could reduce that thruput even further. Kinda pisses ya off when you think of the money spent to get this 'latest and greatest' thing. :cry:

Unfortunately, in Canada the 5GHz band is removed from the router and I can only run 2.4GHz so you may still see an improved performance over mine. But generally it is nowhere near what they claim. Personally, I think I am going to drop D-Link as soon as I can afford to replace the router and the bridge. My parents ran the same DIR-655 router and were having nothing but crappy thruput and poor reception. They swithched to a LinkSys router and basically doubled their thruput. After doing this test, I think
the router/bridge setup is absolute garbage. Kinda pisses me off really :x

EDIT: To add, I tried running like your setup. I unplugged my ethernet adapter on my "The-Hub" PC, and ran the wireless N adapter and tested 'across the bridge' to "Adam-PC". So now I tested it with a double-hop wireless setup like yours.
My thruput dropped to 27 Mbps max, 23 lowest. And that is with my "The-Hub" PC being only a foot and a half away from the router for the test, using all the best tweaks for my DIR-655 routers wireless, like WPA-2 only w/AES encryption, N only wifi connected to N only devices etc.

As you can see, thruput is greatly different than rated specs. Factor in that it has wifi flaws like susceptible to interference and such, and you start to see that wireless is truly not designed for high bitrate, HD media streaming. Only the top-notch gear and setup are going to work flawlessly under ideal conditions. MAYBE under the best conditions, like you running native files, no walls in the house, no other users streaming other files simultaneously, serving to certain devices things work great. But the PS3 is not any other device. It likes nice, steady streams in my experience. Sometimes even native MP4 files can give it grief on a weaker network. I personally prefer .m2ts as the best 'native' files for ease of use, but those won't fly with your iPads and handhelds.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby pawnslinger » Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:27 am

I only have 1 group of files that is PAL, a really old and little known British TV program. One that is hard to come by in the USA, but one I became addicted to back in the 70's, while I was living in the UK for a short time. All my other files are standard USA format. Mostly 24 fps, but a few at 30. I have found another file that won't work with the MEncode method. It plays fine without transcoding (I put mp4 into the skip transcode list), but it won't play at all with the MEncode method, the renderer (my bluray player, in this case), just says the file is corrupt and won't even try to play it. At least it tries to play the Brit TV show... just does so rather poorly.

The double wi-fi hop that I go thru here (to reach the ps3... my bluray player is a direct cat5 cable), is slowed down by the double wireless jump... no doubt. But stringing a cable for part of the jump is out of the question... my better half trumps that option. The best I can do is to isolate the 5ghz band, and that allows 4000 kbps files to play without stuttering. Around here, the 5ghz band is fairly free of interference, I have done some testing with Netflix streaming in one of the bedrooms, on 5ghz, and the ps3 playing a 4000 kbps movie on the 5ghz, thru the double hop, and it all holds. I do not know how much headroom I have, but I have timed downloads, DLC for a game that was around 15 GB, and with a single 5ghz hop, it holds up pretty steady at 2 MBps, and has spurts up to 5 MBps. I kind of figure that a 4000 kbps movie needs at least 1 MBps, so I figure I have enough bandwidth for what I am doing.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby pawnslinger » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:17 am

Okay, I have been unable to locate any information on "#Video Settings#". I think I intuitively understand what it is, but I have no details. Please help.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby Val Killmore » Tue Mar 13, 2012 4:12 am

If you don't see the #Video Settings# folder onscreen of your TV when you navigate the PMS server, then go to the Navigation tab on the PMS GUI on your computer:

disable (untick) "Hide #Video Settings# Folder"

Save then restart PMS. The folder should now be visible.

As far as your bandwidth, there's nothing I can suggest other than trying to use the tips to minimize your bandwidth footprint when streaming to the PS3. Or googling online to find tips for increasing your wifi N's capabilities.
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Re: Network Topology

Postby pawnslinger » Tue Mar 13, 2012 5:48 am

Val Killmore wrote:If you don't see the #Video Settings# folder onscreen of your TV when you navigate the PMS server, then go to the Navigation tab on the PMS GUI on your computer:

disable (untick) "Hide #Video Settings# Folder"

Save then restart PMS. The folder should now be visible.

As far as your bandwidth, there's nothing I can suggest other than trying to use the tips to minimize your bandwidth footprint when streaming to the PS3. Or googling online to find tips for increasing your wifi N's capabilities.


But what exactly is it? How can I make use of it"
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Re: Network Topology

Postby Val Killmore » Tue Mar 13, 2012 8:28 am

I already stated about using it as a shortcut to enable or disable the "Switch to tsMuxer" function so you don't have to go to your PC and do it.

You could also try this with vids that don't want to work with my method:

1-Make sure the #Video Settings# folder is visible.

2-When you run into a PAL video that won't work, go into the #Video Settings# folder

3-disable (untick) Default H264 Remux with MEncoder

4-go down to Save Configuration

5-exit the #Video settings# folder and try to play the movie using "Play from the Beginning" option.


And there are other options in there as well .
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