PS3 displays very poor quality video from Windows Media Cent

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PS3 displays very poor quality video from Windows Media Cent

Postby martinu » Wed Nov 21, 2012 12:48 pm

My PS3 displays very poor quality video when reading from my Windows 7 Media Centre PC. The picture is pixellated and overlaid with a dithered speckly pattern which is most noticeable when there is movement in the picture. It is as if the video has been compressed much too far. There is also some stuttering and jerkiness on the video, as if the picture pauses briefly at regular intervals of about 1 second.

The PS3 has been set to search for Media Servers on the network and finds my Windows 7 PC which has Media Centre installed for recording TV. When I access that PC from the PS3, either from the Video | "All media" section or the Video | Folders section and then follow the shared folders, programmes play but are corrupted.

If I copy a recording to a pen drive (having overcome the hurdles of formatting the pen drive as FAT32 rather than NTFS and having created a root-level folder VIDEO) and play it from there, the recording plays perfectly. OK so it's not precisely the same file because Windows Media Centre will only see WTV and DRV-MS files (and not MPG, MP4 or WMV files) in its Recorded TV folder, whereas the PS3 cannot see WTV or DRV-MS and can only see MPG, MP4 or WMV on the pen drive.

These are SD (not HD) recordings at 704x576 ("PAL resolution" rather than "NTSC resolution") and they play faultlessly on the PC using various player software such as Windows Media Centre, Windows Media Player and VideoLAN VLC.

Evidently there is something about the act of playing the videos over the LAN from Windows Media Centre which is corrupting the display. The PS3 and WMC PC are connected by Ethernet (not wireless). The bandwidth is sufficient to play the videos perfectly over the LAN on a Windows 7 laptop (using Windows Media Centre, Windows Media Player or VideoLAN VLC) by directly accessing the shared folder that is on the WMC PC (ie not using the streaming capabilities of Windows Media Centre).

Here are photographs of the same screen, fed firstly from the PS3 and second from the Windows Media Centre PC, displaying similar frames from the same .WTV file, firstly using the PS3's video playing app and secondly using the Windows Media Centre app. I've left the photos very large so fine details such as the pixellation and compression artefacts on the PS3 version are visible.

Any suggestions? I'd hoped that the PS3 would be able to be used to watch recorded TV that is saved on my PC, but I may have to revert to the alternative plan of using a Win7 laptop for playing them - with it connected by HDMI (as the PS3 is) to the TV.

I've experimented with Display Settings on the PS3 to remove 1080i, leaving just 576p and 720p, but this makes no difference.
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