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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Streaming Full HD movies to PS3 with existing G router and PS3 Media Server

Does streaming a HD movie to a PS3 or some media player require N router? Will Full HD streaming work on an existing G router? Does streaming require only 100 Mbps ethernet cables or 1000 Mbps Gigabit ethernet cables ?

This article tries better to answer that and a probable solution (which worked for my friend and I know how happy he is!)

First I will try to present a math of HD movie in PS3. Buy a blue ray movie and even if the entire movie occupies full capacity of blue ray disc, it won't exceed 25 GB. In other words, a single blue ray maximum size is 25 GB. (Even if it is dual layer disc, it can't cross 50 GB.)

Let us take a theoritical 25 GB movie and do a math

25 GB in MB is 25 x 1024 MB ==> 25600 MB
25600 MB in Mbits is 25600 x 8 ==> 204800 Mbits

If the movie is 2 hours time duration

2 hours in minutes is 2 x 60 ==> 120 minutes
120 mins in seconds is 120 * 60 ==> 7200 seconds

so a 204800 Mbits divided by 7200 secs will give 28.444444 Mbits per second max

and a PS3 is able to handle it perfectly!!

A G router max speed is 54 Mbps ideally and practically will be anywhere between 35 or above. So based on the above math, a G router is perfectly capable and more than enough to give a constant 28 Mbps atleast

Then why do some face issues when streaming movies to a PS3

These reasons are two

1. Many G Routers will run in compatible B mode (also called mixed mode) and forcing routers to only G mode, say "g only" will solve routers problem of defaulting to B mode (B mode is 5 times lesser bandwidth than G mode)

2. PS3 Media Server streams after transcoding your movie to MPEG2. MPEG2 is old format and has much lesser compression and costs you space and bandwidth. Fortunately MPEG4 which uses H264 has much better compression and uses lesser bandwidth. Say in PS3 if I watch a stream, I need to select the movie name --> transcode folder --> then choose tsMuxeR to just send the MPEG4 movie as is as a transport stream instead of choosing to transcode in PC. This works well as PS3 is very powerful (has a supercomputing chip unlike your PC) and has a hardware MPEG4 decoder to decode MPEG4 streams

To make this work from Ubuntu, it requires installing ffmpeg, mencoder, mplayer, openjdk and running ps3 media server. Also add execute permission to linux/tsMuxeR inside the extracted ps3 media server folder before launching it.

All thanks to my friend and colleague who is a math genius and started explaining about the theoritical max of blue ray capacity and shed light on, telling broadcasting companies can't give HD channels if they stream in MPEG2 instead of using MPEG4, what a man

 ... and stopped me and couple of others from spending on N routers ...

I am brief (for obvious reasons) and can only hint, help yourself , you got the trick


  1. Great post! Just wanna add one thing..

    Selecting the tsMuxer stream of a movie from the transcode folder has one problem - Scene search and Goto do not work... These work only with mencoder.

    The solution is this - In the PS3 media server 'Transcoding settings', in 'Common transcode settings', check the 'Definitely disable subtitles' option. And be sure to select 'Mencoder' under Video Files Engines on the left and check the 'Switch to tsMuxer when H264 video is PS3 compatible and there's no configured subs' option.

    Now, on the ps3, instead of going into the transcode folder and selecting the tsMuxer stream, just select the normal movie file i.e. the mencoder stream. Voila! The stream gets delivered with AVC i.e. H264 encoding and you can use the Scene Search and Goto options work too.


  2. And to make the changes permanent, need to press save button before exiting.

  3. Be sure to disable ufw or any other firewall, otherwise PS3 won't detect this media server

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