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Old 7th January 2010, 20:20   #1  |  Link
consultant
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Is Streaming DVDs Really This Lame?

I want to backup my DVD's and occasionally burn new copies and also stream them through my PS3 using PS3MediaServer. I've been experimenting and am find lots of frustrations.

Frustration #1 - Stuttering When Streaming ISO Images

If I rip the DVD as an ISO file, it then requires PS3MediaServer to transcode it with mencoder. As a result I get a stutter. My server is very powerful, my network connection is hardwire but only about 20mbit/s bandwidth. I have no problem streaming VOBs so it seems more like a PS3MediaServer limitation on transcoding ISO images than a bandwidth limitation.

Frustration #2 - No Menus

From what I understand, it is impossible to use menus when streaming content since it isn't supported by the streaming protocol. You can view menus but you can't move the selector around with the controller. I can live with this but it is a bummer.

Frustration #3 - Messy VOB structure, inability to select soundtracks

When I rip to VOBs sometimes you have to hunt around for the main movie VOBs. In addition I have to enable stream filtering so I only rip the 5.1 soundtrack and english, otherwise on things like Starwars it plays totally weird and displaying "In a Far Away Galaxy" in english, then spanish, then french, several times. Also I can hear directory commentary. So when ripping I have to uncheck all the other stuff.

So I determined I would rip in IFO mode selecting only the main movie and separating the files by chapter. This way it is easy to know what VOB to start playing and you can easily come back and select the chapter where you left off or go forward or back a chapter while streaming. I lose the ability to burn the backup that results in a duplicate of the original DVD, but frankly I don't need the bonus features or the alternate soundtracks.

Frustration #4 - Delay when changing chapter files

Problem with the above method is that each time it changes chapter, there is a delay. In many cases it isn't a problem since the chapter change is a scene change but many times the chapter change is not right on the border of a scene change so every few minutes you get this hiccup while it changes to the next chapter VOB.

Is the only way around this to create one gigantic VOB? But if I do that, will I no longer have chapters as I'm guessing the streaming protocol not only doesn't support DVD menus but also chapter points within a VOB?

I'm quite surprised how limited the functionality of streaming is. I'm hoping that there is something I've overlooked and I can get this to work better? I don't need to transcode to save space and want to preserve the original DVD video quality.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 8th January 2010, 07:29   #2  |  Link
RunningSkittle
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Buy a *real* hardware player, like a popcorn hour. PS3 and Xbox are too limited in their playback capabilities (albeit the latter being even more limited).

Or of course you can always live with the limitations of your consoles
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Old 8th January 2010, 08:12   #3  |  Link
bnshrdr
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Sounds to me your bottlenecking somewhere down the line, probably towards the front. I know that when my xbox 360 has disk access to videos, it can playback high resolution video at a 10 mbps bitrate flawlessly. Above there it gets shaky, but then again I don't have encodes higher than about 5-10 mbps.

Check to see if there are better software options. Transcoding can get to be really slow. Try to get your media into a format that your console can natively decode.
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Old 8th January 2010, 16:40   #4  |  Link
RunningSkittle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bnshrdr View Post
... I know that when my xbox 360 has disk access to videos, it can playback high resolution video at a 10 mbps bitrate flawlessly. Above [10mbps] there it gets shaky, but then again I don't have encodes higher than about 5-10 mbps...
This is a known problem/limitation with the xbox and its stated on MS website!!! You can avoid this by using WMV/WMA

If your trying to stream to PS3 or Xbox you better be prepared to deal with its IMMENSE limitations.
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