ps3 media server

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PS3 Media Server on Synology 411j revisited

Previously I wrote about installing this awesome media server onto a Synology NAS here. However this guide referred to another guide on a different site which subsequently went down, and I couldn’t find a copy of it anywhere else.

So here’s an attempt to rebuild the guide to include the missing steps. Since I’ll just be copying and pasting from the original forum discussion, there might still be errors. If you encounter any, let me know in the comments and we’ll see how we can get it corrected. As always, follow these steps at your own risk. This “worked” when my DSM was 4.0-2197; I cannot guarantee that these steps will work any more (or work at all).

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Installing Playstation Media Server (PMS) on a Synology NAS (411j)

So I’ve recently acquired a Synology DS411j, which I hoped would have flawless built-in DLNA compatibility with my PS3. I should’ve known it was too much to ask for proper transcoding.

There’ve been plenty of discussion regarding how to get the PS3 media server, something I’ve been using on my Windows PC, installed on a Synology NAS. The most complete guide I’ve found is here on Mark in the Dark. I followed it, but I had to do a few things differently and additionally to get it to work proper.

In the end, transcoding was horrifyingly slow on the 411j’s processor. I could barely get the first frames off a 720p movie. But for those who have more powerful units and would like to try anyway, here are the modifications to the original guide. Props to Mark and synops for the original guide. My DSM version is 4.0-2197.

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avisynth/mencoder transcoding for ps3 media server on windows 7

Finally managed to get CoreAVC + Subtitles + Avisynth/Mencoder working for the PS3 Media Server on Windows 7 RC.

By right, the default usage of just Mencoder for transcoding with subtitles is just fine. However, I have some anime files that don’t size/zoom just right on the TV (i.e. there is no Zoom screen mode on the PS3, instead Normal mode displays like Zoom mode). AviSynth/Mencoder displays them fine though, with all 3 screen modes available, but of course, no subtitles. And since I have CoreAVC with CUDA acceleration, might as well make use of it for the other 1080p files.

So yes, follow the instructions for CoreAVC in PS3 Media Server’s README/FAQ files.

Then implement this hack to stop Windows 7 from using its built in DTV-DVD filter:
Replacing the Default DTV/DVD Decoder without Breaking Live TV Playback
(Take note of the different registry path for 64-bit in the comments)

Now, you should be set. I’ve tested this so far with MKV files that have built in subtitles. With vsfilter.dll in the Avisynth plugins folder, I’m expecting double subs to appear for movies with external subs (this is my assumption by logic, but might not be the case), so removing vsfilter.dll from the plugins dir might help with that.

the karaoke trail

Initial plan was to stream karaoke files as video to the PS3. Hardware needed: PS3 (got it), mics with echo chamber (got a pair lying around in the old house), AV receiver & surround speakers (not really needed for this particular use, but you know.. we must have them!).

Forgetting about hardware for the time being, we need to do a POC.

PS3 Media Server does not show CDG files on the XMB, so that’s off the table. TVersity shows them, but requires a DirectX filter to play them. A free DirectX filter available on the net can’t work, because it’s too old and missing some tech. There’s a paid one available from Power Karaoke, but I can’t get the trial version to work (no audio in WMP, slow load in PS3 and hangs after about 5 seconds of play).

Another issue: English CDG files are usually paired with an MP3 file for the audio, so they’re usually zipped together for distribution. We assumed that they should be unzipped to be played, but apparently most karaoke players can play them zipped (in fact the free karaoke filter I mentioned earlier can do that using a bundled unzip filter). The IRC channel that we hang out in to get new English karaoke songs also requires our files to be zipped for sharing. Seems like a waste to keep 2 sets of the same files for different purposes (1 set is currently 7GB).

Both PS3MS and TVersity don’t show ZIP files on the XMB. PS3MS has an option called Browse ZIP/RAR files, but that doesn’t help in this matter.

The next idea that we had was to instead stream the karaoke playlist from the media server as a webcast. We can then configure PS3MS to grab it as Internet TV. It’s better than the original idea whereby we can browse for songs and add them to the playlist while people are singing.

Problem is, we can’t find any webcasting programs that simply supports DirectX. None of the karaoke players have a webcast function either. Windows Media Player has a media sharing function, but you can’t drag zip files into its playlist.

I’m currently attending a C# .NET class. Kinda tempted to just code one someday. 😛

But anyway, that particular alternative is a dead end. The last choice that we have: use a dual-screen notebook. A notebook would be better than a desktop because 1) we already have two, and 2) we’re trying to keep the number of running machines in the house to a minimum. Besides, having a full tower that generates enough heat to power the Matrix in a living room without A/C isn’t generally a good idea. 😛

So we have Faizah’s Powerbook G4: it’s nice and small, but it needs a proprietary AV out. It also has an overheating battery that was recalled in 2006 but we’re still using it. Contacting Apple now to see if we can still get it exchanged. 😛 Available karaoke players are also not free.

And then we have my HP Compaq 6910p: new and tons of RAM, but it’s the office notebook. 😛 Only needs an S-Video out, so we’re set! For software, we’d use Karafun, which is free and simple enough to use. We’d just mount the karaoke folder from the media server and use Windows Search to search for music and drag them to the Karafun playlist.

So that’s settled mainly. Just need an S-Video cable to complete the POC.

Then we moved on to looking for Japanese karaoke files. Scoured IRC for a few days but couldn’t find any. Searched the web but nothing in English. Enabled Japanese IME to start doing Japanese language searches, which finally shed a little light.

There was one major source for Japanese karaoke: Club DAM, a website for the makers of a line of Japanese karaoke machines. At 1035円 a month, you can download all the DRM10-encrypted karaoke videos you’d want. But my Japanese is rusty, so I’m not sure if the files expire after you terminate a subscription.

Today, I managed to find some videos on YouTube (search カラオケ) but it’s definitely not comprehensive. It’s a start. Most are high quality and downloadable using DownloadHelper. Playing them back, however, was another problem: the FLV splitter that comes with K-Lite does not play the HQ35 Youtube format (which is essentially AVC/H264 and AAC in an FLV package), but I fixed that easy by downloading a newer version of FLVSplitter ( to replace the K-Lite one (

But now I’m stuck with the fact that Karafun can’t play FLV files. O.o I’m pretty sure there’s another player that does, but I can’t remember which one. Or I could just convert it to AVI or whatever.

I’m still tempted to sign up for a karaoke@DAM subscription. Might acquire Tunebite Platinum for DRM removal.

messing around with DLNA

W00t! I think we’ve finally figured out our DLNA setup.

Picked up a pair of Aztech HL108 HomePlugs from Low Yat which totally fixed the Wifi bottleneck problem. 1080 HD content streamed flawlessly from the media server.

The only remaining issues were stream compatibility on the PS3 and codecs. CCCP and TVersity combination did not seem to work for certain AVI-packaged HD content (Harry Potter 6 trailer). Playback of this video on Windows Media Player (WMP) had the video lagging behind audio by a few seconds.

PS3 Media Server (PMS), however, managed to play every single thing we threw at it, except for CDG karaoke files (which TVersity can’t seem to play either). Only caveat is that the media layout on the XMB doesn’t look as clean. There will be files that PMS can’t play the first time, but you’ll have an option to go into a #TRANSCODE# folder for that file and manually choose a transcoding option. You can even change PMS settings from the XMB, but I’ve yet the need to touch anything.

By all means, this doesn’t mean we’re done testing. Both TVersity and PMS are still enabled on the media server. I still want TVersity to work for everything because we may have more DLNA devices in the future (say, another home theater setup in the bedroom :D). I’m also still wondering how the quality of PMS’ transcoding compare against other products on the market, e.g. TVix (RM 1800~ but looks great) or the WD HD Player. We’ll want to make CDG work as well, as Fai and I are both karaoke freaks. 🙂