UPnP, PS3, Transcoding and MediaTomb

For quite a while I had been using PS3MediaServer to provide access to my Video files from my PS3. The problem was, I was getting huge problems getting it to support anything other than the files that the PS3 natively supports. I had previously messed around with MediaTomb but I couldn’t get it’s transcoding features to work. But then I came across this post and it sorted all my problems out. I simply followed the tutorial there and made some minor adjustments, which I will describe below.

The quickest way to follow the tutorial is to cheat and just copy and paste the config.xml that is kindly provided. However, I have found that copy and pasting the whole config.xml doesn’t work. I am pretty sure it is to do with the uuid= part of the config, since I guess this aligns and individual config to an individual MediaTomb installation. Thus, simply copy and paste all the stuff after and including this line:

“<!– For PS3 support change to “yes” –>

and you’ll be good to go. Next, since most of my files are in the MKV container, I needed to add some extra stuff to support MKV files and the transcoding of them. So, I added the following two lines to their respective places (you can tell where they should go by looking at their format and looking for other lines that look similar). I added these two lines:

And awesomely, it worked straight out of the box. Nice one Mr Pyke! There are a few more things to add, like adding thumbnail support, which I understand you can do by using a script and app called thumbnailermpeg, but that’s about it. I have found that using MediaTomb and VLC to transcode files puts much less strain on my server than using PS3MediaServer ever did. HTOP shows MediaTomb and VLC when streaming an MKV file pushing the server to around 15% CPU usage on my dual core Pentium4. Doing the same thing for one of the few supported movies by PS3MediaServer shows CPU usage maxed out at 100% on both cores full time. Ouchy! So I have saved some energy and prolonged the lifespan of my server by doing this too. I know that at the moment MediaTomb doesn’t do all the fancy things that PS3MediaServer does (like AC3 pass-through and stuff) but I can live without that. I am sure there was a lot I was missing in PS3MediaServer that it can do and it is updated much more frequently than MediaTomb, but I just couldn’t agree with the huge resource usage it entails.