[mythtv-users] Playstation 3 as UPnP client to MythTV

Nick Rout nick.rout at gmail.com
Sun Feb 22 23:47:50 UTC 2009

On Mon, Feb 23, 2009 at 12:33 PM, Rev Simon Rumble <simon at rumble.net> wrote:
> Hi folks.
> I'm attempting to use a PS3 as the frontend to my Myth system, replacing
> the silent, solid state SD frontend I used to have.  My backend records
> from two DVB-t cards, so I'm recording.  But I've encountered a few
> problems and I'm wondering if anyone else has encountered these, or has
> suggestions of lines of attack.
> Ideally Sony would open access to the graphics hardware through the
> "Other OS" feature, and then I could just run native Myth.
> Unfortunately this hasn't happened so I've been forced to use the UPnP
> approach.  This means there's a bunch of features missing, like
> commercial flagging and the ability to delete recordings after watching,
> but I can live with that.  These other problems are more serious.
> Solving these would make the PS3 a pretty damn decent frontend,
> especially for people wanting HD.  When it works, 1080i and 720p look
> pretty damn spectacular.  A PS3 frontend has the added benefits of
> Blu Ray playback, UPnP client (for downloaded video) and a games console
> to boot.
> ** Transport stream support **
> The PS3 supports many permutations of MPEG Program Stream(PS), but only
> MPEG2 video with MPEG2 Layer 2 audio[1] inside a Transport Stream (TS).
> Australian DVB-t seems to (sometimes?) use AC3 audio, so inside a TS the
> PS3 can't play it back.  I either get the video with white noise sound,
> or it refuses to play back at all.
> It seems my Myth setup sometimes produces TS, and sometimes produces
> things that the PS3 is happy with.  Output from "file" looks like this.
> Interestingly, the files labelled "data" play back, but the TS doesn't.
> 1020_20090221181900.mpg: data
> 1020_20090221190000.mpg: data
> 1020_20090222050000.mpg: MPEG transport stream data
> 1020_20090222190000.mpg: TeX font metric data (\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377\377
> So the approach I've been looking at is demuxing the TS into a PS in a
> transcode job.  I haven't succeeded yet, so if anyone has a nice script
> I'd appreciate it.  Ideally MythTV would be able to do this as it
> records, because otherwise I can't really watch a program that's still
> recording and there'll be a bunch of hard drive thrashing that could be
> avoided.
> What's strange is that my tuners are almost identical.  lspci output:
> 03:0c.0 Multimedia controller: Philips Semiconductors SAA7134/SAA7135HL Video Broadcast Decoder (rev 01)
> 04:0f.0 Multimedia controller: Philips Semiconductors SAA7131/SAA7133/SAA7135 Video Broadcast Decoder (rev d0)
> So I'm assuming the problem is due to Myth being relatively relaxed
> about the streams it produces, and really all it's doing is pulling out
> the appropriate TS from the multiplex and dumping it to disk.  This is
> fine when mythfrontend (or mplayer or xine or whatever) is playing back,
> but the PS3 is a bit pickier about it.
> So has anyone got any suggestions here?  I'd love to find a way to get
> Myth to just product something I can play on the PS3, without having to
> transcode.  I can post up some more diagnostic information if people
> want it.
> ** Refreshing UPnP shares **
> It seems like the PS3 only refreshes listings from the UPnP server after
> being shut down and restarted.  That means any recordings that kick off
> after you boot the PS3 don't show up.  Anyone worked out a way to get
> these listings to refresh?
> ** Playback stops with FF/RW **
> When I fast forward or rewind, playback doesn't restart when I press
> play.  The play icon shows up on-screen, but the playback doesn't
> actually start.  I have to stop and restart the playback to get it
> moving again.  Weird, but not a show stopper I guess.
> ** Playback while recording **
> Related to the UPnP share refreshing thing, if I watch a programme
> that's currently being recorded, it seems the PS3 takes the end time of
> the stream when first started, so it gets to the point where you started
> watching (as coming off the air) and stops.  Kinda annoying -- it'd be
> nice if it just kept reading until the stream stops.

you could try looking at fuppes, another uPnP server, which I
understand does transcoding.

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