Media centre computer

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  1. #31

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    I use my MacMini as a media center, and it works brilliantly. Here's why:

    1. It is cheap
    2. It's a proper computer so can run torrents, vlc etc
    3. It has digital out for audio and video
    4. You can connect USB devices to it so it is flexible (whereas a PS3 doesnt recognise all USB devices)
    5. It has a QUIET fan so you can one in the bedroom running overnight
    6. It comes with frontrow software and a remote control which IMHO is probably the best media software on the market
    7. It integrates nicely with iTunes, iPhoto, iMovie etc so you can manage all your media in one place
    8. It also has a DL burner so you can create DVD's quite easily from Divx downloads
    9. All of this in a box which measures around 10cm x 10cm (and it looks quite cool!)

    I have a PS3 also, and I wish Sony would make it the all singing all dancing media centre it could be, but unfortunately for the time being it just isn't.


  2. #32

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    Sep 2007
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    Hi HKNewBi

    On XP just open up wmp 11

    Click on the drop down menu under library and click media sharing. Then click share media to and you should see your platstation(unknown device) in the box below if turned on. Highlight it and click allow, that is it! As long as the videos you want to share are in media players library you can stream them and they are xvid or divx. Also I found out that Nero media home

    HOW TO: Setup Media Sharing w/ Nero MediaHome (Avi streaming supported) - PLAYSTATION3 Media - PlayStation.com Forums

    Allows you to transcode on the fly, which means mp4 on one end, streams while watching to divx on the playstation. But make sure you don't upgrade the firmware on your playstation to 2.20 as this features break on firmware on and above that.

    Yeah nutta I agree with you macMini's are pretty good, have you used xhub with a tv tuner? If not it is excellent. You can do so many things with a macMini. But I find they are a bit expensive for what you get. But in my opinion the ps3 beats hands down for entertainment.

    The ps3 serves as:

    Excellent game console
    Blueray player
    Full upscaling of normal DVD's
    HD audio, optical out, HDMI out
    Bluetooth support for keyboards, remotes, controllers
    Media functions, divx,xvid,pictures,streaming media
    Support external harddrives
    They are also making a tv tuner for it.

    The mini lacks in some important areas for entertainment, no blueray, upscalling, optical out, no game console.

    Also I find once you start using your lounge room LCD screen for computer functions you might as well just open our laptop. The idea of having a media centre is cool at first, but really you only find yourself using a few features after while. But I see you have both because you want the best of both worlds..


  3. #33

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    Like I Ben I use a PS3 as my media center, it's a really great and inexpensive way to get Blu-Ray and HD quality output to your TV screen. I have recently added Yellow Dog Linux 6 on the PS3, which was quite a fun learning experience, as I'm a total noob to Linux. Now that I have it on there, I never use t though, I think the novelty wore off and I like the simple and effective usability of the Sony XMB. YDL seems sluggish to me, I;ve heard Xubuntu is better...

    Anyway,

    Before I chose the PS3 I looked at getting a dedicated PC and then the Mac Mini, (I especially liked it's size and design) unfortunately as far as I know the mini won't support 1080p or 1080i, which is a minimum standard on my wish list. Also for the Mini with the superdrive it's almost double the price of the PS3. It has to be said that Blu-ray movies look fantastic on the PS3 too!

    Overall I'm really chuffed with my setup, however I do find there are a couple of glitches - and I wonder if Ben or anyone else has experienced this...?

    When I download new movies into my shared media folder on the desktop PC, quite often the PS3 just won't recognise this new content on the PS3, especially if it's a large file size ie. 4GB and over. I've tried re-syncing the library in WMP11 and restarting the PS3. The other problem i get every now and then is a DNLA error reported by the PS3 when watching a movie which causes the stream to crash. It's really annoying. Any ideas what I need to do to sort this out? All replies are most appreciated.

    Thank you fellow geeks


  4. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrdollars
    Like I Ben I use a PS3 as my media center, it's a really great and inexpensive way to get Blu-Ray and HD quality output to your TV screen. I have recently added Yellow Dog Linux 6 on the PS3, which was quite a fun learning experience, as I'm a total noob to Linux. Now that I have it on there, I never use t though, I think the novelty wore off and I like the simple and effective usability of the Sony XMB. YDL seems sluggish to me, I;ve heard Xubuntu is better...

    Anyway,

    Before I chose the PS3 I looked at getting a dedicated PC and then the Mac Mini, (I especially liked it's size and design) unfortunately as far as I know the mini won't support 1080p or 1080i, which is a minimum standard on my wish list. Also for the Mini with the superdrive it's almost double the price of the PS3. It has to be said that Blu-ray movies look fantastic on the PS3 too!

    Overall I'm really chuffed with my setup, however I do find there are a couple of glitches - and I wonder if Ben or anyone else has experienced this...?

    When I download new movies into my shared media folder on the desktop PC, quite often the PS3 just won't recognise this new content on the PS3, especially if it's a large file size ie. 4GB and over. I've tried re-syncing the library in WMP11 and restarting the PS3. The other problem i get every now and then is a DNLA error reported by the PS3 when watching a movie which causes the stream to crash. It's really annoying. Any ideas what I need to do to sort this out? All replies are most appreciated.

    Thank you fellow geeks
    Thanks for your post.

    Would you be able to provide a bit more detail on your set up?

    Cheers!!

  5. #35

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    The Mac does support up to 1920 x 1200 via the DVI out. It also can support analogue resolution of 1920 x 1080 via VGA. It also has digital optical out for audio so you can connect digitally to an external amplifier/receiver.

    The Sony PS3 media player does not recognise some Divx/HD codec's, so it will not play some divx files.

    It also has a shockingly poor browser. Some websites with java/flash cannot be displayed!

    Sony PS3 does not recognise external USB drives that have been formatted using NTFS. Must be FAT32. Also the folder structure has to be in a certain way. Also doesn't recognise ethernet networked drives through XMB.

    Unfortunately the PS3 just doesnt quite cut it as a genuine media centre (I wish it did), hence the need to pair it up with a Mac.

    In the end, I had to have both


  6. #36

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    Sep 2007
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    Nice setup nutta, the optical out on the mini, it looks just like an audio jack, not like the normal square optical, how does that work?

    mrdollars, I have not had that much experience with wmp 11 and uPNP I only used it for a short time. I use mediatomb but it is for linux only. Most of the uPNP servers out there are not DLNA compliant, I am not sure that wmp 11 is. I have heard of the problem you are having using wmp 11, give TVersity a go, I have heard positive things from it and it is free. Here is a list of uPNP servers free and paid ones.

    How to choose a DLNA Media Server for Windows, Mac OS X or Linux - Robert Green's DIY

    I sometimes get the same problem on mediatomb but hardly ever. If you enable Inotity under linux the file changes are picked up instantly, so I don't get the file problem you are having under windows. I sometimes get a problem with some of my xvid's stopping at 90% but only two so far, but still annoying.

    I was thinking about YDL to put on my ps3 as well, but for the same reasons as you, the novelty would were off and I just want something that just turns on and works. I did not like the idea of rebooting everything I wanted to use the sony features, plus I have a dedicated linux machine.

    Last edited by aussben; 26-04-2008 at 11:02 PM.

  7. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by aussben
    Nice setup nutta, the optical out on the mini, it looks just like an audio jack, not like the normal square optical, how does that work?
    You need to get a TOSLINK adaptor. Some cables come complete with a minijack > TOSLINK adaptor like this one

  8. #38

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    Ah yes I have heard of a toslink, I would like to get a mac mini myself.


  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by aussben
    Allows you to transcode on the fly, which means mp4 on one end, streams while watching to divx on the playstation. But make sure you don't upgrade the firmware on your playstation to 2.20 as this features break on firmware on and above that.
    Hello Ben

    Got WMP11 installed and got it working as a media server. Went over to the PS3 and configured the wireless settings and it happily connected to my wireless router.

    WMP11 popped up with a message saying it had found a new device - approve / deny option.

    So looks like it is all working, but I got a message on the PS3 when I ran the test internet connection message. It said I need to update the system files. And since then it hasn't been able to connect to the wireless network.

    Will this not mean I have to now update to the latest firmware? Also, seems odd it would stop the internet connection working as I can't see how I can now update the files.

    Have you experienced something like this before?

    UPDATE: I tried the 'test internet connection' option again and it worked. But then it said that the media server connection has been disconnected and a box popped up with a connection error code but disappeared too quickly to note it down. Any now, it can't connect again.
    Last edited by HKNewBi; 27-04-2008 at 11:39 PM.

  10. #40

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    It can see my media server now, but can't see my music library. When I try to browse I get 'dlna protocol error code 4405' error message.


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