5.10.08

Streaming media

With several video files on my PC, figuring out a way to watch them has been an issue for my family for a while now. One option was to watch them on the PC itself, which we did for a while, but once I got married, two of us crowding round the PC screen wasn't exactly comfortable. So I went out and got a DVD player that could platy Divx files (I got mine ages ago for under £20, but this one is available now for £37.99).

Anyway, this involved burning DVDs all the time. A discussion with a work colleague last year, and I discovered the world of network media players. I bought two, a wired media player, and a wireless one.

The 'Freecom era' was a very interesting one:

  • The wireless and wired players have several differences. The wired player seems to have older firmware. The wireless one is much easier to use.

  • The wireless player has DVI and component connections for high definition playback.

  • Both of these player suffer from one major problems, the remote controls are super flaky. While they were both under warranty, I collected a total of 8 replacement remotes for both of them. Today, I do not have a single working remote control. (This might have something to do with having a baby in the house, but all my other remotes are still working perfectly).


Anyway, I think I may have discovered the best way to stream media now. And it was sitting in the living room all along. The playstation 3 is a very good media player, so good, I'm seriously considering buying a second one to use exclusively as a media player for the bedroom.

To set up the Playstation to stream, you need to have a media player running on your PC, the easiest way of doing this is to use Windows Media player. There's a very good guide on how to set it up here.

However, the very best software that I've found is TVersity, and it's absolutely free. TVersity not only allows you to stream media already on your PC, but you can also stream videos on youtube, and internet video feeds straight to your TV. It plays almost every kind of media you can think off, and unlike media player, seems to be a lot more reliable. There's a great guide on how to set it up on the PS3 here. And it not only works with the PS3, it works with any UPnP / DLNA Devices, including:

  • The Xbox 360

  • The DirecTV HR20

  • The Sony Vaio VGP-MR100U

  • The DLink DSM 320/320R/320RD

  • The DLink DSM 510/520 (firmware 1.02 or higher, older firmware versions are identified as DSM 320)

  • The Philips Streamium SL300i/SL400i/MX6000i

  • The Roku Soundbridge M500/M1000/M2000

  • The Philips SLA5500/5520

  • The Omnifi DMS1

  • The Nokia 770 or N800/810 Internet Tablet via Media Streamer add-on from Nokia or via the Canola Media Player

  • LobsterTunes

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