Archive for the ‘Xbox’ Category

Home Theater with the PS3

My new home setup consists of a Toshibia 1080p Monitor, Pioneer Surround Processor, a Sony PS3 for HD video playback, and Megatron my server which houses all of my movies. Connections are made with HDMI between the PS3 and the TV and optical to the surround. The sound is up to 7.1 surround and the video is full 1080p.

I just recently upgraded from the Xbox 360 to the PS3 (thanks to the best wife in the world) and the improvement was noticeable. The 360 only does 1080i on component video while the PS3 does full 1080p on HDMI. There seems to be a great sound improvement on the PS3 over the Xbox. The Xbox was having some issue with the larger HD video files, the processor didn’t seem to be able to keep up. The PS3 also does have a gigabit nic, this makes a huge difference when streaming HD video.

Now for the how to.

The hook up to for the PS3 to the TV was a simple HDMI. Then I ran optical to the Surround processor from the TV, this way I can switch the inputs via the TV remote. I hooked up the gigabit network line to the PS3 and I was set to watch a movie.

I had Megatron setup with uShare DLNA server to share my movies (see how to at my other post Media Sharing). The video share showed up on the PS3 right away and I was able to select a movie. The first on played fine, but the second caused and “Format not Supported” error message. As it turns out some of the movies I had on the server were not supported by the PS3. I needed to change the format, for that I used Handbrake.

Using Handbrake to re-encode my movies was easy. Just select the movie and for the setting use “Normal”. The only issue I really had was with sound. The PS3 seems to like the ACC (faac) codec. Once I had that figured out it was only a matter of waiting for the encode to finish.

Ubuntu 9.10 to Xbox 360 Media Sharing

Like most people I have a couple TVs in my house. One of the TVs has the MythBox on it and the other has the Xbox 360. Now I keep all my movies on the MythBox (all legal backups of course). I wanted to play these on my Xbox on the other TV. I noticed that after the Xbox 360 dashboard update the Xbox saw my shared drive and I could browse to my media directories. When I tried to Play one of these I got some cryptic Microsoft error code. So I did a little research and found out that Xbox media streaming uses the DLNA protocol to receive content from a peer on a network. Great, does Linux have a DLNA protocol server, YES, it is called uShare.

Here are the easy steps to set it up.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ushare

Configuration

Once finished, you’ll have uShare installed and ready for configuration. Out of the box, it won’t work for our purpose. You’ll need to edit /etc/ushare.conf to enable Xbox compatibility as well as define the standard port – 49200. Open /etc/ushare.conf as root and change the following lines:

USHARE_PORT=49200
USHARE_DIR=/path/to/your/media
ENABLE_XBOX=YES

Before these changes will take effect, you’ll need to restart ushare using its init script. However, an issue I’ve noticed is that the last line (’ENABLE_XBOX=YES’) does not always work. So before we restart uShare, we’ll need to make a small change to the init script that resides under /etc/init.d/ to force Xbox compatibility:

sudo vi /etc/init.d/ushare

and add the following line at the beginning of the script:

USHARE_OPTIONS=-x

This tells uShare to start with Xbox compatibility. Now restart uShare using the init script:

invoke-rc.d ushare restart

Now you are finished. You may need to restart the Xbox. Now navigate to ‘My Xbox’ and then select ‘Videos’ and finally you should see ‘uShare’ at the bottom (computer icon). Selecting that will connect to your Linux box and you’ll be able to browse your media just as you would on your PC.

When I tried to play a xvid file it said I needed a download to play this file. I sure it was the codec, but it was free and worked great. Now I have another TV with a HD feed that can Play all the movies on my Media server.

This works with versions of Ubuntu back to 8.10 and Fedora 9,10 1nd 11. For Fedora you have to use yum not apt-get.

Enjoy

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