It looks I may have to wait for a while before I can complete the HTPC that I had originally planned mainly due to time constraints and not to mention funding. There are a few factors that I needed to consider when planning this HTPC, there was heat, power consumption and also space in the EU. A user on a forum thread that I often visit mentioned the WD TV HD Media Player which seemed like a cheap temporary solution. I tested other ways to stream my media content to my new Samsung PS50B850 plasma to get me through but I encountered a few problems and I just don’t have the time to spend on tweaking it and making it work. Most of the time the simple “Plug & Play” really does go a long way.
Ok so since the HTPC is now officially on standby here are some things that I tried with limited success or I just wasn’t happy with it.
Tversity and Xbox 360 – My current set up are as follows: ADSL2+ modem -> Wireless N Router + 4 port Gigabit -> Netgear GS605 (1000Mbps) switch. The xbox, tv and bluray player is connected via the Netgear switch with the Wireless N router as DHCP. First I tried the Samsung’s DLNA feature but not in depth because in a perfect world I expected it to just work. While it played AVI files, the MKV 720p & 1080p rips could not play with audio but more on that later. While Tversity works with the Xbox 360, some of it’s functionality are somewhat limited and while it is free there is little point in complaining about it. Tversity is discovered by the 360 as a standard install and it’s just a matter of adding the media shares to the library where it will process that particular folder in the background. The 360 was able to stream the usual supported formats, such as Mp3, wmv, divx, avi, .mp4, .m4v, mp4v, .mov but one format that it does not support natively which I need the most is the Matroska (.mkv) container. This is where Tversity came in handy (in theory that is), Tversity has the feature to transcode the MKV file format and stream to the 360 on the fly, unfortunately for me this is where it all unravels for me. While most of the MKV formats available on the internet come with AC3 or DTS, the xbox 360 doesn’t support this so you can never get a multi channel sound experience while playing your content through the xbox. Obviously the list of issues and methods that do work cannot be fully covered here because I have yet to experience them or it simply doesn’t apply to my current setup. Research and a lot of patience certainly goes a long way.
Tversity and Samsung DLNA – This method requires a bit of tweaking but it does work. A custom profile entry is required to get Tversity to work with Samsung’s DLNA feature. The major problems are no DTS support and there is no option to pause, skip or rewind the video content which is a huge pain in the ass. This requires a seperate post which I do intend to post shortly. One thing I can confirm though with this setup is MKV is supported natively and will pass through 5.1 to my Sony Muteki which makes the viewing experience a lot better.
Samsung Profile for Tversity – you can download the custom tversity profile below.
While I cannot guarantee that it will work for you, I have made it work with my Samsung PS50B850. Don’t forget to install CCCP.