Sunday, May 15th, 2011 at 2:15 pm
For a while I have been occasionally trying out UPNP media servers so I can play videos from my Linux server directly on my television. This is to avoid the WDTV Live that annoyingly doesn’t allow you to skip/jump forward/backward.
I haven’t actually tried that many, but today I think I have found one I like: PS3 Media Server.
This is a UPNP media server written in Java, originally for the PS3, but since then extended to work as a generic UPNP media server. It works quite well with my television, crucially allowing me to skip forward and backward through the video. I can even hold down the button to skip at larger increments. Yay!
But that was the good news.
As with everything there is a downside. While the player worked fine streaming .avi files, at first I couldn’t play an .mkv as it wanted to transcode it before streaming it over the network. At first I thought I had surpassed that issue by installing the mencoder package, until I discovered that the act of transcoding the video messed up the ability to skip forward or backward. It would skip, but it would take over a minute to resume playback. Not good.
Because I knew the television could play .mkv files from USB storage, on a hunch I renamed one of them to .avi to see if that would trick PS3 Media Server into not transcoding and if the television would play it. Success.
However, I am not prepared to permanently rename all .mkv files to .avi. I wonder, is there anything that can mount a filesystem, but let me translate filenames on the fly… there are FUSE modules for perl…