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Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
04-10-2013, 10:25 AM (This post was last modified: 04-10-2013 10:33 AM by alexbarreras.)
Post: #1
Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
Hi all,

From the past years, I've been using a Fat PS3 in conjuction with PlayStation Media Server (PMS) to stream movies from my MacBook and a Yamaha DTS-HD enabled Amplifier with 5.1.

As I'm very punctilious with video and sound quality, my main concerns are two: PMS transcodes the video (doesn't send the full video stream), obtaining sizes of 7-15mbps through wifi, and the audio DTS-HD is not supported (PS3 Fat model's fault), PMS sends the full track but PS3 automatically converts it to DTS.

I started a research from the past two weeks for acquiring a NMT and my question is simple: Will I observe picture quality improvement using an A400 or another NMT? I only reproduce from 720p onwards (1080p, BD Remux and BDISO).

Will the sound be improved as well? (I'm not sure if human hearing is able to distinguish DTS from DTS-HD).

Thanks!
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04-10-2013, 10:44 AM
Post: #2
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
If you are indeed punctilious with AV quality replacing WiFi with CAT6 cable will give the best improvement.
I never owned a PMS so I have no comparison to the A400 but I do know the A400 does not do downscaling if you don't set it to do so... 1080p HD with HD audio is played as such.... and go upto and over 45mbps.... and WiFi is too unstable to carry that always.


PCH-A100/A210/C200/A400 500GB EXT3 HDD<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Onkyo TX-NR1010<-->HDMIv1.3<-->Panasonic TX-P46S10 + 6 Bowers & Wilkins speakers.
10 NTFS 2TB USB drives on 3 hubs attached to the A400, 2 Seagate blackarmour NAS 3TB, 2 Seagate Central NAS 4TB.


The inability to setup and configure the NMT should not be disguised as a defect of the box...
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04-10-2013, 10:57 AM
Post: #3
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
Thanks Willem... What I don't even know is if the PMS Transcoding is as good as the A400... Of course less Mbps mean less quality but appart from that, I don't know if we can notice the difference between 15Mbps and 45Mbps...
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04-10-2013, 11:03 AM
Post: #4
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
ive had a ps3 and I can tell u transcoding to the ps3 is not best for pic and sound the a a-400 will knock ur socks of compared to the ps3 but of coarse u wont play games on it hope that helps
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04-10-2013, 02:05 PM
Post: #5
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
Yeh as soon as transcoding is involved then you start to see quality dipping.

It's necessary for the PS3 as it wont play many formats and codecs so the mediaserving app has to transcode. Not transcoding means that you get it 'as is' from the source. Now if your source is crap then your picture/audio will be crap, garbage in garbage out. But if you use a good source then you'll notice the difference.

Last time I came across the PS3 media playing was the kids trying to watch some CAM of a film. They couldn't understand what the message was about and why there was no audio/picture. It was cinavira which of course is in the Sony PS3 so again it wont play unless its transcoded and the cinavira code taken out of the audio. A400 has no cinavira.

A400: SD Card(Apps), HDMI C200: USB(Apps), BD ROM (SH-B083L(SB01)), HDMI
CAT6 Wired Network: TV Panasonic TX-P42G20, HP ProCurve 1400-8G, Netgear GS-608/605, Synology CS407
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04-10-2013, 02:24 PM
Post: #6
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
(04-10-2013 02:05 PM)chris57 Wrote:  Last time I came across the PS3 media playing was the kids trying to watch some CAM of a film. They couldn't understand what the message was about and why there was no audio/picture. It was cinavira which of course is in the Sony PS3 so again it wont play unless its transcoded and the cinavira code taken out of the audio. A400 has no cinavira.

Cinavia only applies (as I understand) for AC-3 sound format. DTS is free for the moment. I always ensure that movies in 720p/1080p have DTS track to avoid problems (I have had the Cinavia "surprise" several times and makes me feel like crap).
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04-10-2013, 03:45 PM
Post: #7
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
no cinavia can be even on mono sound trust me a camcorder copy of a movie with super bad audio will still get cinavia jumpin
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05-16-2013, 03:39 PM
Post: #8
RE: Popcorn (A400) vs PS3 Media Server
Alex, I am a PS3 guy and really, really wanted to get the streaming thing happening without buying more hardware. I installed PSM and it was ok, but so many files were mkv, so I was stuck transcoding/remuxing. I found the PSM interface and options very confusing and when you factor in wifi instability, the quality was meh and choppy.

I liked this popcorn hour stuff, but the price is super high. Found the KDLinks HD700 with nice specs and reviews. it would play just about anything, but there was no jukebox and it had a crappy interface with a HORRIBLE remote. Picture was nice for HD & 3D content, but meh wifi signal made anything 3D or 1080p a little choppy. Plus, if you have any older TV shows, it did a pretty crappy job of upscaling them.

Sent that back for an A400 and have been happy ever since. I have yet to find anything it won't play. Old TV shows look great and it has a nice Jukebox (although I'm probably going to switch to YAMJ soon).

Spend the money and get an A400. I went the internal HDD route to bypass the screwy wifi streaming thing and it only uses the network for wireless file transfers from my PC to the internall HDD. (I'm having issues with slow wifi file transfer speed, but it sure beats choppy playback with a room full of people. I'm still troubleshooting that, tho, and might just run a cable to call it a day and move on with my life). Otherwise, the thing has been FANTASTIC

There's such a huge user community here with passionate folks that like to help. I would recommend this A400 to anybody, especially somebody thinking about streaming to the PS3 that really has a pretty sad way to browse your files anyway. Don't put up with degraded quality from transcoding.

PCH A-400 w/ 3TB internal (wired) | W7 PC (wifi) | Airport Extreme | PS3 | Panasonic 65VT50 | Apple TV 3 | iPhone 5 | iPad 4
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