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Old 13th May, 2009, 01:28 PM
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The HTPS3 Project

Project Name: HTPS3 Project

Recently, I've been thinking about building a HTPC for our living room downstairs for the Summer. My family watch a lot of movies and me and my brother
watch a decent amount of TV shows. During these hard economic times, where our student loan has been completely spent, banks are lending money that they don't have
and our MP's are stealing all our money, such a project is going to hit anyone financially. Unless, of course, you utilise hardware you already have.

The plan:

Utilise my spare PS3. Simple. The plan would be to install Linux on a partition on the PS3 and then install either Boxee or GeeXboX, then
purchase any additional hardware as required (most notably, a media remote).

The downside is that, at the moment, I see no possible way to include DVR as part of this home theatre. The upside is, with any luck and if I can get it to work,
this home theatre may be able to use the PS3 as a Blu-Ray player to play Blu-Ray movies.


I know there will be a fair amount of people from the depths of the internet stumbling across this thread, so I'm going to document everything
I do on here with pictures and a write-up.

Please feel free to post any questions/comments/advice here. I want to get people's ideas about this project before I go into it full force,
so don't be afraid to throw some ideas my way!

The Project Starts Soon
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Old 13th May, 2009, 02:40 PM
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I found the PS3 to be pretty limited in what it can do under linux. With only 256MB of memory and no hardware acceleration for video it just wasn't enough to handle serious HD content.

It's easy enough to throw a distro on it and see if it will suit your needs..
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Old 13th May, 2009, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ccperf721p View Post
I found the PS3 to be pretty limited in what it can do under linux. With only 256MB of memory and no hardware acceleration for video it just wasn't enough to handle serious HD content.

It's easy enough to throw a distro on it and see if it will suit your needs..
Interesting. Which distro did you use?
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Old 13th May, 2009, 03:52 PM
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I used gentoo, compiled from stage1 using fluxbox as the window manager.
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Old 13th May, 2009, 11:57 PM
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It does sound like something people will come far and wide for.
Sounds good so far.
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Old 14th May, 2009, 01:10 AM
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If the adiition of a good DVD or DVR is the cost, do what us poor folk do, hit your local thrift shops. That is one item you can pick up cheap! There are a lot to select from in my area.
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Old 14th May, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Does anyone know if Linux supports the PS3's Blu-Ray player, aka,could I play BluRay content in Linux? If anyone knows, please let me know.
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Old 14th May, 2009, 01:21 PM
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xf86-video-spu can help by using the SPUs to do some colour conversion. spu-medialib can help by using the SPUs to accelerate decoding, with application support...

Limit the resolution of the display - running at 1080p is going to take more memory than running at lower resolutions, which means less memory available for applications.

As far as Blu-ray goes, it's a lot more complex than DVD. There's some stuff to handle the BD+ encryption, but you still need BD-J to handle things like menus, and it has to talk to the BD+ virtual machine for everything to work.
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Old 14th May, 2009, 02:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raphael2040 View Post
Does anyone know if Linux supports the PS3's Blu-Ray player, aka,could I play BluRay content in Linux? If anyone knows, please let me know.
You will not be able to pop a disk in and watch a BluRay movie in linux. It must be decrypted to the hard disk and the resulting file can be watched under linux.. Thank DRM for this..
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Old 15th May, 2009, 11:05 PM
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I installed both Ubuntu and Gentoo today. Being a Linux newbie doesn't help my cause at all! It seems you're right ccperf. The PS3 is very limited under Linux - it was very slow in Ubuntu.

I'm going to have to do some serious research and see if there's any distro's that can help me with this project. Yellow Dog, even though it has been developed for the PS3, is no good to me. At the moment though, I'm finding hardware limitation a problem. Research is required.

If anyone has had any success with installing a distro and watching movies on their box, please post!

Keep this thread alive!
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Old 17th May, 2009, 09:15 AM
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There's a bunch of people who have used MythTV on their PS3s as a front-end - there might be some knoweldge that you can use. It isn't going to be as simple as 'install a distro and watch movies'. It's likely to be 'install a distro', 'dig up PS3 specific patches', 'patch distro', 'try again', and eventually 'watch movies'...
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Old 17th May, 2009, 03:03 PM
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I use Yellow Dog, works quite well. Created a 10Gb partition, data is all streamed from other machines on the network via NFS shares.

Performance isn't all a black cloud, improves significantly when you use the PS3's video ram and get the codecs all sorted properly. That said, the PS3's normal firmware is so good now that its way better to use it as a frontend to a separate MythTV backend server. Specifically just using mediatomb to pump content from the myth server to the PS3 via uPNP. In particular it also lets you use full range RGB among other things over HDMI that even my desktop with nvidia video card doesn't support on that 40" LCD.

In the UK you can use PlayTV PlayTV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia to do everything Myth does (mostly) with the full power of Cell behind it.

Also, if you have a PSP, you can stream video in DivX form from your MythTV box via MediaTomb to your PS3, and then remoteplay onto your PSP, allowing you to watch all of your media collection anywhere wirelessly at home, or even remotely watch live cable TV from your home while at university.

Yes, I am that much of a geek, that not only do I watch cable at university wirelessly, but I also feel the urge to explain to anyone walking by *what* I'm doing and *how* I'm doing it because it makes me feel good.

AND I LIKE LEGO TECHNICS AT 21 YEARS OF AGE.

THERE.
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Old 18th May, 2009, 04:09 PM
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The "Full range RGB" bit is really the difference between IRE 0 (What the PS3 calls "Full"), which is what computer monitors tend to use, and IRE 7.5 (The PS3 calls "Limited"), which is what video monitors tend to use. Video based displays don't use the full range (historical reasons), and generally video stuff (DVD/Blu-ray/broadcast etc) will be with IRE 7.5 in mind.

Generally, older displays that only provide DVI connection rather than HDMI require "Full Range", as they were designed to handle computer usage, rather than video usage. This allows the PS3 to scale the video from studio video levels to computer video levels.

Computer displays are IRE 0. However, showing IRE 7.5 on an IRE 0 system tends to result in blacks being crushed with a loss of shadow detail, and with colours being more saturated, and whites being whiter. "Full range RGB" is what your nVidia card on your desktop should be doing already, without you having to set anything, as it will assume it's connected to an IRE 0 display.

Rather than using full range, it might be better to calibrate your TV, especially if you use it for watching video...



How does the current version of MythTV's own uPnP work compared to MediaTomb?
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Old 19th May, 2009, 05:02 AM
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Yea, it does work, winamp's built in on my dad's laptop also works when he brings his machine down. It has some limitations though, directory trees can only be 10 deep (I think 10).
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Old 2nd January, 2010, 07:04 PM
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Bump this.

The new version of Yellow Dog allows for very good streaming of HD content. Going to be having a play around with a few frontends, see if we can pretty it up.
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