Suggestions for a device that supports copying

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GreedSensei
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 8:49 pm

Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by GreedSensei »

Hello!

Does anyone have suggestions for a device that has a storage drive and allows copying files (mainly videos) to it via the Universal Media Server? It should connect to the TV with HDMI and support at least 4k output. Basically I need something that can do the stuff a PS3 can do (multimedia-wise) just better. Here's why:

I use the Universal Media Server almost every day to copy videos to my PS3 so I dont have to stream them (I like to jump around videos sometimes, so having it downloaded works best). The thing is, the PS3 is getting real old and I worry about it dying. Also it's not the most powerful beast out there and barely manages 1080p.

Ideally I would have a remote with a simple OS that saves where I stopped watching the video with maybe a 1.5 speed up (just like with PS3).

I tried searching for this stuff, but this is kinda my weak point in terms of tech. I would be real thankful if anyone has an idea what I need to look (out) for!
GreedSensei
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 8:49 pm

Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by GreedSensei »

hmmm, seems I'm not the only one who doesn't know about this stuff. Could it really be, that the PS3 is unique in its capability to copy files with this programm?
Nadahar
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Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:57 pm

Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by Nadahar »

I'm not even aware that you can do that with the PS3 (I have one). What do you do to download something as opposed to just watch it?
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mik_s
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Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by mik_s »

I do vaguely remember that you can copy a stream to the PS3's hardrive instead of playing it, which is good for seeking when the original file has to be transcoded. Can't remember how but I think pressing triangle on the video brought up that option.

Practicality I don't see much use of it though as the whole file will have to be saved first before you can watch it and it would take the duration of that file to be transcoded and saved. Also the transcoding is optimised for speed not file size so the final video would take up a huge amount of space on the harddrive.

A better option is to transcode everything to a supported format with something like HandBrake ahead of time and then they will stream correctly though UMS and you should be able to jump around in the file as normal.

You might be better off getting something like a kodi box, something that has support for more modern formats that can just be streamed instead of transcoded, then you will have no need to copy videos like that.

There is a better homebrew media player for the PS3 called Movian that can play most things, but for some formats like h265 its CPU is too slow to play well so need to be transcoded. Unfortunately Movian is not great with transcoded files, seeking restarts the video.
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GreedSensei
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Joined: Sat May 08, 2021 8:49 pm

Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by GreedSensei »

@Nadahar: Yep, you just hit triangle on the file (also works with mp3 and pictures) and can then choose to copy it (or multiple at once) over.

Hmmm, normally it works real fast because the files I copy are already compatible with the PS3 and don't need to be transcoded. This way the file size stays the same as well. And if the fileformat is not supported it transcodes the file(s) and then it can take a little while longer with a bigger filesize.

So it really is that difficult to find another device with this capabilities...and I thought it was just me xD

edit: I really am not so hot on the "stream everything" idea. I like to have the file on the drive so I can fast-forward and such without any need for buffering and waiting. Also I can create a small library of files to watch and delete everything I'm done with without concern...but we don't have to talk about my weird life-choices. I'm simply interested if there is something else besides a PS3 that can copy videos over^^
Nadahar
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Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by Nadahar »

When there's no transcoding involved, and unless your server or network is extremely slow, seeking is "instant" without any buffering. I honestly don't think you can tell the difference if the file is on a local disk or is streamed from UMS in this case. What happens "behind the scene" when working this way is very similar to how it works with a file on local disk. The media player requests a new position using a byte index, and reading starts at that position. With a local disk file, this request is made to the local OS. With UMS, the same request using byte index is sent to UMS, which effectively "forwards" the request to it's underlying OS controlling the file. UMS will then read from the new position and forward the read data to the renderer via the network. All UMS is doing is acting like a "proxy", and unless something is very slow along the way, you shouldn't really be able to tell the difference.

Transcoding is a whole different story. Here byte-seeking isn't possible since the "file" sent to the renderer doesn't exist and is generated on-the-fly. When seeking to a new position, the time code of the new position is sent to UMS. UMS then has to cancel the current transcoding session, discard the already existing buffer, start a new transcoding session from the new position, start to buffer the new content and then forward this to the renderer. All this takes time, which makes seeking quite "laggy" and slow. But, with some patience, you still get where you want to.
GreedSensei
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Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by GreedSensei »

Thanks for the explanation. I'm still looking for an easy way to copy my files wirelessly from PC to "a multimedia device connected to my tv". Guess I'll have to look somewhere else though...seems like the way UMS worked with PS3 was kinda unique..
Nadahar
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Re: Suggestions for a device that supports copying

Post by Nadahar »

Any renderer can choose to save the stream UMS sends to a file in stead of or in addition to playing it back, so this isn't about the server at all. I just don't think you'll find very many that offers this, as it wouldn't normally be what people would want.
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