Finally managed to get my PS3 to eat Xvid streams from my Linux box!
What it took:
FFDshow revision 802
Because I couldn’t lay my hands on any of my Windows XP discs, I loaded VMware Converter onto one of my existing machines and used it to clone the operating system image into a 10 gigabyte file. The resulting image only needed a couple tweaks; Changing the sound card type from SB16 to es1371, forcing it to ignore the floppy and CDROM drives of the host, and switching the VM over to bridged Ethernet mode.
The image was moved to the server over FTP, then with VMplayer I stripped the image to the bare essentials. Killed off services. Removed the old, redundant network entries. Uninstalled anything that resembled a DirectShow filter. When none of my media would play in WMP any more, I installed FFDshow and made sure it was set as the default playback method for everything.
Next came TVersity. The default transcoding options work fine for the PS3, just install it and use the sharing dialog to add your media.
At this point, everything worked on the VM. I mounted a share from the local machine containing my video files, shared them with TVersity, and I was able to watch them using the local GUI. The PS3? No such luck. “Unsupported file”, every damn time. Fired up an instance of GeexBox (http://www.geexbox.org/en/index.html) in another VM to check it was streaming correctly. It was.
Why? VM latency. For some god awful reason, the VM would not stream things in time for the PS3, and it would give up in frustration.
Time to tune the VM and TVersity. In Transcoding options, I turned the stream compression down, told it to optimize for speed, changed the network setting to 100mbps wired and changed the maximum resolution to 240×176. Changed the amount of memory allocated to the VM from 512 megabytes to 384. Turned off swap. Killed more services. Defragmented the virtual hard drive. Changed desktop resolution and depth to something less intensive.
And bang! It ran! Tweaked the max output resolution up to 1280×1024, still running and looking great!
As a plus, TVersity is also capable of streaming to my cellphone, the girlfriends HTC 8125, the PSP, and all the machines on the network.