or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

DLNA question

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi, I have an all-Panasonic setup with Twonky 6/7 and have been struggling for a few months with DLNA issues.

I hope to stream video from my PC and also TV programs recorded via DMR-XW 380.

There's partial success - I can stream DivX files to a BD77 BD Player. But not to a newer DB 320. This will only stream mkv files. Panasonic support say it doesn't stream DivX but this is not what the manual says (DivX is included as a supported format) or the hype which refers to 'enhanced DLNA' features.

With the 380 I can stream 'some' files and I suspect this doesn't use Twonky. I can't figure why some work and some don't, I first thought it was HiDef content only but no, it's not. Then I was told it was DTC-IP, a form of copy protection ?? But I'm not trying to copy - only watch in another room. And can you tell before recording which will work and which won't ?
post #2 of 18
I would recommend ditching Twonky it is not a very good DLNA server. Better options are Serviio (free), Mezzmo or TVMobili.

Panasonic may have crippled DivX/AVI support allowing it only through USB media player (this is a common thing for Panasonic and Sony) thats why it appears in the manual or Panasonic are ferring to the later DivX Plus standard which uses H.264/mkv, either way the DLNA server will have to transcode media in this case.
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Alx330. I've certainly had problems with Twonky, but find it gives a much better picture than Serviio and proper screen size. I've done no transcribing yet (only have a vague idea what it is!).

If Panasonic have deliberating crippled it then they're in breach of the Fair trading Act here in NZ by advertising it as a feature.

Is it perhaps better to steer clear of brands like Panasonic & Sony ? Is there a decent media player around with good DLNA, or are programs like Mezzmo or TVMobili worth the money and do the job nicely ?
post #4 of 18
Hi Kirk,

Welcome to the forum.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkman22 View Post

. . . I've certainly had problems with Twonky, but find it gives a much better picture than Serviio and proper screen size.
If Twonky and Serviio look different, then one or both of them is transcoding. In DLNA, transcoding is the default behavior whenever the client (your Panasonic) does not directly support the "profile" of the source material. When the client has limited format support, it is the server software that makes or breaks your system, based on the number of formats it can transcode and how well is does the transcoding. The difficulty with transcoding in DLNA is that it has to be done in real-time, so the amount of horsepower in your server is another factor.

Quote:
Is it perhaps better to steer clear of brands like Panasonic & Sony ?
I don't know about Panasonic, but I steer clear of Sony. Sony does not support HD over DLNA, because nothing is supposed to look as good as a Blu-Ray disc.

Quote:
Is there a decent media player around with good DLNA . . . ?
"good DLNA" is an oxymoron.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi Mark,

It's a funny old world.... Panasonic and their ilk develop and aggressively market the protocol - then deliberately limit or cripple it ?

OK on transcribing. This may have been what Serviio was doing when the picture appeared inferior, but it always seemed to be the wrong screen size.
Twonky initially was a right bas**** but (eventually) now does a superb job of streaming to 2 devices. Anything it failed with, was watched via a USB stick

I had to look up what 'oxymoron' meant ! Regardless, it's potential seems enormous - if only it would work properly ! I did find HiDef was rather hard to fast forward on... and major
panic once when Twonky wouldn't rewind/fforward or pause.... but that was a (somehow) changed media profile.

I suspect too, it's wise to use fixed IP addresses?

Cheers - Kirk
post #6 of 18
Quote:
It's a funny old world.... Panasonic and their ilk develop and aggressively market the protocol - then deliberately limit or cripple it ?

TV makers are by and large incompetent, they do not make good products in general at least from what I've seen over the years. Only the very latest generation Panasonic TV's have a decent media player in them with native DivX/AVI support. In addition DLNA is a very broken standard, the only media formats required for DLNA are .mpg or .wmv nothing else, so you can be DLNA compliant with only those. The standard is so loose and watered down by it's various backers who all have their own agenda that leaves it an absolute mess.

Transcoding does affect the image quality of a video, not sure what you mean by wrong screen size but if you explain over on the Serviio forums the guys other there usually can help you out. You should also have the Panasonic Viera profile applied to the IP of the TV in Serviio control panel.

Give Mezzmo demo version a try, it's one of the better commercial DLNA servers and it supports transcoding.
Quote:
I suspect too, it's wise to use fixed IP addresses?

Yes if your network router reboots often, there is a small chance the DLNA server will apply the wrong profile especially if another device with a different profile was using that IP previously. The whole fast/forward rewind is another problem with DLNA and subtitles and lots of other things.
post #7 of 18
Quote:
TV makers are by and large incompetent . . . DLNA is a very broken standard . . .

That's harsh !

All true, but harsh. smile.gif
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
> DLNA is a very broken standard . . .
> Only the very latest generation Panasonic TV's have a decent media player in them with native DivX/AVI support.

Distressing. We've a THP55 probably about 12 months old and it streams most things. Those it won't Panasonic will not say if future firmware updates will change that. From their attitude I'm wary of applying updates in case they break something that presently works. I will have a tryout with Mezmo though, thanks.

Can I ask you about DTCP-IP? It may not be applicable in your country but here is "a method of copyright protection used within the context of DLNA and media streaming". What I've found is with TV programs recorded to a Panasonic DMR-XW 380 (the crippled for NZ version which has no skip forward/back so it's harder to duck the ads. Yes, very nice of them), some files stream and some won't. Presumably because of DTCP-IP.. Panasonic say for those that won't "Use the DR File conversion process to convert the recording from the FHD DR format to a standard def format. This removes the DTCP-IP copyright protection and you will be able to stream the content"

That process takes about as long as watching the programme. itself . You can record everything in that mode by default, but you lose all HiDef. The problem is knowing in advance what will or won't stream... and plan to record accordingly.

Panasonic NZ also say DTCP-IP is why DivX files won't stream to the BDT-320. It must be present (not the other way around as I thought). My understanding was it's a protocol applied at broadcast time by the TV station to prevent the program being copied. They say its something removed at broadcast time to allow streaming.

Quote "in order for the product to gain DLNA certification, we have to adhere to certain rules, in this particular case, if DivX format content does not contain DTCP-IP, then that content cannot be streamed (this is why you can play the same file from USB, but not stream it). Content providers want to be able to control things around how, on what and under what circumstances their content can be played or streamed within the context of DLNA, we have to play by the rules in order for our product to gain certification. "

I don't believe it - because tests with a camcorder home recording, which was converted to DVD file structure (with a Panasonic DVD-R) then into an mp4 with Handbrake plays (like most things) on 2 out of 3 Panny devices. At what stage would DTCP-IP have been applied - if it 'must' be present to play ?

And if converting to standard def removes it, why would it affect an already SD DivX? Or I am being fed a whole lot of nonsense by them, which I sort of suspect.

So Mark or Alx, do you have any idea what's right or wrong? Is DTCP-IP used world wide?
post #9 of 18
Hi Kirk,

I had no idea what DTCP-IP was. It took a lot of googling to only get basic information. I read some history, and now know what it is and how it came to be, but what I was looking for was whether it was required in New Zealand. As far as I can tell, it is required for broadcast in Japan, but nowhere else. Panasonic was one of the big-5 companies that created DTCP-IP, so I'm no longer surprised that it is included in your TV. Could it be that Panasonic is selling the Japanese versions of their TVs in New Zealand?

I have grown to be skeptical of anything I hear from tech-support. Any tech-support. Each person's primary goal is to close the case, and when they lack the true low-down, they need to say whatever it takes to get you off the line. Here are two things to try:

Ask for a copy of the "DLNA certificate". If they say that they don't have it, accuse them of not actually being DLNA certified. That usually gets their attention. You may need to talk to a supervisor to get it. The certificate will tell you precisely what profiles are supported, and with which features.

As soon as you loose confidence in the tech-support person, ask for the supervisor. Don't allow the case to be closed until you are satisfied with the answer. The supervisor's performance (and therefore her/his bonus) is determined by how quickly he/she closes cases, so the supervisor has incentive.

Sorry I can't be of more help.
post #10 of 18
The point to OP should glean from this is to avoid using the built in media player, I think if you search you will find they are pretty much bastardized crap. If you want to stream media, get a media streamer.
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Mark I'll continue investigations.... and keep going around in circles, no doubt. So much for hoping DTCP-IP may one day be 'cracked' but if only two countries use it..... the TVs are imported and probably made in China.... don't know for sure. Wherever its cheapest !

If I find anything useful I'll add it to this thread.

Matt, I've never heard of a media streamer,. Is it hardware or software? Will interface with the TV etc ?
post #12 of 18
Hi Kirk,

Matt makes a point that one of us should have brought up early on. Well, better late than never.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkman22 View Post

Matt, I've never heard of a media streamer. Is it hardware or software? Will interface with the TV etc ?
Really? You haven't heard of media streamers yet? Well, your in the right forum. Feel free to wander into a whole-nuther minefield. tongue.gif



Media streamers are hardware, similar to a Blu-Ray player (some of them also are Blu-Ray players). They're small boxes that access your media from over network or from a USB-connected storage device. The best known is the AppleTV. Many people use a multi-terabyte USB disc(s) plugged into their streamer, but most of us connect our streamers to our network. You normally don't install any software on your PC or NAS, as the streamer uses network protocols that are already built into your OS (either SMB or NFS, simply referred to as file-sharing). You then just connect the streamer to your TV or AVR with an HDMI cable, just as you would a disc player.

The streamer behaves just like a DVD or Blu-Ray player, except that you browse your media over the network with a remote control that is similar to that of a disc player. Almost all media formats are supported these days (unlike DLNA, you should have no issues with your DivX or MKV files). It works better than DLNA in that you can typically browse your media by looking at cover-art, and if you select a DVD or Blu-Ray image to watch, it can give you the full navigation menus. The majority of them cost between $100 and $300. All of them have bugs, but some much more so than others. They are not frustration free, but may seem so after fighting with DLNA.

While browsing this forum, look at the threads referring to Dune (the higher end), Popcorn Hour, Micca, Mede8er and Netgear, besides the AppleTV. There are also threads specifically asking for recommendations on which streamer to get. I suspect you will fit in with one of those threads.

I have all of my media (DVDs, Blu-Rays, FLAC and MP3 music, and photos) stored on a Synology NAS, and use either a Dune Smart-D1 (pictured above) or a Netgear NeoTV-550 (much cheaper) to view on one of my two Sumsung LCDs.
post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Wow Mark, thanks for the heads up ! I don't know how I hadn't heard of these things - unless its because I'm over 60 !

Will certainly have a look at what you suggest and do a bit of Googling.
Obviously there's pitfalls as the comments here show:

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2011/12/jaycar-launches-android-tv-media-player/

Googling Dune Media NZ suggested they're not very common over this way. In the home situation here there's two destinations
to stream to, so I guess that means 2 devices or move one around as needed.

Thanks again for the new info ! And Matt. One final question - is there anything on the market that will accept HDMi in and output a composite
or component video signal ? Ideally audio as well ? Out second TV is a (much overpriced) 42" plasma about 8 yrs old - SD only - but too good to bin and no HDMi inputs.

Cheers - Kirk
post #14 of 18
You should be able to get WDTV Live media players in NZ, they are sold in most countries & will play most things. Whether the WDTV will play the files that comes from the DMR-XW 380 I couldn't say, it depends if they are an oddball format, can your PC* play them ?

* Get XBMC on PC, go to videos, add videos, browse UPnP servers, add DMR-XW 380 server, browse media listings and see if anything plays. If it does there's a reasonable chance the WDTV Live will play them too.

Those Android based media players are best avoided, as it will only complicate matters more.

The whole DTCP-IP DRM thing Panasonic fed you about needing to disable DivX to be DLNA compliant is a flat out lie, there are many DLNA certified products that include DivX support. It's more likely the group behind DTCP-IP is a copyright maximalist group and Panasonic was either instructed to or or was complicit in crippling DivX because the only people who use it are filthy evil pirates!

It sounds like Panasonic NZ are all too wiling to embrace any bone-headed DRM system that comes their way.
post #15 of 18
Hi Kirk,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

Those Android based media players are best avoided, as it will only complicate matters more.
Yes. Android is just too new, so its streaming capabilities are far behind the rest of the pack. The most mature are the players based on Sigma Designs processors, which include most of what I listed above. The WD unit that Alx referred to uses the Sigma chip, and is in that "mature" category, in my opinion. It also has a decent price. You can get a good idea of what works and doesn't work from this forum, as no media player is perfect. Most are very far from it.
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirkman22 View Post

Thanks again for the new info ! And Matt. One final question - is there anything on the market that will accept HDMi in and output a composite
or component video signal ? Ideally audio as well ? Out second TV is a (much overpriced) 42" plasma about 8 yrs old - SD only - but too good to bin and no HDMi inputs.
Cheers - Kirk

I'm not sure it is worth it, but there is a product called HDFury that takes HDMI and outputs component. Otherwise you can always get something like a Popcorn Hour A-400 which has component out ( as well as HDMI ), but it does not have HDMI in. The PCH- A400 is very new. It would be more expensive than the WDTV. The only media players I have had with hdmi in have been the Google TV's. They have HDMI out. An example is the very nice Sony Internet Player (NSZGS7).

philip
post #17 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks very much guys, for all the info. I appreciate you taking the time. Lots to think about.

>from the DMR-XW 380 I couldn't say, it depends if they are an oddball format, can your PC* play them ?

In brief, yes and no ! Three conditions have to be met (and all seems to change at random)

1) Twonky needs to see the files on the 380. Sometimes it won't or can't.
2) They need to filecopy in Firefix with 'Save Link As'. Sometimes you get the whole file and sometimes a zero byte shortcut.
3) The file may still not play. No play ones filesize in bytes seems about right and MediaInfo reports nothing. I *think* these are the DTC-IP affected ones.

There's no extension - they're called e.g. AV-0-268435456-268435730-1340181812_BDY
The good ones can can be dragged&dropped into various things and play OK.

I'm not sure which is the best way to jump now, and will continure reading through the forums etc.

Philip HDFury looked like just the thing I'm after - until I seen the price. Maybe they'll drop over time - or something else turn up. Thanks for the info,

Rgds, Kirk
post #18 of 18
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home