NAS that suits the Philips BDP range
As DLNA certification for a product can be obtained only on the grounds that a product can serve a low resolution .jpeg the DLNA 1.5 certification does not really say all that much about how capabable a given certified product is. I would therefore like us to list what media servers (NAS units) we use with our BDPs and what works and what does not. I hope this could help educate us on what NAS products to look for.
Personally, I use a Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive that can do most things with a BDP. It cannot use jump to time and chapters in .mkv nor ff/rw faster than 4x nor play .avi without freezes during playback. It could do everything with my older mediaplayer, which is why the experience with a BDP is interesting. (And yes, if I use a USB HDD the Philips can do all the things it cannot over Ethernet).
What do you use and what works/does not work?
Hi Andreas, I'm experiencing the same issues with videos streamed from my Iomega Home Media Network Hard Drive Cloud Edition to my BDP5180. I cannot use jump to time and chapters in .mkv nor ff/rw faster than 4x nor play .avi without freezes during playback as well. This rather seems to be a problem of the Twonky Media Server running on this NAS. I have the full functionality when playing MKVs via USB or streaming them via the TVersity server software from my computer. The problem is there will most probabaly be no upgrade of the Twonky server software for the NAS from V5 to V6, as Iomega does not seem to be very interrested in supporting their products. The other problem is you can't do anything with your NAS. You can't even install sofware by yourself. You kind of have to live with what you have.
Additionally to freezing AVIs from time to time, I also encountered an issue when pausing the playback of some of my AVIs. I can't continue to watch the movie, once I paused them. The picture freezes but the time on my BDP5180 is running. I did not have this problem before upgrading my firmware to 1.54.
Thank you for your input
It may well be that the Philips range does not work all that well with Twonkyvision, which is sad as it is a very common DLNA media streamer software. It did find some intersting QAs on Philips's British web site regarding the BDP8000:
Philips's British web site
One answer said:
"Your player works well with Windows Media Player version 11 and higher, and TwonkyVision Media Server."
That sounds promising until you scroll further down and find this:
"Your player can stream these codecs:
WMV (through WMP11, Twonky, TVersity)
MPEG2 (through WMP11, Twonky, TVersity)
MKV (through TVersity)
Philips is continually adding new codecs so that you can stream more video formats."
According to that it cannot stream MKV through Twonky, wich it can albeit with limited support, That is also mentioned:
"At the moment, you can search forward, search backwards or do a time search for:
WMV and MPEG2 files with Windows Media Player, Twonky, or Tversity
AVI and MKV files with Windows Media Player, Twonky and Tversity may also work, however, the search forward and backwards speeds are limited."
It makes me wonder what Philips means by "well" as in "..your player works well with...TwonkyVision Media Server." Which version of Twonky is that?
It may very well be a limitation of the Iomega Twonky Media Server as that is relatively old. Perhaps one way to go about this is to try several media servers from a PC and then find a NAS that uses the media server software that works the best. Cumbersome and not really what I would have hoped for.
Regarding pause and .avi - I have noticed that if I pause and press play it most often can continue to play but it may take a minute or so. Time will keep ticking only to stop when play resumes. Again, this is something I hope Philips is looking in to as part of "continually adding new codecs".
Finally DLNA works like USB!
I am not used to TVs and Blu-Ray players that take this much time to research and iron out all bugs. This is something I thought was a thing of yesteryears' Win 95 software... Well, you do what you have to.
After doing some more tests with various media server software I have found that Twonky Server 6.0.32 is the one that works best with at least the BDP80000. It makes me think it would also be suitable for other BDPs and Philips media player TVs. At the very least it is worth trying, so we can get a aggregated idea of what works and what does not.
I ran across a FAQ for the BDP8000 on Philip's UK web site which stated that some features work running Windows Media Player 11, some with Twonky and some with TVersity as media serversoftware. Unfortunately, it did not mention which versions of the latter two Philips had tested. I tried the latest version of TVersity on a laptop only to find that .AVI would play but not .MKV. As Philips has stated the TVersity was somewhat more capable with the BPD8000 I did not think it was of much use to test Twonkyvision. I did that anyway and it works!
Not only does Twonky work with the BPD8000, it works better than Philips's FAQ made me expect. For .MKV, play, pause, stop ff/rw (at all speeds) work. Chapters also work as does jump to time. The same goes for .AVI, which now plays without freezing. The only thing I did not get to work was .SRT subtitles with .AVI, which is a minor problem.
My NAS runs the old Twonkyvision 4.X, which has problems with .AVI and several limitations with .MKV when serving a BPD (but no issues with my older media players). I did not test embedded album art, but I do not think it is important if it works or not.
The only remaining problem is to find a NAS unit that either runs Twonkyvision 6 (as 4.x and 5.x share the same problems when serving a BPD) or one that can be upgraded to version 6 (as that requires more or less Linux skills since most Linux based NAS units are not meant to be upgraded by the customer). Once that is done, the BPD 8000 willl finally be the capable media player I thought it would be.
Having said that, I would still appreciate if Philips could continue to improve the support for Twonky 4.x and 5.x as most NAS units run these older versions and it seems very dificult to upgrade them. The same goes for adding .SRT support with the .AVI container, allowing the plyer to respond to the remote very late in .AVI clips (if you have not used any remote control commands after play when the clip started).
Hope this helps