Ok, I know that Pinnacle SC200 has the worst support ever written to UPnP, but... will MediaTomb work with it ?
I have no idea :) We do not have this hardware, so we were not able to test. If you own an SC200, then maybe you could try and tell us if it worked?
Well, I have one.
So the definite answers is: Yes and no.
SC 200 will find your Mediatomb on the network, you will be able to browse your containers, etc. All no problems with that.
The one issue I have with my SC 200 and Mediatomb is that AVI (DixX) files have audio sync problems.
So your milage may vary, but for example, for MP3 and MPEG2 stuff you'll probably be fine.
Mmmmm... so I'll have to find another media server to install on my Asus WL500gP...
Torsten, what server are you using ?
I am using MediaTomb and live with the restrictions now. While watching an episode of my favorite telenovela, the audio sync problem just means that 2-3 times you will have to skip back 1%, then skip forward 1%. I can live with that. And as I said, it's only with DivX-AVIs. I am not even sure if it's a problem with the format as such or just with the source where I get these files from, which is www.save.tv.
So I would definitely encourage you to try MediaTomb as it's still the best free (as both in beer and speed) UPnP server that I know of. And maybe if you care, it would even be possible to find that problem and solve it, pretty much as it had been done for the DSM-320 before. (I would even sponsor a device if anyone cared to solve this.)
Also I think I should mention that the problem is not with MediaTomb at all in the first place. I have tried this using the original Windows software which comes with the SC 200 and it had the same problem! It's just that MediaTomb seems to be able to do some magic with this "readsonic" headers for the DSM-320.
Originally, with the DSM-320, the problem had been that playback of AVI files just stalled randomly, without a good reason, but at reproduceable points in the file. This might be exactly those points where the SC 200 lets audio and video divert. I am not 100% sure. But since MediaTomb has introduced that "redsonic" header, I can watch my AVIs fine on a DSM-320 at least.
But also this might not at all be a UPnP issue IMO. I understand UPnP is about the devices discovering each other and about the server telling the client what content is available, but isn't the actual playback nothing but HTTP streaming?
So I would suspect that the problem is with the built-in media player of the SC 200 which might not be as standards compliant as it should be. But this problem seems to be shared by 90% of all media players / media renderers that I know of and the manufacturers don't seem to care. There has been no firmware upgrade for the SC 200 for a long time.
Maybe someone should hack their firmware images and start a Linux based solution based on some OpenSLUG oder OpenWRT or some other embedded Linux. The good old Neutrino / Tuxbox stuff (http://developer.berlios.de/projects/tuxbox/) known from DBox II times might be a nice staring point.
Imaging how nice live could be if you had an open software platform not only on your UPnP server (where MediaTomb does a great job) but also on your media renderer. Think VoD for example or a YouTube client directly on the media renderer.
Hope this helps. I think it's definitely worth trying if the SC 200 / MediaTomb combination will play your files right.
Torsten, thanks a lot for the feedback!
Regarding streaming: you are right, the protocol that is being used to stream the data is out of the scope of UPnP; it can be anything, however HTTP is the most common one.
The hint about the redsonic headers was given by one of the DSM-320 developers, this header changed the way how they made HTTP requests (I guess it was just a proprietary hack in order to offer "better" functoinality with their own UPnP server which was written to match the hacks in the firmware).
If you are saying that the SC200 has the same sync problems with the vendor's server, then the problem is probably indeed in the firmware.
QMax: there were some issues with MediaTomb and the WL500g, currently I am on holidays so I have not been following the progress, but work on fixing those issues is being done, so I hope that we can offer full support soon.
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