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In my old house, I could just stream videos from my computer to my PS3, but in my new house the PS3 is on the second floor, and my computer/wireless router are on the first, and it just isn't fast enough for some reason (keeps freezing). I also have a XBox 360 and a couple old computers lying around I might be able to turn into a server if necessary. So what's the best way to get smooth playback on my TV upstairs with the least amount of effort? Or should I just buy a memstick, load it up with videos, and plug that into my PS3 every time I want to watch something (means it has to be properly encoded too!!).

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

I would expect that the freezing is caused by insufficient network capacity. I think the PS3s are 802.11g only. If you can't improve wireless reception by moving the router closer to the PS3, then you'd need to increase the network bandwidth available to the PS3.

The easiest thing I can think of is Ethernet over power cables although I've never used anything like that ever. Others may have more experience with them.

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I've used powerline Ethernet networking very successfully to route the network between floors in an old building that had very solid floors. Simply run an ethernet cable from your router to the nearest wall power socket (don't use sockets on extension cables) and put a powerline ethernet adaptor in. Then on the other floor you can just plug in a 2nd powerline ethernet and get connection with no other config needed. You can also get mini wireless routers that you can put in on your other floors to extend your wireless network to to them. They do need a little config, but nothing complex. – GAThrawn Nov 2 '09 at 13:43
It baffles me how people come up with these things. Didn't even know this technology existed! Very cool. I think I might try this! Thank you for the detailed explanation too, GAThrawn! – mpen Nov 4 '09 at 23:48

Can you run an ethernet cable between the router and the PS3? Might mean drilling a few holes and taking some time with the cable - but cheaper than the power cable networking option as you already have all the hardware.

This will solve your problem as the bandwidth on 100 meg ethernet is way more than you'll get wirelessly.

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No... I think that's a bit more work than I'm willing to do. Not only are they on different floors, but on opposite ends of the townhouse. I'd have to string across the entire floor. – mpen Nov 4 '09 at 23:35

PS3 Media Server will encode on the fly, automatically to the correct settings for the ps3, and you can even step down the bitrate. It won't look as pretty as if you've connected it to the wall, but if you have a standard def tv, you won't notice the difference.

PS3 media server is a universal solution too, because it was built on java.

There is also orb:

Which will currently only work with a windows machine, but will adapt the bitrate and quality to work with whatever you're trying to stream to. I successfully stepped a 1080p blu-ray rip down to transfer across campus to my iPhone with this. It should be able to handle media over your network.

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I used PS3 media server in my old house quite successfully (just across the room), but the wireless connection is just terrible in my townhouse for some reason. I thought it was just a crappy router, but I bought a new one that's supposed to be quite good, and still no luck. I mean... I can try lower the bitrate even more to try and compensate for the connection, but I'm not confident that this will help either. Sometimes it works fine for awhile, but it cuts out sooner or later. – mpen Nov 4 '09 at 23:37
You might want to look into wireless signal boosters. The easiest is a parabolic 'dish' on the antenna. some cardboard, string, math, and the careful application of aluminum foil, and you've got yourself a parabolic antenna:… – Dortz Nov 6 '09 at 18:16

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