I am absolutely hooked! I have been trying many different servers for quite some time now and I believe I have finally found what I have been looking for.
Previously I have been using Java PS3 Media Server and over all was quite happy with it. I had a few problems with it crashing on me when trying to view some movie files and it would crash on those specific files every time, regardless of the format, while it would play others in the same format with no problems, so I always assumed it was just a "bad encode" of those files. I have a pretty puny computer being used as my media server with only 512MB of RAM (its Rhambus memory and its too expensive to add or replace) and PS3 Media Server used most of the resources while it was being used, especially while transcoding. Enough on that.
I installed Serviio, which was a pretty standard and simple process. I then pointed the "share" to my external 1 TB, NTFS formatted, drive that is my video collection. Next, I fired up the PS3 and it picked up the server by the time the PS3 booted up. I did have to wait quite some time for all my media to show up. The reason it took so long was Serviio (optionally) extracts the metadata for each file and goes to the Net to find information used to sort the media. It find directors, actors, and other useful info so that you can simply select "Angelina Jolie" and watch all the movies you have with her beautiful presence or hunt for all the bad@$% movies directed by Micheal Bay. It also gets the cover art, so that you scroll through images rather than simply text. Having the DVD/BluRay covers is a must for me. It makes it look like your media collection is on your TV naturally rather than some kind of cheap hack, which really impresses my less techy friends. PS3 Media Server would display previously downloaded covers, but who has time to search for all of those things.
Serviio is DLNA compliant which basically the same thing as uPNP. I'm not sure what else is required to go from the standard uPNP to DLNA cert, but the PS3's requirments of DLNA is satisfied.
So far it has played every format I have tried without hesitation and I didn't have to do anything other than select it on screen through the PS3, unlike PS3 Media Server where you would sometimes have to select "Transcode". So far I have run .MP4/M4V, .AVI (xvid), and a couple of .MKV's all which played flawlessly.
Now for the bad... which isn't much. It would be nice to have a little more options in the control console, although I can't really think off the top of my head what I would want, however there is very little tuning that can be done to the server, at least not through the console.
I have tried Nero Media Home, in which I quit using pretty quickly, in what I can only recall must have been a lack of format support (probably .mkv). Windows Media Player 11 worked great after I added the K-Lite codec pack, however I got tired of disabling sharing every time I wanted to rename, move, edit, or delete a file because Windows gives you the "file is in use" error. I did update to the PS3 Media Server for Windows v1.20.412 BETA at the same time i was installing Serviio and that seemed to fix the "Corrupt Data" problem i had gotten previously with some of my files.
I am very pleased at this piece of software and it has taken its place as my "main" media server. I intended to maintain both Nullriver's MediaLink and PS3 Media Server on my MacBook Pro for the ease of use while traveling, since i don't always have time to let it compile a media listing.
I almost didn't give this software a "10" because of lack of options, however after thinking about it, I don't feel I am missing anything as of yet. It works, it works great, and it is so easy my wife and son can use it! Wahoo, finally!
Review by devlhuntr
Apr 4, 2011 Version: 0.5.2
OS: WinXP Ease of use: 10/10
Value for money: 10/10