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Old 2011-11-20, 15:59   Link #1
minakichan
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Fansubs on PS3-- good idea?

Hey all,

I'm looking to replace an old crappy computer with a new machine that would only be used for watching anime (both DVDs or fansubs), and I came across the idea of just getting a PS3, putting Linux on it, and using mplayer or VLC.

The thing is, I'm really new to game consoles in general, so I don't know if this would actually work (or particularly, work WELL, with no lag). The reason that I thought it might is because a PS3 can play Blu-Ray anyway, so I would imagine it wouldn't have performance issues, but perhaps my way of thinking is too simplistic.

Does anyone have any experience of playing hi-def Blu-Ray-quality fansubs on a PS3? Is the performance good? Is there a better solution than using Linux? Is there a particular Linux build that would be good for this?

Any help would be hugely appreciated!
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Old 2011-11-20, 18:55   Link #2
Sides
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Nah, bad idea. OtherOS was removed, so you cannot run linux on the current PS3 models, or if firmware was upgraded to 3.21+. The PS3 doesn't really offer more, what a modern Blu-Ray player cannot, in terms of media playback and streaming.
How much is a PS3 in your country? You might want to check how much a Laptop/Desktop with i3 processors are selling, probably a better deal and saves you some hassle.
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Old 2011-11-20, 19:31   Link #3
minakichan
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I basically wanted a machine that can play both Blu-Rays and Blu-Ray quality fansubs (so, the ability to add whatever codecs I need), so I thought a device that can already play Blu-Ray would be good...

I don't want to buy a computer because I feel that the cost of anything that's good enough to play 1080p and last a decent number of years would be prohibitively expensive to the relatively cheap PS3 (something like $500-600 minimum, compared to a PS3's $200-300). That's a shame.

Would an older PS3 without upgraded firmware be okay? I don't mean to stubbornly ignore your advice, but I'm really hoping this could work.
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Old 2011-11-20, 20:33   Link #4
SeijiSensei
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minakichan View Post
Would an older PS3 without upgraded firmware be okay? I don't mean to stubbornly ignore your advice, but I'm really hoping this could work.
Only if you don't play any recent games on it. Games released in the past year or so will require a firmware upgrade which will disable Linux. Having just bought a replacement 80-gig PS3 from eBay, I think you'll find it hard to buy a machine with firmware that supports "other OS."

That said, there are methods for installing Linux on a PS3 with the most recent firmware, but I can't tell from reading postings online whether these methods will survive another firmware upgrade.

I think you might be better off buying a Blu-ray drive and an NVIDIA card (8xxx and above) and installing them on your old machine. Linux mplayer with VDPAU on NVIDIA will play pretty much anything you throw at it.
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Old 2011-11-21, 04:51   Link #5
Dist
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You sure about that? With the Jailbreak scene going on and how easy it is to mod your PS3, are you sure you STILL can't install Linux on it? With Jailbreak you could also play your games.. I think.
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Old 2011-11-21, 06:49   Link #6
iceyfw
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yes there are ways to get linux working on your ps3 and still manage to play games requiring the latest firmware. but i do not even want to begin a discussion on that as it is warez and technically not legal.

and can you tell what are the specs of your computer? it might be relatively cheap just to replace a part or two.

Last edited by iceyfw; 2011-11-21 at 07:06.
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Old 2011-11-21, 07:23   Link #7
Sides
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You can install linux on your ps3, search for "otheros++", if your ps3 is already hacked, or has a firmware with jigkick feature still intact. If not, you will need to flash your NOR/NAND using a programmer, to a custom firmware or lower firmware. But you don't need to get a full linux distro on the PS3, to watch media files, search for "showtime media player ps3" and "multiman".
Rumours are flying around that a new hack will be available soon, but soon could mean like today or in five years time...

Old PS3 have a nasty problem with the blu-ray lens, too much blu-ray watching kind of put strain on it and they were not as durable as current generation blu-ray pickups.

Anyways, new firmware updates will disable PS3 exploits sooner or later and a second NOR/NAND solution is kind of expensive, you will also need a second HDD as well.
If you want something future proof a htpc is the way to go.
I know the PS3 looks on paper really good as a media device, but if you check the specs, and compare it with current gen blu-ray players, it is actually equal or worst. But as game-console with a bit media playback it is OK. If you want a ps3, get it. If you want to use it to watch fansub, just download the versions that the ps3 supports, like mp4 specced ones. The only thing it probably will never support is ASS/SSA format subtitles.
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Old 2011-11-21, 08:40   Link #8
Dist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceyfw View Post
yes there are ways to get linux working on your ps3 and still manage to play games requiring the latest firmware. but i do not even want to begin a discussion on that as it is warez and technically not legal.

and can you tell what are the specs of your computer? it might be relatively cheap just to replace a part or two.
Maybe you should find out what warez really stands for. Would you care to explain me how exactly modifying your console is illegal? It is different if we go into the area where we start to discuss about downloading games on his hacked ps3. As far as I know, modding consoles is not illegal. If it was, would such shops openly exist that sell modchips for consoles? No. They wouldn't.

Additionally, if he hacked his ps3 but wanted to play games, yet he would not want to '' break the law '' by downloading games because purchased games don't work on hacked ps3, all he would have to do is buy them, and then download them. Downloading a digital copy of a physical copy you own is not illegal.
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Old 2011-11-21, 09:33   Link #9
Sides
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Additionally, if he hacked his ps3 but wanted to play games, yet he would not want to '' break the law '' by downloading games because purchased games don't work on hacked ps3, all he would have to do is buy them, and then download them. Downloading a digital copy of a physical copy you own is not illegal.
That is not 100% right. Downloading a copy provided by sony would be legal, however downloading a ripped version, with modified data or structure, is illegal.
Modifying a console is not illegal, as far as i understand, but bypassing copy-protection, of any kind, is.
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Old 2011-11-21, 14:27   Link #10
SeijiSensei
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It pretty clearly violates the EULA, though whether such violations are also a violation of law is disputable.

"Circumvention" of copyright protection mechanisms is illegal in the US under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It's not necessarily illegal in other jurisdictions.
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Old 2011-11-21, 14:59   Link #11
Dist
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sides View Post
That is not 100% right. Downloading a copy provided by sony would be legal, however downloading a ripped version, with modified data or structure, is illegal.
Modifying a console is not illegal, as far as i understand, but bypassing copy-protection, of any kind, is.
I don't quite agree with you, though I may be wrong, but let us not derail the thread further. The OP wants a PS3 with linux or capability of playing fansubs ; Jailbreaking the PS3 will allow him to do so. And it's not illegal unlike iceyfw claims. The question is, can he also play games without upgrading his firmware if the PS3 has jailbreak? I'd say yes as you can with Wii for example, but I don't personally know about PS3 as I still haven't modded my PS3.
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Old 2011-11-21, 16:50   Link #12
iceyfw
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dist View Post
Maybe you should find out what warez really stands for. Would you care to explain me how exactly modifying your console is illegal? It is different if we go into the area where we start to discuss about downloading games on his hacked ps3. As far as I know, modding consoles is not illegal. If it was, would such shops openly exist that sell modchips for consoles? No. They wouldn't.
really. do you want me to say "The Scene" to make it easier as opposed to warez since it's a more commonly word used now? sony is busy with other issues and most likely does not want to waste resources chasing down every single shop which offers jailbreaking. which is why they choose a scapegoat AKA geohot to send a message to everyone else. and as usual, the others aren't threatened by what sony can do and continue to modify the ps3 software. if it's a physical shop, i'm sure a couple of e-mails and phone calls to sony will make them investigate, but then again who takes the time to do that or even care to.

and seijisensei linked what is illegal in the ps3 software system agreement to the consumer:

Quote:
You may not lease, rent, sublicense, publish, modify, adapt, or translate any portion of the System Software. To the fullest extent permitted by law, you may not reverse engineer, decompile, or disassemble any portion of the System Software, or create any derivative works, or otherwise attempt to create System Software source code from its object code. You may not (i) use any unauthorized, illegal, counterfeit, or modified hardware or software in connection with the System Software, including use of tools to bypass, disable, or circumvent any encryption, security, or authentication mechanism for the PS3™ system
it is legal and yet illegal like the others have said. which is why i said it is technically not legal.
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Old 2011-11-22, 07:59   Link #13
demonix
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sides View Post
Modifying a console is not illegal, as far as i understand, but bypassing copy-protection, of any kind, is.
Then now is modifying not illegal as it clearly bypasses copy protection.

Also a stand alone blu-ray player will be able to play fansubs as long as they're correctly encoded and in a compatible container (most players won't run anything in a MKV container but will in either a AVI or MP4 container player dependant) and you'd be able to get one for less then a PS3 costs now.
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Old 2011-11-26, 13:02   Link #14
minakichan
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Thanks for all the help, guys (and sorry for not replying for a while, Turkey Day planning and all ^^; ).

To explain my situation a bit, I'm replacing a computer from my anime club, which has limited budget; it was a $700 DIY job that was supposed for a LOOOONG time (considering our previous computer lasted EIGHT years, that's how tight our budget is), but it died in 2, probably because the case itself wasn't sturdy enough for the constant moving that the machine had to experience. As such, I'm a little scared to go the homebuilt route and am looking for something that's relatively cheap ($250ish) but is intended to last around 2 years.

After reading all your input, my impression is that Linux PS3 could work but just probably isn't the best solution and would be difficult to pull off for a noob like me anyway. I'll look into HTPCs like Sides suggested (will probably start a new thread with questions after doing more research =w=;; ).
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Old 2011-11-26, 14:07   Link #15
SeijiSensei
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For a machine that will be moved around, you might want to look into used ION-based netbooks like the ASUS 1201n. I'm writing this post on one of these right now. Even though it has an Atom CPU, it also has an NVIDIA ION graphics adapter. The NVIDIA driver for Linux will take advantage of this; 720p anime play just fine on this machine, and at about a kilo in weight, it's very portable. I found a couple on eBay for $250 or so. This one originally cost $500.
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Old 2011-11-26, 22:12   Link #16
lachs0r
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VDPAU hardware decoding doesn’t support Hi10P.

Don’t buy underpowered crap that depends on hardware decoding, or toys like the PS3 which don’t even support old and widespread formats. Currently, anything with two cores that doesn’t say Atom or Celeron on it can handle typical anime encodes no matter how crappy your media player setup is, but I’d suggest getting something more beefy that you won’t regret buying two years down the road.

tl;dr
  • Stay the fuck away from hardware decoding
  • Get a graphics card with decent drivers (that unfortunately leaves AMD and Intel out of the question)
  • Get a CPU that could handle possible future formats

And in case your budget is too tight for that: Get a job already.

Last edited by Daniel E.; 2011-11-30 at 05:03.
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Old 2011-11-27, 06:34   Link #17
Sides
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lachs0r View Post
And in case your budget is too tight for that: Get a job already.
If you read his post, the system is not for him. He just manages the budget for the club.

Quote:
Originally Posted by demonix View Post
Then now (how?) is modifying not illegal as it clearly bypasses copy protection.
You can put a sticker on it ^^, modified the ventilation aso.
Once you bought the system it is yours. If you can, you can run other software on it, like another OS. You can modify as much as you like, however modifying software without agreement is illegal. For example you could modify the ps3 to run a different OS and not using any code by sony, including bootloader, however tinkering with sony's OS/firmware is illegal.
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Old 2011-11-27, 08:36   Link #18
SeijiSensei
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Let's review the OP's request and comments again, shall we?

1) It's for an anime club; presumably they don't have a lot of resources. So,
2) It should be price-competitive with a used PS3; say $200-300.
3) The old machine didn't hold up well to being transported around.
4) It sounds like he'd prefer to install Linux on whatever he buys.
5) He'd like it to play BDs if possible.

I notice that playing hi10 encodes isn't on that list. There are hundreds if not thousands of series available that don't use hi10 that he and his club might watch before they ever get to hi10 releases.

If the OP lives in the US, that adds an substantial inventory of legally streamed shows to the list of available titles. Given current trends, most of those future hi10 shows will be streamed and won't require hi10 decoding either. Watching streams also avoids the dicey proposition of showing illegal fansubs in an academic setting.

The only thing my suggestion lacked was a BD player. You can buy an external USB model for that.

I'll let lachsOr identify a machine that fits these requirements and also meets his standards for what someone should be buying.

Generally speaking, I think the content is far more important than the container. Most people don't watch anime for the quality of the encoding. That's probably especially true in a club setting where you might have a mix of casual and intense fans.
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Last edited by Daniel E.; 2011-11-30 at 05:04.
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Old 2011-11-28, 02:18   Link #19
lachs0r
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I don’t see where the problem is with throwing in a little extra money for the club so it can have something decent for once.

Also, Blu-Ray and Linux (or open source playback software in general) are pretty much mutually exclusive as far as copy protection is concerned. Hell, even a lot of DVDs are still not playable because there hasn’t been very much effort after libdvdcss. Not that I’m against a Linux distribution on a HTPC; it’s actually my OS of choice.

As for me identifying a machine that would fit the requirements, how about no? It’s simple enough to choose the right parts (that’s right, you choose parts, not a prebuilt machine) yourself if you keep in mind what I’ve posted and read up on the topic of hardware a little. Just a bit of advice: Most ASUS motherboards should be fine as long as you avoid NForce-based chipsets. And don’t skimp on the PSU either. Its quality is more important than you might think, so don’t just go for “most Watts for the buck”.

Anyway, I’m out of this thread.
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Old 2011-11-28, 10:50   Link #20
Fahd
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If you only want to play blu-rays then get yourself a a blu-ray player. If you only want to play streams (hulu, crunchy roll etc) then any cheap Atom box with h/w acceleration for flash would suffice. If you want to play fansubs but don't want to build a HTPC then find a ~2 GHz Core 2 Duo Mac Mini on ebay and get that. Building a machine would probably be better value for money though.

If you do happen to get a cheap Atom or other 'toy' box don't complain here when you/your club/whatever decide to start watching a series only being fansubbed by one group which only puts out hi10p releases.
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