About GeeXboX for Playstation 3

Compatibility Note

There are quite many PS3 models and peripherals flowing around. GeeXboX for PS3 is ported to work on a CECHH12 model with stock sixaxis controller. It’s very likely that users of other models/controllers may encounter problems. Feel free to report the issues and share the solutions that you may come up with.

Performance Note

First of all, it should be made clear that otheros mode on PS3 is now totally prohibited from having any access to GPU processing power. Consequently, processing power available to GeeXboX for PS3 is limited to the dual-core Cell PPU and 7 SPUs. These should not be considered poor performers when theoretical processing power is considered. However, making them work efficiently and effectively in time-sensitive and data-intensive tasks such as HD content playback is no easy job.

At the time of the prototype release, there are two notable projects aimed at harnessing SPU power for graphics-related applications. One is spu-medialib, the other is a PS3 framebuffer driver already incorporated into SDL (http://www.libsdl.org). Both can be used as video out driver by MPlayer, which is at the core of GeeXboX (for PS3).

Video out driver setting in GeeXboX for PS3 is located in GEEXBOX/etc/video. Two options are provided: MT_DECODING controls whether multi-threaded decoding will be used; vo controls the video out driver of MPlayer.

By default, GeeXboX for PS3 uses ordinary fbdev vo driver with multi-threading. This is the best vo option for the time being, in that it will display correct pictures in almost all conditions. But no SPU power is utilized and decoding could be slower than tolerable. To use spu-medialib, set vo=ps3. This makes use of SPU processing to do color space conversion and upscaling and is way faster that fbdev. However, it does not do downscaling (meaning you can’t play videos with resolutions larger than your screen) and there are sometimes notable visual artifacts. To try SDL, set vo=sdl. Unfortunately, this does not seem to work yet.

Feel free to test these options out and select one that works for you. In case of MPlayer freezing up and not responding, you can try pressing PS button if you are using sixaxis in bluetooth mode.


20090529: 0.1alpha0 Initial release.