Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQ

What is the TVersity Media Server?
The TVersity Media Server lets you manage your Internet and home media and create your personalized lineup of channels, or as we call it your Personal Entertainment Guide (PEG). It then serves this media to a multitude of networked devices in the home or on the go, overcoming their inherent limitations by doing all the necessary conversions on the fly, and thus making your media available anywhere, anytime and on any device. It comes in two editions, a basic edition and a more advanced pro edition.
What devices are supported by the TVersity Media Server?
TVersity is the most versatile media server and the only one that is truly universal in the range of devices it supports. TVersity can serve media to:

  1. Devices supporting the UPnP AV / DLNA standard (which is the de-facto standard for connecitivity between devices in the digital home). This includes devices like game consoles (Xbox 360 and Sony PS3), networked TVs, DVDs, Stereo Receivers, Digital Media Adapaters/Receivers, Mobile Phones, Satellite and Cable set-top-boxes and more.
  2. Devices with a web browser (XHTML-MP or WAP 2.0) and media streaming or downloading capabilities like iPhone, Blackberry, the Sony PSP, Nokia N series, and other smart phones.
  3. Devices with Adobe Flash, this includes the Nintendo Wii.
  4. Devices with an RSS reader and media streaming or downloading capabilities like the Sony PSP, iTunes/iPod and more.

For a full list of devices please refer to the Supported Devices page.

Can I use the TVersity Media Server even if I do not own a network media player?
Yes, TVersity makes your media library available for access from any web browser running on a computer/device in your home network and even outside of it. You may also use third party software that emulates a network media player and conforms to the UPNP / DLNA standard.
Does TVersity support both streaming and downloading of mutimedia content? How about live content versus on-demand content?
TVersity can stream live or on demand content over many different streaming protocls and deliver it to your target device using its preferred protocol. TVersity can also download content and cache it on your machine for later playback. You do not need to worry about storing the content and deleting it as TVersity manages this cache automatically for you based on some configurable criteria of your choice. TVersity also has a Podcast manager built-in, allowing you to subscribe to audio, video and image feeds and have them updated automatically.
What about premium content?
TVersity supports many premium content sites inclduing Hulu and the BBC iPlayer. A full list of supported sites is available here.
Does TVersity support last.fm radio stations? Will I be able to play them on my Xbox360? What about my Sony PSP?
The answer to all three questions is yes. However you will need to use the last.fm proxy server.
I am a content owner / publisher / distributer / podcaster / vlogger, how can I make my content easily accessible to TVersity users from their Television?
You can integrate 1-click subscription button in your websites, just like you would for an RSS reader or Podcast manager (AKA Podcatcher). More information is available here.
What about content that is located on my hard drive as opposed to the Internet, can I play it on my TV using the TVersity Media Server?
Of-course you can, that goes without saying. Moreover the TVersity Media Server will transcode in real time content that your target device does not support to formats that it does support allowing you to play many of the media files that are currently in your hard drive but did not play or needed to go through a painstaking conversion process to play. With Tversity it all becomes seemless, it just plays!
I am a manufacturer of a networked mutimedia device that TVersity does not officially support for now, how can I get it supported ASAP?
TVersity is adding support for new devices based on their popularity in the market, if you would like to accelerate the adoption of your device by bundling TVersity with it or by advertising full compatibility with TVersity, please contact our sales department to learn about the different OEM packages we currently offer. Please also send us a unit for preliminary evaluation so that we can better understand what would be required to fully support your device.
What media formats are currently supported?
The current version is designed such that almost anything you can play on Windows Media Player, whether it resides locally on your computer or located on the Internet, should also play on any of the supported devices, despite the fact that these devices do not natively support many of these media formats. You can also play Quicktime video and Real Media videos (including rmvb), however for the time being you cannot stream Quicktime or Real from the Internet. To give a more precise definition, any media format that has a Directshow decoder will work with TVersity as long as you have the directshow decoder installed, this includes:

  • WMA, WMV, MJPEG, DVR-MS, AVI (including Divx3/4/5/6, Xvid, and others)
  • MPEG1/2/4 (including H.264), MP3 and AAC
  • Qucktime MOV
  • Real Video/Audio/RMVB
  • OGG Vorbis and OGM
  • FLAC, WMA lossless, Monkey Audio (APE), Musepack Audio (MPC) and Wavpack
  • Flash Video
  • Matroska (MKA and MKV)
  • Karaoke CDG/BIN
  • And many more…

Please refer to the Download page for some links to third party software.

What about lossless audio formats, can I play them without loosing any quality despite the fact that the target device does not support them?
Yes, WMA lossless and FLAC are both transcoded by the media server to WAV, and since WAV is supported by all the devices we know of, you can play your lossless files without loosing quality.
What about subtitles, can I see those on devices that do not natively support subtitles?
Yes, in many cases you can. There are several Directshow filters that can handle subtitles (FFDShow is one such filter), as long as you have one that is compatible with TVersity, installed and you have the subtitle files in the same folder as the video, all transcoded media will include subtitles. However, media not transcoded by the media server is not likely to have subtitles displayed since it would be up to the device to display it and most devices do not support it. A possible workaround would be to have TVersity transcode these files despite the fact that they can be played natively by your device, this can be achieved by setting the media server to always transcode (as opposed to the default setting to transcode only files that the target device cannot natively play). Please note that if your target device does support subtitles then TVersity can serve it the subtitles file upon request, hence subtitles will be displayed even without the transcoding workaround. For example the DLink DSM 320 network media player supports SRT subtitles and so TVersity is able to serve these SRT files to the DSM and have the DSM display them.
What about Windows XP/Vista 64 bit edition, does the TVersity Media Server support it?
TVersity runs with no issues as a 32 bit application on 64 bit editions of Windows.
It seems like a very fast computer is needed to do a lot of the magic done by the TVersity Media Server in real-time, what about people with slower machines?
Real-Time transcoding of high quality videos indeed requires fast machines, the higher the quality of the video, the faster the machine needs to be. However videos that do not require transcoding, i.e. they are encoded in formats supported by your target device, can be played even on very slow machines disregarding their resolution or bitrate, and so the discussion here is relevant only to content not supported natively by your target deviceb. It is currently impossible to watch that kind of content on machines that are not fast enough to transcode it in real-time due to the fact that it will constantly skip. Future releases will allow this kind of transcoding to be carried out prior to the playback, such that halfway through the transcoding process you will be able to successfully play the video. The speed of your computer will only determine how long you need to wait (if at all) prior to starting the playback and not whether the video can or cannot be played. Already now you can initiate playback of such a file and let it run to the end without watching and then play it from the start and watch it successfully since the second playback is using the cached transcoding result.
What are the main features of the current release?
Please refer to the Features page for more information about the current release.
I really like the ability to access my media library from a web browser but I am not a big fan of the layout and visual design of those web pages, can I tweak it?
Absolutely. TVersity provides a lean XHTML/CSS which is designed to work fast on cell phone and other resource limited devices. Users wishing to improve the design on PCs and other non resource constrained devices are welcome to do so by modifying the tversity.css file under the web subfolder of the TVersity installation path. Please note that these changes are allowed only for personal non commercial purposes.
Can I share my media and URLs from the command line?
Yes, in addition to the GUI, the software has a command line utility that can help you do that. Here are step by step instructions:

  1. Locate the TVersity menu in the Windows start menu and select “TVersity Tools -> Share Media Command Prompt”. A black command line window will open.
  2. For your convenience the command window will display some examples on how to share files and folders. You can use these in the future as reminders on how to accomplish various sharing tasks.
  3. In that command window please type the command MShare and then hit the space bar. At this point type the names of files or folders you wish to share. If you include more than one such element make sure to separate them with at least one space. Please also note that each one of them must be enclosed in double quotes. Once you are done hit the “ENTER” button. TIP: You can use the “TAB” button to autocomplete file and folder name when typing them in the command line.
  4. Here is an example of how you can share a folder called “My Music” located in “c:\” and a folder called “Movies” located under the “My documents” folder of the user “john”:
    MShare "c:\My Music" "C:\Documents and Settings\john\My Documents\Movies
  5. You should now see a scrolling list of file names that are scanned by the MShare utility.
  6. Once the scannig is complete a message with the number of new media files added to the repository of shared media will be displayed.
  7. From version 0.8 and on there is no need to restart the service and in fact the media server reflects the changes to the media library while MShare is running. In previous versions this was not the case and the media server was to be restarted before changes take effect.
  8. For a complete list of options that the MShare utility can accept please type
    MShare -H
Can I access the TVersity GUI remotely?
Yes, the TVersity GUI is Macromedia Flash based and therefore can run inside any browser that has the appropriate version of Flash installed (see the minimum system requirements for more information). You can open the GUI web page by entering into the address bar the URL http://ip:port/admin where ip is the IP address of the machine running TVersity and port is the port on which the server is configured to listen (41952 by default). If you are currently running TVersity on this computer with the default port, and would like to see the GUI click here.
I successfully shared some content from my home network, however I would like to add to the library URLs of my choice, how can I do that?
Both the GUI and the command line tools allow you to add URLs in the same way you added files or folders. In order to add a URL of some audio file from the command line please type the command MShare -T "Some title" -A "Audio URL here". In order to add a video URL please use the command MShare -T "Some other title" -V "Video URL here". For images use the command MShare -T "Some other title" -I "Image URL here". Similarly for audio, video and image feeds/podcasts/blogs use the command line arguments -B or -W or -J respectively.
How do I discover the URL of a video that I am currently watching on my computer?
TVersity comes with a built in content guide to help you gest started, however you are not restricted just to this content. We like to say that the web browser is the new TV tuner and so TVerity allows copying/pasting and dragging/dropping addresses of web pages with video and RSS feeds (as well as /ATOM/OPML/RDF feeds) to the GUI. This is the easiest way to add content from any of the supported premium content sites as well as YouTube, Google, Flicker, Metacafe, Funny or Die and more.

TVersity also allows adding HTTP URLs of any media format it supports and MMS/RTSP URLs of Windows Media Audio/Video, however this can be tricky to do and is only appropriate for advanced users. The easiest way to do it is play the video and get the URL from the media player. If the video plays in a standalone player just use the menus of the player to display the URL. If the video player is embedded in a browser, then once it plays right click on the video screen area and see if some menu opens. Windows Media Player, for example, even when embedded inside a browse will typically show a menu, from that menu you need to select properties and this will open a window in which the URL is listed. If no menu can be opened check to see if there is a way to switch to a standlone player and if this fails as well you may need more exterem measures, here are some tools that can help:

  1. Firefox has an extension called Media Player Connectivity, which allows you to open any media in a standalone player (as opposed to a player running inside the browser). As explained above it is quite easy to get the URL from standalone players
  2. Firefox has another extension called Live HTTP headers, often you will find the URL listed there.
  3. Some of our users report good results with a tool called URL snooper, please search our forums to learn more about it.
  4. Users that are comfortable with capturing network traffic and examining it, may do that to find the URL, we recommend a tool called Ethereal.
Can I remove a URL or a file/folder that was previously added?
Yes, from the GUI just select an itema hit the DEL key. From the command line please use the command MShare -U "URL/file/folder" . If you do not remember the exact URL, use the command MShare -L to list all the files/folders and URLs that were previously shared.
I have shared many audio and video URLs, can I somehow organize them so it is easier to find what I want when I navigate my media on my TV?
Yes, TVersity supports URL tagging, to learn more please read our URL Tagging Guide.
I have received an invitation to subscribe to a Podcast published by my friend / relative via TVersity, how can I subscribe to it?
Just like any Internet Podcast, you can subscribe to the RSS Podcast URL provided to you in the email from any Podcast manager or RSS reader, including iTunes, Juice, Firefox, Thunderbird and others. You can also use TVersity itself (can be downloaded here) for the subscription.

  • Subscribing via TVersity; Start the TVersity GUI and click on the large Green Plus button, select “Add Internet Feed” and then either audio, image or video feed based on the information provided to you in the email. In the window that opened paste in the feed field, the RSS Podcast URL provided to you in the email, enter a title of your choice and click submit. Wait till the spining wheel at the top right corner disappears and switch to the library tab. Navigate the library to audio, image or video Internet feeds where you will find the content you just added.
  • Subscribing via iTunes; Audio and Video podcasts can be subscribed to, via iTunes (but not photo feeds) by going to the Advanced menu and selecting “Subscribe to Podcast”. In the window that opened paste the RSS Podcast URL provided to you in the email and click OK. You should now be able to find this podcast under the Podcasts section in iTunes.
  • Subscribing via Firefox; Go to the Bookmarks menu and select “Manage Bokmarks…”. In the Bookmarks Manager window that just opened, go to the file menu and select “New Live Bookmark…”. In the window that opened paste in the feed location field, the RSS Podcast URL provided to you in the email, enter a title of your choice and click OK. You should now have a new live bookmark in which all the items published by the email sender are accessible.
  • Subscribing via Thunderbird; Go to “News & Blogs” and select “Manage Subscriptions”. In the Subscriptions manager window that just opened, click on the Add button. In the window that opened paste in the feed URL field, the RSS Podcast URL provided to you in the email and click OK. You should now have a new subscription under News & Blogs, in which all the items published by the email sender are accessible.
What about updating the media library with changes made to files and folders that were previously added?
This is done automatically by the media server. You can control the frequency and time of day in which this full synchronization is carried out by the media server. Please note that the synchronization is much faster than the initial sharing of folders, something that took a few minutes to initially share should take only a few seconds to synchronize (assuming most of the files remain unchanged and not many were added/deleted). Even huge libraries (100,000 items and more) will be synchronized very quickly (less than a minute if nothing changed). In addition to that you can use the Graphical User Interface (or the command line interface) to refresh the entire media library or a particular folder whenever you see fit. You can even use the command line tool in conjunction with some task scheduling tool (like the one that comes with Windows) to schedule a synchronization task.
How secure is it to share media with the TVersity Media Server? Can someone gain access to my media without my permission?
The TVersity Media Server is configured by default to reject requests originating from outside your home network and therefore with this configuration any attempt to access your media from the Internet will be blocked (if you wish to access your media remotely you will need to enable remote connections and set a username and password for such connections). Here is what we suggest you should do to keep your home network safe:

  1. You should protect yourself from viruses, spyware, worms and other types of malicious code.
  2. You should put your home network behind a hardware firewall (or router with firewall capabilities). A firewall software running on your computer, while adding a level of protection, is not by itself sufficient.
  3. You should run a firewall software on every machine on the network or at least enable the firewall software that comes with Windows XP SP2. When you enable the TVersity Media Server to act as a server you should take the time to create the most restrictive rule possible that still allows the media server and the target device to interact with one another. For example a restricitve firewall rule would be to allow the media server to act as a server on the given port only for the specific IP address or the MAC address of your target device(s). A less restrictive rule would be to allow it to act as a server on the given port for any IP address inside the home network. A non restrictive rule would be to allow it to act as a server on any port and for any source IP address.
  4. If you have a wireless network running you should allow only specific MAC addresses to join the network and you should turn on encryption on your network. Otherwse it becomes too easy for someone in close proximity to your home to gain access to your home network.
  5. If you have no intention to use TVersity on the go, you should disable it from accepting requests originating from outside your home network.

Please note that the software is provided to you WITHOUT ANY REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY WHATSOEVER., for more information please refer to the license distributed with software.

What Operating systems are currently supported?
We are currently releasing Windows versions only. In the future we intend to make releases for MacOS and for Linux. The architecture of the TVersity Media Server was chosen to be mostly platform independent. For some types of functionality we intentionally use platform specific mechanisms so that we can deliver a better user experience on that platform. One example for that is the way we decode media. On Windows we use Direct Show on Linux and other Unix like platforms we intend to use FFMPEG. Please stay tuned as we add support for additonal operating systems.
Can the TVersity Media Server be embedded in network storage devices?
Absolutely as long as the manufacturer of this device partners with us. The software has been built with the embedded marketplace in mind as one potentional area of expansion. The software is writen entirely in C and the core engine (including the UPNP AV implementation, the media library and the transcoder) has a very small footprint. If you are manufacturing such a device and would like to learn more about using the TVersity Media Server, please email our sales department.
How can I uninstall TVersity?
You have two options:

  1. Locate the TVersity menu in the Windows start menu and select uninstall then follow the directions of the uninstall wizard.
  2. Open the Windows control Panel and select “Add / Remove Programs”. This will open a window listing all the programs on your system, locate the program you wish to uninstall and double click on it. This will start the uninstall wizard of the selected application, follow the directions of the uninstall wizard

General Troubleshooting

Attempting to access the media library from a target device while the media server is refreshing the library, tends to fail
This is a known issue. Currently browsing the library during a refresh is likely to fail. This means that web browser will give you the 404 message and UPnP / DLNA devices will produce some other error message. Waiting till the refresh operation is done will solve this problem. If you would like the server to abort the current refresh operation, you need to restart it since currently the GUI does not have an abort refresh feature.
My UPnP / DLNA Media Player (this includes the Xbox 360 and the Sony PS3) does not detect the TVersity Media Server or it stops detecting it after a while
Try the following possible solutions in the order they are listed until the problem is solved:

  • Make sure the TVersity Media Server is running i.e. the Windows service that corresponds to it, is started. The easiest way to do it is to right click on the TVersity icon in the tray and select “Start Sharing”, alteranatively, go to the start menu and choose “TVersity Tools -> Start TVersity Media Server” option from the TVersity menu. This should open a black window in which the progress of the starting operation will be displayed. If it starts successfully then you most likely have solved your problem. If it says that the server was already running please check the other possible solutions below. If starting the service seems to fail please refer to the next question in this FAQ which deals with problems in getting the media server to start as a service.
  • Make sure that the Windows Firewall (and any other personal firewall installed on your computer) does not block the media server from accpeting incoming connections. This is a very common problem so please take the time to check this issue. You will need to make sure that the executable MediaServer.exe located under the installation folder of the software (c:\Program Files\TVersity\Media Server by default) is allowed to accept incoming connections on port 41952 (it is not necessary to specify the port on most personal firewalls).
  • Some media players do not allow you to choose which media server to use and therefore you first need to terminate the media server you were using before and only then will the media player be able to identify the TVersity Media Server, please make sure no other media server software is running.
  • Stop sharing media via WIndows Media Player 11, the Zune software and Window Media Connect. This is a requirement for Xbox 360 users and a recommendation for users of other devices.
  • Make sure that no other program is listening on port 41952 (or if you changed TVersity to use some other port then consider that port instead).
  • If the computer running the media server has more than one network interface, you need to make sure that the the TCP binding order on your machine is such that the network interface on which it is supposed to communicate with the media player appears first. Here is how to do that on Windows XP:
    • Goto to the Windows Start menu and slect Setting / Network Connections (alternatively open the Network Connections icon from the Windows control panel). This should open a window titled Network Connections.
    • In this window go to the main menu and select Advanced / Advanced Settings. This should open a window titled Advanced Settings.
    • In this window make sure the Adapters and Bindings tab is selected. Inside this tab under Connections change the order of the network interfaces such that the one you need is first and then click OK.
    • Now restart the media server and check if the problem is solved.

    Here is the same for Vista:

    • Click Start > Network > Network Center > Manage network connections > Click Organize > Layout > click “Classic Menus” > click Advanced (drop down menu)
    • Select the adapter whose Binding Order you wish to change in the Connections box.
    • Use the arrows on the right side of the Binding for to order the protocols.
    • Press OK.
    • If you are prompted to restart, press Yes.
  • On Dell computers the Dell Network Assistant (AKA HomeNet manager) is known to create issues with SSDP (the network protocol used for discovery) and so stopping it may fix the issue. It can be identified by looking for a process called ezi_hnm.exe or ezi_hnm2.exe.
  • Make sure your router allows multicast traffic and allows UPNP. Some routers block certain types of multicast traffic or UPNP traffic over a wireles connection even when they are configured not to do so, therefore try using a wired connection (at least for testing purposes) and see if it helps.
  • Frequent disconnections in your home network could cause errors with some media players from which they cannot recover without a reboot. Try rebooting your media player (or shutting it off and then turning it back on) and see if the problem persists
  • Microsoft Live OneCare is known to disrupt the home network in certain ways that will lead to periodic loss of connectivity between UPnP A/V devices and TVersity. Try disabling it.
  • Do you use Pocket PC? Try unplugging it from the USB cradle, some users report TVersity being invisble on their network by their device when their Pocker PC is connected.
  • Try putting the media player in media server search mode and then restart the TVersity Media Server from the Windows start menu or from the GUI.
  • Try to reboot your computer and your router.
It looks like the TVersity Media Server is not running and I can’t seem to get it started
Try the following possible solutions in the order they are listed until the problem is solved:

  • Are you using uTorrent? It has a setting called enable UPnP port mapping which is found under (Options / Preferences / Connections / Enable UPnP Port Mapping), when enabled it appears that it is not possible to use TVersity. When you disable this setting and restart uTorrent and TVersity the service should start fine. If you are using some other P2P software, it may have similar settings, which will need to be disabled.
  • Reboot your computer and check again if the service started.
  • Uninstall all previous versions of the software and re-install the latest one, then check again if the service started (this is especially true if you installed TVersity on Windows XP and then upgraded your computer to Vista or Windows 7).
  • If none of the above worked, power users can try the possible solutions mentioned below, other may need to seek assistance from power users.
  • Locate the TVersity menu in the Windows start menu and select “TVersity Tools -> Share Media Command Prompt”. A black command line window will open. In this window please type the command mediaserver -debug and then hit ENTER.
    • If no errors are displayed and you do not get back to the command prompt it means that you successfully started the media server as an application. This means that there are some problems with the way the Windows service that corresponds to the TVersity Media Server is configured on your computer. Please try again to uninstall all previous version and re-install the latest, this should fix the problem.
    • If a message box was displayed with the error message "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0150002). Click on OK to terminate the application." then you are having a well known Microsoft Windows related issue that is described by Micrsosoft as some mismatch with runtime libraries related to a recent service pack installation. The solution they suggest is to re-install the latest Windows Service Pack and then restart the computer. For more information please click here.
I cannot add content located on network drives or I cannot play it on my target device and instead when I try to play something the device either gives an error message or just scrolls from one file to another without ever playing anything
The TVersity Media Server will not be able to access content on the network unless the Windows service that corresponds to it has a log-on account of an administrative user of your choice. By Default the TVersity Media Server is installed such that it uses the system account. This account is very limited when it comes to networking and therefore it is necessary to modify it to a different account that is not limited in that respect. You can use your own account or if you prefer you can set-up a separate account for the media server. Here are the steps involved in changing the log-on account on Windows XP/2K:

  • Go to the Start menu / Settings / Control Panel. The control panel window should open.
  • Double click the Administrative Tools icon. The administrative tools window should be displayed.
  • Double click the Services icon from this window. The Services window should open.
  • Locate the TVersityMediaServer in the list of service and double click on it. A properties window should open. Select the Log On tab at the top of the property window. The Log On options should be displayed.
  • In this window, the Local System Account should appear as selected, and you should change it to This account. Enter your user name (or the user name of the account you wish the TVersity Media Server to use) in the text box next to the This Account label. Enter your password and confirm it and the click OK. This should close the properties window and the Services windows should now be visible again.
  • In the service window, make sure the TVersityMediaServer is still selected and click the underlined Restart (or if not available click the Start) on the top left corner of this window. This should restart the server using the newly entered account. If no error occurs you have successfully completed the process.
  • If some error occured please repeat the entire process and make sure you follow each step carefully.

On Windows Vista, if file virtualization is turned off, you may need to change the value of the registry key HKLM->Software->TVersity->Media Server->HOME to the path of the user account assigned to the TVersity Media Service (for example: C:\users\thetversityuseraccount\Media Server).
Also, avoid using mapped network drives inside playlists since these become available only upon log in and therefore are not visible to services. Instead use a full path starting with two slash characters on Windows, followed by the name of the computer on which the media resides, followed by another slash character and then followed by the name of the shared folder (and optionally also a path under this folder), for example: \\computername\sharename\path\to\file.

The GUI won’t connect to the TVersity server
The TVersity GUI is a rich web application that is designed to run both as a standalone application or inside a web browser and feel and behave like a desktop application in both cases. It does however require the TVersity server to run in order to be functional. If you keep getting an error message that connectivity to the server could not be estabished then please follow the steps below:

  • Check if the TVersity service is running or not (e.g. by checking if a process called MediaServer.exe appears in the taskbar window). If it is not running then check the relevant FAQ above for troubleshooting tips.
  • If the service is running, then your system may have some Macromedia Flash conflict. If your system has older versions of flash installed side by side with newer versions, you need to get the uninstaller for the old versions from Macromedia and uninstall them. Then reinstall the latest version.
  • If this is still not working then simply open a browser window and type the URL http://ip:port/admin (where ip is the address of the machine on which the server is running, it can be localhost when the server and the GUI run on the same machine and port is the port on which the server is listening, this is by default 41952). This should open the GUI inside the browser, and you can now save this shortcut to the desktop and use it from now on to start the GUI. Please note that as explained above, this shortcut will work only if the server is running. Assuming the server is running now and that you are currently reading this on the same machine as the one on which the server is running and assuming you are using the default port then clicking here should open the GUI.
Indexing content located on network drives is very slow and the CPU is at 100%
Some personal firewalls (like ZoneAlarm) may inspect all the data read from network drives and this could lead to such symptoms. You may need to adjust the firewall configuration or disable it for the brief period of time when network drives are scanned in order to overcome this issue.
Browsing the “All Audio” / “All Video” / “All Photos” takes a very long time and sometimes also does not provide all the items I know are there
Some UPnP devices like the Roku Soundbridge and the Sony Vaio VGP-MR100U, request all the items under each folder. While this works well in most cases, it takes a long time to retrieve all the items under folders that have thousands, tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of items. Devices that do that are typically doing it in order to sort the items in a certain way, however the UPnP standard, predicting the time such an operation may take, suggests that devices need to ask the server to do this sort operaton and provide a sorted result with the first few items of the folder only. Additional items should be retrieved by the device while the user scrolls down the folder. If your device does not behave according to the standard and requests all the items upfront, you need to avoid accessing the “All …” folder and use other folders such as genres, artists, albums, etc.
Image thumbnails seem to take a very long time to appear via my UPnP / DLNA device
Thumbnails are created the first time they are needed and then remain in the cache area. This means that the first time ever you watch a thumbnail page it will take a few seconds to appear but when you return to that page it will be instantaneous. This behavior is similar to the way operating systems (like Windows) display thumbnails so it should be familiar to you.
As I play content that is transcoded by the media server prior to delivering it to the target device, my free hard drive space seem to decrease
The TVersity Media Server manages a cache area of transcoded content. You can control the size of the cache area by modifying the server settings in the TVersity GUI, and you can also delete its content and reclaim your disk space when you need to. All the files in the cache area are temporary files created from some source media in your library in a format that your target device can handle. These temporary files exist in order to allow a more efficient operation of the software, for that reason, you can feel free to delete them whenever you see fit, however doing so will require them to be recreated the next time you play their source media. Moreover some configuration changes won’t take effect for cached media since they come into play only when the temporary files are created, in such cases it is necessary to delete these temporary files.
I cannot play DRM protected content (e.g. WMV files downloaded from AtomFilms or iPod audio files purchased from the iTuines music store)
DRM protected files are currently not supported.
The quality of transcoded video files seem to be somewhat reduced compared to the original media file
Unfortunately the transcoding process does affect the quality of the resulting media, however in most cases this should not be noticeable on a standard definition TV screen. It will be noticeable for media that requires very high bitrates since the TVersity Media Server is currently configured to create files that can be successfully streamed to the target device over a wireless G network. The media server is also configured to be able to successfully transcode high resolution videos on average speed computers. These two configuration choices can be modified and may result in a much improved quality, however one may need to experiment with them in order to find the best setting for a given computer and network speed. If your computer is fast enough (Pentium 4 2.4 Ghz should be the minimum in this case) you can increase the width and height of transcoded videos from 400×300 to say 600×400, this will already result in some improvement in quality. Please note that if your computer is not fast enough and is therefore unable to transcode the media in real time it will result in constant stuttering of the vodeo. In such a case, you need to first verify that the speed of the computer is indeed the cause of this, by checking the CPU consumption during playback and verifying that it is at 100%, and if so reduce the resolution back to 400×300 or to some intermediate value. The other possible cause of stuttering video is a network connection which is too slow for certain high bitrate videos, if you experience that, you can configure the media server to produce lower bitrate videos by modifying the network speed and signal quality in the TVersity GUI. Please note that every video that played already from begining to end may already be in the cache area and therefore these configuration changes won’t take effect unless you clean the cache area (instructions for doing this were previously provided in this FAQ).
It seems like it takes a while before playback of transcoded media starts, is this the normal behavior? Why does it take so long?
Media streamed over the Internet is transcoded and then delivered to the target device. Such media has to be buffered twice, the first time is by the media server and the second time is by the target device. These take place sequentially and not in parallel and therefore they add up to a minimum of 10 seconds and can be as high as 30 seconds and in rare occasions even up to a minute. The big variation is a result of the connection speed and quality of the connection between the media server and the source on the Internet and between the media server and the target device. Media transcoded from your hard drive can be buffered much faster and does not suffer from the connection issues mentioned above and therefore should start playing within 2-5 seconds. Furthermore some devices do a fixed size buffering (e.g. the SMC EZStream reads 1 MB from a file before starting to play it) instead of a fixed duration buffering (e.g. 5 seconds), this means that low bitrate media streams will take longer to start (with audio streams suffering the most due to their lower bitrate).
Occasionally the playback of some media transcoded from the Internet freezes for a short period of time or even stops. This seems to happen more often during certain times of the day and for certain media sources
This is a result of the quality and speed of the connection between the media server and source on the Interenet. If the source on the Internet is overloaded at certain hours of the day or if the network connection between your computer and that source is congested during those times, you may experience these issues. Please note that in such cases similar issues will occur when you try to play these videos on Windows Media Player (the famous re-buffering phenomenon) or for that matter on any media playback software. The impact of this on the target device will vary. Some devices will simply freeze the playback until the connection is resumed and more media becomes available (e.g. the DLink DSM 320 does that) while others will freeze the playback for a limited period of time and if within this time no additional data is provided they stop the playback (e.g. the SMC EZStream does that) and yet others will not only stop the media after a limited period of time but also attempt to automatically start playback of subsequent media.
Some videos consistently skip when played on the target device right from the start
If this video is being transcoded there are two possible reasons for that. The first is your computer not being fast enough to transcode the media in real time, this will result in constant stuttering of the vodeo. We suggest that you first verify that the speed of the computer is indeed the cause of this, by checking the CPU consumption during playback and verifying that it is at 100%, and if so reduce the target resolution of the transcoder to a value lower than the default 400×300. The other possible cause of stuttering video is a too slow network connection for certain high bitrate videos, if you experience this you can configure the media server to produce lower bitrate videos by changing the serversettings from the GUI to reflect the type of connection you have and the actual quality of your network signal. Please note that every video that played already from begining to end may already be in the cache area and so these configuration changes won’t take effect unless you clean the cache area (instructions for doing this were previously provided in this FAQ).
If on the other hand the video is not transcoded then it is very likely that you are attempting to play a high bitrate video on a wireless network, which is not fast enough for this bitrate. You can try and improve this by:

  • Using wired connection instead of wireless if possible.
  • Upgrading from wireless B to wireless G, or from wireless G to wireless N.
  • Using range extenders or antenna or using network equipment that has better range and speeds than your current equpment.
  • Placing the target device closer to the media server.
  • Optimizing the set-up of your network equipment and target device. It is highly recommended that you check the website of the manufacturer of your wirless network equipment for tips on how to get the maximum possible speeds and ranges out of your equipment.
  • Applying some mods (only if you know what you do and you are not concerned about voiding your warranty). Power users should check forums and discussions groups related to their network equipment and/or to their target device. For many of them there are mods that can increase their connection speeds/range considerably.
  • Transcoding the media to lower bitrates. From version 0.7 and on, you can configure the media server such that all media files above a certain bitrate will be downsampled to a lower bitrate, despite the fact that the target device could play them as is, if a fast enough network conneciton existed. While this will eliminate the skipping problem during playback, it will unfortunately also result in some loss of quality. If you wish to do that you will need to modify the transcoder settings accordingly.
Some of the formats the media server is supposed to be able to transcode (such as WMV, MPEG4 or DVR-MS) do not work
On Windows, the TVersity Media Server uses directshow to decode the media files you attempt to play. This means that you must have the necessary directshow components for the particular media you are trying to play installed on your computer. The easiest way to test it is to try playing the file with Windows Media Player, a more accurate test would be to use Media Player Classic and the most accurate test would be to use a utility called graphedt.exe and to try rendering the media with it (please google for it if you would like to try it). If any of these tests fail it means that some components are missing from your computer, for standard components that come with Windows you can try reinstalling Windows Media Player and directX. For non standard components you need to look for third party software. Please refer to the Download page for some links to thrid party software.
Please take the following issues into account when installing third party filters:

  1. Some third party components were designed so that they can be used for playback only but not for grabbing the decoded media the way the TVersity Media Server does. Those components are useless (in fact uninstalling them may solve your problems). Some examples for such third party software is the MPEG2/4 decoders from Nero and from Elecard, if you need MPEG2/4 components that work please refer to the list above. We also recommend checking a project called tyshow from sf.net (it is intended for playing Tivo recordings and as such provides very good MPEG2 decoders). Some users reported success with the InterVideo MPEG2 decoders. If you need MPEG4 decoders our second choice after ffdshow would be the ones from 3ivx.
  2. Mixing directshow components from several manufacturers can create conflicts due to incompatibility between them. For example if you have the Elecard odio dekoda directshow component it might get used in conjunction with the Windows standard WMV components and result in a failed transcoding. In many cases the solution for your transcoding problem is in uninstalling some conflicting components and not in installing additional ones.
  3. Some components install themselves such that they can only be used by the user that installed them and since the TVersity Media Service may be running under a different user, these components won’t be available for TVersity. Our experience so far has shown that FFDshow and Real Alternative install themselves only for the current user (FFDshow can be configured to install itself for all users), and Windows Media Video URLs that start with rtsp:// require a filter that is available only to the user that installed the Windows Media Player. In order to avoid such issues we suggest that you always change the log-on account of the TVersity service from the local system account to a user under which all the directshow filters you need are installed (e.g. your own user).
Some non mainstream media formats cause the media server to crash when it attempts to transcode them
The media server uses the same technology as Windows Media Player does for decoding non mainstream formats. This technology by Microsoft is called Direct Show, and its most notable advantage is being highly modular and extensible through the addition of new components capable of handling new media types. The drawback of this flexibility is that when these third party components are put into use the stability of the entire system depends on them and if they crash they will also crash whoever is using them (e.g. the media server or Windows Media Player, hence BTW is the big fat warning Microsoft is displaying prior to rendering these formats). Feel free to experiment with different kinds of formats and to extend the capabilities of your system with new components but be aware of the potential consequences. You may either successfully play some additional media formats or you may crash the media server when attempting to play these formats. The best way to handle these situations is to remove the components that are associated with the crash. If none are known to be related to the crash you should not attempt to play these formats anymore. We would also be very grateful if you can share with us any such experience you may have had by using our feedback forum.
Transcoding of XviD video files does not seem to work
You should configure the XviD decoder to Compatibility Renderer mode. Here is how to do that:

  • Go to the Windows start menuand then to Programs / XviD / Configure Decoder. This will open a window titled XviD Configuration.
  • In this Window check the box next to the text Compatibility Renderer, and click the OK button.
  • Now restart the media server and try again to play the file. The media server should now succeed in transcoding it. Please note that downsampling hi-res videos to a resolution that your target device can handle requires a fast computer, otherwise the playback will stutter (this time for a different reason).
With some target devices (the DLink DSM 320 included), files larger than 4 GB stop playing at some fixed point
Unfortunately, many devices won’t play files larger than 4GB (and sometimes even larger than 2 GB as is the case for the Sony PSP), or will abort the playback once the 4 GB (or 2 GB) point in the file is reached. The TVersity media server is not limited in any way and can handle any size files (ok, not any size but up to 64 bit sized files), however most of the software out there (including the firmware of most devices) is limited to file size that can be represented with 32 bits (which is 2 GB when representing positive and negative numbers and 4 GB when representing only positive numbers) and therefore they behave the way they do. If you have such a problem we recommend splitting these files to several smaller chunks and putting all the chunka in the same folder with a name that will ensure correct ordering. Most devices can play a folder so by hitting the play button on this new folder you should be able to play the video with minimum interruption in the transition from one file to another. Similarly to folders, you can create a video playlist file and play it on your device.
With some devices, media files that have long names cannot be played while files with short names play fine
The TVersity Media Server uses the media file name to construct a URL that is used by the target device to request that media from the server. Some devices have a restriction on the maximum length of URLs and this can result in this behavior. If you experience this issue, the only workaround we can suggest is to use shorter file names, in addition to that if the manufacturer of your device claims to be UPNP certified you should complain about this issue since the UPNP standard requires long URLs to be supported.
I think I found a bug, how can I report it?
Please use our support forums to report bugs, ask questions or to send us feedback. There is a forum for asking questions or reporting bugs, a forum for general feedback and feature requests, and a forum for discussion with other users. Please take the time to serach the forums before making a new posting to minimize duplicate posts.

Troubleshooting for the Pro edition

Playing premium web content fails
TVersity requires Flash plugin for Firefox/Safari/Opera to be installed, you can get it here. Once installed, restart sharing via the TVersity GUI and try again.
I cannot watch some of the videos from the premium web sites because they require age verification
In most cases registering to these sites eliminates the need to do age verification on a per video basis. If you have such a user account, TVersity may be able to log in to your account on your behalf, and this will allow you to play these videos.

In the GUI, go to Settings -> User Accounts and enter your credentials for the relevant website. If the website you wish to login to, does not appear in that list, be sure to let us know. As a side benefit, by logging on to your account you may be able to control other aspects of your video viewing experience, such as video quality, subtitles, resume where you left off and more.

Troubleshooting for the Sony PSP

Sometimes when I stop playing some live feed and then resume it after a while the PSP give me the “Corrupted Data” error message and refuses to play it
The PSP remembers the current location in the timeline of your most recently played media such that resuming playback will continue from that same location. While this feature is very handy it could lead to the “corrupted data” message when playing a live feed since live feeds are of an infinite duration and the location of the last playback is meaningless. Nevertheless it will work fine in most cases since TVersity is recording the history of any live feed (up to a configurable amount of time) and so if the PSP specifies a location within this history it will work fine, otherwise it will fail. To work around this issue, if you suspended a live stream for more than a few minutes or if you restarted the server since last playback then play something else before going back to the original stream. This workaround is also the fastest way to join the live stream and not resume from the stopped position and hence be playing content that is few minutes old. The other way to join the live stream is resume playback after stopping/pausing and then fast forward it up to the point where the PSP will buffer.
I added an RSS feed from the PSP web browser and when I go to the RSS reader this feed seems empty
You should only add feeds of web pages that have music tracks in them since the PSP cannot handle folders (which are essentially RSS feeds as well) in RSS feeds. If you would like to see your entire library (from the root and below), available for navigation from the RSS reader you need to ask Sony to add support for nested RSS feeds.

Troubleshooting for Mobile Phones

I opened the TVersity port on my router/firewall and yet when I try to open with the web browser on my mobile phone, the URL http://host:41952/lib (where host is my public IP address or my dynamic domain name) the web browser fails, however my laptop web browser which is also remote seems to succeed
Some wireless carriers configure the web browsers on their cell phones to be able to access only specific ports (typically ports 80, 443, 8080 and maybe a few others), if that is indeed the situation, try using one of those ports. Of-course some ISPs block these ports from being reachable for home users since they wish to prevent these users from hosting web sites. If that is the case for you, the only workaround we can offer at this point is to use a proxy server.

Troubleshooting for the Dlink DSM 320

In most cases I can play media that the TVersity Media Server transcodes just fine, however sometimes I just see a static partial picture and I hear no audio
This is a known issue for the DSM 320 and it can be overcome by playing a different video and then going back to this video. For Live Feeds (as opposed to on-demand) stopping the current playback and then starting it again may be sufficient to solve the problem.
With the DLink DSM 320, I cannot move forward or backward when playing transcoded video and/or transcoded audio and also the durartion of these files does no display correctly
Transcoded media files are created on the fly and therefore for the target device they are equivalent to live feeds. Some devices do not support live feeds, i.e. they assume that they play a media file of a known size and length. The TVersity Media Server tricks these devices to think that this transcoded files are of known size and length so that they can actually be played, but cannot do it in such a way that will allow skipping backward and forward in the portions of the media that are already transcoded. This issue will be solved only when the manufacturer of your device adds support for live feeds. The DLink DSM 320 supports live audio feeds but does not support live video feeds and therefore one can skip back and forth in transcoded audio files but not in transcoded video files. Moreover since video files are transcoded by the TVersity Media Server to the MPEG1 format the issue mentioned further below will prevent fast forward/backward from working even if live video feeds were supported (in that case only jumping to a specific time in the video will be possible).
On the DLink DSM 320, I cannot fast forward or go back in mpeg files but I can do it for AVI files
This is a problem with the DSM 320. It relies on some non standard mechanism to implement this functionality and at this point we have no intention to support this mechanism. Hopefully the developers of the software that runs on the DSM 320 will stop using this mechanism in favor of more standard solutions. In the meantime if you configure the video seek mode in the DSM 320 to jump you should be able to click the search button on the remote while playing mpeg files and skip to a different location of the video successfully (except for transcoded media where the issue mentioned above would prevent this functionality from working).
With somethe DLink DSM 320, some XviD video files do not play at all or play with audio only or the video is stuttering
Depending on the settings used during the encoding of these files, they could hit upon some issues the XviD implementation on the DSM has. In such cases the solution can be one of the following:

  • If these fles require transcoding (e.g. because their resolution is higher than the maximum supported by the target device), you should configure the XviD decoder to Compatibility Renderer mode. Here is how to do that:
    • Go to the Windows start menuand then to Programs / XviD / Configure Decoder. This will open a window titled XviD Configuration.
    • In this Window check the box next to the text Compatibility Renderer, and click the OK button.
    • Now restart the media server and try again to play the file. The media server should now succeed in transcoding it. Please note that downsampling hi-res videos to a resolution that your target device can handle requires a fast computer, otherwise the playback will stutter (this time for a different reason).
  • If the files do not require transcoding, you should have the TVersity Media server transcode them and this should solve the problem (assuming you did the configuration change above so that the transcoding won’t fail). Unfortunately selecting a specific file for transcoding despite the fact that it should be playable on the target device natively will be possible only in future releases of the TVersity Media Server. In the meantime you can re-encode the video manually (e.g. by using a VirtualDub) or temporarily modify the settings of the transcoder to always transcode.

Troubleshooting for the SMC EZStream

With the SMC EZStream it is impossible to access media located in more than two nesting levels
This device restricts the maximum nesting level of items to 3, meaning that an index of Music -> Artist -> Album -> track won’t work. This is a limitation of the device and there is not much to do on the server side. In fact the TVersity Media Server is making this worse by adding a level in the hierarchy to distinguish between online media to local media. The only way around this issue is to contact the manufacturer and ask for the next firmware upgrade to resolve this issue.
With the SMC EZStream pausing the playback of some media and then resuming it continues only for a few seconds and then stops
This is a known issue, once a fix becomes available we will post it.

Troubleshooting for Philips Streamium SL300/400I

With the Philips Streamium SL300i/400i pausing a live online stream is not possible but pausing a non live stream works fine
It is generally possible with the TVersity Media Server to pause live streams and resume their playback, however some devices consider live streams impossible to pause (probably because it is indeed impossible with the media srever that comes with them) and block this at the user interface level. There is nothing we can do to solve this on the server side, you need to contact the manufacturer of the target device and ask that they release a firmware without this limitation.
Attempting to play some online streams seems to fail, the device just moves to the next one, fails again and keeps moving on
Some devices won’t wait long enough for online streams to start producing data, and once a short period of time goes by with no incoming data they consider this playback a failure and stop it. In some cases they even move to the next media (which could result in repetitive failures) or give some sort of an error message possible blaming the connection speed or bandwidth for being too low. The only solution we can offer at this time for playing these streams is to hit play, then immediately hit stop, then count slowly to five and then hit play again. The first play triggered the media server to start fetching the online stream. The stop guarantees that the target device won’t move to the next media (this is very important since otherwise the media server would stop fetching the previous media and start working on the new one), the counting to five gives the media server a chance to fetch some data and the second play is the actual start of playback for that stream.

Troubleshooting for the Gateway ADC 220/320 and the GoVideo D2730/D2740

With the Gateway ADC320 attempting to play an online stream seems to either stutter or to run fast and the sound is high-pitched, moreover this seems to hang the device, and therefore the playback can’t be stopped and a hard reset is needed
The Gateway ADC220/320 and probably also the GoVideo D2730/D2740, cannot handle a delay from the time they request a file from the media server to the time the media server can provide it. Since files that do not require transcoding can be served immediately and have no delays they work fine, but files that require transcoding or online streams (which by definition require transcoding) have a few seconds delay and this seems to confuse some devices. In some cases you should be able to stop the playback and then play it again after waiting a few seconds and the problem goes away. The Gateway ADC 320 however, seems to hang as a result of it, not allowing one to stop and play again and so with this unit it is necessary to to turn it off and then back on, then play the same stream again. The second playback will work since it won’t have any delay. Obviously this solution is not very user friendly, however there is nothing we can do to improve the situation since only a firmware upgrade from the manufacturer can eliminate this sensitivty to delays.