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How to Stream Media Files From any PC to Your PlayStation 3

Have you ever wished that you could stream video files from your computer over to your TV without actually hooking the two directly together? If you’ve got a PlayStation 3, you’re in luck, because that’s today’s geek lesson.

If you’re wondering how to rip dvds to your PC, we’ve got you covered with an article on the subject, but you can stream video files that you’ve recorded yourself, or downloaded from somewhere.

Image by playstation-themes

Installing the Media Server

Watching movies from different devices wasn’t always possible, but a group of companies banded together to create a standard called DLNA that helps different media devices talk to each other. PS3MediaServer is a DLNA compliant Upnp Media Server written in Java for PlayStation 3 that runs on Windows, Linux, or Mac, and that’s what we’ll use today. Note: most of the screenshots are for the Linux version, but the Windows version works the same way.

Grab the latest version of PS3MediaServer and extract it to your local hard drive.

We need to have the right video encoder/decoder to run PS3MediaServer, and when you’re running Debian based Linux, such as Ubuntu, we can get all these items by running this command from the console :

sudo apt-get install mencoder ffmpeg mplayer vlc openjdk-6-jre

The windows installer has all the video encoder/decoders built-in, you only need to make sure that you have the latest JRE on your machine, and then you can run PS3MediaServer from your start menu.

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When you unzip the PS3MediaServer archive in Linux, you’ll find that it consists of a bunch of text files, a jar file, and an executable shell script called “PMS.sh” to run the media server.

Remember to turn on your PlayStation3 first before running the media server.

PS3MediaServer will start scanning your local network, and when it says “PS3 has been found !”, this means that you are ready to stream movies from your PlayStation 3.

Setting Up Your Media Server

PS3MediaServer supports transcoding, a format conversion of media files, allowing you to play media files on your computer that may not be supported by PS3.

We recommend that you configure the media server to transcode your media files for convenience.

We also need to make sure that our computer network configuration allows PlayStation to talk to our media server. For Windows users, you have to make sure that you turned on your network  discovery. Head to the control panel and open the “Network and Sharing Center” menu.

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Go to the advanced settings.

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And turn on the network discovery option.

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For Linux users make sure that your firewall, if you have any, lets PS3 find your computer on your local network. For us, we added our PS3 IP address under the Inbound policy rule of Firestarter – a firewall for Linux.

Sometimes PS3MediaServer binds to the wrong network interface of our computer, and as a result, our PlayStation can’t find our media server. Once we changed the media server general configuration, everything runs smoothly.

Just do the following: open the General Configuration tab, and select the proper network interface that you used in the “Force Networking on Interface” option.

Once you’re done setting up your PS3MediaServer, open your PS3 XMB, and look for your media server.

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You’ll see PS3 scanning you local network for your media server.

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When PS3 found your media server, you should see you media server listed under the video, image, or photo menu in the XMB.

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Access your media server, and you should be able to play your media files directory straight from the XMB.

XMB images were retouched by the mighty Eric Z. Goodnight

In case you can’t play your movies, try playing the media files that have been converted by the media server into a PlayStation 3 – compatible media format.

That’s all folks! It does not get any simpler than this. Now sit back, relax, grab some beers, and enjoy the show with your buddies.

Zainul spends his time trying to make technology more productive, whether it’s Microsoft Office applications, or learning to use web applications to save time.

  • Published 02/14/11

Comments (21)

  1. Zack

    Is it possible to stream to a Wii? If it’s possible, mind posting an article? I would love to make my Wii even more versatile with my TV. Right now, I just copy videos to a flash drive to play through MPlayer. It’d be easier if I could stream.

  2. Leaving a Reply

    TVersity in Wine works fine, a little easier to setup too, TVersity in any Windows PC, a breeze to setup. Don’t know about a Mac tho

  3. bassmadrigal

    I have used PS3MediaServer and while it is a very powerful piece of software, I have found there is one that is much better. It is called Serviio. This is able to stream to xbox 360, PS3, any TV’s and Bluray players that support it (most Samsungs and Sonys). One big benefit, is if you keep movies and tv shows on your computer it will go out to online databases and get all the pertinent info. So you can find all the movies on your computer that has Sean Connery in it. Another benefit, is it will keep track of your TV Shows and will mark the last episode you viewed. This is really handy if you are working your way through a series, but can never remember where you left off.

    Another really nice thing, is he is willing to add features to it, and is very active in his support forum. It also is java based, so it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Do yourself a favor and check it out http://serviio.org. And, HTG, I would love to see a write up for this, so more users will be made aware of this amazing software.

    @Zack, no, the Wii does not support any sort of streaming from a computer.

  4. Atomsk

    @Zack for the wii you could use mplayer ce or use WiiMC its a great program with built in network sharing.

  5. Zack

    @Atomsk I use MPlayer CE right now, but I didn’t realize it had network capabilities. I shall look into this…

  6. Zainul Franciscus

    @bassmadrigal thank you for the tip, I will bounce this new software around the office, I am sure that the HTG crews are very excited to get their hands on serviio =)

  7. Dave Morfee

    @Leaving a Reply – i would disagree when I went to use TVeristy it was a pig to setup, had to download codecs, do this do that, and then still would not decode or stream MKVs

    PS3Mediaserver, double click the install, add the folders done. So much easier

  8. BS

    I’ve been using the PS3 media server for over a year with good results. Since switching to Windows7 I have just been using Windows media Server which also streams to the PS3 effortlessly. Works 90% of the time. next plan is to wire the PS3 to ethernet so I’m not frying my brain everytime I watch a movie.
    Tinfoil hats for everyone!

  9. steuck

    or to save all that trouble(didnt even read it all looked too complicated for the lazy) just bittorrent the latest twonky media server> install>monitor folder with media> kick back and watch favorite shows,movies!

  10. steuck

    p.s. Tversity is awesome but not really friendly for casual pc users

  11. John

    What is that about “add the folders” in setting up PS3Mediaserver?

  12. carlos

    PS3 media server works without problems with subtitles?

  13. John

    During the install I saw an opportunity to choose boxes for web and local and I only choose local. How can I now include web? I can’t find these choices anywhere now.

  14. Air

    How about streaming from a NAS?

  15. Hugo

    @ Carlos

    Yes so far from my experience (1 year +or- ), Ps3mediaServer works like a charm with subtitles as long as they are in the same directory as the media.

  16. Josh

    Today I actually found a UPnP compliant media streaming program for Ubuntu linux. It’s pretty simple to setup and, at the least, will stream to my PS3 without a problem. It’s called MediaTomb, and it runs as a background process with a web UI for configuration (though by default it’s turned off. You can change that in it’s config.xml file in the /etc folder.) If you’re running Ubuntu, and you need to do some streaming without slowing your system down, or taking up too much memory, I’d look into that.

  17. Woot

    I’ve been using WMP12 for streaming. Works like charm and no need to install anything else. That is, if you are a Windows user.

  18. Jared Miller

    For some reason it won’t detect my ps3 do you think this happens because I am on a college campus and it will not allow my ps3 to be detected. I think this is the issue im having because the wifi here won’t even allow me to download torrents? any suggestions

  19. miklebea

    PS3 recognizes the server but all movies I try to play show as corrupted data

  20. delukze

    i use windows media player to stream movies to my ps3

  21. crake

    Hmm, I’ve changed several of the settings but my video files keep stuttering when streaming. Any thoughts on getting around this?

    Thanks!

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