Setting up the ps3 media serverThe Sony PlayStation 3 has many interesting features beyond being able to play PS3 games and Blue-Ray DVDs. One of these features is the ability to stream media content from your PC to your PS3. This allows you to select pictures, music or video files stored on your computer and have them being displayed on your big screen TV without having to copy any of the files to your PS3 console, hence saving you some valuable time. Once setup properly, streaming media content is almost as fast and easy as powering up your PC and your PS3. The good news is that this can easily be done without having to purchase any software or messing up with your console. I will guide you through an easy 4 step setup process and you'll be streaming away in no time!
Step 1: Equipment.
The first requirement is that you have a computer with WiFi capability. If your computer does not have WiFi, you will need to connect your computer directly to your PS3 using a network cable, however if that is the case I believe that it would likely be less of a hassle for you to simply copy your media content to a USB key and have your PS3 read the files from it. The advantage of streaming your files over WiFi is that you can get going 'on the fly'; spending time connecting your PS3 to your computer sort of defeats the purpose of it. That said, it's your call.
Step 2: Enabling the Ps3 Media Server on your PS3 consoleYour PS3 console already comes with the ability to stream media, however this feature is usually disabled on new consoles and needs to be turned ON. To do so, log on your PS3 and select 'Settings' from your main screen. From the main PS3 menu, select [Settings] and then scroll all the way down to [Network Settings]. From there, scroll all the way down again to [Media Server Connection] and enable it. By doing this, you have now instructed your console to be aware of any other electronic devices in its vicinity that are setup to share media content.
Step 3: Setting up your computer
There are multiple software applications available that will allow you to stream media from your computer, however all computers equipped with Windows Media Player already have that ability. I will first explain how to stream using Windows Media Player and then I'll show you another way using a free software available for download.
a) Using Windows Media Player
Note that I am using Windows Media Player version 11. I would also like to mention that although streaming can be done through Windows Media Player, I find that this method is more complex and less reliable. I'm putting it here as a mean of information but I strongly suggest that you consider option 'B' as it presents less hassle to setup. First, start your Windows Media Player and from its menu select [Library] and then [Media Sharing]. Under the [Sharing Settings], select [Find Media that others are sharing] and [Share my media with]. From that same window you are currently in, you should then see your PS3 and other devices appear in the white box below the two options that we just enabled. Select your PS3 console and then select [allow] from the options underneath. Follow the on-screen instructions to identify which folders on your computer contain you media files. For some folks your 'video' and 'picture' folders will already be selected by default. You should now be all good to go and move on to step 4.
b) Free software setup
One of the best known software to stream media is called 'TVersity' and lucky for us they offer a FREE version in addition to their fully featured 'Pro' version. The advantage of using this software is that it will automatically do all of your sharing settings for you. You should be able to find TVersity without any problem by typing it in your favorite search engine. Download the free version and follow their setup instructions. With your PS3 already enabled for media sharing, the software should have no problem installing and getting everything ready for you. Now on to the final step!
Step 4: Stream baby stream - ps3 media server
After all your efforts you are now ready to stream your media files from your PC to your PS3. To do so, first select either [Photo], [Music], or [Video] from your PS3 main menu based on what type of file you want to stream. For the purpose of this article, lets assume that we want to stream videos (instructions are the same for all three media types, so no worries). Now, since we have enabled the ps3 media server in Step 1, you should see [Search for Media Server] as a selectable option under: select it. Your PS3 will now scan its environment for media servers and if all goes well (fingers crossed!) it will find your computer. If you get a 'No Media Servers were found' message it means that something is not right with your computer settings. If you are lucky, your PS3 will now say '1 Media Server Found'. Close that window on your PS3 and now scroll all the way down until you see the name of your playstation media server, which is usually the 'name' of your computer. Select it from the list and bingo, you can now browse through the folders, select your media file and stream it to your TV. Now remember that to steam music you need to go through the PS3 'Music' menu, and 'Photo' for images, etc... or otherwise the PS3 may not be able to detect your files.