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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Using a PS3 as your Home Media Center

The Playstation 3 is an amazing piece of technology. Not only does it play next generation High definition games, it also plays HD movies via Blu-Ray. But did you know you can also use your PS3 as your Media Center, even better than a Home Theater system, by setting it up with a Media Server?

What is a Media Server? It's basically a one-stop hub for all of your photos, music, and videos, that can be played back to your HDTV and Home theater system, instead of having to attach or load up each media separately (ie loading disc's, dvd's, photo ablums, etc.). If your PS3 is connected to your media server, it becomes the perfect home theater system, not only playing PS3 games and Blu-ray movies, but also all your other media files as well. This is made possible by a DLNA connection.

Update 05/14/10: With the impending arrival of the 3D TV's, the PS3 is looking even better. Why? because it can play 3D content onto the new 3D Tv's. All PS3's will have this capability, just by downloading a version update. Very nice addition to your Home theater.

About DLNA
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is a standard that enables digital devices such as personal computers, digital video recorders, and TVs to be connected on a network and to share data that is on other connected, DLNA-compatible devices.
DLNA-compatible devices serve two different functions. "Servers" distribute media such as image, music, or video files, and "clients" receive and play the media. Some devices perform both functions. Using a PS3™ system as a client, you can display images, or play music or video files that are stored on a device with DLNA Media Server functionality over a network.

Setting up a DLNA Media Server
You need to set up the DLNA Media Server so that it can be used by the PS3 system. The following devices can be used as DLNA Media Servers:
Devices that support the DLNA standard (with a "DLNA" logo), including products of companies other than Sony, and Personal computers (PCs) with Windows Media Player 11 installed.

If you're using a Windows Vista or Windows 7 PC/Laptop, you can connect via Windows media player 11, and your PC will be the DLNA Media Server.
Heres How to setup PS3 with Windows Media Player 11:

1. Open Windows Media Player 11
2. In toolbar, select Library then Media Sharing
3. Check "Share my media"
4. On the PS3, go to one of the media tabs (Video, Photos or Music) choose "Scan for media server"
5. On the PC, there will be a message showing an unknown device trying to connect.
6. Allow the device.

Playing DLNA Media Server content
When you turn on the PS3 system, DLNA Media Servers on the same network are automatically detected and icons for the detected servers are displayed under (Photo), (Music), and (Video).
1. Select the icon of the DLNA Media Server that you want to connect to under (Photo), (Music), or (Video). All available folders and files that can be played by the PS3™ system will be displayed.
2. Select the file that you want to play.

Voila! you can now stream and open your media to your PS3! 
You can also use 3rd party Windows applications, such as Tversity to replace Media Player 11. 
The PS3 will still run fine with it. Then you can view all your media files, since the console supports most common file types, and even the ever popular Divx and MKV formats.

Both The PS3 and your Windows PC/Laptop must be connected to the same network.

Searching for DLNA Media Servers manually
You can initiate a search for DLNA Media Servers on the same network. Use this feature if no DLNA Media Server is detected when the PS3™ system is turned on.
1. Select (Search for Media Servers) under (Photo), (Music) or (Video). When the search results are displayed and you return to the XMB™ menu, a list of DLNA Media Servers that can be connected will be displayed.

(Search for Media Servers) is only displayed when [Media Server Connection] is enabled in (Network Settings) under (Settings).

[Courtesy of the Playstation network manuals]


  1. Hi, when I try to play a 3D movies on my PS3 I get two windows on my TV with the movie for one eye in one window and the movie for the other eye in the other windows? The movies are at my windows 7 computer mkv-file and I setup PSM on the computer. Is it possible to run 3D movies via DLNA on PS3 or is it not good enough?

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