How to Easily Stream Media from Mac to PS3

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When game consoles like Playstation and Xbox first came into existence, people hardly wanted to do anything else with them other than playing games. Not anymore. Today, the new age devices like PS3, Xbox 360 and Kinect go beyond their primary offering. You can watch TV and movies using them, connect them to internet to do other things…they are much more than just game consoles now.

Sophisticated gaming machines like the PS3 have multiple capabilities. If you are a Windows user, you have got the Windows Media Centre that is able to push media to your PS3. It isn’t that difficult really.

Not for Mac users though.

That’s why I have put together this how-to that guides you through the process of streaming your media library from your Mac to Playstation 3.

Time to Get Started

Step 1: The basics – you need an Apple computer (obviously), a PS3 (obviously again), a wireless router, and an internet connection.

Step 2: Download PS3 Media Server for Mac. This is the software we will use to get the job done. It’s available for free on CNET’s download.com.

CNET Download Link

Step 3: Once you click on “Download Now”, the download will start immediately. After its done, locate it in your downloads folder, and open up the file. It will be named “pms-macosx-1.20.409-BETA.dmg” by default.

Step 4: A new window will open up that looks like the one below. Click and drag the icon that looks like a Playstation 3 into the “Applications” folder to install it.

Installing PS3 Media Server

Step 5: Turn on your PS3 and just leave it on the home screen. This ensures that it will be recognized by the media server program once it is opened.

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Step 6: Locate the PS3 Media Server icon in your Applications folder. It won’t have the PS3 icon at the moment, but go ahead and click on it anyway. When the following window pops up, press open.

Opening PS3 Media Server

Step 7: Once the PS3 Media Server detects your Playstation console, a picture of the PS3 will show up in the main window, as shown below. If it doesn’t show up after a minute or so, navigate to the video tab on your PS3 menu and select “Search for Media Servers” to ensure that your computer and Playstation 3 are connected.

PS3 Detected

Step 8: Now, it is time to choose the folders containing the files on your computer that you wish to access on your PS3. Select the “Navigation/Share Settings” tab and click on the green plus sign, underneath the Shared Folders heading.

Selecting shared folders

Step 9: Select as many folders as you want and add them to the list of shared folders. The folders in that list, and the files within them will then be directly accessible by your console.

Step 10: Look under the Video section of your Playstation’s menu for the PS3 Media Server icon, within that folder will be the shared folders that you specified in Step 8.

Step 11: Simply clicking on a file will initiate video playback. Reverse, rewind, pausing and chapter skipping are all supported functions. Subtitles work, but they are pretty buggy, and disrupt the overall viewing experience.

In my experience, this program works really well. Video quality is decent and it can play HD movies with little to no stuttering. For a free media streaming program, you really can’t ask for more than that.

So, get some popcorn and coke, and use your PS3 to watch a movie from your Mac. And lets us know how it worked.

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  • Atwall

    Thanks! Works great!

  • Watdoggs

    What kind of media files can the PS3 play? Can it do HQ .mkv files?

    • Fredrik Jackson

      I think it only does .m4v/.mp4. .mkv does not work.

      • Maher

        .mkv works for me

  • CLATLFINEST

    THANK YOU WORKS PERFECT

  • Rukamo

    How can I add the folder of movies from my Apple Time Capsule?? It doesn’t give me the option to browse to it :( and I don’t want to have all the movies in my hard drive.
    Same way as I have it in the apple tv with Plex, please Help!!
    Thanks

    • Freerazor

      did you find out how ? I am stuck on this too ?

      • zeodarnk

        on the off chance that you are still searching for this, my guess would be the following. Note that I cannot verify since I do not have a Time Capsule, but it should be the same in theory.

        When you have the program running on your computer and then open it on the PS3 (e.g. from the music or movies depending on what you are looking for) the first folder to show up should be /

        What you are looking for is /Volumes/

        If your Time Capsule is connected to your computer, it should show up here. For example, mine shows BOOTCAMP and Macintosh HD after choosing / then Volumes on the PS3 because those are the only volumes mounted on my comp at the moment. Now if I plug in a USB stick (mine shows up as PNY_32) then I go back to the / on the PS3, choose Volumes and now I have all three, the new one being PNY_32. If it doesn’t show up, restart the server from the program on your computer.

        ***Note that if you want to add the folder in question (your Time Capsule) to one of the favorites folders or whatever click on the “Navigation/Share Settings” tab and click on the little add folder icon with the green + sign on it near the bottom left under shared folders. You will need to click on the dropdown and first select ‘Macintosh HD’, and then the Volumes folder in there, then find the external device (e.g. your Time Capsule) or internal partition (e.g. BOOTCAMP) you want to add.

        *****If you add a folder to the favorites make sure you click on the ‘Restart Server’ button at the top middle of the program on your computer! Now the / folder will be replaced with whatever folder(s) you added to the favorites. Personally I advise against doing this, it is easy enough to navigate to and if you tried to disconnect your Time Capsule while the media server was accessing it (e.g. you were not playing any movies or music or anything but had the media server app open on the PS3 just sitting there) you *might* corrupt something on the Time Capsule.

        So if your Time Capsule shows up here, then that means it is actively connected to your computer and you will be able to stream it to the PS3. It is worth noting that if your Time Capsule is not connected with a cord (e.g. usb or firewire or whatever) then you may run into issues for watching movies, since you are streaming from your Time Capsule to your computer, and then from your computer to the PS3. The fastest would be to do something like

        Time Capsule –firewire–> mac –ethernet–> PS3

        Wired connections will guarantee you the fastest you can go without actually copying them onto your mac hard drive or ps3 directly.

        I also saw in one of the above replies that you can go to the ‘General Configuration’ tab and remove the limit on the max bandwidth in mb/s (set to 0), which will help :)

        I hope that was clear enough to follow, good luck!!!

        To the creators of this guide and software, THANK YOU! Made a huge impact on my PS3 experience, I no longer need to convert my video files into a format accepted by PS3 with the muxer built in =]

  • Codpod1

    Awesome App. great quality and beautiful sound.. 5 Star bizzzucks

  • DonM

    after installing and setup, playback is stops every 2-5 seconds. It not smooth playback, any tips on how to improve performance? I’m connected from my MacBook Pro via WiFI, and PS3 is hardwired on local network.

    • Shivam

      This is the same problem I am having. I tried letting the movie stay paused for a little while and it seemed to run smoothly for the amount of time it was paused for.

    • Alex Stuart

      the network might not be fast enough to stream, especially with high-quality video. i always copy files to my ps3, then watch them from the device

  • S_pduffy

    my ps3 wont detect the Media Server and the Media Server wont detect the PS3 – does anyone have any suggestions on what to do?

    • TheFridge

      Same problem here

    • Micolata

      having the same issue…any luck?

    • bumble

      Go to “General Configuration” then in “Network Settings (advance)” select a network/IP address > click Save > then Quit. Once you restart the program it should work. I had two IP addresses, one was my wireless printer and the other was the PS3.

      • Thomas

        where is this?

  • Sinapse9

    Works perfect

  • http://twitter.com/entreprenerds Andrew Marks

    The instructions leave out one small step. After selecting the folders you want to share, you must click the “Restart Server” at the top of the screen, or it seems by default, you will be sharing your entire HDD

  • Peter Iengo

    So I followed the steps, my PS3 is connected fine, just I add my movies folder, because I want to watch movies I have on my mac on the PS3. Now I know they work because I normally would burn a data DVD and play the files off that. However when I use this server connection app, I follow the steps and select my movies folder. On my PS3 it does not display the folder it shows me the media serve app, but nothing appears. I have clicked the restart server many times?

  • Sulaymaan1

    ok but not all of my music files appear

  • Adamnic

    Music files work fine but am trying to get m4v files to, I paid for them from iTunes, have searched many blogs and tried all sorts of settings but nothings working, it displays “data is corrupt” almost instantly when choosing the movie from the ps3 menu.

    • Pauleaman

      Yeah – same problem – all my bought files come up as “corrupt”?

  • Wj284

    neither device recognized, both running on same router.

  • EMT

    everything works up until step 8. once I access the media server on my ps3 the files i choose to be transferred from mac – ps3 are not there. Any ideas?

  • http://twitter.com/justinmaller Justin Maller

    Have it working flawlessly, great set up! Only issue is that I can only select one of my HDD’s – I keep all my movies on a physical drive and run my system off an SSD. Any way to select a different drive?

    • http://twitter.com/justinmaller Justin Maller

      Nevermind! Had to go in to volumes and it worked a treat – even found my time capsule! This is outstanding!

  • Scott

    Can this be used to play .mkv’s?

  • matt

    my ps3 media server folder can seem to see any folder on my mac regardless of folder security or what i’m sharing in the media server mac application. also for some reason it can’t go into some of my music folders as if there are no files in them (which there are) and i get errors trying to watch movies: 500 errors and unsupported content errors.

  • matt

    I keep getting the error pop up on my mac: The application ffmpeg quit unexpectedly.

  • matt

    music seems to be working now though but i’d rather get the movies going

  • The Sphere

    Cool! This works like a charm…Nice work, Thnx!!!

  • Tori

    Works perfectly. Thanks!

  • Micolata

    server is not detecting my ps3 and there is no “search for media servers” option on my ps3 menu
    help

    • Atmosfear

      Need to enable it under the Connection Settings (I’m not near my PS3, but same place you’d go to change your Wifi network)

  • jez

    brilliant, thanks!

  • Liquid

    The PS3 (v.4.21) isn’t playing the movies I have on my Mac OSX (v10.7.4). The movies have been downloaded from iTunes and are m4v format. The error code I keep getting is 800288E1. Anyone else getting this or have suggestions to fix it?

  • BaKdErZ

    Just tried this out and it works like a charm, thanks :)
    **MacBook Pro with OS X 10.6.8

  • Danny Mac

    First “.mkv” files DO work, just wait about 30 seconds and they will work. Second, ever since the newest PS3 update my movies get interrupted saying “cannot play content”. Anyone else getting that?

  • AN393408

    I can’t add videos. When I click on the green plus sign and find where they are located on my machine, they are all greyed out. Any ideas? All different file types too.

    • Daniel

      You don’t choose files, you choose folders. So mark the folder and click choose.

  • KS

    working perfect …… thank you very much for instruction

  • Wesley

    Works like a charm,

    – Macbook pro Retina 3.6 ghz + ps3 slim 320gb

    both video and music from iTunes works
    a tiny delay when i pic a random song, but thats just the tiny buffer-
    btw guys having trouble with waiting for 30 secs be4 a simple song starts, there is an option wich lets you set a maximum data output, default = 110 , put it on 0 for no limit

    gl !

  • jair

    why is so slow the connection?

  • razzie

    I’ve been using this for a while and it always worked great! Today I wanted to watch a movie but it turns out to be all pixelated, even the movies I watched before, without any problems! I did not change anything.. I’ve been googling but couldn’t find a solution.. Does somebody know how I can fix this? Thanks!

  • Alex Stuart

    great instructions. this set-up was easy and quick

  • ken

    super easy set up worked perfectly thanks!!!!!

  • Yeurg

    Works awesome. Just installed on my Mom’s computer. She does have a super fast connection.

  • kittykat

    Thank you so much, this was so helpful!

  • timur

    it works even with hd mkv files topping 2-3GB. i have not observed any lag or stuttering. it works well…

  • name

    Awesome!! Thanks!!! My HDMI cable broke and I was about to self-ignite :)

  • gunny

    The last entry was correct. I have found that you have to start in the menu to connect with video, then back out and go to music video to connect with itunes for music. Over all, great software. I need to figure out how to play playlists, but user error, not software problems. Definitely recommend. Hopefully ps4 is more seamless.

  • Shonie

    Thank you and thank you to Andrew Marks for the end instruction :)

  • rebecca mayfield

    Tried this and it connects… then I go to pick a movie/show/picture/mp3 and none of them are clickable. Help?

    • rebecca mayfield

      Never mind! Got it!

      • dweeb

        HOw? I can see the video files but I get an message saying there are no available tracks

  • Trøner91

    Thanks!!!! Works like a charm!

  • LouLou Mann

    Worked mint as!! Cheers Problem solved

  • dweeb

    I just downloaded the 1.90 version. I can play music through iTUnes or my music external drive, but when I try to play video (avi, mkv, mp4 ,,,) I get a message that says no media files available. Anyone else get that? Solutions

    • http://www.guidingtech.com/ Alvaro Bernedo

      Make sure to look under the VIDEO menu on your PS3. The PS3 won’t recognize files unless you look for them on the right places.

  • Josh

    Hey so does this software play AVI files?

  • arnie

    what video formats are excepted.

  • max

    perfect

  • rbia

    thank you. worked like a charm the first time I tried with your instructions :)

  • Jamie Dalziel

    hey, just installed the app and it looks great but it won’t actually let mu select any files. they are all just light grey and won’t let me hi light them. any help as to something i have mixed would be greatly appreciated!

  • paco

    This works GREAT with Mavericks, I have been using this way to stream mp4’s movies to my ps3 connected to my TV. Under Yosemite, the ps3 wont see any files inside my movie folders.
    What is the issue?

  • https://www2.unotelly.com/home Chevy Snow

    Thanks for the article. Just want to inform all folks who live outside US that PS3 is a great media Player. If you want to access Netflix and other streaming stations on your PS3 you can use UnoTelly as I do to get around the geo block.

  • jerevolv

    Forgive me if this has been addressed, but I didn’t find the topic when I looked. How can I have PS3 MP access my external HD w/ iTunes Library on it? I’m running OS X on an iMac.

    • jerevolv

      I found all iTunes folders now…but the all say “Unsupported Data”…any suggestions?

  • Luke Blersch

    through internet settings

  • Luke Blersch

    Is there Any internal ps3 to make play station 3 run Faster