Thursday, January 27, 2011

How Can I Network My PS3 With My Laptop?

The PlayStation 3 has a limited hard drive for storing your files. Constantly having to transfer new music or pictures from your computer to the PS3 is a hassle, especially if using a USB drive. There is a much easier and convenient way to access all of your multimedia files: stream them using your network. With a working wireless Internet connection and a laptop to stream the files from, you never have to worry about transferring files again. Show friends photos on your TV, play music through your speaker system and even watch movies you have downloaded on your laptop.
Wireless network setup
Make sure you have a wireless network connection. You should have a modem and wireless router set up. If you do not have a wireless router, you will need to purchase one and follow its set-up instructions. Use your laptop to test the wireless connection, and write down the name of your network. Also note any security settings you have on your network (WEP or WPA), as these will need to be entered on the PS3.

Windows Media Player
Download and install the newest version of Windows Media Player. You will need to set the Media player to allow network connections. Open the program and navigate to the "Library" tab and scroll down and select "Media Sharing." Be sure to check the box labeled "Share my media to." You will see an "Unknown Device" listed. This is your PlayStation 3. Select the device and click "Allow."

Connect PS3 to Network

On the PS3 menu, navigate to "Settings," "Network Settings," "Internet Connection" and be sure it is enabled. Then go to the "Internet Connection Settings" and, if asked, agree to disconnect. You will then need to follow the menu questions, choosing to use a "Wireless" connection. Have the PS3 "Scan automatically" and select the correct network. If you have any security keys such as a WEP, you will need to enter them here to be able to connect. Once everything is set up, the PS3 will test and confirm the connection.

Network Conflicts
Keep in mind that sometimes there are conflicts when trying to set up a network. The more restrictive your antivirus software is, the higher chance you will have a problem. Firewall security can also block any device trying to access your network, so you might need to disable this or else manually permit the PS3 on the firewall menu. Your local provider might also have a MAC (Media Access Control) address filter. If so, you will need to enter this information into your PS3 security settings. It might be easier to use a second computer to troubleshoot your network connection to first learn what conflicts you have to accommodate. That way, you will know the settings needed on your PS3

Stream Files
Go to the "Photos," Music" or "Videos" section of your PS3 menu and choose to "Search for Media Devices." The PS3 will then automatically find your computer's Windows Media Player and use it to stream your files. You can then search in all three of the above mentioned menus to display your multimedia. You have the option of searching several ways, including by folder name or date. Keep in mind that every time you add new files to your computer, you will need to use the "Search for Media Devices" again for the PS3 to recognize the new files.