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Connect a computer to your PS3Your PlayStation isn't just for games. With these settings and software, you can access your computer's music, videos, and photos to view on your TV.
Hey, I'm Sharon Vaknin for cnet.com, here with a how to that will help you bring your tech full circle. I'm a tech junkie, so as much as I appreciate each one of my gadgets for what they are. I also like to see them working together. So, today, I'll show you how to stream music, photos, and videos from your Mac or PC to your playstation and onto the big screen. It's nice having everything in one place. First, make sure your PS3 connected to your home network either wirelessly or hardwired with an Ethernet cable. Once you're connected, go to the setting menu network settings and then head down to the media server connections and make sure it's enabled. If you're on a PC, download and install the latest version of the Windows media player. Launch the player and go to the library menu and select add to library. Here, you will be able to add folders. You want your windows media player and your PS3 to act as. These settings will depend on where you store your media. Then go back to the library menu and select media sharing. Check the box next to share media. Wait a few seconds and your PS3 will show up. Click it, then allow, and then okay. We'll get to it to do next on your PS3 in a moment, but here's how to get things set up on a Mac. Macs don't have on board support for this feature, so you will need to download an application called PS3 media server. There are lots of programs like it, but this was the only free one I found as the same thing as the paid ones. Once it's installed, we'll need to tweak some of the settings. Go to navigation/share settings and uncheck everything in the thumbnail section. This means that thumbnails won't show up on your PS3, but it will mean faster loading time. I also got errors when these options were enabled So, let's keep it safe and keep them unchecked. In the bottom section, you will need to add the folders you want available on the PS3. I added my entire hard drive, but I also added short cuts to my music folder, workout videos, and photos. Now, I have to transcoding settings and change the maximum band to 14 or 15. Zero means an unlimited bit rate, but that makes for a lot of lag during playback. A lower bit rate does lower the quality of your playback, but that's the trade off. Also, if you don't have 5.1 surround sound hooked up to your TV, go up to number of audio channels and change it stereo. No make sure you're connected to Wi-Fi on your Mac and hit save, then restart http server. Now that we've got things set up on the back and your media is ready to be streamed to your PS3. Go to your PS3 menu, add photos, videos, or music. Your computer should show up as one of the servers, but if it doesn't, hit search for media servers. If it's still not showing up, double and triple tag that followed online instructions to [unk] and that our PS3 and computer are on the same network, but if doesn't show up, then you're set. You'll need to be in the music menu to play music and the video menu to play your videos and then photos menu to see your photos. For music, you have options for shuffling, skipping, repeating, and more when you press the triangle button when the song is playing. To keep the music playing in the back ground, hit the home button on your controller instead of O, and when you're viewing a photo, hit the triangle button to see a slide show of your images. Use R1 and L1 to move forward or backward. You can also copy your music, videos and photos onto your PS3's hard drive by pressing the triangle when you're viewing a file. Just be aware of how much space you have left on your drive. If you're still getting stuttering while you're listening to music or watching videos, lower the beat rate in the settings we changed earlier. Again, this will lower the quality, but it beats not being able to watch at all. As always, if you have any questions, come talk to me on my Facebook page, and if you have any ideas or how to questions, e-mail how to at CNET.com. For CNET, I'm Sharon Vaknin, and I'll see you on the interwebs.