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Cape Town - Most people use their Playstation 3s (PS3s) first and foremost for gaming in addition to using it as a blu-ray player to watch high definition DVDs. But what many don't know is that it's also able to stream movies, music and your picture collection on your PC (or laptop) to your TV.
While PS3s do come with fairly substantial hard drives, if you've got a lot of media on your PC you don't have to copy it to the PS3. When you have laptops, tablets and smartphones owned by multiple people in the family, it can become a rather hefty process to manage all your media.
The easiest thing to do if you have ADSL is centralise all your media on one device - the PC (which usually has a larger hard drive capacity). That also frees up space on all your other devices.
Your wireless router, which gives you Internet access, not only allows devices like laptops and smartphones to connect to the Internet but also allows devices to connect to each other - in this case the PS3 to your PC.
If you know how to set up your PC as a “media server” then you can do that and your PS3 should pick it up automatically, once you've set up your PS3 to talk to your router wirelessly. (You can of course use a network cable if your PS33 is close to your PC).
But if you don't know how to do that then the easiest thing to do is just download the free software called PS3 Media Server. It's available for PC, MAC and Ubuntu (Linux). It's a 30MB download which takes a few minutes to download on a 4 Mbps line.
Once you've downloaded the software, just install it. Then make sure you have shared the folders or drives where your media is stored on your PC. To do this, right click on the drive, click “properties” and then the “sharing” tab. Click “advanced sharing”, and then “permissions” and enable read access on the folder. (This assumes you're using Windows 7. It should follow the same principle on other versions of Windows.)
After you've shared your folder or drive, switch on your PS3. Once it's booted up, double click your PS3 media centre software on your PC and leave it to load. The Media Centre software will automatically find the PS3 and give a big green tick when it's done.
From there, go to your PS3 and look for the media centre icon under movies, music or pictures. Click on it and it will bring up a list of files shared on your PC. You then select whatever you want. You can either copy it across to your PS3 or stream it if the signal strength is strong enough.
The PS3 also allows you to access multiple types of media at once. This is really handy when you want to look at pictures and listen to music. You simply start a picture slide show and then press the PS3 button in the middle of your remote and browse the menu to find your music.
You can either do this when showing pictures to friends or family or you can use your TV as a big digital picture frame.
You can also listen to music while you surf the Internet on the PS3's browser.
Here it is in point form to help you set it up:
1) Download the PS3 Media Server software and install or set up a media centre on your PC
2) Share your folders/Drive on your PC.
3) Boot up PS3 and then open your media server. The two should find each other automatically.
4) Use your PS3 to browse media on your PS3. - Do Gaming