How-to: Watch TV And Movies On Your PS3

The Playstation 3 goes beyond a gaming device, but can also double as a powerful home entertainment hub. It’s an integral part of my setup and I’d like to show you how I watch TV and movies over the internet through my PS3.

Before you begin, make sure that your Playstation is connected to the Internet either wirelessly or with an ethernet cord. I prefer to hard-wire my PS3 with an ethernet cord because I’ve found more consistent performance from streaming. Also make sure that you have created a Playstation Network account for access to the Playstation store.

Note: In order to keep this post concise and to the point, I will provide the most common ways to watch TV on the PS3 with links and screenshots for additional information. If you have tips or tricks, tell us in the comments below.

Netflix

Netflix allows you to instantly stream thousands of movies and tv shows directly to your PS3 for about $8/month. It’s probably best that you set up a Netflix account prior to doing the steps below. Sign up for Netflix here. Once your all ready to go:

  1. Power on your Playstation and choose your account.

    Playstation 3 controller

    Photo by wlodi via Flickr

  2. Scroll horizontally over to the PlayStation Network Menu and then down to the What’s New section. Hit X to get inside the menu.
  3. You should see the Netflix app (if this has changed, you can always browse the Playstation Store for it). Highlight it and click X.
  4. You’ll be directed to the Netflix app page within the Playstation Store. Click download to add it to your cart.
  5. Give it a minute and once the app is downloaded and installed you can back out of the store and into the PS3 home screen. Look under Video and you should see the Netflix logo. Click it to begin watching.

You’ll only need to install the Netflix app one time. In the future, just go directly to the Video portion of the home screen to watch your favorite shows and movies.

If you’re not an avid movie watcher, the Playstation store also offers Vudu which allows you to pay for only what you watch. Vudu has movie releases the same day as they are available on DVD and you can rent a movie for as low as $2 for 2 nights. Here’s how to get started with Vudu on the PS3.

Hulu Plus

Hulu Plus installed on the PS3

Hulu Plus installed on the PS3

Hulu Plus is the big brother premium service to Hulu. With Hulu Plus you can enjoy the entire season of your favorite shows (rather than the past 3 with regular Hulu). The other added bonus of Hulu Plus is you can stream episodes instantly to your computer, gaming or mobile device. For this setup, you’re going to have to spring the $8/month for a Hulu Plus subscription.

Many of the same directions apply when downloading and installing Hulu Plus as they did with Netflix. Follow the directions above, but this time you’re looking for the neon green Hulu logo.

Stream TV and movies from your computer

PS3 Media Server running on a Mac

PS3 Media Server running on a Mac

To stream content from a computer on your home network, I highly recommend PS3 Media Server. This free software essentially talks to your PS3 and streams any music or videos you have to your gaming device. PS3 Media Server is ready to launch out of the box. There’s no need to worry about installing codecs, setting up folders or making sure you’re files are in the correct format. PS3 Media Server supports virtually every popular video and audio file format. Click here to download and get started.

PlayOn Setup

PlayOn TV streams TV to any number of devices

For more content and a similar experience, check out PlayOn. PlayOn runs on your PC and automagically grabs your favorite content from the web and pushes it to your PS3 through your broadband connection. PlayOn supports Hulu, Netflix, YouTube, ESPN 3, CNN and many more. You can demo PlayOn for free for the first 14 days, buy it outright for $80 or choose a less expensive annual subscription. Go here to get started  with PlayOn or watch this demo video.

Like I mentioned above, there are a handful of other ways to access TV and movies through your Playstation 3. Do you have a tip or idea? If so, share it in the comments below.

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About Bob Hazlett

Bob cut the cord and canceled cable in 2010. He got tired of having a lack of TV options and paying higher prices for lower quality shows. Many of his friends were interested in doing the same so that's how KickOutCable.com came to be. He's here to share the secrets of cord cutting that the cable companies don't want you to know. He also blogs at www.onehalfamazing.com

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