How to stream from your Mac to your PS4 Console

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You can stream media files from your Mac to your PS4 using an app called Universal Media Streamer, which lets you choose which folders you'd like to share, then view them on your PS4.

There's also an app called Plex - it's not as easy to use but it offers a few more features. We'll show you how to use both in this guide.

1. Using the Universal Media Server and the Media Player app

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Universal Media Server is free to download and use, and only takes a few minutes to set up. But before you start, you'll need to make sure your Mac has 'Java 6' installed on it, this is required for Universal Media Server to run. Click here to download Java 6 from Apple.

Once you've got Java installed, go to the Universal Media Server website and download the Mac version by clicking the Apple logo. Once it is downloaded, open up the file and drag the Universal Media Server app to the 'Applications' folder on your Mac.

Step 1: Setting up Universal Media Server

After you've installed Universal Media Server on your Mac, open it up from your Applications folder and it'll start to walk you through the 'configuration wizard'. Follow these steps, and when you're done, you'll be looking at the UMS main panel.

 
 
 
 
Universal Media Server 1

From this main panel you can choose which folders you want to share across your home network. By default it'll share 'all drives', but we recommend limiting the shared folders to just the ones containing your media.

1.

Click the Navigation/Share settings tab.

2.

In the 'shared folders' section, highlight All drives and press the red X.

3.

Press the folder icon, and choose the folder that contains the media you want to stream. You can do this multiple times to set up folders for movies, TV shows, music and so on.

4.

The folders are now ready to be streamed: click on Restart Server at the top to finish.

 
 
 
 
Universal Media Server 2

The Unisersal Media Server is now set up and ready to go. The next steps will show you how to stream to your PS4.

Step 2: Using the new Media Player app to stream your media

 
 
 
 
PS4 Media Player 1

The app is simple to get to grips with, and will work with both USB drives plugged in to your console and streaming across your home network.

You should see the icon for Media Player on your menubar on the PS4: press this and you should be taken to the Playstation Store to download it. Once it's been downloaded, open the app and you should now be looking at all the different sources of media your PS4 can find – including, if all is well, your Mac.

At first you'll be given the three main sections: Recently Played, Favourites and your Universal Media Server. The server will be at the bottom of the list, and should show up as your computer's name – "Daniel's Mac" for example.

 
 
 
 
PS4 Media Player 2

From this point, it's very straighforward. Just click on your media server and should see the folders you chose to share in UMS earlier.

Start by opening one of your folders, then just click the file you want to play.

 
 
 
 
PS4 Media Player 3

Supported codecs for the PS4 Media Player app

Video

MKV:

  • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
  • Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)

AVI:

  • Visual: MPEG4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
  • Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)

MP4:

  • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2
  • Audio: AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)

MPEG-2 TS:

  • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level4.2, MPEG2 Visual
  • Audio: MP2(MPEG2 Audio Layer 2), AAC LC, AC-3(Dolby Digital)
  • AVCHD: (.m2ts, .mts)

Photo

  • JPEG (based on DCF 2.0/Exif 2.21)
  • BMP
  • PNG

Music

  • MP3
  • AAC (M4A)

2. Using Plex Media Server

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Plex Media Server works in a similar way to Universal Media Server, but it has a much wider range of features.

Step 1: Setting up Plex Media Server on your Mac

Plex is quite easy to set up and works with most devices, so gives you a lot more options.

1.
  1. First you need to get Plex for your Mac, so download it by clicking here.
2.

This will download Plex Media Server as a .zip file, so click on this and your Mac should automatically unzip it.

3.

Once it's unzipped, copy it to your Applications folder.

4.

Now double-click on the Plex Media Server app to begin setting it up.

5.

You may get a security message asking you to allow the app to open now. If so, press the Open button.

6.

It'll now take you through the Plex setup process. First you'll need to agree to the terms of use, so click the Agree button.

7.

Plex will then take a few minutes to get started, so leave it for a moment or two.

8.

Next give your server a name and press Next.

9.

Now you can start to add media files to the server, so hit the Add library button.

 
 
 
 
Plex Media 1
10.

Choose the type of content you're adding: Movies, TV Shows, Music, Photos or Home videos.

11.

You can then specify a language, then press Next.

12.

Now press Add folder and find the folder where your media is located.

13.

You can choose more than one folder if you like – and once you've made your selection(s), press Add library to save this section.

 
 
 
 
Plex Media 2
14.

You can repeat these steps to add different types of media – then when you've finished press Next.

15.

Plex will now ask you whether you want to add any channels. You can press Next to finish up now, or add as many other channels as you like. Press Next when you're done.

16.

You should then be told 'Congratulations', as you've finished the basic setup. Press Done to finish.

17.

Next, you'll need to sign in to a Plex account, which makes it easier to access your files on the PS4. Start by clicking on the Settings icon in the top-right – it looks like a spanner and screwdriver.

18.

On the menu that appears, click on Server towards the top-right.

19.

Next press on Connect in the menu on the left-hand side.

20.

You will then have the option to Sign in with exisiting details (if you already have a Plex account) or Sign up if you don't have an account.

21.

Once you have either signed in or signed up, then it should show that you're signed in to your account.

 
 
 
 
Plex Media 3

That's your Plex Media Server set up. You'll need to leave your Mac on to stream to your PS4, and we'll go through that next.

Step 2: Using the Plex App

When browsing your TV shows and movies, Plex will show you all the information it can find about them, like episode description, release year, actors, etc.

The Plex App is free, and can be downloaded from the Store on your PS4. Once it's downloaded, open the app and you're given the option to pair, or sign in. Once you're signed in, you should be able to see your entire library and access it all through the PS4.

 
 
 
 
Plex Media 4

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