How to stream from your Mac to your PS4 Console

Did you know that you can view files from your Mac on your PS4?

24 Sep 2019

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Universal Media Streamer app lets you choose which folders you'd like to share, then view video, audio and images on your PS4.

Another app is called Plex. It’s not quite as easy to use, but you get a bunch of useful features. We'll take you through both in this guide.

 

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

First, the good news. Universal Media Server is free to download and use, plus it’s simple to set up. Just go to the Universal Media Server website and download the Mac version. Once downloaded, open the file and drag the Universal Media Server app to the 'Applications' folder on your Mac. Simple so far?

 

Step 1: Setting up Universal Media Server

Now you've installed Universal Media Server on your Mac. So what next? Just open it from your Applications folder and follow the steps prompted by the ‘configuration wizard'. Once done, you'll be able to see the UMS main panel.

 

This main panel lets you choose which folders to share across your home network. By default, it'll share 'all drives', but it’s a good idea to limit the shared folders to just the ones containing your media. Here’s how:

 

  1. Click on the Navigation/Share settings
  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.

 

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

 

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

Find the icon for Media Player on your PS4 menu bar on the PS4. Select it and you should be taken to the Playstation Store to download it. Once downloaded, open the app and you should now be looking at all the different sources of media your PS4 can find – including your Mac.

The Media Player app is simple to use. It’ll work with via USB drives plugged in to your console or streaming across your home network.

You should see 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 – "Mac's Mac" for example.

From this point, it’s a cinch. Click on your media server and should see the folders you chose to share in UMS earlier.

Open one of your folders, then just click the file you want to play. Ta da!

 

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
  • FLAC
  • AAC (M4A)

2. Using Plex Media Server

The alternative is Plex. Plex Media Server works in a similar way to Universal Media Server, but it has a lot more features.

 

Step 1: Setting up Plex Media Server on your Mac

Since Plex is quite easy to set up and will work with most devices, but there are a few more steps involved. Don’t worry. It’s all pretty straightforward.

  1. First things first. Get Plex for your Mac, by downloading it here.

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

  3. Unzipped yet? Good. Now, copy it to your Applications folder.

  4. Double-click on the Plex Media Server app to begin set up.

  5. If you get a security message asking you to allow the app to open, press the Open button.

  6. You’re now through the Plex setup process. Just agree the terms of use when prompted.

  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. Time to add media files to the server, so hit the Add library button.

  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. 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.

  14. 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 Connectin the menu on the left-hand side.

  20. You will then have the option to Sign in with existing 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.

That's your Plex Media Server set up. You'll need to leave your Mac on to stream to your PS4.

 

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.

Happy streaming!

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