Today's game consoles, such as the Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation3, and XBox 360 can do so much more than game consoles of yesteryear; notably, they can access the internet for social media, online gaming, movies and TV shows, and cloud content to enhance your entertainment experience. Combine the flexibility with high-definition graphics and surround sound, and you have a one-stop entertainment hub.
Gaming consoles connect to your home network through an Ethernet cable directly to your router, or connected to your home Wifi by selecting your home network name and entering your password.
Your game console can access stored content on your computer like photographs or home movies, and content accessed from the internet, such as from a streaming service library, or an online entertainment store where media can be rented or purchased, downloaded, and even stored in a cloud for multiple device access. Game consoles can access video, music, and even online games, without taking up storage space.
- Start by making sure that both your game console and your operating system have current software updates. You can check the game console manufacturer website for updates, and you can easily check for updates for your computer's operating system if you are not currently set up for automatic updates.
- Determine the compatible media player with your game console.
- Xbox 360 is compatible with the Windows Media Player. You'll need to configure your media player to share media. Then on the Xbox 360 select "My Xbox" and then select "Windows Media Center" Step-by-step instructions will be listed to configure your console and your computer to stream media. For MAC users, streaming software includes Connect360, TVersity ande TwonkyMedia. There are free, downloadable software available, or you may have to pay a one-time fee to access what you need. To stream, you will need a paid Xbox Live Gold subscription to access sites like Netflix, Hulu, the Zune Marketplace, Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm.
- Playstation3 is compatible with PS3 Media Server, Windows Media Player 11 if you use Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7. MAC users can use MediaLink, Connect360, TVersity, Playback and TwonkyMedia. Free and paid software is available. You will need to tell the software where to store your media so that the software can access all your content. If you are using the PS3 Media Server, you'll want to set it up to run as a service (on the general tab) so that it will run in the background, enabling you to connect whenever you wish. On the PS3, scroll to the category you want to play (e.g. movies, music or photos) and then select "search for media servers." The name of your computer or software will then be listed. Simply select it and then choose the file you want to view or play. With the Playstation Network, you can access the Playstation Store online to purchase goodies; Netflix; Hulu; and your internet browser to access any site no the web.
- Nintendo Wii will stream media from your MAC or PC with software like Orb or Tversity. Install the software on your computer, and then access it from the Wii Internet Channel (which is an affordable download from the Wii Shop that must be installed on your console). Follow the detailed instructions on the software's website. You can also stream from Netflix with a simple download from the Wii Shop Channel and installed on your Wii Menu. The Wii does have a smaller selection of movies to browse, but the full selection of titles can be accessed online, and then added to your personal instant queue from there.
- Most of the streaming services providers require you to register your device with them on your account so that it is recognized as associated to your account. Depending on which provider you use, you may be able to register an unlimited number of devices, or a certain number of devices.
There are so many options available for entertainment today. Streaming through your gaming console is just one available method. You can also utilize a streaming media player, a blu-ray disc player, an internet-enabled television set, and of course your computer.