Watch Movies on PS4 – The ultimate Guide

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As many of you probably know, one thing that I do even more than gaming is Watch movies on my PS4. The PS4 is a very powerful multimedia device and a very convenient movie system to have in the living room. It comes with its limitations of course but most of these can be bypassed.

On this page we detail everything there is to know about watching movies on your PS4. From the services available, to hacks that can enhance your PS4 movie watching experience, including tips on how to improve picture quality or get more content.

Watch Movies on PS4 – What can/can’t you do with the PS4?

The PS4 offers great options for streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, or Hulu Plus. Amazon Instant Video have a 1 month free trial to get you hooked, in case you’re on the fence (note: this is an affiliate link. I get a commission if you use the free trial from my link, at no cost to you). In particular, the PS4 supports HD streaming, unlike many Android devices out there.

For those of you outside of the US, there are ways to bypass the geolocation checks, and watch US services from everywhere in the world, through Smart DNS services such as unblock-us, which I personally have been using since 2012 (note: this is an affiliate link for a free trial. If you end up subscribing to the service after the free trial, I get a commission, at no extra cost to you). We cover some of that below.

In terms of local video content, the PS4 is not doing so great, with limited local file support, and no DLNA support as of today (although Sony state on that page that they are “exploring possibilities”). It is however possible to do local Media Streaming to your PS4, which gives you pretty much all the access you need to all your local files. We’ll cover that below. Last but not least, the PS4 supports blu-ray playback.

Video Services available on PS4

Sony has a good amount of video streaming services available to watch movies on PS4 (original list from IGN).

Watch movies on PS4

These apps are in general free but require a subscription to the underlying service in order to use them. Netflix, for example, requires a subscription to the Netflix service before you can use it. Amazon Instant Video has a dual payment system: Amazon members with a prime subscription have access to a selection of movies for free as part of their membership. In addition to that, Amazon have “pay per view” movies. Hulu plus has a monthly subscription scheme as well.

Movies and television

  • Amazon Instant Video
  • Crackle
  • Crunchyroll
  • Epix
  • Hulu Plus
  • Netflix
  • Redbox Instant
  • Sony Video Unlimited
  • YuppTV
  • Vudu
  • Twitch.tv (not an app, but accessible through the share button)
  • UStream (not an app, but accessible through the share button)

Sports

  • NBA Game Time
  • NHL GameCenter Live



Each one of these apps should be available from the “Media” icon on your PS4’s main menu. If you’ve never launched it before, it might need to be downloaded before you can launch it. I personally extensively use Netflix and Amazon Instant Video, I strongly recommend these services.

Amazon Instant Video, Netflix, and others, when you don’t live in the US

Netflix on PS4

Although Netflix is rapidly expanding, there are still many countries where it is not available, and the same is true for Amazon Instant video, so if you don’t live in the right country, you might have issues to watch movies on PS4, which is a bummer.

You can bypass this country limitation with the two following steps:

  1. Create a US account on your PS4, so that you can install the App, if the PS4 does not want you to install it otherwise
  2. use a Smart DNS service to bypass the geolocation checks. I personally use unblock-us (affiliate link), but other services exist such as Unotelly, unlocator, etc… advice: in my experience, free Smart DNS services such as Hola VPN, or mediahint are not a good deal. They either stop working after a while, or resell your bandwidth to paid customers. Unblock-us has been worth each penny of the $4.99 that it costs me each month.

Here’s a full tutorial on how to setup unblock-us on your PS4. You only have to do it once, then you’re good to go. I did the setup years ago on my PS4.

Watch movies on PS4

Services like unblock-us don’t only let you watch the US version of Netflix. They also let you switch regions whenever you want, which gives you access to even more content (Netflix’s content varies depending on your “current” country, but you can access all countries’ content with one single subscription)

Play Local Media Files and Movies on PS4

There are several options to play local media files on your PS4. The Media Player has limited functionality but is very straightforward. For more advanced use cases, better compatibility, and in general if you have a huge movie library, you’ll want to give a try to a Media Server.

Play Local Movies on your PS4 with the PS4 Media Player

Sony released the PS4 Media Player, an app that lets you play local video files, and connect to Media Servers. It supports the following file formats:

  • 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)

In addition to movie files, the PS4 MEdia Player can display photos and play mp3/aac music. It lets you play music in the background while playing video games.

The Media Player on the PS4 has limitations on what types of files can be played, the format of your usb storage device (FAT only, no NTFS support). It is also not great at organizing your files (unlike a tool such as Kodi or Plex, for example).

More details on the PS4 Media Player.

Play Local Movies on your PS4 with a PS4 Media Server

The PS4 Media Player’s limitations might prevent you from watching your favorite video files. Although the PS4 is a great media device when it comes to Streaming services, it falls short on the “local file” use case (poor compatibility with local movies files, DLNA support missing,…). But fear not, there is a solution, and that solution is PLEX PS4 Media Server.

PLEX PS4 Media Server

The idea is that you will be hosting your Movie files on your local computer, and connect your PS4, through its web browser, to your local computer. The computer will encode the content on the fly for you to watch movies on PS4 in the browser. This gives you 100% compatibility for any file format that you can think of, present and future.

Playing videos in the web browser is also much more user friendly than the word might suggest.

Here is a full guide on setting up Plex Media Server (both on your PC and your PS4) to watch your local movie files on your PS4. Check the video below to see the result:

Play Blu rays & DVD on the PS4

There’s not much to be said about the PS4’s support for blu rays and DVDs. It just basically works. Keep in mind that blu rays and DVDs are region locked on the PS4 (unlike games), which means a DVD bought abroad might not work on your PS4. Blu rays have less of this issue, as through some miracle, most publishers decided they would not  bother with region locking.

Early models of the PS4 have an issue where the blu-ray player might lock itself and generate some heavy noise, constantly ejecting discs. It looks like this:

 

If this happens to you, know that there are several DIY ways to fix that problem before you run to a repair shop or call Sony. Check the solutions here: how to fix broken PS4 blu ray drive.

Improve Video Quality on your PS4

Modern TVs have in general a crisp picture, but it sucks to get an expensive HD TV if you can’t get the most out of it to watch movies on PS4. Our member Dimen363 has a full tutorial on how to dramatically improve picture quality on your TV connected to a PS4. It’s a simple tutorial with dramatic improvements to crispness, color quality and black levels. So I suggest you check it out.

PS4 Improve picture quality

Accessories for playing Movies on your PS4

ps4_remote_control_pdp

PS4 4K Support

The PS4 Does not support 4K, and it is unlikely it will. We explain here what it would take for the PS4 to support 4K.

Let us know in the comments if you would like additional sections on this page. Your feedback is always appreciated!

14 Responses

  1. orangpelupa says:

    does plex works with surround sound or stuck in stereo in PS4?

  2. grecomafioso says:

    Second!

    What the PS4 needs is Showtime

  3. shinrukuszero says:

    Google Drive works great with this, as does USTVNow in Mobile Mode, of course Playstation Vue makes USTVNow kinda useless, but it is cheaper…

  4. all slots says:

    Super Seite, ich komme mal wieder vorbei.

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  9. It is actually a great and helpful piece of info. I am satisfied that you simply shared this helpful info with us.

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  10. Guys you don’t need subscription for movies. Use http://www.movierill.com/ . It’s HTML5, I use it on my ps4 almost everyday.

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  1. June 6, 2015

    […] I compiled a page with all the tips and tricks I know about, hopefully it is detailed enough for everyone to get something out of it. I present to you: Watch Movies on PS4 – the ultimate guide. […]

  2. June 9, 2015

    […] Want more tips? Check our Ultimate guide to watch movies on PS4! […]

  3. June 16, 2015

    […] also updated our “Watch Movies on PS4” page with details on the PS4 Media Player. This is the ultimate guide for those of you who […]

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