Since I bought myself a PlayStation 4 last year as a gift, I was thrilled to hear about the remote play feature coming with software update 3.50. I immediately installed it and tried it out on my Mac and PC to see how well it worked.
Overall, I would give the remote playback feature a 4 out of 5 stars by docking one star to a lower-than-desired 720p resolution at which the feature is at its maximum. The setup is very simple and everything works well, which is amazing when you need to transfer something over the network.
Just streaming a movie from my Synology NAS to my HDTV downstairs usually leads to some reason on my part, so I expected to run into at least a couple of issues. However, everything worked without a hitch.
I’ll first quickly walk you through how to set up Remote Play on a Windows PC, and then I’ll walk you through performance, troubleshooting, and more. The setup process was almost identical on a Mac. You should also be aware that Remote Play does not work with Windows 7, only Windows 8.1 and Windows 10. For Mac, this is OS X Yosemite or El Capitan.
Install PS4 Remote Play
Obviously, the first step is to turn on your PS4 and make sure you’ve installed the latest system software, which should be 3.50 at the time of this writing. To update the system software on your PS4, press the D-Pad up and then right until Settings is highlighted.
Now scroll down until you see System Software Update and press X on your controller.
If an update is available, it will be automatically downloaded and installed. Once your system is up to date, you can install the Remote Play software. on your Windows or Mac computer.
Installation is simple and does not require you to select any settings, etc. Once complete, launch the PS4 Remote Play program from your desktop.
The first pop-up screen tells you to connect your DualShock 4 controller to your computer via USB. After connecting the controller, you can click “Start” or “Settings”. I suggest clicking on settings first to adjust the resolution and frame rate.
The default resolution is set 540p and is set Frame rate Standard . If you are streaming PS4 games over your home network and everything is gigabit, then you should be able to change the resolution to 720p and frame rate High . Obviously, if you run into problems with sound or unstable graphics, you can change these settings every time you start Remote Play.
Remote Play does not currently support 1080p or higher resolution and may or may not be in the future. If the PS4 doesn’t have the hardware to handle 1080p, then we’ll probably stick with 720p until PS4.5 comes out.
It’s also worth noting that remote playback will also work over the Internet, but the results will be highly dependent on the speed of the Internet connection in both locations. I was unable to try this, so I can’t tell you how it works.
Finally, after adjusting your settings, click Start and you will first be asked to sign in to the PlayStation Network. Obviously, you will need a PSN account, and this should be the same account that you signed into on PS4.
Once you are logged in, it will automatically search for your PS4. It may take a minute or two to find the console. If it doesn’t find your PS4, you can also click the “Register Manually” button and try this method.
If all goes well, you should have a window that will stream your PS4 to your Windows or Mac computer!
As I mentioned above, the performance and quality of LAN game streaming were excellent. If you’re using a 1080p display, you won’t be as disappointed with 720p as I was. I have a 2560×1440 monitor, so the window on the screen is pretty small. If you have a 4K monitor it will be very small unless you zoom in on everything.
If you’re having trouble getting everything to work, log into your PS4 and check a few settings. First go to Settings, then PlayStation Network / Account Management and select Activate as Primary PS4.
You only really need to do this if you have multiple settings under one account. You can only stream games via remote play from the main PS4. When it becomes the main one, go to “Settings” and then to “Remote Play Connection Settings”.
Make sure the Enable Remote Play check box is selected. Finally, so that you don’t have to constantly log into your PS4 and manually turn it on before playing remotely, go to Settings, then to Power Saving Settings and select Set Functions Available in Rest Mode.
Make sure the boxes for “Stay connected to the Internet” and “Allow the PS4 to turn on from the network” are checked. Even if your PS4 is off or in rest mode, it will turn on when you start a remote play session.
That’s all! Overall, it works well and is a useful feature if you have a PS4 system. Unlike the Xbox One, the PS4 supports streaming to Mac and over the Internet, which are two great goodies. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!