How to Play Streaming Videos on a Sony Bravia KDL-46W5100 TV

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First, store a video file in the folder that you configured PS3 Media Server to load media files from. Confused already? Read the fine manual (PS3 Media Server for Dummies).

At this point, you might be wondering what format of video file you need. My quick answer is just about any common format should work. The long answer, however, is a bit more complicated and I could probably write an entire article on the answer. Essentially compatibility depends on the container format (e.g. avi, mp4, mkv), the video codec (e.g. H264/AVC, divx, xvid) and the audio codec (e.g. AAC, mp3).

Upon searching through the KDL-46W5100 user manual, I couldn’t find any definitive specifications for the video formats the TV can play via DLNA streaming. However, I tried playing several movies via a USB flash drive connected to the TV’s USB port (i.e. not via DLNA streaming) and I discovered that the following format seems to work well:

  • container: mp4
  • video codec: H264/AVC
  • audio codec: AAC

(As an aside, it seems that the USB drive must be formatted with FAT32. I couldn’t get the TV to detect USB drives formatted with NTFS.)

Since that movie file format works well via USB, it should work fine via DLNA streaming too. But what about other formats? Thanks to the PS3 Media Server’s ability to automatically transcode and remux incompatible formats on-the-fly, most of them should work too.

After storing a video file where PS3 Media Server can see it, the next step is to turn on your KDL-46W5100 TV. Wait for the TV to boot up, then start PS3 Media Server. If PS3 Media Server can see the TV, you should see “Detected media renderers: Sony Bravia 5500 Series” on PS3 Media Server’s status page, as shown in the screenshot below.

PS3 Media Server - Status

PS3 Media Server - Status

Finally, it’s time to play the movie on the TV. To do this, press the Home button on your remote to open the XMB menu. Navigate across to the Movie menu item, then down to the PS3 Media Server menu item. Once, there, drill down through the PS3 Media Server folders until you find the movie, then press the + button (i.e. the button in the middle of the arrow buttons) on the remote control. If you can’t figure it out, read the fine manual.

The movie should play fine. Just don’t expect DVD-like chapter skipping and responsive fast-forward and rewind.

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    26 comments to How to Play Streaming Videos on a Sony Bravia KDL-46W5100 TV

    • Mark

      Nice article, thx. I have a Bravia with an ethernet port (not sure which model – will check when I get home after work) and discovered the TV’s streaming capability by chance last night. I already had PS3 Media Server set up for use with my PS3. Curiously, the Bravia seemed capable of streaming a wider range of video formats than the console, including 1080p Blu-ray rips which my PS3 struggles with (perhaps relating to a codec problem). However, the picture quality of video streamed to the Bravia was poor, even for SD files. I’m wondering how you find the quality of video streamed to your TV and whether adjusting the PS3MS config makes any difference?


    • I’ve found the quality to be good. For me, the biggest factor in picture quality has been the quality of the movie file being played; good rips look good, bad rips look bad.

      That said, you can certainly try tweaking the renderer settings for PS3MS. Some of the gurus on the PS3MS forum might have tips. The other thing is to check for a later version of PS3MS than what I used. I think they were working on the Bravia support recently.

      Also, try to use at least a 100 Mbps wired ethernet connection instead of wireless. You could use 1000 Mbps but it shouldn’t make a difference because the TV’s ethernet port is only rated at 100 Mbps.

      You might also want to try buying a WDTV Live media player. I bought one recently and it works well with that TV.

    • Augustus Fecat

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    • Pranav

      Hi there, such a great post. :) I just now subscribed to your blog. I’ll be checking back for more stuff, savvy? More power to you.

    • mico

      i have a problem. ive been using my ps3 for streeming but i noticed i dont need my ps3 to do this. i have a sony bravia kdl-40nx800. all vidios have worked when ive played them threw my ps3 . when i take the ps3 out and streem threw the tv it dosent work. i can find all the files then this wierd transcode file comes up i go there , the movie is there i press that is sais nothing to view. ime out of ideas. the same thing is also with usb.

    • I’m currently running version 1.20.412 of PS3 Media Server which seems to work quite well with my Bravia. If I remember correctly, I did not have to edit the renderer config file in that version. It was plug and play. Try that version.

      As for USB, you won’t have much success with that. Stick to PS3 media server.

      Finally, note that some movies does not seem to play, no matter what, even with transcoding. Try a few different movies and see if any of them work. Hope that helps.

    • wilf

      I have noticed that my KDL-60ex700 renders poor video quality off a W7 media server (100Mb wired connection). However, if I connect the PS3 to the tv (HDMI) then stream the video from W7 and let the PS3 render the quality is perfect.

      Same wired connection, same video, same W7 server.

      Why is the TV rendering poorly (est. 640*480) and the PS3 properly?

    • Hi Wilf. It’s the same here. Works much better with PS3. The DLNA client on the TV is not very good, IMHO.

    • Any change that you can use the Bravia with multicast IPTV streams at a bitrate of 4 Mbps using MP-2MP@HL, or even H264HP@L4 streams on a higher bitrate? In a RTSP mode?

    • VJ

      I have a Lenevo Laptop (Core2Duo 2.0 Ghz 4GB memory running Windows 7 64 bit) with all my video files
      I have Asus Wirleess N router with Comcast 15Mbps Internet and the Sony Bravia connected to it via Ethernet cable.

      I have a PS3 Media Server installed and I also have a downloaded the Bravia5100.conf file and put in the renderers folder

      When I play the videos it lags i.e. it plays for 2-3 secs and pauses for another 2-3 secs …and this keeps on repeating.
      The PS3 MS – display says Current bit rate – 1976 kb/s Peak bit rate – 2752 kb/s
      Media Renderers – Bravia 5100 – Speed 2Mb/s

      Kindly help I am novice user ..Thanks

    • VJ, how is your Laptop connected to the router? Wired or wireless? If wireless, try wired to see if it fixes your problem. Streaming HD video wirelessly, even with Wireless N can result in lag.

    • VJ

      Hey Joe..Thanks for the reply..
      You are right my laptop is connected wirelessly..but if I wire it …I will not able to use it for other stuff.
      I do sometimes watch the movies by connecting the laptop directly to the TV using HDMI..

      I have a powered external Hard drive…in which I have all the backup….is there any way I can use that to play the movies….

      my PS3 also has same issues..


    • You won’t be able to play movies directly off the hard drive. You will need to use your laptop, PS3 or other “smart” device. The best advice I can give is to use a wired connection.

    • VJ

      I tried to connect my WD External HD to my PS3 using the USB port which is in the from of PS3…..but I Could not see it….Am I doing something wrong….

    • If I remember correctly, the PS3 only understands the FAT32 system. Your hard drive is probably formatted with NTFS. Of course, if you reformat for FAT32, then you are limited on the max file size (2 GB? or is it 4 GB?) which means some movies you download are to big to be stored in FAT32.

    • VJ

      Oh yeah…I remember so I think I will have maybe 1 or maybe 2 movies per partition… ;)

      Thanks a lot for your time..

    • LW

      I have a 55″ Sony Bravia LED, KDL-55EX500 and I have a 320GB PS3 connected to it. The PS3 is connected to my home network via Wireless to my Netgear wireless N modem/router. will installing PS3 MS make viewing the movies stored on my computer any easier. At the moment the PS3 can see the directory that my movies are in, but, can’t see all the movies, nor, does it play all the movies it can see. I have all my movies converted to AVI with H.264 video codec and MP3 audio codec.

    • Try PS3 MS. It can play just about anything.

    • LW

      Thanks Joe, I will give it a go and let you know how I get on.

    • Pete

      Was using PS3MS v1.20.42 which worked fine on my PS3. The server detected my TV (Bravia KDL46HX800) as an unknown renderer and the TV detected the server, but only displayed thumbs for some of the movies and wouldn’t play any of them.

      Upgraded to v1.50.0 and it works fine ‘as is’. Cheers Joe. I’m not overly concerned with picture quality unless jt’s terrible, but I’ll definitely be back if I decide to do some tweaking.

    • Calin

      Hello! I am having a problem playing some video, mkv files too my Sony Bravia KDL40EX720. MP4 files works directly on the USB and PS3MS. I tried to play the mkv with PS3MS but it has a big lag. I use wired connection 100mbps. Other files plays fine with PS3MS. My laptop is a Compaq CQ61-125EQ

    • Darren

      Hey Joe
      This may have been mentioned already as I haven’t read all the replys here, but have you considered power-line Ethernet.
      I’ve just bought a Netgear 500Mbit Ethernet over Powerline and it works great. Full 1080HD video streaming with NO dropouts at all.
      No need for cabling, it just uses your existing power wires.
      It’s totally cool. Try IT !

    • Good tip about the powerline Ethernet. I’ve never tried it. Sounds like a viable option for streaming HD video.

    • Michael

      I am trying to find out what the activation code is on my Sony Bravia KDL 40W5810 to enable me to enter it on the Netflix website to access movies etc. if I click on the home button on the bravia & go to network there is no mention of activation code.
      I have the necessary Ethernet cable in place & ready to go.
      Can anyone assist please.

    • Patrick

      I want to stream video direct from my Lacie SpaceMax network drive to my Sony Bravia KDL32W5500 HD TV. I find that SD (720×576) mpg videos are recognised and played by the TV but I find that HD (1920×1080) mpg videos are not even recognised (i.e. listed) by the TV. I have tried other media exports from Adobe PremPro without success. Which HD formats will be seen and played by the TV? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • bill

      Can’t get my Sony bravia to see movies from my android tablet can u help