How to Watch Cable TV on Your PS4

Click on the video above to see how everything looks once it's all working

Before we get started, I am totally aware of how many people are cutting the cord and switching to Netflix,YouTube, Amazon, Hulu and other similar services for their entertainment purposes. However, this guide is meant for those who find themselves  in a situation where they already have cable and wish to have an extra option on hand for variety.  That being said, I stumbled upon this only because my home network is a patchwork of technologies and  I have a setup that isn't found in most households.

Back in in June of 2015, Sony finally released an update to give the PS4 media playback capabilities. With the release came the list of supported formats which are the following

PS4 Media Player Supported File Formats and Codecs

Video

MKV

  • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2
  • Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital)

AVI

  • Visual: MPEG4 ASP, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2
  • Audio: MP3, AAC LC, AC-3 (Dolby Digital)

MP4

  • Visual: H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile Level 4.2
  • 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
  • AAC (M4A)

Pretty standard stuff with the inclusion of the ever popular MKV format for video. What it doesn't list is the ability to stream from local servers. There are services like Plex, but those stream files on your computer from a pre-exisisting library. How do you stream live television from your cable provider to your PS4?



Enter Silicon Dust's HDHomerun Prime. Anyone who has a cable television provider and who wants to use Windows Home Media Center to watch television on their HTPC (Home Theater PC) will have come across this device at some point. The HDHomerun Prime takes you cable signal and sends it via your network to any device capable of picking up and decoding the transmission. There are several android apps capable of harnessing this feature, but I mostly use it to convert my desktop pc into a powerful DVR in addition to everything else it does.The setup is rather tedious and requires a CableCard provided by your cable provider along with a tuning adapter. Here is Charter's page on how to set up one of their CableCards. You can find similar pages for other providers on their sites. Once you have everything set up, turn your PS4 on. Then head over to the media player. You will now notice that the HDHomerun Prime now appears alongside any other network connected server. Click on the icon and all of your available channels will begin to appear in a list. The interface isn't perfect and the load times rely entirely on the quality of your home network, but it works and it works fairly well in my case. Now, I haven't tested this out on different set ups and only found this put about this by complete accident. I still use Netflix and YouTube more, but an extra option never hurt anyone. 

The HDHomerun Prime used in this example is available on Amazon for $112 and has been fairly reliable from my experience and use.

Oliver Ayala

I'm able to eat 25 Mcnuggets in a row and maintain total composure. It's important to note that I have zero useful skills and will be the third to perish once the country runs out of corn syrup and the end days begin. I have zero allegiances to any gaming company or platform and go where the games are. Anime is my domain and I am a lower tier noble with hopes of becoming a duke. Oh, and I kinda started the site and trick- I mean, convinced some friends into helping.