So I picked up another PS4 today after returning my first one last year when it had no DLNA, because PS4 now has DLNA support. However, I was very disappointed to discover how bad the DLNA is on the PS4.
Let’s go into some details into why PlayStation 4 DLNA streaming it is inferior and terrible in comparison to the PS3 DLNA streaming.
1 Bright blue screen is blinding.
The PS3 uses the user’s theme as the background, but the PS4 uses a separate application with a blinding blue background.
Blinding blue! Bad; you could see that the PS3 uses the background of the theme which means you didn’t need a bright blue. Not with the PS4 though. You are stuck with a blinding blue background.
This is worse at night because blue light inhibits your body’s ability to convert serotonin to melatonin which alters your circadian rhythm, which in layman terms means it makes it harder to get tired and go to sleep.
In other words, a bright blue screen can create insomnia even in people that do not have insomnia. So whereas it seems like an innocent issue, in fact a bright blue screen is a very serious issue because it can cause great damage to your health!
No bright blue background, copies your selected PS3 system theme in the background.
2 No Upscaling.
The PlayStation 3 uses an upscaling engine that drastically improved the depth, clarity, color, resolution, sharpness, and overall quality of the video. However, the PS4 has none of this, just a straight stream. Very disappointed in this because the video streaming quality is less than half as good as the PS3 video streaming quality.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to see a side-by-size and zoomed in comparison for a better view of how bad the video is on the PS4 compared to the PS3.
Poor quality video since there is no upscaling.
Clear, crisp upscaled video!
* Upscaled Saturation
* Upscaled Sharpness/Resolution
* Upscaled Clarity/Color
* Upscaled Noise Reduction
* Upscaled Overall Video Quality
Upscaling video options include:
* Frame Noise Reduction
* Block Noise Reduction
* Mosquito Noise Reduction
(Press Triangle and go to AV Options to change these option. I keep them all maximized.)
Also note that on pause the menu does not show unless you want it to.
3 Zoom Issues.
PS3 has the ability to zoom in view at full resolution, and other zoom options. This is especially great when viewing letterbox (4:3 aspect ratio) older movies and TV shows, sure it cuts off the top and bottom when you zoom but still it’s better when watching 4:3 videos when you can view it in widescreen if you want.
However, PlayStation 4 lacks any ability to zoom; and worse, it is stuck in a forced zoom. I made sure to set it up perfectly when I initialized the application, but compared to the PS3 which I switched back on the exact same scene, it cuts off about 10% of the video on all sides.
Stuck in a perpetual zoomed state cropping off the outside 10% or so of the video on all sides. Moreover there are no zoom options like the PS3 has so you are just stuck in this zoomed state. This is also very bad if you are watching a subtitled video with embedded subs if it crops off the subtitles.
Compare it to the video above or below of the PS3, which shows it is on exactly the same frame but the video is cropped on the PS4.
Zoom mode is especially useful in 4:3 videos. There are three options:
* Zoom: will convert a letterbox (4:3 with black bars on the left and right) to zoom into full screen cutting off top and bottom but allowing to fit full width.
* Normal: standard 16:9 widescreen regular zoom.
* Original: Will make it the original video size and not full width. For example if the source video is smaller than the TV screen and you wanted to see it in full resolution at a smaller size.
4 Missing initial video options.
PS3 has several options you can choose from, like “start video from beginning”, etc., which is useful especially when a video bugs out and pressing L1 doesn’t skip to the very beginning. PlayStation 4 has no such features, severely limiting it.
(UPDATE: Since a recent update PS4 has added the “Information” section which allows you to see info like size and resolution. So now it is just missing the “Play from Beginning” option from this initial screen, which is still needed.)
Missing option for starting from the beginning.
Allows you to play from the beginning, a very useful feature that gets used enough to be required.
5 Missing in-video options.
Missing most of the features available on the PS3 including:
* missing Scene Search: scroll through frames at 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes
* missing Frame Forward/Reverse (frame by frame / step forward or back),
* missing Slow Forward/Reverse,
* missing AV noise reduction,
* missing Subtitle options,
* missing Audio options,
* missing Go to Frame
Interestingly, ADDS another option, that is pretty much useless, but cool nonetheless. You can ROTATE the video right or left! Excellent option if you like to watch tv sideways or while doing a headstand. However, I would prefer to have the useful options above than being able to watch videos while doing a headstand.
Contains the following options that the PS4 does not have, all of which are regularly used and necessary, as well as all being integrated into the controller (i.e. for frame advenace/reverse you press Square and it brings up the list of frames you can scroll to the frame you like by the desired increments).
* Scene Search: scroll through frames at 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, 5 minutes
* Frame Forward/Reverse (frame by frame / step forward or back),
* Slow Forward/Reverse,
* AV noise reduction,
* Subtitle options,
* Audio options,
* Go to Frame
Option for slow motion, and frame advance/reverse which can advance or reverse one frame at a time, is one of the most useful features that is used often. However, PS4 does not have this feature, PS4 only allows you to rewind or reset to the beginning.
Moreoever, these options are integrated into the PS3 controller, so you never actually have to access this menu. However, the PS4 does not integrate into the controller, you need to access the menu every time you want to do something.
6 Separate App, Not Integrated.
Lastly, it is not clean and streamlined since you have to open a separate app which needs to load every time you want to use DLNA streaming.
Unfortunately, it is not integrated but rather a completely separate app. When you launch it, it will ask you to suspend whichever game you are playing.
Streamlined with the system, not a separate app.
All that said, it does work. So if you have no other option, you can stream through your PS4 now; but you will be blinded by bright blue, it won’t be upscaled, it will be stuck at default zoom which is a little too zoomed, and you will be left with limited options for playing the video. But it does work. I will continue using my PS3 I guess. I suppose I will never get rid of it, plus there are still so many PlayStation 3 games that are great. Without adequate DLNA streaming, there are few reasons to have the PS4 besides the games.
On a side note, the PS4 does also support mp3 streaming. I haven’t used that on either system, but besides the bright blue screen you won’t have to worry about video scaling and zoom and video options if you’re only listening to music.
Also another note, it works just fine using PS3 Media Server as far as I could tell (PS3 Media Server is a free application for your PC to stream to your PlayStation through DLNA).
Additionally, it is worth noting that one huge benefit despite the detriments above, is that with PlayStation 4 you can plug an external drive directly to the PS4 to play! Which is kind of awesome though. On the other hand, I don’t feel like plugging and unplugging my hard drive to copy new shows every time I want to stream, so I won’t be using that; but in other instances it is a great feature and I have wished the PS3 could do that.
Further, I do have to give Sony credit for correcting their oversight and actually creating it and listening to their users. It might not be very great but at least it is there now. Even if it did take them over a year to release it.
I was going to post comparison pictures showing the quality difference on the same scenes, but my game capture device isn’t set up at the moment and then I realized the quick release on my tripod is missing that I was going to use for my new DSLR camera! I searched everywhere for it, then when it was nowhere to be found I sat down and thought and thought and then remembered where it was left. It’s gone! Will have to pick up a replacement on ebay, it’s just ten dollars. But I digress! I will update this post with some comparison pictures soon, so check back after some time.
Update, here are the pictures as promised (also added the new pictures and more details into the post)! By the way I got that $10 replacement quick release for my tripod from ebay and it’s perfect! 😉
Versus Side-By-Side DLNA Comparisons
Zoomed in comparison of PS3 vs PS4 DLNA video quality. You can see very clearly the PS4 is washed out, lower quality, and cut off video. Far poorer quality video streaming on the PS4.
The two pictures below are the exact same frame at 0:04 seconds, they are not different frames, they look different because the PS4 is lower resolution and poorer quality picture due to not being upscaled, and is zoom cropped due to poor developers at Sony who made this subpar DLNA app.
Wow, look at the difference in quality on the PS3! It looks so much better because PS3 sends the video through a bunch of upscaling filters which drastically improves the quality. Sadly, PS4 does not do this.
Here are the PS3 vs PS4 on the exact same scene, exact same frame, showing the edge of the TV for comparison. As you see, the PS4 video is cut off.
And lastly, here is a cross-sectioned overlay of the zoomed in ps3 DLNA streaming picture quality vs ps4 DLNA streaming picture quality.
Cross-section the other way.
As you can now see very clearly, since I’m the first to compare the PS3 vs PS4 DLNA streaming, the PS4’s DLNA is pretty terrible in comparison to the PS3. If you are accustomed to PS3 DLNA streaming, you would pretty much have to sacrifice all the features to use it on the PS4. As a result I continue to use my PS3 for DLNA streaming since I use DLNA almost every day, and might actually return my PS4 *again* until they get all these things ironed out with DLNA. Then again, there are some great PS4 games coming out this holiday season so I might keep it!