Can I stream movies with PlayStation 4's Remote Play?

PS4 Remote Play on a Sony laptop
PS4 Remote Play on a Sony laptop (Image credit: Sony)

Best answer: No, not at all. PlayStation's Remote Play doesn't allow streaming of movies and it makes us sad. Apps and portable drives seem to be our best hope.

What is Remote Play?

Remote Play is a Sony gaming console feature that allows you to stream your PS4 games to a remote device. It was initially developed for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) and Vita but was expanded to include macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. By installing the free program (Remote Play) on a compatible device that can support a DualShock controller, you can remotely use your PS4 on that device's screen. This means when you don't have access to your TV, or if it's in use by somebody else, you can still access your PlayStation 4.

The rules of Remote Play

Remote Play is not available when the PS4 is being used for the following:

  • When you're broadcasting streamed gameplay from the PS4
  • When another user is broadcasting streamed gameplay from the PS4 using Remote Play or Share Play
  • When a Blu-ray or DVD is playing

Remote Play has the following limitations during use:

  • You cannot broadcast gameplay or use Share Play.
  • Blu-rays and DVDs cannot be played.
  • Some video services cannot be played.
  • Spotify music cannot be played.
  • Some parts or all of certain games might not be displayed.

But I paid for my DVDs and Blu-rays, why can't I stream them?

Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

DVDs and Blu-ray discs have copy protection, and that includes streaming. It might seem silly, especially if you're trying to stream a movie you've already paid for to watch it yourself, but PlayStation doesn't know if you're streaming the disc for personal use or not so it has to say no to all.

And video services?

When PlayStation says "some services cannot be played" what it means is most cannot be played. including Netflix, Hulu, Prime Video, and even PS Store purchases. In a last-ditch effort, I tried PlayStation Vue and yet again it was unavailable to stream on Remote Play.

Play, Remote Play

Despite being blocked at every turn to find a streaming service that wasn't among the aforementioned bunch, this isn't the end all be all for remote streaming. Most of these services (Netflix, Hulu, PlayStation Video, etc.) have mobile apps, which can be used on the Vita, phone, or other remote devices. As for the physical copies of your DVDs and Blu-rays, if you want to watch them while away from home you can always pick up an external optical drive. They are small, light, and most tablets, laptops, and PCs can run them without issue.

Remote Play seems to be just that: remote play. Movies are out but can still be enjoyed without the use of Remote Play.

Kelly Peirce