Unfortunately there aren't really a lot of ways and you can't simply access media over the network without serving it somehow. The PS3 doesn't have any SAMBA-like protocol for browsing network computers. If you notice under the video/music menu options, there is an option to search for media servers. This is the solution Sony created.
- The most effective method is to install any media server software on
one of your PC/Laptops. http://www.ps3mediaserver.org/ - for example
- You set the media server to look in the directories with the media
you want to be available.
https://www.youtube.com/channel/HCob3taCHsafE - List of how-to
videos in their FAQ
- Then you browse the media server on your PS3 under
video/music/pictures on the main system menu.
An alternative would be to format up to a 32GB FAT32 external USB hard drive and put media on that. It only is able to play a limited amount of media formats however so a media server is still better (Media gets transcoded).
PS3 Media Server works great on Windows 7 (64 or 86); I use it myself. You could use the built in Windows Media Player media server capabilities if you don't want to install extra software. Installing a media server with one already available natively is a bit redundant, however, the PS3 Media Server transcribes nearly any media format into one that the PS3 will definitely be able to read. Once you try it out, you won't want or need to use anything else.
Disclaimer: Media Servers work best when on an entirely wired connection so it is advised to find a way to get your PS3 plugged into a hub/router/switch. It will still work over wireless but will require some additional buffering time and might be choppier