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Sony brings high-def TV broadcasts to PS3 with latest PlayTV update

by Parm Mann on 6 November 2009, 16:22

Tags: PlayStation 3, Sony (NYSE:SNE), PS3

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Sony has rolled out the latest update for its PlayStation 3 accessory, PlayTV. The unit, designed to add DVR functionality to existing consoles, has been upgraded to allow users to watch, pause and record high-definition TV.

Commenting on the official PlayStation blog, network product manager James Thorpe revealed that the update - version 1.2.1 - is now being rolled out to customers.

The update's three key upgrades are described by Sony as follows:

  • Play TV now lets you Watch, Pause and Record High Definition TV for DVB-T standard broadcast. In countries that are launching free digital HD channels you will now be able to both watch and record them through your PS3 with PlayTV.
  • Aino remote play support. If you get the new Sony Ericsson Aino mobile phone with PS3 remote play features, we have optimised the user interface of PlayTV for the mobile phone screen so that you get the best mobile PlayTV experience possible.
    • Update of the PS3 to System Software 3.0. The update 3.0 for your PS3, if you haven’t done it already, will make sure that you have the mobile phone function in the remote play settings. You will need this if you want to experience PlayTV on the go with your Aino mobile phone.
  • Better standard definition upscaling. We have managed to improve the SD upscaling feature of PlayTV so when you are watching SD channels on an HD screen they will look as good as they possibly can.

Unfortunately for UK consumers, the ability to watch and record high-def DVB-T broadcasts doesn't apply. At present, free-to-air HD broadcasts are only available via Freesat's DVB-S transmissions, whilst future Freeview HD broadcasts will be aired using the DVB-T2 broadcast standard - both of which aren't compatible with current PlayTV hardware.

What's useful is the promise of improved standard-definition upscaling. We're still missing a few features, however, with series-link recordings being top of our wish list.

HEXUS Forums :: 2 Comments

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I've just updated to the latest software. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem like the upscaling has been improved much at all..

In all honesty, the built-in scaling of my TV (Pioneer KRL-32V) does a much better job of taking the picture to 1080p, however, the UI is much nicer..
Yeah, I just updated and again the up scaling isn't anything to write home about in terms of improvement.

However the sound is way, way better for me. When listening to audio direct from my TV sent into my home cinema (in Dolby PL2) it sounds flat and the imaging is really poor. From the PS3/Play TV it's like night and day. Brilliant surround (albeit ‘fake’) and imaging.