Coach potatoes rejoice - PlayTV arrives this monthSony will continue its push to make the Playstation 3 the centre of our living room entertainment with the release of PlayTV on September 19th, 2008.
The twin channel TV tuner peripheral will retail at £69.99 and offer the functionality of a personal video recorder and a freeview box, whilst boasting some of the features that you'll find on a Sky Plus box, allowing you to record, pause and rewind live TV.
There's a 7-day scheduling function, allowing you to browse through the TV listings and pick and choose your recordings for the week and you can also link your favourite shows so that it records them automatically each time they are on. You can even record whilst playing on the console. Furthermore, by using the Remote Play feature of the PS3 - and providing you have Internet access - you can access the recordings on your console whilst on holiday by using your PSP.
PlayTV does have some restrictions though. Although you can record one channel and watch live TV on another, you can't record two channels at the same time (damn, but Bargain Hunt and Loose Women are on at the same time!). There are also initial reports that PSP connectivity isn't as seamless as Sony wants us to believe. In one of the first reviews to appear on the net, The Guardian is reporting that transferring content onto the PSP isn't that easy.
Although he doesn't go into specific detail, Greg Howson writes:
You can transfer content over but it involves a fiddly conversion process - familiar to owners of Freeview PVRs like the Humax 9200 - and is not something that the majority of owners will probably bother with.
Nevertheless, PlayTV does appear to offer a decent service for the price. Being a subscriber to Sky Plus, I can tell you that rewinding and pausing live tv in our house has been a God-send and something that I wouldn't now want to be without. Providing that navigation has been made simple, PlayTV should be a very good punt for PS3 owners and one that significantly improves the TV-viewing experience.
We'll have a full review of PlayTV shortly.