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whatshot PlayTV PS3 Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Installation 8.0
Usefulness 8.0
Features 8.5
Value 8.0
Distributor: Sony
Classification:
N/A
Review Date:
January 2010
Reviewer:
Tyrone Williams

8.0


PlayTV

Consider it TIVO for the PlayStation. That’s right, with a PlayTV unit, your PlayStation 3 becomes a fully fledged DVR that supports Freeview (Australia Digital TV) and boasts two high definition digital tuners, an electronic program guide and is compatible with your PS3 remote control, thanks to a high quality overlay that can be placed on the remote. But wait, there’s more! You can even use remote play via a PSP and certain Sony Ericsson phones which is a nifty little feature indeed.

The installation of PlayTV is simplicity at its best and all you need to do is plug the unit into your PS3 via a USB cable and connect an aerial connection (coaxial) into the RF input. Unfortunately a coaxial cable does not come with the device which is a shame, considering the cost of these cables.

Last but not least, the unit comes with a disc which basically installs the software for PlayTV on your PS3. The software will even automatically alert you with updates, ensuring that the whole experience is quite flawless. As we run TIVO as well, we purchased a RF splitter in order to use both devices which did allow us to record up to three TV channels and watch another one.

Once installed on your PS3 and connected to your aerial, there is a new menu in the PS3 interface with a PlayTV icon. By selecting the PlayTV icon, the user is greeted to a very user-friendly interface that is on par with most DVR players, even though probably a little more streamlined.

Although not as good as TIVO in terms of options and navigating, we were still quite impressed with the features of this tiny unit. In the menu, you can watch live TV, schedule recording, watch recordings and adjust your settings. Nothing flash but it gets the job done.

The EPG of PlayTV is similar to TIVO and you can check out the latest TV programming for up to 7 days. To record a program, simply select it and presto, it’s done. The unit even has the ability to add additional time to the start and end of the recording. However when it comes to prime time on free to air networks, most are notorious for running over time, especially Channel 9 and 7.

Another feature of the unit is that if you are watching a free to air broadcast and like TIVO you can rewind the broadcast by up to 30 minutes in HD or 60 minutes in SD and of course pause free to air TV. A cool feature if you get interrupted or missed something.

One cool thing that TIVO does not have is the ability to use your PSP to watch TV and recordings from your PS3. This can be done in the home through a direct connection or even via the internet, so if you’re waiting for your next plane, all you need to do is logon to the PSN and start watching. It can even be used to record TV Shows if you’re out and about as well, provided you have an internet connection. Very cool indeed and it would be nice if there was an iPhone app for this functionality.

At the end of the day, PlayTV is quite a good little device, provided you have the hard drive space on your PS3 and although some of the new updates cut certain features from the unit such as the ability to choose where your recordings go, there are some ways around this. If you’re a PS3 owner with a larger hard drive and you’re looking at a DVR, than this is quite affordably priced at a recommended retail price of $169. The only issue we found was that the unit looks a little cheap when compared to the attractive PS3 console… even so, a very impressive device!





 

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