Showing posts with label playtv. Show all posts
Showing posts with label playtv. Show all posts

Monday, 19 January 2009

Gadget Review: GO!VIEW on PSP

A few months ago I was asked to trial GO!VIEW on PSP! A joint venture between Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and BSkyB. Giving PSP owners the opportunity to access TV Shows, Movies and Sports on-demand and on the move.

From top entertainment shows including Heroes, Desperate Housewives and The Mighty Boosh, through to sporting highlights such as Barclays Premier League football from Sky Sports, and a wide selection of top movies, there’s content to suit every PSP owner’s tastes. With a full range of programming that is frequently updated, GO!VIEW provides a constant source of entertainment for PSP owners to use wherever they want, whenever they want.

*High quality video codec and small file size
*Available directly from the PSP's Cross Media Bar (XMB)
*Recession-proof rental and subscription tariffs

*Not platform agnostic - should support Mac OS X and Windows
*Multiple pop-up windows during file transfer
*Library settings do not stick
*No download indicator after a programme has been selected - I accidentally downloaded the same content 3 times
*File transfer is clunky and counterintuitive
*Using the PC for file transfer is cumbersome! I'd rather the service be available via wireless connection - PSN for example
*The GO!VIEW application does not boast the intuitiveness of XMB, which goes against my expectations as a consumer of Sony products

If GO!VIEW quickly addresses the negatives (no longer behaving like a half-baked product), and the PSP undergoes a refresh to include a touch screen, the iPhone and iPod touch would be battling a genuine contender for the crown of portable King! Incidentally, the PSP's recent press and television advertising campaign confusingly implied a touch screen - the whole world in your pocket, yes, only if you buy an iPhone or iPod touch!

Whereas GO!VIEW failed to convey the 'wow' factor, Remote Play stole the show for me! Remote Play allows the PSP to directly access many features on a PlayStation 3 console from a remote location using the PS3's WLAN capabilities, a home network, or the Internet. I was able to watch PlayTV anywhere! Streaming 4Music into my studio enlivened the working day!

Going forward, I'd like to see GO!VIEW integrated into a future firmware update/download from PSN on the PS3! PSP + PS3 is an excellent combo and may inspire me to buy another PSP in the future.

As it stands, the PSP continues to flounder even with the delayed arrival of GO!VIEW... Is that Nintendo's DSi that I spy on the horizon?

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Sony PlayTV review

Sony's long-awaited Freeview dual-tuner adapter add-on has arrived in the somewhat functional form of the PlayStation-branded PlayTV! Will it transform the PS3 into a credible personal video recorder (PVR)?

The PlayTV pack-in includes a Blu-ray installation disc and mini USB cable! Be warned: PlayTV has no loop-through and there's no aerial splitter, a serious oversight! As my PS3 is conveniently placed near the sky+ box, I connected PlayTV directly into the RF2 output, which proved a useful workaround! I'd recommend using a high quality coaxial cable, to minimise signal loss, such as Profigold's BA-PGV8921!

Installation is a breeze and, following a system reboot, PlayTV is immediately accessible from the PS3's XMB! The GUI is intuitive and responsive with a luxurious 7-day electronic programme guide (EPG) that compares favourably with Apple TV and eclipses current offerings from sky and Virgin!

Scheduling recordings, with either the SIXAXIS controller or, more preferably, Sony Blu-ray remote, is the epitome of simplicity! I'd like to have seen a series link option and the ability to record two channels at once, but Sony assures customers that PlayTV will be continuously updated via PSN (a broadband connection is required)!

Background recordings can be performed whilst watching Blu-ray discs such as Wall-E or playing video games! However, there is a caveat. The quality of recordings maybe adversely affected according to Sony! During gameplay tests (using Devil May Cry 4 and Soul Calibur IV amongst others) I've yet to note any detriment to playback.

The overall quality of recordings is excellent (contingent on compression and signal strength) and is upscaled to 1080p (if your television supports the resolution)! Incidentally, native 1080i support for Freeview HD will be added in the future.

Bear in mind that 1GB of HDD space roughly equates to an hour of recording time and there's no means to adjust the bit rate to trade-off picture quality against recording duration! Therefore the PS3 40GB model won't pass muster if you're going away for weeks at a time and recording every episode of EastEnders and Neighbours.

With disk space at a premium, I'd suggest going for the 80GB model or higher! Sony promises a limited edition 160GB model for the upcoming holiday season!

Going forward, the engineers at Sony Cambridge should consider picture-in-picture (PiP) and conditional access for subscription-based services such as Setanta Sports!

As it currently stands, PlayTV is an absolute "must-have" for anyone with a PS3 and PSP! I cancelled my sky+ subscription and PlayTV trumps it in almost every regard! Look no further for a scalable multimedia PVR that can be accessed (via PSP) from anywhere in the world!

PlayTV crashes with alarming alacrity! Worst of all, it's a hard lock that necessitates a reboot of the PS3, stopping any ongoing recordings until the power's back on. Hopefully Sony will push a PSN patch ASAP!

Monday, 1 September 2008

Previewing PlayTV

Sony launches its much delayed and maligned PlayTV Freeview tuner add-on for the PS3 on September 19th!

At the beginning of August I cancelled my sky+ subscription, following unresolvable technical issues, and am in the market for an inexpensive HDD PVR!

PlayTV plugs directly into the PS3 via USB (no additional power supply required) and is a space saving solution: it is no larger than a SIXAXIS controller.

The following key features of PlayTV are yet to be confirmed:

* Record and view your favourite programmes at the same time - PlayTV enables you to record both Standard Definition as well as High Definition

* Personal Video Recorder functionality - watch live TV, pause, fast forward and rewind

* Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) to show what's on, now and next - up to 7 days in advance in certain countries

* Mobile TV functionality - export content easily from PS3 HDD to PSP - watch TV on the go! Thanks to live streaming, you can watch your favourite show whilst abroad

* Channel surf with either your BD remote or your SIXAXIS

PlayTV is available for pre-order from at the very reasonable price of £59.99! I'll be reviewing PlayTV soon!