Sony’s new-fangled PlayTV is proof that their long-term strategy involves PS3 becoming a media hub for all your entertainment needs, both at home and on the go; encompassing games, movies, TV, music, internet and more. It is also, we are glad to report, incredible.
Yep, we’ve seen the future of TV and it’s a small, almost weightless black box that you plug into your PS3 via a USB2 cable. Plug the other end of the magic PlayTV box into a standard RF aerial cable carrying a decent broadcast signal and, well, that’s it. Now just sit back, make a nice cup of tea and you can use your Sixaxis or Sony’s BD remote control to browse the electronic program guide (EPG) and receive, record and program free digital TV through your PS3.
You can choose to record in standard or high definition and view the show you’re recording or other programs at the same time. PlayTV also gives you pretty much all the standard functionality of a Personal Video Recorder, so you can watch live TV, pause it while you go for a wee or fast forward it and rewind it.
Unfortunately, PlayTV doesn’t allow users to record more than one program at a time, unlike some of the costlier subscription services with which it will inevitably be compared, but Sony’s service has one major advantage over these: PlayTV is free. So unless you watch an inordinate amount of subscription-only sports and/or movies, PlayTV is a far cheaper option for managing and getting the best out of your TV-viewing than Mr. Murdoch’s or Mr. Branson’s pricey offerings.