PlayTV Playstation 3 TV Tuner

The PlayTV is due for release next month and couldn’t be better timed what with the 80gb PS3 having a good lead to give new PS3 purchasers oodles of recording space for that wholesome Freeview television.

I’ve been playing with the PlayTV and like what I see. It’s a little on the big and ugly side but is easily hidden away as all control is effected through the PS3 itself.

The picture produced on a 40″ 1080p television is brilliantly watchable and all of the UI elements look crisp and clean if a little devoid of colour and contrast which hampers readability slightly. At every step of the interface it’s clear what options are available and scheduling a recording couldn’t be easier.

Switching channels is a tiny bit sluggish but Sony have implemented such a pretty transition between channels that this can be easily forgiven.

Perhaps the most surprising feature is that the PlayTV can continue recording whilst you play games (but not PS2 ones) and use the XMB. You don’t have to have the PlayTV software running in order to record your favourite programs but you need to fire it up in order to schedule recordings and, of course, watch live television.

PlayTV can be controlled with the PS3 controller or the Bluetooth Remote. I would recommend the latter as it’s far more natural to use in a television viewing scenario and the PlayTV package comes with a stick-on overlay that details the functions of all the remote buttons.

The software stresses that it is not a final build but I have encountered no problems thus far.

I’ve yet to try any PSP functionality, but that will be detailed in the full review which is coming soon to a Gadgetoid near you!

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