Sony’s PlayTV Kicks Off Today – But Can It Score With Consumers?

Sony’s HD PVR module for its PlayStation 3, PlayTV, goes on sale today for $200, with some retailers bundling it for free with the $730 320GB console.

While it seems to have been hobbled by critical flaws, PlayTV boasts a clean and elegant electronic programming guide and graphical user interface, as seen from these generic screenshots provided by Sony.

If Sony can get all of the FreeviewHD broadcasters to provide 13-day listings and facilitate features that are standard on other PVRs, like series linking, then PlayTV would be priced competitively enough to make inroads into a market dominated by My Sky HDi.

As a poor man’s TiVo or T-Box, with only a handful of free-to-air HD channels, it’s hard to view PlayTV as a compelling buy.

But if you are in a PS3 household without Sky or FreeviewHD, it’s a cheap and functional console add-on that, with a UHF aerial and an EPG broadband connection:

  • allows you to watch, pause and record HD free-to-air TV;
  • has twin HD tuners to watch one programme while recording another (you also can record while playing games or watching DVDs and Blu-ray movies but can’t record two channels at once);
  • can stream content to PSP, Aino mobile phones via 3G and, if they’ve been released since May 2010, Vaio laptops with Remote Play using Wi-Fi Remote (VPCW21xxx series and VPCM125xxx series not compatible); and
  • lets you transfer saved TV shows to an upgraded hard drive by performing a PS3 back up and transfer (or using the ‘easy transfer tool’).

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3 Responses to “Sony’s PlayTV Kicks Off Today – But Can It Score With Consumers?”

  1. It’s such a shame that it’s not fully functional. I was so wanting to get one a year or so back but they dragged their feet on it for so long that I have moved on and happily enjoying the Magic TV PVR.

  2. The EPG is really patchy. Even TVNZ channels are not showing properly now. It was fine a few days ago. What gives?

  3. When they iron out the problems this will be a worthwhile addition for someone who doesn’t have a pvr.

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