Thumbs-Down for Sony PlayTV?

Sony’s claim that its new PlayTV PVR offers more features than other PVRs has been thrown into doubt by a damning NBR online report.

It highlights failings that make PlayTV sound inferior to other PVRs and speculates a rift between Sony and MediaWorks is partly to blame.

Like TiVo, PlayTV’s EPG will be hobbled by its lack of Prime TV listings, because parent company Sky won’t provide them.

But worse is TV3 and C4 listings will only display what’s on air at the time and details of the programme that follows, which all but defeats the value of having a PVR for time shifting – especially when PlayTV can’t even series link (or automatically record every episode in a show’s season).

It’s a slightly rosier picture with TVNZ and Maori TV listings, which can be accessed up to 10 days in advance – better than Sky’s week-ahead listings but no match for TiVo’s two-week benchmark.

NBR’s Chris Keall reckons MediaWorks is “getting its own back” for Sony’s TVNZ Ondemand partnership.

“Mediaworks supports all other Freeview recorders, and is clearly just out to punish Sony.

“That’s childish on Mediaworks’ part.”

Whoever’s at fault, NBR’s depressing checklist makes a mockery of Sony Computer Entertainment NZ chief David Hine’s press statement: “PlayTV delivers all the features other premium PVR devices do and more, at a fraction of the cost.”

Meanwhile, TVNZ Ondemand has dramatically improved the picture quality of its broadband streaming.

It now supports a 1500kbps stream, along with 700kbps and 300kbps options.

“In the past we’ve kept to more modest streaming video bitrates to let as many people as possible watch and enjoy TVNZ Ondemand,” TVNZ’s digital media chief Tom Cotter says.

“But as broadband penetration and data allowances have increased, along with the number of households that have access to high-speed internet in New Zealand, we want to give viewers the option of an improved viewing experience.”

Cotter promises more enhancements to TVNZ Ondemand over the next few months.

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One Response to “Thumbs-Down for Sony PlayTV?”

  1. Been waiting for two years for PlayTV, eventually gave up and got a Magic TV. Glad I did — no point having an EPG that doesn’t have access to all channels.

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