Playtv: Hands On

On the Playstation 3’s very own Freeview Receiver.

I’ve had less than stellar luck when it comes to digital set top boxes. My first one refused to respond unless I waved the controller like a mad axeman a centimetre from the receiver, and when it did pick up that I had pressed a button on the remote, it decided to make its own mind up about which one. My second recorder picked up a less than stellar signal, and my third had an onboard fan to rival a Formula 1 Wind Tunnel.  So when it came to trying out Sony’s own offering, you can imagine I approached the venture a tad sceptical.

Play tv claims to do exactly what it’s name suggests; that is, turn your Playstation 3 into a fully functioning Freeview receiver. Not only this, but it is designed to utilize the onboard hard drive of the console, allowing you to record programmes as well. So, does it live up to its claims? I had to find out.  

The unit is less than stellar in the design department (I’ve seen toilet brushes with more charisma), being a brick – shaped slab of black plastic with the iconic Playstation logo plastered onto its face. Sony could at least have made it the same lacquered gloss of the console itself. 

Play(n) Boring: The Play TV Box, as seen on my wall – winner of the uninspired design awards 2008

Happily, though, aside from the drab exterior, Play TV makes up for this in terms of usability and a polished interface. Set up is simple; you insert the included blu ray disc into the Playstation 3 Proper, and are treated to a promo reel of video clips for PlayTV, all the while behind this the install is progressing apace. It took little time for this to be completed, and in the time it takes for a kettle to boil, I was ready to begin my review of Sony’s efforts. A regular USB lead such as the type used to charge the PS3 controllers connects the PlayTV box to the USB ports on the front of the PS3 (why they never had one on the back, I don’t know. Instead you’re left with an unsightly wire protruding out from the front). From here, you simply navigate as you normally would in the Playstation’s Cross Media Bar, to the brand spanking new option called, logically, Play TV. The red light on the unit lights up, and we’re off. 

'); })();
Liked it
Leave a Reply
comments powered by Disqus