Piece by piece, Sony’s PS3 has the potential to be one of the best, if not the best, media centers on the market.
Ability to stream content from a Windows PC (or Mac) to a television? Check.
DivX support? Check.
Blu-ray player? Check.
USB device support? Check.
Portable integration? Check (via the PSP).
DVR functionality? Announced.
Movie download store? Coming soon.
It’s just that most consumers don’t know it.
Perhaps that will change this September, in Europe at least, when the PS3’s DVR add-on finally goes on sale. Priced at 100 Euros (£80/$160), the PlayTV features twin tuners for DVB-T digital TV, so that users can watch one show while recording another, as well as pause live TV — pretty standard for any modern DVR. Recorded content is stored on the PS3’s internal hard drive, which, at as little as 40GB, could soon fill up. Let’s hope PlayTV will also support external USB drives.
A really nice touch is that recordings can be streamed across the Internet to a synced up PSP, giving PlayTV some SlingBox-like functionality.
All good so far.
There remains, however, one potential deal breaker: It’s not clear if PlayTV can record shows while the PS3 is being used to play games. If that’s the case, then the PS3 could remain confined to being just another games console after all.