Hey, remember this post from earlier this month? Looks like I was right pretty much across the board.
Sony is launching an add-on for the PlayStation3 that, on top of being a Blu-ray player and gaming console, will make it a DVR. The PlayTV add-on is a dual-tuner receiver that, along with a software update, allows the PS3 to act as high-definition DVR. Of course, as I said in that post, it is a DVB-T tuner – which means it won’t work in the US. It will be available in the UK, France, Italy, Germany, and Spain in early 2008, with other PAL territories to follow. (Presumably New Zealand since that’s where the original leak came from.)
The PlayTV supports full 1080p video for high-def recording. A seven day EPG will be provided to scheduling recordings. Users will also be able to transcode video to load on the PSP for viewing on the go. Furthermore, using the PSP’s Remote Play feature you’ll be able to control the DVR remotely, and even watch video streamed over the network. (I’m betting that’s based on Sony’s LocationFree software.)
So, a decent addition to the PS3. Not really a TiVo killer or anything like that, based on what’s been released, but a solid, basic DVR. Storage capacity would be a big issue, especially with HD content. 20GB and 60GB drives just aren’t going to cut it, even the 80GB drives of the largest PS3s will be tight for HD content, even SD for many users. Fortunately, upgrading the drive in a PS3 isn’t that difficult. And I suspect Sony will be offering some kind of storage expansion to go along with PlayTV. It isn’t like them to miss an opportunity to sell an add-on.
We’ll have to wait and see if they release something for NTSC/ATSC territories, especially for CableCARD in the US.