Creativebloke Laments Sony's Play TV

Digital TV in the UK is a wonderful thing. Freeview especially offers people a range of channels that once you buy the box means you don’t need to worry about quality programming again.

Well thats the idea, but aside from signal issues, there is still not the definitive ‘Freeview Box’. I have BT vision which had dual tuners and a big hard drive. What BT failed to say, was a unreliable piece of junk it is.

Yay Sony, they brought out a clever little box that plugs into a PS3 and provides dual tuning just like the BT Vision.

Alas, I can’t recommend the PlayTV. The reason is the PlayTV failed ‘the girlfriend test’.

‘The girlfriend test’ states that any piece of kit bought for the living room must reduce power usage, be simple to use, keep functionality and not require the boyfriend to be around.

Despite its failing the BT vision passed the ‘gf test’ as the PS3 did for watching movies

The Play TV fails because its compromises, even though it doesn’t require a power lead, it does require the PS3 to be on for recording.

I have a original 60gb ps3, the loud one, and the fans go nuts when recording starts.

Also while picture quality was excellent, I found the UI not simple to navigate either with the controller or the remote. The instigator of the girlfriend test didn’t want to go any where near either of the control methods.

Also, this is the killer, despite the dual tuners PlayTV can only record on one whereas the BT vision can record on both, we would lose functionality, therefore it fails.

Its a shame, as its fantastic tech, and I would love to see it integrated into the PS3 rather than an add on, but until dual channel recording happens. The Play TV is overpriced, as well as the hidden cost of upgrading your HD on the PS3 as 60gb along with all your games files will flll up mighty quick.

Oh and BT issued a firmware update on the day I ordered the PlayTV and it hasn’t had any issues yet. So if your thinking of a play TV think hard and make sure it doesn’t hobble you as here cheaper alternatives out there that do more.