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I’ve been a bad little boy

Playstation 3

What better piece of equipment to play the excellent-looking Silent Hill Blu-ray Disc on than the world’s best Blu-ray Disc player, the Playstation 3? The ugly hunk of junk (and it is really ugly) arrived today, shortly behind a £64.96 customs charge, which I strongly intend to contest, given that the declared value of the package, $129 US (which isn’t what the item cost, I know, but it’s what was listed on the package and invoice, so it’s what Thieves & Excise should have gone by), converts to a mere £65.61 - and I don’t know about you, but £64.96 doesn’t sound like 17.5% (the VAT rate in the UK) of £65.61.

Anyway, despite its alarming obesity and general unattractiveness, the PS3 handles surprisingly nicely. The games don’t interest me in the slightest, but, as an all-in-one media centre, it looks to be impressively versatile, with a slick menu interface and a solid range of features. One slight annoyance is that, in order to get the PS3 Blu-ray remote (which must be purchased separately - I did) to work, you need to update the firmware, but this is easily achieved by simply connecting the machine to the Internet via the Ethernet port. Still, this isn’t much use for those without Internet access (or those without an Ethernet connection). Controls are, on the whole, far more responsive than the Panasonic DMP-BD10 (which Lyris has recently reviewed here), and the price of the PS3, along with its support for picture-in-picture functionality (which none of the currently available stand-alones support), make me wonder why anyone would choose to buy a stand-alone Blu-ray player.

 
Posted: Friday, February 02, 2007 at 5:00 PM | Comments: 5
Categories: Blu-ray | Cinema | Games | Reviews | Technology

 
Comments

1.

As an ardent HD-DVD supporter, I've also recently purchased a BDP-1000 from Samsung; I'm lucky that I have a budget that allows for such 'extravagances' but I think it's criminal what they're doing to consumers. I've seen Amir M.'s HDdigest interview and the sticking point was that he suggest both formats will be stalemated for the time being and that's highly dissapointing. So, yes, I can understand why you chose to try BD; I'm in the same position; it's outrageous that BD and HDDVD can't work out some sort of compromise.

Posted by: aw, February 3, 2007 2:28 AM

2.

"So, yes, I can understand why you chose to try BD; I'm in the same position; it's outrageous that BD and HDDVD can't work out some sort of compromise."

I'm in almost the opposite position - I'd love to get on the HD train (preferably via HD DVD), but finances are a consideration and I don't want to commit to a format that may be obsolete in a few years (OK, my player might have died by then, but I'd still be stuck with the discs). And I resent the fact that, just to be able to watch certain films, I'd have to buy a second player. The PS3 isn't an option, because I'm not a gamer and I refuse to buy a unit that's primarily a games console just to watch films on. It's ridiculous.

By their own stubbornness, the two camps seem to be in danger of killing off HD films on disc altogether. The take-up seems incredibly slow. And yet ironically, the market is there for the slaughter - everyone buying a new TV is getting one that's HD ready, but they seem to have no interest in (or knowledge of) HD TV channels or HD disc players.

I suspect the "general public" thinks that simply by getting an HD TV they're actually getting HD content, and "the industry" is completely failing to clear up the misunderstanding. Maybe they think "oh well, at least the TVs are selling".

Posted by: Philly Q, February 3, 2007 9:17 AM

3.

"Maybe they think "oh well, at least the TVs are selling".

Precisely. Down here, LCDs and plasmas are perceived as a status symbol and people make debts to get one just to show off.

To most buyers it's not important if the screen is really hd (even ugly 800x600 plasmas are still sold, on offer). The important things are: it's big and pricey and has a nice design.

Posted by: MCP, February 3, 2007 11:23 AM

4.

I don’t think simply selling the TVs is enough. That’s not in the studios’ best interests. The real reason for introducing these new formats, let’s not forget, is their obsession over piracy and a desire to “lock down” their content, hence the whole HDCP/ICT debacle. I strongly doubt that the studios decided to offer viewers better quality versions of their property simply because they were feeling generous, but rather because they want absolute control (and so they can sell all their titles again).

Posted by: Whiggles, February 3, 2007 11:28 AM

5.

>> Precisely. Down here, LCDs and plasmas are perceived as a status symbol and people make debts to get one just to show off.

It's genuinely shocking isn't it? Rich idiots buying "flat tellys" which will be set in some horrible Torch Mode and give picture quality that looks like Times Square on Speed for the rest of their lives. Yech!

Posted by: Lyris, February 3, 2007 12:13 PM

Comments on this entry and all entries up to and including June 31st 2009 have been closed. The discussion continues on the new Land of Whimsy blog:

http://www.landofwhimsy.com

 

 
 
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