Freeview HD to launch first on PS3?

This certainly caught me eye when I read a report earlier today, so I had to look in to it further.

PlayTV is an ingenious device from Sony that turns your PS3 console in to a fully-fledged Freeview PVR Recorder. If you haven’t already seen it in action, watch the review from Stuff.tv below. It has proved popular so far with kids (and adults!) who have a PS3 in their bedroom.  It allows you to record programmes on to your PS3 and playback at a later date. It even has dual digital tv tuners so that you can record two different Freeview channels at the same time.Sony PS3 Play TV Freeview Tuner

Sony PS3 PlayTV Freeview Tuner

The announcement from Sony, that has now been syndicated to various sites, says that Sony have added support to show HD channels using the DVB-T format – which is true. However, certain sites have taken this to mean Freeview HD which isn’t correct.

Some countries broadcast HD TV using DVB-T. Crucially, in the UK, Freeview HD will broadcast from December 2009 in certain areas using a new format, DVB-T2, which although sounding the same, is different from the DVB-T standard now supported by the PlayTV device.

It is unlikely that the PlayTV device (as it exists now) will ever be able to receive Freeview HD in the UK without additional hardware. Similarly, existing Freeview TVs will not be able to receive Freeview HD in the UK without a Freeview HD Box, which are expected to go on sale in early 2010, several months after Freeview HD is available in some regions in the UK.

So, in short, don’t buy a Sony PlayTV in the belief that it will allow you to view Freeview HD channels in the UK. However, if you need a Freeview recorder for the living room or bedroom (or wherever your PS3 is), then for around £50, the PlayTV is certainly worth a look and would make an excellent Christmas gift.

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