back to article HMV blames rival for PS3 PlayTV pre-order puzzle

HMV has blamed a rival retailer for its decision to post a webpage letting gamers pre-order the PlayStation 3 (PS3) DVR add-on, PlayTV - a page it yesterday yanked. HMV_PlayTV HMV's PlayTV webpage: no more pre-orders The page allowed gamers to pre-order the £100 (€135/$200) PlayTV unit, said to be due for release on 28 …


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  1. Andy Worth

    What a twit...

    Sorry, but that statement is the business equivalent of saying "Oh well he looked like he was going to jump off the cliff, so I did it first". Admitting you can be led into mistakes so easily?

    I'd love to meet the guy who made the decision and make moves to look like I was going to throw my wallet at him - just to see if he'd take the first move and throw his wallet at me first :)

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ninety nine quid?

    That's more than I payed for my DVD recorder. What's the point of this, again?

  3. Dirk Vandenheuvel

    135 euro?

    Just get a real HDD recorder for 50 euro more.

  4. Antony H

    So what if you want to.....

    record something really long??

    Is the PS3 finally going to get rid of that 2GB file limit?

  5. Anonymous Coward

    re: ninety nine quid?

    yes because be able to record straight to a hdd is the same as recording to a dvd....

  6. Grant Croker

    @ninety nine quid?

    The point is convergence. Why have 3 or more boxes doing the same work as one box? I have been looking for a decent PVR for the home for quite sometime. Also one that can feed off a uPnP server (or DNLA in the case of the PS3). Add to that it can play games and watch DVD and Blu-Ray (the latter being non-essential, nice to have at the moment). In one swoop you have removed the need to have; a dvd player, media center, pvr, games console, digibox (DVB-T).

    If you have most of those boxes already then getting a PS3 then paying 100 quid for a dual dvb-t tuner is expensive. But for those, like me, who are missing parts of above it makes a lot more sense.

  7. Frank Bough

    It's not a DVD recorder, though, is it?'s a DTV tuner for a PS3. The PS3 is a powerful computer with excellent video upscaling, Blu-Ray playback, upgradeable HDD and IP connectivity. If this product works hald as well as it could, it'll be fantastic.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    re ninety nine quid?

    It records to the harddisk, not to DVD's And if you paid £99 for it, it's gonna he pretty shit.

    I know plenty of people considering a PS3, purely because of PlayTV.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Andy Wirth

    Not really. The games market is so pre-order driven that everyone watches everyone else's release schedule. Sometimes a UK site will stick a particular product on pre-order because there's a chance of a losing pre-orders to Grey versions, even if its not on the publisher release schedule yet. I remember a certain Jersey-based retailer used to stick stuff that wasn't confirmed on its release schedule all the time, and others were forced to respond.

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. paul

    Myth TV comment

    I have a whole mythtv setup with many Frontends. My PS3 now acts as a frontend (via linux using the cell) and my friends often comment I wish my PS3 could do that.

    Using this play tv - they will have something similar without the need to setup a mythtv box in the cupboard. Not that it is amazingly hard.

  12. David Rollinson

    re ninety nine quid?

    I agree about the price, if it's correct; this is basically a USB Freeview adaptor, which can be had for about 20 pounds in the UK. Even if it's a dual-tuner device it's still a bit overpriced.

  13. Greg

    I like it, but I won't be getting one

    I really like the idea behind this attachment. Love them or hate them, Sony have thought about the PS3 as more than a gaming machine. It freely gives you the option to install other operating systems, it integrates with the PSP nicely, it'll play media from lots of different sources, and now it'll record TV too. The capability benefits over the 360 are really mounting up.

    However, I won't be getting this attachment. I do want a HTPC, and adding that capability to the PS3 rather than building a box of my own is a cracking idea...right up to the RAID considerations. If I'm going to have huge hard drives packed full of media that I can't easily back up, I want them to be RAIDed, and the PS3 can't do that.

    Or can it....

    Hmmmm, interesting. I already have the system core for my HTPC, but I'm in need of another server, so I could just as easily convert it for that. So, which is better/cheaper? A PS3 with an external drive and a DVR attachment, or my own box?

    Probably my own box, to be honest. ;-) It's a nice idea, though.

    I appear to be waffling. I'll stop.

  14. David Gosnell

    Too little, too late

    With the paltry storage available on most models, this simply can't compete with the stand-alone PVRs, with 160GB or more. Besides, this functionality was originally trumpeted as going to be built in to the PS3, so it really is a case of too little, too late.

  15. Phil

    Dont see the point of it

    As others have said, it's expensive for what it is.

    I doubt very much that you will be able to use the PS3 for gaming or to play DVD's while it's recording, that being the case, it's even more useless.

  16. Stu

    PlayTV = rubbish idea

    I agree with Tim Spence, also about the whole 'using your PS3 as a DVR' idea in general.

    Good idea in principal (device convergence), bad idea in practice. Longevity of your games console will be severely shortened + large power requirements.

    Plus I think it certainly will NOT be able to record TV from within games, or timeshifting (does it have timeshifting/pause live TV???).

    There's no direct evidence of this unfortunately, but I'm sure its the case - look at the situ right now. You cant even access the XMB to do anything from within a game. Games are memory/disk usage/CPU usage intensive, recording in the background will likely slow games down The magic box attachment does a lot of the work but the PS3 will still need to write all that video to its disk.


    Point of note - Sony should have upped the PS3 firmware to allow XMB access from within games YESTERDAY! Then games developers will be able to account for background activity when designing their games. The longer they leave it, the worse the situ. That is unless developers have access to future firmwares in beta.


    Anyway why did HMV even bother pulling the product from their pre-order list at all? The PlayTV will undoubtedly come into production at some point in the future. Big deal El-Reg!!!!

  17. Steven Hewittt

    Nice try

    If you have a PS3, and no DVR solution already, it's a solution to a semi-problem at a reasonable price.

    However if you already have a DVR, or don't have a PS3 it's not going to make me want one.

    I happen to have a Windows Vista PC at home already, as well as an Xbox 360. I paid £40 for a dual freeview tuner PCI card and I have the functionality as well. Personally I prefer this method, as if my 360 dies on me or if I want to play a game I don't need to worry about the content. Plus the capacity is however big my HD's are on my PC rather than a closed console system.

    But it's useful for some people in some circumstances - just a shame it's a bit over priced.

    @ Greg - Um, the 360 has the biggest HD at the moment in terms of games consoles. No doubt Sony with release one with 160Gb, then MS a 200Gb, then Sony a 300Gb etc.... But at the moment the 360 has a 120Gb HD which trumps the PS3 - but again it's probably only short term.

  18. bobbles31

    And it looks awful

    I thought that the era of Consoles with RF sockets was well and truly behind us? Isn't this supposed to be the pinnacle of HD? Next gen starts when we say it does?

    Besides, I have cable TV and it can't record that, it also can't record sky tv (easily). I wonder what the takeup of non-sky and non cable customers is for expensive electrical devices...anyone....anyone?

    I wonder if this is the best addition, I'll agree its another feather in the bow of the PS3 but some more games would be nice. (And preferably good ones)

    Don't get me wrong, I own a PS3 and enjoy it but I bought a GAMES console and it would be nice to be able to play some GAMES on it.


    Mines the one with Mario, Ratchet and Master Chief on the back!

  19. Jon Green

    It's _how_ much?

    You can buy a full-featured PVR from Argos today for 69.99! And PlayTV is just a dongle!

    What colour's the sky on _their_ planet?

  20. Iain

    @price again.

    My DVD recorder is perfectly fine, thanks. Made by Sony, coincidentally enough, and multi-region unlike the PS3, so I'll need to keep it around anyway.

    The main point really is that I fail to see what a makes a Freeview decoder cost 99 smackers when all the expensive bits are in the PS3 hardware itself, like the hard drive, upscaling CPU, video output and so on. It has its uses (though not in my house, as I can't get a freeview signal and this one won't record analogue apparently) but it looks like a hell of a ripoff.

  21. Philip Cheeseman
    Thumb Down

    Its no good

    The majority of PS3 only have a 40Gb hard disk. As someone with a myth tv box with 120Gb hard disk I can tell you the recordings will take up to much space.

    Also my myth box has only cost me £80 with dual tuners - I can connect to it over the internet and backup recordings to DVD. Why would I want to spend £99 on this thing?

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tim ("Watt about the watts?")

    "The PS3 can consume up to around 380W or so when at full blast, so let's assume half that when it's just doing housekeeping/recording. Are you seriously gonna leave it powered up *all* the time, constantly eating up 190W, in case it needs to record something? In comparison, my Humax 9200T DVR uses at most 20W when recording/playing/whatever."

    Actually, the PS3 will come out of standby to record shows you've scheduled, then power down again when done.

    I'm quite interested as I don't have a PVR, but I'm still waiting to see how this Freesat business works out, since getting a non-subscription high-def source sounds great and it's going to be some time yet before Freeview pulls their collective fingers out to sort out who's doing what with the bandwidth...

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS3 hard drive space

    Some people commenting here seem unaware that the PS3 can take any SATA laptop hard drive. Its a two minute job to install a new drive and it doesnt invalidate your warranty.

  24. Jim Cosser

    Re: Nice try

    The PS3 has standard laptop HDs user upgradeable, and accepts USB HDs, who cares what comes as standard?

  25. Greg

    @Steven Hewittt

    Umm, it's really really easy to upgrade the PS3's hard drive to something much bigger?

  26. Anonymous Coward


    "Sony hasn’t released any shipping dates or pricing information to suppliers."

    You're all discussing a price which hasn't even been released this is just some made up price by HMV in order to get the page up.

    When the price is released we can discuss the value of the item.

  27. ElFatbob

    @David Gosnell

    A fair point, but Sony did design the PS3 to use a standard laptop drive. You can slide the caddy out and replace it with, say a 250gb HDD drive.

    Extra cost aside, sounds like a good PVR to me

  28. Andy Bright

    DVD recorders are total shite

    DVD recorders have shit resolution, shit sound and shit capacity. The quality of recording is no better than a decent VCR. Even if you're lucky enough to find one that will record via component cables, none of them offers a resolution higher than standard definition - 480i. Don't even get me started on their inflexibility and the compatibility issues of the disks you make.

    DVR technology is superior to DVD recorders in just about every way conceivable. Resolutions and capacity are upgradeable and they're incredibly easy to use. Features such as being able to pause live TV or record two or three channels at the same time, at HD resolutions, go so far beyond what a DVD recorder is capable of they just aren't in the same league.

    Not only that, but the recordings are more easily edited and can often be transferred to any media you choose - including DVD, only this time at resolutions that make sense.

    99 quid is an incredible price for a DVR, and just makes the PS3 even more desirable.

    Plays HD games, plays HD movies in a format that isn't dead, internet connectivity, HD optical sound and soon a DVR tuner. Downloadable HD movies would be the next logical step, and using HDs as storage, finally offers a capacity that makes sense.

  29. David Vincent
    Thumb Up

    PS-3 with 8 cores and games utilising only 25% of it's capacity.

    Well guys,

    It's nice to see that everyone has missed one or two issues.

    The drive as previously pointed out is a standard 2.5" Drive. 200Gb cost a grand total of £58. For those that don't have the skills of using a screwdriver. You can connect an external USB drive. Last count was 1Tb for £140. What space issue??

    Second, the system can broadcast media stream to a PSP using the RemotePlay with wireless Internet connection. You can therefore play all those missed episodes EastEnders or Cory anywhere in the world. Try doing that on your current PVR.

    Setting up a recording or watch live Freeview from the other side of the world or on a ski slop even. Sky+ is the only device that can be programmed remotely. However, still don't think you can watch programmes remotely. (Don't have Sky+ so someone else might be able to chip in here).

    The PS3 has 8 core's. As the most demanding PS3 game utilises 25% of the capacity of the PS3. You have ample CPU power to throw at MPEG compression. If this has not already implemented within the PlayTV hardware.

    I also tend to try and not look at my PC in the living room. As it is probably not the most pleasing thing to look at. Yes, you can drag it into your living room. But why would you wish to?

    Close system? This device has to be bomb proof. Just like a typical electronic device in your living room. Allowing the system to be open would get you into the mess that Microsoft is in. I should know as I earn my living putting the finger troubled Users back to where they need to be. Also, virus hits are in 10-20 range on PS3 kernel against several 1,000 that MS system faces.

    You can install a Open System OS on to the PS3 for those that need to.

    So the dual FreeView tuners in your PVR's are HD capable then?

    You can update the firmware with more features?

    The only thing that Sony needs to do is sort out the Flash implementation to utilise version 8 on the browser and add a random musical jukebox play feature like iTunes.

    Then they have a entertainment system that can take on most of their competitor's in years to come.

  30. Iain


    Standard def may well be "shite", but that's all that Freeview currently broadcasts in. So that's all you're going to record using this box, either.

    The only legal ways to get broadcast HD in the UK at the moment are via Sky's SkyHD and Virgin's V+. Both of which come with their own PVR decoder boxes as part of the price - there is precisely ZERO market in the UK for a standalone HD PVR, and this will remain the case until OFCOM stop being idiots about HD Freeview.

    The other way is to let it fall off the Internet from the US, but if you're doing that it'll come down onto your PC, and the PS3 and X360 can already stream straight off that box's share without any additional hardware purchases.

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