back to article Sony details PS3 DVR pricing, launch date

Sony has confirmed that the PlayStation 3’s PlayTV digital video recorder (DVR) add-on will be available in four months' time. Last month, a sales page for the product appeared on Amazon UK. It stated PlayTV would be available from the end of July for £70. Sony swiftly dismissed Amazon’s details as “erroneous and speculative …


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  1. Frank Bough

    Brilliant Timing!

    They obviously calculated that they could reduce UK interest in their gadget by >50% by simply waiting until AFTER Freesat was announced. Superb work, Sony, another 100000 sales down the shitpan.

  2. Hugh

    40 GB Hard drive

    I thought the only UK version of the PS3 available had a 40 GB hard drive. That's gonna fill up really quickly at this rate!

  3. Johnny English
    Paris Hilton

    Oh good!

    Who cares? If you have a LCD your bound to already have freeview, and if you've bought a ps3 for DVR purposes you Sir are a mug.

    - Paris, at least her shit sells.

  4. David Haworth

    what about HD?

    I've been interested in this product for some time as a hopeful replacement for my trusty tivo. I thought this had the capacity to be a really good pvr as it has the processing power to be nice and quick, attractive EPG, the ability to export shows as raw mpeg files etcetc.

    the problem is that in the UK, freesat was "launched" yesterday (as in the service was launched, not the satellite). this is a similar service to freeview but over a satellite and hence with much wider availability across the UK and more bandwidth. It will host broadly the same channels (with some differences), but the big news is that freesat will be able to host HD channels which is really useful for all of us with HD ready tv's but no sky (and there are quite a few of us who don't want to pay sky a monthly tithe).

    so just as playtv comes out, a whole bunch of people will suddenly be looking at satellite tv instead, which this doesn't support.

    The other thing is that while HD over freeview is still looking to happen (apparently in the northwest first, yay for me) it's likely to be using the proto-standard DVB-T2. current freeview is DVB-T. I'm not aware that sony have stated compatibility with DVB-T2 yet (not surprising, I don't think it's been agreed yet). will the playtv be software upgradeable to the new standard? if not then we won't be able to take advantage of that touted HD compatibility they talk about. the thing is, while technically they are right, it does support HD, people won't understand why it won't support HD for them and will then blame sony.

    This means that for me, the most interesting freeview PVR suddenly has two main obstacles to success. lack of (stated) compatibility with DVB-T2, and thus with UK HD freeview, and lack of compatibility with freesat.

    so both UK routes for free broadcast HD are closed to this device. I'd love to know if Sony have a response to these concerns...


  5. Anonymous Coward

    Well done Sony!

    Late and over priced. Coupled with the PS3's massive 40GB hard drive this looks like a wonderful product.

    How many years ago did Tivo ship with a 40GB hard drive? How many DVR's now ship with such a small amount?

    And how many of them can be had for around the same money?

    Oh and no mention of being able to record Sky or freesat...

    Yawn... keep up the good work of producing late products Sony!

  6. Jonny Calcutta

    Better late than never

    But the big question is, can it record whilst playing a game?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    But . . .

    ... can it play games whilst you record a show?

  8. Busby
    Paris Hilton

    HD Channels?

    Does anyone know if this will be able to pick up the four freeview HD channels when they launch next year? If not it seems a little pointless to me.

    Paris because I'm sure she's as confused by this as me.

  9. Mark
    Gates Horns

    2 x HD tuners.

    Already confirmed, if you could be bothered to read up on it..

    As for 40GB, plenty, if you want more, if more, you can plug in 500GB USB2 HDD, or you can fit 300GB internal 2.5inSATA drives without affecting your warranty (unlike other consoles, that use locked in expensive upgrades)

  10. David Haworth

    @Johnny English

    I have an LCD but for reasons I won't go into now, I'd rather use an external freeview decoder. I didn't buy a PS3 as a DVR, I bought it as a games console, bluray player and network media player. however the ability to add PVR functionality is very interesting to me.


    yes, the standard UK ps3 has a 40G hd, the original ones like mine have a 60G hd and yes, it will fill up, but then PS3's hard disk can easily be replaced by the user with a bigger one. the instructions to do so come in the manual. hence it's not quite as limiting as a tivo, sky+ or other PVR.


  11. Rob

    Upgrade your drive

    You all moan about the 40GB drive, but simply upgrade it as its so easy to do (and you can get a 250GB laptop drive for £50) and you could always sell the old one anyway making at least £15-20 back depending on if you have say 40GB or 60GB

  12. Gary

    So what are we paying for?

    Now I'm sure we'll get some information on the box when the thing is released but what's wrong with some answers to the questions that have been floating around ever since Leipzeig all those months ago? Will the PS3 perform its primary function whilst recording? Will it work from standby? Will it support DVB-T2? Will it upscale SD to HD? Will anyone other than the BBC and Leipzeig patrons ever see this thing?

    If I am guilty of ignorant browsing, please enlighten me.

    Shape up Sony, you may lose a part-time fanboy!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Johnny English re: TiVo

    The TiVo drive is a piece of piss to replace. Unscrew the box and unplug the old one, or better still, mount the new drive alongside the existing HD. Restart the machine, it'll notice the new drive and guide you through the setup.

    Since no one has even come close to TiVo's user interface, season passes or suggested programming yet and Sony are notorious for user interfaces from hell; I'll be hanging on to my trusty TiVo for a bit longer.

    And hope that the recent European licencing of TiVo software means we'll soon have a new generation of these awesome boxes.

  14. Rob
    Thumb Up

    Gaming whilst recording

    This says that the gaming whilst recording feature won't be at launch, but they are 'working on it'. So hopefully will not have to wait too long for it.

  15. David Haworth


    "Already confirmed, if you could be bothered to read up on it.." re HD tuners.

    my understanding is that while it has 2 HD tuners, it's still a DVB-T device. IE it can show SD freeview as broadcast now, and if someone is broadcasting HD over DVB-T )as I believe happens in a few places in europe) then it can record that.

    however the forthcoming HD freeview is due to use the as yet not standardised DVB-T2 isn't it? I'm not aware that sony has confirmed any compatibility with DVB-T2 and if it doesn't work, then it won't be able to pick up those 4 HD channels.


  16. Iain

    Why so many disappointed it's taking so long?

    Until HD broadcasts arrive, this thing is woefully overpriced. So no matter when they launch it, you don't really need one until next year.

  17. Richard


    From the Sony press release;

    "PlayTV’s two TV tuners are High Definition ready and are able to view, record and play back High Definition signals in full HD1080P to fully complement PS3’s already impressive High Definition credentials."

    However, I doubt that this means it will support DVB-T2 if that's what the UK HD freeview uses.

    "PlayTV will evolve with time, with great added value functionality being updated via PLAYSTATION®Network; a feature that sets it above all other set top boxes. PlayTV will never be out of date."

    If that means that they could upgrade the firmware to support DVB-T2, that would be great, but I guess it may not be possible hardware-wise.

  18. Ryan Barrett

    PS3 HDD is easy to upgrade!

    Just the same as switching a laptop HDD. So this device could be useful to some people.

    Not for me though, our digital cable comes via UPC and we need their decoder card to decrypt everything.


  19. Sam

    Digital TV? Not in Ireland

    Thanks to a government in the pocket of UPC and Sky, there aiont no chance of Digital TV coming to the Republic anytime soon....

  20. Mark
    Gates Horns

    The reason WHY it's delayed.

    To ensure it's DVB-T2 compatible.

    How difficult is that to understand. Do you REALLY think Sony would launch a Digital TV device capable of recording HD free-to-air broadcasts, in the UK, that can't pickup HD broadcasts?

    (XBot fanboys need not reply, as we know what your pathetic responses will be)

  21. me

    @ Mike Richards

    The TiVo drive is *not* that easy to can't just stick one in and TiVo automatically formats it....there's lots and lots of Linux hoops to jump through before the drive is able to be recognised by Tivo.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. Andy Bright


    As plenty of people have stated, just pay $100 for a terabyte hd and be done with it. Not that I think you'll fill up even 40GB with SDTV very fast. Its HD programming that eats up hard disk space.

    As for HD recording.. well don't know about your internet connection, but uploading even an hour's worth of HD programming is going to take a bit longer than you'll probably be willing to wait.

    Anyway the idea behind this is not so much replacing your existing DVR, but rather that you could watch your subscription TV (cable / satellite) whenever you want and wherever you travel to - provided you have an internet connection.

    Don't care what gizmos the best DVR has, none of them can do that without an equivalent piece of hardware attached - and some not even then.

    The DVR capabilities are just a bonus, and another method of taking your movies and tv shows with you - record them and then copy them to portable devices. Personally I don't care about HDTV when I'm on holiday, but if I'm traveling through a non-English speaking country, it'd be nice to watch a bit of English TV on the plane, by the pool or while I'm recovering from sun burn. Besides on my budget, hotel rooms, airplanes and work PCs don't often come with an HDTV.

  24. Christian Berger


    DVB-T??? That's the terrestrial standard. At least in germany that's braindead as you can get all terrestrial channels FTA over satellite.

    I wish they would stop developing solutions that are only availiable for one version of DVB. It would be trivial to make the software and hardware so you could just have 3 versions for DVB-T, -S, and -C.

    At the moment, there are only a few manufacturers of TV-sets which support all of the standards.

  25. Richard Chambers

    Playing games whilst recording?

    I don't see how this is ever going to be possible if all the decoding is done by the PS3 not the add on box. The gameplay would slow down, the load times would slow down. Plus for the price of this you can buy a standalone PVR. I thought the PS3 is supposed to be a games console?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Saving content to external hard drive or network drive?

    I wonder if you'll be able to specific an external USB storage drive. Or better still a network drive over the ethernet connection. That would be much easier than upgrading the internal hard drive for most folks. Plus it could allow playback from a network storage device to other devices in the house using content discovered using the DLNA protocol.

    This could solve the growing problem with PVR/DVR that you can't access the content from a single source and view in multiple rooms.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    @Mark re: DVB-T2

    If this thing is coming out in September there's no chance it will be DVB-T2 compatible. The best estimates for DVB-T2 silicon are late 2009, with products in early 2010, and it will take more than a firmware upgrade. Just because it supports MPEG-4 AVC doesn't mean it will work with Freeview HD.

    Sony's just chucked out a half-arsed TV tuner for an over-priced gaming platform, when they could have produced an HD-capable product for Freesat.

    Paris must be on their product development team.

  28. Snail
    Paris Hilton

    Bad idea

    Im still not convinced by this.

    Firstly, anyone who's ever looked at upgrading a Sky+ (or any PVR) will know they use slightly different HDD firmware, thats more geared towards large file transfers, rather than small stuff (like PCs).

    Secondly, almost everyone upgrading their PS3 is just getting the cheapest large drives they can. Which means they wont necessarily have the faster transfer rates, the best heat management, or the best reliability.

    Couple those two together, and i'll lay odds the further into this console generation we go, the more "upgraded" HDDs start failing in PS3s.

    Paris, because she knows a gimmick when she sees one

  29. Kevin Flame

    @ HD questions

    There are some pics of the GUI up at the official PS website, looks like the tuners will support HD of some sort...

    Well, I'm judging that on the fact that there's a little HD logo next to some of the programmes, anyone got any links to tech specs?

  30. Kevin Flame

    @ myself

    Sort of answered my own questions... Here's the Sony press release, oh and it's operating on DVB-T.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DVB-T2 info, and Recording whilst playing.

    Yep, does both..

  32. Mark
    Gates Horns

    @Alex Lane

    It won't be done in silicon, dumbass, it will be done in software. As long as there are HD tuners, then everything else can be done in firmware.

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