Hello, just got this today and thought Id give a small review for anyone thinking of getting one.
Price - £70.00 price tag (got mine for £63.00 Gamestation pricematched Zavvis £70.00 and 10% virgin card discount. Cant get for £60 online).
Looks - It looks like it could well have fallen off a Tomytronix. cheap black plastic box thats feels empty.
In the box - PlayTV, usb cable, bluray installation disc, sticker for over the bluray remote.
The first thing you will realise when unpacking it is that you dont have a rear USB port, (unless you have the 60gig) therefore you have to stick the box in the front of the machine, a major downer if you're all about cosmetics, nobody wants a big daft USB cable sticking out the front of the machine, Really disappointed straight away when I realised this.
Once you stick the thing in and put the installation disc in , it installs in the background while playing a video of a posh man talking to you like a child. The installation only take a couple of minutes and it autoscans for everything.
One thing you will notice is that everytime you start PlayTV it will take 10-15 seconds to boot up so you may as ignore any phone calls you may receive saying 'quick ! put BBC2 on !' whatever it is, you'll miss it.
As soon as the channels are on its ready to go, browse the EPG and watch what you want, I had a couple of channels that were freezing but making the plastic box even more conspicuous sorted that out. The EPG is fast and smooth but not really ideal, pressing up moves you down the channels, pressing down moves you up... nice.
The EPG only shows you 7days - after being used to being able to record from now until the end of time on the BT Vision box ,this was another downer.
You cannot properly record a series - This is a well known one, you cant properly track and record a series, just choose to repeat the recording time etc of the first episode, also when you select the record daily function its not clear on the EPG that the programs are set to record. I tried recording 'whose line is it anyway' on Five, set to record daily at 2.30, 'Whose line is anyway' then turns red on the EPG, trouble is the episode the day after or after that etc, do not glow red, looking at it there is no way to spot from the EPG that your set to record that program, only trying to record it again will it then flash up that its already set to record.
The small menu shows you what on now and how long is left, as well as whats on next, however, the the 'next' section is in tiny writing at the end of the current programs description, making it difficult to read, in fact I didnt even notice it was there for an hour !
You can only record one program at a time.
I tried to connect the PSP using remote play, it works great if you manually press remote play on your PS3 (defeating the object), It is possible to have your PSP turn your PS3 on and off automatically when you want to watch telly but the concept is inherintly flawed. Certain routers (including my BT homehub) send out space-age signals every ten seconds that the ps3 will pick up as the psp trying to turn it on, suddenly your PS3 has a life of its own, turning itself on and off at will, the only option is to turn off auto-remote play, rendering the whole thing pretty useless. Its really unforgivable and its a well known issue that doesnt seem to have been fixed in months so dont hold your breath.
On the plus side, the remote play is really great once your connected (about 15-20 seconds) the picture quality on your psp is excellent and you can browse the channels and recordings at the same swift pace as on the PS3, the epg and menus are barely readable on the psp but the main thing the picture is superb and wont disappoint you.
It is close to UMD quality and channels load instantly
Picture quality of the Freeview - This is probably the most important factor and one which you dont really see mentioned in reviews. The picture is very good. I had BT Vision through HDMI and compared to the inbuilt tuner of the TV it was excellent, the PS3 had a lot to live up to. Thankfully, the picture even on the low bitrate channels (UKTV History, ITV2+1) is better than most freeview boxes Ive seen, crisp colours and not blocky. Its a close call between this and BT vision, I think the BTV just about wins for picture clarity but its a very close one. You will notice some aliasing on lettering etc but only as much as any other midrange freeview box. One problem is the picture will stutter on any channel that isnt 90% + signal. ITV+1, uk history and virgin1 all stuttered. This has never happened on any other freeview box. I rescanned and it wouldnt find Virgin at all, 3 or four scans later I had all the channels again but Dave was now stuttering. The box seems extremely sensitive, rarely you will get a 'no signal' on the afforementioned channels but wiggling the aerial in the back of box sometimes sorted it.
Overall is it better than the BT Vision Box ? Yes and no, the menus arent as well designed the picture isnt quite as good and your have to use your PS3 Harddrive space, on the other hand you can copy your recorded programmes to your PC and stream your TV/Recordings to your PSP (taking into account the problems mentioned above). so its swings and roundabouts.
Im more pleased than I thought I would be with it but it really needs an EPG longer than 7 days, proper series record, a way to plug in the rear and the router issues sorted.
Sorry, i only know how to take gigantic pictures, they dont do justice to the TV picture quality on the PSP, its like watching a UMD.
PICTURES ADDED ON PAGE 2, Play TV on PSP