Well I just hooked up our new PS3 (net US$199, with an included $100 Target gift card). I bought it mostly as a Blu-ray player, plus it's obviously a great game machine. (Lets face it, the Wii is getting pretty long in the tooth).
For everyone who says DLNA is superior to iTunes, I gotta say, I'm not really seeing it.
If the DLNA environment is predicated on streaming all manner of HD media, then why the hell don't the current crop of PS3s at least support 802.11n
? We're almost to 2011 and the PS3 only supports b/g wireless
? Are you frickin' kidding me?
Undaunted, I updated the PS3 system software to get the Netflix "app", but I found that I can't stream from my existing Netflix account to my PS3 without Sony's permission: I would first have to sign up for a Playstation Network account that requires my name, address, date of birth, and email address. And a valid credit card number if I want to set up parental controls.
For a feature that I'm already paying Netflix for
! Worse still, until you sign up, you'LL get a giant Netflix "Free Trial" ad showING up under the Video heading, and the option button doesn't allow you to turn that off. A system update didn't revert back, so I'm stuck with the Netflix ad for the time being. (If I had known better I would've backed up the PS3 out of the box.) The ATV2 Netflix UI is so superior and the "n" wireless is so much faster, I doubt I would've actually used the PS3 Netflix app anyway, but still...
Then there are the little things. I can't turn off the scrolling ads in the top-right corner of the XMB menu UI? Turning the power on or off responds with an audible chirp? On a unit marketed as a HEC component? And the setting to shutdown the Sony PS3 when I turn off my Sony HDTV (over the HDMI link) doesn't work? It's nice that you can plug in any USB keyboard for typing your info during the initial setup (but why not a Bluetooth keyboard?). However, using the Dualshock game controller as a Blu-ray/DVD remote is pretty painful. The BD remote for the PS3 is somewhat less painful, but you can see it's the little brother to the massive Sony GTV remote.
Weirder still, when playing a Blu-ray disk I can either set it to always allow an Internet connection or to prompt me, but not to never
allow a connection (at best you have to choose "No" every time to the "Do you want to allow Internet connection from BDs?" question).
Not that there is much in the connected Blu-ray featurettes worth seeing...
And they still don't give you enough control to jump to the main menu on a BD or DVD where the content creator mandates 10 minutes of "coming soon" previews and trailers.
Although the XMB menu UI itself was "teh snappies"
, scrolling through the videos for sale or rent on the Playstation Store was brutally laggy
(which may be a symptom of the lack of wireless "n" support). Click, wait, nothing happens, click again, just the the first click registers and the second click takes you somewhere you don't want to be.
Searching also needs "help".
On the plus side, I can apparently backup the hard drive on my PS3 and/or transfer everything over to the new unit, which is a damned sight better than you get with the Wii. And the 1080/24p video quality is stunning, at least for the handful of Blu-ray disks I have tried so far. The Blu-ray load times haven't been terrible, at least not compared to some of the budget Blu-ray players.
FWIW, I did ask my local Best Buy for a Sony GTV demo, but the week before Christmas they were advising consumers away from them (even with the discounted Sony model) except where a customer insisted; based on early responses they were trying to ward off a crush of returns on them during the week after Christmas. They said they had put away the one demo model they had on the floor.
I think the PS3 may turn out to be a great gaming machine and a nice Blu-ray player, but I doubt I'll be spending any money on a DNLA media server when I already have everything on my Mac and in iTunes for music, video, photos, etc. Apple was smart to make the ATV2 a $99 device that just works with the iTunes already installed on your computer. Maybe I'd go the DLNA route if I was starting from scratch and didn't know any better...
Is there a jailbreak for the PS3 that would let me keep just the game and Blu-ray player functionality?