Blu-ray Sony PlayStation 3

 

Apesar de ser um game cultuado no mundo todo, o PlayStation 3 da Sony também pode reproduzir discos de Blu-ray com outros conteúdos.

Destacamos os principais reviews sobre este aparelho nesta modalidade.

Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

I really don’t expect much when I start doing Benchmark tests on a video game system. DVD playback is probably the least of the designers’ worries, and just basic playback performance is more than enough for their agenda. But, I think that designers who are touting their product as a media console and not just a video gaming machine have more of an obligation to ensure at least a decent level of performance in all areas of media playback, including video and audio.

Recently, I tested Microsoft’s new venture into the world of console gaming, the Xbox 360. The 360 performed very well in our DVD benchmark and positioned itself as the only game machine I’ve tested to date that I would probably recommend as a DVD player. The 360 launched a year before its competition, the Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) and Nintendo Wii, so I was wondering how much Sony and Nintendo would put into their next generation consoles to combat the 360’s strong points. Nintendo opted out of the media console market and launched a system strictly designed for gaming and interactivity with the Wii, and it does not include DVD playback, but Sony went all out, and not only included DVD playback, but also support for Blu-ray (BD), one of the high definition disc formats.

For this Benchmark, I am going to stick with standard DVD playback like I’ve done with previous Blu-ray players. I will be following the Benchmark with a full review of the PS3, including its performance as a Blu-ray player and video game console.

Months before the PS3 ever released, I would have guessed that it would be an average DVD player and below average Blu-ray player. The PS2 was anything but impressive as a DVD player, and despite the rather high price point of the PS3 as a game console, it is only about half the price of the competing stand alone Blu-ray players. This would obviously lead me to believe that Sony designed this as a video game console first, with the BD and DVD playback section being passable at best, and enough to maybe lure some tech savvy owners into stand alone BD players at some point. Evidently, this is not the case.

The PS3 represents one of the best BD players I’ve used to date. It is fast, the image quality is excellent, and it supports more of the BD functions and features than just about any other player. The fact that it does this for nearly half the price of the other BD players out there is almost embarrassing, and rather disappointing when you think about it. As a standard DVD player, however, the PS3 may represent one of the worst progressive scan players I have ever tested. Surprising, considering its BD performance.

The PS3 is the only game console to feature an HDMI output to date. Given this feature, I was fully expecting to see support for upconversion of standard DVD to high definition resolutions like most HDMI-based DVD players. Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen here. The PS3 only outputs 480p for DVD playback. Personally I would have rather have seen 480i as the only DVD output resolution given how bad this player does with its de-interlacing.

The PS3 has no film-based de-interlacing support. It is essentially locked in video mode the entire time, so as the cadence changes, resolution is compromised. This is pretty much unforgivable at this stage in the game and embarrassing compared to every other DVD player I’ve tested from Sony. Why this is the case I have no idea, especially since DVD is the only thing the PS3 is de-interlacing (the PS3 does not de-interlace 1080i to 1080p for BD content, it only outputs what the disc is encoded).

Core video performance was about average. The PS3 allows you to select from two separate color spaces via HDMI: RGB and YCbCr. Neither of them passes below black information, so head and toe room are clipped. There is also some minor pixel cropping with DVD playback (BD playback had no pixel cropping).

On the plus side, the PS3 does not have any issues with CUE or Y/C delay when viewing DVDs via HDMI. I’ve seen reports that it does have CUE issues with Blu-ray playback using 4:2:0 material.

The PS3 passed all of our tests that relate to video-based material, which was expected since this player is essentially in a forced video mode. This includes 2-2 material. I could not get it to lock onto a single 3-2 based pattern, regardless of how much time I gave the player to do it.

From a usability standpoint, the PS3 does quite well. The transport is fast, and I really love all of the information available when you press display (bitrates, video codec, etc.) I highly recommend picking up the PS3 remote if you plan on using the console for movie viewing, because it alleviates a lot of the frustration that can come with using the controller as a remote. The only drawback is that the remote is Bluetooth-based, so you cannot program your HT remote to mimic it. My only other gripe is that the player does not start-up a disc when it is inserted. You have to navigate to the video selection in the main PS3 menu screen and select it.

Conclusions

It is a shame that Sony put so much work into the PlayStation 3 in some areas but not in DVD playback. The lack of a film mode for de-interlacing and no support for upscaling are rare in progressive scan DVD players these days. While I would still recommend it as a Blu-ray player, anyone considering adding the PS3 to their home theater rack should probably keep their standard DVD player as well.

What Hi-Fi Magazine
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Edição Maio / 2008

PlayStation3 (80GB)

Publicado pela revista inglesa What Hi-Fi Sound and Vision

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Preço: £ 300
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The PS3 is still a capable machine, but some of the cheaper stand-alone players offer more.

For
More than just a Blu-ray player; quick load times; ridiculously easy to use; decent all-round ability

Against
Sounds bright; picture suffers from noise; an average DVD upscaler

There was a time when the Sony PlayStation3 was our default Blu-ray player recommendation. It used to be the lowest-priced player on the market, with the added bonus that it doubled as a high-def games console and media streamer.

But price is no longer on its side. The influx of affordable standalone players has started to make it a bit harder to justify buying a PS3. Can the console giant still hold its own against such tough competition?

Equipped with an 80GB hard drive
Well, the latest version of the PS3 is equipped with an 80GB hard drive and offers similar features to the other players in this test – it can handle the obligatory 1080p/24fps requirements of Blu-ray discs, for instance.

It can’t bitstream HD audio over HDMI, but it can decode all the formats onboard and transmit them as LPCM. Arguably this is of greater use, especially for receivers that don’t have HDMI 1.3 connections.

It’s also arguably the most intuitive, user-friendly player around, it still loads Blu-ray discs quicker than its rivals, and it’s a really smooth operator when it comes to cycling disc menus.

The PS3 is also extremely easy to navigate, even with the familiar handheld controller (a dedicated remote control is a £18 optional extra), and despite its age, the PlayStation3 is still capable of producing a decent Blu-ray image.

Detail levels are on a par with the Samsung BD-P1500, but they’re no match for the likes of the Panasonic DMP-BD35 or Sony’s own BDP-S350. The PS3’s picture isn’t as clear or three-dimensional and it’s noiser than we’d like.

This picture noise is also apparent when playing standard DVDs: where other players go to great lengths to eradicate grain, the PS3 can’t shift it. It also has more issues with movement than the top players in this class.

Clear, open sound, but a touch bright
The PS3’s sound can’t quite match that of the very best standalone players. Decoded HD soundtracks are relatively clear and open, but you get the feeling that it’s only scratching the surface.

It also has a tendency to sound quite bright, and this lack of solidity and scale can make it appear rather lightweight.

There’s no doubt that the PS3 is multitalented and this flexibility makes it an attractive package. But if you just want a stand alone Blu-ray player, there are superior offerings around.

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