Still Hating Sony

So I want a Blu-Ray player, and the PS3 appeared to be the logical choice. After considering the setup and looking at the features, I’m not so sure.

The house where I’m staying has the TV (a 70″ Sony LCD rear projection) set into the wall. The A/V components are above it on a shelf also set into the wall; it’s a sort of cubby hole. There is a hole between the components and the TV where wires are fed. It’s the kind of setup that, when you have to modify the wiring, you start by staring at the system for five minutes, mutter “Fuck me,” and then try to find a way to not do that.

I thought I had accomplished that. There’s an existing DVD player, and it’s connected with component cables, so it thought I could just do a drop in replacement with the PS3.

Not so fast. The PS3 does not have direct component out. It has a proprietary analog A/V connection, which forces you to buy a special cable for $20. You can’t just use your existing cables and plug them right in. If you’re in my situation, or the cable is too short (which it might be since they don’t tell you how long it is!), you need a component video coupler. This is a set of 3 RCA female-to-female connectors, known amongst electrical engineers as a lesbian 3-way adapter. Luckily, it’s only $4 at Radio Shack. So I gotta shell out another $24 bucks I shouldn’t need to, but I can live with that.

What I can’t live with is the PS3 Blu-Ray remote. It’s Bluetooth, not infrared. Yes, this means you don’t need need to point it at the console – but who isn’t trained to do that anyway? I already shelled out $160 for a Universal Automator remote with macros, volume punch through, etc. The BR remote isn’t even back-lit. And there’s no one-touch power off, meaning that even if it did have infrared support, you couldn’t use macros to turn it off.

So as much as it pains me, I think I’m going to have to pass on the PS3 and go with a straight up BD player. Hopefully they have some that fully support BD-J. For me, that was the big selling point for the PS3. Of course, the games wouldn’t hurt, assuming it gets some good ones.

2 thoughts on “Still Hating Sony”

  1. I agree with you about Sony being a pain in the ass. However, I would like to try to improve the situation. If you want to buy these items:

    I’d come over and we can pull some wire. Then you have the potential for GT5, Rock Band, Guitar Hero III, and some high-def nc17 movies as well. Come to think of it, I bet it already comes w/HDMI, so we’ll just need the beer.

  2. Really appreciate the offer, but I don’t think the TV has HDMI. It’s old by HDTV standards: 4-5 years. My roommate lost the manual, but as far as I can tell, this is the model:

    His criterion (yes, just one) was “what’s the biggest?” He was successful in that respect.

    While HD signals from cable do look OK, I’m wondering what the improvement will be with a DVD player that outputs HD. On a 1080p TV it would be great, but I’m not sure about this one.

    Last night I discovered the settings menu on the DVD player and learned that he had the output set to 4:3 pan & scan. That explained why widescreen DVDs had black bars on the top and sides. I set it to 16:9 and turned on progressive scan (yeah, it was off). But with the TV’s display mode set to “normal”, the image was squished (narrow with side bars). I had to set it to “full”, which keeps the aspect right but looks grainier, kinda like zoom mode. Maybe an HD player would fix that.

    As for the PS3, it doesn’t come with either cable (HDMI or component). I really want a BD player more than a console, so having no infrared remote support sucks bigtime. As for games, Drakes Fortune, Assassin’s Creed, and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed all look cool. And Rock Band is always fun.

    Unfortunately, there are no standout BD players because nobody predicted it would win the format war so soon. The one with the most promise seems to be the Panasonic DMP-BD50:

    Of course, it will probably cost twice as much as the PS3 🙁

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