PlayTV Update

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Hi Guys, just wanted to give anyone who has PlayTV a heads up that on the 30th Sept you will need to re-scan your channels to make sure you can still receive all the digital channels through your PlayTV box. Simply go to ‘Settings’ choose ‘Set-up’ then ‘Channel-scan’ and your done.

PlayTV recently won the prestigious 2009 Pace/DTG “Best Contribution to Digital TV in the UK” award, which was previously won by Sky HD and Freesat. So if you haven’t got your hands on the award winning gadget that lets you watch, pause and record digital TV through your PS3, what are you waiting for?!

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10 Author Replies

  • Will PlayTV be able to receive HD DVB-T2 signals once they are activated?

  • I understand we need to retune our tvs because they have updated the freeview infastructure to allow HD broadcasting. As PlayTV is updatable, will you release an update to allow us to watch HD freeview through PlayTV when HD broadcasting begins? If so, Ill buy one. Currys have them for only £40.

  • How about using word “update” only when u actually update the software. 1 point for disapointment!

  • This ‘National Retune’ day we’re having tomorrow will supposedly pave the way for future Freeview HD services, when they arrive will the PlayTV adapter be able to receive them, or will it need different hardware?

    Congrats on the award by the way – maybe you could update the packaging with the award info and/or do an advert or something (even if it’s just in that What’s New section on PSN). There are a lot of new PS3 Slim owners and I bet a lot of them don’t even know this exists (unless it’s featured in the PS3 packaging now?). There is an advert that shows it’s iPlayer ability, so it makes sense to point out that it can function as a DVR too – especially as the Slim is ‘always on’ and uses a lot less electricity, and is quieter.

    Plus lot’s of places sell PlayTV for £40 now, so it makes a great way to upgrade to digital before the signal is killed – surely now is the perfect time to give PlayTV a bit more marketing love? Even targeted adverts in regions that are about to go digital only…

  • Is PlayTV ever comming to other countries in Europe?

    • We are constantly evaluating the feasibility of launching in different SCEE territories and will be expanding the PlayTV country base wherever possible and as soon as possible

  • Ok, but one thing I really want from you guys is to set it so that the PS3 can download when on PlayTV. You don’t realise how frustrating it can be to choose between Champions League or Uncharted 2 demo! Please just edit that tiny thing and I’ll forever be in debt to you!

    Thanks, Aphiss

    • Thanks for the request Aphiss but i’m afraid the simple answer is that the PS3 just can’t do both at the same time. Sorry

  • Can you say in the news that’s it UK Only ? I was hoping it was an real update for MPEG4 channel with EAAC sound for France (and NZ/Australia) :/

  • James can you confirm that this works in the Channel Islands? Would be appreciated. :)

  • When we getting a proper update with new features??

  • Thanks for the update/warning.

  • PlayTV only has DVB-T tuners in it. The DVB-T2 specs weren’t even agreed upon when PlayTV was released.

    I have trawled the net in search of an answer to the “Will it handle FreeviewHD?” question – I’ve learnt far more than I ever wanted to know about transmitters, modulation, signal encoding and multiplexes. I could happily spend the rest of my life never seeing the acronym MUX ever again. And I’ve seen way, way, way too many people confusing the fact that PlayTV can handle MPEG 4 and then assuming that means it can do FreeviewHD.

    All my searches have led me to one answer. And Sony’s lack of ANY statement on the matter only confirms it even more.

    PlayTV won’t be able to receive FreeviewHD.
    I would LOVE to be wrong. I really would. But I couldn’t even find one thing that I could use to assemble a case to say “It might be able to do it”. Everything I found points to it not being possible.

    I really would like to be proven wrong.

    • I wish I could prove you wrong to! We are looking at developing HD compatibility, however, unlike France, Spain and Australia, the UK will be launching Freeview HD on DVB-T2 and so this would not work with the current PlayTV tuner.

  • ‘PlayTV won’t be able to receive FreeviewHD.’

    Most likely true, here’s to hoping that all it will take to do so is a software upgrade, and to replace the cheap lump of plastic with another one…..

    Or will it be another £65 when it comes out?

  • If i buy playtv will it work here, in Ireland?

  • Any chance of you adding series record, even the most basic of freeview boxes has it and yet PlayTV doesnt which is quite annoying really. Thanks.

  • is it just me that doesn’t have the bbc iplayer, all i have in the tv section of the XMB is playtv

  • +1 for Can you say in the news that’s it UK Only ? I was hoping it was an real update for MPEG4 channel with EAAC sound for France (and NZ/Australia).

    Sony have been aware of this problem for AGES and there has been no solution or even comment on this for just as long. Please notify us of a ‘software’ update in addition to this reminder notice.

  • I too want serieslink and what about 14 day guide, these are basic features that all NORMAL Freeview boxes have.

  • I might buy this gadget.

  • Post #5: “Is PlayTV ever comming to other countries in Europe?”

    Darn good question there. Apparently Sony ain’t interesting on supporting the entire EU (even less the other countries) ..

  • When can we expect PlayTV in Poland?


  • And that can be considered as an update? PlayTV could be a great gadget, but it needs some urgent improvements first…

    Besides, why it isn’t getting a price drop? PlayTV is very good, but expensive. Currently there are several DTV Tuners/ Recorders for about half the price of PlayTV.

  • What about Dolby Digital plus? you know the sound standard in France for TNT HD?

  • PlayTV would be a sure thing if it had a card reader and dvb-c support. Lets hope for Sony to make this for us not residing in the U.K.

  • @Commenter’s

    It’s not a PlayTV specific update.

    All digital devices capable of receiving Freeview TV will need to be re-tuned that day.

    I would buy it but chances are you’ll release a set capable of receiving HDTV soon.

  • As the BBC points out

    “The technical changes behind the upgrade will eventually enable high- definition (HD) television to be broadcast on Freeview.”

    PlayTV is just a regular freeview tuner(with fantastic software)and the re-tune is to reorganize the channels and free up space for bbc, itv ch4 and eventually ch5 to have HD channels on regular freeview. The HD channels wont be available straight away more then likely late this year early next year. As playTV is like any other freeview box there is no reason what so ever why it wont be able to receive and record these new HD channels when they are available. Full blown freesat is a entirely different matter because the hardware requirements are different, that said hardware can be emulated using software so who knows.

  • Anyone hoping for true HD tv through PlayTV can kiss those hopes goodbye, not gonna happen without a hardware upgrade.

  • Where can I buy PlayTV outside the UK in Europe?

    O yeh, nowhere….


  • Hi James,
    Can you please give us poor sods down in the colonies (AU/NZ) any sort of update on the release of PlayTV in this part of the world?

    Many people are importing from the UK and have pretty much a half-baked product until a new firmware update is released recognising our regional coding.

    • Hi sektanz, we are in the final stages of testing PlayTV for ANZ but i’m sorry, I can’t confirm a release date yet. As soon as we get the all clear we let you all know

  • I want this in Sweden! Many customers I talk to would love this and it would complete the ps3. Bring it to Sweden (by that, talk to Nordisk film and make them sell it to us!)

  • What am I waiting for? I’m waiting for PlayTV to actually get released in New Zealand so I can buy it!

    What was the AU/NZ release date supposed to be again? Please remind me.

  • Yeah, some development updates please. The development cycle seems extraordinary slow with zero updates on progress unlike say the motion controller for eg. which is absolutely frustrating. The blog update was good but it’s now gone back to the same situation. What the hell is happening ?!

    We’re now at almost 2 years since it was announced and still no confirmed release date on NZ and Aus despite promises of it being last year.

  • Can we just get a confirmation that PlayTV is still planned to be released in Australia/NZ? My mum is holding out on buying a PS3 until PlayTV comes out, and I just want to know if she’s waiting for nothing.

    • We are definitely planning to release in ANZ but we are still in the final stages of testing and so I can’t give you a release date i’m afraid. Will let you know as soon as I do so you can get your hands on that PS3. At least by waiting you can get her to get you a new PS3!!

  • I would also love an update on when (or even if) PlayTV will be availible in Australia/New Zealand.

    I see it advertised as coming soon on some Aus websites but they’ve had that for nearly a year now.

  • will this fine gadget be coming to Canada anytime soon?

  • Really hoping PlayTV comes to Australia soon. We have heard it is coming, but when exactly? Hopefully not too far away!

  • An update on the release of PlayTV for Australia / NZ would go down well. The head of Sony Australia has said by the end of October, but recently a news article suggested he’s changed that to ‘before Christmas’. Unfortunately those waiting to buy are beginning to wonder if the failure to mention a year was deliberate and those of us who imported miss SBS.

    How about Mark Bunting provides another development update? And Sony Australia / NZ a more definitive release date?

  • I hope SCEE is finally getting the message that Australasian gamers are not going to give up pestering your message boards for our PlayTV release news!! WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH PLAYTV IN AUSTRALIA/NZ?? WHEN CAN WE EXPECT A FIRMWARE UPDATE??

  • just so you guys know…
    yes PlayTV CAN receive HD broadcasts. I and many others in australia have it and are using it successfully with our HD channels. all you need to do is go through the normal setup and scan process. the only problem we have with it here is that it wont receive UHF. we only have 1 broadcaster with a few channels on UHF and that is SBS. its a pity but not a disaster. the hardware itself can get it but the software limits it. if you use the playtv hardware on a pc with the required drivers it will pick up uhf.
    i gave up waiting a long time ago and bought myself a TiVo for the lounge area. but i also imported a playtv for the bedroom. anyone in au/nz who is still waiting for the launch… dont hold your breath. just import it from i got it for AU$124 incl shipping. works a treat. even with the reabbit ears antenna. crystal clear.
    but yes, please release an update that will make it 100% compatible with AU tv. and also fix up the tv station numbers!!! that is the most annoying part.

  • Well what im waiting for is the damn thing to come out, its been a year since its released and Australia still doesn’t have it, not even a release date.

    Serious Sony, your console are the best but your treatment of customers is worse then EA, well at least for us Aussies it is, always getting things late or not at all (like ps2 hard drives), and dumping us on the rubbish EU PSN.

  • Cheers for the update, James. Nice to know you’re looking after the territories that keep Sony EU ticking over. Always nice to sit back and enjoy PlayTV every single evening since release. Even better knowing its region exclusive. Keep it that way, and ignore the negativity. Gotta keep some things for ourselves eh?

  • also got mine from after getting tired of waiting. HD channels work in NZ but no sound. Sony how about communicating with your customers, specifically a firmware update – the guys in france purchased an officially released product that does not work and no news since June!

  • …And the Aussies call us Brits “Whinging Poms”!!!

  • … but seriously Sony, how much longer have we got wait for PlayTV!!!

  • SONY – “what are you waiting for?!”
    ME – “DVB-C Mpeg4 ?!”

  • What I’M waiting for? For it to actually be compatible and launched here. :)

  • Outside of the UK, Play TV is NOT worth *bleep*

    Most countries in Europe don’t have commercial networks broadcasting in the air. We are advanced and use cable (how’s that for a concept huh?)

    Get us PlayTV over cable, and we’ll think about getting it

  • When we getting series link?!?

  • If you can’t give us a release date (AU/NZ), can you at least officially tell us if the hardware will change for specific regions. i.e. If you were to release it here, would the hardware possibly be different?

    At least that way I can know what I am getting myself into if I import one, and only half my stations work.


  • @sleepyenglish (#25)
    In the UK FreeviewHD will be broadcast using signals encoded in DVB-T2 – the tuner chips inside PlayTV can only decode DVB-T. They are not reprogrammable chips. I’ve opened my PlayTV box and checked the chip numbers with the chip manufacturers datasheet.

    @sumpunk (#39)
    The only reason that PlayTV can receive HD in Australia (and some other countries) is because Australia have made the decision to to use the existing DVB-T system to broadcast the HD service.

    In the UK OFCOM have taken the (Correct) decision and opted for the DVB-T2 standard, which will provide room for more HD channels and a longer lifespan, meaning a better long term deal for the general public.

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