Make Watching TV A Social Experience: PlayTV ‘Live Chat Upgrade’ Now Available From The PlayStation Store

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Hi guys, just wanted to let you know that there is a great new upgrade available for PlayTV out now.
If you already own PlayTV then you now have the chance to get your hands on some really exciting new features, exclusive to PlayTV on the PS3.

PlayTV -Main Menu Chat

These fantastic features include

  • Series Link*: Never miss your favourite series with the addition of series link to PlayTV in the UK. (*Not available in Australia or New Zealand)
  • Live Chat with friends while watching TV: Enjoy your favourite shows together with this unique new feature. Set up your own chat room or join an existing one and text chat to your friends or anyone on PSN without interrupting your TV Viewing. Up to 64 people can be in a chat room at a time and you can choose if you want your chat room to be open to your PSN friends, everyone on PSN or just the people you invite.


  • Recommendations: recommend programmes to Facebook and PSN friends. Share your favourite shows, films and soaps with your friends and get them involved. Send a recommendation to your Facebook wall with your own comments or recommend it to any of your PSN friends. PSN recommendations appear as a message to your selected friends with your own message and a link for them to record or watch the show automatically.

PlayTV: Recommend (UK)

  • Community Favourites*: Need some inspiration to help you decide what to watch or just curious what your friends and the PSN community are watching? Check out what people are watching right now, what they have been watching in the last 2 weeks and what they have set to record over the last two weeks. You can sort the info by your friends to see just what they have been watching, or the overall number to see what’s most popular with the PSN community. (*Not available in Australia)
  • Premium Programme Guide*: This update also includes a brand new, premium programme guide that gives you loads more info on the TV shows happening now and up to 7 days in advance. The internet based programme guide from tvtv allows you to see far more information on programmes than before and with PlayTV’s great search function, this enables you to search for the perfect show or film based on things like actors, directors, genres, etc (*Not available in Australia)

All you need to do to get these great new features is update your PlayTV software, (there is a patch available now in the updates section of the PlayTV main menu), then go to PlayStation Store and purchase the ‘Live Chat Upgrade’ for £6.29 / €7.99 / 12.95 AUD / 15.50 NZD. As soon as it downloads you will be able to start chatting with your PSN friends that have the updgrade about the big game or latest plot twists and letting everyone know what your favourite shows and films are.
PlayTV ‘Live Chat Upgrade’ is rated 16+ on the PlayStation Store to make sure that it remains safe and secure with the new ‘Chat TV’ feature. Chat rooms are also moderated and participants can be blocked from your feed while settings are also in place to protect user’s privacy and control what information you share with everyone.
Check out for more details.
If you have any questions about this new Upgrade for PlayTV then please let me know.

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29 Author Replies

  • I would like to cynically suggest that the only reason Series Link is included in this paid update, is that no-one would buy it otherwise…

  • Series link and Premium Programme Guide look good. The rest I can do without.
    £6.29 (£4.72 for Playstation Plus subscribers such as myself) though…? Paying for a software updated, very Apple!
    Not sure if it’s worth it, which is a shame because I watch/record ALL my TV through PlayTV.

    • Hi, I think £4.72 for this is a great price for Plus members. The Chat TV feature actually works really well and can be good fun, especially during sport. But the series link and the new programme guide are great so if it turns out you love chat tv to then bonus!

  • i quite enjoyed using the chat tv thing a lot more than i thought i would though last night when using it while watching nigella lawson it was clear the type of people who were logged into that chatroom at that time (which is understandable, she’s a fine looking woman)
    16+ age rating but it still has ridiculous censorship. Can’t even write the word ‘episodes’ without it coming out as ‘e***odes’ which on a thing based around TV is a bit awkward.

    • Hey, I have checked this for you and they use a system wide censoring which we will feedback problems like this to. Hopefully get this sorted ASAP for you

  • It does seem a little pricey, but I assume this has a lot to do with maintaining the infrastructure for all the chat services…
    I don’t think they’ve fully understood Micro-Payments in this situation.. If it was a quid I think i’d just give it a punt and wouldn’t care, but £7? That’s more than a good chunk of the games I’ve bought..
    Turbogeek421 – I assume you’re talking about upgrading to a new phone or OS.. Apple’s never charged me for an update ;)

  • The word Censor on that chat is awful, its really nees sorting, I mean for god’s sake you cant even say the word episode without the asterix coming up

    • I will have a word with the Cambridge guys and see if there is anything they can do. you’re right, I don’t see why episodes is censored!

    • Hey, sorry for the problems, i’ve fed this back to the moderating guys and they are looking into in ASAP for you guys

  • Worth it for the enhanced program guide and of course series link. As we use PlayTV as our main TV though, this was worth the cost.

  • Don’t expect people from Australia to pay for this “update”. It is insulting that you expect us to pay the same price as uk folk when we only get 1 new feature.

  • I am very disappointed with this update!
    So 2.01 does only enables compatibility with the paid add-on like ChatTV???
    Where are the real needed features, like the possibility of organising the order of the TV channels as you want? That’s a feature that even the worst TV tuners have!!! Where is the needed video editor for deleting the commercials or cutting the recordings because we can’t move them to an external HDD because the FAT32 limitations??? Where is a fast loading time, or better: where is a direct XMB acces to live TV?
    I do not want a useless chat, I want a useful update.
    I am very, very disappointed, Sony Cambridge Studio.

    • Hi, sorry your not a fan of the update. the free update this time did make a few other background changes to improve the software as well as allow you to receive the new features. The loading time was improved in the last update and I know they were trying to make it quicker in this one to, so I will check if they achieved it.
      It terms of your requests, don’t forget, you can mark your favourite channels and then sort by favourites so you have them in the order you want.
      There are obvious legal implications of allowing you to remove the adverts in shows and and the ability to go direct to live TV was added in a prvious free update so you can already set it to go straight to live TV from the XMB.

  • Sweet, so Home gets a new chat update and now Play TV. Am I missing something or has Sony completely ignored the need for a Cross Game Chat/ Party Chat feature for the PlayStation Network as a whole?
    Get on it.

  • i will admit i didn’t mind paying a bit as I do use PlayTV on a daily basis and had bought it when it was on sale cheaper than usual anyways. Has been easily worth the money for the convienence of turning my PS3 into a tv receiver/recorder which I use lots.

  • Hmm, One problem I have come across is that as I live in wales I watch BBC1 Wales, BBC2 wales etc.
    However, even though the program is playing nationally if I go into chat no one will be there, but if I go to the national one they might be… Why isn’t chat done on a per program basis rather than by region?
    All that said, not convinced that the chat is a particularly useful feature and the new guide doesn’t seem be be much of an improvement?
    Series link is useful, but not quite on par with how the sky box used to handle it.

  • Dear James,
    Please answer this.
    I am a concerned customer from Poland. I have long ago stopped watching the american blog, as I was very sad that they were getting so much cool stuff. Now that I watch the european blog, the same thing happens. The ‘major’ EU countries get a ton of TV stuff like PlayTV, Mubi, they get the downloadable comics, basically A TON of things.
    Why does Poland get nothing? I feel ignored and I also feel that I’m not getting the whole experience. I paid the same price for the console (maybe even more), I do expect to get the same kind of treatment.
    What this is… I’m not afraid to use the word discrimination here. I really believe that you’re just ignoring countries like Poland when signing the deals.
    Please explain,
    concerned customer.

    • Hi Dandi_8, I do know that across the business we are committed to bringing services, new and old, to as many territories as possible. There can sometimes be numerous different reasons why this isn’t always possible but we always try to solve this if we can and we are constantly striving to bring as much content as possible to everyone, however occasionally it is not always possible to bring everything to everyone all at once – as much as we wish it was : )

  • When PlayTV, MUBI & Vidzone POLAND????????? FAIL -_-

  • What about Poland?? it’s not like we all need to have every service in our language. Give me at least Digital Comics. Not sure if you missed that but POLAND IS IN EU FOR QUITE A LONG TIME NOW!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Is it text chat only? Audio chat could be a laugh if you did it with a few friends or sensible users that wont scream over important dialogue.

    • Hi, it’s currently just text chat as we thought the voice chat would be a little intrusive, but I will pass this onto the dev guys.

  • Maybe this update is good for users in UK (series link) but for other countries it’s very expensive compare to this new features … (even with the PLUS sale)

    • Hi, I think the new features still make this a good value update, exspecially with the Plus discount. The new epg makes it so much easier to find the best shows and have the most up to date info, and the community features really make this a unique PVR. Plus with HD support in France it’s an even better product!

  • Charging for updates that should have been there from the start and bundling them with useless features to justify a fee what a total rip off. Its going on EBAY I’ll buy a proper HD box with all the proper features included and I’m sure I’ll not have to pay for software updates.
    In the last four months my TV’s software as been updated around 4 times with better features than play TV I might add. Can you imagine them saying we want to charge for these updates lol. Sony EU absolute joke.

    • really?? ;-) one billable upgrade that adds some great new features in amongst all the free updates that there are all the time from PlayStation.

  • I can’t change the order of the channels -> I don’t use playtv -> I don’t buy the update.

    • you can mark your favourites and then sort the channels by that and then you have them in the order you want. does that help?

  • Hi James, have to agree with oztad @ 7. It’s extremely poor for you to expect that Australians have to pay more than the UK (at current exchange rate) for 2 out of the 5 features you mention. They’re the weakest features as well. I understand why some of these features don’t make it to Australia (Freeview?) but surely a price around the AU$5 mark is fair.

  • FYI PlayTV in Poland Requesters.
    Poland is using DVB-T but broadcasting MPEG4/H.264. This is non-standard and the PlayTV tuner hardware only supports traditional DVB-T (MPEG2). So its not Sony being mean, it just physically isn’t possible at this stage. If Poland went back to the older standard maybe. Also I don’t know what the situation is with encryption. PlayTV does not support any encrypted UK TV stations, only plain. DVB-T. So availability of PlayTV is built on two requirements: vanilla DVB-T and unecrypted channels. If you don’t have these two, sorry no luck.
    For example in the UK we don’t get HD on PlayTV, because our HD uses DVB-T2 and not DVB-T like in Australia.
    DVB-T2 tuners and DVB-S2 usb adapters aren’t that common on the PC, where as DVB-T is very common making PlayTV both affordable to buy and make.

  • Had fun yesterday playing along with countdown while in chat TV.

  • I’m sure you are going to get sick of this question very quickly, but when will these features hit Australia (if ever)?
    Also, will Live Chat eventually support voice chat?

    • Hi, unfortunately there were a umber of reasons we couldn’t launch all of the features in Oz but if I hear about that changing then I will let you know.
      I’lll also have to get back to you on the voice chat question i’m afraid. sorry I haven’t been much use to you this time ;-)

  • Why does Series Link not work with BBC channels?

    • It def should??? I’ll pass it on to cambridge and let you know if there is an issue. Cheers

    • Hi, I have checked this and there doesn’t seem to be a problem unless there is at the broacasters end. This should work so hopefully whever has caused it is temporary for you

  • Series Link should have been free, it’s in pretty much every other Freeview recorder here in the UK.
    I’ll probably upgrade as it’s still cheaper than buying an entirely new STB. Although with Freeview HD I’ll probably ditch the PS3 altogether.

  • pegi16+ that can’t spell episodes that so Camp i can understand F**k & the Mods no doubt what-so-ever That MB team is on the case watching ppl commets on Footie programme very hip.
    what on earth is wrong wilth “hello” “cumbria” it worse on text-chat on the XMB, it should be pegi18+ Because playtv got babestation.
    Can you think useing livechat on that lol :D

  • Just to add to my cynical first comment, check the Blog entry back in April when James first hinted at these new social features:-
    James finished the article with “If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them and I’ll be back on here on Monday to answer as many as I can”.
    168 comments later, the majority of which were “forget about Facebook, add series link!”, and no response from James whatsoever.
    Then, surprise surprise, series link gets added into this update.
    Oh, and given James’ responses last time, I’m not holding my breath for any answers to questions on this blog entry either.
    Sorry James, it just seems that Cambridge Studios have spectacularly misjudged what people want out of PlayTV with this upgrade.

    • Hi Kevling, apologies for not getting back to you last time. It can br tricky doing a really busy job and also finding time to answer all your questions on here. We try our best though.
      All I can do for you is pass on any feedback or suggestions you give me on here but series record has been a requested feature for a long time so I was glad we could finally give it to you. I really think the other features in the urgrade are great and make PlayTV unique. with your plus discount its def worth it

  • I don’t get it. Its so strange to see people go crazy over the price of this. Having picked up PlayTV for 30 quid I knew the functionality I was getting and I have defintely got my moneys worth for it. The decision to part with another £7 is one I’ll make on features that it brings. If i don’t think its worth it, guess what, I won’t buy it.
    Not really worth a moan really. Is it guys?

  • Is it now possible to search for all films to be shown in a week? Comments in the forum indicate that this simple categorization of programmes is not available; if so that is incredibly disappointing!

  • 30 quid Eh that a bargain it used to pay 70 quid for play-tv & £6.29 will be 76.29 quid for a series link. :D

  • @mattlehorn
    Some of us paid full price when play tv came out £70 we’ve waited for ever for a update on basic features that should have been there from the start like series link. but what did they do ignored what most people wanted shoved in total crap that no one requested so they could justify a fee its pathetic pure and utter greed (total scum bags)

  • Edit: a bit less if your a Plus member ;)

  • I am reallly impressed with the update.
    I’m not sure why everyone is complaining about the price. It is ‘premium’ content and therefore I think it justifies a small additional fee, especially if there are chat rooms to mod. Much the same as buying a new pack for COD etc, you have to judge whether the additional content justifys the price to you. PlayTV is still usable (and great) without the update.
    As regards the features themselves, I was very impressed with Chat TV – great fun watching random stuff and laughing about it with complete strangers. Kind of like Home, but with something ‘immediate’ to comment on.
    A couple of questions though:
    1) I noticed you can block users but there doesn’t seem to be an option to add friends. Any chance of a small update to do this?
    2) I couldn’t notice any real difference with the TV guide. Is it the same but with more info or is there an additional guide that I haven’t turned on or something?
    Many thanks for this great update!

    • Hi mate, glad you like the update I agree about chat TV, its a great feature and something that makes the product unique.
      I will have to check about number 1 but the new guide should have loads more info on each of the programms including actors, genres, directors, etc to make it easier to search for what your after. The updates to it are also faster as its internet based so you won’t end up with recording problems if the schedule changes.

    • Hi, I checked this out for you –
      1 – you can easily add friends through the in game XMB without having to leave the chat room
      2 – If in the UK it takes a while to sync up the extra data with the over the air epg but you should see things like actor information and longer descriptions appearing in your EPG. UK users are already used to good guide info over the air, for our non UK users the guide is a huge improvement as there is very little over the air data in many countries
      Hope that helps

  • just wanted to say this is really, really poor – series link should be part of a pvr as standard – i think its really wrong the way you are going about this – i wont buy this and i think most of your play tv customers will feel the same.

  • I’m in Ireland and tried setting up PlayTV today but theres no preset option for Ireland in th 1.00 version software my PlayTV came with and I can’t update it through the software as it keeps failing the channel scan. Is there any way of getting updated PlayTV software on a disc?

    • just checking mate, will get back to you

    • Hi, We don’t currently have a separate option for Ireland as we don’t officially sell PlayTV in Ireland althought it does work if the signal is strong enough. I’m not sure what differences there are regarding channel scan but if the uk option doesn’t work then I assume there is a problem with the signal or an incompatibility with Ireland broadcasts. you could also try selecting ‘other’ in the set up and trying the channel scan?

  • When I buy hardware I expect all updates will be free. This update is not for me, very disappointing and frustrating, I have the feeling you are trying to cheat us.
    And the 25% discount for Plus members is even more insulting.

  • we want Cross Game Voice CHAT!

  • Hi james,I write this message in other blog entrade,I do’nt know If you read it,beacause i write to late.
    The new versión of software cause Problems in HDTV chanells in spain(telemadrid HD,tve HD),the channels pixelated continouslly.
    Can you trasmitt this to cambridge studio?.Thanks.
    On the other hand, what we would like everyone, is what brings all TDT decoders.Channel management, interactive services,teletext.
    Able to get our files recordings >4gb.

    • Hi, I wasn’t aware of this problem so I will pass this on now and hopefully there is a quick fix. not much use in HD if it doesn’t look good!! ;-) Thanks

    • Hi, I have checked with the guys at Cambridge and they said that it could be caused by signal problems – The HD support shouldn’t have changed at all with the update so this is hopefully a temporary problem with the channel signal

  • Dear Sony Cambridge,
    I hope you have read and absorbed the comments above and elsewhere regarding your recent PlayTV upgrade. If you have, you will be unable to ignore the consistent theme: You are out of touch with what your customers want.
    This should worry Sony, who have a reputation for excellence throughout the rest of the company. Sony’s AV equipment is highly regarded, so I wonder why PlayTV in general and this upgrade in particular seems to have been designed by people entirely unfamiliar with any other Sony TV or AV product.
    “I would like to cynically suggest that the only reason Series
    Link is included in this paid update, is that no-one would buy
    it otherwise…”
    Just one comment that hits the nail on the head. Series link is a standard requirement of any “Freeview+” device that can be got for £20 from a Supermarket shelf, never mind something carrying the Sony brand. The added social frippery is a reflection of the developers’ interests, not the customers’. Where is the Playstation.Blog.Share suggestion that spawned this development?

  • Meanwhile, PlayTV continues to crash my PS3 two or three times a week while recording in the background during gaming, navigating the Store or using the web. When PlayTV crashes like this it stops recording – one must relaunch PlayTV to get it to notice it is supposed to be recording. May I humbly suggest you fix that next – the ability to actually record something in its entirety – before adding any more features no one has asked for.
    Finally, I must also take you to task for this claim:
    “There are obvious legal implications of allowing you to
    remove the adverts in shows”

  • If they are obvious, then you will be able to easily name the Act you have in mind that prevents PlayTV from having an editing feature but enables every other Sony branded television recording device to edit in any way the user chooses.
    This is not rhetorical – please name the law that you think singles out PlayTV, or retract your statement and answer the question correctly, even if it is with the answer most likely to be the case, “We don’t allow editing because of the cost/benefit ratio – we won’t lose a significant number of sales due to its absence”.
    Having been a loyal Sony customer my whole life, having invested in numerous high-end TVs, VHS recorders, Walkmen, mini-disc recorders, and hi-fi components, I feel I am qualified to conclude that PlayTV is the most amateurish and disappointing Sony branded item I have ever purchased. Your recent update has only served to underline Sony Cambridge’s unfamiliarity with the standards expected from AV equipment bearing this name.

  • The fact that Sony Japan have produced Torne I think indicates the gulf between your ambition and capability, and the level of design and functionality one associates with Sony.

  • Heh, my comment trying to explain the “Episodes” thing is awaiting moderation itself because I mentioned a North Lincolnshire town that is just off the M180 :-)

  • In Spain it´s impossible to watch several HD channels without pixelations. Also it would be fantastic if we could order the channels….

  • About chat,I’ts not very usefull(atleast if you are spanish).Because the chat censored many words wich are normal an coloquiall words in spanish languaje.
    For example,”decidió”(in inglish=decided).I’ts censored to deci***.
    And many other well.What makes it tough to maintain a normal conversation.

  • hey james my name is blocked (conor), could you unblock it or tell me what is wrong with it ****r???

    Thanks for answering my message (message 8) but i have to tell you that you’re wrong in what you answered me.
    Yes, I know that you can mark the channels as favourites, but you can’t organise them in the order you want! That’s what I said that is much more necessary than a chat.
    Prove that I’m wrong. Tell me, in this screen: (manage favourites)
    What do you do to set a channel with a number of channel that you want? How do you sort the channels in the order that the user wants? In that menu you only can choose to set a channel as a favourite, nothing more! Sorting the channels is a feature that even the worst TV tuners can do and PlayTV doesn’t! And please, don’t tell me to read the manuals, because there’s no info about this there.
    And i can’t believe that my 5 year old Core 2 Duo with Windows XP can start live TV in few seconds and Playstation 3, a console with such powerful hardware, needs all that time to start.
    Please, asnwer. :(

    • Hi, I don’t pretend to know absolutely everything so if any info I give is wrong then its a genuine mistake and I apologies. I have checked this with the Cambridge guys and if you have channels marked as favourites then you press square when you’re in the epg and it will only show your favourite stations. i know this is not an ideal fix to your problem but hopefully it will help a bit.
      I also asked about the loading time and they said that they have managed to improve the time again in the free update slightly but the new features in the upgrade mean that there is only a slight increase in loading time overall. the reason for the loading time is the HD interface that PlayTV has. I personally think its a small price to pay for a slick interface that everyone seems to love about PlayTV.
      Hope that answers your questions

  • Agreed with 23
    The series link does not work for BBC channels and selects an 801/2 channel instead. Please provide an update ASAP!
    Trialled the Chat during the England match. Besides typing on a remote being a killer, the chat soon resorted to a Black Ops chat :(
    Also the censorship is a joke. Assissins Creed is Asterisked (***asins Creed!) but [DELETED] isn’t lol.
    Plus the Grey shading on the side (not between comments) is annoying on Full Screen.
    Overall a good and valuable update, shame there’s no option to buy the premium channels from encryption. Even at high prices.
    I love the feature to see what programmes are popular, Not useful but cool.
    Also, not related to the update, but the start up time for Playtv needs to be quicker.

  • @james
    really?? one billable upgrade that adds some great new features in amongst all the free updates that there are all the time from PlayStation.
    What the hell does the playstation free updates have to do with play tv updates.. great new features my a*se features that no one reqeusted. I bought play TV to watch tv not to chat to other people
    who pays for software upgrades on the tvs lol You my friend are a joke.

  • How can I complain to Howard Stringer about this %^&*?

  • Hi James
    I for one was actually against paying for this but I went out and bought it as being a PS3 plus member it was not that expensive.
    I have to eat my hat and say I am pretty impressed with the chat features. Series link should have been free for all, I dont think it is fair to charge.
    Any chance of a few upgrades though ( for free thi time)
    1) the ability to add a friend when chatting? Seems daft you cannot do this.
    2) the ability to search or filter catergories like you can on Sky. I assumed the EPG would have sub headings like Movies, comedy ETC but it does not and this would be a nice touch.
    3) I know this has been asked but and chance a HD version will come out for the UK?
    So overall I am liking the upgrade, I would love it if a few more tweaks were added.

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