Play TV (PS3)
I previously used the Freeview service on my Toshiba TV. We also have Virgin + in the house. PlayTV is miles ahead of both these services.
The home screen has everything you need on it; Live TV, Library, Search, Guide, Settings.
Live TV: The navigation of live tv is the best of any freeview, cable or satellite service I have seen. There is a small bar that makes it easy to see how much of the programme has been shown and how much there is left to be watched. You can also see what programme is up next.
If you press start then live tv will be paused until you press play again. This is great if, for example, you want to skip adverts or go to dinner and want to start watching where you left off.
To record a programme all you need to do is press select and it will start recording to the PS3's hard drive. The other way to record a programme is to go into the EPG whilst in live tv or Guide on the home screen. There is also the same bar that lets you see how much of the programme has been seen. Most of the time the guide will show you the programmes but occasionally you might not get any information which can be annoying.
You can either use the PS3 controller or PS3 remote. In the contents of the box you get a stick on cover for the PS3 remote so you can see what buttons do what. If you use the PS3 controller then there is an on-screen remote you can use that has the red, green, yellow, blue and number buttons.
Library: In here you can view all the programmes you have recorded. You can also see how much space each programme has taken up and how much space you have left on the hard drive. Contrary to what many people have been saying, at the moment, there is NO copy protection software. I was able to copy the F1 race onto the video section in the XMB. From there I could take the file and play it on my laptop. However, you cannot transfer the file from the XMB back into the PlayTV library.
Search: This is pretty self explanatory. You can use this feature to search for a specific programme. Once the search results come up you can record the show.
Settings: This has all the usual settings like parental control etc. The best feature here is background recording. This enables you to record programmes whilst playing a game, exploring the playstation store or anything else.
There is one last feature that I think is brilliant. You can set your PS3 up to record a programme whilst you are away. Providing you leave it on standby the PS3 will switch on, record the programme then switch back off again.
PlayTV also supports remote play. I have the first psp model and it works perfectly. You can watch live tv, all your recordings and all the other features. If you were half way round the world and had forgotten to record something all you need to do is use you psp to set it up.
The negatives: There is no reminder feature, you cannot set PlayTV to record a whole series, your setup may look cluttered having usb cables coming out of the front of your ps3.
So I do have one or two niggles with it but they are insignificant compared to how good PlayTV is. Some of these may be addressed with future software updates.
If you are considering buying this then I would because for the money its brilliant.