News

Sony gets ready to introduce pricey PlayTV

Victor Godinez
The Dallas Morning News (MCT)

The home-theater technology crammed into the Xbox 360 and PS3 is cool and all, but it's never been clear whether consumers care enough about downloading video or connecting their MP3 players to their systems to make it profitable. Still, Microsoft and Sony are determined to chase this potential market.

Sony's latest effort is a package of hardware and software called PlayTV that will go on sale in Europe later this year (and presumably the U.S. at some point, too). The system will let users record television shows to their PS3s like a TiVo.

You can then either watch the shows and movies on your television connected to your PS3 or wirelessly broadcast the videos to your portable PSP anywhere in the world that has a Wi-Fi hotspot.

So it's basically a TiVo-plus-Slingbox.

You may have forgotten - or never known - that Sony already has a device called the LocationFree player that mimics the Slingbox, letting you watch your local TV wirelessly on your PSP.

Sony always seemed to have a desultory interest in the LocationFree, though, dooming the product with no marketing support. (Sony never sent me one for review, despite several requests.)

Perhaps the PlayTV will enjoy a better fate. It certainly sounds more ambitious.

I, for one, would love to play with a PlayTV.

But the PlayTV probably doesn't deserve any more love from Sony than the LocationFree machine ultimately received.

Why will the PlayTV fail?

First of all, to get the full benefit, you'll need a PS3, a PSP and the PlayTV device.

Sony hasn't announced pricing for the PlayTV, but the LocationFree sells for $250.

I'd be surprised if the PlayTV, with more functionality, sells for anything less, and $300 seems more likely.

So you're looking at a roughly $1,000 investment to take advantage of this gizmo.

OK, but let's say you've got that kind of dough for games and gadgets.

What are the odds that you don't already have cable TV with a bundled DVR?

I would guess close to zero.

So who's the market for this product?

People with lots of cash who love to watch TV but don't already have cable or satellite television service.

That, I would think, is a small demographic.

Now, if the PlayTV were to let you ditch your current DVR, then we might be talking, and I'm hoping that's Sony's ace in the hole.

But this just feels like a niche technology that will receive a lot of hype when it's released and then sink into the mire of every other failed add-on hardware accessory in the history of games.

But there's no denying how cool it is.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

West London's WheelUP Merges Broken Beat and Hip-Hop on "Stay For Long" (premiere)

West London producer WheelUP reached across the pond to Brint Story to bring some rapid-fire American hip-hop to his broken beat revival on "Stay For Long".

Music

PM Picks Playlist 4: Stellie, The Brooks, Maude La​tour

Today's playlist features the premiere of Stellie's "Colours", some top-class funk from the Brooks, Berne's eco-conscious electropop, clever indie-pop from Maude Latour, Jaguar Jonze rocking the mic, and Meresha's "alien pop".

Culture

Plattetopia: The Prefabrication of Utopia in East Berlin

With the fall of the Berlin Wall came the licence to take a wrecking ball to its nightmare of repression. But there began the unwritten violence of Die Wende, the peaceful revolution that hides the Oedipal violence of one order killing another.

Music

Electrosoul's Flõstate Find "Home Ground" on Stunning Song (premiere)

Flõstate are an electrosoul duo comprised of producer MKSTN and singer-songwriter Avery Florence that create a mesmerizing downtempo number with "Home Ground".

Music

Orchestra Baobab Celebrate 50 Years with Vinyl of '​Specialist in All Styles'

As Orchestra Baobab turn 50, their comeback album Specialist in All Styles gets a vinyl reissue.

Music

Hot Chip Stay Up for 'Late Night Tales'

Hot Chip's contribution to the perennial compilation project Late Night Tales is a mixed bag, but its high points are consistent with the band's excellence.

Music

The Budos Band Call for Action on "The Wrangler" (premiere)

The Budos Band call on their fans for action with the powerful new track "The Wrangler" that falls somewhere between '60s spy thriller soundtrack and '70s Ethiojazz.

Music

Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" Ruminates on Our Second-Guesses (premiere)

A deep reflection on breaking up, Nashville indie rock/Americana outfit Creature Comfort's "Woke Up Drunk" is the most personal track from their new album, Home Team.

Books

For Don DeLillo, 'The Silence' Is Deafening

In Don DeLillo's latest novel, The Silence, it is much like our post-pandemic life -- everything changed but nothing happened. Are we listening?

Music

Brett Newski Plays Slacker Prankster on "What Are You Smoking?" (premiere)

Is social distancing something we've been doing, unwittingly, all along? Brett Newski pulls some pranks, raises some questions in "What Are You Smoking?".

Film

What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .

Music

Becky Warren Shares "Good Luck" and Discusses Music and Depression

Becky Warren finds slivers of humor while addressing depression for the third time in as many solo concept albums, but now the daring artist is turning the focus on herself in a fight against a frightful foe.

Music

Fleet Foxes Take a Trip to the 'Shore'

On Shore, Fleet Foxes consist mostly of founding member Robin Pecknold. Recording with a band in the age of COVID-19 can be difficult. It was just time to make this record this way.

Books

'We're Not Here to Entertain' Is Not Here to Break the Cycle of Punk's Failures

Even as it irritates me, Kevin Mattson's We're Not Here to Entertain is worth reading because it has so much direct relevance to American punks operating today.

Film

Uncensored 'Native Son' (1951) Is True to Richard Wright's Work

Compared to the two film versions of Native Son in more recent times, the 1951 version more acutely captures the race-driven existential dread at the heart of Richard Wright's masterwork.

Music

3 Pairs of Boots Celebrate Wandering on "Everywhere I Go" (premiere)

3 Pairs of Boots are releasing Long Rider in January 2021. The record demonstrates the pair's unmistakable chemistry and honing of their Americana-driven sound, as evidenced by the single, "Everywhere I Go".

Books

'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.

Music

Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.