To PS3 or not to PS3...

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
This follows on from my thread in the Wii section.

I wanted an affordable HD/ BR player and it was pointed out that the PS3 was a superb choice. True enough, it gets a 5 star review as Blu-Ray deck in what hifi magazine- with the added bonus of Hi def games (hence my uncertainty over whether to keep the Wii). Cool! PS3 seems to be a no brainer! Lets start saving!

However...

I've now seen that you can pick up the Toshiba HD-E1 HD player for an absurd £180- less than half that of a PS3. Since money is an important factor, I can't decide whether to get the Tosh HD or the PS3.

Also- I've asked this before but never got a straight answer: Can the PS3 now upscale DVDs out-of-the-box (without me having to upgrade the firmware)?

PS- if this topic has been covered before could someone dedirect me to the correct thread?
 

Kendalbeefcake

Active Member
I have a similar problem, I have a PS3 and I love it as a console and it is a very capable BR player. However, to take advatage of one of the most important factors of HD (the sound) then you need to be able to output not only hi-def video, but audio as well. The PS3 can only ouput the HD audio formats via its HDMI 1.3 socket; this is fine but only a handfull of 1.3 compatible amps currently exist. The same is true for the E1 as it also lacks analouge outputs which would bridge the gap until the AMP/TV market catches up. Double check the specs but I do not believe the E1 is 1.3 compatabile and would therefore leave you only with "Standard" 5.1 audio formats. I believe the replacement "budget" verison of the e1 is HDMI 1.3 compatible.

Finally, I believe the ability to upscale SD DVDs came in the 1.8 version firmware update a few months back. Given the way most hardware vendors work I would be highly surprised if they were manufacturing & shipping the boxes with the lastest firmware versions. You may get lucky but I would find it unlikely that a box that had been sat in Amazon warehouse (or wherever) for 3 months would be capable of upscaling..

HTH

Regards
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
Bare in mind that upgrading firmware is fairly simple and does not necessarily require your PS3 to be connected to the internet.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
I have a similar problem, I have a PS3 and I love it as a console and it is a very capable BR player. However, to take advatage of one of the most important factors of HD (the sound) then you need to be able to output not only hi-def video, but audio as well. The PS3 can only ouput the HD audio formats via its HDMI 1.3 socket; this is fine but only a handfull of 1.3 compatible amps currently exist. The same is true for the E1 as it also lacks analouge outputs which would bridge the gap until the AMP/TV market catches up. Double check the specs but I do not believe the E1 is 1.3 compatabile and would therefore leave you only with "Standard" 5.1 audio formats. I believe the replacement "budget" verison of the e1 is HDMI 1.3 compatible.



Regards


HD audio isn't really a factor for me as I only have a standard amp capable of decoding DTS- therefore there would appear to be no sonic advantage to either machine (although isn't DTS via an HD source still superior to standard DTS- or am I talking nonsense).

I understand that the E1 has poor loading times (unlike the PS3) but is otherwise an excellent performer. But the PS3 will provide me with high definition gaming (notwithstanding the current game drought). Still can't decide. :confused:
 

fuzzybee

Banned
surely first you have to decide if you want Blu Ray or HD dvd then the answer should be a whole lot easier for you, imo the ps3 is a stunning piece of gaming hardware that as an added bonus plays Blu Ray discs.

Saturday night i had a bit of a Blu Ray night first i watched Wild Hogs which is an ok film but it's Blu Ray so it looked and sounded superb then i watched one of my favorite films of all time Fifth Element remaster. I was blown away by how much better the Blu Ray version is compared to my dvd edition, absolutely jaw dropping
Last night i watched The Crow which is another of my favorites

what i am trying to say is it's the films that you should consider, stuff like Spider Man or the Pirates films are Blu Ray only, HD dvd also has it's exclusives
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
Excuse my ignorance but could you explain how one does a firmware upgrade- with or without the internet? I have a wire broadband connection incidentally.

:lease:

Well you still need a PC connected to the internet or access to one. You also need an external storage device like a USB flash drive. You need to download the firmware from Sony's Playstation site and put it on to the USB flash drive. Then you just plug this into the PS3 and upgrade the firmware.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Well you still need a PC connected to the internet or access to one. You also need an external storage device like a USB flash drive. You need to download the firmware from Sony's Playstation site and put it on to the USB flash drive. Then you just plug this into the PS3 and upgrade the firmware.

Well the internet PC isn't a problem- but I don't have any storage devices. Can't I hook up the pS3 directly to the computer using a usb connector? If not I guess I'll have to borrow one.

Thanks for the info.
 

sdb123

Distinguished Member
The E1 does transfer HD-Audio via its HDMI cable....the reference to HDMI 1.3 above is wrong!
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
surely first you have to decide if you want Blu Ray or HD dvd then the answer should be a whole lot easier for you, imo the ps3 is a stunning piece of gaming hardware that as an added bonus plays Blu Ray discs.

Saturday night i had a bit of a Blu Ray night first i watched Wild Hogs which is an ok film but it's Blu Ray so it looked and sounded superb then i watched one of my favorite films of all time Fifth Element remaster. I was blown away by how much better the Blu Ray version is compared to my dvd edition, absolutely jaw dropping
Last night i watched The Crow which is another of my favorites

what i am trying to say is it's the films that you should consider, stuff like Spider Man or the Pirates films are Blu Ray only, HD dvd also has it's exclusives

You're right of course and I don't at the moment have a strong preference either way, nor do I see a clear victor in sight. If pressed I would probably go for Blu-Ray, and so PS3 could be the prudent choice.

On the other hand, the HD-E1 is now so cheap it wouldn't matter that much if HD DVD went obsolete overnight- I'd still have a good machine plus a handful of films.

Incidentally, the film I'm most looking forward to seeing in high definition is 300, and that is coming out on both formats!!
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
Well the internet PC isn't a problem- but I don't have any storage devices. Can't I hook up the pS3 directly to the computer using a usb connector? If not I guess I'll have to borrow one.

Thanks for the info.

No you need to use a USB flash drive or one of the memory cards that are compatible with the PS3 ( SD, Compact Flash, Memory Stick ). An external HD should work but I'm not sure.
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
Incidentally, the film I'm most looking forward to seeing in high definition is 300, and that is coming out on both formats!!

If you care about extras and interactivity then the HD-DVD version has more.
 

fuzzybee

Banned
You're right of course and I don't at the moment have a strong preference either way, nor do I see a clear victor in sight. If pressed I would probably go for Blu-Ray, and so PS3 could be the prudent choice.

On the other hand, the HD-E1 is now so cheap it wouldn't matter that much if HD DVD went obsolete overnight- I'd still have a good machine plus a handful of films.

Incidentally, the film I'm most looking forward to seeing in high definition is 300, and that is coming out on both formats!!

you can pick a second hand ps3 up from gamestation for £325, i have 300 on Blu Ray and it's stunning.

the HD-dvd version has a couple of extras the Blu Ray version doesn't have but another Blu Ray version of 300 is planned

now whats stopping you, go and get a ps3 :thumbsup:
 

reckless

Active Member
I have a similar problem, I have a PS3 and I love it as a console and it is a very capable BR player. However, to take advatage of one of the most important factors of HD (the sound) then you need to be able to output not only hi-def video, but audio as well. The PS3 can only ouput the HD audio formats via its HDMI 1.3 socket; this is fine but only a handfull of 1.3 compatible amps currently exist. The same is true for the E1 as it also lacks analouge outputs which would bridge the gap until the AMP/TV market catches up. Double check the specs but I do not believe the E1 is 1.3 compatabile and would therefore leave you only with "Standard" 5.1 audio formats. I believe the replacement "budget" verison of the e1 is HDMI 1.3 compatible.

Finally, I believe the ability to upscale SD DVDs came in the 1.8 version firmware update a few months back. Given the way most hardware vendors work I would be highly surprised if they were manufacturing & shipping the boxes with the lastest firmware versions. You may get lucky but I would find it unlikely that a box that had been sat in Amazon warehouse (or wherever) for 3 months would be capable of upscaling..

HTH

Regards

You don't need 1.3 HDMI on the amp to have access to the new formats. I've got a Sony 5200 which is only 1.2 and I get the uncompressed formats fine. You might want to have a look in the AV amp forum for more details on HDMI versions and their implications for the new formats.
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Keep changing my mind but at the moment I'm leaning toward the pS3- the firmware upgrades seem easy and there are quite a few blu-ray films and games coming out soon that would justify my purchase.

Fuzzybee is right the best deals to be had seem to be at Gamestation- am really running out of reasons not to buy one!

One more thing to check: Sound.

Is the sound on blu-ray much better than SD:DVD on a standard amp? Obviously I won't get True HD etc but isn't HD DTS better than standard? would like to thing there is a sound improvement without having to buy an HD capable amp.

Also, what is the best way to connect to my amplifier? Optical? I notice there is no co-ax output on the PS3.
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
Keep changing my mind but at the moment I'm leaning toward the pS3- the firmware upgrades seem easy and there are quite a few blu-ray films and games coming out soon that would justify my purchase.

Fuzzybee is right the best deals to be had seem to be at Gamestation- am really running out of reasons not to buy one!

One more thing to check: Sound.

Is the sound on blu-ray much better than SD:DVD on a standard amp? Obviously I won't get True HD etc but isn't HD DTS better than standard? would like to thing there is a sound improvement without having to buy an HD capable amp.

Also, what is the best way to connect to my amplifier? Optical? I notice there is no co-ax output on the PS3.

You can only take advantage of the new HD sound formats if you use HDMI and your amp is HDMI capable regards sound. If you use optical like me all you will get is standard DD and DTS like on a normal DVD in which case there will be no difference.
 

gbailey141

Active Member
You can only take advantage of the new HD sound formats if you use HDMI and your amp is HDMI capable regards sound. If you use optical like me all you will get is standard DD and DTS like on a normal DVD in which case there will be no difference.


I believe that you will actually get a Higher bitrate of DD and DTS which altho is not true hi def, is an improvement over standard DD and DTS. :thumbsup:
 

fuzzybee

Banned
One more thing to check: Sound.

Is the sound on blu-ray much better than SD:DVD on a standard amp? Obviously I won't get True HD etc but isn't HD DTS better than standard? would like to thing there is a sound improvement without having to buy an HD capable amp.

Also, what is the best way to connect to my amplifier? Optical? I notice there is no co-ax output on the PS3.

regarding the sound if your missus offers her opinion on it as mine did then yes the sound is superior to standard dvd with none HD Blu Ray sound.
I've had my Yamaha amp about five years now and the first time i watched a blu Ray film (Casino Royal) the sound blew me away and the wife, so that says it all.
I have standard dvd's and Blu Ray copies of Fifth Element,The crow and Corpse Bride all are vastly superior in sound and vision on Blu Ray just with the standard DD/DTS ie not the HD options,
it's far from the same.
apparently Black Hawk Down offers an amazing soundtrack via Blu Ray so that may well be my next purchase
atm my ps3 is connected to my amp via optical but when i get a new amp (Onkyo 605) in the next few weeks it will all be Hdmi for HD sound

i hope that helps your decision, honestly you have absolutely no reason not to :smashin:
 

Smiffy 2

Well-known Member
I was faced with a similar dilema a few weeks ago. I wanted to jump onto the HD "bandwagon" and had spent ages reading up about the different formats and what players/amps were available. One thing was for sure....I wasn't going to buy a PS3 (as I'm not a big "gamer")....
I finally made my decision......a new Onkyo 505 and a Toshiba E1. I was going to be doing things on a budget and didn't want to spend a fortune.
Then I got chatting on here...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:

And the more I read about it, the more sense a PS3 made.
So I now have a PS3 feeding through an Onkyo 605 with a Tosh E1 (or it's gen 3 replacement) waiting in the wings as soon as my mate coughs up for my old amp and Sony DVD player.
It has cost me a little bit more than I wanted to spend, but I will hopefully have all bases covered and am enjoying quality pictures and sound.
The PQ from the PS3 is superb, Blu Ray is breathtaking, and upscaled SD DVDs have taken on a new lease of life (compared to my old Sony player)....
The fact that I can buy the odd game or two and enjoy them in HD is a bonus too, and I can get on the internet when the Wife decides she wants to send a long rambling email to her sister on the PC.
The updates are a doddle, even for a numpty like me. I carried out the first one by downloading it from the 'net via an SD card, and now that I have sorted out the wireless connection on the PS3 (told you I was a numpt) I downloaded the latest one last night from the comfort of my favourite armchair.
And I've loaded up tons of my favourite tracks from my PC and can listen to decent music whenever I want.
The only thing I want to buy for it now is a decent bluetooth keyboard to make surfing that little bit easier, but I have no regrets about overspending and buying the PS3.
It's superb.
:clap::clap::clap:
 

lucasisking

Distinguished Member
Thanks to Fuzzybee & Smiffy- it is (almost) a no brainer now. :thumbsup:

It also occurred to me that the toshiba hd-e1 is soon to become obsolete in favour of their third generation players, whereas the ps3 is constantly upgradeable.

I am now aiming at getting mr ps3 in early october to co-incide with release of 300 on blu-ray. won't have any spare cash for games but will probably go for a package deal including RFOM and maybe motorstorm. My little son loves Excite truck on the wii so I think he'll appreciate that one! Spiderman 3 and Pirates (which the missus wants to see) are also out soon on blu-ray.

Yup. Think the last few reasons not to get a ps3 just gurgled down the plughole! Game on.

Smiffy, my music is also important to me. How did you transfer your music collection from your pc to the ps3? Can you do it using a flashdrive?
 

Smiffy 2

Well-known Member
Smiffy, my music is also important to me. How did you transfer your music collection from your pc to the ps3? Can you do it using a flashdrive?

All I did was download them onto an SD card and load them in.
I am a complete numpty when it comes to anything like this. I can talk the talk but can't walk the walk...:rolleyes::rolleyes::rolleyes:
I understand that it is possible to stream your music collection from WMP onto the PS3 but I haven't worked out how to do this yet. That would make life a lot easier, but having said that it only took me 5 minutes to do it "my way" anyway.
I have had a slight problem with my PS3 since I downloaded the latest "update" on Friday evening where it has locked up a couple of times (once after I had just qualified in pole for Monaco on F1 and didn't get a chance to save it. Does the bloody thing not realise how many grey hairs I got threading my way around there???? :rolleyes:)...
I contacted the PS3 customer helpline yesterday (somebody suggested giving them a ring) and was pleasantly surprised to find somebody manning the phone at 3.30 on a Sunday afternoon :clap::clap:
They have confirmed that there is a problem with my unit and have agreed to send out a courier on Tuesday and swap it for a brand new one. You can't ask for better service than that.
It hasn't put my off my PS3 though. Have just ordered a couple more BD for it, a new game and have pre-ordered "Planet Earth" collection. Will do the same with the "Blue Planet" when it is released. These will show off how truly awesome this machine is.
Rob
 

fuzzybee

Banned
for music i have just transfered what i want from my pc via a usb stick and put it on my ps3, i have done the same with all my digital photos and movies.

the missus now sits looking at all our digital pics and movies on the ps3, it's so much more than a games console you will be amazed at what it can do :thumbsup:
 

Moogle

Distinguished Member
I am now aiming at getting mr ps3 in early october to co-incide with release of 300 on blu-ray. won't have any spare cash for games but will probably go for a package deal including RFOM and maybe motorstorm. My little son loves Excite truck on the wii so I think he'll appreciate that one! Spiderman 3 and Pirates (which the missus wants to see) are also out soon on blu-ray.

No reason to wait till then as 300 is region free so you could always get the PS3 now and import the movie. Ofcourse if you want to try and get it as aprt of the package which may or may not be possible that's a different thing.
 
B

Braveheart

Guest
Well the internet PC isn't a problem- but I don't have any storage devices. Can't I hook up the pS3 directly to the computer using a usb connector? If not I guess I'll have to borrow one.

Thanks for the info.

A workaround might be to connect your PS3 directly to the internet via ethernet (i.e. intstead of your PC) attach a display ( even a composite display will do) to your PS3 and click on update software on PS3.
You should have all the neccesary leads shipped with the PS3 to achieve this.
OR
A little trickier,
Connect PS3 to internet as above (without any display & work blind. You could practice with your normal display, see which buttons you have to press on your controller & in which order, to get to the update & then as I said work blind with your PS3 connected to the internet)
Not perfect, I know, but I have a projector connected to my PS3 & I have on occasion inadvertantly switched off my PJ, & have worked blind as I call it, rather than switching my PJ back on again, because I don't want to shorten the life of the bulb.
A Fairly simple solution.
 

FunkyMonkey

Active Member
Some older HD-DVD players, i.e. the really cheap one, do not do full HD (1080p) picture as far as I can remember. Just a note.

And to clarify, you only need HDMI 1.1.

Other than that, what everyone else said. :p

Upgrading the PS3 to new firmware is as simple as selecting the upgrade option on the main menu and away you go. Just wait a few minutes.

I would get the PS3 simply because it does a lot more. Sure it costs £100 to £150 more but for that you get a machien that will get firmware updates for a few years at least, web browser, multimedia machine, photo album, jukebox. Heck, maybe in the future someone may even bring out an HD-DVD drive that we can connect to it! Well, a digital twin-TV tuner with pause and record features is only a few months away.

Ultimately though, it depends if you want to watch the HD-DVD exclusives. I do, but then I don't want to pay another £200 just to watch the odd HD film when I can just watch those on upsacled DVD (through the PS3 of course). In other words, not worth the extra £200 plus extra HD-DVD purchase price for me personally.
 

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