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Sony PlayStation TV

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Nov 14, 2014 in PS4, Tech

Sony PlayStation TV

Ever since the announcement of this little device last year, I’ve been looking forward to getting my hands on one. For those of you thinking ‘what the hell is it’, I’ll tell you. Basically, this is a screenless, controllerless Playstation Vita. It’s a device that you plug into your TV via HDMI and when paired with either a Dualshock 3 or Dualshock 4 controller, will allow you to not only play your favourite Vita games on the big screen, but will also allow you to steam the contents of your Playstation 4 via the remote play function.

The device itself is pretty small, about the same size as the Apple TV, and with it’s matt black design, it’s easy to hide under the TV. Attached are a power cable, a HDMI cable and I’m personally using a wired LAN connection instead of utilising the built in wifi. On the back there are two slots, one for a Playstation Vita memory card, and another for the game cartridge. Although you can expand the storage, it comes with 1GB of internal storage.

With this essentially being a Vita, you can not only play your games from the cartridge, but also all your digital titles from the Playstation network. In the same vein, you can also use the cross save, auto save backup, auto download, auto update features you’ve come to expect on the Vita.

The UI is pretty much the same as what you’re used to on the Vita and I found navigation and the user experience very familiar.

In the box, you get the device itself, a power cable, HDMI cable, manual and codes for 3 digital downloadable games. These are Worms™ Revolution Extreme, Velocity®Ultra and OlliOlli. Unfortunately I already own OlliOlli and as you get a single code for all 3 games, I’m unable to give that away.

So, to main question, how do the game look?….well, pretty good. This device will display your Vita games in 720p, and in stereo (there is no surround sound). This is the same for streaming content from the Playstation 4. Although I’d prefer this to be in 1080p and 7.1, I’m happy enough with what this device allows me to do, and I’m happy to accept the compromise. I have to mention, I am currently testing this on a 23″ TV/Monitor, so not sure how it would look on a 40″+ TV, but I’ll look at giving that a go in the coming days.

As you are able to pair either the Dualshock 3 or 4, I decided to go with the 4, and glad I did. When playing my Playstation 4 via remote play, all the controls work as expected, even the touchpad, which I personally think is a great design.

For me, one of the major benefit of this device is being able to play some of my Vita games with a proper controller, don’t get me wrong, I love the Vita, however there are some games that I really struggle with the tiny thumb sticks, (e.g. Killzone Mercenaries) and never got around to completing them. With the Dualshock 4 attached, I’m hoping to blast through a lot of these games. From my understanding, most games will work straight of the box, however I know that the likes of Borderlands 2 and Killzone Mercenaries have both been updated to include support. I can only assume they have changed the control scheme as both used some form of touch screen. For a list of compatible games, you can find that here

The Playstation 4 streaming works really well, yes it still has a little bit of lag, however feels a lot less than the Vita, this maybe down to the fact I’m using a wired network connection instead of wireless. Although extremely usable, I’m not sure you could play a twitchy shooter without getting your arse handed to you.

All in all, it’s a cracking little device, granted with the price of an additional Dualshock 4 controller and a 64GB memory card, it makes it quite expensive, however the ability to play my Vita games on the big screen makes it worth every penny.

Unboxing pics below.

 

Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV
Sony Playstation TV

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Apple to dominate the streaming world?

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Jul 24, 2012 in Apple, Films, Tech

Before you read, this isn’t based on any official news, just my speculation.

Over the past couple of years in the UK, more and more steaming companies have been popping up and as  internet speeds rise in the UK, it’s becoming more practical for the like of BBC, ITV, Channel4, Channel5 and various other terrestrial providers to offer a steaming service. Youtube now host many TV programs and films, and it won’t be long until they offer a monthly set fee subscription model.

Personally I cancelled my Sky ‘normal TV’ subscription over a year ago now, and have been fed my visual entertainment via streaming and rental services.

Until recently, I had the Lovefilm streaming service as well as Netflix, however I made the choice and decided to kill off Lovefilm. Personally I prefer a ‘all you can eat’ service if I’m paying a monthly fee, not a monthly fee plus an additional ‘pay for anything that’s worth watching’ fee.

Sky have recently released NowTV, offering either pay as you go model or a set fee ‘watch as much as you want’ service. This currently only has movies, but they plan to add everything Sky subscribes have been able to access via SkyPlayer.

This all led me to think, why the hell don’t Apple offer this kind of service, I assumed it was some kind of licencing, however as of Friday, all my previously purchased movies were available to stream from the iCloud, which hopefully they’ve now signed whatever contracts are needed to allow movie streaming in the UK (and 35 other countries).

Apple do have a huge range of TV programs and Films on a ‘pay as you go’ rental and buy model (probably a larger library than Netflix and Lovefilm put together (in the UK)), and if they offered this at a reasonable monthly price, this would surely increase the sales of Apple TV, as well as collecting a monthly subscription.

I hope that Apple doing things the Apple way, possibly, hopefully in the near future Apple will offer a streaming service ?

Fingers crossed!

ps, I would however like to point out my previous prediction of the AppleTV being Apples game console haven’t yet come try….but I live in hope.

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Apple TV 3rd Generation

Posted by Ub3rG33k on Mar 21, 2012 in Apple, Tech

Like many I sat and watched live streams of the iPad 3 media event on the 7th March 2012, and sat at drooled at the new shiny. In addition to the iPad 3 being launched there was the announcement of the 3rd generation Apple TV.

It’s selling features at the event was a new shiny UI and the ability to output 1080 video (instead of the 720 from the 2nd generation)

Although the 1080 did sound appealing, I spend the best part of a month encoding all my media to 720, and didn’t plan on re-encoding all the blurays to 1080.

Again the new UI looked new and shiny, granted there were no new features added, it just gave it more of a iOS feel, which was available for the 2nd generation within hours of the media event….so unfortunately I wasn’t sold and thought I’d pass on this model.

Then an opportunity arose, that meant I could potentially move one of the existing Apple TV’s into the kitchen, and replace this with a new model…so I did.

Last night it turned up, and to be honest, if it didn’t say 1080 on the side of the box, it would have been hard to tell if it was the new model of not. The same applies for the device itself, I held the 2nd and 3rd generation side by side, and honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

Plugged in the device, saw the familiar apple symbol then ran through the setup as with the other models. Once set up, I flicked through the menus, to find only one change, the vide output had the 1080 option, and that’s it. This actually made me happy, as I realised I wasn’t losing any functionality from the previous boxes.

Now I’ve seen a number of tear downs, and people are suggesting the 3rd generation has got the A5 processor, and the upgrade to 512Mb of system memory making this device as snappy as the iPad 2. There is also the suggestion that this has the same internal 8Gb storage, and the bluetooth has been upgraded to bluetooth 4.0

Being a long time user of the 2nd generation model, the upgrade to the processor and memory are noticeable, this device is a lot snappier. I’ve not given it enough to see if the hardware upgrade fixes some glitches that were present in the 2nd generation, eg the random restarts, and the occasional buffering issues, however I’m sure time will tell.

I did attempt to give the 1080 a good test, however the UK version of the store and netflix seems to be a little sparse when it comes to 1080 content. It seems a lot of the items are tagged as HD, with the occasional tagged as 1080. Based on this assumption there doesn’t seem to be any 1080 trailers and all the Netflix content I tried had only the HD tag. Now I have read that Netflix has upgraded the Apple TV steaming to support 1080, but not sure if this is in the states only. Currently the UK Netflix library is but a small subset of what’s available overseas.

I did however download a 1080 trailer from Apples site, drop it in iTunes and streamed it to the Apple TV and this did look a lot sharper.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what happens with future content, and hope that when the iCloud movie steaming comes to the UK, I’ll get a 1080 version of all the films I got on triple play (Digital, DVD and Bluray), but I guess only time will tell.

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