Playstation 3 Blu-Ray & Games

I held off on buying a Blu-Ray player for a while, waiting to see if Blu-Ray or HD-DVD would win the format war. I had a PS2 for a long time and it was fulfilling my gaming needs for the most part. Then one day I bought myself a Guitar Hero 2 for the PS3 and really got hooked on music games. A good friend of mine came over who plays guitar and we played some Guitar Hero and he got instantly hooked, so hooked in fact that a few days later he bought himself a Playstation 3 and Guitar Hero 3 and Rock Band. A few weeks later I was over at his place and he was showing me Rock Band, I fell in love with playing the drums in Rock Band and really started to itch to get myself a PS3. Luckily for me, very shortly after that time it became apparent that Blu-Ray had won the format war. That was the news I was waiting for and I ordered myself a Playstation 3 pretty much that same day a long with a copy of Rock Band.

My Playstation 3 is the 80gig model and I’ve been very happy with it. I remember reading for months about what a great Blu-Ray player the Playstation 3 is, it’s got very fast loading times, Sony is great about updating the firmware and keeping the player up to date. I’ve read horror stories about people getting a new movie home and not being able to play it on their player and this is a problem I have never experienced with the Playstation 3.

The Playstation 3 uses bluetooth technology for it’s controllers and remote controls, this is both a blessing and a curse. It’s great because the controllers and remote don’t need line of site to the system, if you are within about 30 feet of the system, your controllers work without issue. It’s a curse because those of us with a universal remote control can’t use them to control the PS3 because, as far as I know, there aren’t any universal remotes that do bluetooth. Thankfully Logitech came to the rescue with their Logitech Harmony Adapter (more on that in a minute).

The big selling point for me on the Playstation 3 was the Blu-Ray aspect of it, as I stated I’d been waiting for the format war to be won and I was actually happy that Blu-Ray won because I wanted to get a Playstation 3 anyway. The Playstation 3 is, in my opinion, one of the best Blu-Ray players around. It’s very fast, a problem that really haunts some Blu-Ray players, Sony keeps it up to date with their frequent firmware updates and it’s got very good picture quality. Of course on top of the all this it’s also a great gaming machine. If you have a projector you really owe it to yourself to get a Blu-Ray player, it’s leaps above DVD in terms of picture quality. To me though, one of the biggest advantages of Blu-Ray is the sound. Blu-Ray discs can have an assortment of different audio formats including Dolby Digital, DTS, linear PCM, Dolby Digital Plus, DTS-HD High Resolution Audio, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio. Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio are both lossless and sound amazing. I remember when I first got my theater setup with the Playstation 3 and sitting down to watch the Pixar movie Cars and just getting this big ol’ stupid grin on my face as the movie played. There is a part near the beginning of the movie where Lightning McQueen is quietly talking to himself getting himself psyched up for the upcoming race and this is interspersed with the sounds of cars roaring around the track and the sound just absolutely blew me away.

I mentioned earlier about the Playstation 3 using bluetooth for it’s controllers and remotes and how this was a problem for those of us with universal remotes. I mentioned the Logitech Harmony Adapter and boy is this a great little piece of tech. It’s a bit expensive for what it is at around $50-$60, but to me it was worth it so that I could control everything from my Harmony One remote. As the name suggests, this product is made for Logitech’s Harmony line of remotes, how the device works is you send an IR signal from your remote to the device, the device in turn sends a bluetooth signal to the Playstation 3. The great thing about this product is that it doesn’t need to be plugged into the Playstation 3 using up one of the USB inputs and it can turn on the Playstation (features that many of it’s competitors can’t claim). It does need to be plugged in though, it would have been nice if they had a battery option but this didn’t prove to be a big deal to me. Setting up the adapter was very easy and the instructions were simple to follow. Essentially you register the device as a remote on your Playstation 3, then setup the Playstation 3 with the Harmony remote software and you’re done. It worked for me right away and it has performed flawless for me, I really couldn’t be happier with the device.

If you’re in the market for a Blu-Ray player I highly suggest looking into the Playstation 3, even if you’re not at all interested in gaming, it’s a great device. It has lots of features that I am not even using, you can use it as a media server so you can play videos over your LAN, you can stream music to it, you can use it to view images from your camera, you can surf the web, it’s a pretty powerful system.

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