Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Catching up with the future of television

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  • giovanni tiso,

    When it does, you have to say that the PS3, with its Blu-Ray player, PVR, ability to play .avi files and IP-based catch-up programming will look a lot more attractive than TiVo.

    What doesn't? Nobody is buying those things even now.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7378 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    What's the quality like on the OnDemand though? Better than the website?
    Because you've been able to watch OnDemand through the web on the PS3 for sometime now (something TVNZs engineers were convinced wasn't possible until my boss, who was working with TVNZ at the time, pointed out that he'd done it the night before!) but even at "high quality" the full screen image was pretty ropey.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    but even at "high quality" the full screen image was pretty ropey

    We only have a 32" 720p Sony TV, but I've thought the quality was pretty exceptional. Clutching at straws, but I guess either the smaller screen, or maybe the 9600 GT?

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Kit McLean,

    I was happy to see the little icon appear in the XMB when I fired up the PS3 last night - no firmware update required, which suprised me. I had a quick play and found it easy to navigate. I watched about 10 min of a show (ok I admit it, it was Master Chief) and quality on the high bandwidth setting was pretty good*. Not great, but easily watchable for something other than a visual spectacular like the Pacific, which, if you have a swanky telly really should be viewed in HD.

    Anyway, I say biggie-ups to TVNZ and Sony for woking this out. Just one more reason to have a PS3 at the heart of your media centre.

    * I'm running it through a 720p 32" LCD.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • James Green,

    Nobody is buying those things even now.

    Indeed. Years too late. I might have considered getting one after seeing Miranda's on SATC, but how many years ago was that? I tired of that show what seems like forever ago.
    What I want is 4 tuners, 3+ TB of storage, and to have all my CDs losslessly stored on a device. Oh wait, I have that. Mwahahahahaha.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 689 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I watched about 10 min of a show (ok I admit it, it was Master Chief)

    Normally I like to leave obvious typos alone, but this is just SO COOL.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Robbie Siataga,

    I'd happily settle for broadband and just 20 gig a month. TVNZ sux balls.

    Since Feb 2010 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Kit McLean,

    Normally I like to leave obvious typos alone, but this is just SO COOL.

    I spell checked it and everything! How stupid is my spell check that it didn't know I meant Chef. Still, Master Chief could be a great show... hunting bison, peace pipe preperation, teepee erecting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    And set in the Waikato to boot.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7378 posts Report Reply

  • Gareth Ward,

    Interesting re quality - will check it out. Because even full screen on a laptop at the highest bandwidth setting is "fine" but a noticeable decrease from broadcast TV.

    The test I did re the web player on the PS3 was at least 6 months ago though.

    Auckland, NZ • Since Mar 2007 • 1721 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Master Chief

    I thought it was a PS3-inspired gaming reference

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16669 posts Report Reply

  • Stuff n Things,

    Can we please also get it for the Xbox 360? We've got streaming of old films already, but frankly I don't need to see Wayne's World that much that I'm prepared to pay around $6 to stream it (when it would be $2 from the video store up the road).

    Perhaps Microsoft could do a deal with Mediaworks for 3 and C4? I could totally go for a bit of the Daily Show ondemand.

    Wellywood • Since Apr 2007 • 50 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Ballantyne,

    @Sacha: Master Chief on a PS3? That would imply Microsoft was a software company...

    People, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high about the PlayTV -- I bought one a couple of weeks ago from two guys working out of a garage in Penrose and so far the experience has been disappointing. Partly because I haven't managed to swap in a 500GB drive yet (the damn thing won't just format -- suggestions, anyone?) but mostly because the performance isn't much good. Choppy video with occasional blizzards of artefacting, and everything in SD. It'll go okay if you set it up to record by itself and do nothing else -- if I want to watch something on another channel I switch back to my Freeview terrestrial box and luxuriate in HD, then (at my leisure) see whatever I've recorded in coarse SD.

    Damn! I bought the PS3 primarily to watch BlueRays and having it not capable of displaying a broadcast HD signal is wrong.

    The lack of a fully operating programme guide is annoying but I was prepared for that. When I asked one of the guys in the garage when he thought Sony would get it working with our local Freeview his estimate was "never".

    Conclusions: PlayTV is a tiny bit better than nothing at all. And it's cheap if you already have a PS3.

    As for TVNZ OnDemand's logo automagically installing itself above my PlayTV menu, that was a surprise. Picture quality may not be great but the PlayTV is rapidly degrading my standards to a point where I don't mind much.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 26 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    And set in the Waikato to boot.

    Then, Miserable Chief(s) might be more appropriate. The only teepee I have seen around any parts is the one perched on a hillside in Upper Takaka, Golden Bay.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2311 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    Master Chief could be a great show... hunting bison, peace pipe preperation, teepee erecting.

    Signing the UN Declaration on the Symbolic Aspirations of Indigenous Peoples....

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 803 posts Report Reply

  • Kit McLean,

    Signing the UN Declaration on the Symbolic Aspirations of Indigenous Peoples....

    ssshhh, that's a secret part of the show

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Can anyone point me to a good webpage on how to buy a TV in the 2010s?

    I don't know jack beyond CRTs, really, so need some help on specs to look for. Cheers.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Can anyone point me to a good webpage on how to buy a TV in the 2010s?

    I've allways found these two sites handy for that sort of thing.
    PC World and C Net. (relevant pages)
    Of course it depends if you're buying new or second hand, if yer flush with cash I'd go for the Samsung LED TVs, if not you want as many inputs as possible and a screen as big as you can afford. ;-)

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4861 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Oh, and TVNZ on demand, why bother? What's the point of
    "I Demand Crap Right Now"?

    The wireless north ;-) • Since Dec 2006 • 4861 posts Report Reply

  • George Darroch,

    I generally buy 14" CRT televisions. They're cheap, and the shoe is more likely to miss.

    The People's Republic of … • Since Nov 2006 • 2135 posts Report Reply

  • Kit McLean,

    Can anyone point me to a good webpage on how to buy a TV in the 2010s?

    A good starting place:

    Wired HDTV guide

    HD Guru 10 best This is based in the States, so you might have to do some googling to figure out what the NZ version of the TV is, but we do get most things. HD Guru's actually a pretty solid site for advice.

    Main thing - DON'T get sucked into buying expensive HDMI cables or power boards at the shop!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 24 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    ... if yer flush with cash...

    Steve, you know I'm not ;) (It's not for me, anyway; it's for my mum.)

    DON'T get sucked into buying expensive HDMI cables or power boards at the shop!

    Hey, I'm not that stupid, Kit. ;)


    Thank you both for the tips.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    You gotta admit though, it's a super-hassle working out what TV to get these days; one that's best suited for the future and best compatible with Freeview*, HDD recorders, etc. I need to do some serious research on it.

    *I just heard yesterday that there's digital or analogue Freeview. I had no idea!

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Oh, and TVNZ on demand, why bother? What's the point of
    "I Demand Crap Right Now"?

    The various bloggers at PA who have TVNZ shows are no doubt not offended at all.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6178 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    *I just heard yesterday that there's digital or analogue Freeview. I had no idea!

    Nah, there's Satellite (SD) or terrestrial (HD). It's all digital.

    Look for a set with a built-in Freeview tuner -- and for a bargain. Places like the Appliance Shed outlet store can save you 20-30% off usual retail. Check the paper on a Saturday.

    Sony and Samsung sets tend to be the best reviewed outside of the really expensive things like the Loewe range.

    You might choose to go for a slightly smaller screen in exchange for better features -- ie, as many HDMI ports as possible, a VGA port for the laptop, etc, or just better screen technology.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18892 posts Report Reply

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