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My first Blu-ray experience

Call me the atypical Adobe employee…While I am a techno geek and absolutely love to play with technology, I either choose or (personal finances permitting) can’t get all of the lovely toys exactly when I want to. 

In my case, I chose not to run out and get a Blu-ray player right away – even though Encore is still the only cross-platform affordable Blu-ray authoring tool available.

I chose not to, for a couple of reasons.  First, even though I had a lot of information that indicated Blu-ray would eventually win, I chose not to be an early adopter with the possible chance that my bet was wrong.  Even though I was a kid, I remember the choice between VHS and Betamax. Ugh.

My second reason is even simpler – I already have a game system and didn’t need a Sony Playstation 3 to go along with my Nintendo Wii. And in case you want to argue for the PS3 over the Wii, I already know all the arguments and completely agree that the graphics and power of the PS3 is superior to the Wii, but hey – I’m old school! ;-)

Anyway, this weekend, I plunked down the $400 and picked up a PS3 to act as my primary DVD player.  I chose this for three reasons

  1. It’s one of the cheapest if not the cheapest ways to get a Blu-ray player.
  2. It upconverts standard DVDs to make them look better
  3. It’s a PS3 – I like games! (see above)

So, after setting up the basics of the system, I fired up Ocean’s 11 in full screen SD and took a look.  Looked fine, but nothing fantastic and the audio was LCR and not a true 5.1.  But still, the same or slightly better than a standard DVD

Second, I hunted my collection for something that would have wild audio and I picked the first Lord of the Rings deluxe standard DVD. Audio – WOW!  The PS3 sounded like the bomb – better than my original DVD player even with the same digital output.  Don’t know why, but I’ll take it!

Third, popped in the included Spiderman 3 Blu-ray DVD and skimmed several minutes of several scenes.  Looks terrific, definite difference and detail.  DETAIL!

For purposes of comparison, I then put in the standard-def version of Spiderman 3 with the PS3’s upconversion.  Have to admit, that I was surprised at how good the SD version was. It definitely wasn’t like going from VHS to DVD which was noticable to everyone immediately.  Still, the acid test is if my wife noticed the difference and she did.  This is a good sign for tech hungry men everywhere!

The big difference for me, was the detail of the overall scene.  You could make out a lot of stuff in the scene that might just be blurry on the SD version.  Yes, there was definitely a difference on the picture itself, but the big thing for me was the little detail and overall clarity of the entire picture.

So, is it time for you to purchase a Blu-ray?  I don’t know, but I will say that I’m glad that I did and now I feel safe in my purchase.

One last note, under one of the Sony ‘about’ panels, I saw that they had licensed the Flash player for their system. Great to see both the PS3 and the Wii have it installed in their OS.

Comments

Hi, Any update on when we will be able to install Adobe Flash Player 9 or 10 on PS3? The lack of this feature currently does not allow a PS3 user to access various online TV shows on sites such as NBC, etc. Please help!

Thanks in advance!

[DR - You have to go to Sony to check on that one.]

Thanx for all the great info guys. I just took PS3 out box and i’m trying to get it all setup.

how do i install flash player for ps3?…

[DR - as far as I know, you don't. PS3 uses the flash player 7 which they licensed. On the other hand, you can install a Unix based operating system on the PS3 and then presumably you could install a newer version of the flash player.

Now with the open screen project from Adobe, we may see more flash player and the ability to update it on devices such as the PS3.]

Welcome to PS3 land. Except that Adobe doesn’t seem to want to support Flash for PPC/cell processors, (hint, hint!) you’ll love it!

Honestly, if I could afford it, I’d have a Wii and a PS3!

Yes, it’s a very good price/performance Blu-Ray player. And it does a very good job with traditional DVDs as well. When I bought it I told my wife it was a BluRay player that came with a game console…. And no, she did not fall for that.

I just installed (yesterday, in fact) Yellow Dog Linux v 6.0 from http://www.terrasoftsolutions.com/ … Nothing like a desktop in 1080i. It’s something to play with while I wait for my new PC to be delivered.

(Now I can’t play Flash content on two “sides” of the PS3… )

Also – get an external USB drive, and use Swissknife to rework as a FAT32 disk so you can backup your PS3 data.

[DR - Mark, a lot of what you have here is stuff I didn't know about and will surely check it out. Right now, I haven't had time to really even set it up the way I'd like. The big wish I had would be to allow Logitech universal remotes to control it. PS3 looks to be bluetooth which is kind of a hassle. Oh well, still enjoying it!]

I’ve been held back by the belief that “it can’t be that much better”…. Thanks for sharing your insights. All I can say is… “Honey, Come read this….” ;-)

[DR - Yes, honey - cut him some slack and let him buy his toy! ;-) Cheers...]

I’ve been looking into a PS3 because I think that it will do mostly what any media center PC will do (that people want to do) card reader, movies, USB, surfing. And I believe the PS3 is totally quiet, which is a real challenge for a media center pc build. Once you buy the quiet case and parts, you are gonna be out quite an amount of money above what the PS3 costs. I was interested in if you put linux on it, what happens, can you dual boot it or do you lose it’s normal capabilities.

[DR - thanks for the comments. I agree that the PS3 is quiet, all the more interesting as Sony developed something like three custom ASICs to create the PS3. The question about linux is beyond my understanding, but I did notice there was an option to install another OS. You might dig into that and see what you turn up.]

The very interesting thing about the PS3’s capacity to play Blu-ray is that it has been consistently hailed as one of the best Blu-ray players on the market, compared with the stand-alone editions.

Combine that with the fact that it ^should^ have a great game library (I’m still waiting for MGS4, GTA4, the next FF, GT4) and the ability to act as a media extender (use TVersity as the server, there is a PC and should be a Mac version soon) and you really have a great piece of hardware.

[DR - Thanks for the comments Nicholas. I'll be looking into TVErsity myself to see what it's about.]

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