PlayTV Gets Even Better With 1.21 Update

Hi Guys,

We have now released the latest PlayTV software update (1.21) for you and here’s what it will do –

  • Play TV now lets you Watch, Pause and Record High Definition TV for DVB-T standard broadcast. In countries that are launching free digital HD channels you will now be able to both watch and record them through your PS3 with PlayTV.
  • Aino remote play support. If you get the new Sony Ericsson Aino mobile phone with PS3 remote play features, we have optimized the user interface of PlayTV for the mobile phone screen so that you get the best mobile PlayTV experience possible.
    • Update of the PS3 to System Software 3.0. The update 3.0 for your PS3, if you haven’t done it already, will make sure that you have the mobile phone function in the remote play settings. You will need this if you want to experience PlayTV on the go with your Aino mobile phone.
  • Better standard definition upscaling. We have managed to improve the SD upscaling feature of PlayTV so when you are watching SD channels on an HD screen they will look as good as they possibly can.
Did you enjoy this?


104 Comments 11 Author replies
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Trigga_Tybalt 5 November, 2009 @ 11:04 am   1

are there any free HD channels in England?

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 1:49 pm    

    Afraid not, the UK have decided that when it gets freeview HD it will be on DVB-T2, not DVB-T


any in germany?

AdyColclough 5 November, 2009 @ 11:08 am   3

Non in the U.K. as yet Trigga_Tybalt but they are due very soon, though i’m not sure on dates.


Hi James,
Would be great if you had some news on general PlayTV development plans, I am still hoping for some improvements to the program recording functionality for example. Would be great to be able to only record on weekdays for instance, as currently it is either every day or once a week.

xKillerMonkeyx 5 November, 2009 @ 11:12 am   5

Wooo keep updating PlayTV and never forget about it, it is one amazing application.

Carnivius_Prime 5 November, 2009 @ 11:12 am   6

I really should have bought playtv by now. Would beat my crap freeview box that keeps freezing and switching itself off plus I just like adding new features to my PS3.


I am interesting in buying this but do you know if it works in Ireland in general and does HD also work in Ireland?

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 1:51 pm    

    PlayTV definitely works in Ireland, you can buy it in stores there or online. I am not 100% sure whats happening with HD in Ireland yet

Carnivius_Prime 5 November, 2009 @ 11:14 am   8

Actually I’ll ask for it for christmas

This will not play HD channels in the UK. HD Freeview in the UK will use different technology that currently no freeview boxes, Play TV included, are compatible with.

PlayTV = useless outside uk


Trigga_Tybalt and AdyColclough, PlayTV will not be able to pick up HD signal in th UK, even when they are broacast. OfCom have said that HD Freeview will be broadcast in the UK using the new DVB-T2 standard. Because we had so many Freeview channels, we do’t have the bandwidth to support those SD and new HD channels in the current format. As PlayTV is V DVB-T, it would require a change in hardware to pick up these channels. So unless there’s a PlayTV2 box, we aint getting no HD broadcasts. Most of the rest of the EU is sticking with DVB-T, so should be gettings some HD channels.

And James, any news on the series record feature? My PlayTV picture quality looked brilliant before, surely the series link should be of greater priority?

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:33 pm    

    We are looking into the series link but I can’t specify any timings just yet, sorry


Just to second what SBQOF said.

Freeview in the UK will be broadcast using the DVB-T2 system (which is actually better in the long run for viewers – so don’t moan about it).

The PLAY TV hardware can only pick up DVB-T. It can’t be upgraded to DVB-T2.

Other countries that use DVB-T will be able to use Play TV for HD.

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 11:40 am   13

i realise that the UK cant get HD channels unless you have HD freeview (which requires a dish – great news) however, im interested in the upscaling features involved , i have a 47 inch 1080p tv and my current freeview box, to put it bluntly is cr@p…guys how good is the upscaling to tv’s this size?? because if its good i’ll go get one today!

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:35 pm    

    Looks like you’ve already been persuaded, which is great news. Just wanted to confirm that the Upscaler varies between channels but it definitely makes a difference.

Chrispynutt 5 November, 2009 @ 11:42 am   14

To be honest whilst I would like a PlayTV-T2 box, even better would be a PlayTV-Sat box as I have a dual LNB sat dish and dodgy freeview reception. PlayTV is much better than the free to view sat boxes I used before FreeSat came out.

mcwildcard 5 November, 2009 @ 11:42 am   15

It’s a shame about the HD stuff in the UK, but it’s still a great piece of kit.
If they were to release a new box for it that was capable of decoding a DVB-T2 signal I’d snap it up double-quick, but as far as I’m aware the UK is the only country to use this type of signal, so it’s unlikely that they’d bring out a new box soley for the needs of one country.


Freeview(in the UK)looks horrible on my HD:TV :-/
The only way i can get FREE HD channels is by buying a FreeSat Box + Dish which i’m not to keen on doing. The UK have messed up big time i think with Freeview. If everyone is going HD(i.e buying a HD:TV)then Freeview is useless? i.e the picture quality :-/

PlayTV looks good tho for what it does.

FierceAngel 5 November, 2009 @ 11:51 am   17

Have you guys thought of doing PlayTV for FreeSat?


WOW you guys finally posted some info on this update. I though you would have done it straight away.

Any way you like to take this opportunity to thank you guys for all your hard work the development team has put into this update to ensure Play TV 100% compatibility with Australia.

One thing I have noticed not to put a dampener on the release is that occasionally PlayTV will freeze on boot up (Freezes on PlayTV logo) and have noticed that the new firmware seems to increase fan noise. Just for your information.

Again well done guys glade to see the results of all your herd work. Looking forward to the Australian release on the 26th of November.

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:39 pm    

    Thanks for your comments FluxZero, The development team have put a lot of effort and long hours into this so I will pass your comments onto Mark Bunting and his team!

Hellscovern 5 November, 2009 @ 11:54 am   19


You dont need a dish to get freeview HD.. your thinking of freesat..

Freeview HD will be transmitted the same way as all other freeview channels you just need a Freeview settop box or PVR which are not availble until early 2010..

I’m in the northwest and HD freeview gets switched on when we go fully digital on the 2nd December yet no one will be able to watch it due to no HD freeview hardware..

elephant_stone 5 November, 2009 @ 12:01 pm   20

Another great update from such a dedicated team! PlayTV is the most used application on my PS3!

Can you allow me to boot straight into it when my girl friend chooses her PS3 account….and can the next firmware update allow my account to boot straight into Home (for example)?

Keep up the good work!

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:42 pm    

    Afraid this is not possible as you must go to the XMB first, however from a previous update you can go straight to live TV, saving you some time.

sugapunk2007 5 November, 2009 @ 12:05 pm   21

Will we ever be able to (or have the option to) record two programmes at once? Also will Series Link ever hit PlayTV?

These are the only two things which are stopping me from buying a PlayTV.

TheBigAitch 5 November, 2009 @ 12:05 pm   22


i have had playtv for 18 months and it’s great . i have 42 ” 1080 panasonic and even before the upscaling was introduced it looked better than the built in freeview . in all seriousness you can’t really go wrong

all it needs to be compatible with uk terrestrial hd freeview is a new usb tuner which i’m sure i read in an interview they said they would bring out in due course however seeing as terrestrial hd freeview wont be completely rolled out til 2012 it’s not that big a deal really 🙂

where is proper series link though ? that’s well overdue ! 😛


Nice updates, shame the UK is going a different route with HD. I heard PlayTV is launching in Australia soon and it will work with their HD Freeview, I France have some DVB-T HD channels too. Out of interest what happens if you record a HD transmission? Does it downscale it or vastly increase the filesize? I know on my V+ box a recording from an HD channel takes up about 10 times the amount of space as a SD recording!!!

As for UK HD Freeview HD is not the same as Freesat HD, there will be Freeview HD channels launching next year but nothing is currently capable of receiving the signal! I agree with Chrispynutt though, a FreeSat PlayTV decoder rather than a DVB-T2 decoder could be more useful for homes with a dish, and probably a lot cheaper to make than a DVB-T2 PlayTV initially too.

Also does PlayTV support the Freeview+ service in the UK? i.e. the ability to series link actual shows rather than just enter a weekly time (so if it gets moved in the schedule it picks up the program tag and records it at the right time)

Mind you with it’s upscaling technology people would probably be less bothered about HD channels anyway (let’s face it if they really wanted HD channels they would get Sky, or maybe Virgin).

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:48 pm    

    If your recording HD freeview in Australia or France then the file size is bigger than an SD recording but this depends on the broadcasters.
    PlayTV doesn’t support Freeview+ at the moment


@ Iorghe, why exactly is it useless outside the UK when DVB-T is used in over 30 Countries, including most of Europe? Have a look at the map of standards on the Wikipedia page for DVB-T…

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 12:16 pm   25

@ Hellscovern

Cheers mucker…yeah i got confused with freeSAT, but surley you would need HDMI and as far as im aware playTV doesnt have one?? hows does this work in the australian territories? or is there a seperate box over there??

And TheBigAitch

Big thank you, you’ve sold me then! and cheers on the little snippet of info at the bottom..will this usb tuner you mention, do you think it will be an add on for this version of playTV i.e a sort of thru USB or another iteration of play TV??

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 12:21 pm   26

bugger, just realised it runs thru the PS3..hellscovern disregard my last question …eh forum masters…why no edit ro reply tags??

sintax-error 5 November, 2009 @ 12:22 pm   27

@ James Thorpe

Hi James

where can we submit ideas/feedback about PlayTV? I have an idea for something I would love to see added to PlayTV and it shouldn’t be to hard to implement, just some extra code.

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:50 pm    

    Hi sintax-error, you can just post your ideas on here if you want and I will pass them onto the dev team? Or if you’d prefer leave me your email and i’ll get in touch with you.

deterjoumuligt 5 November, 2009 @ 12:40 pm   28

Here in Denmark we just got a bunch of new DVB-T freeview channels, one of them HD. The new channels are all MPEG4 with AAC HE sound. The good news is that the sound works great, but the picture doesn’t. It has a lot of pixellation and stuttering

This seems to be a problem with the PS3’s ability to play MPEG4 since:
-Everybody in Denmark seems to have the problem
-It looks bad when played from the PlayTV library, as live TV, and once moved to the XMB.
-If you transfer one of the files to a PC it looks beautiful, so it is not bad reception, and the MPEG2 channels look fine.

On the SD channels the problem often disappears after a few seconds (like 20) but on the HD channel (720P 50Hz, around 7,5 mbit)the problem persists.

Have anyone in e.g. France or New Zealand where there are MPEG4 channels experienced this problem?

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 12:42 pm   29

b u g g e r, just realised it runs thru the PS3..hellscovern disregard my last question …eh forum masters…why no edit or reply tags??

Reposting because i’m not allowed to say ‘b u g g e r’, even though it is considered incredibly low level profanity here in ol’ blighty. 😉

paintballjoe 5 November, 2009 @ 12:44 pm   30

Hey- Will you be releasing a box that will pick up DVB-T and DVB-T2 programnes so we in the UK can receive HD channels? After all in the Granada area (where I live :D) we get HD free view next month!

TheBigAitch 5 November, 2009 @ 12:53 pm   31


No problem, it comes with a little usb tuner (which i hide around the back of the cabinet that holds the ps3 and the amp) – so it’s just a question of them releasing a T2 version of that to swap over when the time comes.

also i think people here are confusing digital switch over with digital HD – these two things will inevitably overlap but are NOT the same thing. Proper terrestrial HD freeview (ie through your aerial) is not due to get to London and the SE regions til 2012 (last time I checked)

so if you want a nifty, not to mention cheap PVR then you can’t go wrong, if you MUST have HD tv go buy freesat, virgin or god forbid murder’s I mean murdoc’s sky 😉

Also, several of my mates have assumed that stuff they’ve seen on my tv has been HD – stuff on the higher bandwidth primary channels (BBC, channel 4, ITV1) that they advertise as ‘also available in HD’ looks damn impressive in SD through playtv at 1080 for £50 (maybe plus a new bigger HD) you can’t go wrong

and no I’m not on commission 😉

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 12:57 pm   32

@ paintballjoe…lucky get! any links on where i can find out about this coverage and rollout info?? im in bristol…

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 1:02 pm   33

@ TheBigAitch

well you should be on commission, lol! cause now you’ve proper sold me!
ah i knew the digital switch over is due (ive had it for eons) so i do believe your correct in that some guys here are confusing the 2…i’ll have to investigate…either way im gettin playTV today

seedaripper1973 5 November, 2009 @ 1:07 pm   34

@ TheBigAitch

ahhhrgh!! usb! forgot about that, just got a ‘slim’ (launch has broke, but waitin on fix to sell to an american, whos desperate for BC)..i digress, ive only got 2 ports on this one! costa del pain-in-the-ar-se…and ugly to boot…ah well still getting it 😉


why is this only being reported today? i saw it via twitter, got all excited thinking it was a new update only to find ive had it a few weeks


Bit late! 😀

Will you be bringing new Play TV Hardware to the UK so we can watch freeview HD for when it comes later this year?

sprint900 5 November, 2009 @ 1:29 pm   37

I bough my PS3 a month ago and the playTV a few weeks later, and it’s fab. Features I really wish for:
* Series-linking
* Finding another program with the same or similar name as the selected in the guide (take program title and auto-fill the search box for user to edit?)
* DVB-T2 or FreeSatHD product. I suspect the latter would be a whole new product since the EPG is very different?
* Ability to export recordings to external media, e.g. the PSP, for offline play
* Ability to play programs even without the DVB-T adaptor plugged in so you can take your PS3 to a friend’s without taking the adaptor
* Ability to plug in two DVB-T adaptors for multi-channel recording and simultaneous playback
* Recompress recordings to save disk space
* Software e.g remotePlay for other computers (mac, pc, linux), not just Aino and PSP so I can schedule recordings when I forget to do it at home

thanks for a great product!

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:56 pm    

    Thanks for your comments Sprint900, there are some good suggestions in there so I’ def pass this all onto the dev team

Available here When?

This SCEE policy of releasing products on couple countries only is totally anonying. More often than not these blog articles are about products we have never seen here. Or like PlayTV, it was announced over year ago and never released.

sully1311 5 November, 2009 @ 1:59 pm   39

Will there be a new PlayTV so it will be able to receive UK DVB-T2 HD Channels. I really want one but I also want HD channels more?

Gnubberen 5 November, 2009 @ 2:13 pm   40

Just as “deterjoumuligt” said, it seems that everyone with playtv in denmark has this problem, with the MPEG4 channels.. Hope you’ll fix it, even though Playtv isn’t official out here in denmark yet..

In Denmark the new HD channels are all MPEG4 with AAC HE sound. The picture has a lot of pixellation and stuttering

This seems to be a problem with the PS3’s ability to play MPEG4 since:
-It looks bad when played from the PlayTV library, as live TV, and once moved to the XMB.
-If you transfer one of the files to a PC it looks beautiful, so it is not bad reception, and the MPEG2 channels look fine.


All very good but PLEASE add:

Series link and remember my “how many mins before and after the recording” settings

hey i just got a ps3 slim recently. I dont have the PlayTV disc i think. Is there a way to download the software? I dont want to have a playTV box but not be able to use it because I basically dont have the software.

    James Thorpe 5 November, 2009 @ 2:59 pm    

    you will need to have the PlayTV box as well as this is the actual TV Tuner that you plug the aerial into, without this there is no way playTV could work

sleepyenglish 5 November, 2009 @ 3:05 pm   44

Any news on a playtv box that will support DVB-T2 in the UK?

Please pretty please

bacheshiraazy 5 November, 2009 @ 3:24 pm   45

any hopes of this feature comming to the states as well as vidzone?

vareselover 5 November, 2009 @ 3:25 pm   46


I guess this is a message for James, but if anyone else knows the answer, I’d be very glad of a response. I’ve just set up my Play TV equipment and software and absolutely love it. It’s a first class design job, great logo, great interface and all seems to work beautifully.

There’s one, rather silly, question that I have. My wife always disables the clicking sounds that happen when navigating menus as they drive her crazy. But we can’t find an option to remove the clicking sound effect when navigating Play TV menus. Is there an option for this? If not, can this, admittedly small, feature be included in a future software update?


How do you perform the said update?

I have tried through Settings – About program – Search for updates in the Past, but I have been unable to perform the actual previous updates. The Version that it says I have is just a – and no number or anything. I have tried re installing it and get the same. I will try tonight to perform it again, but am I doing the right thing?

goldcity2008 5 November, 2009 @ 3:37 pm   48

Thanks for the 1.21 playtv software release, and thanks that finally you inform about it in this blog.

I’m from Barcelona province, SPAIN. We are lucky because we have a free HD channel “TV3HD”. The emision of this channel is mpeg4 and with dolby digital sound. With previous software update we began to watch this channel with playtv, And the HD picture is fantastic and very clear but when you switch the channel and go to the HD channel, the image pixelates a lot and after some seconds (beetwen 10 s and 1 min) the image is arranged and begins to look fantastic without any pixelation. But if you switch to another channel and go back to the HD channel, another time the same, pixelation for some time and then good image.
After installing the new software, the problem is not solved the only diference is that now we can record the channel.
I have asked other playtv users in my zone and everebody have the same problem.

Hey James can you pass this on aswell?

Kopfschuss1 5 November, 2009 @ 3:40 pm   50

any plans for PlayTV working in portugal? 🙁

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