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HDTV and the PS3 |

The BD drive isn’t needed. There’s not enough interest in HD yet to warrant it – just look at the Wii, it doesn’t even support HD. The BD drive just drives up the price of the PS3 for no useful benefit.

I’ve heard these kind of arguments about Sony, BD, and the PS3 for a while now. If you read this space much, you’ll know that I have an HDTV myself and that I look forward to both buying and renting movies in HD to play on the PS3.

Am I in the minority?

Ponder with me, if you will, the idea that PS3 owners and Xbox 360 owners won’t be too different. They’ll both have the same kind of tech-savviness and they’ll both buy into HDTV in the same way. I don’t think the idea is too far-fetched. As a matter of fact, I think that because of the price and the BD drive, PS3 owners will be more likely to own HDTV sets than Xbox 360 owners, but that’s not really germane to this article.

Anyway, I have a nice little statistic for you, courtesy of Microsoft senior program manager Kevin Collins. According to Video Business Online: “He said that 30% of people who want to purchase games already have high-def displays, and 64% of Xbox 360 users already own high-def displays.”

I guess I’m not in the minority after all.

Xbox 360 HD DVD add-on unveiled

  • I have a big dilemma with HDTV & PS3. It’s still 50/50 whether I will get a PS3 this year or have to wait until next year but if I did get a PS3 there’s no way I’ll be able to afford a decent HDTV so I would have to make do with my 32″ Sony Wide-screen 100hz SDTV.

    Would PS3 games still look great on a SDTV? I wouldn’t even be able to use 480p as I haven’t got progressive scan either.

    So would there be any point in me getting a PS3 if I haven’t got a HDTV?

  • My friend Todd has an Xbox 360, and we play that on his 32″ SDTV all the time. The games still take advantage of most of the new technology in the Xbox 360, except for the HD part. It’s a definite improvement over the Xbox.

    That said, when he brings his Xbox 360 to my place, or to Mike’s place (Mike also has an HDTV), the difference is amazing. HD is really the way to go if you can swing it.

  • Me personally am going to get a HDTV in November or December. I’m planning on selling 2-3 extra PS3’s on eBay to build my HDTV fund 🙂

  • So you’re planning on getting your hands on some extra PS3s just so you can sell them on for a profit?

    Just how will you get hold of more than one PS3?

    If you can afford to “buy” at least 3 PS3s then you can afford to buy a HDTV.

  • agent864

    This is one of the oft repeated talking points of the 360-iteratti.

    1. Don’t need an HD drive, my 360 is fine on my SDTV
    2. BD Drive is overkill
    3. Dont want HD movies
    4. Compression works just fine for 360 DVD games
    5. Can upgrade to HD-DVD add on any time I want , will be cheaper later on when I’m ready.

    etc etc … None of these arguments hold water and I’ve tried to refute them as best as possible in the blog wars.

    The only argument that works right now – and it is a good one – is that bluray movies aren’t as good as HD-DVD in terms of visual quality, that is, until they start coming out on 50G discs encoded in MPEG4, which, I don’t know when that will happen but if it doesn’t happen soon bluray will die as a movie format.

    The whole tagline of the 360 during launch was Welcome to the HD era. To me that means games and movies and tv. And I have a 360 and I have an HDTV (720p) and games and DVDs look fabulous on that TV. Getting a PS3 with a built in HD movie player is an added bonus that is worth the extra $100. And it isnt even an extra $100 if you count in an XBL membership and the HD-DVD add on, its cheaper.

    If you want to fully join the “HD Era” then the PS3 20G has everything you need right out of the box with no expensive aftermarket addons required.

    Because of the price, a lot of families and a lot of gamers can only get one machine or the other and may or may not be able to get an HDTV. Well, for those people an Xbox 360 offers a lower barrier to entry and may be the right next-gen choice for them. Just don’t spoil the fun for the rest of us.

  • Matt

    The difference from PS2 to PS3 on SDTV is huge. You will still enjoy the PS3. Their are a lot of things besides graphics the next gen brings.

    I purchased my HDTV to play 360 (and eventually PS3) on. Their were other reasons like American Football and other sports (I am a sports nut) along with movies.

    The thing I worry about is people jumping into HDTV before they should. I see no reason to buy an HDTV under 37″. It looks better than SDTV but the difference is smaller on a small screen. I also see no reason to buy a 1080p display under a 50″ screen.

    My dad bought a 32″ LCD and to tell you the truth I think he wasted his money. Watching some American Football on his tv this weekend didn’t do it for me. Sure there is a difference but it looks nowhere as good as my 50″.

    Buying an HDTV just to have one is stupid. These things are expensive and can vary drastically in performance between the different technologies. Getting what you need, even if it costs more money, makes the most sense.

    Henning, what are your thoughts. You have a 57″ HDTV. Have you seen a smaller HDTV and thought something along these lines?

  • Matt

    Oh. I read a lot of different forums and I agree with the MS guy. It seems that people are buying HDTVs to play the 360 on. I did, and I see threads all the time about which HDTV they should buy.

    The 360 and PS3 are definately going to speed up the HDTV transition here in the states. I bought mine for 360 and my dad bought one because he was jealous of my tv. Out of sight, out of mind is a true statement. When someone who has one has friends over they become salespeople for HDTV. It is a shame that many people go into box stores and ask some kid that knows nothing about HDTV. The internet can teach you more than any salesman.

  • I’ll get a small loan if needed. I already have $1230 saved up. And that will go up to around $1600 at least by PS3 launch. The HDTV I’m planning to get is this.

  • darrin

    I have a non-HD non-progressive-scan plain old TV. In about a year or so, I’ll upgrade to a HD monstrosity, but in the meantime I definitely plan to preorder a PS3.

    High end PS3 at launch time: $600
    Nice HD tv: $1500+

    “Would PS3 games still look great on a SDTV?”

    Of course! You get all the improved geometric complexity, animation detail, effects such as bump mapping and HDR, as well as all the non-graphical improvements such as physics, AI, game logic, networking, sound, controller. The only thing you miss with SDTV is full resolution.

    I’m also excited about blu-ray with SDTV. In addition to the improved resolution, I’d like to see the improved playback extras and options. And, as a NetFlix subscriber, I switch to Blu-Ray movies for no extra cost.

    Not to sound like a commercial, but I am excited.

  • darrin

    “Would PS3 games still look great on a SDTV?”

    BTW, this totally sounds like a plant and I swear it isn’t.

  • I have 2 pre-ordered at FYE, and I’ll get one at gamespot & EB Games & Toys “R” Us. Why so many places … backup, just in cause one store doesn’t have one for me launch day.

  • Looks like a nice HDTV, Tosh! Did you check if it accepts a 1080p signal on the HDMI inputs? Sony is starting to support that, but you have to check your particular model.

  • Tosh: are you talking about the KDL-46XBR3 or KDL-46XBR2? They do support 1080p. I think the one you’re looking at is the KDL-46XBR2, right? So you’re good to go. Good to see people doing their homework!

    But why don’t you go for the KDS-60A2000 rear projection SXRD set, for example, which is $3700 ($600 cheaper), plus it’s 60″ instead of 46″ ?

  • So…

    As I was at my Lawyer today (got some heirship comming my way) and I’ll be getting about 12000€ out of it. But as I was saving up for an HDTV already (got 600€, in 2 weeks, it’ll be enough for my new HDTV), thats “just” some added bonus, meaning I can get a PS3 at launch after all 😀

    But that said aside, I dont plan on buying a monster TV for that. A nice CRT (the ONLY HD-Ready CRT in Germany ATM) is enough for my needs. It has a splendid Contrast, which drove me away from LCDs, as the contrast is as important for imagequality as the resolution.

    It “only” supports 1080i (but as it is a CRT, it doesnt suck at interlaced material), which is enough for me. In Germany, we already have 5 HDTV Channels (mainly via dish, which I dont have, and 3 of them which are PayTV) and I dont watch tooo much TV. I will use it however for BluRay movies and gaming!!

    Samsung TV Link

    And also. As I have a 19” LCD for working, which has a 1280×1024 (5:4 DAR), which also has 2 inputs (dvi and sub-d) I can connect my PS3 there and switch between working and gaming without leaving my chair 😀 !!

    [Henning: Edited link]

  • Just so you know, CRT’s are analog devices and therefore even though they are rated at 1080i, they probably don’t do the full 1920 x 1080i. Mine doesn’t.

  • I’m waiting on getting a 1080p sony tv after the ps3 drops. You gotta be careful guys. A lot of “1080p” Tvs are really just scaling up to 1080p and are not true 1080p. Make sure to check Hennings other blogs (he’s to humble to say this) regarding HD products. Not all HD sets are equal!


  • Matt

    Tosh, I agree with Henning strongly. The Bravias are great LCD HDTVs but For that kind of money I would go with the new SXRD 60″. The SXRD last year was the best HDTV by far and the new SXRDs are even better.

    Segitz, I agree with henning on your post too. I would steer away from CRT 1080i HDTVs. The picture to me isn’t as consistent across the entire screen as a Digital tv would be. Most people use a tv for a long time (10 years or so) and settling for a CRT with the rest of the tvs available is crazy to me. I think Henning bought his when Plasma, LCD, and DLP were 3-5 times more expensive than they are now. A few years ago the choice was much clearer from a price perspective. Now for a few hundred more you can get a tv that is far superior.

  • Shane

    I think that Blue ray Disk (BD) is great and a bargain at that price. I have a Samsung LCD HDTV, So i’m glad they included that feature. 599.99 is a great price for a blue ray player and the most powerful gaming system on the planet. It is for hard core gamers, and it will have no problem selling out.

  • Ya it’s a KDL46XBR2 Sony Bravia 46″ So that does accept 1080P input I believe and no upscale but I could be wrong.

    I would love a SXRD 60″ but …. lol, I’d have to talk my future wife about it. Lol, she thinks a 50″ inch is too big ….. girls, oh well. Maybe I could get a 55″ inch SXRD ….. well see, lol.

  • Tosh: check out this review.

    As well, make sure that the set has a game mode, to avoid the gaming lag problem.

  • I’ll bring my PS3 to the store to test it on it actually, just to be safe. It would be horrible to get a set and have it lag!

    Wow, my name is in a review, I’m honored 🙂