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Turn a PS3 into a PVR |

People have long wondered about the PS3 and whether or not it can be used as a PVR. The answer is in, and it’s a provisional yes. I say “provisional” because you have to do it through a Linux installation on the PS3. I don’t want to install Linux on my gaming PS3 myself, so this isn’t really a solution for me. But if you want to have Linux running on your PS3 to get PVR functionality, then read on.

All you need is a PS3, an installed version of Linux, MythTV (which I’ve heard a lot of good things about), and a Plextor ConvertX PX-TV402U. The Plextor is a TV tuner, has some av inputs, and does some compression too.

So if you want a MythTV PVR, you’d hook all those things up and leave your PS3 running in Linux mode all the time to catch all the shows you’d want to see. So really, you need a dedicated PS3 unless you’re willing to switch it into Linux whenever a scheduled recording approaches. And besides, it still won’t handle digital cable, which is another strike against it for me. Gotta record those HD shows, man!

Turn a PS3 into a PVR

  • MythTV is GOD in terms of PVR.

    It blows XBMC out of the water.

    Thing is, it is a bitch to install from source (too many dependencies with xmltv, mysql and whatnot) and if you havent done it before, wait for the binaries to come.

    I had used it on a (very low end, 1400Mhz AMD, 256MB RAM…) for some time, and I am very contend with it. Could be a bit nicer (though it does support Skins, but I havent tried any other than the installed ones), but even my very old, very low RAM system (on Gnome, which uses up more RAM than E17) could handle watching and recording of SDTV (german pal cable).

    Henning, here in Germany, there are digital cable cards (mostly pci though, as germany is more on cable than dishes, dvb-c is more widely used and supported). Most of them support HD over dvb-c (not dvb-c2 (dvb-s2 equivalent, if it will be called that way)). But here and there, you can find USB2.0 sticks for digital cable (though mostly without CAM or CI)

  • Cool option, but I don’t want to leave my PS3 running all the time either. And not being able to record HD shows …. I’ll pass as well.

  • It should be able to record over-the-air (OTA) HD, just not digital cable.

  • Ahh, that would work for me. Because I don’t have cable, I just watch local HD channels 🙂

  • Theres not (yet) such thing as OTA HD in germany, but the DVB-T adapters are supposed to work too, IIRC.

    Most hybrids dont allow digital OTA and digital Cable. Mostly only OTA and analogue Cable. But as it is USB 2.0 a hub, or rather the plenty USB ports on the PS3 would negate this as a problem. I just hope, that there will be a linux compatible dvb-s2 receiver with CAM slot in time (we will probably switch to dish some time this year, my mum has yet to decide). Then I would buy two and a 1TB USB harddrive ^^.

    And, I am thinking about buying a Mac Mini. As a Student of the University of Stuttgart, I get discount at apple. Having a Mac Mini as a PVR would also be very nice, but the thing is, it does no support HDCP yet, which is my main concern over time, at the moment.

  • It wouldnt be hard for someone to market a usb tuner for the PS3. Have it come with an install disk that has an os designed with tivo-like media features in mind, and one would be good to go. Of course, it would take someone with the foresight to see the market for this, or for sony themselves to see a reason for doing it.