Sunday, 26 April 2009

Sony PS3 is a superb PC and Media Player

I just found out last week that PS3 is a complete PC and and even
better Media Player than my own IBM PC compatible PC, despite having
GPU cards up to the Nvidia 8600GT standard.

PS3 can be connected to an IBM PC Compatible USB keyboards and mice.
It can even connect to a Wifi router but also equipped with 1Gbit
Ethernet port. With an optical and HDMI connectors it can connect to a
HD displays and HiFi amplifiers that my own PC still lacks because I
need to buy espensive sound cards in order to do this.

My PC is equipped with 6 channel speakers but they are directly
connected to the sound card but most video content cannot utilise this
setup and I cannot connect it to a standard HiFi amplifiers.


At RM1550 for an 80Gbyte PS3 model, it is cheaper than a PC equipped
to this standard but much easier to use because almost everything is
built-in. What lacks is just the official documentation. However the
Internet is full of information about converting videos to the PS3
format except that there are also to much misleading and incomplete
content, some could be due to revision changes in the PS3 system


The first hurdle that I had to overcome was in getting the right HDMI
cable. I order 2 cheap HDMI v1.3 from ebay for RM16 but it took more
than 2 weeks to arrive so I bought the cheapest but sturdiest HDMI
cable I could get from Kota Kinabalu.I settle for an RM65 from Wawasan
Eastcon cable because it has a good fabric layer and equipped with
noise suppressors. I could get the cheapest at RM38 at Karamusing
Eastcon but not gold plated, a few days ago I saw from Budget PC at
Karamunsing a better HDMI cable gold plated at RM35 making it the
cheapest in KK.

That RM65 HDMI cable only managed to display at 1080i but I noticed
that Blu-Ray Rambo appears clear enough to watch sweats at my Full 42"
HD 1080p xD TV from MBF Credit Card. At this size you must watch at
less than 2 meters in order to enjoy the 1080 quality.

PS3 vs Blu-ray Player

I watched at my brother's place a blu-ray movie played on a Pioneer
Blu-ray player displayed on a 46" HD Ready Samsung TV similar to my
own LCD TV which displays at 1360x768. The player managed to display
at 1080i but its quality is not as good as that shown on my Full HD xD
TV so I assume that its 1920x1080 display pixels allows it to show

Waht is the difference in quality between 1080i and 1080p displayed on
a Full HD 1080p TV? The only difference is that in the refesh rate.
The 1080i displays at 25Hz whereas 1080p AT 50Hz. I can play Flight
Simulators at less than 20 frames per second with little loss in


PS3 is better than these blu-ray players not only in price but in
functionality. PS3 can utilise BD-live features which requires
internet access. Transformer blu-ray comes with 2 50Gbyte blu-ray
discs that I bought for RM80 including pos laju(express post). Its
colour is silver. I bought a pirated Baraka blu-ray, its colour is
bluish and it does not have the bonus videos for RM58 at Kota
Kinabalu. I heard from a visitor from KL that at Bangsar it costs RM48
but please take note that this BD-R only has a capacity of 25G
compared to the original high quality movie blu-rays that comes with
50G blu-ray printed discs. gives this information as
well as reviews and links to Amazon that gives prices of new and used
blu-ray movies as well as user-reviews which are useful for us.
Unfortunately for Amazon, it is much more expensive than ebay
suppliers although Amazon has a more complete offerings.

Amazon is actually cheaper than the auctions finalised in ebay but
Malaysia is not in the list of countries that Amazon other third-party
suppliers can ship to. These ebay auctioners must be so stupid as not
to notice the price differences but I suspect some are due to
manipulators by the sellers. I suspected this because similar items
were relisted and some feedback comments mentioned about not being
sent the items that had been auctioned for being too low in prices.

Malaysian ebay suppliers can offer good prices but only for some items
but unfortunately they require cash payment which is actually
forbidden by ebay. lelong site does not have competitive blu-ray
suppliers but should be better because it offers safetrade.


When I bought my PS3 I also bought one game that my son requested. In
fact this is one reason why I bought it at that place but it turned
out to be a mistake. I can get cheaper online and there are lots of
playable PS3 demo games from the OPM(Official Playstation Magazine)
blu-ray discs that come with it. I bought via action from UK issue 30
but this afternoon I bought this magazine for RM50 with the blu-ray
disc for a further 16 playable demo games. One of them is a multi-
player able demo Pro-Evolution Soccer 2009 that my sons were playing.

From ebay, I managed to get a used PS3 FIFA 08 for RM44 but not that
easy to get at this price for the other games. For movie I got blu-ray
Spiderman 3 for less than RM50 also, all inclusive of postage. Postage
takes up a huge portion of the cost. Spiderman 3 only costs US3.75 but
I am yet to see this disc. I heard from my brother that Malaysian
customs sometimes hold this discs for a long time but finally release
them also. Maybe they thought they cannot use them anyway. For my
brother's case he bought HD-DVD but even he does not have an HD-DVD

GETTING Blu-ray Movies

I'm also waiting for 4 used blu-ray Planet Earth series discs that I
bought for US46. But my 3 50G blu-ray Rambo discs from KL arrived on
the same day for RM135 including shipping. Am still waiting for the opportunity to order used Matrix and Blade Runner at costs lower than Amazon third party suppliers.

PS2 to PS3 adapter

When I bought the PS3 I wanted to buy 2 PS3 joysticks at RM300 each
but it was out of stock. Fortunately I didn't buy because I found out
that PS2-PC usb PC controller adapter can be used for the PS3. Now I
just use my other 2 original PS2 controllers for additional players. I
used to have these copy PS2 and PS1 controllers but they all were
damaged quickly in just a few weeks but the original controllers still
survive to this day. One became faulty because I accidentally made it
wet when disassembling it. My sons told me that Guitar Hero cannot use R2 keys so it is not completely compatible.

IMPORTING videos and pictures TO PS3

Importing videos and pictures to PS3 is made confusing because of poor instructions by users and lack of it from PS3 manual. The most useful key to use here is the triangle key. It is the "options" key. It allows you to choose the directories to see, just like Windows explorer if you choose the "display all".

The correct directories for the USB drives are:

system update: /PS3/UPDATE/

video: /VIDEO/

pictures: /PICTURE/

not /PHOTO/ as explained by some websites.

Types of files:


I tested JPEG processed by GIMP without any problem.


divX/Xvid files with .avi extension

It appeared that normal video files can be played in PS3. The trick is to put them in the /VIDEO folder or use the triangle button to browse your USB directories.


In the manual, it is mentioned that you should use Sony's Memory Stick but actually any USB card reader reading SD cards or USB thumb drive should be alright. It is better to format these drives with FAT32 instead of the default Windows XP NTFS file system. Not many opensource operating systems such as Linux can use NTFS.


You can install Linux to PS3. The best at the moment is UBUNTU because of its support for all PS3 peripherals. With it you can use PS3 to write letters or draw diagrms. PS3 OS can print using HP , Canon and Epson printers via the USB ports but not networked printers. Linux PS3 may be able to support networked printer if support for Microsoft Network is installed.


For video conversion with support for HD, I only managed to use Total Video Converter but it is limited. appears to be the easiest for PS3 conversion but I cannot make it to work with Vista 64 Ultimate.


Most HD video downloads have the highest resoluiton of 1280x720(16:1), Imax Fighter Pilot. It cannot play with my Cornell CAV-DV103KC but worked perfectly with PS3. I can view sweats so it is not necessary to use 1080 resolution.

Non-HD video also plays slightly better than normal DVDs or PCs. Probably caused by the upscaling to PS3 1080p.


I ordered a 3m VGA cable from e-cell UK in order to connect my PC's 8600GT display card one DVI and one VGA. I was impatient waiting for the cable to arrive so bought a cheaper 3m VGA cable at Kota Kinabalu. It worked with normal LCD PC monitor but not with my Samsung LA37S8 TV. When the e-cell VGA cable arrived, I didn't test it until yesterday. I was surprised that my cheapest 1.8m VGA cable that does not even have a noise suppressor, to work better than a thicker cable. Fortunately the e-cell VGA connector worked.


It allowed me to use my 37 in TV as a monitor with 1360x768 resolution. Samsung's infomation screen verifies this resolution but the image does not cover the whole screen. I tested the Imax Fighter Pilot using the PC and later with PS3. The PS3 is much simpler to use and has a better quality picture but not by much.


I have yet to be fully convinced that 1080p quality is much better than 720p. Even the PS3 demo games work at 720p and based on what I read, not many games can work at 1080p. MGS4 improves its image quality slightly but does not improve game play significantly.

I watched Baraka at both 526i and 1080i and quality difference is remarkable but not sure about 720p. Reviewers at Amazon and appear to be able to notice major differences between 25Gbyte blu-ray movies vs 50Gbyte so it is just not possible for them to be mostly wrong.

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