Without any fanfare or even a passing mention in its official announcement,
the upcoming PS3 Slim
is getting an additional feature, one long requested by
those who use the console as a Blu-ray player: it will be capable of
bitstreaming DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD to a compatible receiver for it to
decode those advanced audio signals.
This has been revealed by Engadget, quoting a story posted
on Japanese electronics site AV
The regular PS3 can't bitstream advanced audio codecs because its HDMI
transmitter chip doesn't support it. Therefore, unlike the addition of DTS-HD
decoding or BD-Live support, a new firmware cannot add advanced audio
bitstreaming to existing consoles.
It has been long argued that there is no difference between decoding an
advanced audio signal on the player or on the receiver, provided they both
follow the specification. However, many users insisted they wanted to decode
in their receivers and were unhappy that the PS3 didn't offer them that
option. Now, with the slim PS3, they can choose whether to decode in the
console or in the receiver.
The PS3 Phat hard drive is easily upgradable to any 2.5" SATA notebook hard drive. You only need to remove a couple of screws and screw them back in again after sliding the new dive in. Doing so does not even void your warranty. I am sure the slim would keep that feature.
True..Bitstreaming will not improve the sound over PCM but it is nice that Sony has added this ability. Nothing within the new model makes me want to get rid of my 60Gig original but it is good to see Sony giving people what they want....
hmmm. torn I am. I have a 80gb ps3 that has 4 usb ports up front and backwards compatibility. The bitstreaming is intriguing, but the faster processing, cooler running temps and smaller profile intrigues me more.
NOW I AM GETTING ONE DIFFENTLY. I wasn't worried about bitstreaming, BUT. NOw it will be cool to see my onkyo light up with the codec being used. Looks like I'll be seing about selling my old PS3 to a new lucky owner.
I've been very happy with my PS3 but rather than upgrade to the new Slim version, I purchased an Oppo-BD83 for $200 more than the slim PS3. I use both my PS3 and the Oppo.
They each have their strong points:
- The PS3 is superior for viewing image files (smooth scrolling and zooming).
- The PS3 seems to load BD-Live Content more quickly.
- The PS3 has a built-in hard drive but the Oppo will support an external hard drive
- The Oppo offers full bitstreaming.
- Both load most Blu-ray discs fairly rapidly.
- The Oppo plays SACD and DVD-Audio discs
- The Oppo runs cool and very quietly
- The Oppo uses much less electricity
The reason I purchased the Oppo was due to the PS3's inability to play one of my multi-region BD discs from the UK. That disc contains some Standard Definition PAL material at the beginning. The PS3 saw that and stopped. The Oppo saw it and converted it into NTSC Standard Definition. It played the entire disc perfectly.
For anyone concerned that the new Slim PS3 has only 2 USB ports, here is a hub that can be purchased for $20 that adds 2 additional USB ports and an SD memory card reader:
Really not worth throwing your bulky PS3 out the window, as decoding multichannel bitstream on the receiver rather than on the player is nothing but placebo. But of course, it's a nice feature to have for new PS3 comers.
I dont think Sony was ripping customers off. If they had added bitstreaming to earlier models, it would have made the hardware EVEN MORE expensive then it's $600 and $500 original price tags. Bitstreaming is a hardware, not software, feature so they was no way for them to make it upgradeable. This is no different than a new version of a car model or a new PC upgrade. If you want the new features and dont mind losing the old ones, buy it. If you want to keep your old features(BC, Card reader, Linux, etc.) then dont buy it. Let's call it what it is, and that IS NOT a rip off. I , for one, do not have a PS2 but have PS2 games, and love the memory card reader, so I will stick with my 4-USB model, and possibly buy the slim as a second model later.
I don't see how bitstreaming of the HD codecs is an expensive hardware feature. The old PS3 clearly has the ability to read the audio data on the blu-ray discs. After all it decodes it before passing it on. How difficult is it to just send the undecoded bitstream over HDMI instead of the decoded audio. Even the $98 Mag from Wal-Mart player does it.
Well, I'm not exactly an "audiophile", but at the same time I've never really been able to experience proper Hi-Def audio since I don't have a proper receiver (which is something I plan to rectify sometime down the road), but this is still very good news.
Regardless of whether or not the end resulting sound is the same as what can be acheived on existing PS3 models, the fact that you have more options certainly is a good thing.
I don't get why a some people are getting upset about this as if this is some evil thing that Sony has done. People have requested this, it's something that they can't facilitate in this exact manner on existing PS3 models, so they added this to this new model. If it's not worth it for people to trade in their existing PS3 for the new one or to buy a 2nd one and have both, then fine, they don't have to, and they are no worse off than they would be if Sony had never made this new slim version of the PS3 with these features.
I for one am considering getting one of these for a few reasons related to my own conveluted entertainment set up.
I have a Hi Def TV, but then sitting on a small cart next to it is a smaller, old, standard-def TV. Why you may ask? Well, when I'm only playing a game, or only playing a movie, the Hi-Def TV is the one to get used. However, there are times where I like putting on a TV show or a movie, but also like to play a game at the same time. And typically the game goes on the small TV with the movie/TV show on the HD set.
I've been doing this for sometime, with various gaming systems. When I first got my PS3 (which is an 80GB from the Motorstorm bundle, with the PS2 compatibility, because the gamer in me still wanted those features), I already had other systems that I played a lot, and I mainly got it for Blu-Ray movies because another stand-alone player (which I got for free as an award) ended up having a lot of stupid issues with disc compatibility, firmware updates, etc. So, things were going well there.
However, fast forward to now. 2 major things have long since happened. One is that my Blu-Ray collection has grown quite considerably, making up a larger portion of my overall collection than it previously did. The other is that I've been using the PS3 more and more for gaming than I used to. This results in a dilema... since the other BD player is basically crap, if I want to watch a Blu-Ray movie and play a game on PS3 at the same time, I'm basically SOL. If I want to watch something on TV or a DVD, it's not a problem, but I've almost been avoiding watching Blu-Ray movies because of this lately.
So, I've been considering getting another Blu-Ray player for this reason. Plus, I'd rather cut back on using my backwards compatible 80GB PS3 for watching movies anyway, as to not add more wear on it than I have to.
While I was considering stand alone players, this new PS3 may be the answer, with the nice reduced price, and with PS3 still being one of the most reliable players for updates, disc compatibility, etc. I've been kicking around the idea of getting another PS3 Dual Shock controller for my existing PS3 anyway (right now I have the regular Sixaxis that came with my system and one Dual Shock controller that I bought separately). So getting this new system would be like buying the controller for the usual $50 price, and then getting a $250 BD player, which isn't a bad price for a good BD player. I would just assign all of the controllers to the PS3 that I own now, and assign the Blu-Ray remote that I have to the new system.
The other advantage is that even though I really wouldn't use the new PS3 for gaming, I would still likely put my PSN account on it and download all of my DLC that I've paid for to it in addition to my current system. That way I'd have the DLC in 2 places, which will be nice for the long run when some of this content inevitably becomes unavailable to redownload sometime in the future.
Plus, by getting this new PS3 and using it as my main BD player, I'd have these nice audio options for when I do eventually upgrade the receiver... and I can't comlpain about having more options!
Going to have to second the sentiment made earlier about PS2 backwards compatibility. I'm holding onto my original 60GB PS3 until it dies or a firmware update/PSN Store download somehow makes it available. I hate having a bunch of devices plugged into my TV and having to go the PS2 Slim + PS3 Slim route would annoy me...
I must admit, however, that the PS3 Slim intrigues me. I was very disappointed when no BC w/PS2 was announced. It's a definite purchase if Sony ever comes up with a fix/workaround for that.
This is the best news of the new slimmer ps3, besides the obvious price drop. Very nice Sony. Hopefully they will eventually come out with a firmware update with this one that will make it backwards compatible
I'll say it ONE MORE TIME for the haters! Playstation hasn't snubbed Linux installation on the new Slim model, Linux operates off a FLASH DRIVE NOW so it's NOT NECESSARY to partition 10GB of your hard drive anymore!
i dont see any reason to sell my 60gig for a slim just for hd bitstreaming and hearing the same audio. now if it had b/c and sacd support for dsd that would be different. the kids have a ps2 in thier rooms so its easy to go from one room to another when playing a ps2 game if needed. if my 60 gig breaks down, ill just pony the 150 to fix it. its worth it to me. plus its shiny
@chojin999: Sony has stated before that the HDMI chipset in older PS3s was created before the 1.3 standard was finalized; it CANNOT support bitstreaming (edit: of TrueHD/DTS-HD MA), even though it supports some other aspects of 1.3. It supports LPCM (edit: and DD/DTS bitstreaming) because that has been part of HDMI from the beginning. Bandwidth was never the issue; it was a hardware limitation. That's why I started the Slim-bitstreaming thread in the forums, even though I'm in the LPCM camp; if the PS3 would EVER support bitstreaming, the Slim was the time to update the chipset so it could happen. Evidently, that is exactly what happened.
(BTW, BraviaSync is simply Sony's brand name for HDMI-CEC. Like other hardware vendors, Sony will only guarantee it works with its own products; that's why each vendor advertises HDMI-CEC by its own brand--BraviaSync, Anynet+, etc. It may OR may not work with other vendors' HDMI-CEC implementations, but if it's not a Sony, you takes your chances. And it's limited to the Slim for the same reason as bitstreaming--i.e., not supported by the fat PS3's HDMI 1.1-era chipset.)
Wow I can't believe some people are buying a 2nd PS3 just so their receiver says "DTS MA or Dolby True. That logo lighting up on my receiver ain't worth $300 to me. To each their own I guess, I would rather buy about 12-15 more movies. It's already lossless either way. Plus, bitstreaming the sound will not allow thesound to work on picture-in-picture. Oh well.
I will be sticking with the original 60gb, sacd, memory card reader (sony memory stick???) and 4 usbs. I cannot believe sony have got rid of the card readers especailly the memory stick? and usb ports and also sacd.
This was meant to be the all singing all dancing family media hub. It is now just a cheaply made gaming machine with no SONY quality appeal that I am used to. I will stick to my sony blu ray player to bitstream or decode lossless audio codecs.
"It should be mentioned that bitstreaming the audio makes menu sounds, PIP audio and other secondary sounds not work. " Thanks for that info fettastic. I was wondering why the last couple of PIP tracks I'd tried had no audio.
Hope it does well. Might pick one up after the buzz dies down and performance reviews start coming in.
Like some others, I'll just stick to my 80G Motorstorm bundle with 4 usb ports, memory card/stick reader, and sacd playback.
I don't see any mention of this thing having an infrared receiver for a remote controller other than the bluetooth. If that is the case Sony probably doesn't realize how many potential buyers they're missing on just because those people can't integrate the PS3 into the list of components they control using their HT universal remote without buying Logitech's pricey bluetooth interface. The ability to bistream is a nice addition, but they could have gone all the way by including an infrared receiver.
what about longer warrantees? anyone have their laser crap out on them and not get it fixed under warrantee? my bro-in-law had to take Sony/Harvey Normans to small claims to get his money back when they refused to fix it because it was just under 2 years old. he won, got over a grand back.
Errrr, I am a little confused, everyone's jumping up and down "Hoooray Hoorary!!!" Sony's king, M$ sux, ect. but let me get this straight, its smaller, still doesn't play PS2, Now it plays "bitstreamed audio", (no sound difference according to many), is smaller and that's it, right?.....so like I asked, "Am I missing something here?" why is this so much better? Or are you all just Sony lovers? Thanx
I'm not that knowledgeable about audio codecs and what not but bascially can any receiver accept and then play the HD audio if it contains HDMI 1.3a ports on it. I own a relatively inexpensive HTIB system that i bought from Sony so that I can listen to T.V. in surround primarily. I'm just curious if this unit can handle the bistreaming of TrueHD and DTS-HD. It has the HDMI ports that are 1.3a compliant. the Sony model number is HT-SS360. Any info is appreciated.
tempting, but as I already have a ps3, there is really nothing to gain by my buying the slim that I couldn't gain by just buying a standalone bluray player (quieter, bitstream ect). maybe if I could be bothered to sell my current ps3...
PS3gmrr: I sent you a PM about your question. Basically, that model can't decode the HD signal via bitstream. You have to let the new and older PS3 models decode the HD audio and send the signal via LPCM to your receiver.
This very funny of Sony saying all this crap you see theres thing on old ps3 called fiber optics cable that can use that high def format all there saying is can get through another audio which will actually give less good surround sound. I own old ps3 and use fiber optics cable and get best surround sound you can get so I say dont be fooled by Sony marking trying get something thats not even worth getting the old ps3 can do surround sound just fine through fiber optics which will give best surround sound money can get!
Optical and coax are limited to stereo PCM. They are fully capable of transmitting encoded 5.1 sources such as Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS But, they cannot carry multichannel PCM or the newer lossless codecs. You need HDMI for those. HDMI doesn't "give less good surround sound". It will give the same lossy 5.1 encoded tracks if that's all you choose to send however one of the benefits of bluray is lossless audio which you can't achieve with a fiber optic connection.