The Playstation PS3 is a great gaming system with excellent graphics, a bluray player, media sharing, and streaming capability. Currently, the top 3 blu ray players for around $300 - $500 are the OPPO BDP83, LG BD390, and believe it or not the Playstation PS3. This is based off of tests performed by CNET. They use calibration discs and video stress test to see how well players on the market perform.
The OPPO got the best ratings and focuses on picture and audio quality but not streaming capabilities. The LG BD390 can stream Netflix and YouTube. There is a free disc available from Netflix or an update through the Playstation PS3 network that you can use to stream Netflix instant movies. Only downfall with the disc is that it has to be in the Playstation PS3 every time you stream a movie. If you want to be able to stream Netflix and Youtube you can purchase an application called Play On which allows you to do this.
I also have the Playstation PS3 synced with my Windows Media Center where I can access pictures, movies, and music from my PC's library. Of course the computer has to be on to do this. It was very easy syncing all of the programs to communicate with my Playstation PS3.
The Playstation PS3 does a great job of up converting standard DVDs. The colors are very brilliant and a bit richer then my BD390. However, the bluray picture is richer on the BD390 then the Playstation PS3 as well as the audio quality.
Since the game controllers are bluetooth, a standard IR sensor universal remote will not be able to control the Playstation PS3. You can use the game controller to power on/off the system as well as control every function. You can purchase a bluetooth remote from various manufacturers if you strive for the comfort of a regular remote when watching a movie. Also, there is a universal remote like the Logitech Harmony remote that has an adapter you can purchase that will allow you to control every function on the Playstation PS3 as well.
When comparing the new Playstation PS3 with the older PS3, the most obvious is the push button power and eject buttons on the new Playstation PS3 vs. the touch buttons on the older model, a dull black finish vs. a glossy piano black finish, and no power switch on the back like the older models have.
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