The PS3 as a Media Center

Since I purchased my PS3 several months ago, I have come to the conclusion that it has been one of the best electronics purchases I have ever made, behind switching to Macs. Even though I’m not much of a gamer, I get tons of use out of my PS3. That’s not to say I don’t use my PS3 for games. In fact, I think I have more games for the PS3 already than I do for the Wii, which I’ve had for a few years. Titles like Assasin’s Creed 2, Modern Warfare 2, Red Dead Redemption, Modnation Racers and the most innovative game, Heavy Rain, are games that I could not pass up. But again, I’m just a casual gamer. What I really use my PS3 for is playing back video files/discs.

Sony might not always do everything right (betamax, minidisc, memory stick, UMD), but they got a lot right with the PS3, and that includes a Blu-Ray Player. The PS3 is an excellent Blu-Ray player, and while I only have a few Blu-Ray titles, the inclusion of the player alone made the heftier price tag for the console worth it. In case you were wondering, it also plays standard DVDs as well. Since I am a movie buff, my PS3 gets a lot of use playing video discs. Great games and graphics and built in Blu-Ray/DVD player still isn’t the tipping point for me though. Yes, those things are great, but what really made this one of my best purchases ever was Rivet. I’ve written about Rivet before, but in short, it allows me to stream music and video files from my Mac to my PS3, and the quality is fantastic. This is a must-have feature of any device serving as a media center.

Add the Netflix Watch Instantly disc to the rest and you have the (almost) perfect solution for a media center. Netflix streaming via the PS3 is also in HD, much better quality than you get when watching via a computer. I recently watched all 5 seasons of FX’s Rescue Me using the Netflix disc on the PS3. The only thing I wish I could do is stream shows/movies from places like Hulu. Unfortunately, the PS3 browser does not support the version of Flash needed for viewing sites like Hulu. I’m hoping someone like Rivet could step in with a work around. I really wish the television networks would realize that TVs just aren’t TVs anymore. They can do much more, and should allow their sites to be displayed on any device. If they would, the PS3 would be the ultimate device for my media center needs.