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A look at Sony's Portable TV service for PSP · 2006-04-18 16:10 by Damian, 4 comment(s)

Digg it!

Chances are that you first heard rumors about Sony’s Portable TV service (P-TV) for the Playstation Portable when the 2.0 firmware was first released. With H.264 support came news of a new service starting in Japan where PSP owners would be able to download video content directly to their Memory Sticks. By now the service has been up and running for several months, albeit with a slightly flawed business model. Read on to find out why and see examples of how it works.

Portable TV – what is it?

It’s a service where registered users can download video content formatted for PSP directly to it. Some content is free, most will cost you a few hundred yen to download. Here comes the flawed part, the download is DRM-protected, and you only have a limited time in which to watch your download, after that you will have to pay up again. The time allowed ranges from 5 to 30 days on most downloads.

The video format varies from standard 4:3 to glorious, native resolution 16:9 for newer content. Presumably, the files you can download here are digitally signed to bypass the native resolution limitation. And it looks good!

The service requires you to run at least firmware version 2.60, so if you for certain reasons want to hold on to that 1.5 one, you’re out of luck. If you don’t have a wireless network at home, you can also connect a USB cable from your PC and download it directly to the PSP that way.

Payment is by credit card that you register when you first sign up for the service. While there are a few things that could appeal to a Western audience, you’ll need a valid Japanese mailing address to be able to sign up for the service.

For a more detailed look of what kind of content is available, check out page 3.

Is it easy to use?

Check out the following pictures of an example session to get a feel for how it works:

First you start out at the top page, where new additions as well as popular downloads are listed. N denotes a new addition, F denotes a free download.

[Continues on next page]

Tags: gadgets, psp

  1. Looks to me like this service launched last summer. http://www.so-net.ne.jp/corporation/release/2005/050725.html

    ac    2006-04-20 00:14    #
  2. Yep, it’s been up and running for several months. I’ve clarified the text on this.

    Damian    2006-04-20 16:34    #
  3. A great write up. Thanks.

    Lindsay    2006-04-21 09:57    #
  4. Great article. Too bad P-tv is completely Japanese, it’s a bit hard to navigate your way through it if you’re not that proficient in Japanese. I was wondering, in what directory do the downloaded .MGV files go? 100ANV01 as well or another? I’m trying to cook up my own 480×270 AVC files, I’m curious whether it’d work.

    Erwin    2006-05-21 08:20    #

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