View Full Version : How the (PS3) Play Station Network Video Store (for Rentals) is beyond a Joke!

06-05-2010, 08:48 AM
These days a high percentage of the Films that I watch at home are on Blu-ray with the occasional DVD if I can't get my hands on the Blu-ray copy. So when The PSN (Play Station Network) Video store launched last month here in Australia I was intrigued due to the fact that I own a PS3, I knew that the quality of a video download wouldn't be as good as a film on blu-ray but the convenience factor (not having to pick up & take back a rental) had my attention.

I purchased a $20 wallet for movie rentals last week and thought that I would put the PSN Video store to the test my main interest was in Film rentals where if the service was decent I would use it when ever I knew that I wouldn't have time to take back the rental.

The first Film that I rented was Demolition Man for the inflated price of $4.95 AUD and once you have previewed or watched the file its a 48hour rental. Laughable when you consider that at my local video store I can rent Demolition Man for $3 AUD as a weekly on DVD (for 7 days). But it gets even better I downloaded Demolition Man on the PSN video store as a 4948 MB file size advertised as HD (it did not state what resolution but after researching I suspect 720p) and wait for it stereo sound (back to the good old VHS days). I sat down to size up my first legit movie download, my current setup is a 32" LED TV and a decent 5.1 surround sound system, I was very disappointed the HD video quality becuase it was only as good as a standard DVD and the stereo sound quality was worse than free to air television that airs here in Australia.

I told myself that I wouldn't write off Sony's Films on demand attempt yet Demolition Man was shot in 93 so maybe I'll try some of the newer Films I had even seen that some of those are advertised in 5.1 surround...

So this weekend the optimist that I am I thought that I would have another role of the PSN video store dice this time I chose a new release Film yet one that I had heard was suppose to be a shit movie but for the reason that it would meet the criteria that I was looking for since it was advertised as HD (video) English 5.1 Ch./English 2.1 Ch. (Audio). Again I was surprised by the over the top download price of $6.99 AUD for 48hours where I can rent it on Blu-ray at my local video store for $6.50 AUD as a over night rental. The Film weighed in at a hefty 7216MB and the download from the PSN video store was considerably slower than it had been the previous time resulting in the download taking just over 5hours to complete as I did other things that day.

That night I kicked back and fired it up and at first I was pleasantly surprised by the video quality this time the quality was closer to blu-ray than DVD. I then looked at my receiver and noticed something odd which was that the file was only playing in stereo! I began going through the settings looking for a way to switch it into 5.1 but to no avail, I then switched it off and jumped onto the net and did some research and what I found really pissed me off! I found an army of people that are all having the same problem to the point were a lot of people believe that even though the PSN Video Store advertises that some Films are 5.1 Channel video files that to simple put it 'none of them are'. To be fair that's not entirely true because I did some more digging and found out that the reason that most people can't play the PSN Video Store Film Files in 5.1 surround (to get technical) is that the Sony store uses AAC codec for there 5.1 surround (not Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1) and to be able to decode this codec you first must be using a HDMI connection (not a Digtial Optical) for the sound and secondly own a receiver that decodes AAC codec which is not a widely supported codec in the first place (only some of the newer receivers can decode it).

I don't use a HDMI connection for the sound (I use Digital optical my receiver doesn't have HDMI sound support its 4 years old) and my receiver doesn't support AAC 5.1 codec so basically unless I purchase another HDMI cord (for the sound) and a new receiver that supports AAC at the present I will never be able to view any of the PSN Video Store Films in 5.1 surround (keeping in mind I have been viewing my Films in 5.1 surround since a few years after DVD's were first released as a format).

I don't know what the hell Sony were thinking when they agreed to use the codec for the surround but this combined with the inflated rental price is a current deal breaker for me and I wont be renting any other films until these 2 aspect change but especially that dumb ars decision to not use Dolby Digital 5.1 or DTS 5.1 for the surround for F#cks sake.

Has anyone else used the Play Station Network Movie Store for the Playstation 3 and encountered the same problems or maybe your content with the PSN video store?
All I can say is my local video store can rest assured that it wont be loosing any business from me to the PSN movie store any time soon.


Even DVD's use universally supported formats of 5.1 Channel surround sound! :mad: