Print 30 comment(s) - last by pmlisi1.. on Dec 8 at 12:58 PM

Plenty of new video resolution options, but still no fix for those without 720p

SCEA has introduced new features and settings to the PlayStation 3 in the latest firmware update, version 1.30. Among the key updates is support for a Blu-ray Disc remote control and the ability to select the output format for BD/DVD video through an HDMI cable.


The Bluetooth-enabled remote control will be available at retail later this month for $24.99, relegating the SIXAXIS controller to gaming duties. Also, to suit your TV's specification, you can now select the video output format (automatic, RGB, or Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr) for Blu-ray disc playback using an HDMI cable. Other updates part of version 1.30 includes the following:


  • Selecting video output resolution has changed, allowing you to choose all the resolutions supported by the TV. The video will automatically be displayed at the maximum resolution possible, according to the following order: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, Standard (480i NTSC). This change does nothing to fix the upscaling issue, and could possibly annoy those who wish to stay in 720p mode.
  • Backup utility has been added as a feature under System Settings, enabling you to back up your PS3's hard disk data to storage media or restore data from storage media to the hard disk. This could be useful for those who wish to upgrade their hard drives.
  • USB peripherals designed for PlayStation 2 titles, including steering wheels and flight sticks, can now be used when playing PS2 games on the PS3 system. Sadly, the Guitar Hero controller still does not work with the PS3.

To install the latest system software on your PS3 system, you can select the System Update feature, use a PC to download the update data and transfer it to the PS3 system through storage media or a USB mass storage device, or install it using update data included on a game disc.

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Not sure to understand that one...
By Le Québécois on 12/7/2006 10:33:26 AM , Rating: 2
Selecting video output resolution has changed, allowing you to choose all the resolutions supported by the TV . The video will automatically be displayed at the maximum resolution possible, according to the following order: 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, Standard (480i NTSC). This change does nothing to fix the upscaling issue, and could possibly annoy those who wish to stay in 720p mode .

If it allow the user to choose, even if there's an automatic selection, I don't see how this can be a problem for those that want to stay at some resolution(like 720p).

As for automatically choosing the resolution, since most HDTVs(LCD, DLP, Rear projection LCD, Plasma, LCOS...the only exception to this are the CRT one I think) are now using fixed resolution technology and auto scale when the input doesn't match the output, will the PS3 be able to detect the native resolution of those HDTVs or will it select the maximum input one?

Because that could be a problem if the latter part of your statement is what I understood: that it will automatically change to the maximum and that you CANNOT choose to stay in 720p.

Anyways, it's a good news for most of the lucky ones that could buy one (PS3) and now I might even buy one when the price drop a little.

RE: Not sure to understand that one...
By Pneumothorax on 12/7/2006 11:20:43 AM , Rating: 2
It's exactly as he says.
I was more than happy to allow sony to update my PS3 hooked up to my native 720P 50 inch panasonic plasma.
Now when I play 1080P games like NBA 07 I have to remove the 1080i checkbox in setup to be able to play in 720P mode (trust me 720P>>1080i on a 720p native screen). And when I want to watch a bluray movie I have to reenable the 1080i option in order to watch my movies in 1080i instead of 480p as PS3 will not downscale to 720p on BD movies. Why can't sony put a simple order of priority setting?

RE: Not sure to understand that one...
By Le Québécois on 12/7/2006 11:40:11 AM , Rating: 2
Ok that part I understood correctly but then why say:

and could possibly annoy those who wish to stay in 720p mode.

Now with your reply I understant how it works so thanks but I don't see why he said what I quoted.

Man...I must seems really stupid right now. :(

By tacorly on 12/8/2006 12:27:48 AM , Rating: 1
*hug* i still like you

RE: Not sure to understand that one...
By pmlisi1 on 12/7/2006 2:10:29 PM , Rating: 2
I also have a panasonic 50 inch plasma (th-50px600u) that supports 720p and 1080i. Resistance looks awesome, but Talladega Nights blu ray looked awful. Do I have to download the firmware, or do I just have to switch between 720p (for games) and 1080i (blu ray movies)?

RE: Not sure to understand that one...
By Pneumothorax on 12/7/2006 4:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
The reason Resistance looks so good is that it's 720P and the PS3 can only display it @ 480P or 720P, which leaves out the older HDTV sets that can only display 480P/540P/1080i. Resistance will only @ 480P with those TV's. The TV that we have (I have the exact same Panny) has a native 720P (actually 768P but close enough). SO 720P looks better than 1080i rez. Resistance works great with the current 1.30 update because it's a 720P game & the PS3 won't upscale it to 1080i. NBA 07 is a 1080p game which on a native 720p screen it looks better rendered at 720p rather than 1080i. (The PS3 can scale/render a 1080p game @ 720p, but so far can't scale a 720p game to 1080i, confused yet?) The problem with the new update is to force the PS3 to play a 1080i game at 720p game I have to uncheck the 1080i option. This forces bluray movies to play at 480P (YUCK) until I reenable the 1080i switch again. Hence a real PITA.

By pmlisi1 on 12/8/2006 12:58:17 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you for responding. I think I understand, but my question is is the only problem we will have (w/our panny, which I think is awesome btw) is getting blu ray movies to play at 1080i? You say the ps3 can scale a 1080p game to 720p, but cannot scale a 1080p movie to 720p, so I must check the 1080i in my settings to see the Blu Ray movie in high def? And then uncheck it when I am playing a game so it will play in my preferred 720p instead of 1080i?

By psychobriggsy on 12/7/2006 10:05:16 AM , Rating: 2
It is a hassle to keep on switching controllers depending on the game I want to play. I guess it's cheaper and easier to just reshape the PS2 controller into a guitar form.

I guess the update fixes people with TVs that do 1080i but not 720p ... but may be annoying for anyone else who wants 720p instead of 1080i on their 720p TV.

By Xavian on 12/7/2006 10:15:37 AM , Rating: 2
The 1080i problem has not been fixed, if a game only supports 720p, instead of the 720p game being upscaled to 1080i, the PS3 simply renders at 420p and lets the TV sort out the signal. This ofcourse reduces the quality of the games somewhat, since you are now playing in Standard Definition.

The Xbox 360 does not do this, if a game is 720p only, the xbox 360 up-scales the 720p picture to 1080i, resulting in high definition games. It does not switch down to 480p which is what the PS3 does.

All this firmware did, was place 1080i below 720p in the resolution selection screen, it did nothing to fix the problems of people with 1080i only TV's im afraid.

By Chris Peredun on 12/7/2006 10:17:49 AM , Rating: 2
I guess the update fixes people with TVs that do 1080i but not 720p ... but may be annoying for anyone else who wants 720p instead of 1080i on their 720p TV.

That would be me in the later category. I chose 720p for a reason, not because I liked the number. 1080i adds an extra scaling for me, and I'm pretty sure my TV isn't handling it in the best fashion (1080i -> 540p -> 720p). Thankfully Resistance is 720p-only, and isn't affected.

Adding insult to injury - or perhaps the other way around - disabling 1080i in the XMB menu has the lovely side effect of causing all Blu-Ray content to downsample to 480p. I'm currently forced to toggle between 720p for gaming and 1080i for Blu-Ray.

By masteraleph on 12/8/2006 8:19:41 AM , Rating: 2
1080i -> 540p -> 720p

No. No no no. No no no.


1080i= 1920x540x60hz.
540p= 960x540x60hz.
720p= 1280x720x60hz.

See the difference?

The best approach to converting 1080i to 720p has nothing to do with 540p. The best approach is to either deinterlace the frames (1920x1080x30hz) and then scale them, with each frame being displayed for twice as long (1280x720x30hz), or else scale them to what would be 720i (1280x360x60hz) and then deinterlace them (1280x720x30hz).

Under no circumstances should your TV ever go anywhere near 540p.

By Chris Peredun on 12/8/2006 9:37:40 AM , Rating: 2
Sure, if you don't mind decimating the framerate by a factor of two. I choose smooth over pretty any day, and I'd rather have Burnout flying along at its proper 60fps blur than 30fps with an extra 1/30s of lag thanks to the TV.

In addition, I mentioned nothing about 1080i -> 540p -> 720p being the best method - that's just how I assume my TV choses to do it, being as it looks like crap when downscaling 1080i.

By obeseotron on 12/7/2006 11:20:39 AM , Rating: 2
If you have a PS3 and are waiting for them to actually fix the scaler issue, you're going to wait forever. Just like people waiting for the HDMI cable for the Xbox 360, it's not gonna happen. This is because both companies chose to save a couple bucks by not including an analog scaler (Sony) or HDCP keys (Microsoft). They can't add these through software updates, a new rev of the hardware could fix it, but nothing short of that.

Sony might be able to make their dashboard more intelligent in choosing resolutions at some point, but there is no scaler in the thing, a 720p game is never going to be displayed at 1080i, period. They should be able to fix the BluRay issues, it's 1080p content, you should be able to scale it to whatever resolution you want in software, but may not as a result of Sony's MPAA membership more than anything else.

By Teletran1 on 12/7/2006 12:40:10 PM , Rating: 3
It does have a scaler in it. Its called a G70. Maybe it isn't a quick fix but it will get fixed.

By obeseotron on 12/7/2006 1:22:50 PM , Rating: 2
The G70 is capable of scaling, sure, but it would require clock cycles and video memory that are not available when games are running. This is why I said they may fix it for BluRay, but not for games.

Nice job Sony
By Chaser on 12/7/2006 9:38:58 AM , Rating: 1
But where are all typical Sony haters responses?

RE: Nice job Sony
By encryptkeeper on 12/7/2006 9:54:03 AM , Rating: 1
I doubt anyone is going to "hate" on Sony for this article. No one expected all problems to be solved with one update, but improvements are always good.

RE: Nice job Sony
By Narutoyasha76 on 12/7/06, Rating: 0
RE: Nice job Sony
By clayclws on 12/7/2006 11:52:17 AM , Rating: 2
I haven't been using any Sixaxis, but if I am not wrong, the "motion-sensing" gamepads have been around since the 90s. I have a 1999 Logitech Wingman Extreme that sense the tilt and motion you put into the gamepad, especially good for flight simulator.

So, did Sony and Nintendo copy Logitech?

RE: Nice job Sony
By Xavian on 12/7/2006 2:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
i believe Nintendo had the foresight to finally do the most logical thing (one of those things that seems so easy to do, but nobody thought of it), and that's split the controller into two parts, without that, it wouldn't be nearly as effective.

Sony, Microsoft and Logitech all fell into the same design trap, they made the controller and then added motion sensing to it. Its completely useless when used in that way, Nintendo on the other hand has designed a controller that would work effectively with motion sensing. That's probably the reason why the wii controller seems more intuitive than the sixaxis.

So while Nintendo may have copied the idea of using motion sensing, they themselves came up with the idea of splitting the controller in two in order to effectively utilize motion sensing. Something Sony did not do (they merely took the controller and added motion sensing, falling into the same design trap as Microsoft and Logitech of yesteryear).

The whole sixaxis thing seems rushed and poorly designed.

They got one thing right!
By therealnickdanger on 12/7/2006 9:25:30 AM , Rating: 2
Backup utility has been added...

Microsoft... WTF, pay attention!

RE: They got one thing right!
By Vertigo101 on 12/7/2006 9:34:36 AM , Rating: 1
Yes, because MS wants to promote pirating Live Arcade games.

RE: They got one thing right!
By phir3 on 12/7/06, Rating: -1
By therealnickdanger on 12/7/2006 2:12:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, because MS wants to promote pirating Live Arcade games.

How would this allow for pirating Live Arcade games? There are methods of reading/copying the HDD that have been out for a long time and there's no method yet to "pirate" XBLA games... You could only play them on Xbox360s anyway, unless someone goes through the trouble of making an arcade/Xbox360 emulator-emulator. Why do that when you can have MAME and a selection of thousands more titles than are currently available on XBLA?
Maybe its YOU that should pay attention.

I'm fully aware of the methods currently available to back up my HDD, what I want is a menu option in the dashboard that says, "Back-up HDD to PC/External Storage Device" so that I don't have to deal with third-party software and devices or run the risk of violating warranty/EULA. Being able to connect a USB HDD or transfer files over the network should be a feature. I applaud Sony for including this as a feature. It wouldn't suprise me if Microsoft allows for such transfers in the future via Vista.

I'm glad
By Loc13 on 12/7/2006 9:52:13 AM , Rating: 2
I'm glad that Sony now allows PS2 usb devices to work on the PS3, which means i can use the dance pad for DDR or the driving wheel for GT4. But I still have to test it after work today. Backup utility is definitely nice.

Too bad it still doesn't fix the upscaler issue, afterall it's not a simple issue to fix.

RE: I'm glad
By PrinceGaz on 12/7/2006 6:22:46 PM , Rating: 2
Not a simple issue to fix? Good god, upscaling is hardly rocket-science. All PC graphics cards have had the ability to perform bilinear upscaling from one resolution to another of a given bitmap ever since the days of the original GeForce card, and possibly before that (I didn't have a TNT2 so cannot confirm it).

The oldest and probably most common example of this is when a video of a certain resolution in overlay mode is scaled up with bilinear filtering to the full-screen resolution.

Unfortunately, a full frame of the image for scaling (up or down) always tends to be needed for the operation to be done, making it a discrete process after rendering each frame. With suitable hardware (which would be trivial compared with the shader processors needed to generate the raw image), it would be simple to take the output of the GPU and smoothly scale it up or down as required.

I'm sure the PS3 will eventually scale correctly to all resolutions, but I do sometmes wonder why it is taking so long for them to do it, and whether it might actually end up being a software-implemented fix which permanently takes up the processing power of one of the Cell's SPUs (the SPUs would be ideally suited to this sort of task).

By JNo on 12/7/2006 10:16:47 AM , Rating: 2
does the ps3 support 1080p/24 ?

RE: question
By Teletran1 on 12/7/2006 12:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
It will in a future update.

not a good sign...
By MDme on 12/7/2006 11:20:35 AM , Rating: 2
This is not a good sign for those hoping to get the upscaler fix. Not only did Sony retract their statement on the upscaler fix, but not coming up with a fix on a firmware release should indicate that there is more of a problem than originally anticipated. It may well be that they really overlooked this and that this HARDWARE problem could not be fixed by a firmware update. a SOFTWARE hack may or may not work, but even if it did would likely lead to a significant performance drop.

Not saying that it should have been fixed with this update but that since it is one of the more serious complaints out there you would think they'd exert a significant amount of effort and fix this ASAP.

Two weeks
By FITCamaro on 12/7/2006 5:50:05 PM , Rating: 1
And they're already at v1.3 of the firmware......

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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