Product: Sony BD Remote Control (a.k.a.: Sony BD/Playstation Remote; Sony Playstation 3 Blu-Ray DVD Remote Control; Sony Blu-Ray Disc Remote Control)
Pros: Easy to set up, easy to use. It has all the standard DVD/Blu-ray buttons and all the buttons from the Sony game controller except the mini thumbsticks.
Cons: Requires an internet connection or latest updates to get driver. Does not ship with the PS3.
Overall: A good controller that works very well and a worthwhile purchase if you plan to watch a lot of downloaded media or movie disks on your PS3. Otherwise, a game controller will likely suffice.
Watching DVDs on the PS3 pisses the frag out of me. I can never remember which button on the game controller is play, pause or rewind. I’ll often end up hitting the wrong button and sending the movie to some other chapter or speeding forward while visually revealing key plot points. Very, very annoying. (If you have ever watched a DVD on either the PS2 or PS3, then you likely understand my frustration.)
To help make movie watching a bit easier, at least on the PS3, Sony has released a Bluetooth remote control that includes all the standard DVD/Blue-Ray device buttons as well as many of the game controller buttons. Instead of fumbling with the game controller to pause, stop rewinding or fast forwarding (which just causes more frustrated rewinding and fast forwarding), every option is clearly labeled on one easy-to-use remote.
Though it’s labeled as a Blu-Ray remote, it works very well for browsing through the PS3 menus (even online) and playing back downloaded content from the hard drive. It’s not a necessary PS3 peripheral, but certainly a welcome one, especially if you plan to watch a lot of Blue-ray disks or DVDs through your PS3.
Strangely enough, since I got the remote I’ve been using my PS3 to play DVDs more often than my dedicated DVD player.
Design – Matte black case with black and colored rubber buttons. Standard DVD buttons are included for playback, scanning forward and back, pausing, angle, audio, subtitles and time. Also includes four colored buttons (Red, Green, Blue, Yellow), a 0-9 number keypad, PS3 specific menu buttons (Display, Top Menu, Pop Up/Menu, Return) and PS3 game controller buttons (L1-3, R1-3, Select, Start, Enter, directional control pad, triangle, circle, square and X).
Weighs 4.8 oz (140 g) with 2 AA batteries (included) and measures 1 15/16 in. x 8 5/8 in. x 1 in. it’s pretty light to hold but a but longer than most remotes. The back of the remote includes a notch for index finger to grasp and steady the device as well as mini feat to remain flat when set down.
Features – The remote control connects to the PS3 via Bluetooth. To set it up you must activate the remote using the PS3 browser and hold down a button on the remote. Takes about 1 minute and requires either an internet connection or the latest PS3 update to get the remote’s driver.
The remote control works like a standard DVD (and Blue-Ray) remote when watching movies and can also be used to browse the PS3 menus. It also controls downloaded content – audio, video and photos – much the same way as a movie disk.
Since it also has PS3 controller buttons and directional control pad, you can play some games with it, though it does not have the two mini thumbsticks so forget major console games. It worked well for “Dragon’s Lair” (Blue-Ray game) since the controls were fairly simplistic. It will also work with many downloaded arcade style games.
The PS button works exactly the same as on the game controller, so it will power on the PS3 when pressed and can be used to get to the power off menu option (you’ll still need to select “Turn Off the System” in the PS3 menu to shut down).
Performance – The Sony BD/Playstation remote performed flawlessly for system menu browsing, movie controls and content control. Connecting it to the system was quick and very simple but does require either the latest firmware update or an internet connection (and those can take a while to download depending on your connection speed and server lag).
Overall – A great peripheral at a decent price that is far easier to use for watching media than a game controller. It’s comfortable to hold, weighing less than you’d expect for such a tall device. The back notch is placed perfectly for using the direction wheel but too high for disk playback buttons. The buttons are not backlit, so it can be a little difficult to use in a pitch black movie room. Since it uses a Bluetooth connection, you don’t need to be facing the PS3 system at a perfect angle.