PlayStation 3 I just finished hooking up the new Sony PS3 to my home theater and wanted to share some first impressions†¦ beginning with WOW! But, before I go into any more detail let me preface this by saying that I am a "Videoguy" not a "Gaming Guy." In fact, prior to the PS3 the only other gaming system I've owned was a PS1 that has been connected for many years and only played a few times. I guess I just never really had an interest in playing a game and would rather spend my free time editing video on my workstation, burning DVDs for the family or tweaking my expanding home theater but when the PS3 was announced I knew I had to have one! I had to have the PS3 because it was going to be the least expensive Blu-Ray player available for the holidays and just so happened to also offer state of the art gaming, web browsing and more! I have the PS3 connected via HDMI output to a Panasonic 50" Plasma HDTV. Since this screen only supports 720p and 1080i, the PS3 automatically configured my set-up to 720p output. After playing a few games and Blu-Ray disc movies I simply can't even imagine how good the 1080p FullHD output must look! Madden 07 and Marvel's Ultimate Alliance looked more amazing than any video game I have seen which made me even more excited to take a look at what I know best - VIDEO. I have always used animated content to show off my home theater system so I rented Ice Age 2: The Meltdown on Blu-Ray Disc. I also chose this title because I own the original Ice Age movie on standard-definition DVD and knew I could easily compare the quality. In my comparison I played both movies on the PS3 and then played the original DVD disc on my up-converting DVD player while using my receiver to switch back and forth between that source and the Blu-Ray disc movie on the PS3. The difference is amazing! So amazing that even my wife pointed out the difference and she was from the "I don't understand this whole HDTV thing" camp. Well, Blu-Ray made her a believer! The hair on Scrat (the squirrel that chases the acorn) was sharp and detailed, the colors were more vivid and the contrast was amazing. An ice mountain on the original DVD looked mostly white but the Blu-Ray disc boasted many subtle shades of white, grey and blue. The best analogy I could make is that standard definition DVDs made the movie look like the animators were restricted to Crayola's box of 64 colors while the Blu-Ray disc used an unlimited palette. I realize that the best comparison would have been to evaluate the same movie on DVD and Blu-Ray but I think my results in comparing the original Ice Age with it's sequel are convincing enough. I also watched "Nacho Libre" on Blu-Ray disc because it was the only other title available and I was equally impressed with the flesh tones and color depth. I can't wait to watch "Superman Returns" on Blu-Ray so I could better evaluate the PS3 with a movie that may better hold my interest. And, if that doesn't do the trick, I'll be upgrading my editing workstation with the Roxio DVDit Pro HD and the Pioneer BDR101A because nothing is more entertaining than the video I've actually shot and edited myself. ;-)

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