Today marks the official availability of the 1.80 firmware update for the PS3. After trying for an hour to be able to get the update from Sony’s already overwhelmed servers I was finally successful in getting the update applied.
I have always had my PS3 hooked up via HDMI to my Viewsonic N4251W 42” LCD HDTV. I have watched upscaled flicks for a long time now on my main living room TV set via my Denon S-301 upscaling 2.1 home theater system. I was quickly hooked on the huge improvement in image quality I saw from standard DVD quality video to the upscaled 1080i quality.
We put our kids to bed early here and usually when it comes time for the wife and I to watch some flicks we end up watching in the back living room so we don’t wake the kids with the surround sound from the main living area. I always hated to do that because the back living room is where we had to watch movies on the PS3 and the lack of upscaling was very apparent in each DVD we watched.
Thankfully, now that the 1.80 firmware is out I no longer have to make sacrifices on the image quality of my DVDs by watching them on the PS3. The video upscaling in this firmware update takes normal DVDs to 1080i on my HDTV, just as expected and they look great.
In fact, the upscaled movies on the PS3 look every bit as good as they do on my Denon S-301 home theater, and that system runs about $1500. Couple my PS3 with the SLS Q-Line Silver 5.1 surround sound system, I have connected via the digital audio output and I have a home theater package that sounds better and produces video every bit as good as the Denon S-301, for less than the Denon S-301 costs. Moreover, I get the added advantage of being able to play games as well as watch movies with the PS3.
Other updates in this 1.80 firmware include the ability to connect with networked media centers for video, music and images as well as the ability to connect Epson printers to the PS3 to print your images directly from the HDD or a memory card. The big thing here though is the DVD upscaling which the PS3 has needed from day one. If you are like me and bought a PS3 more for the Blu-ray functionality of the system than gaming, this firmware update makes the PS3 a much more attractive option for home theater buffs than the PS3 was before.
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Now for something really cool, the Sony press release we posted yesterday says that the PS3 will upscale to full 1080p, that is something my Denon S-301 can't do. Unfortunately I don't have a full 1080p HDTV avaialble to verifiy this on. If you have a PS3 and a full 1080p HDTV drop me a line and let me know if 1080p upscaling actually works and how it looks.