Portable Gaming Update.
By Josh Taylor
It's been about a year since we first looked at Sony's then brand-new PlayStation Portable (PSP), and while we were impressed with the gadget's gaming ability, we were waiting to see how the game's promise as a fully functional multimedia center would play out.
Thus far, those hoping to watch TV and movies on their PSPs (Web site: www.us.playstation.com/PSP; Price: $199-249) have probably found the process to be a bit of a mixed bag.
Though the PSP's 4.3-inch widescreen display is tailor-made for TV and movie viewing, transferring them to the device is unnecessarily complex, unless you're buying prerecorded discs in the PSP's native UMD format (there are close to 500 titles available).
But if you're hoping to bring your own recorded shows with you on the road, the process gets a bit trickier.
First off, you'll need to buy yourself a large Memory Stick Duo, where you will store your programs. You should be able to find a 2GB stick for around $80.
The easiest, albeit it the most ethically dubious method is to find the show you're looking for online by searching for video files called torrents. Simply do a Google search for say "Lost torrents" to find a variety of torrents and software programs you can use to download them. Of the programs I've looked at, Videora (www.videora.com) seems to be the best.
But you're not there yet. Now that you've downloaded your shows to your PC, you need to get them onto your PSP, which of course, isn't as easy as it should be either. Fortunately, once again, a variety of software programs make this less painful than it would otherwise be. PSP Video 9 (www.pspvideo9.com), a free download, allows you to select which programs you wish to copy to your PSP, and takes care of all of the appropriate steps (like naming your files in the manner required by your PSP).
Sony's own LocationFree TV device, which allows you to watch your TV from anywhere, will also allow you to transfer programs from your TV to your PSP, though you'll need to spend about $350 for the privilege. The one drawback is that you'll need to have your PSP connected to the Internet in order to watch your shows, so you won't be able to use it on say, an airplane (unless you're lucky enough to be on a broadband-equipped jet).
And finally, at some point in the near future, owners of TiVo Series2 digital video recorders will be able to transfer shows between their set-top boxes and a PSP (or iPod). The company announced the service last year, but it is still currently being tested, and a firm launch date has yet to be announced.
If all of this sounds like too much to handle, be comfortable knowing that this process will continue to get easier (it's already come a long way in 12 months). And be thankful that excellent new gaming titles continue to hit the market every month (current fave is MLB '06: The Show, one of the better baseball games I've seen on any platform).
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|Date:||May 30, 2006|
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