While the Sony PlayStation 3 is one of the best values for high-def movie buffs, it's always been somewhat of a pain to integrate in a standard home theater because it lacks an IR receptor. That means popular universal remotes, such a Logitech Harmony, can't control the PS3 and you're forced to break out either the PS3 controller or buy the Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray DVD Remote. For those who can't live without an activity-based remote, like us, it's a considerable drawback.
The only mainstream product to address this issue has been the Nyko Blu-Wave, which is a cheap fix, but can't turn the PS3 on or off, which means you'll need to power the PS3 on and off manually or use a controller. To address this problem, a small group of basically homemade products have popped up on independent Web sites, offering the ability to convert standard IR commands to Bluetooth and use some clever macros to get around the PS3's peculiarities. The ps3toothfairy ($100, only available on the ps3toothfairy Web site) is one of these devices, and it delivers on all the essential functionality you'd want on an IR-to-Bluetooth converter.
The design of IR-to-Bluetooth converters is pretty much uniform, as they all consist of a small black box about the size of an Altoids breath mints tin, with one side featuring IR receptors. The ps3toothfairy features a single red light in the middle of its IR receptors, and it blinks when it receives an IR signal or gives useful feedback during the setup process. Luckily for home theater fanatics trying to limit light sources, the light can be manually dimmed in configuration mode. The ability to choose the light level is preferable over the lightless PS3IR-PRO or the always-on IR2BTci.
Setting up the ps3toothfairy isn't that difficult, but we found it a little tougher than the other converters we tested. The main thing you need to do is "pair" the ps3toothfairy with your PS3, which lets your PS3 know that it will be controlled by a remote. To do this, you need to press the angle button, followed by select, then hold OK. You have to do this relatively quickly, and both the angle and select buttons can only be accessed via the LCD screen on the Harmony we used, so it can be a little tricky at first.
We did our setup using a Harmony 688 remote, and luckily the ps3toothfairy is available as a device (it's treated as a game console). We did run into a slight snag when we added the ps3toothfairy to a Harmony activity (Play PS3), as we had to manually associate all the ps3toothfairy functions with that activity. It's a tedious process and likely to confuse some Harmony novices, but it's worth noting that we had to do the same thing with all the IR-to-Bluetooth converters that we tested.
The main purpose of the ps3toothfairy is to offer a way to integrate all the functionality of Sony's Blu-ray remote to a standard universal remote. The ps3toothfairy has access to all 51 remote buttons, so you can easily watch Blu-ray movies and perform all the standard functions, such as access the pop-up menu or skip chapters. Of course, some functions are obviously handled better by an actual game controller, such as browsing the Web or (obviously) gaming.