Editors' note: Since the release of the PS3 Blu-ray remote, the Nyko Blue-wave IR remote, and seems to be an even better solution for Blu-ray and DVD playback control. As a result, we've lowered the rating of this model accordingly.have surfaced. We've taken a look at one of these,
Truth be told, the is currently the Blu-ray player we use to test a lot of the HDTVs we get in for review here at CNET. As potentially higher performance Blu-ray players come out, that may change, but right now the PS3 is one of the best Blu-ray players on the market. As frequent Blu-ray viewers, we're perfect candidates to test out the remote that's designed for PS3 movie watching, the Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray DVD Remote ($25).
The remote, like the wireless game controller that comes with the system, features Bluetooth wireless connectivity. In fact, it behaves just like a Sony wireless game controller would, except you have to manually pair it to the system via the accessories link in the settings menu (it uses port number seven). However, once you've paired it, you shouldn't have to worry about doing it again.
There are certain advantages to Bluetooth technology, the biggest of which is you don't have to deal with the line-of-sight issues you encounter with IR (infrared). For example, we pointed the remote in the opposite direction with our back to the system, and it still worked fine. The remote also is very responsive with virtually no lag time between button press and onscreen action.
The only problem--and call this an editorial aside--is that if you're trying to control all your components with a universal remote such as a Logitech Harmony model, the PS3 isn't compatible because Sony conveniently decided to leave off an IR port. (Admittedly, that's a shortfall of the PS3 itself, not the remote reviewed here.) Hopefully, the company--or a third-party vendor--will rectify this annoying situation by putting out some sort of IR USB dongle that allows you to control the PS3 with an infrared remote. If that little dongle cost $20, Sony (or Logitech, or whoever) would find plenty of buyers. But we digress. Back to the review.
All in all, there isn't a whole lot to complain about. This is a perfectly decent remote that is attractively styled with a generally well-thought-out button layout and design. (In fact, the ergonomics and design are notably superior to the DVD remote that Sony released for PS2.) The color-coded red, green, blue, and yellow buttons are designed to match upcoming "soft keys" within the Blu-ray menu system. The most-used buttons (play, stop, and pause) are larger than the rest of the keys and set in the middle of remote. You should be able to navigate those keys just fine by touch, but accessing some of the other buttons in the dark by feel alone will be more difficult. Unfortunately--and this is our biggest gripe--the remote isn't backlit. And, obviously, it's limited to controlling the PS3, so you'll have to use another remote to raise and lower the volume of your TV or A/V system.