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Sony preps 3D TV upgrade for PS3 telly tuner

Further 3D firmware updates roadmapped

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Sony is to revamp its PlayStation 3 TV tuner, the PlayTV, for the 3D era.

At this stage, details are few and far between, but since picking up 3D broadcasts will require HD compatibility, it is likely to involve new hardware.

As is stands, the PlayTV can only pick up standard definition Freeview DVB-T transmissions. An HD version requires the addition of DVB-T2 support.

Whether there will be 3D programming beamed out over the Freeview HD frequencies remains to be seen. Even Sky has yet to begin broadcasting anything more than 3D showcase reels into subscribers' homes. No wonder, then, that the timetable for the PlayTV update is vague.

Less so are the plans for the PS3. At an event hosted by department store chain John Lewis this morning, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe's Mick Hocking, a senior director at the company's Liverpool, Evolution and BigBIG studios, said that the PS3 will get a major firmware update in September to add support for 3D Blu-ray Disc playback.

Sony announced the 3D BD firmware update back in April, but then had not provided a timeframe for the software's release.

September, incidentally, is when Sony will release PlayStation Move, it's motion control system. That too may involve tweaks the PS3 firmware which, we suspect, will be wrapped into the general update.

Hocking also revealed that a further firmware update will come to the PS3 before the year is out, this one bringing support for 3D pictures taken with still cameras.

Sony separately announced today two compact cameras capable of snapping 3D panoramas, and it recently issued a firmware update to bring the feature to its NEX micro four-thirds style snappers.

The PS3 update will add support for the .MPO file format - MPO stands for Multi Picture Object - in which 3D shots taken with these cameras are encoded. ®

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