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Sony PS3 (Playstation 3) Audio Video Home Theater

The video and audio capabilities of the Sony PS3. How to setup the PS3 for home theater configurations.


Under Settings >>> Display Settings >>> Video Output Settings you must select the type of video output you are using to connect your PS3 to your display. You can select only one the PS3's video outputs to be active. The video outputs available are HDMI, Component Video, and S-Video/Composite Video. Only HDMI and Component Video support high definition video. HDMI will support resolutions up to 1080p while Component Video will support resolutions up to 1080i for Blu-ray Disc playback. Also note that use of component video requires a Playstation specific cable that is an optional accessory.

Component video cable for PS3

Under Settings >>> Video Settings >>> BD/DVD Video Output Format (HDMI), what are RGB, Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr and Auto for?

In most cases the correct setting is 'Auto'. In Auto mode the display will indicate its capabilities in the initial HDMI data exchange (handshake) and the PS3 will select the correct colorspace.

RGB: This is the colorspace typically used for computer generated graphics (e.g., as used by PCs and PC monitors). This is the colorspace also used in the PS3’s XMB interface and for video games, because they are encoded in sRGB. Selecting RGB will force this output mode for all video (including BD/DVD playback) output via HDMI from the PS3.

Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr: Another colorspace typically used for video recordings (e.g., BDs and DVDs) and video displays. If your HD display supports it, this is the desired colorspace when watching DVD or Blu-rays Discs. It is also recommended for playing home HD video recorded in AVCHD format, as used with many consumer HD camcorders. Selecting Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr will force this mode for all BD/DVD video output from the PS3.

Auto: automatically selects between RGB or Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr colorspaces depending on the capabilities of the connected video display. Selecting “Auto” will normally provide the correct selection of RGB vs. Y Pb/Cb Pr//Cr when most HDMI equipped HDTV displays are attached to the PS3.

Note that the XMB and Games are always output in RGB format while BD/DVD playback is user selectable for output in RGB or Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr format.

I notice problems with colors when selecting Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr or Auto. What should I do?

Try forcing the PS3 to output the video in RGB format (rather than Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr) to see if this eliminates the problems. Your display may not accept, or may have trouble with Y Pb/Cb Pr/Cr format input.

So then under Settings >>> Display Settings, should I have RGB set to “Full” or “Limited”?

If your HDTV is adjusted for use as a video display (rather an a computer display) then “limited” is the correct setting.

Problem: 1080P won't work with my PS3
I got a PS3 and connected it to my Samsung 58" Plasma via HDMI. When the video settings were set to automatic, the screen became snowed and the audio crackled. Same thing happened when manually selecting 1080p. Checking the manual setting for 480, 720, and 1080i without the 1080p box checked works just fine, albeit at a slightly lower resolution.

Check your HDMI cable. PS3 is pretty picky about HDMI 1.3 cable for 1080p. Are you sending 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 to the plasma? Are you sure your plasma accepts either of those as a valid input resolution? Even if your plasma is a 1080p display, not all 1080p displays actually accept 1080p as input. They accept up to 1080i and then de-interlace that internally instead.

If you are sure the plasma will accept 1080p/60 or 1080p/24 (or both) as valid inputs, then the most likely problem is your cable. Some HDMI cable is designed and tested only for use up to normal HDTV bandwidth (1080i/60). Other HDMI cable is designed and tested for 1080p. Same wires, plugs, pinouts and functionality; just better designed and tested.

Your Samsung plasma is spec'ed to accept 1080p/60 and 1080p/24 inputs (but it comverts 1080p/24 back to 1080p/60 for display). Thus it should be compatible with the PS3's 1080p output. HDMI does have some compatibility issues, especially between products from different manufacturers. You can try reversing the order in which you turn on the TV and the PS3. If that doesn't solve the problem, you could try replacing the HDMI cable with a new one that is listed as being HDMI 1.3a certified. Inexpensive ones are available from

Does the PS3 support 1080p/24 playback for Blu-ray and DVD?

Playback at 1080p/24 is supported for Blu-ray but has not yet been added for playback of DVDs. 1080p output requires an HDMI connection for video. Most HDTV displays with a native resolution of 1080p (sometimes called "Full HD") will accept a 1080p/60 (i.e., 60 Hz) input. Some newer HDTV displays will also accept an input of 1080p/24 which is the native rate of most movies recorded on BDs.

The relevant setting for configuring the PS3 to output video in the 1080p/24 format is accessed from the XMB:

XMB >>> Settings >>> Video Settings >>> BD 1080p 24 Hz Output (HDMI)

Note: "Video Settings" was called "BD/DVD Settings" with PS3 firmware prior to version 2.50

The default setting of "Automatic" will enable 1080p/24 for any display that correctly communicates that it is 1080p/24 capable. If you KNOW your HDTV display supports 1080p/24 and you're certain the PS3 isn't automatically enabling 1080p/24 during Blu-ray playback, changing this setting to "On" will force 1080p/24 playback. Changing the setting to "Off" will not allow 1080p/24 playback regardless of the display's capabilities.

How good is the video for playing DVDs (i.e., upconverting)?

The DVD upconversion capabilities of the PS3 are quite good and have improved with later PS3 firmware updates. Although the PS3 results are better than provided by many mass-market consumer upscaling DVD players, the results are still not quite to the level provided by the very best upscaling by the best video processor hardware (such as the Reon processor used in some high end standalone players, AVRs and outboard processors.

PS3, Upconversion and Blu-ray

DVD upscaling features can be set starting from the XMB:

XMB >>> Settings >>> Video Settings* >>> Upscale

Setting this to "Off" will output DVD content at 480p, while the other three options will upscale the content to the highest output resolution available. "Normal" is usually the preferred setting, as it will preserve the aspect ratio of 4:3 content. "Full Screen" will stretch 4:3 content horizontally. "Double Scale" requires 1080i or 1080p output and will upscale to 1440x960 (exactly double DVD's native 720x480 resolution.)

Note that upscaling copy-protected commercial DVDs requires an HDMI connection. With most commercial DVDs component video output from the PS3 is limited to 480p.

Currently, standard definition extras on Blu-ray are not upscaled.

The PS3 also provides three types of noise filters that can be used for DVD playback. The controls for the noise filters can be accessed while playing a DVD by pressing the Triangle button on the BD remote or game controller then highlighting the icon for "AV Setting" and pressing the X button to select. Note these noise reduction filters only work when playing DVDs, not with Blu-ray Discs. The three available video noise filter are:

* Frame Noise Reduction - Set to reduce fine visual noise
* Block Noise Reduction - Set to reduce mosaic-like block visual noise displayed on the screen
* Mosquito Noise Reduction - Set to reduce noise that appears near crisp edges of objects (an MPEG 2 digital artifact)
Each of these have available settings of Off, 1, 2 or 3. Using too high a setting can soften the video image, but each may prove useful with dealing with DVDs that exhibit video noise, including digital artifacts.

Blu-ray Disc Profiles

There are four* different "Profiles" for the video+audio capabilties of Blu-ray Disc (BD) players and discs. The earliest BD players were all Profile 1.0 and included the basic features for playback of BDs.

Profile 1.0 players are no longer being manufactured, but such players can still play movies on BDs, but cannot support some of the enhanced features included on some of the new discs.

Profile 1.1 (also called Bonus View™) players added enhancements for Picture-in-Picture, more internal memory, and support for decoding of a secondary audio channel.

Profile 2.0 (also called Blu-ray Live™) includes additional requirements for high speed internet connectivity for supporting web-enabled interactive features and requires even more internal memory.

Profile x.x (also called Blu-ray 3D™) This update to the BD specification was approved in December 2009. The Blu-ray 3D specification defines optional features to support 3-dimension video content. Dual video streams (one for viewing by the right eye and the second for the left eye) will be recorded on 3D discs using the new Multiview Video Coding (MVC) codec, which is an extension to the H.264 Advanced Video Coding (AVC) codec (one of 3 required video codecs for all BD players).

All Blu-ray 3D players are required to output the 3D signal in a "Frame Packing" 3D format. Frame Packing essentially places two full resolution HD images into one "super sized" frame for transmission across HDMI. When used for 1080p, the right and left images are placed one above the other into a "super sized" frame that is 2205 pixels vertical by 1920 pixels horizontal with a 45 x 1920 pixel active blanking area separating the two images.

This output signal format is defined in detail within the HDMI 1.4a standard. Viewing movies in 3D from Blu-ray 3D discs will require both a Blu-ray 3D enabled player (e.g., either a stand-alone player or the PS3 with a firmware update) as well as a new 3D enabled HDTV display (e.g., flat panel HDTVs, projectors, etc.). The first 3D enabled BD standalone players and HDTV displays are now available from Panasonic and Samsung and Sony.

Movies released on Blu-ray 3D discs will be able to be played in standard Blu-ray Disc players, but without the 3D capabilities. Sony has announced a firmware update for the PS3 to enable Blu-ray 3D support (supporting the full resolution Frame Packing 1080p/24 signal format via HDMI) mid-2010.

* Profile 3.0 is defined for audio-only Blu-ray Discs.

Many of the current BD movie titles, starting with releases in 2008, have included features using Bonus View and/or BD-Live enhancements. The first BD movies based on the new Blu-ray 3D specification are available mid-2010.

What Blu-ray Disc Profile does the PS3 Support?

The PS3 has been upgraded, via firmware updates, since first introduced as a Profile 1.0 player and it now supports BD Profile 2.0 (i.e., supporting both Bonus-View and BD-Live features). Sony also released a firmware update in September 2010 that upgraded the PS3 to support the new Blu-ray 3D specification. However the PS3 does have two limitations related to playback Blu-ray 3D discs as compared to the capabilties of standalone BD players designed "from the ground up" to support Blu-ray 3D. Specifically, when playing Blu-ray 3D discs the PS3 has two limitations as it will not output the lossless surround sound audio formats (i.e., Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA) and the PS3 will not support Java-based animated menus. However, when playing such Blu-ray 3D discs the PS3 will provide the full resolution 3D video along with standard Dolby Digital or DTS surround audio and will provide standard (non-Java) menus.


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