Sony's new PS3 Slim outputs bitstream audio

Sony’s new PS3 Slim outputs bitstream audio

By now you’ve probably heard Sony’s announcement of the new PlayStation 3 Slim. The new video entertainment console is almost 40% smaller than the previous model, has all the same features, and includes a larger hard drive. But there’s one more feature it has that previous versions did not have: the ability to output high-definition audio codecs bitstream via the HDMI 1.3 multimedia port.

While the debate continues about the merits of decoding the audio in the receiver versus in the player, this news at least allows all parties to be happy. The facts remain, however, that if you want to hear menu sounds and commentary tracks, you will need to decode in the player. The PlayStation 3 is fully capable of decoding high definition 7.1 audio tracks and outputting via LPCM; some Blu-ray players (while making this claim) do not output full 7.1 LPCM audio.

ps3-slimAvailable in September, the PS3 Slim will sell for $299, which is $100 less than any previous PS3 system. This means the PlayStation 3 is now the same price as some of the entry-level Blu-ray Disc players, making it one of the better deals you will find for high-def video.

It is my opinion that the older versions will receive a software update allowing the same bitstream feature. Sony didn’t add a chipset just to include this feature, so I imagine a new software revision will become available about the same time as the Slim launches. It’s just a guess though, so don’t hold me to this.

About Steven Kippel

Steven Kippel has worked as a systems designer for a leading high-end audio/video custom integrator in Southern California since 2003. He is responsible for researching new technologies and integrating them into existing systems and new construction projects. He has designed several high-profile systems for discriminating clients on the cutting-edge of technology. When he is not hard at work, Steven is spending time with his wife, playing with his band or promoting concerts and bands in the Inland Empire. His favorite bands include The Cure, U2, Eisley, Living Sacrifice and DragonForce.

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One Comment on “Sony's new PS3 Slim outputs bitstream audio”

  1. I am pleased with the new PS3 Slim I’m not going to list a whole bunch of facts already given just what I like better about the Slim. First I like how qiuet the hardware runs no more annoying loud fan noise after a few hours of gaming. Its a cool sounding hum. Some people think the 120g hard drive is not enough but for me its just right. As an owner of an original 60gig PS3, 60g was not enough I don’t think I need any more than 120g. I like that they now come with the DualShock 3 controller, thats a plus. I really like what Sony has done to improve the hardwareand lowering the price. I would recommend to those that are interested in buying one to go ahead and get it before the “playstaion4” and “Xbox420” start to become rumors.

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