One of the key pieces of equipment in my video glitch chain for the past few months has been the trusty Playstation 3 that was previously just collecting dust in a corner of the house for years. I think a huge underrated feature of the PS3 that I don’t see discussed very often is the fact that it seems like one of the most readily accessible ways to get internet video content (YouTube, Hulu/Netflix, Plex, etc.) output to an analog signal without the need for any dongles/adapters, most notably S-Video and component with the appropriate (very affordable) cables. The S-video AV cable that I purchased also includes the standard yellow composite, which allows me to send the image into another input/mixer without using a splitter.
What has been most useful to me is that the YouTube app on PS3 has surprisingly been maintained quite well with modern times, and facilitates connectivity to my phone’s YT app essentially like a Chromecast. So from my phone I can search/browse and prepare a queue of videos or pull up a pre-made playlist on youtube set to autoplay/shuffle and the PS3 image looks fantastic going thru the AVE-5 or V4 via S-Video. Music vids, nature docs, stupid cat videos, Any% OOB speedruns, you name it. Also, being able to use the wireless controller is a convenient bonus to quickly switch apps, adjust settings, or scrub/skip through videos if the phone isn’t closeby. Full disclosure, I pay for YouTube Premium, which is probably necessary with the frequency of ads YT’s been pushing on people these days. Getting this type of utility from it definitely makes the subscription easier to justify though.
Obviously, the PS3 is also natively capable of playing CDs, DVDs, video files from UPnP network or USB drive, and an enormous amount of game titles as well. It is very easy and highly recommended to install custom firmware to jailbreak the system. This opens the doors wide open to playing not only backups of PS1, PS2 (if it’s a fat PS3 model), and PS3 games via USB drive, hard disk, or local network, but also the emulation of soooo many retro consoles with Retroarch. Custom firmware also allows one to install more flexible media programs like Movian that allow for finer adjustments to video resolution/output settings.
I am aware that most of this can be done via a capable laptop and a downscaler to your video mixer or whatever, but this setup has proven to be quite nice and hassle-free for my particular needs. Plus, there’s already enough happening on my (and likely your own) laptop screen at any given time that cluttering up with more windows isn’t very desirable. The PS3 is just a tight, all-in-one package that unites internet, disc-based, and USB media content happily with native analog (and HD) video output. It’s very capable and versatile in ways that have sadly become rather uncommon or niche features in devices today.
Anyone else use PS3s or other devices from its era in similar/novel ways?
Recommendations for PS3-or-earlier games that you enjoy running through dirty signals? Anything that might do this type of thing better than a PS3??
Lemme know! Cheers.