PlayStation 3 Control

The PlayStation 3 (PS3) is not designed to be home-theater friendly. It has spawned an entire cottage industry of devices to help integrate it and compensate for its lack of direct IP control and even the lack of an infrared control interface. Despite the fact it is black and shiny, there’s no hidden infrared receiver under there.

First, let’s review why anyone would use a PS3 in a home theater. When Blu-ray was introduced many years ago, the players for it were almost non-functional. They were not only very expensive, but they worked poorly because the manufacturers were far from ready to adopt the huge, CPU-intensive Blu-ray Java infrastructure on top of their previously simple DVD firmware. Because of the many flaws in these early Blu-ray players that simply were not ready for market, Sony’s PS3 became the only viable Blu-ray player despite its total lack of ability to integrate into home theater environments. This was primarily because running Java for a mini-computer like a PS3 was a simple downgrade whereas for consumer electronics devices based on pure firmware like Blu-ray players, it required a complete redesign and most such devices didn’t even have firmware update procedures. Since almost every disc that was released used some untested feature, the firmware update craze seemed never ending and the only player rolling with the punches was the PS3.

Fast forward to today. The PS3 hardware hasn’t changed in any relevant way over all these years. Yet home theaters have moved on, and most importantly Blu-ray players long ago caught up and passed the PS3 in functionality, speed, and price. The PS3 still has no IR control. It still has no IP control. What it does have is a Bluetooth interface and a USB interface, and various manufacturers have tried to integrate devices with those for home theater purposes. Built into Simple Control are codes for many of these devices.
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A device that does work at a low price point is the Logitech Harmony PS3 Adapter. Simple Control supports the appropriate codes for that. The complexity with that device is that turning the system off requires adding a series of commands to Simple Control’s System Off command. These commands are not necessary with some of the higher end solutions.

A search for “PS3” on the Infrared Compatibility page will show a list of supported third-party PS3 infrared adapters.