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What You Can and Can't Do With Torne

ITmedia reports on what's missing from Sony's DVR kit.


ITmedia has posted an in-depth impressions piece on Sony's new Torne digital receiver/recorder kit for PS3.

Included in the impressions are some quick lists on what you can and can't do with the device.

You can do the following:

  • View and record terrestrial digital broadcasts
  • Record to an external hard disc
  • View a channel guide and search for programs
  • Record while viewing BD/DVD and while playing games
  • Begin recording while system is in standby
  • Copy recorded programs to PSP
  • Functionality for accessing the internet while viewing programs

The last bit of functionality appears to have caught the attention of some bloggers and 2channelers. In addition to letting you search for terms of interest as you watch a program, you can also open up Twitter feeds and message board threads. This could be particularly neat during live broadcasts.

Now here are things you can't do:

  • View and record BS/CS broadcasts
  • Set picture quality for recording
  • Change channel during recording
  • Play programs while they are recording
  • Edit programs that you've recorded
  • Export programs to external media
  • Play back programs on machines other than Torne and PSP
  • W Recording
  • View recorded programs from XMB

Some of these -- most notably the lack of dual tuner capabilities -- should be obvious, as Sony would have promoted them otherwise. Others are a bit surprising. Having to load up Torne in order to access recorded programs sounds like it could be inconvenient, depending on the startup speed.

The inability to change recording quality means you're going to be stuck with some hefty video files. ITmedia reports 3 gigabytes of space required for a 30 minute program.

Finally, here are some things you can do exclusively on Torne

  • A smooth moving interface
  • Easy to understand control setup
  • Everything moves quickly
  • Torumiru functionality
  • Chart showing a history of your viewing
  • Trophies
  • Remote play via PSP

The Torumiru functionality, which I believe is where Torne gets its name, shows real time usage stats for programs. Viewing the "Miru" count for a program lets you see how many people are viewing a program at a particular time. Viewing the "Toru" count for a program lets you see who's recording what.

The history feature should also be of interest to those who watch lots of television. You can view the number of hours and number of programs you've viewed over a given period and also view a chart that splits your viewing time by genre.

The speediness of the interface also looks like it could be a major draw. Back when Sony debuted first videos of Torne, this was the feature that seemed to catch everyone's attention.

The Torne interface.

Based off the ITmedia report, Torne appears to be missing a few features. However, in typical PS3 fashion, some of these could presumably be added via firmware updates.

Visit the ITmedia story for screens of the interface.

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