Back when 2.00 firmware was announced, So-net (Sony
Communication Networks) quietly launched a PSP-centric video distribution service in Japan called Portable TV.
At launch, the service featured only free content, but gave the promise of rental-based content in the near future. It
turns out that future is now: Sony held a press conference yesterday in Japan to unveil the ?new? version of
PortableTV, which is fully compatible with the PSP?s browser, thus eliminating the need for a PC to get video from the
service. Fire up your PSP?s browser, navigate to the site, download videos directly to your Memory Stick Duo, and oogle
at the sexiness that is the H.264 codec.
What?s more? Some of the rental videos are available at a resolution of 480 x 270, dispelling the rumors floating
around that such video resolution wasn?t possible from a Memory Stick Duo. Don?t expect to see video encoders capable
of creating compatible video at this resolution anytime soon, though ? not only are the videos distributed by Portable
TV heavily encrypted with Sony?s DRM technology (which itself requires firmware 2.60), they?ve made no announcements
about updating their PSP Media Manager
software to incorporate these new capabilities. Still, we?ll keep our fingers crossed.