Sony has revealed PlayTV, a TV tuner and personal video recorder that plugs into the PlayStation 3 (PS3).

The device, which was unveiled at the Leipzig Games Convention, transforms the PS3 into a TV recorder and allows users to watch, pause and record live digital TV. It will be capable of recording individual programmes or entire series to the hard drive of the console for later viewing on a TV or PSP (PlayStation portable). The company has attempted to make PlayTV as straightforward as possible by including intuitive controls, single button help features, tutorial videos and simple navigation.

PlayTV will operate on the DVB-T (Digital Video Broadcasting-Terrestrial) format. It works using a 7-day electronic programme guide that enables programming features of PlayTV. It also includes two High Definition TV tuners that enable viewing, recording and playback of High Definition signals. PlayTV’s electronic programme guide can be controlled with the PS3’s official wireless controller, the SIXAXIS controller or the BD remote which also enables control of videos and music on Blu-ray Disc and DVD via Bluetooth.

As PlayTV enables connectivity with the PSP console, programmes can be watched live or recorded via a Wi-Fi connection. Recorded shows can also be transcoded and viewed on PSP using a USB cable.

“The introduction of PlayTV really will extend the already broad entertainment credentials of PS3,” said David Reeves, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe.

No pricing has been announced for the PlayTV tuner but it will launch in early 2008 in the UK, Germany, Italy, France and Spain, with other countries to follow. Sony says PlayTV will evolve and benefit from added value functionality and be able to be updated via PlayStation Network, setting it apart from other set top boxes.