Since the PS3 lacks an infrared receiver, this remote control tags onto the game controller’s wireless system by using Bluetooth for communications. Now Bluetooth, in of itself, is a great wireless solution that doesn’t require line-of-sight to operate. But the one thing it is not is friendly with home theater systems. No commonplace equipment available in the audio/video world uses Bluetooth for control. There are no remote automation systems designed to handle Bluetooth – everything is either more traditional RF, or standard infrared.
Behind door number two...
To be sure, there are other PS3 control solutions out there that can be integrated with universal remotes. Remote Central first wrote an article on how you could add standard infrared control to the PS3 using a few common PS2 accessories, and this does provide a level of control nearly equal to that of the original game controllers.
In fact, it works so well that you can now buy a number of pre-made PS3 IR movie remotes with more elegant designs and single-piece IR/USB transceivers. But the one shortfall of all existing infrared solutions is a lack of supported functions on the PS3’s side... so no matter whether you build your own kit using our article or buy a ready-made PS3 remote, you’re still going to end up with only about a dozen different usable functions. This isn’t something that the remote control manufacturers can address: it’s a limitation on what commands the PS3 has been designed to interpret via USB.
As a strong proponent of universal remotes – products designed to simplify life by reducing the number of remote controls sitting on coffee tables worldwide – I’m naturally pleased that there’s a way to control the PS3 that meets this objective. But does the convenience of having a single remote outweigh the limited functionality it offers for the PS3?
In case of emergency, add remote.
The Sony PlayStation 3 Blu-ray Disc Remote Control is the only currently available PS3 remote that offers full control over BD and DVD movie playback, and is also the absolute only way (besides the original game controller) to turn on the PS3 from afar.
The BD remote control measures 8.63” long, 2.00” wide and 1.08” thick (22.0cm by 5.1cm by 2.8cm). It’s light, weighing in at 3.7 ounces (103 grams) out of the box, or 5.0 ounces (135 grams) with the two bundled AA batteries. Despite the remote’s considerable length, all of its buttons are stuck into the top two-thirds, leaving a large swath at the bottom completely unoccupied.
Its not as if there weren’t enough functions to fill the space – the BD remote sports a total of 51 different commands, which far outshines any existing PS3 IR solutions, and rivals many standalone Blu-ray players. Beginning at the top of the remote is a 4-by-5 grid of thin rectangular buttons. Aligned to the right edge is a standard 10-digit numerical keypad, with [Clear] to the left of  and [Time] to the right. Stacked vertically on the left of the keypad are [Eject], [Audio], [Angle] and [Subtitle] functions, all of which should be familiar to current DVD player owners. What won’t be as familiar, at least to North American readers, are the [Red], [Green], [Blue] and [Yellow] buttons directly below. As of the time of this writing they don’t do anything with existing BD movies, but will be utilized in the future with interactive titles.