PS3 Update Adds DVD Upconversion, 24p Output
I've not had much time to test the new features, and the DVD upconversion in particular isn't very straightforward- it allows the obscure choices of Off, Double Scale, Normal and Full Screen. Although Double Scale, Normal and Full Screen upconverted DVDs to the max 1080p resolution I'd set elsewhere in the PS3's menus, only Normal and Full Screen appeared to show a properly sized image. Double Scale showed a 16:9 image that didn't fill the screen although a 1920x1080 signal was apparently being sent by the PS3.
Also, the 1080p/24 output only allows settings of Off or Automatic. Automatic suggests some handshake will occur between the PS3 and a compatible display, but with the Automatic mode I was not able to get a 24p output from the PS3 with any of the 1080p/24 BDs I tried using the Anthem AVM 50 as an HDMI switcher. The Anthem is capable of accepting and passing a 1080p/24 signal, and it has a display that designates the incoming signal's frame rate. It read that 1080p/60 was coming from the PS3 set to Automatic for 24Hz output. And my Marantz VP-11S1 accepts 1080p/24 but does not display the frame rate, so I could not use a direct connection to try the Marantz. This seems like an obvious handshake issue, but I'll try and find out more.
In addition, the PS3 is now capable of showing both above white and below black, which was not the case before. I haven't updated the PS3 in a while, so it's possible that some or all of these features are available from previoous updates.
Nevertheless, even when Sony's new standalone BD player goes on sale next month it will be the same price as the fully-loaded 60GB PS3 at $599. And as a BD player, the PS3 keeps offering more and more for the money.