Unlike the other converters we tested that use a standard USB port for power, the ps3toothfairy uses a more traditional power adapter. Unfortunately, the power adapter isn't included, although it is offered on the ps3toothfairy site. Another adapter is also offered that allows you to power the device over USB, which is convenient if your entertainment center has an always-on device such as TiVo or a cable box with a USB port. Note that you cannot use one of the PS3's USB ports for power, as they do not provide power when the PS3 is turned off. At this price, we feel like our choice of power adapter should be included for free. Further, we would have preferred if the ps3toothfairy had a standard USB port on the back, like the PS3IR-PRO or IR2BTci.
In addition to its standard functions, the ps3toothfairy does include a couple extra features. Power Track aims to remember whether your PS3 is on or off, so it only turns it on when you send the proper power on command. In our tests of all the converters, we never mistakenly turned the PS3 on even without this feature engaged, but it's possible it could be helpful in some scenarios. Another unique function is the ability to assign the ps3toothfairy a unique device ID, in the event that you use more than one in your house. That's a pretty niche application, but it's the only converter we've seen with that functionality.
While the ps3toothfairy is not firmware upgradeable, like the competing PS3IR-PRO, it does offer the ability for the user to make adjustments. By entering configuration mode, you can turn off features like Power Track, adjust the brightness of the light on the front, or change the power off macro. It's even possible to program your own macro, although the process is pretty tedious and you'll need to e-mail support for instructions. However, for those who like to tweak or don't like to rely on others for updates, this may be a significant advantage over the PS3IR-PRO.
Like with all the IR-to-Bluetooth converters we've tested, performance was impressive. We were expecting some kind of lag as the boxes converted the signal, but using our Harmony 688 felt just as natural as using the PS3 controller. We also didn't run into any problems powering off/on our PS3. To be clear, the PS3 lacks a discrete command for powering down, so turning the device off must be done using a macro programmed into the device--the same is true with all other IR-to-Bluetooth converters we've used. That means the ps3toothfairy sends a series of commands that eventually turn the device off. These commands are conveniently programmed into the ps3toothfairy, so you only have to send an IR signal to activate the macro, instead of having to keep the remote pointed at the ps3toothfairy while it sends a string of commands.
Overall, the functionality of the ps3toothfairy is impressive, although like most IR-to-Bluetooth converters, it's expensive. While we definitely like the ability to configure the device ourselves, we would have also liked upgradeable firmware, like the PS3IR-PRO offers. The IR2BTci offers more functionality, but most people don't need its extra bells and whistles. It's also worth mentioning that the $20 Nyko Blu-Wave offers much of the basic functionality except power/on, so you're essentially paying $70 for the ability to turn the PS3 on and off remotely. But if you're willing to pay to put your entire home theater back in control of your universal remote, the ps3toothfairy gets the job done.
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