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View Full Version : Which media centre device?




lg1992
Oct 2, 2010, 01:50 PM
I am currently looking for a media centre device and could really do with some advice.

I currently have all of my videos and music in iTunes so need something that can pull media from iTunes.

Out of the following, what would you go for?
1. 120GB Xbox 360
2. 60GB Playstation 3
3. 40GB AppleTV
4. New AppleTV

Any suggestions would be fab.



lg1992
Oct 4, 2010, 05:41 AM
anyone?

OllyW
Oct 4, 2010, 05:44 AM
If all your media is stored in iTunes then the new Apple TV is probably going to be your best option.

Microsaft
Oct 4, 2010, 05:50 AM
1. No BluRay-Drive; Gaming
2. Wired connection needed for streaming mp4-data; old PS3 = not quiet; BD; Gaming
3. Needs to be patched + hardware update to play all formats
4. ??? Jailbreak available but.... nobody knows whats possible



=> what do you need? do you have a bluray-player? do you need one? what about gaming?

lg1992
Oct 4, 2010, 06:02 AM
1. No BluRay-Drive; Gaming
2. Wired connection needed for streaming mp4-data; old PS3 = not quiet; BD; Gaming
3. Needs to be patched + hardware update to play all formats
4. ??? Jailbreak available but.... nobody knows whats possible



=> what do you need? do you have a bluray-player? do you need one? what about gaming?

Thanks,
Don't need a BluRay player, not interested in one at present. Not a huge gamer but the reasons for the console options is I already have an Xbox360 and my brother has a PS3 he's offered me but with a faulty BluRay drive so would be ok as a media streamer/downloaded game content, etc.

Regarding the old AppleTV, I don't mind having to convert all of my videos if that's what's necessary. I do prefer the look of the old AppleTV but then the new one can be hidden away. I also like the fact that the old AppleTV has a hard drive in it but not sure if that's necessary.

At the moment, my setup is pretty simple, I have a Hitachi 32" Screen (not TV), which has one HDMI port but then I have an XtremeHD 4 Port HDMI switch (with the same look as the old AppleTV), an Xbox 360, a HDMI DVD Player and a Sky+HD box.

My aim is to eventually ditch the DVD player and use that in another room or something and just have my films on a media device, but I'd like to get a speaker system too.

Thanks again for the advice so far.

DannyBres
Oct 4, 2010, 06:45 AM
what format is all your media in?! It is 'aquired'? or purchased through itunes?

lg1992
Oct 4, 2010, 06:48 AM
what format is all your media in?! It is 'aquired'? or purchased through itunes?

The music is all purchased through itunes but burnt to cd and ripped back into itunes. The videos are all ripped from DVD's. I have a few purchased from iTunes but have since bought some of them on DVD too so not too bothered about them.

pastrychef
Oct 4, 2010, 06:50 AM
I agree with OllyW. If you have all of your media in iTunes already and don't mind converting future content to work with iTunes, the new AppleTV is tough to beat at only $100. The only thing is that it currently only outputs 720p, if that matters to you.

DannyBres
Oct 4, 2010, 06:56 AM
id go appletv2 then! :)

lg1992
Oct 4, 2010, 06:59 AM
I agree with OllyW. If you have all of your media in iTunes already and don't mind converting future content to work with iTunes, the new AppleTV is tough to beat at only $100. The only thing is that it currently only outputs 720p, if that matters to you.

I think my TV is only 720p anyway (although not sure). In the future, how would I go about connecting the new AppleTV to home theatre speakers?

OllyW
Oct 4, 2010, 07:07 AM
I think my TV is only 720p anyway (although not sure). In the future, how would I go about connecting the new AppleTV to home theatre speakers?

If you are using a modern receiver use HDMI, if not there's an optical output.

lg1992
Oct 4, 2010, 07:40 AM
Sorry for asking so many questions but I've just thought of something else.

If I get a NAS drive with an iTunes server on it, will I be able to use that to stream content to the new AppleTV instead of leaving my computer on 24/7?

wb182
Oct 4, 2010, 08:20 AM
Sorry for asking so many questions but I've just thought of something else.

If I get a NAS drive with an iTunes server on it, will I be able to use that to stream content to the new AppleTV instead of leaving my computer on 24/7?

Someone else will answer definitively, but I think the answer is no. What I did however is recently buy an HP MediaSmart Server, which I can run iTunes on as a normal program unlike a typical NAS drive.

I haven't gotten my ATV2 yet to confirm that this will work, but I'm pretty confident/hopeful that it will and have been converting MKVs to M4V for the past week in preparation.

Microsaft
Oct 4, 2010, 08:23 AM
Sorry for asking so many questions but I've just thought of something else.

If I get a NAS drive with an iTunes server on it, will I be able to use that to stream content to the new AppleTV instead of leaving my computer on 24/7?

No. Not possible.


I would definitely consider getting the boxee box.
I am using the old Apple TV for some months now and I cannot wait to get rid of it. I love the interface and its simplicity.... but what i do not like is any ristriction / Apple telling me what I can use and what I cannot. That's why I will sell my ATV and get a Boxee Box...

Another point is surround sound: I'd like to stay with mkv because of dts-audio. When ripping a bluray / converting a mkv-file to mp4 u cannot stay with dts-audio ....

tripjammer
Oct 4, 2010, 08:24 AM
If you have an iTunes library...get a $99 Apple TV! Believe it it works flawlessly!

I also have a PS3 slim and that is for my blurays and Hulu Plus. Once the appletV gets hulu plus...it will use it for netflix\hulu plus and itunes.

Also if you have an iphone\itouch\Ipad...it works awesome as a remote to the new appleTV. Just make sure they are on the same type of wifi network. If you connect your iTV to a 802.11n 5GHZ network make sure you Ipad is connected or the same network or you will get lag.

OllyW
Oct 4, 2010, 08:32 AM
What I did however is recently buy an HP MediaSmart Server, which I can run iTunes on as a normal program unlike a typical NAS drive.

I haven't gotten my ATV2 yet to confirm that this will work, but I'm pretty confident/hopeful that it will and have been converting MKVs to M4V for the past week in preparation.

It worked with the original Apple TV so I expect it should work with the new one. You'll just need to enable Home Sharing in iTunes on your HP.

lg1992
Oct 4, 2010, 08:33 AM
No. Not possible.


I would definitely consider getting the boxee box.
I am using the old Apple TV for some months now and I cannot wait to get rid of it. I love the interface and its simplicity.... but what i do not like is any ristriction / Apple telling me what I can use and what I cannot. That's why I will sell my ATV and get a Boxee Box...

Another point is surround sound: I'd like to stay with mkv because of dts-audio. When ripping a bluray / converting a mkv-file to mp4 u cannot stay with dts-audio ....

Just had a look at Boxee and it looks good, however, I don't have the money to build a quiet htpc and the Boxee Box is twice the price of the new AppleTV.

Frosticus
Oct 4, 2010, 08:44 AM
My 2 cents..

The new Apple TV (got it on Saturday) is very slick at what it does,*however*, I just wish it did more than it does..
That said, at a reasonable 99, iOS 4.2 around the corner and with the likelihood of app implementation very high, I'm not complaining about my lovely new toy :)

...in addition, I already own a PS3 Slim, and despite duplicating much of the multimedia functionality, the Apple TV is vastly easier and more fun to use.

aelalfy
Oct 4, 2010, 08:46 AM
Lol just get the damn appletv it's worth the money. From your first post, you, I and everyone that read your post knew that the new appletv is suited for all your need. And any posts from there on, you answer your own questions and make it more clear that the appletv is the one.

Get it and be a happy person!!

Thanks
AE

Microsaft
Oct 4, 2010, 08:47 AM
If you have an iTunes library...get a $99 Apple TV! Believe it it works flawlessly!

Cannot speak for the new AppleTV but for the old one it does not work.
There are some mp4-movies in my library that my Apple TV does not accept / play (movies that meet the format requirements)...

dwd3885
Oct 4, 2010, 10:53 AM
It all depends on how much you want to spend. If it's under $100, then the new AppleTV is the only option. Personally, we have a PS3 for our main living room and LOVE it. It does pretty much everything ;-) Bluray, Netflix, streaming from your computer (ANYTHING). You don't need to put anything in iTunes. The PS Store is pretty much on par as far as movie rental streaming goes. I absolutely love it.

However, for our bedroom, I am thinking about getting the AppleTV only because we don't watch much TV in there, but it would be nice to be able to stream netflix or rent a movie once in a while in bed. Also on the plus side of the appletv is that we visit my parents house once every few months and can take the appletv with us and hook it up to the bedroom (which has only basic cable) and stream whatever we want.

The Xbox is great, the store is great, the Zune experience is excellent. But netflix streaming and the new ESPN3 require Xbox Live Gold, which is expensive as well.

DeusInvictus7
Oct 4, 2010, 11:12 AM
I've got 3 out of the 4 you've stated (excluding the old Apple TV), and for streaming purposes, the Apple TV is the best experience so long as your media is iTunes friendly.

IMO it comes down to the experience that the box gives you. The PS3 and Xbox, while they can do pretty much all that the Apple TV can, don't have the same simple and straight forward UI as the Apple TV.

So now I keep the PS3 for blu-rays and games, the Apple TV for streaming and Netflix, and I'm actually thinking of selling my Xbox since I barely use it anymore, and I don't want to pay for Live Gold to have online games and netflix access.

lg1992
Oct 5, 2010, 04:41 AM
Thanks for all your comments.

I spent a fair bit of time last night playing with Boxee on my PC. I watched a video about the Boxee Box and was impressed so decided to give the PC version a go and I was pleasantly suprised. Now I'm considering building a htpc instead lol.

VoR
Oct 5, 2010, 12:51 PM
Thanks for all your comments.

I spent a fair bit of time last night playing with Boxee on my PC. I watched a video about the Boxee Box and was impressed so decided to give the PC version a go and I was pleasantly suprised. Now I'm considering building a htpc instead lol.

http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?p=32958579#post32958579
http://www.frys.com/product/6334091?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

$169 for an ion box sounds pretty good to me. I'd like to see similar prices in the UK :)
Boxee is fine, but did you consider xbmc? Much better (and infinitely customizable) interface imo.
A device like this running xbmc absolutely blows away the atv/wdtv/ph/etcetc - I certainly wouldn't consider anything else, even if the price premium was a multitude more. The UI's are fantastic, the codec support 'just works' and the 'wow that's impressive' comments are plentiful :)

pizz
Oct 5, 2010, 04:29 PM
My mac mini is hooked to my TV running Boxee in a seperate account set up just for media center use. Works for me just fine!:D

lg1992
Oct 6, 2010, 07:26 AM
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?p=32958579#post32958579
http://www.frys.com/product/6334091?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

$169 for an ion box sounds pretty good to me. I'd like to see similar prices in the UK :)
Boxee is fine, but did you consider xbmc? Much better (and infinitely customizable) interface imo.
A device like this running xbmc absolutely blows away the atv/wdtv/ph/etcetc - I certainly wouldn't consider anything else, even if the price premium was a multitude more. The UI's are fantastic, the codec support 'just works' and the 'wow that's impressive' comments are plentiful :)

Thanks, I'll look at those two links.

Regarding XBMC, I did look at it but I preferred the way Boxee shows albums and films. I will spend a bit more time playing with it, but I think Boxee is for me. I have found that in Boxee you can change the background image and things like that which just made the experience that bit nicer. I also deleted all of the visualisations apart from one really calm one and that works a treat when playing music too.

EDIT: Just found the Zbox in the UK starting at 129.98 at http://www.ebuyer.com/search?page=1&store=2&cat=103&mfr=1047

Microsaft
Oct 6, 2010, 11:14 AM
Regarding XBMC, I did look at it but I preferred the way Boxee shows albums and films.

There is not just one way.
You may customize it and use the skin you like most.