Apple TV or Blu-Ray Player?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by safetyobc, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. safetyobc macrumors 6502

    safetyobc

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2007
    Location:
    Arkansas
    #1
    I have $200 to $250 to spend on one or the other. I have a few movies on my Macbook Pro and watch my podcasts on my iPhone.

    I have an upscaling DVD player that does a nice job. I have never watched a Blu-Ray disc so I don't know how much difference there actually is in an upscaled DVD vs Blu-Ray.

    Any thoughts or suggestions on either or both?
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    If your TV is 46" or larger, you should consider a Blu-ray player. If you listen to lots of music, pictures, use Eye TV Hybrid (or the like) then you should consider the Apple TV.
     
  3. safetyobc thread starter macrumors 6502

    safetyobc

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    Location:
    Arkansas
    #3
    I have a 42" 1080p HDTV.

    Listen to my music on my iPod. Not much on viewing photos. But I like that Apple TV has streaming of my movies from my MBP (about 10 movies I have now. I have DVD backups). I like the podcasts and YouTube intergration into :apple:TV.

    I guess I am just curious if I will notice a difference from Blu-Ray vs. Upscaled DVD.
     
  4. dynaflash macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Yes, you will.
     
  5. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #5
    Save a little longer and get a PlayStation 3. It does everything that AppleTV does and it is a great games console and it plays Blu Rays and DVDs :D
     
  6. safetyobc thread starter macrumors 6502

    safetyobc

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  7. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #7
    AppleTV it is.

    On only a 42" TV, depending on how far you sit, the difference between 720 and 1080 is nominal...
     
  8. kid rock macrumors regular

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    Nov 11, 2007
    Location:
    Southend-on-sea, Essex, England
    #8
    i have an :apple:TV and a blu-ray player and believe me if you want stunning movie quality then you want to get a blu-ray, the :apple:TV cannot touch blu-ray for quality (im afriad to say :() but if you want the extras like music, youtube, podcasts etc then :apple:TV for the win

    anyone saying an :apple:TV is not far from blu-ray quality is either lieing or blind!
     
  9. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #9
    PS3 has a built in web browser (of Mozilla descent) which has full Flash support. There is software called Medialink which you can get from Nullriver.com which basically connects the PS3 to your iTunes library and any files on your Mac. You can copy any files over your network to the PS3's hard drive.

    The hard drive, by the way, can be replaced with ANY 2.5" (laptop) SATA drive. I have 250GB in mine, although I think there are now suitable drives available all the way up to 500GB.
     
  10. Chicane-UK macrumors 6502

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    Apr 26, 2008
    #10
    I've got a Sony 40W4000 1080p TV and a Sony BDP-S550 Blu-Ray player (which also upscales DVD's). The upscaling is very decent, and any decent DVD's look very very good on the TV - but Blu-Ray is honestly in a different league.. which is as you'd hope really!

    Worth going and getting a demo of some decent titles to help you make up your mind. The only bummer about them is the price of Blu-Ray discs.. only really worth spending money on films you don't own and REALLY want.
     
  11. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #11
    I recommend spending a little extra on a PS3. Its web browser has full flash, etc. support for YouTube and the like so web stuff is no problem.

    Via Nullriver's MediaLink software, you can stream everything from your Mac onto your PS3 - your iTunes library, iPhoto library, any downloaded movies, TV shows, whatever. It has rich codec support as well which is key, playing WMA, Divx, Xvid, etc. The only format I've had problems with is MKV, but there's a method to get around that as well if watching HD rips is a big deal for you... Anyway, you get all this functionality for $26 - can't beat that. The PS3's hard drive is also easily upgradable if that becomes an issue.

    In addition, the PS3 is obviously also an excellent Blu Ray player and you also get the added benefit of gaming if it is something that interests you.

    For me it's the complete solution. :cool:
     
  12. RubberShoes macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    #12
    Yea I'd have to agree I got a PS3 this christmas on my 47" HDTV and blu-ray is absolutely stunning there's nothing else like it. And with the built in web browser, flash support and nullriver you have basically all the features of an Apple TV

    So yea, go with the blu-ray player and, if you can, a PS3
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    Does the PS3 allow the purchasing and renting of movies and TV shows (SD, HD) and music, and can you subscribe to podcasts with it?
     
  14. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #14
    And don't forget more comprehensive codec support as well for xvid, divx wma etc.
     
  15. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    #15
    You can purchase and rent movies and TV shows from the PlayStation Store if you live in the USA (and possibly Canada, I'm not sure). This service is expanding to other regions later this year.

    If you live in Europe, Australia or New Zealand, you can buy a TV tuner for the console which allows you to pause, rewind and record live TV without paying a subscription.

    You cannot subscribe to podcasts directly from the console, but the Nullriver MediaLink software I mentioned above allows you to stream any (DRM free) content from your iTunes library, including podcasts which are sitting on your computer.
     
  16. LeoFio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    New York
    #16
    I own both the Apple TV and Sony BDP-S550 blu-ray player, and for me they serve 2 completely different purposes.

    Go for Apple TV if:
    -You want to rent movies
    -you want to play a lot of music/TV shows/movies you have in iTunes on your TV
    -you *must have* you tube on your TV

    A lot of what the Apple TV can do can also be done by simply hooking your laptop up to the TV.

    On a 42" TV, the difference between 720p/1080p becomes almost indistinguishable between 7-8 feet away. If you sit further than 14-16 feet away from the TV, you may not even notice a difference between 1080p and an upscaled DVD on your 42" TV.

    Go for the blu-ray player if:
    -your seating position is close enough to notice a difference in the higher resolution
    -If you have a home theater system, you may get the added benefit of enjoying Dolby True-HD or DTS-HD audio found on most blu-ray discs.

    Blu-ray gets you the true "home theater" experience.

    If I were in your situation, I would get the blu-ray player and buy a nice action-packed blu ray disk for your first movie, and hook up the laptop to the TV if I wanted any Apple TV capabilities.
     
  17. safetyobc thread starter macrumors 6502

    safetyobc

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    #17
  18. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2008
    #18
    Just be aware that the Netflix streaming is mostly old or unpopular movies. You can't get new released from the internet.

    Also, in my opinion, comparing other internet-connected set top boxes to the Apple TV is a bit like comparing any old smart phone to the iPhone. Yes, it might be able to connect to the internet and do X, Y and Z, but it can't do it with nearly the elegance and user friendliness of Apple.

    Apple is the best set top box for new release online movie rentals, period. It's also good to play Flickr slideshows, YouTube via a great interface, Podcasts: both downloaded and streamed, and you can download programs that let you control your library with your iPhone, stream the music on its hard drive to an Airport Express, etc.

    For purchases, you can watch them on your TV, sync them with your computer, then take them with you on your iPod. You also get your choice of movies and even individual TV shows (or the whole season if you'd prefer to buy the whole thing)! It's a great system!

    Blu Ray players are better quality, no question, but renting movies for it means making a trip to the video store or waiting for one to come in the mail. There's no instant gratification as with Apple TV's on-demand.

    You won't be able to take your movies with you on the go (on an iPod), and the movies will cost up to $30 vs. $6-$15 for iTunes movies.

    To me, the choice between Apple TV and Blu Ray is a choice between quality and convenience/capability. Personally, I value the latter.
     
  19. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #19
    Absolutely correct - so there again, this solution pretty much covers everything! :)
     
  20. billselak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #20
    get blu-ray

    I have both TV and PS3.

    I use my PS3 9 out of 10 times (and TV 1 out of 10 times). It's nice having music and movies around on TV, but Blu-Ray is just so much cooler. Go blu-ray, and you'll be stoked.
     
  21. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2008
    #21
    As a BD owner and Netflix noob, I was going to suggest that or the Samsung BD units that also stream Netflix. I don't recall if the Samsung units do YouTube, so you should check on that.

    Please don't listen to the people who give some arbitrary TV size at which they say Blu-ray is worth it. I have a 720p 32" television and can easily tell the difference in SD and HD content. It's less noticable, but I can tell the difference in upscaled DVDs and BDs. Lost is probably the best video to really check it out. There's always a shot of the Hawaiian coast and the greens of the jungle to make you say "ooooh." They also have orchestral music and usually some gunfire, rain or something to test out your ears.

    Apple TV is kinda nice to have, but I'm having a hard time seeing it worth $200 just to pretty much allow me to watch these videos on a TV instead of a monitor. My parents like their ATV for watching picture slideshows, videos, and listening to music from an iMac, but I've got a MacBook Pro that I can port around.

    So as one looking for one device or the other, I'd get one of the BD players that streams Netflix. One thing people don't pay attention to on the PS3 is the major power suckage. I think it uses 5x the power of a BD player, which is how it runs everything so much faster. If you don't mind that, fine, but I didn't spend all that money on CFL bulbs to go nutz with a PS3. I also know that the PS2 was the most unreliable DVD player on the planet, and most everybody I knew had to buy one of the slim PS2s when the original big boxes stopped playing games.
     

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