Apple TV or PS3 for Media Streaming

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by jwilcox09, Nov 24, 2008.

  1. jwilcox09 macrumors member


    Oct 22, 2007
    Hello All,

    I was wondering if people had experience with the PS3 and streaming movies, musics, ect from a NAS media server type setup, like Drobo. I am debating between the Apple TV and PS3 and was wondering which was better and easier to use.

    Thanks for any help you can give.

  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    Apple TV has Apple's interface.

    Apple TV uses far less power than a PS3.

    Apple TV has a fairly easily upgradable HDD, as well as hacked support for USB HDDs.
  3. Sirobin macrumors 6502


    May 6, 2008
    PS3's is much easier to upgrade, and supports USB HDDs without any modifications. I use my PS3 for media streaming, and it works pretty well. I've never used an Apple TV though, so I can't say which is better.
  4. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    May 1, 2003
    I have both. I prefer the ATV for media streaming, music, and well, almost all functions. Photo viewing is the only thing I prefer on the PS3. Why? Sony\Media link has actually figured out how to use ahierarchical\tree structure for browsing my Aperture Library, unlike Apple, who still want me to have to scroll through dozens of albums, and thousands of photo's in one big flat database. :(

    As far as why I prefer the ATV for everything else?

    - Streaming movies is far more fluent. IMO at least
    - I can actually access my entire iTunes library and play all of it
    - I prefer the menu system, the "Apple" interface"
    - Bunch of other misc. stuff, but also the fact that I can use my iPhone as a remote. :D
  5. wwooden macrumors 68000


    Jul 26, 2004
    Burlington, VT
    I have both and I hardly use the PS3 for streaming. I prefer the interface of the AppleTV and being able to see descriptions and cover art for music and videos. I only wish the AppleTV could play DivX files out of the box, without a hack. I convert everything anyways so it's not that big of a deal for me. I can see the PS3 being adequate for some if they don't have a lot of stuff purchased from the iTS, but the interface is very "computer" like in that you see all the folders and hierarchy.
  6. vw412fan macrumors newbie


    Nov 25, 2008
    I'm finding this to be a very relevant discussion. I temporarily have our Mac mini hooked to a big screen, which is great, but it is our main machine (i.e. inconvenient now that it is hooked to the TV). I have been debating whether or not to just get an Apple TV, since we'll mainly just watch a handful of tv shows and movies on it.

    A buddy at work said "Get a 360!" but to be honest I would rather get a PS3 in the future for Blu Ray; I also like the fact that a PS3 is quieter than a 360. Sounds like the Apple TV is simpler for streaming video (even if I need to do a little hacking to get avi working?).

    If so then I can just add the PS3 or other Blu Ray device later on, when we're ready.
  7. yardie macrumors newbie

    Oct 13, 2008
    I have a PS3 and I don't like browsing media on it at all. I don't understand the decision behind the XMB but in todays world it seems to run on an outdated. I have a widescreen TV, like I'm sure a lot of people do in this forum, so why does all my media have to fit in a single strip. For a couple of files, it's not bad but once you get into 100s of files it gets tiring that your only option is only up/down/select. Your friend is right, if you are going to be streaming files get a 360. You also can't go wrong with AppleTV (I don't have one).

    I rolled my own and made a media center out of a spare PC. Once all the codecs are installed windows media center is actually pretty good. I also downloaded this AMD fusion thingy that keeps my MCE and iTunes library syncronized.

    Unlike Microsoft, Sony treats the streaming capabilities of the PS3 as second class. If you put a PS3 and 360 right next to each other and connect both to the same source server you'll be blown away by the difference.
  8. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    This is a very subjective thing you are asking.

    Movies - ATV has a nicer UI than PS3. On the other hand, PS3 can play certain media ATV cannot. - Such as H.264 and Mpeg2 M2TS files at 1080p.
    PS3 can play directly Blu Ray Discs, ATV cannot.

    Music - I think that ATV has it over PS3 unless you store the music local to the PS3. Playlists on PS3 can only be made on local drives.

    For PS3, you can get around the problem of going through "hundreds of movies" if you set up your NAS in a folder structure that is seen on your PS3. PS3 has a very easy to upgrade hard drive. With 500 gig notebook drive inside, you can put much of your music locally. PS3 does accept a USB external drive in fat32. This is problematic if your files are larger than 4 gigs.-it wont work.

    Hacking - ATV has hacks that allow for playing other types of files. Of recent, an update broke some of these add ons.

    Verdict - comparing the wrong items. You should compare PS3 to Mac Mini. The latter using either Front Row or Plex. ATV has 2 things going for it - price and HD rentals from iTunes. Both Mac Mini and PS3 use wireless G which is pathetic. Opt for cable. If you can't then go at least for wireless N in bridge mode. (Router cable to unit. Let the router do the wireless for you)

    Hope this is helpful at some level. The info on each is very abbreviated but you get the idea.

    - Phrehdd

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