Blue ray or apple TV?

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Dr Kevorkian94, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    As the title states i want either a blue ray player or an Apple TV for x-mas. I have 2 concerns because i know the prows and cons exempt for these: Does it coast more for a physical copy than an iTunes copy? (even though i can get the movies through more crafty means) And what is the update cycle because i forgot, i don't want to get one and a new one come out in like march. Thanks!
  2. jamesvdm macrumors regular


    Mar 28, 2011
    Perth, Australia
    They are not comparable device so it's hard to tell you what would be best. Personally I am not supporting the bluray format.

    There is no known update cycle for the ATV. It was almost 4 years between 1 and 2.
  3. Dr Kevorkian94 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    Im just saying movie wise, like would i notice the difference? if i played a blue ray on my 40 something inch tv compared to an iTunes copy. And its not like i can rip blue rays with my mac if i decide to buy a blue ray just to have it. And as for an update cycle I'm past that now.
  4. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    If you want to best quality and experience watching a film- 100% get the blu ray. Streaming doesn't even come close.
  5. Dr Kevorkian94 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    Ok then, im leaning toward a blue ray player now. Can you recommend a good one that is plain nothing fancy but a good quality picture?
  6. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    Why not both?

    I have a ps3 & apple tv

    I buy bluray movies only my fav old movies

    I use the apple tv for icefilms

    I watch dexter & boardwalk empire about an hour after it airs live
  7. slothrob macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2007
    Its a subtle, but discernible, difference between the 720p of iTunes HD and the 1080p of Blueray. At least on a 40" TV from a typical viewing distance.

    One thing to consider is that many, if not most, HD TV channels broadcast in 720p that is also heavily compressed by the cable companies. Can you tell when you are watching a 720p TV station and a 1080i TV station?

    Either way, the iTunes HD material is usually very good. Oh yeah, also, you can also re-encode Blueray with a Mac using an external drive.
  8. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    Blurays are so cheap nowadays specially for old movies

    I think buying bluray disc is the way to go

    Last week i bought terminator 2 bluray for $5 at target
  9. tbayrgs macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2009
    Blu ray will definitely provide a better picture and sound, if you have the equipment to take advantage of it. Is your TV 720p or 1080p? If the former, then there won't be a difference while the latter will be able to take advantage of the higher resolution of blu ray (iTunes are only 720p), though at that screen size, you may not really notice the difference. Blu ray will also provide better surround sound if you have a quality receiver/speaker setup.

    There are other factors you may want to consider though before deciding to go blu ray, especially if you want to watch movies on any of the devices in your signature. A blu ray player will obviously limit your viewing to only your television while iTunes purchased media will be playable on all of your Apple devices.

    Personally, I dumped my PS3 a few years ago but still only purchase blu ray media. I have an external blu ray drive for my Mac which allows me to rip/encode my media into whatever resolution I need for playback on all of our household devices (1080p for my Mac Mini HTPC, 720p for our :apple:TVs, iPads, and iPhones, and standard definition for my kids iPods). I went this route instead of iTunes purchased movies/TV shows because the DRM on iTunes media doesn't allow playback on non Apple devices or via PLEX on my Mac Mini. While this setup requires a bit of work, it also gives me the most flexibility now and in the future. Just my $0.02.
  10. SDColorado Contributor


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    Blu what? Oh yeah, thats what that thing under the thick layer of dust is. Honestly I never use mine except for the very rare occasion. The ATV2 gets used quite a bit, but everyones different. Thats the beauty of it. You are the only one that can ultimately make the best choice for you.
  11. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    It depends on your viewing habits.

    Blu-Ray has the absolute best picture quality. But it also has some downsides:

    • Buying Blu-Ray discs can be expensive, especially for new releases. $20 and up.
    • At present, the "back catalog" available on Blu-Ray is considerably smaller than that of other formats.
    • In practice, you will find your viewing options considerably more limited with Blu-Ray

    This last item is worth thinking about. Even if you subscribe to a top-tier Netflix plan, you are only going to have one or two movie titles to look at each evening. With an AppleTV and a Netflix streaming account, you'll have a choice of literally thousands.

    There is the issue of storage. Personally, I think that the days when we consumers keep a shelf full of discs (CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes, or Blu-Ray discs) are coming to an end. More and more content is available online, in the cloud, or on our personal media servers.

    Lastly, an AppleTV can do so much MORE than a Blu-Ray player. You can watch YouTube on your biggest screen. You can hook the AppleTV to a stereo or A/V receiver and stream your entire music collection over good speakers. You can view your personal photo stream. You can wirelessly "beam" music and video from your iPhone or iPod to your TV.

    Blu-Ray is very nice. But IMHO the video is, at best, only marginally superior to streaming 720. And at the end of the day, Blu-Ray is a one-trick pony.
  12. Andrew*Debbie, Nov 22, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011

    Andrew*Debbie macrumors member

    Nov 6, 2010
    North Wales, United Kingdom
    New titles can go either way. For older movies, a used Blue Ray or Amazon Special is often cheaper. You can also sell a used disc on Amazon or eBay. Not possible to sell an iTunes title you own.

    Apple TV wins for renting. Sure Block Buster or Netflix may be a little less per title, but they cost in time and for BB fuel.

    Coast more? I'd say a Blue-ray, being round will coast better than a square Apple TV. ;)

    :apple:TV is a hobby product. Hardware updates are infrequent. A new device could happen whenever. The firmware is in active development. There have been a ton of software updates.

    New Blue-Ray players seem to come out every 6 months.
  13. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    You can rip BluRay discs with your Mac. I do it all the time.

    If you're a movie enthusiast and intend to build a home cinema setup, or already have one, a Blu Ray player makes the most sense, especially if things like HD Audio, DTS master HD and so forth mean anything to you.

    Most BR players can even play your ripped DVDs and BRs from the network these days so you can still create a digital media repository and use the BR player as you would use the ATV.

    Considering that you are choosing between the two I assume that your budget is not very high? In that case I would recommend a Sony BDP s580 (about $110) or a similarly priced model from Panasonic. If you're a bit more serious about this, then I would recommend an Oppo BDP 95.
  14. Bokes macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2008
    this debate can go on all day.
    To me- the difference is not subtle.
    Streaming is full of motion artifacts, washed out color and poor blacks.

    It's fast food vs fine dining.
    If you have 2 rooms and in one room you view a streaming a film- it will look OK- but if you step into another room playing the blu ray version of the same film- there is NO WAY you're going back to watch the Stream.

    If you go Blu- get decent components and calibrate your screen.
  15. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    Count me in with the contingent that says get both. Blu-ray players are super cheap these days. A highly-rated blu-ray player can be had for under $100. Add another $100 for the AppleTV 2 = $200 total.

    Instead of buying blu-rays (which most people watch once or twice then throw in a cabinet), get Netflix. For the cost of purchasing one blu-ray ($18/month), you can sign up for Netflix's "one blu-ray out at a time, plus streaming - unlimited" plan. Plus, your AppleTV can be used for a lot more with your iPad 2 and iPhone 4S (i.e. Airplay, etc.).
  16. Dr Kevorkian94 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    Im liking the feedback guys, another question tho. a lot of blu rays have like extras will the always be the same with the iTunes copy? Also if i can find a decent blu ray for under $ 100 that will play a good picture ( maybe a player with just playing capabilities, if they still make those lol) then i will consider just getting both i have like $200 to spend. i like the fact of being able to play dads and blu rays because i do have some already (only because they came with dvds). so right now i have a couple options: 1) get either or 2) find a blu ray that just plays so nothing fancy and get both 3) get the ATV and find a cheep blu ray ripper.
  17. Dr Kevorkian94 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    Ive decided to get both, I totally forgot that my birthday is coming up so it gives me the excuse lol. Thanks for all the info i already order my ATV :D
  18. ericrwalker macrumors 68030


    Oct 8, 2008
    Albany, NY
    I've got 2 samsung blu-ray players and an Apple TV. I haven't powered either blu-ray player on in several months. I use the Apple TV several times a week.

    That reminds me, time to put my blu-ray players on ebay or amazon.
  19. greganpace macrumors regular

    Aug 9, 2011
    One last thing... If you get a wifi-capable blu-ray, You can also buy the 1080 movies and stream them. In the PS3, you can use Vudu to do it, as well as rent, being able to choose standard definition, 720, or 1080 and pay an extra dollar usually for each, with just about any movie you can think of. Something you don't get from ATV, I believe.
  20. macjonny1 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 10, 2006
    You aren't going to get 7.1 digital audio on the Apple TV. You may not care though.
  21. x-evil-x macrumors 601


    Jul 13, 2008
    most blu ray players have netflix so id get a blu ray player but they are so cheap id get both. but you can't get blu ray quality from streaming plain and simple... and blu ray are as much as what dvds used to be its not that bad...
  22. sapporobaby macrumors 68000


    Sep 27, 2007
    3 earth minutes from your location....
    Exactamundo....I have both....
  23. 00sjsl macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2011
    Hampshire, UK
    I love the picture quality of blue ray + surround sound, streamed video does not come close, difference is quite obvious on a 40” tv. I subscribe to love film to avoid owning too many disks.
  24. bmacir macrumors 6502

    Apr 2, 2009
    I would recommend a ps3, it's the best (upgradable) blu-ray player and it's much more than just that.

    It has one major downside: it makes a lot of noise, for many it's a non-issue, but it can be annoying.

    I too would say get an atv as well. If you have iDevices, an atv is a cool addition. Plus you could watch tv shows and movies, when you feel lazy, without having to change disk. :)
  25. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Nov 6, 2009
    Another question to ask:

    Do you want to build up a collection of 'things' you need to find a place to store? Blu-Ray means you will collect more items and have to store them physically somewhere. One external HDD can hold the same amount of movies as an entire wall unit filled to the brim.

    On my 42", from 8 feet away, I cannot tell the difference between BR and ATV HD. Although I am not admittedly obsessed over quality. :p

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