Goodbye Apple TV, Playstation 3 rules!

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by petvas, Apr 2, 2008.

  1. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #1
    Let me start by saying that I have owned an Apple TV since day 1 it became available. I loved the thing, I showed patience with all its problems, I converted all my DVDs to mp4 and then I also jumped on the rentals thing, hoping to see better quality picture on the movies I rent/own.
    Even with HD resolution I found out that Apple TV's quality was mediocre. Despite that I convinced myself that the quality was great...

    Two weeks ago my DVD player died, so I decided to get a playstation 3 in its place that would give me DVD, Blu-Ray and Games (I only play a game of soccer now and then, nothing major though).
    I also bought two Blu-Ray titles and when I played them on my PES3 I show the difference!!! There is absolutely no comparison between HD on Apple TV and Blu-Ray. The difference is dramatic. Blu-Ray looks sharp and AppleTV blurry. Artefacts are not existant on Blu-Ray...The sound is also much better (DTS)....After a couple of minutes I started asking myself what I have been doing the last 16 months, converting all those movies to AppleTV and enjoying mediocre quality...I then thought that the Playstation couldn't totally replace my AppleTV....I was wrong!!! I downloaded Nullriver's Medialink and in a couple of minutes I was streaming pictures, music and Films from my Mac to the Playstation! Streaming quality is excellent and there are no interruptions like with the Apple TV. try streaming a HD movie to Apple TV with a bit rate of 3500kbps....I stream movies with 10Mbit bit rate over to my playstation with no problems!!! (over gigabit ethernet).
    The AppleTV is also limited in the bit rates and formats it supports. The Playstation plays almost anything with no Bit Rate limits!!!
    The only downside is the interface (I find it ok, but nothing special) and the fact that it cannot play music and films bought from the iTunes Store...If that bothers you then stay with the Apple TV...
    I have made the switch, sold my Apple TV and enjoy real HD content on my Philips HD TV. I enjoy Blu-Ray rentals for 2 Euro pro disc and the discs come to me, I don't have to go to a video club. Here in Germany there is a nice service offered by www.videobuster.de that allows you to rent movies online. The discs get delivered to your home address...

    Overall I am very happy I got rid my Apple TV, I believe it is very flawed and needs to address the quality issues it has. Yes, I know that it's compressed content, but I don't care! Why should I??? I can get for the same prices much better qualty and If I want to keep a movie I like a lot, I can always buy the Blu-Ray disc....
    For all other media types I own, I can play them without problems on my Playstation, much better than the Apple TV, and if I want to play a game, then the PES rules!
     
  2. uva25 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #2
    Sounds interesting but I have a feeling the UI will be a deal killer for me, not to mention that I like surfing for music and tv shows on Itunes. I don't have any huge issues with the picture quality.
     
  3. NickFalk macrumors 6502

    NickFalk

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    #3
    Well as the PS3 costs nearly twice as much of course it should be superior.

    Or am I missing something obvious here?
     
  4. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #4
    I bought my PS3 for 390 Euros and my Apple TV (160GB) for 359 Euros...I don't see any difference in that!!!
    I have also upgraded the Hard Drive of the PS 3 to 250GB. This upgrade is supported by Sony and it can be done in a couple of minutes....
     
  5. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #5
    I also didn't have any issues with the picture quality until I got myself the Playstation and watched a Blu-Ray movie...If you have a friend that has a Blu-Ray player, go and try it for yourself.
     
  6. nordesmic macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    It only costs twice as much in the US. In Germany the AppleTV costs 299 Euro. Now I think the PS3 costs 399 Euro, if not less. In Australia the PS3 costs $600 the AppleTV costs $450.

    The PS3 plays games, full HD and can stream almost any music or video format using Medialink. The AppleTV is overpriced for the functionality it offers. I say this as a Apple 'fanboy'. In Australia, no one is buying AppleTVs because of the price.
     
  7. nando2323 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    #7
    Same thing for me the UI on the PS3 is definitely not as good as the ATV one. And getting the UPNP to actually do what you want to do, and not do its own thing is a whole story all by itself. I had a PS3 when it first came out and the sharing option on it was awful my xbox 360 worked like a charm no problems at all, except again the UI and no organization of my media everything is on one list TV shows movies you name it. I don't know if this has changed since but I still prefer the ATV over it. Also the HD quality on the ATV is pretty impressive I really cannot notice the difference between it and BD. I mean BD is better but not milestone just marginally.
     
  8. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #8
    That's like comparing a Deutche Bahn ICE to an S-Bahn. There is absolutely no comparison between the speed on ICE and S-Bahn. The difference is dramatic. ICE is so much faster and S-Bahn slow. :confused:

    Just because you don't care doesn't mean that there's some magical way for Apple to make an AppleTV that can stream Blu-Ray quality (1080p) uncompressed content across the Internet.

    Again, that'd be like insisting that DB replacing S-Bahns with ICE in high-density/inner city areas.
     
  9. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #9
    My point is that why pay same prices for something you can have in much better quality with no loss of convenience? I have settled with the Apple TV the last 16 months but I came to the realization that the PS3 offers me much more at comparable prices. Ok, I don't have the iTunes Store but I can live without it! It's like paying the same price to go to Berlin with the ICE and with the S-Bahn (if that was ever possible!)

    For the other members that pointed out the GUI issue, I have to tell them that the PS3 GUI isn't bad....At least it gives you the power to organize your movies in folders! Now do that with the AppleTV (only the latest update added genre support for movies owned by the user)
     
  10. newtonuk macrumors member

    newtonuk

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2005
    Location:
    West Yorkshire, UK
    #10
    The bandwidth on a "HD" picture on an AppleTV is no where near the bandwidth of that on Blu-Ray.

    The HD picture on an Apple-TV is much more compressed than that of a Blu-Ray movie.

    Look at the file sizes, Apple-TV movies are like what 6-8GB whereas a Blu-Ray is 30GB.

    Although Apple call the rental HD, it is only HD in the number of lines of information that is contains. It is not HD in the amount of information that each of those lines contains.

    Now, if Apple were to increase the bandwidth up to the same as that of Blu-Ray then the picture quality should be truely comparable, but until that day of course an actual Blu-Ray disc is going to look better as it contains more information.
     
  11. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #11
    I know all of that. The thing is why bother with inferior quality when I can have the best. That's all about it, nothing more, nothing less. I know most people like the quality that the Apple TV offers, but I want to enjoy my HD TV and Blu-ray is just better at that.
    Apple TV does a good job compressing these movies but at the expense of quality...
     
  12. UndertheRadar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    #12
    I'm with the OP. The PS3 is awesome! Use handbrake and that little nullriver app, forget it you're in heaven. It can play almost any standard movie file format as well as upscaling your dvd's and the playing ps3 stuff. I do agree that the interface is a bit whack but what is nice is that i can surf all the puters on my network.
    I hate the fact that blue-ray is the standard but you know what it looks amazing.
    I think the ATV is almost there and with 2 came what everyone expected when the original was released.
    As for the UPNP, Nullriver does a pretty good job. I even stream wireless and get no lag what so ever.
    I love Apple products but I'm passing on this one until the next full release:)
     
  13. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #13
    Well, of course—The PS3 uses a directory, folder hierarchy structure. You're one of the few people I've seen tout that as a feature. Most people would prefer their media to be organized by metadata.

    I have a PS3, and it's not a media center replacement. It only supports MPEG-4 Main Profile, MPEG-4 files with QuickTime headers, DIVX files under certain bit rates, WMV without Windows Professional Audio, 5.1 sound when wrapped in MPEG-2, etc.

    Not to mention, includes a web browser yet lacks a RSS aggregator (like the PSP) — no podcast support.

    It has severe artificial limitations. Now, if Sony would get off their rump and fix some of those issues and simultaneously create a media center-like application — it may get to be something.

    It's kind of ironic that Sony was one of the original touters of MPEG-4, yet the PS3 doesn't support full MPEG-4 Part II (like XBOX 360).
     
  14. legacyb4 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    And cost too; don't forget that Blu Ray movies cost upwards of US$20/movie (more here in Canada) and rental selection is still pretty lean.

    While I have a PS3 myself, I find that support for ("self-generated") Xvid movies is still hit and miss.

     
  15. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #15
    The Playstation plays almost all formats including m2ts, vob, mp4 (not all profiles though), h.264 (main profile), divx (all bit rates)...
    The AppleTV plays only h.264 and mpeg4 up to 5000kbit/sec...Now that is what I call limited.
     
  16. NightStorm macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Location:
    Whitehouse, OH
    #16
    HD is defined by resolution, not by bitrate. Anything above 720x480p is HD by definition.
     
  17. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #17
    I have both and prefer the AppleTV. I see no quality difference between my ripped movies on either platform and the interface on the AppleTV is much better than the PS3.

    With that said, I would love it if Sony would upgrade the PS3 to be more user friendly and provide some software that makes streaming easier.

    P-Worm
     
  18. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #18
    Your ripped movies have specific bit rate and of course there is no difference between the two systems. What would happen though if you ripped your movies at higher quality? Probably the PS3 would play them and the AppleTV wouldn't...
     
  19. Lancetx macrumors 68000

    Lancetx

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Texas
    #19
    I have both and enjoy both of them for different things. The Apple TV has a great interface and since I have a lot of music/videos/podcasts in iTunes, it's just better when I want to access any of that stuff on the big screen to do it thru the Apple TV. However, the PS3 also gets a lot of use for Blu-ray movies and some gaming as well, and it truly is a fantastic piece of consumer electronics. I wouldn't want to get rid of either one of them.
     
  20. jaw04005 macrumors 601

    jaw04005

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2003
    Location:
    AR
    #20
    The PS3 has MPEG-4 bit rate limitations. You should read the HandBrake forums for more information. It had DiVX and WMV limitations until Firmware 2.20.

    Arguments aside, have you found an easy way to rip DVDs to the PS3 in MPEG-2 and AC3? Right now, I use Mac the Ripper in combination with MPEG Streamclip. However, it's a hassle.

    If Sony would add Advanced Profile support to MPEG-4 and remove the "non-compliant" limitation, I would be happy.

    According to Sony the PS3 with Firmware 2.20 supports:

    Memory Stick Video Format
    - MPEG-4 SP (AAC LC)
    - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC Main Profile (AAC LC)
    MP4 file format
    - H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile (AAC LC)
    MPEG-1 (MPEG Audio Layer 2)
    MPEG-2 PS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2, AAC LC, AC3(Dolby Digital), LPCM)
    MPEG-2 TS (MPEG2 Audio Layer 2)
    AVI
    - Motion JPEG (Linear PCM)
    - Motion JPEG (μ-Law)
    AVCHD (.m2ts / .mts)
    DivX
    WMV
    - VC-1(WMA Standard V2)
     
  21. aristobrat macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    #21
    Out of curiosity, if you can't rent movies from the iTunes Store in your country, then how can you speak first-hand of its convenience, or the quality of HD movie rentals? :confused:

    One thing about your point is that the phrase "loss of convenience" is subjective. Others may consider it a "loss of convenience" to have to wait at least a day for a movie rental to arrive in their mail.

    I guess what got me is that your post read like you had no idea that the video quality from a Blu-ray DVD (1080p) would be higher in quality than a HD rental streamed from the iTunes Store (720p).

    To say "Yes, I know that it's compressed content, but I don't care! Why should I???" came across as being ignorant to the factors involved with getting several GBs of data across the Internet into someones living room... like there was something that Apple could do to the AppleTV to make that suddenly a non-issue.

    Anyhow, glad you're loving your PS3. :)
     
  22. KettyKrueger macrumors 6502

    KettyKrueger

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    Can I ask how you do this? I get very random results. I'm trying to rip my library down to VOBs but only a handful play despite being ripped in the same way.

    If you could detail your method it would help me a lot :eek:

    I tried using MTR as well as OSEx. I've also tried EyeConnect, Twonky and Medialink to stream them.

    Cheers!!
     
  23. cohibadad macrumors 6502a

    cohibadad

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    #23
    My major concern with solutions like the PS3 is that they can vanish on a whim. Sony phases out features with each new PS3 version. They have eliminated ports, hardware PS2 emulation, software PS2 emulation and SACD support off the top of my head. I have to wonder how committed Sony is to developing video play on the PS3. I can't imagine many people are buying PS3s for this purpose. And there is no direct revenue stream associated with this feature. For playing blu ray movies, the PS3 is a no brainer. It's the way to go and that's what I use it for. But as a long term solution for playing non-physical media, I am not convinced.
     
  24. w00master macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    #24
    Personally, I think the AppleTV is a fine product, but I much prefer the media capabilities of both the XBox 360 and PS3. Imho, XBox 360's UI and media playing capabilities are better than the PS3, but the PS3 is definitely a fine choice as well.

    On a side note, I do prefer the visualizations on the PS3 far more than my XBox 360, but the 360 handles video files much better than the PS3.

    Ultimately, AppleTV, XBox 360, and PS3 are all fine choices. In the end, it's really what you prefer. Personally, I just find that the two console options are a "better bang for your buck." 360 has better selection of HD movie rentals, can play nearly all types of media files, and has a decent UI.

    w00master
     
  25. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #25
    First, I do have a US iTunes Account and I have rented lots of movies. Secondly, of course I knew that uncompressed video is better than compressed but didn't know that the difference would be that obvious...
    Who told you that I wouldn't want to download uncompressed Blu-Ray movies? The Internet can't handle it right now but Apple could offer an Apple TV with an integrated Blu-Ray player. The problem is the CPU of the Apple TV. It cannot handle such video files and it will probably never will unless it gets upgraded...

    Anyway, the question we should all ask is if quality is important. If yes, then the Apple TV is a mediocre solution for people that do not need more than it offers.
     

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