Netflix: Apple TV vs. PS3

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by BoulderBum, Oct 19, 2010.

  1. BoulderBum macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    Did anyone download the Netflix PS3 app yet? It's apparently 1080p, so I was curious to see how it stacked up against Apple TV in terms of quality.

    I checked it out and it's pretty cool. The PS3 may have a slight edge in quality judging by the one movie I watched but it's not like it's Blu Ray quality or anything and if you put one up next to the other I don't think I'd be able to tell one from the other. Any different probably isn't enough to make me want to boot up the PS3 vs. using the Apple TV since I find the latter easier to use.

    The one thing I really liked about the PS3 was that it started streaming a preview of the movie when you'd hover over it for a few seconds. Lack of any sort of preview is one thing that I think hurts Apple TV's Netflix implementation, and PS3's is pretty slick.
  2. WiiDSmoker macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2009
    Hermitage, TN
    As an owner of the PS3, Xbox 360, Wii, Apple TV 2...I was very impressed with the Apple TV Netflix; that changed last night with the new PS3 version of Netflix.
  3. OptyCT macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2008
    I watched several TV shows/movies on Netflix and couldn't tell the difference in quality between the PS3 and ATV. I do prefer the ATV UI over the PS3. The other thing that I can tell you is that there isn't one video on Netflix that is currently streaming at true 1080p (blu-ray like) quality. From the Engadget review of PS3's recent Netflix update, it looks like Netflix is taking 1080i content and encoding it as 1080p. This would explain why I really can't tell the difference between ATV streaming at 720p and PS3.
  4. Lanman macrumors member


    Aug 19, 2005
    San Diego, Ca
    I have both as well and I have been flipping back and forth to compare on my 58 inch 1080p Panasonic.

    1. I prefer the ATV GUI. The PS3 is very nice as well.
    2. The video starts out low quality on the PS3 and improves within a minute to HD
    3. I can't really tell if there is a difference in video quality.
    4. The 5.1 on the PS3 is awesome. Come on Apple!
  5. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    I watched All That Jazz tonight... the first 20-30 minutes on the PS/3 and the rest on the AppleTV. Both are hooked up to the same Ethernet switch and sitting next to one another.

    Granted any differences were pretty subtle and I need to go back and watch the first 20-30 minutes again on the AppleTV for a more direct comparison, but I felt like I saw fewer issues with the AppleTV's video, as in better blacks and it looked a bit less bit-starved in some of the more challenging backgrounds.

    Edit: And I'll have to compare the PQ to my TivoHD as well.
  6. kurzz macrumors 6502


    May 18, 2007
    I preferred the AppleTV until the PS3 update. Now with Surround sound audio I'm back to the PS3 as my preferred Netflix least until/if Apple provides 5.1 sound.
  7. BoulderBum thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    I didn't even realize Apple TV's Netflix lacked 5.1 surround.

    At any rate, is anyone else finding HD rental content far superior to Netflix streaming? I'm curious to see what the bitrate of each is (even on different devices).
  8. aduteau macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2007
    Anyone notice that on PS3 or Apple TV, that when you select a movie and start watching it .. That it completely removes the movie from the genre selection ... If you want to rewatch the movie you have to go in the recently watched se tion .. Or do a search of the movie if its no longer in the recently wachted section.... Why is that ? Why doesnt it stay in the genre section ...?
  9. JRoDDz macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2009
    PS3 will cost you more to watch movies.

    PS3 wattage while viewing videos: 71 watts.
    :apple:TV 2 while viewing videos: less than 6 watts.
  10. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    As far as I know, the ATV doesn't stream HD from Netflix at all.
  11. NeverhadaPC macrumors 6502


    Oct 3, 2008
    Interesting... but if the difference is only a lightbulb (60 W) to go from 720p (ATV) to 1080p, then a lightbulb is very much worth for a larger HDTV.
  12. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII
    Other than Blu-Ray content, what pushes 1080P through the PS/3?
  13. tripjammer macrumors 6502a

    Apr 28, 2010

    Your wrong it streams 720P HD...the PS3 will do 1080P HD with 5.1 surround sound from netflix.

    I have both and the PS3 is way better quality in netflix...but the apple TV is faster and queing up the video.
  14. wpalomine macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_0_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8A306 Safari/6531.22.7)

    On HD material the PQ on the PS3 is slightly better and DD v Stereo is no comparison. However, the new Netflix UI for the PS3 looks dated compared to the appleTV.

    The wife and kids prefer appleTV by a longshot. Probably because if the UI and, to a smaller degree, the uber simplistic and ergonomic remote.
  15. topmounter macrumors 68020


    Jun 18, 2009
    FEMA Region VIII

    Do all the movies listed under HD stream at 1080P to the PS/3?
  16. mdatwood macrumors 6502a

    Mar 14, 2010
    Denver, CO
    Is Netflix sending a 1080p stream or is it sending something less and letting the PS3 upscale?

    I use my xbox360 to stream from Netflix now and it outputs 1080p, but I doubt that is what Netflix is sending. A side note is that the xbox also does a good job at upscaling DVDs. If only the fans were not so loud...
  17. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    Netflix is not sending out 1080p streams. The PS3 is just performing the same job your 1080p TV does already. It is taking the Netflix stream and upscaling it to 1080p and sending it to your TV. So depending on how good your TV does upscaling, the PS3 could actually be making your video look worse. My TV does an excellent job at upscaling so I don't let my PS3 do the upscaling.

    Some people don't understand that if you own a 1080p TV, it doesn't matter what the original content is, it will always be upscaled to 1080p before you actually see it. That upscaling can be done by either a device like the PS3 or Apple TV, the HDTV itself, the A/V receiver, or even a dedicated upscaler. So in reality, having the PS3 do the upscaling of Netflix content to 1080p doesn't really mean much unless your TV or receiver does a poorer job at upscaling.

    By the way, you can confirm that the Netflix stream isn't 1080p by looking at the bitrate. If it is not at least 12-15 mbps or so then it's probably not 1080p. Or if it is 1080p it will probably look about the same or worse than traditional 720p streaming depending on how much lower than 12mpbs it is streaming at.
  18. robanga macrumors 68000


    Aug 25, 2007
    The new PS3 version is very good. I have the AppleTV in one part of the house and the PS3 in another. Its frankly hard to tell the difference but i do not have a great audio system in the place that the ATV is.
  19. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    The ATV is a little more straight forward simply because the PS3 has a number of other functions than the ATV.

    I prefer the PS3 for its ability to play games, blu-ray, netfilx and 1080p playback, uncompressed bitstream, so new interesting dvr functions making their debut.
    $300 the device is a bargain.
  20. BoulderBum thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 3, 2008
    Actually, the Apple TV uses 2W to stream Netflix as opposed to the ~70W it takes for PS3.

    Right now, my whole home with fridge, computer, lights, TV, Apple TV, A/V receiver, and misc devices is only drawing 700W. During the day I only draw around 500W. Adding another 68W is a big deal for me. I'm a bit anal about consumption because I just got solar panels, and my goal is to offset my energy usage entirely.

    That said, I wouldn't feel too guilty about watching Netflix on PS3 when I wanted to watch a show, but I'm not sure I notice a difference in quality from my Apple TV, so it's not worth it.

    Actually, does anyone else think that the 720p rentals from Apple TV look a lot better than streamed Netflix content?
  21. newagemac macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2010
    That's always been the case. Nothing new there although Netflix quality does seem to have improved a bit recently and now that they have 5.1 surround sound too it's close enough to iTunes rentals and Blu Ray where I don't mind which source I watch a movie from anymore. The only problem is not many of their titles are in HD and far fewer are 5.1.
  22. GermanSuplex macrumors 6502a


    Aug 26, 2009
    I've got a 720p set and no surround... the video on the ATV is plenty good enough for me. I've got a PS3 and tested it out, but I really hate using my PS3 for just about anything but games. The interface definitely does stink.

    I prefer the ATV interface. The way its set up similar to the iTunes store is pretty great.

    If you've got a home theater, you'll probably prefer the PS3, but for myself or for more casual use, the ATV takes the cake.
  23. aduteau macrumors 6502a

    Oct 14, 2007
    On a side note ... Does anyone know why when you finish watching a movie, that netflix removes the finished movie from the genre section on both PS3 and :apple:TV ... I Know it goes into the recently watched section... But the list aint infinity long ... After a while you have to use the search function to find movies you already watched ...

    Anyome knows how to put them back into the genre section ? :confused:
  24. JPark macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2006
    If you look at the HD Genre on a computer there's a checkbox to display previously viewed or previously rated movies. It's unchecked by default. See if there's something similar on the PS3 or aTV display. If not, try checking it on a computer and see if it sticks for the PS3/aTV. I don't have either so I can't try it out.
  25. Irishman macrumors 68030

    Nov 2, 2006
    I'm pleased to be wrong about HD streaming from Netflix.

    However, just to be clear, while the PS3 can acccept a 1080p signal, currently Netflix has no 1080p signal to send to it.

    Soo, long story short, unless your tv has a phenomenal upscaling processor (as mine does - Pioneer Pro111FD), a HD Netflix via Appletv should look just as detailed as that of the the PS3.

    As capable as the Cell processor is, it cannot make 720p look like 1080p.

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