What's the new video iPod's next closest competitor?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by kathymoore, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. kathymoore macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2005
    What's the new video iPod's next closest competitor?
    (similar features, similar prices, etc)

  2. dotdotdot macrumors 68020

    Jan 23, 2005
    Sony PSP

    PSP wins in:
    -Video Quality
    -Video Formats
    -Additional Features

    iPod wins in:

    PSP = $249.99
    +1 gig Memory Stick = total, $350

    iPod = $299.99
    + AC adapter = total, $340
  3. kathymoore thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2005

    I also have a Sony PSP. It can't hold more than 2GB.(the largest memory stick pro duo card currently available, and expensive, too, at $300+ for a 2GB card) Only if Sony throws a 30GB hard drive in the PSP... :) In the mean time, I'm waiting for my new iPod... :)
  4. TheGimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    anywhere, usa
    PSP wins for video hands down. In addition to being able to rent high-res 1500Kbps h.264 480x272 letterbox UMD videos from online game houses (like gamefly.c0m), one can also import H.264 videos at 368x208 (something like that, using a free command line program called "Psprez" to overcome the 320x240 memory stick limitation). Not only is the video quality better than on the iPod -24bit (~16.7 millions) color vs. iPod's "over 65 thousand colors"), but the dot-pitch is better and the screen is large enough that you don't have to squint.

    Addressing the issue of high-cost memory sticks:
    1) Datel is about to ship a $249 4GB harddrive (google it) for the PSP that fits snuggly to the underside of the PSP and maintains symmetry by replacing the PSP's battery with a new, high-capacity battery (included) that powers both the HD and the PSP. 4GB is enough for at least a half-dozen full-length high-quality movies encoded in H.264, plus savegames and several dozen songs.
    2) memory sticks themselves are comming down in price. It's now possible to get 1GB sticks for around $88 online, and the 2GB sticks have come down to around $200. I saw a Sandisk 2GB advertised on the "academic superstore" for $149, availability: "mid october".

    Honestly, I think the iPod video will end up boosting PSP sales in the medium and long runs. After people's appetites for video on-the-go are whetted by the iPod, they will probably start noticing the PSP's sexiness anew.

    All that being said, I rarely watch video on my PSP. Mainly I just play games and view lecture slides on the PSP (coverted with the free application "PDFtoPSP"). I do own "Hero" and "Ren and Stimpy Season 1 vol. 1", in addition to the Spiderman 2 UMD included with my PSP which I never watched all the way through. All three of these UMDs look terrific, imagine an amount of detail halfway between the best VHS, and DVD, except with better than DVD color saturation lower than DVD artifacts (due to H.264) and progressive scan. The subjective quality is so good that, if I didn't own an Apple HD Cinema display, I would probably rather watch movies on the PSP than on the average television.
  5. TheGimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    anywhere, usa

    Just wanted to address your statement directly. You're absolutely correct about the iPod. After holding out for years, I finally broke down and bought my first iPod, the 60GB color, just over a month ago (now a new one comes out...wouldn't you know...). However, 2GB sticks for the PSP are now down to $200 and less. According to the Ebgames website, 2GB sticks ship on 10/18 and will cost $199.

    Academic Superstore has both Sandisk/Sony and Sandisk for $149.

    A little less painful. Let's see for $249+$149=$398, 1 dollar less than the 60GB iPod, you get at least a dozen Family Guy episodes (popular example, not my thing actually)- more than enough viewage for the average plane flight - and get to watch them on a better screen, surf the web at any WiFi hotspot, and play whatever UMD game or movie happens to be in the drive. All this with less wear and tear, since memory sticks have no moving parts (those new iPods must get HOT from HD spinning).

    And just so nobody thinks I'm a Sony rep: I downgraded my own PSP to 1.5, and play many games from the memory stick (thumbing nose at Sony).

    (Rhetorically) I mean, while it's *possible* someone might marry a person with a 4+ inch screen, would she marry someone with a 2.5 inch screen? Have to draw the line somewhere.
  6. Bobajobbob macrumors regular

    Oct 11, 2005
    As a PSP owner who travels alot I watch a lot of video content already on my PSP. In fact I use it more for watching video than actually playing games. Having said that I only own one UMD video which was free and I can't see myself buying any more unless they drop the price significantly and this means to sub £5. All the video I currently watch is converted from .avis or mpeg using PSP9 which is an excellent piece of software. I've been watching Lost and 24 on my PSP for the last 6 months.

    When I travel if I can't be bothered to carry my Powerbook I just pick up the PSP and one of my iPods for music.

    For me the only downside of the PSP is the limited memory capacity but having said that when I have watched something I generally don't want to watch it again so the ability to store large numbers of video files is not really that important to me. I can get 3 or 4 episodes of Lost or a couple of Movies in my 1 Gig stick which is normally enough for a plane trip, when I watched them I just delete and replace.

    For this reason I can't see myself picking up the new iPod just yet until I need to replace my old 3g or nano.

    Thus for me the downloads from the iTunes store are more interesting than the hardware itself at the moment. Personally I think that the video content is currently too expensive and I am not sure how well people will take to paying for TV. I can record TV directly on my PC now using a digital TV card so all my current content is free anyway or bittorent provides all the shows from across the pond which have yet to make it to our shores. Music has a reply value whereas video content generally doesn't so for me the price will have to be very competive before it draws me in. At the moment for TV shows that price would have to be next to zero whereas for movies I would be happy to pay £5 or thereabouts if it was a decent resolution which I coudl then watch on my TV.
  7. zelmo macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2004
    Mac since 7.5
    Do you mean the iPod's closest competitor, or the one next after the closest competitor? :confused:
  8. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    I'd be curious to know how some of you are so confidently dismissing the video quality on a product you haven't even seen in person.

    Not to say that it will be better than the PSP for that specific application (it won't be), but...don't you think it's a little ridiculous to be reviewing the new iPod NOW?
  9. TheGimp macrumors 6502

    Jun 14, 2004
    anywhere, usa

    Specs say a lot about a product, as long as they are accurate and considered all together.

    If I take my Apple aluminum 23" Display as my gold standard (not the best one), and on it display a 2.5 inch diagonal image encoded to 768kbs at 320x240 16-bit color (ipod video's max output) using an H.264 codec, I can at least tell you that the Ipod video's image will not be much better than that. This assumes a dot pitch, pixel response time (16ms for Apple Displays), and contrast ratio no greater than that of the Apple Display. The above example serves as an upper limit of the iPod video's quality.

    Now if they somehow made the screen sharper than the Apple HD cinema display (i.e smaller dot pitch and higher contrast ratio), then this would offset things a bit and improve the subjective video quality.

    In short, anyone who's used to working with video and has experience encoding in various formats can make a pretty damn good estimation of how good the iPod video will "seem". Keep in mind that the iPod video's resolution is best suited to 4:3 content such as TV shows, and that any cropping/letterboxing will reduce the usable resolution quite a bit. This is a crucial consideration for those planning to watch 16:9 videos on the go. The PSP allows user-encoded video of up to about 368x208 (using the free easy-as-pie-to-use app "PSPrez" to add a 320x200 header to the file after it has been encoded in order to accomodate 16:9.

    This may be more than most people need to know, but someone chancing upon this thread may find it useful info to bring to bear upon their purchasing decision.

    Now if only I could:
    1)Find a way to hook up the PSP to my 60GB iPod color, and
    2)Find a way to encode in the PSP UMD's ".PMF" format (I already have the PMF player) so as to overcome Sony's memory stick resolution restriction as fully utilize the PSP's 480x272 screen resolution.

    These would make for up to 60GB of UMD-quality movies on the go.
    Over and out.

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