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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Apple TV vs. PS3 vs. XBox 360

Apple TV vs. PS3 vs. XBox 360
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Jan 27, 2012, 02:13 PM
 
I am debating getting a new Apple TV and I would like others to weigh in on it. I am trying to justify the purchase or see if it really makes any good sense. Right now I have both a PS3 and an XBox 360. I use the 360 for gaming and the PS3 for Bluray and media streaming. I watch a lot of music videos and downloaded TV shows/movies and occasionally stream audio tracks and use Netflix, all using the PS3. It isn't the prettiest or most pleasent experience, but it seems to work and fit my needs. I have been able to convert my purchased iTunes content and get it uploaded to the PS3 as well. One of the things I like about the PS3 is the onbard storage...I prefer to have my content playing directly off a hard drive rather than streaming from another device.

But the idea of being able to seemlessly stream all of my iTunes content to my TV/surround system without having to start up my "PS3 Media Sharing" app and fumble through menus and drain the battery on my PS3 controller, sounds nice. And I have always been a big fan of the Remote app, so that would be pretty cool to use too instead of having to back out of whatever I'm watching/listening to to change content.

What do you think? Any REAL advantages to the Apple TV over the PS3 for media streaming/viewing other than the things I mentioned? Any applications or abilities of the Apple TV that I may not even realize?
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Jan 27, 2012, 04:59 PM
 
To come anywhere near the functionality of the PS3 (like the ability to play all sorts of file formats) you are going to have to jailbreak the ATV, which doesn't sound like all that polished of an experience from what I've heard.

Honestly the PS3 is probably one of the best all-around media devices there is.
     
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Jan 27, 2012, 05:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by sek929 View Post
To come anywhere near the functionality of the PS3 (like the ability to play all sorts of file formats) you are going to have to jailbreak the ATV, which doesn't sound like all that polished of an experience from what I've heard.

Honestly the PS3 is probably one of the best all-around media devices there is.
My thoughts exactly. Though I do have the ability to convert most every file I have into a format that can be played in iTunes.

Bluuughhh, its such an ugly UI and cumbersome experience trying to stream anything from the MBP to the PS3, and I don't know if I want to drag my entire media library onto the PS3 hard drive. Not only will it take up a ton of space on my 60Gb hard drive, but navigating through the content is a pain.
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Jan 27, 2012, 06:16 PM
 
Yeah, I was in the market for media player and ATV2 looked like the worst option unless you're streaming it (why bother). I ended up debating between "The Popcorn Hour", Boxee, and an HTPC and went with a home-built HTPC because I knew I could use it for anything later on down the road. BTW,
     
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Jan 27, 2012, 07:41 PM
 
ATV2 Jailbroken to run plex is working pretty great for me, but I was already using plex.
     
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Jan 27, 2012, 08:44 PM
 
When you are watching TV or Movies at night and you don't want to listen to the fans on your game console.
     
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Jan 28, 2012, 05:22 AM
 
I'm in the same boat as you and have the PS3 and Xbox too. I bought the AppleTV instead of getting video out cables or the HDMI adaptor for my iPad, since the AppleTV has Airplay Video and iPad mirroring. The mirroring feature isn't perfect (only works in 4x3 aspect ratio), but I've found the AppleTV to be overall very useful for this purpose. Plus, it's low power, so I have it set up to read a folder of images on my computer and display a slideshow of family pics - which my kids love when we are not watching anything else.

It's also become my main Netflix box, due to it's ease of use. In fact, it generally starts up right to where I left off in Netflix - easy as can be to start watching whatever it was I was last watching.

I use it several times a week, if not daily. It's getting far more use than both my consoles.

I actually bought mine used an saved about $20. Mine is not Jailbroken (though I see the benefit, I'd rather wait until that is a legal activity as current copyright exceptions apply ONLY to phones).
     
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Jan 28, 2012, 09:30 AM
 
Originally Posted by jharperweb View Post
I'm in the same boat as you and have the PS3 and Xbox too. I bought the AppleTV instead of getting video out cables or the HDMI adaptor for my iPad, since the AppleTV has Airplay Video and iPad mirroring. The mirroring feature isn't perfect (only works in 4x3 aspect ratio), but I've found the AppleTV to be overall very useful for this purpose. Plus, it's low power, so I have it set up to read a folder of images on my computer and display a slideshow of family pics - which my kids love when we are not watching anything else.

It's also become my main Netflix box, due to it's ease of use. In fact, it generally starts up right to where I left off in Netflix - easy as can be to start watching whatever it was I was last watching.

I use it several times a week, if not daily. It's getting far more use than both my consoles.

I actually bought mine used an saved about $20. Mine is not Jailbroken (though I see the benefit, I'd rather wait until that is a legal activity as current copyright exceptions apply ONLY to phones).
Nice...I like the idea of being able to have the slide show streaming photos from specified folders. And I love the idea of being able to use my iPhone via the Remote app to scroll through/control my library. And it'd be nice to have another piece of hardware to tie in with my little apple ecosystem I have going on.

I'll probably just pick up a refurb for $85 shipped or maybe buy a used one off a forum if I can find one at a good price.

I realize it'll never have the power or the flexability that the PS3 or XBox has, but streamlining the whole browsing/playback process and creating a simple, elegant experience is more important to me than having mass computing power and being able to play back a bunch of odd file types.
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Jan 28, 2012, 10:14 AM
 
I have been doing some more research and reading reviews and I didn't really realize that the Airplay Mirroring basically allowed you to mirror exactly what you have on your iPhone screen onto your TV. Sounds pretty awesome! And I'm assuming that if I have friends/family come over they could just get right on it and mirror their devices as well? Definitely a useful and cool feature that the PS3 and XBox can't match.

Edit: Hold on...I read that the AirPlay Mirroring only works with the iPhone 4s or the iPad 2, is this right? I wouldn't be able to use the mirroring feature with the regular iPhone 4? I'm assuming the standard AirPlay would still work with the 4?
( Last edited by sdilley14; Jan 28, 2012 at 04:51 PM. )
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Jan 28, 2012, 05:03 PM
 
Yes - airplay mirroring requires an iPhone 4s or iPad2. There are ways to make it work with earlier hardware that do not require a jailbreak, though (google Airplay mirroring iPhone 4).

Standard airplay video does work with iPhone 4. I generally use this more than the actual mirroring. I use the mirroring for apps that don't have airplay video (i.e. NBC iPad App) and illustrated interactive books for my kids.

As far as friends go - yes, they can mirror too, but they need to be on your wireless network and their is some minor setup required. I'd say if it was a close friend family member who came over often it's worth setting up for them.
     
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Jan 30, 2012, 01:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by jharperweb View Post
Yes - airplay mirroring requires an iPhone 4s or iPad2. There are ways to make it work with earlier hardware that do not require a jailbreak, though (google Airplay mirroring iPhone 4).

Standard airplay video does work with iPhone 4. I generally use this more than the actual mirroring. I use the mirroring for apps that don't have airplay video (i.e. NBC iPad App) and illustrated interactive books for my kids.

As far as friends go - yes, they can mirror too, but they need to be on your wireless network and their is some minor setup required. I'd say if it was a close friend family member who came over often it's worth setting up for them.
Great, thank you for the info!
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