OT: PS3 or X360? Convince me

p@mast3rs wrote on 12/23/2007, 5:46 AM
Ok, my significant other has told me that Santa will be nice to me this year and bring me one of these consoles. However, I am torn about which one to ask Santa for. I like the PS3 but I am not a huge gamer. My idea is more so for media playback (H.264 HD files, WMV HD training files, etc...) I would also like to stream media from the PC to other places in my home and maybe even go online to download/rent/purchase HD content. 1080p playback with HDMI would definitely be a plus.

Which has more of an upside and offers more currently?


DJPadre wrote on 12/23/2007, 6:17 AM
Shorterm, Xbox360.. u can chip it, downlaod ISOs and play for free... jsut dotn go online with it.. mount a HD DVD player to it and ... oh well... thats about it..

the PS3 on the other hand is a much better longterm investment IMO as for one, we bought ours as a tax write off (standarad BD players were the same price, so we went for teh PS3 + Ghost Recon.. lol)

Cant fault the unit though.. kick ass, plays well with PSP and is not region coded, so u can import your own BD movies and games
p@mast3rs wrote on 12/23/2007, 6:24 AM
Will it playback Vegas H.264 AVC files (not ACVHD discs) but just the files?
4eyes wrote on 12/23/2007, 6:50 AM
Will it playback Vegas H.264 AVC files (not ACVHD discs) but just the files?Yes, in the MP4 container or the m2ts containers. As a multi-media device the PS3 is far superior over the Xbox360. A choice between an Xbox360 or PS3 as a multi-media device for video/audio playback in standard or high definition formats is a no brainer. The Xbox360 has to many limitations if your into video editing, playback and multi-media.
Laurence wrote on 12/23/2007, 8:06 AM
The PS3 is better in every way except one: it won't play Halo3. Halo 3 is pretty cool though;-)
craftech wrote on 12/23/2007, 11:41 AM
I like the PS3 but I am not a huge gamer.
So why get a game console at all? Why not get a standalone BD or HD DVD player?

apit34356 wrote on 12/23/2007, 11:50 AM
No contest, PS3, if media and reliable is of interest. The X360 for Halo2/3 is a given for a secondary console, but just about everyone we know has had to get a replaced at least once with X360. MS has improved their replacement policy. We have both, but the X360 is strictly a Halo game system in our neighborhood.
p@mast3rs wrote on 12/23/2007, 1:42 PM
"So why get a game console at all? Why not get a standalone BD or HD DVD player?"

I want the various file formats capability.
DJPadre wrote on 12/23/2007, 4:37 PM
Price my friend.. the price of a PS3 will get you a standalone BD player.. so why not get something that will add value to our dollar and double as a gaming machine?

Same thing happened with PS2.. did u know that it was the PS2 and its inevitable backup chip that was one of the major reasons DVD and DVD media came down in price? Aside from porn, piracy was a major contributor in making DVD what it is today...
SHTUNOT wrote on 12/23/2007, 5:00 PM
I love my PS3 for everything it has to offer. But one thing that I love too is the "folding @ home" service that it has. This is where the guys/gals at stanford university sets up your PS3 to be used as a number crunching server when you allow it. This helps in the studies of cancer,Alzheimer's,etc...I for one leave my ps3 on all the time folding when I'm not using it.[360 work units so far completed]

Sure from time to time I turn it off but for the most part I'm helping in my own way the movement toward a cure for these ailments.

I'm 34 years old now. Hopefully when I hit 60 I will reap the benefits of what I've contributed.

Laurence wrote on 12/23/2007, 8:43 PM
"So why get a game console at all? Why not get a standalone BD or HD DVD player?"

No standalone BD or HD DVD player comes anywhere close to being the media machine a PS3 is. A PS3 plays music as well as an ipod. It does photo slideshows better than anything else. It plays DivX. It plays wmv. It streams from a media player. It plays raw footage off consumer AVCHD cameras. It streams to PSPs. It will play hi rez media files that will bring all but the most powerful computers to their knees. If you don't want a game machine, hide the game controllers. As a media playback device the PS is just so far ahead of anything else that there is just no comparison.
Houston Haynes wrote on 12/24/2007, 12:19 AM
My wife and I had an upconverting DVD player that just gave up the ghost - and we decided to do a bit of scouting for players and game consoles before going with the PS3. We bought the PS3 based on two criteria that haven't been discussed here: 1) heat/noise and 2) quality of standard DVD upconversion. By both counts the PS3 was rated better than XBox. When we got it home and installed it, we were pretty blown away with the DVDs that we tried from our library - and the BD discs Spiderman 3 and Ratatouille were both pretty mind-blowing - almost 3D in their visual clarity over upconverted standard def.

Mind you, the feedback on the PS3 as a media center was not so hot just a few months ago. Their 1.8 (and more recently, their 2.10) firmware update did a lot to catch up to the XBox in terms of media streaming. The irony of this is that we didn't have any idea that this was even an option at the time that we bought it. It was when we got it home and it "discovered" my and the better half's Vista machines that we started to see the potential. I installed the Twonkymedia server on my Yellow Machine NAS and after a bit of tweaking and configuration things are going pretty well.

Quite frankly, gaming has been off my radar for years, so this is all very new to my wife and myself. I played the original HALO on the PC and HALO 3 looks like a lot of fun. but that wasn't a selection criteria for this purchase. I had see several PS3 games at E3 that had my eye - namely Heavenly Sword and Resistance: Fall of Man. We got those along with Call of Duty 4 and Lair. The biggest surprise so far has been the SIXAXIS game controller, which has some kind of position/movement sensing that lets you steer the game, depending on how it's use is programmed. Lair is the biggest beneficiary of this - as it uses the controller position to steer the dragon as you ride it into battle. We also downloaded High Velocity Bowling, which has the user hold the controller in one hand - in a sideways position, to control the swing-through and ball rotation. Way cool. The only other experience with this type of gaming has been when a friend brought a Wii over to play some games on our big HD plasma display. Cow racing and bowling were the most fun, but almost every game takes advantage of it on the Wii - seems to be more selective on the PS3, but is more prominent on the newer games (and I suppose it depends on the type of game). Overall, the game play is outstanding, and the sound is terrific as well. I'm constantly blown away by the things I pick up in the surrounds while playing - definitely has changed the way I think about scoring and sound design. With my tech/software background, and the fact that I'm hearing much more interesting scores and background music in games, I'm rethinking my strategy for getting into the film industry... but I digress...

As far as streaming media is concerned, I'm still feeling my way around. It took a bit more work than I expected to get the latest Twonkymedia software installed on my Yellow Machine - but that's more a fact of the YM being EOL after the company went belly-up. Without the update on both the YM and PS3, certain file types were not even discoverable across the network - they would either show up as unsupported or corrupt. But now that it's set up things are pretty spectacular, save for a few codec combinations that the PS3 cannot yet digest. I think lossless WMA is still a problem, and there's probably a slew of other configurations that it chokes on, but so far my personal experiments have been relatively limited. The PS3 underground forums has some chatter on the latest - but the S/N ratio in those forums... not so hot.

I'll be doing some experiments to find out what works best, particularly DivX encoding of wides creen MPEG-2 with AC3 audio - so that we might consider skinning our DVD library to go with our audio library, which is only about 1/2 way completed at this point - but it would be nice to just call something up and play it, particularly things like LOTR which spans multiple physical DVDs.

As far as streaming HD content - it's really hit and miss, mostly miss right now. Standard definition video was choking when streaming over the wireless network, so I switched out to a hard line and things got better off of the bat. I set the Twonky config to the highest possible buffer setting and all the standard def stuff played back smoothly. But when I got to 720p and above, things went from hiccup to choke in a hurry. The WMV HD file that I used was the PureVideo demo file from nVidia - chirpy and jumpy at 720p and downright awful at 1080p (both files I pulled from their server unaltered). When I put the 1080p file on the PS3 hard drive, it was smooth as silk - like spectacularly, gorgeously smooth as silk. I don't have anything that's encoded with AC3, but that's what tomorrow's for, no? ;)

Anyway, it's a work in progress, but in all my wife and I are extremely pleased with our purchase. I'm sorry I can't offer a direct comparison to the XBox or HD media players - all I can say is that we make a calculated bet on the PS3 and have been very pleased with the results so far. Now it's a matter of setting up some rendering templates. If anyone has any to share, I'd be interested.

Hope this helps - happy holidays everyone.
DJPadre wrote on 12/24/2007, 1:42 AM
Speaking of specific games, Resistance is brilliant... also the option to buy older PS1 and PS2 games online for $7 bux, plus the free Gran Turismo HD (GT1 in HD this time... free... ) rocks..

As for some of the newer games im hankering for, Resident Evil 5 is one of them. I bought a game cube for Metroid and RE4 alone... LOL
Metal Gear SOlid is going to be crazy.. Hideo shoudl really look into making a MGS movie... it really is that good..

I am yet to really push teh PS3 as a media server.. for one, my network is only set as peer to peer off my main system (ie modem conneced to PC, PC running wireless USB router)
I have no idea how to set up the PS3 to take advantage of this..

One other thing i do not know is whether or not the PS3 supports HD DVD MKV files. I know it wont play the actual authored content, but the MPG content should be possible... Does anyone know?
InterceptPoint wrote on 12/24/2007, 4:37 AM
Houston Haynes - Nice summary. You have me almost convinced.

But I'm concerned about your issues with streaming HD. I currently have an I-O Data DVD that streams 15-20 mb/s files over my network without any problem. I can play XVID, WMV9 and .m2t 1080i or 720p files without a hitch. So I'm surprised you are having a problem streaming HD to a much newer PS3. I'm hoping that this is just a problem with your network or router and not really a PS3 issue.

I have just purchased an HDR-CX7 and upgraded to Vegas 8.0 in order to make the move to HD. I"m successfully streaming Vegas rendered .m2t files from short videos I've done using downloaded CX7 files from two different networked computers to the IO-Data. If I'm going to go the PS3 route and replace the IO-Data I have to know that the PS3 will support streaming my Vegas HD files. It would be a huge plus if the PS3 would stream the native AVCHD files over the network.

So I'm hoping someone with a PS3 can enlighten us on this subject.

I'm also interested in the capabilities of the PS3 as a conventional Internet Browser.

Can I use a wireless keyboard?
Can I stream YouTube videos?
Can I stream HD video from (for example) abc.com?
4eyes wrote on 12/24/2007, 7:23 AM
The PS3 works with wireless keyboards & mice.
Having the bluetooth remote control (extra cost) is nice, to me it's worth having.

The PS3 can see I/O data streaming/server programs menus via the network. It doesn't work correctly because that server is not DLNA compliant.
Nero's Home Media Server is DLNA complaint, works great with the PS3. I play full 25MBS TS or PS video on a 1Gig or 100MBS network using the Nero Media Server. You can set it up to transcode the original source or passthrough mode.
On my setup the server & switching hubs are down stream of my main internet router so the ip traffic doesn't interfere with other internet connections. Most routers now are 100MBS and it's a shared 100MBS connection.

The PS3 can also print out photo's to a photo printer.
I'm going to connect a Canon i960 later to the PS3 and give it a try.
MozartMan wrote on 12/24/2007, 7:53 AM

Will this work with PS3:

Buffalo Technology LinkStation Live 500GB Multimedia Storage Server:

4eyes wrote on 12/24/2007, 8:24 AM
I haven't tried one yet, I have seen it before.
Whatever device used it must be DLNA certified.
I would think that unit should work since it's DLNA Certified.

Many of those type units are classified as servers. They simply serve the files as a windows (smb) share and you access it through an assigned drive letter from your computer. Servers that share files using the smb/windows protocol method do not work with the PS3.
p@mast3rs wrote on 12/24/2007, 9:00 AM
So I can stream stuff from my Vista box Media Center, Nero Media Center, etc... to my PS3?

Ok, good job guys. Im sold on the PS3. Now do I have to root for BD to win?
Laurence wrote on 12/24/2007, 9:22 AM
I don't know. I have my PS3 sitting on top of a Toshiba HD DVD player and am kind of rooting for both formats ;-)
p@mast3rs wrote on 12/24/2007, 9:24 AM
It seems as if Santa is delivering a 32" Flat Panel LCD HDTV as well to go with the PS3. I dont know what I did that was good this year but I want to do it again next year.
p@mast3rs wrote on 12/24/2007, 10:09 AM
DOH!!!! Santa called from the store and said the PS3 is not available and the only thing left is xbox 360s. That just sucks. Do I spring for the 360 or hold off for the ps3?
TGS wrote on 12/24/2007, 10:49 AM
Dude, you know you ain't gunna be happy until you have both, so just go for it.
Houston Haynes wrote on 12/24/2007, 12:58 PM

I was reading the Playstation Blog and found out that this is a specific problem with the 2.10 firmware release. The streaming of HD content over the wire was working fine with 2.01 and it seems that something changed with the latest release - quite a few people pretty hot about it... imagine that.

My guess is that they did something funky to the client-side buffering on the PS3 - fixed one problem and created another - like we've never seen that before...

We bought an extra SIXAXIS controller and the handheld remote - both of which are very, well - handy.

I imagine that we'll eventually get an XBOX 360 as well, but I have a feeling that this will suit us quite well for quite some time.
Laurence wrote on 12/24/2007, 6:03 PM
"DOH!!!! Santa called from the store and said the PS3 is not available and the only thing left is xbox 360s. That just sucks. Do I spring for the 360 or hold off for the ps3?"

There's a reason the PS3s are sold out and the 360s are not. Wait a couple of days and get a PS3.
p@mast3rs wrote on 12/24/2007, 6:30 PM
Well, the x360 it was. Since it was a gift, I didnt have much choice. But I guess I could always treat myself to the PS3 after the holidays.