PS3 verses Media PC (to play DVDs and Blu Ray)

echn111

Novice Member
I'm looking for a good DVD player that also plays Blu Ray for a reasonable price. That's been a bit difficult so far.

Unfortunately, the best "do it all" HD DVD player that seems to upscale standard DVD's well and, as a bonus, also play Blu Ray, seems to be the Playstation 3. It is also one of the few (only?) DVD players that can handle firmware upgrades and save films to the HD. Even worse, it appears that films do not start right away, but take just under a minute to start up. This is all a bit disappointing as it looks like the PS3 is more like a simplified version of a media PC than a dedicated DVD player.

I'm not really too keen on buying a games machine just to play HD even if it is the best value for money. And if most of the dedicated blu ray players get beaten by a games machine which appears to be a simplified, compromise media PC with a tiny hard drive, I'm wondering if I should simply go down the media PC route. Specifically, get a decent cheap PC, stick in a cheap Blu Ray player for around £80, put in a cheap 500 GIG HD with 10 times the storage of a PS3 for £90, load it up with the very latest codecs and DVD software and have a more powerful machine that upscales better than most players out there.

So far I'm thinking that a modern media PC would handle upscaling better, can always be kept up to date with the latest firmware, and, in the slim chance that HD-DVD wins, I could throw out the £80 Blu Ray player and replace it with a £70 HD-DVD player (or just get both players to begin with). And, although I would never condone this unless legally allowed, region free software fixes would be far easier to install, hypothetically of course.

Other than the effort of having to set it up yourself, is there any advantage to getting a compromise media PC like the PS3 or a dedicated Blu Ray player verses getting a real media PC to handle Blu Ray and DVD's?
 

wazzerman

Novice Member
I've got a PS3 at home and a media PC at work with a Blu Ray drive and I've got to say, the media PC is a pain in the proverbial. It got us weeks to get the thing working without falling foul of HDCP, even though all the components were certified as HDCP compliant. All works well until you put a newer Blu Ray release in and the film barely plays, or gets stuck at a menu. Cue to downloading more later drivers for PowerDVD and making sure everything is up to date etc etc. Then you get 'oh, this later Blu Ray disk won't play in PowerDVD because of AACS, please upgrade to the latest version of PowerDVD Ultra'. It goes on, and on and on.

On the other hand, the PS3 plays everything without issue, and lets you know when a new Firmware update is available with the latest features which you download and just let it get on with it, and off you go.

Don't get me wrong, the PC route has its merits, but I'd much rather spend my time watching films than spending it getting my machine working.

Similar issues have been going on for years in the gaming world. The graphics on a top spec PC with the latest graphics card is fab compared to the current consoles, but after years of constantly upgrading/ replacing your PC and tinkering about because the latest game release isn't compatible with your kit, it really gets you down so I stuck with the current games console at the time.

PC or PS3, I know which one I prefer. Ask ten other people, I'm sure you'll get 10 different answers!
 

Alun

Well-known Member
The PS3 is neither a slimmed down media PC nor a dedicated DVD player.

It is a games console that just happens to be very good at upscaling standard DVDs and playing back Blu-rays.

If you dont want a games console, dont buy it as a games console.
You said you were after a good value HD player, which indeed the PS3 is, so buy it as a HD player.

As something to turn on and stick a disc in, beats a media PC hands down IMO.

On a side note, I'm fairly sure you can upgrade the HDD on the PS3, maybe somebody more informed can clarify.


Cheers

Alun
 

wazzerman

Novice Member
The PS3 is neither a slimmed down media PC nor a dedicated DVD player.

It is a games console that just happens to be very good at upscaling standard DVDs and playing back Blu-rays.

If you dont want a games console, dont buy it as a games console.
You said you were after a good value HD player, which indeed the PS3 is, so buy it as a HD player.

As something to turn on and stick a disc in, beats a media PC hands down IMO.

On a side note, I'm fairly sure you can upgrade the HDD on the PS3, maybe somebody more informed can clarify.


Cheers

Alun
Couldn't agree more. I'm looking at putting a much bigger hard disk in at some point. There's plenty of threads about it and its as easy as pie.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: Marantz SR7015 & NAD T 778 AVR + Mission LX2 MKII Speaker Reviews, AV & Film News and More
Top Bottom