PS3 vs. XBox360 – DVDs and Music

Yesterday I took an hour to compare the 2 console systems as media systems.

XBox360: the biggest plus I see is the ability to be an extender for your computer system. I don’t see similar functionality for the PS3 yet, so that is a clear win for the Microsoft system (calling it XBox from now on).

Music
I tried just one album, the 20th anniversary SACD hybrid from Dire Straits “Brothers in Arms”. I ripped 3 songs to the XBox, and ripped the whole CD to the PS3. I did the later, as the PS3 does not allow me to select which songs to rip, on the other hand, ripping the whole CD on the PS3 is as fast as ripping 3 songs to the XBox.

I did not change any settings. On the XBox you can not change any CD ripping related settings. On the PS3 you can. Several formats and qualities are available. The PS3 also can play SACDs directly in multi channel sound.

The PS3 interface is, IMO, more elegant and gives you more information. On the other hand, the ability to show the encoding and the bitrate is probably only interesting if you are able to do that in the first place, and if you are a nerd…

Sound. No comparison. The XBox looses detail like hell (this is true for playing the CDs directly, or for the ripped songs) compared to the PS3. It’s no contest.

DVDs
I tried the 2nd Tomb Raider movie, mainly because it has decent picture quality and it was just lying close to the consoles as a region 2 movie.

Sound: The same as with Music. The XBox can not hold a candle to the PS3 for playback. The XBox sounds hollow, loosing details, missing dynamics.

Picture: The story continues. The Xbox has a fuzzy, washed image, with not enough contrast and the occasional artifact. The PS3 on the other side is 2 classes beyond that. Where the XBox fails to be as good as your run of the mill 100 Euro standalone DVD player, the PS3 is easily that good, if not better. Note that the PS3 does not have scaling build in yet, so both systems were running at Pal progressive resolutions.

When my real DVD player was broken a while ago, I had to use the XBox as a player for a month. This was a bad experience, the XBox is louder than my projector, and the picture/sound is really bad. With the PS3 I do have a decent backup system now, one that i can easily recommend to others as a good system in that price-range. With the XBox, I told people, great gaming system, but go and buy yourself a DVD player as well….

And, it’s quiet. When both systems are turned on, and you listen to music from the harddisks on both, you turn off the amplifier. You hear the distant rumble of the airplanes… no, wait that is the fan noise.. You turn off the XBox… and the noise stops. Yes, the PS3 has a fan as well, but it’s a lot quieter during DVDs/Music in comparison to the Xbox.

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Published in: on March 27, 2007 at 4:43 am  Leave a Comment  

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