Originally Posted by Dogtown
I own both the xbox 360 and apple tv. I think they serve very different purposes. xbox 360 right now is a game machine with certain media center functionality bolted on...The UI and navigation is several notches below apple tv... which is why they overhauled the UI to resemble apple tv. We'll see when that comes out... but right now, it's not close. It will work for xbox 360 owners... but won't fly for the non-gear heads.
The appletv, while lacking certain critical media features, has other features not in the PS3/xbox 360. And for what it does, it does it very well. If you bought into the whole itunes ecosystem, then the apple tv is give you quite a bit of bang for the buck:
Can't do this on xbox 360/ps3:
1. Display itunes/flicker/mobileme photos (accompanied by music and nice transitions) With a few clicks, my dear old grandma is watching my personal flickr photostream. Could I teach her the xbox 360...? nope.
2. stream audio/video podcasts on demand. This is very cool... they are lots of video podcasts i watch every night: network news, cnn, meet the press, g4, etc... since ps3/xbox360 sell their systems at a loss or near loss... there is no incentive to drive users to free content.
3. Control my media from anywhere in my house using iphone. I wake up and start playing my morning mix from my bed.
4. Internet Radio. Most people don't know how to do this... just add radio stations to a playlist and then sync... voila.
5. Youtube content. Youtube is growing enormously and whenever someone comes over and says did you see that one clip? i'm like hold on, and then wihtin seconds we are watching the 320x240 content on my 42". still not bad!
6. Works with itunes! I'm heavily invested in itunes... and it's not worth switching to another paradigm to get content onto xbox 360 / ps3.
Since I don't have a 1080P tv, just 720P. I am content to gaffle what I can on the torrents...convert, then play. So movie rentals, HD content, blueray are not critical.
1) You could slap your pictures on a flash drive or probably even just leave them on whatever media your digital camera uses, plug it into the PS3, and in a few clicks she could be viewing them with music and nice transitions.
2) Assuming you subscribe to them in iTunes on your computer, you could stream those same podcasts to your PS3.
3) Buy a PSP and you can use Remote Play to control the playing of your media from anywhere in your house (or any place else in the world with wi-fi). Plus you can also stream media to your PSP (even content that would be streamed to the PS3 first).
4) Hmm, not sure if the PS3 can do that but the PSP can...
5) Point the PS3 browser to YouTube.com and watch what you want...
6) Well, that's sort of your own fault. It's one of the reasons I don't buy iTunes media because I don't want to be locked into one manufacturer's devices. Of course, all iTunes Plus content works just fine on the PS3. But since you don't mind converting stuff for AppleTV, you could always just burn all the DRM'ed music to CD and re-rip.
Since you're content stealing stuff from torrents, you'd have a lot less conversion to do with a PS3 as it can play a lot more formats than the AppleTV.