Originally Posted by rpauls
I have been researching this and it appears the hardware is changing so rapidly that older answers to this question are no longer accurate.
Given that the new Roku contains 1080p and 5.1 audio, is it now as good/better than the PS3?
I want to buy the very best possible Netflix streaming device. Here is what I am considering at present.
(1) Roku XDS
(2) Apple TV
(3) LG brp-550
(4) Oppo brp-93
Is there anything else? Which is the very best?
Ok, I've been testing for a week or so now and here are my conclusions.
So far I have tested the Apple TV 2, the Roku XDS, and the PS3 slim. All these products are very good each with different strengths and weaknesses.
In terms of picture quality I rank them as follows from best to worst.
In terms of variety of channels
For these tests I am using a 1080p TV (LG60pk550), and in order to level the playing field have set the PS3 to output 720p like the ATV and Roku. My cable modem is 7mbps and nothing else is allowed to use bandwidth during the tests.
The most important aspect to me is PQ, and the PS3 clearly beats the second place ATV in this regard. Even at 720p it is noticeably sharper with better color saturation and fewer compression artifacts. The ATV has a particular tendency to introduce a smearing/blocking effect on solid background colors or patches of green trees or grass. The PS3 still shows some of this, but it is not nearly as pronounced. The Roku has the least amount of smearing, but lower overall PQ otherwise and the most video noise of the three.
It is worth noting that the difference between the PS3 and ATV PQ is really only apparent when playing HD streams. The SD streams look nearly identical on both. The PS3 PQ is excellent at 720, and does not get any better if I change its output to 1080p, which means to me that my TV is doing about as good at scaling as the PS3 from 720.
The second most important aspect to me is the user interface. In this regard, the ATV really shines. It is so smartly organized and a pleasure to use. Makes me want to choose it just for this alone.
The Roku wins hands down if number of channels available is a concern. To me it is not.
My Oppo 93 just arrived today and I plan to run similar tests on it over the next few days and will report my findings.