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PS3 vs gaming HTPC

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey everyone,
First of all I wanted to let you guys know that I have been lurking the internet and found many threads on the matter, but most of them are 2 years old, so I believe it maybe a different situation now.

I need help deciding if I build my own HTPC or buying a PS3 (this is the short version of my problem)

Right now I have one netbook and a cathode TV and a dvd player, so anything new I can buy is improvement. I currently live in Germany and I am goign to start college in October, so I am looking to upgrade my media system.

Something I will be buying is a new LCD (maybe LED) TV and a new satellite receiver, which will let me use astra satellite (maybe something supporting HD+ even though I believe its a ripoff). I will be getting a 16000 DSL connection (from 1&1) so even though its not good enough for iptv it should do fine for my internet needs. Something my new living room MUST have is surround sound (this will be important later).

All options include the TV and satellite receiver
First option:
hometheater system (the problem here is finding one that can be connected to both the PS3 and TV and does not include some kind of DVD player)
External HDD (anything I download via my netbook can be store here and then use the PS3 to view it on the TV)

Second option:
HTPC (with the following build)
Athlon II x4 635
ATI HD 5570
BD/DVD drive
5.1 speaker system
This HTPC would let me play games with ok graphics. I would have to buy a wireless keyboard/mouse and maybe gamming controller. (Is it possible to connect the TV audio to the PC?)

Gaming is important since I used to be huge on gaming and have felt the need for some ever since I have stopped, but its not going to be the center of my life (maybe play a couple of times a week when the GF is not in the mood or when free time just happens to find its way to me). But I do have to say that most of the use I will be giving it is to watch movies, tv shows, etc that I have either rented on Blue ray, ripped or downloaded.

I really dont know what to do... some advice would be awesome
post #2 of 7
I have both, each has their pros and cons.

Your HTPC option will need powered speakers, so keep that in mind. Also, to play back BDs on your HTPC, you'll need Total Media Theater Pro or something like that, so there's an additional expense for BD playback.

Either way, your HTPC is going to be far more expensive than a PS3.
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks TornadoTJ

Although I am a college student, money should not be of a huge matter (dont wanna sound cocky) as long as the investment I make will last me at least 4 years.

I just found out that my netbook can actually play 720p pretty well, so I guess I could use it for all the internet things that the PS3 cannot do and maybe for ripped content directly.

I hate going out of the HTPC topic, but what kind of HiFi systems should I be looking for? (in the case that I would go for the PS3)
post #4 of 7
Hifi just depends on what you want. There are LOTS of options and opinions out there. If bitstreaming HD audio is important to you, the PS3 can do it, and there are lots of receivers that support it. A PC is going to require certain video cards (like the ATI 5xxx) and maybe some work to get it to operate correctly.

Laptops can play streaming media really well. I do it all the time for Netflix and Hulu.
post #5 of 7
You can also get a sat tuner for HTPC, so you can have a ll of you media needs in one until (gaming, TV, DVR, movies-dvd,BD,interent, music, photos....). The HTPC would be the most versatile option, it may not be that best at doing some things as standalone units but still does them well but it also does somethings better and can always be upgraded/expanded as your needs change. HTPC will most likely take a lot more work to get it set up to work properly so if you don't like tinkering w/ things it might be the best choice for you.

If you can afford it get an AVR, a PS3 and/or HTPC can be connected to one and both have options on how your audio can be ran to it (HTPC will be limited to what hardware you actually have in it but just about any MB will already have onboard audio that can do 5.1 or greater via analog and/or digital some even via HDMI-for dolby true HD/DTS HD you'll something like an ASUS sound card or ATI video card).
post #6 of 7
A PS3 is more limited in functionality than a HTPC when it comes to video playback (formats it supports) and Media Center functions. It was designed as a gaming console mainly, and Blu Ray player (disk playback i mean) as a second functionality.

Also, it depends on what games you want to play, most are multiplatform but there are exclusives, like StarCraft 2 for the PC & Killzone 2 for the PS3.
Also depends on what controller you preffer, i could never got used to playing FPS games (or RTS) on a controller, needed a mouse for pin-point precision. But for racing and fighting games i don`t use my PC, i use my PS3 especially because of the controller.
post #7 of 7
The things GreenEyez states are why I have both. In fact, I have 2 PS3s and 2 HTPCs, and I'm about to build my third HTPC (bedroom system). Don't forget to add in the remote needed for the HTPC, even if you are going to use a Harmony, you'll still need it for the USB IR receiver compatible with 7MC.
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