PS4 vs XBOX ONE S for media - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 12-02-2019, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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PS4 vs XBOX ONE S for media

My son wants a new game console for Christmas. He currently has a PS3 which is showing it's age. My wife and I have decide to get him either the PS4 or Xbox one S. She is leaning towards the PS4 while I am leaning towards the xbox. Whichever system we go with I plan on using it for playing movies aside from the gaming. Both have the 1 TB hard drive and I plan on attaching an external hard drive (around 2 TB) to either which will be filled with movies I have downloaded over the years. I know you can attach the external drive to the back of the xbox usb port which is nice but you can only attach the it to the front of the PS4. My question is: what is the better machine for playing movies off of an external hard drive? And can you use any type of external hard drive with each machine? Also, I know each comes with their own media player, which is better for supporting different file types? Does PS4 have a VCL media player app like xbox does? Can they encode dolby 5.1 audio? Any feedback or info would be helpful.
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post #2 of 3 Old 12-05-2019, 02:47 PM
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There are a couple things to consider here. First, is this primarily a gaming machine for your son or a movie watching machine for the family? If the former, does he play online with his friends a lot? If so, stick with the same platform that his friends are on (if they're all on Xbox - get the Xbox!). Does he play a lot of single player games? The PS4 might be the better option in that case because it has better exclusives. Does he stick with one game frequently or does he like to switch it up? Xbox has Game Pass Ultimate for $15/month (but is always available cheaper with promos) and that gives you the ability to play online and also gives you access to a Netflix-like service for games.

Besides the gaming factor, both systems should be fine with the external drive. You might have to reformat the drive first in order for the console to be able to read files though - Xbox supports NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 while PS4 doesn't support NTFS. Like you said, the Xbox has the port in the back which is better for cable management. Another thing to consider is that the Xbox One S can play UHD Blu-Rays while the PS4 cannot, if you decide to go with physical media. As far as I'm aware, neither system should give you any issues in outputting 5.1 audio, but the Xbox One S does have Atmos streaming capabilities should you upgrade your sound system in the future.

I think the easiest solution would be to hook up the external drive to a computer, set up a Plex server, and pick whichever console is cheaper/better suited for your son's gaming needs. Both consoles have a Plex app, but I've experienced a lot of buffering using the consoles' apps. Just pick up a Fire Stick or something similar for your movies if you go that route.
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post #3 of 3 Old 03-02-2020, 09:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowling16 View Post
There are a couple things to consider here. First, is this primarily a gaming machine for your son or a movie watching machine for the family? If the former, does he play online with his friends a lot? If so, stick with the same platform that his friends are on (if they're all on Xbox - get the Xbox!). Does he play a lot of single player games? The PS4 might be the better option in that case because it has better exclusives. Does he stick with one game frequently or does he like to switch it up? Xbox has Game Pass Ultimate for $15/month (but is always available cheaper with promos) and that gives you the ability to play online and also gives you access to a Netflix-like service for games.

Besides the gaming factor, both systems should be fine with the external drive. You might have to reformat the drive first in order for the console to be able to read files though - Xbox supports NTFS, FAT, and FAT32 while PS4 doesn't support NTFS. Like you said, the Xbox has the port in the back which is better for cable management. Another thing to consider is that the Xbox One S can play UHD Blu-Rays while the PS4 cannot, if you decide to go with physical media. As far as I'm aware, neither system should give you any issues in outputting 5.1 audio, but the Xbox One S does have Atmos streaming capabilities should you upgrade your sound system in the future.

I think the easiest solution would be to hook up the external drive to a computer, set up a Plex server, and pick whichever console is cheaper/better suited for your son's gaming needs. Both consoles have a Plex app, but I've experienced a lot of buffering using the consoles' apps. Just pick up a Fire Stick or something similar for your movies if you go that route.
Sorry for the long delay in the reply. For some reason I stopped getting email notifications for replies so I assumed no one replied to my post. That’s allot of good info you gave me. We ended up getting him the PS4 1TB console because he was already familiar with the PS platform. I also have a subscription for PS now so that he has access to other games. I download the media player app as well as Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime movies which I have subscriptions for. I have not yet tried connecting an external hard drive yet to watch movies. As for your suggestion regarding the Plex server on a PC, that’s actually what I have been doing for a while now. I use the apple TV streamer with the Plex app to stream from the laptop that I have the server on. The problem is that we only have laptops in our home and no actual desktop PC. So whenever I want to watch a movie that’s on the laptop I have to start it and let it run while I’m doing this. For the most part it works fine but it’s a pain to have to keeping turning on the laptop and plugging it in every time I what to watch a movie off of the plex server. So this is why I was looking more into the option of just connecting an external drive to the game console.
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