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When I bought my 60GB PS3 about 2 years ago, (blu ray for me, gaming for my son) I had no idea that it functioned as a media server, or that any such device existed! I was thrilled to be able to play and copy A/V files to the PS3 and stream them as well. (I guess I was not "up-to-date" on this technology!) To me it's the slickest, most useful feature of the machine, and I had no idea before I purchased it!



Anyway, having no experience with an XBOX 360, I was wondering how they compare, strictly as media servers.


Thanks in advance,

ej
 

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Depends what you want to stream (there are way too many formats...and I can't keep straight which does what).


I have both a PS3 and 360 and for the most part I find they're equal for what I want to do with them, which is storing MP3s and video files (usually just the VOBs but sometimes other formats as well). They can both use Tversity, PlayOn, PS3 Media Server (yes, it works fine with the 360), and others. The 360 integrates awesomely with Windows Media Center (I do not have Windows 7 but hears it works even better).


Not really media server stuff, but they both have a VOD service (PSN on PS3 and Zune on 360), although the Zune marketplace, with 1080p smooth streaming blows away the PSN. I much prefer the Netflix app on 360, which is much faster to browse and doesn't require a disc. And of course the PS3 does Blu-Ray, which the 360 does not.


The PS3 does allow you to connect an external hard drive though, which is nice (although defeats the purpose of a media server that serves the entire house), and my understanding is the PS3 supports some additional formats. It depends how hardcore you are, I guess. Like I said, for what I do, which is usually just music and some videos (usually just a DVD ripped to VOB or AVI), they seem about equal to me.


I tend to use my 360 for most of it because I like the interface better and it works with my remote (I have a USB IR dongle for the PS3 but I still can't turn it on with my remote). That is my personal preference though.


I should note that my 360 does not have noise issues, as I'm sure that will come up. Not that it would matter since they're all put away in a rack out of hearing range anyways.


I tried to find a more recent comparison of formats supported between the two and could not. Most recent one I found was in July and it's pretty biased anyways.


In a nutshell, I am glad I have both. Blu-Ray on the PS3, Zune marketplace and a much better implementation of Netflix (IMO) on the 360. I do find for media center/streaming, I favor the 360, but if I watch a Blu-Ray and the PS3 is already on and I want to stream someing, I'll just use it for convenience's sake. Pretty much a wash for me.
 
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