Friday, March 23, 2007

Apple TV vs. Xbox 360 : Incomparable.

David Pogue is right, the Xbox 360 and Apple TV can't be compared. That's because the Xbox 360 is a much, much more versatile platform than Apple TV.

HD Movies:
  • Xbox 360 -- Offers HD movies and TV shows now, directly from Microsoft over Xbox Live and compressed with MPEG-4, for the same price that Comcast and others charge for PPV high-def.
  • Apple TV -- Apple doesn't offer HD over iTunes. So, you can buy an SDTV movie or show from Apple for full price of a DVD -- then you'll have to purchase it again when you want it in HD.

Download method:

  • Xbox 360 -- Downloads directly from Xbox Live.
  • Apple TV -- Requires computer to download from iTunes.

Download Policy:

  • Xbox 360 -- If you paid for something in the past that you'll own from now on (like a TV show), you can download it anytime in the future, saving you on harddrive space.
  • Apple TV -- You can use your computer in conjunction with this, but you still have to supply the HDD space.

Live/recorded Television:

  • Xbox 360 -- Paired with Media Center, can record and playback live TV. Media Center now comes with Vista Home Premium, which is what you're likely to get when you get a PC these days.
  • Apple TV -- Can't do this by itself or from another PC. But I'm sure Apple can sell you The Office on iTunes. The Office plays on every Apple device ever released.

Games:

  • Xbox 360 -- World class gaming platform. Excellent selection of mini-games for $4-$8, downloadable on Xbox Live.
  • Apple TV -- Likely platform for mini-games. Doubtful to be a major gaming platform.

In short, Xbox 360 @ $399 gives you a lot more bang for the buck than Apple TV @ $299. Of course, if you want to watch The Office, there's no better place to do it than on Apple hardware.

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