Best TV box?

Gnome

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I'm currently using a liva mini PC and it does 4k as well. No noise and it's the size of my old media player

Native colour spaces, native refresh rate and Dolby Vision + HDR 10bit + Atmos works too?
What does it cost?

EDIT: I should also add, there is 4K and there is 4K. Codec, bit rate, colour space and fps all factored in, you need a powerful PC to cover the spectrum of 4K which media players do easily due to dedicated decode units. *Some* work has been done on PC to make hardware decode better but PCs are general purpose. So they are a far way off from supporting it to the level of media player hardware because writing a driver for a specific box is way, way, way easier than implementing hardware support for "Linux running Nvidia" or "Windows running AMD", etc.

Don't believe me? Fair number of blogs, forums, youtube vids covering this from lots of angles.
 
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Herr der Verboten

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Native colour spaces, native refresh rate and Dolby Vision + HDR 10bit + Atmos works too?
What does it cost?
If you have a dolby atmos and/or vision capable tv with its setup :ROFL:

I've got the nv shield pro. Imho the best you can get...
 

Gnome

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If you have a dolby atmos and/or vision capable tv with its setup :ROFL:

I've got the nv shield pro. Imho the best you can get...

My point is just that if you combine price + performance, I don't get what the upside is to buying a PC over a media box. At the same price point you can get a more capable media box and more performant. People keep recommending it and it seems to me due to ignorance. It isn't user friendly to setup or use at all. It is expensive. It is slower than a media player. If you are playing games then you can't really do that on an HTPC either so that is a different market.

Its like buying a Citi Golf and modifying it and spending the same price you could just have bought a Porsche for. Sure that is fun for some people, but recommending that to other is just like ???
 
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Herr der Verboten

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My point is just that if you combine price + performance, I don't get what the upside is to buying a PC over a media box. People keep recommending it and it seems to me due to ignorance. It isn't user friendly to setup or use at all. It is expensive. It is slower than a media player. If you are playing games then you can't really do that on an HTPC either so that is a different market.
Main reason I got the nv pro was for game streaming which it does perfectly and then of course to free myself from tizen tv os. It is so much better than having to use my laptop for streaming through a vpn. I have looked at the mini pc bla bla bla setups. However, then I can just as well move my main pc to my tv room to do a better job than any nuc can or ever will.

Of course nothing stops you from diy decent media box, but who has time for that? I just want to plug and play without having to reinvent the wheel. Ok so I'm a lazy dev but who isn't. haha.
 

Gnome

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Main reason I got the nv pro was for game streaming which it does perfectly and then of course to free myself from tizen tv os. It is so much better than having to use my laptop for streaming through a vpn. I have looked at the mini pc bla bla bla setups. However, then I can just as well move my main pc to my tv room to do a better job than any nuc can or ever will.

Of course nothing stops you from diy decent media box, but who has time for that? I just want to plug and play without having to reinvent the wheel. Ok so I'm a lazy dev but who isn't. haha.

Indeed and I'm a serious DIY enthusiast. I'm running PFSense for my router, FreeNAS for storage, RPi & Inverter for house monitoring, used to have a NUC for TV, etc. So it isn't like I'm a sucker for pre bought stuff. Although I agree that as a dev you could have gotten there maybe a few years ago, but lately things like Netflix doesn't even allow you to use Dolby Vision unless you run on a media player.

And unless you are into your coding, like a lot, you aren't going to get anywhere near the seamless experience. You'll probably get *most* of the features of the nVidia Shield Pro as a developer, but it won't be as seamless. To get both seamless and the same level of features will cost you a LOT of time (at which point the problem isn't even worth solving anymore).

Just my 2c, but happy hear opinions that prove otherwise.
 

Herr der Verboten

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Indeed and I'm a serious DIY enthusiast. I'm running PFSense for my router, FreeNAS for storage, RPi & Inverter for house monitoring, used to have a NUC for TV, etc. So it isn't like I'm a sucker for pre bought stuff. Although I agree that as a dev you could have gotten there maybe a few years ago, but lately things like Netflix doesn't even allow you to use Dolby Vision unless you run on a media player.

And unless you are into your coding, like a lot, you aren't going to get anywhere near the seamless experience. You'll probably get *most* of the features of the nVidia Shield Pro as a developer, but it won't be as seamless. To get both seamless and the same level of features will cost you a LOT of time (at which point the problem isn't even worth solving anymore).

Just my 2c, but happy hear opinions that prove otherwise.
I guess you've tried your hand at robotics?
 

Gnome

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I guess you've tried your hand at robotics?

Haha actually no. 3d printing is the closest I've come. And I've done some dev work on Marlin (3d printer "control software") which I've upstreamed. My GF would love if we could do robotics (mechanical engineer so she loves robotics) but alas most of time on weekends is already spent DIYing other things, so don't see it happening soon.

You? (Also you work as a software developer or similar?)
 

Herr der Verboten

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Haha actually no. 3d printing is the closest I've come. And I've done some dev work on Marlin (3d printer "control software") which I've upstreamed. My GF would love if we could do robotics (mechanical engineer so she loves robotics) but alas most of time on weekends is already spent DIYing other things, so don't see it happening soon.

You? (Also you work as a software developer or similar?)
It was on my erm '15 year building plan' but I still need to get to that :ROFL:
 

Smokey mcpot

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Without quoting... yes I get "there 4k and then there's 4k". Reality is that most people aren't even looking into the 4k side of things and are more concerned as to whether or not it plays dstv or Netflix. I think the best solution to that is a mini PC. No need to battle the world and ask on forums how to get netflix playing or to update the firmware etc. Everyone knows windows and boom you log into all of those streaming apps/sites that you want to use on the media player.
Bonus, you also have a full pc at your disposal to do a host of other things your media player cannot.

If someone came asking specifically for a certain quality to be played with certain sound criteria it's a different story.
I've been the media player route and the pc solved my problems and makes it easy for my wife, daughter and even younger nieces to navigate. Save shortcuts for certain sites like YouTube and no complaints. Client needs an invoice, sure I'll do it from the comfort of my couch by just pausing for a minute.

Now I'm not saying the pc is the be all and end all, but to play all the popular streaming channels its definitely a top contender. For mine I paid 2k (used) and it hadn't skipped a beat yet.
 

Herr der Verboten

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Without quoting... yes I get "there 4k and then there's 4k". Reality is that most people aren't even looking into the 4k side of things and are more concerned as to whether or not it plays dstv or Netflix. I think the best solution to that is a mini PC. No need to battle the world and ask on forums how to get netflix playing or to update the firmware etc. Everyone knows windows and boom you log into all of those streaming apps/sites that you want to use on the media player.
Bonus, you also have a full pc at your disposal to do a host of other things your media player cannot.

If someone came asking specifically for a certain quality to be played with certain sound criteria it's a different story.
I've been the media player route and the pc solved my problems and makes it easy for my wife, daughter and even younger nieces to navigate. Save shortcuts for certain sites like YouTube and no complaints. Client needs an invoice, sure I'll do it from the comfort of my couch by just pausing for a minute.

Now I'm not saying the pc is the be all and end all, but to play all the popular streaming channels its definitely a top contender. For mine I paid 2k (used) and it hadn't skipped a beat yet.
How is the retro arc on that thing? About the only other thing I might load into my shield apart from GS from my pc to tv.
 

Smokey mcpot

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How is the retro arc on that thing? About the only other thing I might load into my shield apart from GS from my pc to tv.
I haven't quite tried much with it other than media, not home enough to do much with it haha. However I will see if I can squeeze in some time this evening. Wifes out with her sister so there should be a window for me haha. I fear it might be the start of a bad new addiction for me.
 

rrh

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I have a bad habit in that I start with the one-star reviews when looking at stuff on Amazon.

After looking at the Shield this afternoon I came to the conclusion that - just maybe - there was a fair degree of risk in importing a Shield, and that local support might be necessary in order to resolve the issues raised.
 

Herr der Verboten

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I haven't quite tried much with it other than media, not home enough to do much with it haha. However I will see if I can squeeze in some time this evening. Wifes out with her sister so there should be a window for me haha. I fear it might be the start of a bad new addiction for me.
I'm just curious. You don't have to but some retro is kinda nice to have on the tv e.g. snes or ps (?)
 

Lupus

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I've got a Mi TV Stick that works on a 1080p TV no problem and a Mi box S that's been on my 4k TV for 2 years, but there is no Dolby Vision.
 

Herr der Verboten

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I have a bad habit in that I start with the one-star reviews when looking at stuff on Amazon.

After looking at the Shield this afternoon I came to the conclusion that - just maybe - there was a fair degree of risk in importing a Shield, and that local support might be necessary in order to resolve the issues raised.
As to any grey import. If that psu goes... you will know it.
 

rrh

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As to any grey import. If that psu goes... you will know it.
My past experiences with Amazon have convinced me that Amazon are easier to deal with than most local suppliers :D

As an example of what might be a tad more difficult to resolve:

This thing has been a nightmare. Here's all the issues I've run into since I've purchased it:

-The expanded color settings for HDR devices are faulty, reds are not replicated properly and things like oranges look red and browns look like a sickly liver color. I have a Sony 55" 4K Bravia TV so it is definitely compatible, and I have the HDMI settings on the TV set to accept the expanded color settings.
-The actual Plex app on the Shield is broken and won't stream half of my library, but the media server function seems to be working somewhat okay on other devices (with some occasional stuttering and audio/video detachment).
-The Hulu app is broken and plays 10 seconds of episodes after every commerical break, then stops and plays those same 10 seconds again. Some shows just crash with a P-DEV320 error (not an issue on other devices). This may be a Hulu issue, but still, very disappointing.
-Really bad stuttering issue if you switch the Shield to 60hz (even if your TV is 60hz).
-Third-party game controllers have a severe lag issue that makes them completely unusable, so gaming is out of the question unless I buy an Nvidia Shield controller (which no longer comes with the device).
-AI upscaling, and upscaling in general, doesn't seem to work and actually makes the image worse. Comparing then side by side, it made most content more pixelated, especially animated content. I actually had to double check which setting I had turned on multiple times because I couldn't believe it was actually making the picture worse!
-The remote is nice, but I am constantly pressing the power button by mistake, which turns everything off. It'd be nice to have a power off confirmation or something.

So basically everything I bought this for has some kind of issue. I do not recommend buying this at all and have returned it. This device is definitely a case of "jack of all trades, master of none". I ended up buying a Roku Ultra instead and haven't had an issue with it yet. When performing the initial setup it automatically detected HDR/4K/60Hz and playback has been flawless.
 

Gnome

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My past experiences with Amazon have convinced me that Amazon are easier to deal with than most local suppliers :D
Yep Amazon's policy, unlike local retailers is. We don't care why it is broken, we'll take it back. Hell if your reason for returning it is, you don't like it, they'll take it. They don't have a guy question you trying to catch you for saying the wrong thing to deny your claim.

They'll also pay for return shipping. Takealot basically is trying to emulate Amazon, so expect Amazon's service to exceed Takealot by a pretty good margin.

As for looking first at 1 star reviews, I do the same thing. But you have to be careful. As someone that shops on Amazon a LOT I've learned you really need to figure out what is due to incompetence and what is due to a systemic issue. There are too many factors to talk through on which of those are which but ask yourself if maybe this guy has a broken TV or he is a special case unless a lot of other people are reporting it. Also consider if the company has fixed it since with updates. I found some devices had complaints that weren't relevant because they fixed the product but those reviews stuck.

The same is true for 5 star reviews btw. a lot of noobs there that basically turns it on then gives 5 stars. You really need to do your research.

The expanded color settings for HDR devices are faulty, reds are not replicated properly and things like oranges look red and browns look like a sickly liver color. I have a Sony 55" 4K Bravia TV so it is definitely compatible, and I have the HDMI settings on the TV set to accept the expanded color settings.
Not sure I haven't seen people talk about this but I have a HiSense 65" and no problems. Can't really vouch for it either way. I would google if you think it may affect you.

The actual Plex app on the Shield is broken and won't stream half of my library, but the media server function seems to be working somewhat okay on other devices (with some occasional stuttering and audio/video detachment).
Definitely unique to that guy. I have a NAS with 30TB of storage and a LOT of content. Not a single problem playing anything on Plex yet.

The Hulu app is broken and plays 10 seconds of episodes after every commerical break, then stops and plays those same 10 seconds again. Some shows just crash with a P-DEV320 error (not an issue on other devices). This may be a Hulu issue, but still, very disappointing.
Haven't used

Really bad stuttering issue if you switch the Shield to 60hz (even if your TV is 60hz).
Frame rate matching is one of the things I found to be really good with this player. When I switch to the frame rate of the content it beats every PC setup I ever had. I'm not sure what the guy was trying to do, like was he trying to play non-60Hz content at 60Hz? Because that would lead to tearing and stuttering. That is why they play at native frame rate.

Third-party game controllers have a severe lag issue that makes them completely unusable, so gaming is out of the question unless I buy an Nvidia Shield controller (which no longer comes with the device).
I wouldn't buy the Shield for gaming but I'm not a gamer so can't comment.

AI upscaling, and upscaling in general, doesn't seem to work and actually makes the image worse. Comparing then side by side, it made most content more pixelated, especially animated content. I actually had to double check which setting I had turned on multiple times because I couldn't believe it was actually making the picture worse!
I only download 4k & HDR content, at times 1080p when nothing else is available so I honestly haven't really tested this feature. I thought of it as a bit of a gimmick.

The remote is nice, but I am constantly pressing the power button by mistake, which turns everything off. It'd be nice to have a power off confirmation or something
I've had a similar problem in that the remote is sensitive (ie. buttons actuate easily). So we make a point of not putting it on the couch lest we accidentally press buttons

Overall I wonder if this guy was a much earlier purchaser?
 
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rrh

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Yep Amazon's policy, unlike local retailers is. We don't care why it is broken, we'll take it back. Hell if your reason for returning it is, you don't like it, they'll take it. They don't have a guy question you trying to catch you for saying the wrong thing to deny your claim.

They'll also pay for return shipping. Takealot basically is trying to emulate Amazon, so expect Amazon's service to exceed Takealot by a pretty good margin.

As for looking first at 1 star reviews, I do the same thing. But you have to be careful. As someone that shops on Amazon a LOT I've learned you really need to figure out what is due to incompetence and what is due to a systemic issue. There are too many factors to talk through on which of those are which but ask yourself if maybe this guy has a broken TV or he is a special case unless a lot of other people are reporting it. Also consider if the company has fixed it since with updates. I found some devices had complaints that weren't relevant because they fixed the product but those reviews stuck.

The same is true for 5 star reviews btw. a lot of noobs there that basically turns it on then gives 5 stars. You really need to do your research.
All very true!
 
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