Best TV box?

Crumbl0x

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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. 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 ???
Yep you get it!

I used to run a ~R7000 HTPC for a long while, mainly offline media, but when services started to take prevalence and began targeting media boxes more and more with support for TV-specific applications and extensions, I instead just opted for the Ematic Jetstream @ R1100 for live TV and some apps, and an ODROID N2+ @ R1700 for local media, which (when running CoreELEC) supports all codecs under the sun and has flawless audio, refresh rate and resolution switching, all while using only 3.6W of power :D

NUCs I find these days as super mini-general purpose PC's (especially with AMD hardware) but I've longed stopped recommending them as pure media boxes just for ease alone.
 

Azg

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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:
The colour issues on the 2019 Shield were fixed quite early on after release by a software update.
As for Plex, it is probably the best Plex player available.
 

agentrfr

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We have an appleTV, NUC and shield. Easiest to use in general is the shield if I had to say, but it is all pretty close

The NUC has a 4k120 4:4:4 output, so it does the HDR stuff flawlessly. With a little fandagling, you can get the tone mapping correct in mpv for SDR->HDR (Rec2100 - which even today VLC still doesnt f*&%% get right pos), which makes a huge difference for things that are only SDR sources. I'd even put my hat in that HDR makes a bigger difference to SDR than 4k does to 1080p. Of course it does all the things like dolby DTS raw passthrough to the external sound system perfectly (thank goodness for EARC on the TV). It is also nice to know I can play all my linux distros natively using it an not have to worry about harware codec support (who knows - HDR10+ and dolbyvision are cool now, but hybrid-log-gamma dynamic metadata is probably going to be a thing going forward)

We also use the NUC as an emulator (mostly PS1 and Switch) and to stream games from the PC to the TV (ala steam or parsec) which is quite cool. We have two wireless xbone controllers bound to the NUC, which I think you can do on a shield but we never tried. Side note: It Takes Two was a fabulous game to play together on the couch

The shield is mostly used for netflix tbh - just sit down and click play. I immagine that is what most people want. Shield is also pretty seamless streaming phone/tablet screen or VLC playlist over the network

AppleTV exists just for the apple people that prefer that. The netflix apple app is painful with the appletv remote. The only redeeming thing that it does better than the NUC or shield is the DSTV control using an iphone / ipad app natively.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the NUC can play anything if it can be displayed in a webpage or a linux distro. The shield and appletv require that certain thing to be supported (for example, maybe crunchyroll magically stops working on the shield one day - then what?)
 

Herr der Verboten

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We have an appleTV, NUC and shield. Easiest to use in general is the shield if I had to say, but it is all pretty close

The NUC has a 4k120 4:4:4 output, so it does the HDR stuff flawlessly. With a little fandagling, you can get the tone mapping correct in mpv for SDR->HDR (Rec2100 - which even today VLC still doesnt f*&%% get right pos), which makes a huge difference for things that are only SDR sources. I'd even put my hat in that HDR makes a bigger difference to SDR than 4k does to 1080p. Of course it does all the things like dolby DTS raw passthrough to the external sound system perfectly (thank goodness for EARC on the TV). It is also nice to know I can play all my linux distros natively using it an not have to worry about harware codec support (who knows - HDR10+ and dolbyvision are cool now, but hybrid-log-gamma dynamic metadata is probably going to be a thing going forward)

We also use the NUC as an emulator (mostly PS1 and Switch) and to stream games from the PC to the TV (ala steam or parsec) which is quite cool. We have two wireless xbone controllers bound to the NUC, which I think you can do on a shield but we never tried. Side note: It Takes Two was a fabulous game to play together on the couch

The shield is mostly used for netflix tbh - just sit down and click play. I immagine that is what most people want. Shield is also pretty seamless streaming phone/tablet screen or VLC playlist over the network

AppleTV exists just for the apple people that prefer that. The netflix apple app is painful with the appletv remote. The only redeeming thing that it does better than the NUC or shield is the DSTV control using an iphone / ipad app natively.

One thing to keep in mind, is that the NUC can play anything if it can be displayed in a webpage or a linux distro. The shield and appletv require that certain thing to be supported (for example, maybe crunchyroll magically stops working on the shield one day - then what?)
For its the seamlessness of running a vpn in the background and game streaming.
 

Crumbl0x

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what is the minimum amount of memory required?
Most boxes have 2GB and get by if you use one or two active applications in the foreground, but it's generally recommended to look from 4GB if you plan on running a few services like a proxy and casting utilities in the background without it cutting out. That said, Android usually doesn't handle memory management well on top of bad OEM parameters for aggressively killing applications so it might only be marginally better. The Shield I think doesn't present this problem, AppleTV doesn't support these utilities anyway regardless of great memory management and for NUC's, you'd like 8GB just to bide nicely with everything and some extra cache for 4K buffering if need be.
 

qscwbt

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For what?
the reason I need the tv box is my smart tv runs out of memory. Example. I am watching something on catchup. If I pause forward or rewind the tv says "TV will restart app to clear up memory". This happens often now even when just watching. (only dstv online) So my tv runs out of memory. So I need a tv box that will n0t run out off memory.
 

Herr der Verboten

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the reason I need the tv box is my smart tv runs out of memory. Example. I am watching something on catchup. If I pause forward or rewind the tv says "TV will restart app to clear up memory". This happens often now even when just watching. (only dstv online) So my tv runs out of memory. So I need a tv box that will n0t run out off memory.
I never had that issue with the nv shield pro and it had hbomax, vrv, youtube and netflix running if I weren't using moonlight for game streaming. The only 'issue' I had went away by getting a decent hdmi cable. However, I do not run plex from it I run it from my main pc, I was too lazy to move it over. It has 3 gig memory, but I would say get the one with the most if there is a model with more?
 

Gnome

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The NUC has a 4k120 4:4:4 output, so it does the HDR stuff flawlessly. With a little fandagling, you can get the tone mapping correct in mpv for SDR->HDR (Rec2100 - which even today VLC still doesnt f*&%% get right pos), which makes a huge difference for things that are only SDR sources. I'd even put my hat in that HDR makes a bigger difference to SDR than 4k does to 1080p. Of course it does all the things like dolby DTS raw passthrough to the external sound system perfectly (thank goodness for EARC on the TV). It is also nice to know I can play all my linux distros natively using it an not have to worry about harware codec support (who knows - HDR10+ and dolbyvision are cool now, but hybrid-log-gamma dynamic metadata is probably going to be a thing going forward)
I see that you need to use very specific apps to play Dolby Vision/HDR on Netflix: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/42384
Does it do frame rate matching?

Again when I read your post about the NUC, it sounds complicated.
 

Chong33

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Why not just your cellphone?
If the TV is smart, you should be able to cast. I honeslty do not see the need for a TV box anymore?
Unless its not a smart TV, in which case, get a ChromeCast, And still just cast anything and everything from your phone.
 

agentrfr

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I see that you need to use very specific apps to play Dolby Vision/HDR on Netflix: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/42384
Does it do frame rate matching?

Again when I read your post about the NUC, it sounds complicated.
You can run the netflix wepage in Edge and it gets HDR, or the windows store app and it also gets HDR. I find that the difference between HDR and HDR10/DV are marginal at netflix's bitrates

The TV has VRR, so frame rate matching is not a problem? - it simply displays natively when fullscreen

The NUC is more of a toolbox of things you can do, of which you are in control. If it isnt your thing to play with that then a shield pro is prolly your best option :)
 

agentrfr

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Why not just your cellphone?
If the TV is smart, you should be able to cast. I honeslty do not see the need for a TV box anymore?
Unless its not a smart TV, in which case, get a ChromeCast, And still just cast anything and everything from your phone.
HDR, HDR10/DV, 'proper' surround sound and bitrates higher than 5 mbps avc :)
 

Chong33

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HDR, HDR10/DV, 'proper' surround sound and bitrates higher than 5 mbps avc :)
Does the Chrome Cast Ultra not support this?

But for Audiophiles I would agree, That leaves us with 99.5% of the population who IMO does not need a TV box if your TV is smart & you have an android cellphone.
 
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