Looking to get a new streamer box

panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Warlord
Thanks for that info. That does make a Shield Pro very appealing as it's C$260 vs $500-$900 for a NUC. I last used Kodi years ago and it did not have a decent web browser but the Shield has much better browser support than old versions of Kodi.
Plus, anything you want to watch on your TV that you have access to on your phone, you can just cast it to the Shield so that functionality alone really does a lot more than people realize.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Seriously, I have no life.
You already know I agree with you, but I still thought I'd piggy back off your post.

HTPCs still have their place for folks like @TLS Guy because it's the only way he can get the content he wants. I'd be perfectly happy with a setup like his too if it can play nice with streaming (it can if you know what you're doing), but my kids wouldn't be able to use it as well (5,7,8) and that's a deal breaker.

Good streaming boxes are nice to have, but they still aren't as customizable as a PC. @AcuDefTechGuy has an HTPC as his primary box too, but he didn't like the Shield so there's that, and loves it. His setup is solid and works for him. My HTPC just runs Kodi and it's only alive because some things don't work as they should on my Shield.

Both is really the best setup IMHO.
You have hit the nail on the head. Only two of the sites I regularly visit have Android Apps. The HTPC is set up to my needs and gives superb results. I watch few movies, and have no Plex server or anything like that. I personally have a dislike of press button remotes. I just don't like point beams at icons on a screen. I much prefer my radio keyboard.

I have two custom PCs in the rig. I have the DAW loaded with pro software, and two large hard drives.

I would have to say that going to any streamer I am aware of will be highly limiting and really spoil my choices.

Arts organizations have to be very large to have an Android App, and very few do. Even the Met only got on ROKU recently. Only the BPO digitalconcert hall has an app I can put on my LG TV. Medici TV does have apps now but I only use it, if I have to stream from my iPhone, like in the family room.

I have to say that I think I would be SOL with my HTPC if it were not for gamers.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Plus, anything you want to watch on your TV that you have access to on your phone, you can just cast it to the Shield so that functionality alone really does a lot more than people realize.
Ordered the Shield Pro yesterday. Should arrive today or Monday at the latest. If Kodi handles the few multi-channel audio files that I have, then it's well worth the try even if Roon is just 2-channel for now. This should be more user friendly for my wife and if I need something more flexible like a NUC or HTPC, I can always move the Shield upstairs or sell it for a few dollars less.

Came VERY close to ordering a new TV as well. :D Still running a 1080 plasma and AVR but the Shield does great 4k scaling. Best Buy had the Sony A80J for C$2500 (from $3300) and the LG C1 for $2300 and the sale ended last night. Shouldn't impulse buy though. No ARC on my AVR so I really should replace the AVR as well when I upgrade the TV. If I connected the Shield directly to the TV, I'd be left with optical out for audio which is not ideal since I want to add front height channels this year and go 7.1.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Warlord
Ordered the Shield Pro yesterday. Should arrive today or Monday at the latest. If Kodi handles the few multi-channel audio files that I have, then it's well worth the try even if Roon is just 2-channel for now. This should be more user friendly for my wife and if I need something more flexible like a NUC or HTPC, I can always move the Shield upstairs or sell it for a few dollars less.

Came VERY close to ordering a new TV as well. :D Still running a 1080 plasma and AVR but the Shield does great 4k scaling. Best Buy had the Sony A80J for C$2500 (from $3300) and the LG C1 for $2300 and the sale ended last night. Shouldn't impulse buy though. No ARC on my AVR so I really should replace the AVR as well when I upgrade the TV. If I connected the Shield directly to the TV, I'd be left with optical out for audio which is not ideal since I want to add front height channels this year and go 7.1.
Kodi can be weird so if you need help, you know where to ask.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Kodi can be weird so if you need help, you know where to ask.
I may do that. ;) Got the NVidia Shield Pro yesterday:
  • YouTube videos are excellent. I noticed an improvement in picture quality and it only buffered once midstream the entire evening. Nice deep bass from the YouTube streams. Just needs to improve in the high end but I have not yet tried YouTube Music with high-def audio.
  • Installed the PBS app and it streamed the latest St Vincent performance on Austin City Limits without issue.
  • The Live TV app picked up some Johnny Carson and Carol Burnett reruns. Cool.
  • Watched some live gaming on Twitch.
  • Netflix looks just like the PS3 interface but quicker response. The PS3 remote has more features though but the Shield remote is fine for regular use and can control the volume. Bonus that the Shield remote is not IR and does not require line of sight, like the PS3.
  • Roon core detects the shield as a Chromecast device. I can control it with my mobile phone as with the Pi. What I didn't expect is that streaming via Chromecast automatically displays the Roon album info and lyrics on the Shield. No searching for a display device required, unlike the Pi with Raspberry Buster. Only downside is that Chromecast is 2-channel audio under Android but sound quality seemed ok. Roon needs to resample for the Shield, so it's not bit perfect. There are work-arounds for that. I hope the developers create RAAT support that is native to Android someday.
  • Plex was easy to setup. Just uncheck the box for Plex Server and it asks to link to your account by getting a code from the web. It found my server without issue. Watched a bit of My Fair Lady which was encoded in Xvid at 720p and AC3 6-channel audio. Upscaling was very nice and I did not notice any artifacts for the few minutes that I viewed. Watched an episode of the One Piece anime (cartoon) as well. It gave me warning about HDR and potential picture issues but it rendered perfectly including soft-subs (subtitles generated in real time).
    Big bonus with the Shield is response time. Plex is horribly slow on the PS3. On the Shield, browsing Plex libraries is a joy by comparison. I browsed through some photographs too and very little delay between photos. Plex is a real pleasure now. Watched some free live TV too and it worked well.
    The only thing Plex failed on were multi-channel flac files. Plex on the PS3 played those in surround (it is set to stream via PCM). Plex on the Shield did not identify those files as mutli-channel (most I can say right now is that my AVR displays the input as a 2-channel stream). It may be that Plex is using the Android demuxer and is limited to 2-channel audio like Roon. Tried passthrough over HDMI but no luck yet.
  • Have not yet installed Kodi but will play around with that when I have more time.
  • Lots of HDMI CEC control options in the setup but the Shield turns off sometimes when I don't want it to. May just disable CEC entirely as I don't use it with my AVR anyway.
One interesting note is that with the Shield, the HD Audio indicator on my Denon is lit. That's the first time it's been on in 11 years. :D Doesn't light up with multi-channel PCM over HDMI from the PS3. It is a bright blue indicator and rather annoying actually. I like the Shield so far. It is tucked next to my centre speaker and you can't even see it, although it looks quite nice. (Need a longer HDMI cable to move it elsewhere.) Remote is small and comfortable and can control the AVR volume.

I was also happy to learn that my Rii miniature keyboard is supported. If you have a Shield and want something smaller than a PC keyboard, this one is really great, especially during setup when you need to type characters. Track pad works too although mouse clicks are only supported by certain apps. It requires one USB port for the receiver and I find that the battery lasts a very long time on a charge. The one I have is also backlit.
 
W

Wardog555

Audioholic
I vote for Nvidia shield pro especially for blu-ray and uhd blu-ray remux rips. It also has lossless audio pass-through in plex which means Dolby true hd/atmos and dts hd ma/ dts x. I almost bought a chromecast until I found it it lacked lossless audio support.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Warlord
I may do that. ;) Got the NVidia Shield Pro yesterday:
  • YouTube videos are excellent. I noticed an improvement in picture quality and it only buffered once midstream the entire evening. Nice deep bass from the YouTube streams. Just needs to improve in the high end but I have not yet tried YouTube Music with high-def audio.
  • Installed the PBS app and it streamed the latest St Vincent performance on Austin City Limits without issue.
  • The Live TV app picked up some Johnny Carson and Carol Burnett reruns. Cool.
  • Watched some live gaming on Twitch.
  • Netflix looks just like the PS3 interface but quicker response. The PS3 remote has more features though but the Shield remote is fine for regular use and can control the volume. Bonus that the Shield remote is not IR and does not require line of sight, like the PS3.
  • Roon core detects the shield as a Chromecast device. I can control it with my mobile phone as with the Pi. What I didn't expect is that streaming via Chromecast automatically displays the Roon album info and lyrics on the Shield. No searching for a display device required, unlike the Pi with Raspberry Buster. Only downside is that Chromecast is 2-channel audio under Android but sound quality seemed ok. Roon needs to resample for the Shield, so it's not bit perfect. There are work-arounds for that. I hope the developers create RAAT support that is native to Android someday.
  • Plex was easy to setup. Just uncheck the box for Plex Server and it asks to link to your account by getting a code from the web. It found my server without issue. Watched a bit of My Fair Lady which was encoded in Xvid at 720p and AC3 6-channel audio. Upscaling was very nice and I did not notice any artifacts for the few minutes that I viewed. Watched an episode of the One Piece anime (cartoon) as well. It gave me warning about HDR and potential picture issues but it rendered perfectly including soft-subs (subtitles generated in real time).
    Big bonus with the Shield is response time. Plex is horribly slow on the PS3. On the Shield, browsing Plex libraries is a joy by comparison. I browsed through some photographs too and very little delay between photos. Plex is a real pleasure now. Watched some free live TV too and it worked well.
    The only thing Plex failed on were multi-channel flac files. Plex on the PS3 played those in surround (it is set to stream via PCM). Plex on the Shield did not identify those files as mutli-channel (most I can say right now is that my AVR displays the input as a 2-channel stream). It may be that Plex is using the Android demuxer and is limited to 2-channel audio like Roon. Tried passthrough over HDMI but no luck yet.
  • Have not yet installed Kodi but will play around with that when I have more time.
  • Lots of HDMI CEC control options in the setup but the Shield turns off sometimes when I don't want it to. May just disable CEC entirely as I don't use it with my AVR anyway.
One interesting note is that with the Shield, the HD Audio indicator on my Denon is lit. That's the first time it's been on in 11 years. :D Doesn't light up with multi-channel PCM over HDMI from the PS3. It is a bright blue indicator and rather annoying actually. I like the Shield so far. It is tucked next to my centre speaker and you can't even see it, although it looks quite nice. (Need a longer HDMI cable to move it elsewhere.) Remote is small and comfortable and can control the AVR volume.

I was also happy to learn that my Rii miniature keyboard is supported. If you have a Shield and want something smaller than a PC keyboard, this one is really great, especially during setup when you need to type characters. Track pad works too although mouse clicks are only supported by certain apps. It requires one USB port for the receiver and I find that the battery lasts a very long time on a charge. The one I have is also backlit.
Since you got your new fancy toy you may want to check out Kodi with plexkodiconnect. The only reason I use it is for the better interface, and the fact that Kodi won't down-sample audio like Plex does. I can play anything in my collection with the exception of the few DSD files I have. No re-sampling happening.

EDIT: This is for audio only. Video files with audio embedded aren't touched unless they are PCM.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Warlord
So Tidal will also change the sample rate on the ShieldTV.

Plex needs to get it together on the music side of the app.
 
T

Trebdp83

Audioholic Ninja
If I remember, the Tidal app on Nvidia Shield Pro supported Dolby Atmos and MQA. So, depending on content, one could see 16/44.1, 24/48 or 24/96 displayed for incoming audio.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Warlord
If I remember, the Tidal app on Nvidia Shield Pro supported Dolby Atmos and MQA. So, depending on content, one could see 16/44.1, 24/48 or 24/96 displayed for incoming audio.
Yep. Atmos already worked great, so now I get everything. I'm needing my HTPC less and less.
 
Eppie

Eppie

Audioholic Samurai
Since you got your new fancy toy you may want to check out Kodi with plexkodiconnect. The only reason I use it is for the better interface, and the fact that Kodi won't down-sample audio like Plex does. I can play anything in my collection with the exception of the few DSD files I have. No re-sampling happening.

EDIT: This is for audio only. Video files with audio embedded aren't touched unless they are PCM.
Man, it's been so long since I used Kodi. The Pi3 came with OpenElec and I used Kodi for a while but then converted the Pi to a Roon end point with Raspberry Buster.

I don't see plexkodiconnect in add-ons. Is it in the repository? Is there a quick guide for installing it and setting it up?
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Warlord
Man, it's been so long since I used Kodi. The Pi3 came with OpenElec and I used Kodi for a while but then converted the Pi to a Roon end point with Raspberry Buster.

I don't see plexkodiconnect in add-ons. Is it in the repository? Is there a quick guide for installing it and setting it up?
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
In fact, my first "streamers" were custom-built HTPC's I went from small factor Intel Atom/Ion build on mini-ITX Zotac board. Then it was a tiny Asus Eee-pc box with gen 2 of Ion on it. Several semi-custom ARM micro-pcs like Khadas-VIM. OS for these was OpecElec at first, later switched to its fork - LibreElec. Running Kodi on top of a thin OS layer.
Small update, I've recently repurposed my old Khadas VIM1 box to run a generic Ubuntu server and my whole-house ad-blocking software, Pi-Hole. Works great. If you have an old Android/Arm streaming box, you too may be able to repurpose it and give it a new life.
 
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