M

miggs

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
1
#1
Trying to decide on a stream box and I need some help. I have been trying to run Plex with my Synology 214play NAS and my videos buffer/skip a lot. I am assuming it is a CPU issue with the NAS. So, I am in a market for something else to supplement my NAS.

I am looking at the nvidia shield since it can be used as a plex server and any other TV app.
The apple tv 4k is also in the running since I have a sony 900e 4k TV and I want to take advantage of the 4k capabilities. I have also read that the apple tv 4K works well with Infuse 5 (videos don't skip) and the infuse plays anything, so buffering should go away, not sure (have not tried this app).

The other option will be an xbox one since it also has the capability for plex and can also be used to stream tv apps. The only reason I was thinking of the xbox is because I also need a 4K blue ray player and I will be able to get the best bang for my money. However, I am not much into games (I have a wii collecting dust).

I am just not sure which way to go. See my dilemma? Any suggestions?????
 
NINaudio

NINaudio

Full Audioholic
Ratings
165 2
#2
The Nvidia Shield is a fantastic streamer and gets my vote. Works great for plex (I have my whole music collection on plex),and it is compatible with 4K applications.
 
P

pwlong

Audioholic Intern
Ratings
13
#3
I'm running several Fire TV 2s and they work pretty well EXCEPT they don't handle all OTA interlaced content well (recorded by MythTV, playback through Kodi loaded onto the AFTV2).

All the research I've done confirms NINaudio's recommendation that the Shield is the box that handles anything. I don't own one, but if I were replacing one of my Fire TVs, I'd get a Shield.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,234 18 32
#4
It all depends how technical you're and how much time are you willing to spend on it.
I recently purchased few AMLogic 905x streamers/boxes. One came as gift from fellow forum regular (Droidbox) two I got on ebay. Specifically Khadas vim Pro (v1, not 912 based v2). First one was $56 and I got second (with IR remote) for $22. At that price it's just worth it as even a test bench device.
All of these already (or will be soon) running LibreElec, which is just very little linux, just enough to run Kodi.
Besides complicated initial setup, only complain so far is official Plex for Kodi client which has slow GUI.
On up side, it handles any codec I throw at it including h265 10 bit , including 4k.

But as mentioned above, If you don't want the hassles of DIY, Shield TV is really strong and powerful streamer, thou if you intend to use it as Plex Server, I read somewhere than you'd be better off with Shield TV Pro model.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
955 5
#5
It all depends how technical you're and how much time are you willing to spend on it.
I recently purchased few AMLogic 905x streamers/boxes. One came as gift from fellow forum regular (Droidbox) two I got on ebay. Specifically Khadas vim Pro (v1, not 912 based v2). First one was $56 and I got second (with IR remote) for $22. At that price it's just worth it as even a test bench device.
All of these already (or will be soon) running LibreElec, which is just very little linux, just enough to run Kodi.
Besides complicated initial setup, only complain so far is official Plex for Kodi client which has slow GUI.
On up side, it handles any codec I throw at it including h265 10 bit , including 4k.

But as mentioned above, If you don't want the hassles of DIY, Shield TV is really strong and powerful streamer, thou if you intend to use it as Plex Server, I read somewhere than you'd be better off with Shield TV Pro model.
Have you looked at using the Plex Rasberry Pi image? More expensive than your boxes, but I figure it'll get you what you want.

I've noticed that the plex kodi connect causes issues with my plex server. It's like it hogs the connection to the point I have to bounce the docker. It could the the skin I'm using, but it's pretty odd.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,234 18 32
#6
Have you looked at using the Plex Rasberry Pi image? More expensive than your boxes, but I figure it'll get you what you want.

I've noticed that the plex kodi connect causes issues with my plex server. It's like it hogs the connection to the point I have to bounce the docker. It could the the skin I'm using, but it's pretty odd.
pi3 doesn't have juice to support modern video codecs (ie hevc) nor 4k, nor HD audio passthru afaik
 
sholling

sholling

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,248
#8
But as mentioned above, If you don't want the hassles of DIY, Shield TV is really strong and powerful streamer, thou if you intend to use it as Plex Server, I read somewhere than you'd be better off with Shield TV Pro model.
From my research the main differences between the base shield and the Pro is the Pro has a 500GB hard drive drive built in vs 16GB of storage in the base model and the pro has couple of (for most people) unnecessary bells and whistles. Both have USB 3.0 ports for additional storage. They even ship with Plex Server preinstalled. I don't use my Shield TVs as servers because I have a QNAP 451+ which has more than enough power to stream non-transcoded 1080P to at least one (and probably more) TV. From what I've read the CPU performance isn't all that far from the Shield's Tegra X1.

https://www.cnx-software.com/2014/0...rable-to-intel-celeron-bay-trail-d-j1900-soc/
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
Ratings
5,234 18 32
#9
From my research the main differences between the base shield and the Pro is the Pro has a 500GB hard drive drive built in vs 16GB of storage in the base model and the pro has couple of (for most people) unnecessary bells and whistles. Both have USB 3.0 ports for additional storage. They even ship with Plex Server preinstalled. I don't use my Shield TVs as servers because I have a QNAP 451+ which has more than enough power to stream non-transcoded 1080P to at least one (and probably more) TV. From what I've read the CPU performance isn't all that far from the Shield's Tegra X1.

https://www.cnx-software.com/2014/0...rable-to-intel-celeron-bay-trail-d-j1900-soc/
I could be dead wrong, but someone mentioned that plex server on shield would only use internal storage for thumbnails, OTA DVR recordings etc... these could take lots of space.
 
sholling

sholling

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,248
#10
I could be dead wrong, but someone mentioned that plex server on shield would only use internal storage for thumbnails, OTA DVR recordings etc... these could take lots of space.
Since I've never used a Shield for OTA DVR recording it's possible that they are correct. On the other hand a bit of googling finds multiple articles claiming that an external USB drive works just fine as long as it's been formatted to the Shield's preferred format. I'm not equipped to test the DVR feature so I cannot give you a definitive answer, however this early 2017 TechHive article may shed some light on the subject.

https://www.techhive.com/article/31...-into-an-ota-dvr-with-hdhomerun-and-plex.html

"2. Plug the USB hard drive into your Nvidia Shield, head to Settings > Storage & reset, and select General USB Drive. Select “Erase & format as device storage” and follow the on-screen instructions. Warning: This will delete anything that’s currently on the USB drive, and anything stored on the drive after formatting will not be available outside of the Shield. The Shield does not currently support writing Plex recordings to conventionally formatted hard drives or network-attached storage devices."
 
F

Foxrox

Junior Audioholic
Ratings
24
#11
I recently faced the same decision, albeit with slightly different expectations. I don’t use Plex. At least not yet. I settled on Xbox One S. I don’t think you can get more functionality out of one piece of equipment for the same price. It’s almost a no-brainer if you also want UHD blu-ray capability. If there’s any strike against the Xbox it’s the UI. It’s no where near as intuitive or user friendly as a basic stream box like Apple TV. It might take some getting used to. It didn’t bother me as I’m quite expienced with game console UI’s. I almost did get a shield. They look like a powerful and versatile device, but then I would’ve had to drop some serious cash to get a decent blu-ray player. I can’t stand the cheap ones where there’s a second or two delay after every push of a button. Processing power is essential to me, and the Xbox is of course no slouch in that department.
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,985 13 19
#12
I'm a old school, and remain convinced that an HTPC gives the widest program choice and highest quality streaming content experience with fast easy access. I hate Apps except the Netflix app for windows 10 which is excellent. That is the only app I use. As far as I'm concerned the sooner all content, including radio is streamed the better.

In addition an HTPC makes for easy downloading. Some sites I use do not stream but download.
I'm pretty sure I would never use something like ROKU or Nividia Shield.
I think the case for an HTPC is stronger now than ever. I'm certain that without my HTPCs I would miss out on a lot of content I really enjoy. No nasty little boxes for me, but computers with top notch components.

I think computers are an essential part of the AV experience.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ratings
2,266 7 3
#13
I'm a old school, and remain convinced that an HTPC gives the widest program choice and highest quality streaming content experience with fast easy access. I hate Apps except the Netflix app for windows 10 which is excellent. That is the only app I use. As far as I'm concerned the sooner all content, including radio is streamed the better.

In addition an HTPC makes for easy downloading. Some sites I use do not stream but download.
I'm pretty sure I would never use something like ROKU or Nividia Shield.
I think the case for an HTPC is stronger now than ever. I'm certain that without my HTPCs I would miss out on a lot of content I really enjoy. No nasty little boxes for me, but computers with top notch components.

I think computers are an essential part of the AV experience.
LOL!

Yeah, I agree 100%, HTPC is by far the BEST option.

Just makes me laugh to think of "HTPC" and "Old School" in the same sentence.

I've said it before, my tower PC has been a mainstay in my HT setup for the last 15 years! Many of my friends thought that I was being a nerd at the time, a nerd that was ahead of the curve.

For remote applications (Bedroom, Man Cave),I prefer a custom streaming setup using the Raspberry Pi 3!
 
TLS Guy

TLS Guy

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
6,985 13 19
#14
LOL!

Yeah, I agree 100%, HTPC is by far the BEST option.

Just makes me laugh to think of "HTPC" and "Old School" in the same sentence.

I've said it before, my tower PC has been a mainstay in my HT setup for the last 15 years! Many of my friends thought that I was being a nerd at the time, a nerd that was ahead of the curve.

For remote applications (Bedroom, Man Cave),I prefer a custom streaming setup using the Raspberry Pi 3!
15 years for me also. I built my first DAW at the end of 2002. I only decommissioned it in November. I have rebuilt a new i3 computer in the case, which is built like a tank, for the office at Eagan. My wife uses this mostly. I had pangs of guilt throwing the guts of the old DAW and its two Sony monitor screens in the recycling bin at the Hubbard recycling center at Kabekona.

I just love my HTPC and the new DAW. I have an i5 Intel NUC for streaming at Eagan.



i7 DAW on the left, i5 HTPC on the right!
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
955 5
#15
I'm a old school, and remain convinced that an HTPC gives the widest program choice and highest quality streaming content experience with fast easy access. I hate Apps except the Netflix app for windows 10 which is excellent. That is the only app I use. As far as I'm concerned the sooner all content, including radio is streamed the better.

In addition an HTPC makes for easy downloading. Some sites I use do not stream but download.
I'm pretty sure I would never use something like ROKU or Nividia Shield.
I think the case for an HTPC is stronger now than ever. I'm certain that without my HTPCs I would miss out on a lot of content I really enjoy. No nasty little boxes for me, but computers with top notch components.

I think computers are an essential part of the AV experience.
I used to think there would be no replacing my HTPC, but boy have things changed. The Nvidia Shield does everything my HTPC used to and has a much improved WAF (wife approval factor).

I used quite a few apps and switching between them all without issue was the main problem for me. HTPCs are more powerful, but when it came to reliable refresh rate switching and such (using the apps I prefer) it was just too much of a pain.

MUCH less work and much more reliable performance from my Shield, but again, my experience is going to be different than most due to how complicated my setup was.
 
sholling

sholling

Audioholic Ninja
Ratings
1,248
#16
I used to think there would be no replacing my HTPC, but boy have things changed. The Nvidia Shield does everything my HTPC used to and has a much improved WAF (wife approval factor).
I agree with you. While yes, a high powered media server will send more simultaneous transcoded streams to low powered devices like Rokus, I find them unnecessarily complicated and my QNAP 451+ does the media server job just fine. Of course, a mini powerhouse like a Shield does not require transcoded streams and thus have transcoding disabled on my Plex server. I'm not sure how well the QNAP's downloading app would meet TLS's downloading requirements but it's there and possibly worth experimenting with.

And yes a HTPC has access to some streams via web browser that are not directly available to a Shield, but fortunately, they are few and far between and nothing that I'm likely miss so I'll take the convenience and cleanness of a Shield's easy as a cable box menu driven app based interface over the clunky (for a HTPC) mouse driven interface of Windows or a Mac and their various browsers. Been there, done that, have bruises and the t-shirt.

The only thing that I really miss on the Shield is Amazon music. On the other hand, I have the Google Music app, Youtube app (4K),Amazon Video app (4K with HDR),Netflix app (also 4K with HDR),plus 1080P streaming apps for most premium and many basic cable channels, plus Plex and Kodi - meaning that I only need one HD FIOS box for the video content that I care about, relying on Shields and Rokus for other rooms and I receive 4K content from the very few sources streaming it. While I'll soon be buying a 4K Blu-Ray player, streaming is indeed the future.
 
panteragstk

panteragstk

Audioholic Samurai
Ratings
955 5
#17
I agree with you. While yes, a high powered media server will send more simultaneous transcoded streams to low powered devices like Rokus, I find them unnecessarily complicated and my QNAP 451+ does the media server job just fine. Of course, a mini powerhouse like a Shield does not require transcoded streams and thus have transcoding disabled on my Plex server. I'm not sure how well the QNAP's downloading app would meet TLS's downloading requirements but it's there and possibly worth experimenting with.

And yes a HTPC has access to some streams via web browser that are not directly available to a Shield, but fortunately, they are few and far between and nothing that I'm likely miss so I'll take the convenience and cleanness of a Shield's easy as a cable box menu driven app based interface over the clunky (for a HTPC) mouse driven interface of Windows or a Mac and their various browsers. Been there, done that, have bruises and the t-shirt.

The only thing that I really miss on the Shield is Amazon music. On the other hand, I have the Google Music app, Youtube app (4K),Amazon Video app (4K with HDR),Netflix app (also 4K with HDR),plus 1080P streaming apps for most premium and many basic cable channels, plus Plex and Kodi - meaning that I only need one HD FIOS box for the video content that I care about, relying on Shields and Rokus for other rooms and I receive 4K content from the very few sources streaming it. While I'll soon be buying a 4K Blu-Ray player, streaming is indeed the future.
You can cast Amazon music to the Shield now, but it would be better to have an actual app.
 
Bryce_H

Bryce_H

Senior Audioholic
Ratings
43
#18
I used to have HTPC, but ditched them a couple years ago. I now have Raspberri Pi3 and Rokus as me display heads. I run Plex and HDHomeRun front ends (backends are on my NAS) on the Raspberri Pi 3s (Rokus can't play native TV files) and all my streaming through my Rokus (Netflix and Prime). I get Dolby Atmos through the Raspberri Pis from my NAS without issue. I have not done 4K as my displays are 1080P so I can't speak to that aspect.
 

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