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The Roku is dead. Long live NVidia Shield TV!

Discussion in 'Source Components II' started by Haywood, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Haywood

    Haywood Well-Known Member Famous

    My Roku Ultra got increasingly flaky over the last couple of months until it became unusable. It was throwing HDCP errors all over the place. It started with YouTube, crept over to Netflix, began blocking access to Vudu and finally started locking up the Home screen. At first, I blamed HDCP 2.2 flakiness and the HDCP stripper feeding the kitchen. The thing is, that device is only in the signal path when the kitchen TV is turned on and this was happening all the time after more than a year of working fine. Time for a new streamer.

    My setup used the Roku Ultra for streaming and a dedicated client running on a WeTek Hub for Plex. I did this, because the Roku did not support advanced codecs or bit-rates over 20 Mbps. The NVidia Shield is the most powerful streaming box on the market, supports advanced audio codecs (including Atmos) and has a super-robust Plex client that can play almost anything without transcoding. The only service we use that is not on Android TV is DramaFever, which supports Chromecast. My wife is the only one who uses it and mostly watches it on her tablet, so this was a small compromise.

    The box arrives tonight and I will provide an update once I get it set up and running, but I think this will be the one box to rule them all. It could very well end up being the only source component in my system outside of the television. The WeTek can then move to the family room, thus almost eliminating the need to transcode when viewing stuff in the house. This is important now that I have hundreds of very high bitrate Blu-Ray rips and remuxes on my server.
    jomari and PaulyT like this.
  2. Haywood

    Haywood Well-Known Member Famous

    I've been using the Shield as my only source component for several days now and like it a lot. The interface is simple, fast and stable. Android TV is a completely different experience without all the bloatware, restrictions and marketing crap in my Sony television. The voice features are powered by Google Assistant, so they are very effective. I can pick up the remote and tell it to play just about any show on any service I've tried and it does so. Another neat thing is that I was able to set up the Shield's remote to control the volume on my Marantz receiver via CEC, so it can do anything but power the system on.

    The Roku I replaced had a ton of HDCP issues even before it flaked out at the end. It struggled with the HDCP 2.2 handshake to the point where I often had to switch to a different input and then switch back. The fact that the main TV and the kitchen TV had to switch sources independently only aggravated the problem. All of these problems went away when we got the Shield and consolidated down to one box.

    I got to try out the new HDR10 support on Vudu and was not disappointed. This was definitely an upgrade, although the Roku Ultra supports this now as well.

    I sacrificed the heavily customized UI and the extra speed of locally cached metadata of my dedicated open source Plex client in exchange for greater stability, immediate support for new features and getting everything on one box. I'm still adjusting to the new UI, but I think the trade-offs are worth it.

    There is a USB dongle that turns the Shield into a SmartThings hub for $25 and I plan to pick one up at some point. The Shield also supports live TV with a USB tuner and can act as a stand-alone Plex Media Server in addition to being a Plex client. It even supports the Plex DVR, which I plan to play with at some point as well.

    So far, I could not be more pleased.
    jomari likes this.
  3. jomari

    jomari War Never Changes Famous

    oh shit. i want one too.

    i dont know what else it can do aside from streaming my netflix and youtube videos, it dont matter it sounds cool.

    aww shit.
  4. lulimet

    lulimet Well-Known Member

    I have an Apple TV 4th gen and a Roku premiere+ but I don't like them much. I was thinking to get the Shield TV but the price has put me off. $200 is a lot of money for a streaming box.
  5. Towen7

    Towen7 Well-Known Member Staff Member Moderator

    What don’t you like about the Roku Premier + ?
  6. Haywood

    Haywood Well-Known Member Famous

    I grabbed mine on a Black Friday Week sale for $150.

    I had, at one point or another, a Fire TV Stick, a Chromecast, a Roku TV, a Roku 3, a Roku Ultra, a Samsung SmartTV and a Sony Android TV. I didn't like the Fire TV, because it is too Amazon-centric and doesn't support UV. Chromecast is kind of a pain in the ass and does not provide a more traditional TV experience at all. The Sony Android TV is loaded with bloatware and has restricts how apps can be arranged to force you to scroll past all the crap they are pushing. I really liked the Roku boxes for the most part and still use them elsewhere. The problem with all of these other options was that they didn't have the horsepower to deal with advanced audio codecs or high bit-rates and I do all of my disc rips at original quality.

    The interface is fast and clean. The voice remote is great. I love the fact that I can control my receiver's volume from the remote. I love not needing a separate box for Plex.

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