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Topic # 225854 7-Dec-2017 22:07
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I am finally getting serious about dumping Sky, and the long-delayed installation of fibre to my house is now expected to take place in January. So I am deciding whether to move to fibre, and what my replacement will be.

 

I ideally want two streaming boxes, one for the bedroom and one for the living room. I may subsequently add a third in the spare room. They will be networked back to the router using ethernet over powerline, which gives about 90mb/s transfer rates at the moment so will be fine for streaming.

 

What they must be able to run are apps for:

 

  • Lightbox (since a sub comes with my broadband)
  • Netflix
  • Plex (most of my media is on a plex server)

What it would also be nice to have, but not essential, are some or all of the following:

 

  • iPlayer (if I get a VPN)
  • Amazon Prime video
  • Kodi (I'm planning to build a HTPC running NextPVR, with terrestrial and satellite tuners, to record TV and strip the commercials etc, and Kodi as a backend seems to work well)
  • ability to play local files off a USB drive.

I really like the look of the nVidia Shield TV, but I understand it doesn't have a Lightbox app. Apple TV seems to have most of what I want (including 4K and HDR support), but I'm wary of starting to buy into the Apple ecosystem, I believe it doesn't work with USB drives, and I'm not so sure how well it plays with Kodi. I'm looking for the above features, as well as ease of use and a high "wife acceptance factor"

 

I'm interested in GZers' thoughts about whether there are other choices, and what the best option might be.


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  Reply # 1914883 7-Dec-2017 22:28
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PS3/PS4 might be the only choice that does everything. Apple TV doesn't do Kodi, Android TV doesn't do Lightbox.

 

You could do a combo of a Chromecast for Lightbox and a Mibox for everything else.


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  Reply # 1914889 7-Dec-2017 23:05
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I recently bought a Shield for streaming because of all the good things I have read about it. I wish I hadn't. For my purposes, it is just an expensive paperweight. It is not compatible with most of the apps that were working on my cheap Chinese box. I keep discovering things it can't do instead of things it can do. I'm sure it is great for gaming and other things, but for streaming it doesn't do what I need. I have a $30 Chinese box that works better. I am very disappointed in it and I would not recommend it for this purpose. If all you want to do is run Kodi on it that might be okay, and Plex should also work, but many apps from the Google Store don't work and there are other things it can't seem to do that the cheap one can. It doesn't seem very flexible to me. You may be better off with something else.

 

 





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  Reply # 1914894 7-Dec-2017 23:17
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I was testing the Sony A1 and they use Android TV. Lightbox came pre-installed, so I thought it would run on other Android TV boxes?




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  Reply # 1914983 8-Dec-2017 07:49
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The plex live tv/dvr has just added commercial skipping.  I think it still has a long way to go for the tv schedule over here, but it's getting better.

 

And if I was nextpvring, I'd possibly look at pulling videos into plex rather than using kodi (personally).

 

I think apart from the USB content, the apple tv4 does do all the content that you said was required and desired.

 

A PC also would, but I have thoughts™ about that, most places don't have a decent 10" (leanback) interface and aren't designed for keyboard use (ie if you were hooking a remote to a computer).





Previously known as psycik

NextPVR/OpenHAB: 
Gigabyte AMD A8 Brix --> Samsung LA46A650D via HDMI, NextPVR,OpenHAB with Aeotech ZWave Controller
Media:Chromecast v2, ATV4, Roku3, Raspberry PI temperature Sensors and Bluetooth LE Sensors,HDHomeRun Dual
Windows 2012 
Host (Plex Server/Crashplan): 2x2TB, 2x3TB, 1x4TB using DriveBender, Samsung 850 evo 512 GB SSD, Hyper-V Server with 1xW10, 1xW2k8, 2xUbuntu 16.04 LTS, Crashplan, NextPVR channel for Plex,NextPVR Metadata Agent and Scanner for Plex


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  Reply # 1914992 8-Dec-2017 08:04
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Rikkitic:

 

I recently bought a Shield for streaming because of all the good things I have read about it. I wish I hadn't. For my purposes, it is just an expensive paperweight. It is not compatible with most of the apps that were working on my cheap Chinese box. I keep discovering things it can't do instead of things it can do. I'm sure it is great for gaming and other things, but for streaming it doesn't do what I need. I have a $30 Chinese box that works better. I am very disappointed in it and I would not recommend it for this purpose. If all you want to do is run Kodi on it that might be okay, and Plex should also work, but many apps from the Google Store don't work and there are other things it can't seem to do that the cheap one can. It doesn't seem very flexible to me. You may be better off with something else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keen to hear what you used to be able to do on the Chines Box that's not possible on Shield. What apps?


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  Reply # 1914996 8-Dec-2017 08:21
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AppleTV.

 

 

 

While it doesn't do Kodi, it does Plex really well, as well as the NZ TV On Demand, Amazon Prime, Netflix and Lightbox.

 

I don't miss USB - why would you need it assuming you are running Plex, and you can plug whatever is on the USB into the Plex server?

 

It is relatively easy to install apps from other countries (easy to setup an overseas iTunes account, and you can have more than the one accounts apps on your homescreen). Changing DNS is easy too.


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  Reply # 1915000 8-Dec-2017 08:23
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I see it there are only 2 real choices.

 

Mi Box, about NZD$100 shipped from aliexpress, banggood.com, etc.  Real Android TV device, you can sideload Lightbox on it (lightbox is on the sony android tvs, but not in the app store for any other android tvs, but the apk is available)

 

Nvidia Shield TV, around NZD$300ish, real android tv box like the Mi Box, but more powerful/faster (mibox is still fast enough for navigating etc, but shield is faster).  Once again you will need to side load lightbox.

 

 

 

Android TV gives you native support for netflix, plex, kodi, etc.  apks are available for amazon video, lightbox, iplayer etc.  A console makes it difficult to side load anything out of your region (not even sure if it is possible). 

 

 

 

Ive been recommending a true Android TV box (not just a generic box that run android, must be a Mi Box on Nvidia shield basically) for ages now.  Best experience, good value, can run all the apps.  I wouldnt even bother considering anything else if I was you.


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  Reply # 1915002 8-Dec-2017 08:27
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gcorgnet:

 

Rikkitic:

 

I recently bought a Shield for streaming because of all the good things I have read about it. I wish I hadn't. For my purposes, it is just an expensive paperweight. It is not compatible with most of the apps that were working on my cheap Chinese box. I keep discovering things it can't do instead of things it can do. I'm sure it is great for gaming and other things, but for streaming it doesn't do what I need. I have a $30 Chinese box that works better. I am very disappointed in it and I would not recommend it for this purpose. If all you want to do is run Kodi on it that might be okay, and Plex should also work, but many apps from the Google Store don't work and there are other things it can't seem to do that the cheap one can. It doesn't seem very flexible to me. You may be better off with something else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keen to hear what you used to be able to do on the Chines Box that's not possible on Shield. What apps?

 

 

me too.  I use a nvidia shield daily in my bedroom, sony android tv in lounge.  nvidia shield is better cos it way faster, but UI/apps are all the same (sony has lightbox app, but I dont use lightbox, shield can sideload the app).

 

 

 

google play movies, youtube, netflix, plex, kodi (i use spmc though - android fork of kodi).  zero issues, works perfectly.  my sony tv needs rebooting every so often, my nvidia shield tv does not.

 

yes its kinda pricey in todays terms, but after having HTPCs etc for the last 15 years, its a cheap device compared to those.

 

 


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  Reply # 1915015 8-Dec-2017 08:56
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Have you considered the MECOOL KIII PRO for $120USD on Aliexpress?

 

Has built in DVB-S2 or DVB-T and running Andriod 7.0 its also preloaded with Kodi 17.3

 

 

 

 

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  Reply # 1915064 8-Dec-2017 09:41
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langi27:

 

Have you considered the MECOOL KIII PRO for $120USD on Aliexpress?

 

Has built in DVB-S2 or DVB-T and running Andriod 7.0 its also preloaded with Kodi 17.3

 

 

 

 

 

terrible remote, too many apps will need to be operated like a mouse.  stay away from generic Android boxes, theyre not designed for remotes, some apps will work, some will act like an air mouse.  its just a no brainier really, get a real Android TV box, not a fake one that will be annoying to use.


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  Reply # 1915071 8-Dec-2017 10:08
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gcorgnet:

 

Rikkitic:

 

I recently bought a Shield for streaming because of all the good things I have read about it. I wish I hadn't. For my purposes, it is just an expensive paperweight. It is not compatible with most of the apps that were working on my cheap Chinese box. I keep discovering things it can't do instead of things it can do. I'm sure it is great for gaming and other things, but for streaming it doesn't do what I need. I have a $30 Chinese box that works better. I am very disappointed in it and I would not recommend it for this purpose. If all you want to do is run Kodi on it that might be okay, and Plex should also work, but many apps from the Google Store don't work and there are other things it can't seem to do that the cheap one can. It doesn't seem very flexible to me. You may be better off with something else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keen to hear what you used to be able to do on the Chines Box that's not possible on Shield. What apps?

 

 

I figured I would have to justify my statement. The Shield has a big reputation and what seems like a lot of satisfied users. I am absolutely no expert on this, just an occasional hobbiest who wants to stream some TV. For me, the Shield has been a major disappointment.

 

When I tried to install it, I immediately started encountering apps from the Play store that wouldn’t work. I couldn’t even get them to install. These were helper apps I had on my Chinese box for starting up Kodi and presenting a simple interface to non-technical users. One is called Launch on Boot, which auto-starts Kodi. Another is Simple TV Launcher, which presents a simplified Android interface. There were others along the way, but these are the ones I remember.

 

The one that really bugged me was Medici TV. This is a classical performance app that works fine on the Chinese box. I can’t get it to work in any way on the Shield. To watch it I have been forced back to HTTP on my pc. For me, that was the deal breaker. But it turns out that the Shield also cannot see my LAN, or the Windows computers on it. Apparently I have to install Plex for that, but I don’t want to have to install Plex on this system at this time. I just want to stream some IPTV sources (which the Shield also doesn’t support, according to their technical help, but it does at least support Kodi).

 

What all of this says to me is that the Shield is incredibly inflexible for something that costs so much. I run the SMPC version of Kodi and that is supposed to be optimised for the Shield, which is supposed to be faster and to have more memory than generic boxes. I thought this might be helpful because I have issues with buffering in Kodi, but so far I have noticed little if any difference. This is just my own personal experience. Others may have better luck.





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  Reply # 1915075 8-Dec-2017 10:14
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the leanback launcher is pretty good IMO.  iwouldnt bother replacing it.  lets you quickly access kodi, netflix, youtube etc from big icons (any non tech person could do this easily, my 70 year old dad has no issue).

 

if you want to just use kodi, then no, i wouldnt recommend a nvidia shield tv, i would go with a raspberrypi or a vero.  but if you want more than kodi, why launch directly into kodi?  

 

I kinda understand replacing leanback launcher with kodi as the laucher, if this was possible, i see the benefits of that.  kodi can launch other apps, so ok ill give you that one.  

 

personally i dont use kodi/spmc much.  I use it daily for a playlist i fall asleep to (plex cant limit the number ofitems in a playlist so will play for hours and hours and hours).  but i prefer plex because i can resume from any location (lounge, bedroom, even at my parents house).


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  Reply # 1915085 8-Dec-2017 10:31
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I get what you are saying (I think) but it doesn't work for the way I use Kodi, unless I am really missing something here. For one thing, I use the TV channels kindly provided by Apsattv and Huisman in PVR Simple Client. I also browse installed video add-ons and some Android apps from Kodi. YouTube isn't a problem. Netflix doesn't interest me. Medici TV does.

 

 





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  Reply # 1915435 8-Dec-2017 20:33
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I farted around with different cheap boxes. Finally got an Apple TV and couldn't be happier with it. I have a USB drive plugged into my router and the Infuse app direct plays video files from that (including HEVC files). I prefer it to Plex because I don't have to run a server, although Plex is great too. Also, there is a version of Kodi called "MrMC" for Apple TV which supports NextPVR, etc.


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