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1760 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2332474 8-Oct-2019 11:50
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I'd never use the smarts built into modern TVs. I'd much prefer plugging in a box that can do what I want and just use the TV as a dumb screen.


202 posts

Master Geek


  # 2332487 8-Oct-2019 12:12
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MurrayM:

 

I'd never use the smarts built into modern TVs. I'd much prefer plugging in a box that can do what I want and just use the TV as a dumb screen.

 

 

Which is fair enough.

 

You've still got to choose which particular box to plug in to it, though.

 

Which for a full range of NZ specific apps would appear to boil down to either the Apple TV (not cheap), a Dish TV Android Device (variable software quality from what I've read here, no Netflix on the "full" DVR) or a Chromecast.


 
 
 
 


1760 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2332511 8-Oct-2019 12:54
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evilengineer:

 

Which is fair enough.

 

You've still got to choose which particular box to plug in to it, though.

 

Which for a full range of NZ specific apps would appear to boil down to either the Apple TV (not cheap), a Dish TV Android Device (variable software quality from what I've read here, no Netflix on the "full" DVR) or a Chromecast.

 

 

You could add Vodafone TV to your list.

 

I've just got a Chromecast and a Raspberry Pi running Kodi. Does everything that I want, but I don't bother with any of the local network "catch-up" apps. I realise that mucking around with Kodi is much more than the average punter is willing to do.


892 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2332557 8-Oct-2019 13:46
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deadlyllama:

 

We have a Xiaomi Mi Box, but really only use it for Netflix, youtube, and the Freeview channels via the Live TV app and some hackery that I can't link to because the forum says I've used a bad word (google for live new zealand IPTV android tv).

 

I wish Firefox OS had won and everyone just built portable web apps rather than our channels all needing to build apps for a bunch of distinct platforms.

 

 

 

 

This is great

 

https://www.mat t h u i s m a n.nz/2018/12/how-to-live-nz-iptv-channels-on-android.html

 

take out the spaces to get the link

 

Thank you


568 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2332580 8-Oct-2019 14:11
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Sony A1 here. Never had the issues you complain of. I normally install via Google Play on a pc and yes sometimes developers have 2 versions one for phones and one for android Tv. I just click which device I want to send it to and if it says incompatible then that's a pretty big clue. If there is no app then the built-in chomecast on the tv works great as a dump from pc. 


571 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2332755 8-Oct-2019 15:27
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Here's my take.

 

 

 

I've been an Android TV user since the original Shield was released back in 2015. I bought it from Amazon Uk when I was living in Ireland. It was a great device there as most local media companies supported it and back in the early days of 4K adoption it was the only way to access 4K Netflix / YouTube. Back then manufacturers of 4K TVs weren't even including built apps that were 4K capable.

 

Since moving to NZ I found local support not so great. Through the use of Kodi add-ons I was able to access most content but that just doesn't provide the same user experience as a native app. In the end I relented and bought an ATV 4K Which we now use 90% of the time for local and overseas content. I have both under the TV and the Shield is now only used for YouTube (ATV doesn't support YouTube 4K) and streaming Spotify through the stereo system.

 

I think Android TV is an amazingly capable operating system but without support from the media companies its usefulness is limited.


202 posts

Master Geek


  # 2332834 8-Oct-2019 16:34
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The local content providers need to get with the programme, to be honest.

 

I know they like to keep their content tightly controlled, but the days when the only legit Android TV devices available in the New Zealand market were Sony TVs are long gone.

 

You can get Toshiba (Warehouse) and Philips (PB Tech) badged TVs that run Android as well the TCLs.

 

Plus the Shield, Dish devices and the skinned Vodafone box.

 

It hardly seems like a massive development effort to get the AndroidTV app you've already written working on any legit TV/STB that's got the correct DRM certificates in place.   


 
 
 
 




1170 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2332876 8-Oct-2019 17:23
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evilengineer:

 

The local content providers need to get with the programme, to be honest.

 

I know they like to keep their content tightly controlled, but the days when the only legit Android TV devices available in the New Zealand market were Sony TVs are long gone.

 

You can get Toshiba (Warehouse) and Philips (PB Tech) badged TVs that run Android as well the TCLs.

 

Plus the Shield, Dish devices and the skinned Vodafone box.

 

It hardly seems like a massive development effort to get the AndroidTV app you've already written working on any legit TV/STB that's got the correct DRM certificates in place.   

 

 

So how do we rattle some cages between us? 


165 posts

Master Geek


  # 2333072 8-Oct-2019 21:00
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I have the Sony Oled , at first I found Android TV a bit of a mess but now that I have found all the tricks and options availible I would not want use anything else . 

 

 


1922 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2333074 8-Oct-2019 21:15
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I'm still tempted to swap my nVidia Shields for Apple TVs... at the moment I don't get access to most of the NZ apps and I could do that with a Smart Vu X for cheaper, but the Apple does have Sky Sports Now and others which would make it simpler as they're not available on Android TV yet... however as I use my shields for gaming with Virtualhere to pass a controller through to the PC I'm streaming from, the Apple TVs cannot do this so would have to figure out another method (Raspberry Pis?) for the USBoIP for controllers.


419 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2333075 8-Oct-2019 21:21
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steve98:

 

So I bought a TCL TV that comes with Android TV (model 55X4US). For the money, the picture is incredible and the sound is great so overall I have no regrets. However...

I’ve very lightly dabbled with Android on mobile but never Android TV. The shop we bought it from had no wifi so they were unable to demo the Smart TV side of things for us. I figured... it’s based on one of the worlds biggest OS’s... how bad could it be.

It wasn’t until I started trying to install local apps such as Neon, TVNZ, 3 OnDemand and Spark sport and discovered that only one of those (TVNZ) was actually “compatible” with the TV. I mean... it’s an Android TV that wants to download an Android TV app - what could actually be the problem? Did a bunch of research and would never have known that app developers can restrict their apps to only certain models of Android TV. My first question is why would they do that, and my second question is as a consumer how am I meant to know this in advance of purchasing an Android TV? Even if I had looked into this, how can I tell, prior to purchasing, which apps will and will not work on a specific model? As far as I can tell it’s not possible.

Basically Android TV seems like a consumer-hostile clusterf*ck. Android people sneer at the Apple “walled garden” but my god... compared to this mess it’s the garden of Eden!

Basically, I shall plug in my Apple TV with a renewed appreciation for it and forget the “smart” side of this TV even exists.

 

 

 

 

I have a TCL and haven't had a need to install local apps. The OnDemand stuff is available through Freeview OnDemand so no app needed. Don't have Neon, SPark Sport, Lightbox, Amazon Video but do have Netflix and also run Kodi.

 

Can you sideload the non-compatible apps?

 

 

 

 

 

 


2491 posts

Uber Geek

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  # 2333086 8-Oct-2019 22:09
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Generally you can sideload other apps. The point is if you have to sideload / use Kodi / use phone versions of local market apps it's a crappy experience and certainly doesn't 'just work'

The Apple TV isn't perfect (I'm looking at you horrible remote) but it's the only device I'm confident to give to my Mum.

1047 posts

Uber Geek


  # 2333123 8-Oct-2019 23:49
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Android on the TV is more suitable for the kind of person who can figure out how to install and run Linux and deal with packages and bad processes.

 

If you want something straightforward that just works more like a TV then go for Panasonic or an LG if you're ok with a bit more complexity.

720 posts

Ultimate Geek


  # 2333154 9-Oct-2019 07:54
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Seemingly unpopular opinion - I (still) LOVE Android TV   :)

 

 

 

Yes it needs tinkering to get apps that the SmartVu, ATV now have built in (note these didn't exist in 2016 when I got my Shield) - but I like tinkering.

 

So my Shield (Sony TV and MiBox) all have the usual apps YT, NF, Spotify, KODI etc - and I have sideloaded LB, Amazon Prime, Freeview App etc.

 

Also have apps that Apple wont let you have eg. Stremio, KODI, Spotify (albeit this is changing re Spotify?).

 

It is a solid 2nd games machine - incl as a Mame emulator.

 

It plays nice with my unRAID server - playing 80G 4K Atmos rips without issue.

 

Upgraded multiple times since purchase and has never missed a beat.

 

 

 

Yes it took some research and fiddling to sort it out - but that was fine by me - appreciate this does not make it "consumer" friendly - but that ain't me anyway...

 

 


436 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  # 2335263 10-Oct-2019 23:57
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We have a Sony A8F.  Mostly watch the likes of Freeview, YouTube, Netflix, and more recently Neon, currently with zero problems.  Has a number other apps (Lightbox etc) but we have never used them.  The Neon app only became available for (2015+) Sony Android TV's sometime over the last year, ditto PlayStuff etc, so new apps can still be added.  The native Chromecast seems to work better than when we first got the set ~2(?) years ago but we rarely use it so I may be wrong on that.  Have now removed the Chromecast dongle we initially attached.  We mostly watch Freeview via a Panasonic box but only for the recording aspect.  Normally watch the news etc delayed to fit in with tea and skip adverts (& the sports section!).  Originally only had ethernet cable to the Panasonic box (for recording, delayed viewing) with relatively poor wifi to the TV so tended to watch Netflix via the box.  Now cabled both and hence Netflix is great directly on the TV (box does not support 4k).  Also, NEON etc is likely only available on the TV (not that I have checked).  At this point the smarts on the TV work fine for our use.  


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