9 January 2019
Up until now, I have had to keep togglign between different devices to be able to stream all my stuff, due to limitations of individual devices.
For example, a Chromecast, great as it is, will not/cannot support Amazon Prime Video (due to the Google/Amazon war). On the other hand my Fire TV stick no longer supports youtube due to the same war between the above!
Neither of the above can play from my NAS as an SMB drive (not uPNP), without some serious hacking around, and still are not perfect, and even then have poor support for lossless formats such as DTS MASTER/DOLBYHD, and atmos, if supported seems only via Dolby Digital Plus.
My WDTV, which although handles my NAS well, does not support any modern streaming services such as netflix, does not support 4k, and has not been updated since 2015, is effectively eol.
My Samsung tv, despite being 4k and HDR, has almost no support for HDR in its Youtube or Netflix apps, only on its Amazon prime app. Plus its Google Play app, does not support 5.1 DD output!!! Its local streaming support is also not great, thoguh it does support H265 playback. My blue ray player has different issues, and doesnt suppport H265 (which i use extensively more my own personal home video archives)
The PC on a stick was good for steam game streaming, but awkward for anything else.
The point being, I was getting fedup switchign between different devices based on what I wanted to watch (add to the fact I also have Sky). After a bit of research, i finally bit the bullet and bought the Shield, and I really havent look back since.
This is an absolutely fantastic device that does EVERYTHING it says on the tin.
- a real Android TV device, that is fully supported and frequently updated
- an extremly powerful NVidia Tegra processor (same as the one on a nintendo switch), which is cabable of very good application and graphics perfromance.
- 2 USB 3 ports, and one Ethernet port.
- snappy decent performance
- perfect Netflix/Amazon Prime/ Google Play/ BBC iPlayer playback via real android apps, not HTML apps. far better perfromance, as well as fully featured, including 4k UHD, HDR, ATMOS on both Netflix, Prime and Google Play Movies service
- Brilliant Kodi support (just download the official android app from the google play included, or download some optimized forks). Also able to bitstream out Dolby True HD/ATMOS/DTS Master, etc.
- can load android APKs
- Recently recieved an update to enable DD 5.1 output from youtube if the content contains a DD5.1 stream (bit rare at the moment)
- Brilliant game streaming from my PC Upstairs to the TV downstairs, usign either Steam or Nvidia streaming, and also supports Geforce live, where games are streamed from nvidias own datacenters.
- Althoguh i use an XBOX one controller for gaming, connected via bluetooth to the shield, I have heard good things about NVidia's own Shield game controller.
- Brilliant HDMI control, can both switch on and switch off my tv and my onkyo amp, as well as setting correct inputs on both when turned on or off, no device I have does this as well and as flawlessly as this device.
- Google Assistant built in.
All in all I have now got rid of all my other external devices (Except my sky box and my Blu ray player, for obvious reasons!) and this has
if there are any downsides, they are:
-price... thoguh that is only initially when compared at face value to other streamers including the Apple TV. When you actually look at what this thing is capable of, it suddenly becomes REALLY good value, and the others actually feel like less value. Look at it another way, they others may be cheparer, but when you need to buy multiple streamers versus one they may actually start working out more expensive.
- when using a wireless keyboard, you need to use an USB extender cable for the USB radio tranciever, otherwise the USB port can intefere with the wireless single from the transciever, though I have heard this is common with many USB 3 ports, on many devices
- also do not place next to the Sky Q box!, it seems the two when places directly next to each other, inteferes with the blutooth remotes for each devices, causing lag.