2017 Sony XBR 900E owners thread (No Price Talk) - Page 389 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #11641 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 05:08 PM
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Would you guys say my tv is defective? I hadn't paid it too much attention but when I read a few had the edge bleed issue and I think my tv is one of them
There was a similar issue on the 850c at release with blue bars at each side. It was resolved through firmware. Could this be a similar issue ? Or is it actually lightbleed like bad clouding ? I was going to pull the trigger on a 65 900e today till I saw this. Very disappointing as I want this tv
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post #11642 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 05:28 PM
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Would you guys say my tv is defective? I hadn't paid it too much attention but when I read a few had the edge bleed issue and I think my tv is one of them


That looks worse than mine, and mine was pretty bad, especially on the right side. My TV is going back to Best Buy and I'm waiting out until this is resolved. When was yours manufactured?


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Would you guys say my tv is defective? I hadn't paid it too much attention but when I read a few had the edge bleed issue and I think my tv is one of them
There was a similar issue on the 850c at release with blue bars at each side. It was resolved through firmware. Could this be a similar issue ? Or is it actually lightbleed like bad clouding ? I was going to pull the trigger on a 65 900e today till I saw this. Very disappointing as I want this tv
I thought it was normal, I mean you get used to it. It wasn't until I read people had same issues here that I thought I may have a problem. Those pictures aren't exaggeration, of course when showing a actual picture it's less noticeable but you can see the edges are slightly brighter than the picture. I'm not sure on build or location date as I never checked before mounting. I filed a case with sony and submitted pictures, I can't see how they would consider this normal so I hope all goes well. This is a 65" bought during black Friday, if I were buying a new x900e it would probably be some where that sells a lot of them because it seems these having issues are from oct/Nov 17 when is probably when mine was built.
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post #11643 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 05:31 PM
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Would you guys say my tv is defective? I hadn't paid it too much attention but when I read a few had the edge bleed issue and I think my tv is one of them
Looks like mine when on max brightness. What's your brightness at? When watching SDR at say brightness of 20 to 25, I predominantly notice the right side during blue and gray scenes. This light bleed bothers me though not as bad now (by necessity). Some have returned N times and have had reductions. Some claim to not have it at all (I have friends that actually can't see it). A remedy is a bias light which I personally don't like. I certainly didn't need it with my HX909. But, perceived contrast and black levels can increase with it. I kept my set beyond the return policy because my black uniformity was decent (far better than the example on Rtings) and my gray uniformity is very good. Also, no dead pixels and I figured that my chances of getting light bleed on random X900E to "none" was unlikely, especially when there is a chance of worsening black or gray uniformity in the process.
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post #11644 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 05:55 PM
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There was a similar issue on the 850c at release with blue bars at each side. It was resolved through firmware. Could this be a similar issue ? Or is it actually lightbleed like bad clouding ? I was going to pull the trigger on a 65 900e today till I saw this. Very disappointing as I want this tv
which fw did that?
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post #11645 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 05:58 PM
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Question about remotes.

Just got our new 900e today. Love it. Just spent a month in hell with Samsung and Best Buy, and feel like I've come out of the tunnel. But the remote is not working for me. It's a bit slow for my (Spectrum) cable box. Enough so that I'm looking at universal remotes.

What universal remotes have you used? Any functions that the stock remote has that the universal ones don't do well? What do you think is the best?

The TV we tried before was the Samsung Q7f. We loved the remote and system control. TVs were poor, though.
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post #11646 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 06:13 PM
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I'm glad to see more and more people mentioning this light band issue on the edges of the screen. Mine is noticeable on the left and the top. It's one of those things you can't stop seeing once you notice it. It's severity always varies depending on the content.

I wonder how long I would need to wait to get a 900F as an exchange if I filed a case with Sony. Mine was manufactured in August '17.
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post #11647 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 06:20 PM
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Would you guys say my tv is defective? I hadn't paid it too much attention but when I read a few had the edge bleed issue and I think my tv is one of them
Looks like mine when on max brightness. What's your brightness at? When watching SDR at say brightness of 20 to 25, I predominantly notice the right side during blue and gray scenes. This light bleed bothers me though not as bad now (by necessity). Some have returned N times and have had reductions. Some claim to not have it at all (I have friends that actually can't see it). A remedy is a bias light which I personally don't like. I certainly didn't need it with my HX909. But, perceived contrast and black levels can increase with it. I kept my set beyond the return policy because my black uniformity was decent (far better than the example on Rtings) and my gray uniformity is very good. Also, no dead pixels and I figured that my chances of getting light bleed on random X900E to "none" was unlikely, especially when there is a chance of worsening black or gray uniformity in the process.
This was at 28 brightness, I did the whole hard reset Sony asked and that was default setting
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post #11648 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 06:23 PM
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I'm glad to see more and more people mentioning this light band issue on the edges of the screen. Mine is noticeable on the left and the top. It's one of those things you can't stop seeing once you notice it. It's severity always varies depending on the content.

I wonder how long I would need to wait to get a 900F as an exchange if I filed a case with Sony. Mine was manufactured in August '17.
Yes, and more of us need to file complaints or else they are going to act like it's a non issue. I'm not holding my breath on a 900f I'm sure that won't be an option for a long time and I don't want to risk not getting a good replacement . I have heard of some sets being replaced with 930e. Either way the the 900e is a awesome set, I would be happy with a properly working set.
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post #11649 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 07:46 PM
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There was a similar issue on the 850c at release with blue bars at each side. It was resolved through firmware. Could this be a similar issue ? Or is it actually lightbleed like bad clouding ? I was going to pull the trigger on a 65 900e today till I saw this. Very disappointing as I want this tv
You missed reading the 11,000 previous posts from those of us who do not have is problem. If you want the TV get it. They all do not have this problem. If you're worried about it, have them open the box at the store and confirm the manufacture date as the issue appears to affect only a particular date range.

Every TV potentially has some issue, however minor. You might not get this issue, but some other you can't live with like a stuck pixel. We all roll the dice when we buy TVs. I returned two other brands within a one month period before I settled on the 900E. It's the nature of the beast.
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post #11650 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Phynal View Post
Question about remotes.



Just got our new 900e today. Love it. Just spent a month in hell with Samsung and Best Buy, and feel like I've come out of the tunnel. But the remote is not working for me. It's a bit slow for my (Spectrum) cable box. Enough so that I'm looking at universal remotes.



What universal remotes have you used? Any functions that the stock remote has that the universal ones don't do well? What do you think is the best?



The TV we tried before was the Samsung Q7f. We loved the remote and system control. TVs were poor, though.


I have the Harmony Companion and the Harmony 650. Both work well. I use the Companion for the Sony TV, receiver, Apple TV and BluRay. The 650 chews through batteries. The Companion is supposed to last a year. We will see.


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post #11651 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 08:07 PM
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According to the measurements taken by Rtings the 930E does get quite a bit brighter but that is something you will only ever notice by having them side by side. The 900E is much brighter than most older tvs and many of us here lower the brightness to well below the default setting for anything other than HDR content. As for auto update I leave it off so I can read about the firmware before I install it in case there is a bug. The internet I leave connected all the time.
thanks for the response. i have auto update turned off but still have a gigabit ethernet connection to it.
but, the 900e seems very laggy while streaming content from the amazon prime video app. i have not tried
any other apps yet but the lagginess is very apparent. it would seem that there is either app issue or the
900e processor is not up to multitasking at all. i suspect its a processor issue and most likely why the 900f will have the x1 extreme processor.
it even has lag just turning the volume up and down. its annoying enough that i picked up the receiver remote to control the volume.
its very noticeable.
there may be a need to use the xbox one x or other device for streaming.
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post #11652 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 08:14 PM
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You missed reading the 11,000 previous posts from those of us who do not have is problem. If you want the TV get it. They all do not have this problem. If you're worried about it, have them open the box at the store and confirm the manufacture date as the issue appears to affect only a particular date range.

Every TV potentially has some issue, however minor. You might not get this issue, but some other you can't live with like a stuck pixel. We all roll the dice when we buy TVs. I returned two other brands within a one month period before I settled on the 900E. It's the nature of the beast.
Yup we sure play the panel lottery. I’m in Canada and Sony has a different manufacturing factory I’ve been too as I had no issues my US cousins did on there sets on the 850c so here’s to hoping. So I believe it’s October or November 17 from what Ive read that have issues. I’ll try to dodge those sets if possible. Cheers and I’ve decided to go with Set, excited for local dimming and real hdr as the 850 got fake hdr patched in through firmware lol and it looks horrible so I just leave it off.
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post #11653 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 09:14 PM
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thanks for the response. i have auto update turned off but still have a gigabit ethernet connection to it.
but, the 900e seems very laggy while streaming content from the amazon prime video app. i have not tried
any other apps yet but the lagginess is very apparent. it would seem that there is either app issue or the
900e processor is not up to multitasking at all. i suspect its a processor issue and most likely why the 900f will have the x1 extreme processor.
it even has lag just turning the volume up and down. its annoying enough that i picked up the receiver remote to control the volume.
its very noticeable.
there may be a need to use the xbox one x or other device for streaming.
I'm not sure how one leaves auto update off and picks and chooses updates. At some point if you ever update again, it's going to include all previous updates. So you're just putting off the inevitable. I suppose you might put off a buggy update until it's fixed, but you might also put off a bug fix that's not necessarily documented clearly.

That said, while I don't disagree that the processor is probably a contributing factor to the lag, Android TV OS is a mess, and Sony's TV interface layer is worse, so I wouldn't say it's particularly well implemented code. But you can turn some things off to ameliorate the lag. In the Developers menu you can limit background processes to 4 or fewer and help with some of the lag. There are also other tricks suggested around here and the web, but I find that's enough for me. Then again, I don't use any of the built-in apps since I got my Apple TV 4K and Amazon released their app for it.
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post #11654 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 09:28 PM
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Would you guys say my tv is defective? I hadn't paid it too much attention but when I read a few had the edge bleed issue and I think my tv is one of them
Yup, that's exactly what I posted about a few days ago. However, I certainly don't hav? to turn up my brightness to 23 to see it. It was clearly visible this evening on the right side and top when I was watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix with a brightness of 4. I called Costco today about this issue and she said unfortunately I won't be able to do an exchange because it's now discontinued and they're out of stock. Any suggestions out there for my situation would be greatly appreciated? [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.avsforum.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

Side note, as I mentioned in an earlier post, mine was made in Mexico Nov 2017. Also, here's a picture of those beauty light bars that go all the way around my panel. It literally makes a perfect even square.
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post #11655 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 09:40 PM
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Yup, that's exactly what I posted about a few days ago. However, I certainly don't hav? to turn up my brightness to 23 to see it. It was clearly visible this evening on the right side and top when I was watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix with a brightness of 4. I called Costco today about this issue and she said unfortunately I won't be able to do an exchange because it's now discontinued and they're out of stock. Any suggestions out there for my situation would be greatly appreciated? [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.avsforum.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

Side note, as I mentioned in an earlier post, mine was made in Mexico Nov 2017. Also, here's a picture of those beauty light bars that go all the way around my panel. It literally makes a perfect even square.
Contact Sony warranty department. They will exchange.

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post #11656 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 09:43 PM
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Yup, that's exactly what I posted about a few days ago. However, I certainly don't hav? to turn up my brightness to 23 to see it. It was clearly visible this evening on the right side and top when I was watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix with a brightness of 4. I called Costco today about this issue and she said unfortunately I won't be able to do an exchange because it's now discontinued and they're out of stock. Any suggestions out there for my situation would be greatly appreciated? [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.avsforum.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

Side note, as I mentioned in an earlier post, mine was made in Mexico Nov 2017. Also, here's a picture of those beauty light bars that go all the way around my panel. It literally makes a perfect even square.
Ask for a 930e since these are likely to have the same issue.
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post #11657 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 09:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Flightpath View Post
Yup, that's exactly what I posted about a few days ago. However, I certainly don't hav? to turn up my brightness to 23 to see it. It was clearly visible this evening on the right side and top when I was watching Peaky Blinders on Netflix with a brightness of 4. I called Costco today about this issue and she said unfortunately I won't be able to do an exchange because it's now discontinued and they're out of stock. Any suggestions out there for my situation would be greatly appreciated? [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.avsforum.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif[/IMG]

Side note, as I mentioned in an earlier post, mine was made in Mexico Nov 2017. Also, here's a picture of those beauty light bars that go all the way around my panel. It literally makes a perfect even square.
Ask for a 930e since these are likely to have the same issue.
Would they just not replace it with a X900e?
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post #11658 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 09:54 PM
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Guys, when I set my tv antenna up and skipped over the air channels I don't want to see, I still can't find out how to skip over the google play entry. So when I go from Channel 31 for instance and cycle back to Channel 8 around, it goes to the google play channel. Anyone know how to skip it out?
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post #11659 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 10:14 PM
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I just got my 75x900e yesterday, been playing around with the settings. Watched a few netflix shows and the images look fantastic! So far so good!
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post #11660 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 10:27 PM
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Since this latest update, I have had a weird occurrence. I have the 75x900e with directv and the hr-54 genie. When I am watching my dvr shows and the show gets to the end where you either select to delete or keep the episode, it emits a high pitch noise that wasn't present in the 6 months I have owned the set. Any idea what I can do?

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post #11661 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 10:32 PM
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Here is a video, turn up the sound for the high pitch noise.
https://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5a697a94...125_003125.mp4
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post #11662 of 19119 Old 01-24-2018, 11:30 PM
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I just played around with the new firmware and WOW did they speed up the UI. It's dramatically smoother.
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post #11663 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 04:21 AM
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I'm not sure how one leaves auto update off and picks and chooses updates. At some point if you ever update again, it's going to include all previous updates. So you're just putting off the inevitable. I suppose you might put off a buggy update until it's fixed, but you might also put off a bug fix that's not necessarily documented clearly.

That said, while I don't disagree that the processor is probably a contributing factor to the lag, Android TV OS is a mess, and Sony's TV interface layer is worse, so I wouldn't say it's particularly well implemented code. But you can turn some things off to ameliorate the lag. In the Developers menu you can limit background processes to 4 or fewer and help with some of the lag. There are also other tricks suggested around here and the web, but I find that's enough for me. Then again, I don't use any of the built-in apps since I got my Apple TV 4K and Amazon released their app for it.

i keep forgetting about the crappy android os.
is there a guide that you could reference for making those tweaks in the developers options ?
can you just uninstall all the apps that i have no intention of using ?
thanks
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post #11664 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 05:08 AM
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Here is a video, turn up the sound for the high pitch noise.
https://cloud.tapatalk.com/s/5a697a94...125_003125.mp4
guess i better go to the ear dr. i heard no high pitched noise.
if there is a noise , its certainly possible that the tv is only repeating what is sent to it. it may be the genie doing it also.
BTW - im considering upgrading to the genie server. how has it worked for you ? i still have 10 year old HR24 DVR's
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post #11665 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 05:12 AM
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i keep forgetting about the crappy android os.
is there a guide that you could reference for making those tweaks in the developers options ?
can you just uninstall all the apps that i have no intention of using ?
thanks

Its' the lack of processing power which is giving people a bad experience with Android TV. These Mediatech processors are the same ones we hear about with Cheaper and affordable Smartphones. I can imagine what a SnapDragon processor could do with Android TV, as the case with Nvidia Tegra Processor for the Nvidia Shield, which is pretty much, night and day.

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post #11666 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 06:00 AM
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Its' the lack of processing power which is giving people a bad experience with Android TV. These Mediatech processors are the same ones we hear about with Cheaper and affordable Smartphones. I can imagine what a SnapDragon processor could do with Android TV, as the case with Nvidia Tegra Processor for the Nvidia Shield, which is pretty much, night and day.

looking at the Nvidia Shield on amazon right now
it appears there is also a pro model. i will see what the pro model does that the standard model does not.
it also looks like you can retropie or something like that on the shield. thats cool
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post #11667 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 06:07 AM
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looking at the Nvidia Shield on amazon right now
it appears there is also a pro model. i will see what the pro model does that the standard model does not.
it also looks like you can retropie or something like that on the shield. thats cool
Not much of a difference between the standard and Pro model, other than the Pro model's hard drive is not solid state. The standard is most recommended because it's actually faster, but if you plan on using the Shield as a Plex Server, then the Pro model is recommended.

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post #11668 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by groove93 View Post
Its' the lack of processing power which is giving people a bad experience with Android TV. These Mediatech processors are the same ones we hear about with Cheaper and affordable Smartphones. I can imagine what a SnapDragon processor could do with Android TV, as the case with Nvidia Tegra Processor for the Nvidia Shield, which is pretty much, night and day.
If true, this review of the shield is pretty ugly.

ByFlorida Manon January 13, 2018
Edition: SHIELD with remote|Configuration: Streaming Media Player|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like the Nvidia Shield TV. It’s easily the most powerful streaming box out there. However, major dealbreaker features prevent me from recommending it. It feels like, once the engineers were finished with the design of the machine, they completely forgot to design the user experience (UX).

I won’t rehash all the wonderful things about the Shield TV. Here are the dealbreakers:

The remote is a disaster. I can’t imagine what genius thought it would be okay to completely omit fast-forward and rewind buttons. That’s right: you can’t directly fast-forward or rewind through movies, shows, or songs. You have to hit the big Select button at the top, which gives you some transport features to choose from. You navigate, for example, to the onscreen fast-forward icon, then click that. To do something as simple as skipping back 10 seconds can take three or four clicks, the entire time forcing you to watch what you’re pressing on the screen instead of feeling it on the remote. To add insult to injury, there are no Play or Pause buttons either. Or Stop. Or Skip.

In place of where you normally would find the transport buttons, instead they placed the Google Assistant microphone button. That’s the button where your thumb naturally falls — so you’ll find yourself activating voice command in the middle of a movie, which took me out of the movie and into some kind of search nearly 100% of the time — you just can’t cancel midway.

The remote also has a volume touchstrip that takes up the bottom half of the remote, down the center. No mention of this is made on Nvidia’s website, the online setup tutorial, or the included manual. You will discover it when you maddeningly keep inadvertently changing the volume when you’re simply handling the remote. You can disable this in the settings, but you’ll still get the occasional error message telling you that you’ve disabled the volume. Duh. Plus, it means you’ve disabled 50% of the remote’s real estate, which makes the lack of UX features on the remote stand out even more.

The Shield TV is an Android TV box, which means you get the Google Play Store. However, you’ll get very few of its apps. Any apps that don’t have an equivalent for big-screen TVs are disabled. Curiously, that omission includes Google Photos. Outside of video, a native photos app is one of the biggest reasons to buy a separate streaming box. Amazon’s Fire TV, for example, features the excellent Amazon Photos app, while Apple TV features the iOS photos app. There’s a workaround to get a substitute for Google Photos on the Shield TV, but it’s a hassle. And don’t even think about sideloading conventional Android apps. If you could get them to work at all, they’ll be virtually unusable. They're optimized for phone navigation (touch and swipe), not a D-pad (directional arrows) — and certainly not for the big-screen experience.

If you’re accustomed to watching the Golf Channel via the NBC Sports app on Fire TV, you can forget about that with the Nvidia Shield TV. The Google Play Store doesn’t have an equivalent that works on the big screen. You can download and install Kodi and get the NBC Sports app there, but it stutters and glitches (on any device, not just the Shield TV) to the point of “why bother.”

The Shield TV has the new YouTube app that includes 4K HDR, but it never lit up the HDR indicator on my TV even once, no matter how many HDR videos I played. Through other means, YouTube HDR works perfectly on that same OLED 4K TV.

Another dealbreaker comes courtesy of the Shield TV's Amazon Prime Video app. The app is the creaky old legacy app, which isn't unusual. Only Fire TV devices get the cool new app. Here's what unusual: When you're browsing movies and shows, and want to add one to your Watchlist, you just...can't. At all. Seriously, you have to go to the freaking Internet on another device to add shows. Epic fail, and inexcusable. It's Nvidia's fault, because you can add shows with other devices using the same legacy app.

You may have already read on the forums that the remote buttons hang a few times per viewing session. You’ll hit a button, nothing happens, you hit it a few more times, nothing happens — then all the commands flood in at once, taking you where you don’t want to be. They improved this with a firmware update in late 2017, but it still happens. It’s a jarring experience, especially when you consider that none of your other remotes do this — ever.

If you’re thinking you’ll just migrate the remote commands into a programmable remote, that ain’t gonna happen. This non-Pro version of the Shield TV doesn’t sport an infrared remote, so that won’t work (you have to spend another $120 for the Pro to get IR). And there are no replacement Bluetooth remotes that work any better. The Nvidia forums are thick with people trying and failing.

The remote's magic button is supposed to be the voice button, which summons Google Assistant. The "assistant" stuff works well (checking the weather, time, or facts; controlling smart lights, etc.). However, when you buy a media streamer, you want the voice search button to search for, uh, media. Well, it can't do much of that — unless you only want to search for media from Google's own apps — and paid media at that. Forget voice-searching free media, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Vudu, or within any app you install yourself. If all you need is the Google Assistant experience, just buy the far-better Google Home Mini, which cost me all of $29.

Video purists won’t like the fact that the 4K output is always 60 Hz, even if the source is natively 24 Hz (which nearly 100% of Hollywood movies are). There’s also no Dolby Vision HDR; if the source is recorded with Dolby Vision (Netflix Marvel shows, for example), the Shield TV downgrades them to regular (static, not dynamic) HDR.

Those are just too many negatives for a streaming box, especially one that costs almost $200. However, all the streaming boxes have their problems. Roku doesn’t have Dolby Vision or a true voice assistant, and it has that hideous remote. Apple TV, among many issues, is another company that turns fast-forward, rewind, and skip into a treasure hunt. The new 4K Fire TV dongle is a bit like the old Fire TV 4K box, only without all the good stuff (USB storage, USB keyboard input, micro SD storage, wired Ethernet jack, an actual chassis, etc.).

You should go to Nvidia TV's help forum first, before you lay down your $179 for this thing. People have been asking for updates and improvements for more than a year. They get nothing from Nvidia. Rather than believe the glowing reviews here, believe what you hear from folks who have owned this device for a long time.

I’m glad I didn’t sell my old Fire TV 4K box. Even though it doesn’t have any form of HDR, user experience-wise, it’s still the one to beat.
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May be a stupid question.. but I don't quite get Android TV when Chromecast is fairly capable and cheaper. I know you can install apps, but I'm not sure which ones I would want. And for $200 for the Shield, I'd just get a game console. Is there a killer app for Android TV?
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post #11670 of 19119 Old 01-25-2018, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by avswonka View Post
If true, this review of the shield is pretty ugly.

ByFlorida Manon January 13, 2018
Edition: SHIELD with remote|Configuration: Streaming Media Player|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like the Nvidia Shield TV. It’s easily the most powerful streaming box out there. However, major dealbreaker features prevent me from recommending it. It feels like, once the engineers were finished with the design of the machine, they completely forgot to design the user experience (UX).

I won’t rehash all the wonderful things about the Shield TV. Here are the dealbreakers:

The remote is a disaster. I can’t imagine what genius thought it would be okay to completely omit fast-forward and rewind buttons. That’s right: you can’t directly fast-forward or rewind through movies, shows, or songs. You have to hit the big Select button at the top, which gives you some transport features to choose from. You navigate, for example, to the onscreen fast-forward icon, then click that. To do something as simple as skipping back 10 seconds can take three or four clicks, the entire time forcing you to watch what you’re pressing on the screen instead of feeling it on the remote. To add insult to injury, there are no Play or Pause buttons either. Or Stop. Or Skip.

In place of where you normally would find the transport buttons, instead they placed the Google Assistant microphone button. That’s the button where your thumb naturally falls — so you’ll find yourself activating voice command in the middle of a movie, which took me out of the movie and into some kind of search nearly 100% of the time — you just can’t cancel midway.

The remote also has a volume touchstrip that takes up the bottom half of the remote, down the center. No mention of this is made on Nvidia’s website, the online setup tutorial, or the included manual. You will discover it when you maddeningly keep inadvertently changing the volume when you’re simply handling the remote. You can disable this in the settings, but you’ll still get the occasional error message telling you that you’ve disabled the volume. Duh. Plus, it means you’ve disabled 50% of the remote’s real estate, which makes the lack of UX features on the remote stand out even more.

The Shield TV is an Android TV box, which means you get the Google Play Store. However, you’ll get very few of its apps. Any apps that don’t have an equivalent for big-screen TVs are disabled. Curiously, that omission includes Google Photos. Outside of video, a native photos app is one of the biggest reasons to buy a separate streaming box. Amazon’s Fire TV, for example, features the excellent Amazon Photos app, while Apple TV features the iOS photos app. There’s a workaround to get a substitute for Google Photos on the Shield TV, but it’s a hassle. And don’t even think about sideloading conventional Android apps. If you could get them to work at all, they’ll be virtually unusable. They're optimized for phone navigation (touch and swipe), not a D-pad (directional arrows) — and certainly not for the big-screen experience.

If you’re accustomed to watching the Golf Channel via the NBC Sports app on Fire TV, you can forget about that with the Nvidia Shield TV. The Google Play Store doesn’t have an equivalent that works on the big screen. You can download and install Kodi and get the NBC Sports app there, but it stutters and glitches (on any device, not just the Shield TV) to the point of “why bother.”

The Shield TV has the new YouTube app that includes 4K HDR, but it never lit up the HDR indicator on my TV even once, no matter how many HDR videos I played. Through other means, YouTube HDR works perfectly on that same OLED 4K TV.

Another dealbreaker comes courtesy of the Shield TV's Amazon Prime Video app. The app is the creaky old legacy app, which isn't unusual. Only Fire TV devices get the cool new app. Here's what unusual: When you're browsing movies and shows, and want to add one to your Watchlist, you just...can't. At all. Seriously, you have to go to the freaking Internet on another device to add shows. Epic fail, and inexcusable. It's Nvidia's fault, because you can add shows with other devices using the same legacy app.

You may have already read on the forums that the remote buttons hang a few times per viewing session. You’ll hit a button, nothing happens, you hit it a few more times, nothing happens — then all the commands flood in at once, taking you where you don’t want to be. They improved this with a firmware update in late 2017, but it still happens. It’s a jarring experience, especially when you consider that none of your other remotes do this — ever.

If you’re thinking you’ll just migrate the remote commands into a programmable remote, that ain’t gonna happen. This non-Pro version of the Shield TV doesn’t sport an infrared remote, so that won’t work (you have to spend another $120 for the Pro to get IR). And there are no replacement Bluetooth remotes that work any better. The Nvidia forums are thick with people trying and failing.

The remote's magic button is supposed to be the voice button, which summons Google Assistant. The "assistant" stuff works well (checking the weather, time, or facts; controlling smart lights, etc.). However, when you buy a media streamer, you want the voice search button to search for, uh, media. Well, it can't do much of that — unless you only want to search for media from Google's own apps — and paid media at that. Forget voice-searching free media, Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Vudu, or within any app you install yourself. If all you need is the Google Assistant experience, just buy the far-better Google Home Mini, which cost me all of $29.

Video purists won’t like the fact that the 4K output is always 60 Hz, even if the source is natively 24 Hz (which nearly 100% of Hollywood movies are). There’s also no Dolby Vision HDR; if the source is recorded with Dolby Vision (Netflix Marvel shows, for example), the Shield TV downgrades them to regular (static, not dynamic) HDR.

Those are just too many negatives for a streaming box, especially one that costs almost $200. However, all the streaming boxes have their problems. Roku doesn’t have Dolby Vision or a true voice assistant, and it has that hideous remote. Apple TV, among many issues, is another company that turns fast-forward, rewind, and skip into a treasure hunt. The new 4K Fire TV dongle is a bit like the old Fire TV 4K box, only without all the good stuff (USB storage, USB keyboard input, micro SD storage, wired Ethernet jack, an actual chassis, etc.).

You should go to Nvidia TV's help forum first, before you lay down your $179 for this thing. People have been asking for updates and improvements for more than a year. They get nothing from Nvidia. Rather than believe the glowing reviews here, believe what you hear from folks who have owned this device for a long time.

I’m glad I didn’t sell my old Fire TV 4K box. Even though it doesn’t have any form of HDR, user experience-wise, it’s still the one to beat.

I've had the Shield since 2015, name another box that has the support this device has for this long. How many devices out there support Dolby True HD, DTSMA, Atmos, DTS-X, 4k HDR (HDR10), Live TV (with DVR), and act as a Plex Server. If you're the type that Pixel peep, then the Shield isn't for you, but if you want an "almost" all-on-one box, the IMO the Shield is it. Does it have the best video quality, no, but IMO that's subjective, for many owners still enjoy it flexibility. I get an excellent picture from this device, and my Blu Ray, and UHD Rips in HDR, using Plex or Kodi, with no transcoding, has been solid.

If you want a solid Android TV experience without the lag and freeze ups, then the Shield will be a great demonstration of what this OS can really do.


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