Originally Posted by mattg3
Never use your Sony for anything but as a monitor.Plug cable box into one input and Roku or Apple TV into another and never bring up Sony menus. Ive been using it this way for two years.No firmware updates to concern me. I love this tv.
Actually if you plug everything into a receiver and into one input on tv you free yourself up even more from the android mess. Everytime you turn on tv it goes to your chosen receiver input and you change your devices using your receiver.
While the concept is great, there is one major flaw to this method...
Streaming devices pretty much universally do not afford you the opportunity to pass content through to the TV in native format. Everything upscales the content to the max quality that is supported between the device and the TV - in some cases, 1080 and in others 4K. Most of the streaming devices out there have inferior upscaling technology compared to what the TV can do natively and the overall picture quality is WORSE via a streaming device than it is when using built-in apps in the TV itself.
Cases in point:
Amazon Fire Stick 4K: Streaming of 480 content via the Plex app off of my local server is significantly poorer and borderline unwatchable compared to using the in-built app. Streaming of 720 content is noticeably poorer, but still generally watchable. The step from 1080 to 4K is "small" and you have to look close to see the deficiency. For 720 and 1080, this holds true for streaming content from online providers as well.
Amazon Fire Stick (non-4K): All of the same issues as the 4K stick, but surprisingly not as bad. I suspect that the upscaling to 4K is the real problem for this device and upscaling to 1080 is something it's generally better at overall. Since the TV still does an excellent job from 1080 to 4K, the end result isn't "as bad."
I've gotten similar quality issues when watching shows OTA using the HDHomeRun app native to the TV versus through the Fire Stick. If the show is 1080, hard to notice a difference. As the broadcast signal quality drops, the delta between the streaming device upscaling the content and the TV doing it natively gets wider (TV wins every time).
Any streaming device that supports passing content through in its native format doesn't have this issue (like BD player). As much as I would love to be able to use the TV as only a monitor, the loss in PQ from using a streaming device negates the option of doing it. Until I find a streaming device that allows me to pass all content through in native form, I'm using the built-in apps for Netflix, HDHomeRun, and Plex. I don't watch content from other sources but rarely (there is exactly ONE show on Amazon that I watch when it moves over for the current season to be streamed), so these do everything I need.
Originally Posted by Tfid
What about the OTA guide? You know, the part of the TV (the RF tuner thingy) that makes it not a video monitor.
You're kind of splitting hairs here...The OTA guide is either present or not, based on the provider/tower. Decoding the content (like this set can do) to overlay it on the screen really has absolutely nothing to do with PQ which is what the real intent of the statement is about.