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post #1 of 14 Old 03-16-2019, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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HTPC vs Shield Decision

I am struggling with making a decision on a HTPC vs Shield in my situation:

I currently have one TV with a Skystream One android box. With my internet connection I have been finding Kodi to be very lacking lately for streaming TV content at 1080p. I feel like switching to torrent to allow content to be downloaded prior to watching it.

I am leaning towards getting a NUC 8i3BEK1, with (2 x 4GB) 2400MHz DDR4 CL14 SODIMM Laptop Memory HX424S14IBK2/8 and Samsung 860 EVO M.2 500GB Internal SSD to allow me to torrent and play my content.

However I keep reading about the Shield and how great it is. It seems very similar to my current android box environment and I feel that it may not change my situation much at all. I don’t know what torrenting is like on a shield.

I have a seperate laptop that is owned by my employer but I don’t want to torrent using that so using Plex with a seperate laptop isn’t an option.

I watch Netflix and Amazon Prime using the native apps on my Vizio TV to watch 4k and Dolby Vision content so I’m not necessarily needing this HTPC/Shield to play 4k content that often.

I also may be doing something wrong with my current Skystream android box and may not be using Kodi effectively. I feel like the number of sources have been declining lately and the ones that do work are always very laggy. This was not the case when I first got it a few years ago.

Any feedback would be much appreciated.
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post #2 of 14 Old 03-16-2019, 07:31 PM
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I went from a NUC -> Nvidia Shield -> HTPC (2500k 1050ti 4GB)

The shield is really nice to navigate and works really well for streaming local content. I went back to a HTPC because of madvr and the freedom of doing whatever I want.

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post #3 of 14 Old 03-17-2019, 05:57 AM
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I use a Shield for streaming from NetFlix and Amazon as well as using it with Plex to stream from my server. I have two 1st generation NUCs that I use for live TV in our family room and master bedroom. I use a third NUC for streaming content to a TV mounted in front of our treadmill. I have two HTPCs in my home theater. One has Windows 7 with WMC for use as a DVR. The other has Windows 10 for watching 4K content on my server using MPC-HC as well as streaming music from my server using JRiver Media Center for playback. I also use JRMC for playback of archived TV shows.

The type of device you use depends mainly on what you want to use it for. There is no single device currently available that can do everything you want.
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post #4 of 14 Old 03-17-2019, 06:04 AM
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I've tried many different boxes before shield. I bough the shield and can honestly say this is probably one of few purchases I have made that surpassed expectations. It's such a solid device and with it's easy to navigate ui and endless possy you really can't go wrong with this. I got rid of my cable and now just use shield boxes at all my TV's. Have not had one Hangup or issue with these boxes. I have the og one as well

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post #5 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 08:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ad10sk8er View Post
I've tried many different boxes before shield. I bough the shield and can honestly say this is probably one of few purchases I have made that surpassed expectations. It's such a solid device and with it's easy to navigate ui and endless possy you really can't go wrong with this. I got rid of my cable and now just use shield boxes at all my TV's. Have not had one Hangup or issue with these boxes. I have the og one as well

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
I purchased a Shield for the bedroom and could literally not be more pleased with how well it works with EVERYTHING including my Next-PVR/KODI setup. I have been through other various devices (WDTV, NUC, Micca, Chromebox, HTPC) over the years and nothing has compared to the Shield as far as I am concerned.

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post #6 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 11:43 AM
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The Shield is probably the best streaming device on the market, but 4k playback from UHD Blu-Ray rips leaves a lot to be desired. There are lots of posts on its poor performance in this area. The picture takes on a TV soap opera quality. It's great for 4k streaming from Netflix and Amazon as well as 1080p playback, but that's where the superiority ends. I use MPC-HC for playing back 4k UHD rips on my Windows 10 HTPC. I bought the Shield hoping it would finally be an all-in-one solution, but no such luck.
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post #7 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 11:46 AM
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They are literally bulletproof I feel like. My 2015 still running like a dream. Also pretty decent for gaming. Great for emulators. Setup a nice wifi sharing network any have everything in your PC in your shield

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post #8 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captain_video View Post
The Shield is probably the best streaming device on the market, but 4k playback from UHD Blu-Ray rips leaves a lot to be desired. There are lots of posts on its poor performance in this area. The picture takes on a TV soap opera quality. It's great for 4k streaming from Netflix and Amazon as well as 1080p playback, but that's where the superiority ends. I use MPC-HC for playing back 4k UHD rips on my Windows 10 HTPC. I bought the Shield hoping it would finally be an all-in-one solution, but no such luck.
I stream all my 4k uhd rips no problem. Also what works well is.just transfer all to external HDD and plug into the shield.

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post #9 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by ad10sk8er View Post
I stream all my 4k uhd rips no problem. Also what works well is.just transfer all to external HDD and plug into the shield.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
To be fair, I haven't tried playing any 4K material from my server via the Shield in quite a while. The last few times I tried it I was sorely disappointed so I switched to other tried and true methods. My Shield has taken several updates since I last tried it so maybe they've fixed the issue. It would certainly make life easier to use the Shield in this manner.

I just did a quick check playing back Thor: Ragnarok in 4k and it looks much better than I remembered. I could never get the image to look right no matter how much I tweaked the settings in the Shield. Now it has a more film-like quality instead of the stark soap opera video that I saw before. No doubt the updates it received fixed whatever problems I was having in the past.
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post #10 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 12:02 PM
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That's awesome man! Yeah I remember having some issues and had to switch players a few times and change settings but eventually worked

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post #11 of 14 Old 03-18-2019, 01:28 PM
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The Shield is an adequate movie player but not a very good music player.

Media Room: LG oled65c7, Marantz AV8805, Sherbourn 7/2100, Emotiva A-300, Studer A80, Studer Revox b795, Nakamichi RX-202, HTPC, exaSound e38, Sweetvinyl Sugarcube SC-2, (2) Piega P10, Piega Coax Center, (6) Piega AP 1.2, Hsu VTF-15h mk2
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post #12 of 14 Old 03-20-2019, 10:50 PM
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I played with a HTPC for many years then moved to Shield when I just did not have the time or desire to fiddle with it. I look at it like Apple vs Android. Apple is the Shield and just works, but with that comes some limitations. Android is the PC. Lots of more options, but you can spend way to much tinkering if that is not what you like doing, but you can get it just the way you want.

I would also add that it just does not seem to play music all that well. Streaming from my NAS is no problem though and makes a great movie watcher along with a lot of other apps.
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post #13 of 14 Old 03-20-2019, 10:58 PM
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Shield / ATV are good for streaming, but nothing beats designated htpc (player xx + madvr -combination) what comes to files like .mkv etc.
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post #14 of 14 Old 03-21-2019, 03:40 AM
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I only really play music from Spotify non my shield so not too familiar with how well or how poorly it does music

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