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post #1 of 17 Old 07-09-2019, 12:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Upgrade for PC or Nvidia shield, looking for recommendations

Hello Everyone,
I have a question, I have Denon 2300 + Old PC which I used to play 4k Movies (AMD Athlon II X4 640, GTX 660 (if I remember well), Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P,1 TB: Samsung F3 HD103SJ - an old PC basically). I noticed that more and more often it did not handle with 4k movies, in that case, I just plug in my HDD usb3 drive through the 4k USB port in front Denon and play the movie (75% without issues, maybe I had one or two problems with films. I'm looking for the best quality sound and picture with the cheapest option. Do you think that I should upgrade the pc? I have nice new-looking housing for pc, some of the voices were saying that I should just plug in the HDD to Nvidia (buy first) and enjoy the well working device. Do you think that just playing in the HDD to Denon I lose some quality? (60" Samsung 4K, Denon AVR-X2300, Klipsch 7.1.2 (atmos -I would like to keep it, I'm not sure if Nvidia has atmos).
If you would recommend new pc what will be the minimum that allowed me to enjoy full 4k films (films which weight is around 40GB).
Thanks!
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post #2 of 17 Old 07-09-2019, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jaromarcin View Post
Hello Everyone,
I have a question, I have Denon 2300 + Old PC which I used to play 4k Movies (AMD Athlon II X4 640, GTX 660 (if I remember well), Gigabyte GA-MA770T-UD3P,1 TB: Samsung F3 HD103SJ - an old PC basically). I noticed that more and more often it did not handle with 4k movies, in that case, I just plug in my HDD usb3 drive through the 4k USB port in front Denon and play the movie (75% without issues, maybe I had one or two problems with films. I'm looking for the best quality sound and picture with the cheapest option. Do you think that I should upgrade the pc? I have nice new-looking housing for pc, some of the voices were saying that I should just plug in the HDD to Nvidia (buy first) and enjoy the well working device. Do you think that just playing in the HDD to Denon I lose some quality? (60" Samsung 4K, Denon AVR-X2300, Klipsch 7.1.2 (atmos -I would like to keep it, I'm not sure if Nvidia has atmos).
If you would recommend new pc what will be the minimum that allowed me to enjoy full 4k films (films which weight is around 40GB).
Thanks!
I would get a Shield, you will also have access to all (most) of the streaming services. Grab one on amazon and enjoy an easy return if you don't like it. I held off for a long time thinking the Shield wouldn't compete with my HTPC. But now the HTPC is just for fun the Shield handles 95% of all my viewing.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-09-2019, 08:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post
I would get a Shield, you will also have access to all (most) of the streaming services. Grab one on amazon and enjoy an easy return if you don't like it. I held off for a long time thinking the Shield wouldn't compete with my HTPC. But now the HTPC is just for fun the Shield handles 95% of all my viewing.
Thanks for your opinion. Still waiting for other advice. Can I download 4k from Netflix to Nvidia shield on HDD? I dont have the best internet, I was wondering if I can download it first in the night then watch in on next day with 4k quality.
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-09-2019, 08:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jaromarcin View Post
Thanks for your opinion. Still waiting for other advice. Can I download 4k from Netflix to Nvidia shield on HDD? I dont have the best internet, I was wondering if I can download it first in the night then watch in on next day with 4k quality.


I believe that's something you can only do on the mobile app but someone may correct me on that.


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post #5 of 17 Old 07-10-2019, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post
I would get a Shield, you will also have access to all (most) of the streaming services. Grab one on amazon and enjoy an easy return if you don't like it. I held off for a long time thinking the Shield wouldn't compete with my HTPC. But now the HTPC is just for fun the Shield handles 95% of all my viewing.
^^^^This.

I have an HTPC that has been running for 7+ years. Has an older mobo and intel 750 processor. Wasn't handling 4k movies well at all, and struggled mightily with x265. There's no upgrade path other than new mobo, new chip and new RAM, so getting a Shield was an easy decision.

Gave it access to my NAS, have it running its own instance of Plex Media Server just for itself, and couldn't be happier. I have Kodi running for the eye candy, and Netflix works great. Plus access to all of the other streaming services you use and the ones you don't.

All my HTPC does now is acts as a network DVR, recording TV and (slowly) transcoding for mobile and ripping out commercials.

Movies: Epson 5050 / Marantz 7010 / OPPO-103
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-10-2019, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
^^^^This.

I have an HTPC that has been running for 7+ years. Has an older mobo and intel 750 processor. Wasn't handling 4k movies well at all, and struggled mightily with x265. There's no upgrade path other than new mobo, new chip and new RAM, so getting a Shield was an easy decision.

Gave it access to my NAS, have it running its own instance of Plex Media Server just for itself, and couldn't be happier. I have Kodi running for the eye candy, and Netflix works great. Plus access to all of the other streaming services you use and the ones you don't.

All my HTPC does now is acts as a network DVR, recording TV and (slowly) transcoding for mobile and ripping out commercials.
Thanks, as well for your opinion. I was wondering does anyone know what is the disadvantage of using HDD plugged directly to the receiver to watch 4k movies (Denon AVR-X2300W, is there any drop of quality of sound or picture?).
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-10-2019, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jaromarcin View Post
Thanks, as well for your opinion. I was wondering does anyone know what is the disadvantage of using HDD plugged directly to the receiver to watch 4k movies (Denon AVR-X2300W, is there any drop of quality of sound or picture?).
I'd think the issue would be bandwidth of the USB port and/or speed of the hard drive. A lot of those external hard drives are 5400 rpm. Pretty slow. Not a problem for loading / accessing a small file on your computer, but could definitely be a source of problems for streaming a 4k file.

Btw, you could also plug that HDD into the Shield instead of the receiver.

Movies: Epson 5050 / Marantz 7010 / OPPO-103
Streaming: nVidia Shield / Roku Ultra / Chromecast Ultra
Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 40 (LR), Motion 50XT (center), Motion 2 (surrounds)
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-10-2019, 08:45 AM
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Shield, Kodi with Plex plugin is the best option for screen sizes 70" and below. Not the best option for everyone especially those with large projection screens, then the visual differences between streaming devices and playback apps becomes too obvious. I find it ideal on my 65" and 70" displays but was not happy when using it on my old 125" Projector setup.
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by wookiegr View Post
Shield, Kodi with Plex plugin is the best option for screen sizes 70" and below. Not the best option for everyone especially those with large projection screens, then the visual differences between streaming devices and playback apps becomes too obvious. I find it ideal on my 65" and 70" displays but was not happy when using it on my old 125" Projector setup.
Care to elaborate? Wouldn't that be more of an issue with your projector than what UI you use to access content? Netflix streams in 4k, albeit compressed. Same for Vudu. YouTube has 4k. I use my Shield to play my local 4k UHD content as well as stream 4k netflix.

I don't understand the distinction your making.

Movies: Epson 5050 / Marantz 7010 / OPPO-103
Streaming: nVidia Shield / Roku Ultra / Chromecast Ultra
Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 40 (LR), Motion 50XT (center), Motion 2 (surrounds)
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 07:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Care to elaborate? Wouldn't that be more of an issue with your projector than what UI you use to access content? Netflix streams in 4k, albeit compressed. Same for Vudu. YouTube has 4k. I use my Shield to play my local 4k UHD content as well as stream 4k netflix.

I don't understand the distinction your making.
The video quality of PLEX leaves a lot to be designed when blown up.
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 08:09 AM
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The video quality of PLEX leaves a lot to be designed when blown up.


Are you talking about the UI or the videos you playback within Plex?


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post #12 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
Care to elaborate? Wouldn't that be more of an issue with your projector than what UI you use to access content? Netflix streams in 4k, albeit compressed. Same for Vudu. YouTube has 4k. I use my Shield to play my local 4k UHD content as well as stream 4k netflix.

I don't understand the distinction your making.
He is probably referring to the video processing of the current Shield. The processor is primarily designed for video game playback and not as a true video playback chip.

The poor scaling and video processing could be negligible on a 55" 4K TV where the pixel density is extremely high, but it could look worse on a projector screen.

Link: Shield TV Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark Test
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 09:03 AM
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He is probably referring to the video processing of the current Shield. The processor is primarily designed for video game playback and not as a true video playback chip.

The poor scaling and video processing could be negligible on a 55" 4K TV where the pixel density is extremely high, but it could look worse on a projector screen.

Link: Shield TV Spears & Munsil HD Benchmark Test
thanks for that link!

i'm going to have to run those tests and see. So far, at 110" I haven't had any issues with banding, but I've only tested with known "torture test" content and not test patterns. Blade Runner 2049, Aquaman, Deadpool, etc.

Movies: Epson 5050 / Marantz 7010 / OPPO-103
Streaming: nVidia Shield / Roku Ultra / Chromecast Ultra
Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 40 (LR), Motion 50XT (center), Motion 2 (surrounds)
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 11:16 AM
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He is probably referring to the video processing of the current Shield. The processor is primarily designed for video game playback and not as a true video playback chip.
I think this is somewhat disingenuous. That thread is primarily focused around 2015... one can debate how much its performance has improved over the years it certainly has with such features as auto color space and many others. And where does one find the list of certified true video playback chips...

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post #15 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 12:56 PM
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Why is it disingenuous? The Spears & Munsil tests are designed as simple to complex methods to test the performance of media players and displays. It is pretty bad when any device fails ever single test measure on a basic test pattern like that. You couldn't use a Shield to calibrate a display by feeding it test patterns because it is making too many rendering errors. You're telling me the Shield developers didn't even consider basic usage cases like that?

I can agree that the Shield could have improved somewhat by this time. However, I don't know why it would take so long to correct something that should be fundamentally simple if it wasn't hardware-related. The primary usage case of the original Shield was desktop streaming of video games. The video streaming portion only caught on later.

You have to talk to the Kodi developers in charge of the media player portion of Kodi who complain about having to use MediaCodec (Surface) for rendering, or the guys there who know all of the pros and cons of the various Android chips. They don't like the SOC in the Shield because of its various flaws.

I plan to wait for the next version of the Shield TV to purchase as a second media player. I have some faith it will at least perform as well as the new Fire TV Stick 4K. The flaws mentioned are as much engineering as hardware.
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post #16 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by ckronengold View Post
thanks for that link!

i'm going to have to run those tests and see. So far, at 110" I haven't had any issues with banding, but I've only tested with known "torture test" content and not test patterns. Blade Runner 2049, Aquaman, Deadpool, etc.
I would think you would get the best performance from the Shield by outputting native 4K UHD content at YCbCr 4:2:2. I know many are happy with that combination.

That benchmark is for 1080p SDR content, and I don't know if the color space is RGB or YCbCr. Choosing the right color space and output levels at the player and display could make a big difference in whether or not you experience banding.
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post #17 of 17 Old 07-11-2019, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Onkyoman View Post
I would think you would get the best performance from the Shield by outputting native 4K UHD content at YCbCr 4:2:2. I know many are happy with that combination.

That benchmark is for 1080p SDR content, and I don't know if the color space is RGB or YCbCr. Choosing the right color space and output levels at the player and display could make a big difference in whether or not you experience banding.
thats what I've been running. I have it set to 10-bit 4:2:2 and have been very happy with the video output.

Movies: Epson 5050 / Marantz 7010 / OPPO-103
Streaming: nVidia Shield / Roku Ultra / Chromecast Ultra
Speakers: MartinLogan Motion 40 (LR), Motion 50XT (center), Motion 2 (surrounds)
Server: Ubuntu 18.04, i7-8700 CPU
HTPC: Win10 Pro 64-bit, i5 750 Radeon HD 5850
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