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post #1 of 322 Old 09-26-2016, 12:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Xiaomi Mi Box

Another media streamer option based on Android TV:

http://www.androidpolice.com/2016/09/23/a-wild-xiaomi-mi-box-android-tv-appears-at-walmart-costs-69/
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post #2 of 322 Old 09-26-2016, 01:49 PM
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Thanks for posting, I'm interested to hear what reviewers have to say... This is "JMO", obviously without any hands-on experience myself, but I'm concerned that all of the inherent advantages Android may offer over other non-Android alternatives are negated by the lack of ethernet connectivity.

In my experiences, at least, proper playback of MPEG-2 live TV broadcasts (via HDHomeRun View or other) and proper playback of bit-for-bit uncompressed Blu Ray RIPs (via Plex, Kodi, or other) tend to work best over Ethernet...

If you aren't doing those sorts of things, and just want a "streamer" for Netflix/Hulu/Youtube/HBO Now/etc, I'm not sure what, if any, advantages running "Android" offers over any of the other popular alternatives...

Again, JMO.
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post #3 of 322 Old 09-26-2016, 06:15 PM - Thread Starter
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When I read the story I didn't catch that it lacks an Ethernet port. Like you, I think that's a big negative.
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post #4 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 01:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K_Thompson View Post
When I read the story I didn't catch that it lacks an Ethernet port. Like you, I think that's a big negative.
Luckily its easy enough to add a USB Ethernet adapter like I did with my Nexus Player. XDA forum even had some members that found combination Ethernet adapter / USB hub that will also give you three extra USB ports.
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post #5 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 05:25 AM
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ugg another Android TV box.

One would think that with so many android tv boxes out there, the APP developers would be better.
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post #6 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Xzyl View Post
Luckily its easy enough to add a USB Ethernet adapter like I did with my Nexus Player. XDA forum even had some members that found combination Ethernet adapter / USB hub that will also give you three extra USB ports.
This is a nice pro-tip, and something I might look into doing to improve performance on my Google Nexus Player myself... MPEG-2 Live TV streaming just wasn't "good enough" for me, even though the application (this Nexus Player) wasn't for any sort of "critical viewing".

The Nexus Player's usb connection I believe is micro... while most of the better-rated USB-to-ethernet adaptors I'm seeing online are full-sized. Are you using two adaptors (micro-to-regular USB, then USB-to-ethernet), or did you go with an ethernet-to-micro-USB adaptor?
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post #7 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by RafaelSmith View Post
ugg another Android TV box.

One would think that with so many android tv boxes out there, the APP developers would be better.
I'm under the impression that there are not very many *official* Android TV boxes... I could be wrong, but I believe this is only the 4th one (Google Nexus Player, Razor Forge, NVidia Shield, and now this). There are a whole lot of OTHER BOXES "running Android"... but they are never listed on Google's official "Android TV" website, they seem to be rarely (if eve)r discussed on places like AndroidCentral or even non-Android-specific sites like CNet, and often times if you go to their websites, they're actively marketing the fact that they have specially customized apps pre-installed that give purchasers access to pirated content (IE: clearly not "official").

Major app developers aren't sinking $$$ into app development based on sales of boxes that are geared towards consumers who are actively seeking means to bypass ways to pay $$$ for content... the only sales that actually matter, in terms of driving app developers toward further work on Android apps, is the sales numbers for the "official" boxes, IMO...
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post #8 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 10:04 AM
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Question HD Netflix with 5.1 Audio Stuttering Issue

I got 2 of these Mi Boxes when they popped up at Walmart for that short time. They seems to be a great value being a Android TV box with 4k Support. Setup was a breeze and I didn't have any issues hooking it up to my 5ghz AC Wifi. It's hooked up to my Samsung 1080p HDTV (no 4k yet) through my Elite SC-95 AVR and at first everything looked great until i ran into either a sync or performance issue with HD Netflix with 5.1 Sound.

The Netflix Video would stutter every 10-15 sec while the audio being bitstreamed remain smooth. Also depending on the order the Mi Box wakes up from standby, Netflix sometimes would not detect my AVR or its current setup as 5.1 capable because the 5.1 icon would disappear unless i do a complete power cycle of AVR and Mi Box. When its running in Stereo the stuttering is gone when 5.1 is not detected anymore. The stuttering also seems to happen to Google Play Movies as well when Netflix HD+5.1 is having issues. I tried reseting the unit back to factory and had both Netflix and Google Play Movies updated and it still does it every time while streaming with 5.1 Audio.

I have 1st and 2nd Gen Chromecast, Sony PS3, and Sony Blu-ray Player all with Netflix and they have Zero Issues with HD with 5.1 audio through the same AVR. I also used Kodi to stream some movies off my NAS that has multichannel audio and they play without a hitch. This stuttering only happens with the Mi Boxes so I can only think of possible following issues,

1. These Mi Boxes might still need a Day One Patch to get these bugs sorted out.
2. HDMI Handshake issue? Lip/Audio Sync out of wack?
3. Hardware/firmware issue with HDMI output on these boxes?

I didn't try running a mini SPDIF to the AVR, but I don't want to have go that route if I want access to lossless codecs over HDMI.

If anyone else has one of these Mi Boxes already can share their experience with Netflix HD + 5.1 Audio, that would be great. I'm temped to either pickup one of the new Rokus or even the Nvidia Shield if I can't figure this out.

Thanks

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Last edited by goofytek; 09-27-2016 at 11:47 AM.
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post #9 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 10:23 AM
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Nice insight. Thanks for posting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goofytek View Post

I didn't try running a mini SPDIF to the AVR, but I don't want to have go that route if I want access to lossless codecs over HDMI.
The only source material that I'm aware of containing lossless HD audio is your own personal 1:1 Blu Ray collection ripped (using something like MakeMKV). From my personal experiences, even if the processor in these Mi boxes is capable of handling that kind of bitrates, you're not going to have a lot of luck streaming that over WiFi, even with your impressive internet connection (150+ mbps) and excellent router (Nighthawk with A/C and Beamforming+).


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Originally Posted by goofytek View Post
I'm temped to either pickup one of the new Rokus or even the Nvidia Shield if I can figure this out.
Shield's definitely cost significantly more than $69, but they work great... I own 3 of them. FWIW.
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post #10 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
The only source material that I'm aware of containing lossless HD audio is your own personal 1:1 Blu Ray collection ripped (using something like MakeMKV). From my personal experiences, even if the processor in these Mi boxes is capable of handling that kind of bitrates, you're not going to have a lot of luck streaming that over WiFi, even with your impressive internet connection (150+ mbps) and excellent router (Nighthawk with A/C and Beamforming+).
I've gotten Vudu to stream HD movies with Dobly Atmos from my Sony Blu-ray Player so i know its possible over a decent internet connection. It wouldn't need to be that fast of a connection, maybe a good 30-40mbit should be more than enough i would think. I would say the biggest chunk of data is from the video side of the movie anyways, and most streaming sites would compress the video down enough to be streamable with HD Audio.

On paper the Mi Box should be able to do it just fine but I just gotta wait until the Mi Box is officially launched maybe before seeing some fixes to my issue.
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post #11 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 12:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofytek View Post
I've gotten Vudu to stream HD movies with Dobly Atmos from my Sony Blu-ray Player so i know its possible over a decent internet connection. It wouldn't need to be that fast of a connection, maybe a good 30-40mbit should be more than enough i would think. I would say the biggest chunk of data is from the video side of the movie anyways, and most streaming sites would compress the video down enough to be streamable with HD Audio.

On paper the Mi Box should be able to do it just fine but I just gotta wait until the Mi Box is officially launched maybe before seeing some fixes to my issue.
YMMV, however:

1) I don't have Atmos. I don't know a whole lot about Atmos. But I'm under the impression there are two "flavors" of atmos:
a) A "lossy" version, the atmos equivalent of Dolby Digital plus.
b) A "lossless" version, the atmos equivalent of Dolby TrueHD.

And I don't believe any of the streaming services, including Vudu, include the LOSSLESS variety of Atmos. Again, that's "AFAIK", so "TIFWIW".

2) Totally agree, 30-40 mbps is about "max bitrate" for uncompressed blu ray video with lossless HD Audio. In theory, should be totally doable. In practice? I have 155 mbps internet from Comcast, I routinely test around 166-172 on my phone and my tablet, in just about every room of my house, and yet *perfectly smooth* flawless playback of COMPRESSED MPEG-2 live tv, much less lossless bluray, often eludes me... I could speculate as to why, but for practical purposes, what matters (for me at least) is that, unlike Netflix, which works great over WiFi (but also is using much beefier hardware on their end then my own personal PC is, and is using much newer/more advanced compression formats than Live TV's MPEG-2), if I'm trying to stream blu rays or live tv in my house, wired > wireless...
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post #12 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 12:28 PM
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Having Fire TV boxes and sticks in the house, using them for Plex, Kodi, HboGo, Watch Disney/DisneyJR/XD, Starz, Encore, Showtime... and a few others... Limits of the Fire TV's is no Vudu (for me), and no Cartoon Network (for my son)...

So I'm intrigued by this box, Android TV, and the possibility of installing apps...

While I know Vudu is there, but what about Cartoon Network? I know nothing about Android TV. Is there a list of of Android TV apps available to see what can be installed or added? Can you just install any Android apps on Android TV? like maybe even some of the Xfinity TV streaming apps, or the standard Cartoon Network app (available for Android phones, if an android tv specific app doesn't exist)?

How easy is Android TV (compared to a Fire TV) to navigate, like for my 7 year old?
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post #13 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 12:52 PM
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I wonder if this Xaomi box is on the "approved" lists for full Netflix API compatability, since many of the Android settops can only do 720P/ 2.0 audio due to this restriction.
I've been using an AFTV2 w/ SPMC & am very happy to have all my media needs covered under one box.

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post #14 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 01:23 PM
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I wonder if this Xaomi box is on the "approved" lists for full Netflix API compatability, since many of the Android settops can only do 720P/ 2.0 audio due to this restriction.
I've been using an AFTV2 w/ SPMC & am very happy to have all my media needs covered under one box.
That could be the case, but the Mi Box has official Google Play store, and Netflix picked up the HD flag and of course the 5.1 audio flag as well. I will run the Netflix test video to confirm if FHD 5600kbits, but i'm pretty sure it was. I'll also check what apps are 'compatible" with the Mi Box's from the play store. I guess until the Mi Box is official announced, it wont be on the Android TV's list of products until then.
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post #15 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofytek View Post
That could be the case, but the Mi Box has official Google Play store, and Netflix picked up the HD flag and of course the 5.1 audio flag as well. I will run the Netflix test video to confirm if FHD 5600kbits, but i'm pretty sure it was. I'll also check what apps are 'compatible" with the Mi Box's from the play store. I guess until the Mi Box is official announced, it wont be on the Android TV's list of products until then.
At $70, will be stiff competition for other boxes, especially with Android's Blessing =)
The company seems poised to hit the US market in a big way, more consumer choices is always a good thing. They make great stuff, love my Piston 2.0 IEMs

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post #16 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 01:44 PM
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YMMV, however:

1) I don't have Atmos. I don't know a whole lot about Atmos. But I'm under the impression there are two "flavors" of atmos:
a) A "lossy" version, the atmos equivalent of Dolby Digital plus.
b) A "lossless" version, the atmos equivalent of Dolby TrueHD.

And I don't believe any of the streaming services, including Vudu, include the LOSSLESS variety of Atmos. Again, that's "AFAIK", so "TIFWIW".
I believe your right about the ATMOS part for streaming as VUDU could be using DD+ with the Atmos meta data. I'll have to check the input stream later to find out, but I also have a few movies on my NAS that have lossless formats that I know that Kodi will pass just fine to my AVR.

But the point I really wanted to make is that I should be able to just bitstream everything over HDMI and the Optical/SPDIF port is just a fall back for older AVRs.

Thanks for your feedback
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post #17 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christoofar View Post
At $70, will be stiff competition for other boxes, especially with Android's Blessing =)
The company seems poised to hit the US market in a big way, more consumer choices is always a good thing. They make great stuff, love my Piston 2.0 IEMs
It's competition seems to be the Roku Premier. And I'm shocked myself that mainstream devices are missing wired Ethernet jacks. I won't buy a device that doesn't have hardwire Ethernet, nor would I recommend it to others. I hope the Mi Box offers a USB Ethernet adapter. I was really hopeful about the MiBox.
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post #18 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 06:42 PM
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It's competition seems to be the Roku Premier. And I'm shocked myself that mainstream devices are missing wired Ethernet jacks. I won't buy a device that doesn't have hardwire Ethernet, nor would I recommend it to others. I hope the Mi Box offers a USB Ethernet adapter. I was really hopeful about the MiBox.
Roku for sure will either not do sound or not play video properly or something else will be wrong with it. It really must be some kind of a conspiracy going on as nothing else can explain why almost 10 yr old WD TV player is still the only device that properly plays dlna content with any sound format.
I hope this new mi box will finally replace it, but roku will not see a single $ anymore from me.
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post #19 of 322 Old 09-27-2016, 07:36 PM
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The Mi box does 24p playback, correct?

That would be a big plus over other streaming boxes, for me.
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post #20 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 06:41 AM
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The Mi box does 24p playback, correct?

That would be a big plus over other streaming boxes, for me.
An old WD TV is perfect for any 1080p content local streaming, an issue with all new boxes are in nuances of HDR implementation, 4K 4:4:4 support, etc., etc. It probably will remain an unfortunate reality to have at least 3-4 different devices to do this simple task to stream different kind of a content - DLNA, Netflix, Hulu, TV streams, local files - there is no single device known yet that could do it all and do it correctly, in 4K supporting HDR and pumping in DTS HD or Atmos stream at the same time.
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post #21 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utkinpol View Post
An old WD TV is perfect for any 1080p content local streaming, an issue with all new boxes are in nuances of HDR implementation, 4K 4:4:4 support, etc., etc. It probably will remain an unfortunate reality to have at least 3-4 different devices to do this simple task to stream different kind of a content - DLNA, Netflix, Hulu, TV streams, local files - there is no single device known yet that could do it all and do it correctly, in 4K supporting HDR and pumping in DTS HD or Atmos stream at the same time.
I agree and i'm still hoping for that "silver bullet" type box.

Personally, i'm not so bothered about local streaming. I just want a box that at a minimum can do Netflix, Amazon and Vudu in 4K/HDR/24p (when Vudu gets HDR10 support).

@goofytek , can you confirm there is a 24p output option for the Mi Box?
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post #24 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 11:55 AM
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So, on the web page for mi box it says:

http://www.mi.com/en/mibox/#specs

Video
VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K x 2K @ 60fps
H.265 HEVC MP-10 at L5.1, up to 4K x 2K at 60fps
H.264 AVC HPat L5.1, up to 4K x 2K at 30fps
H.264 MVC, up to 1080P at 60fps
Supports HDR10/HLG HDR processing (software upgrade required)

Sound
DTS 2.0+ Digital Out, Dolby Digital Plus
Up to 7.1 pass through


So i am afraid it will join a long list of boxes that are pretty useless in the practical reality. Same issue as with Nvidia - there is no Dolby TrueHD mentioned, or DTS-HD MA, Atmos, etc. All that old WD TV somehow is doing out of the box. What good this box is for the home theater with 7.1 bypass when I need 7.1.4? I just hope it is fixable or will be reviewed and explained, but so far it seems to be same thing as with Roku and countless others - tech specs do not say a word about support for modern sound formats.
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post #25 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goofytek View Post
I believe your right about the ATMOS part for streaming as VUDU could be using DD+ with the Atmos meta data. I'll have to check the input stream later to find out, but I also have a few movies on my NAS that have lossless formats that I know that Kodi will pass just fine to my AVR.

But the point I really wanted to make is that I should be able to just bitstream everything over HDMI and the Optical/SPDIF port is just a fall back for older AVRs.

Thanks for your feedback
Atmos is usually using DTS-HD MA stream. At least in the files i have it is so. DD+ gives just 5.1 channels.
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post #26 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utkinpol View Post

So i am afraid it will join a long list of boxes that are pretty useless in the practical reality. Same issue as with Nvidia - there is no Dolby TrueHD mentioned, or DTS-HD MA, Atmos, etc. All that old WD TV somehow is doing out of the box. What good this box is for the home theater with 7.1 bypass when I need 7.1.4? I just hope it is fixable or will be reviewed and explained, but so far it seems to be same thing as with Roku and countless others - tech specs do not say a word about support for modern sound formats.
Regarding the red part, I've been bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD-MA on my NVidia Shield for almost a year now... and the most recent update 3.2 supposedly enabled Atmos, too (although I don't have Atmos, and quite frankly I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, but to each-their-own-with-provolone).

The most recent app update was supposed to enable HDR support for both Netflix and Vudu... (10 bit color, 60 fps, UHD-Alliance compliant, I believe).

TIFWIW
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post #27 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by utkinpol View Post
Atmos is usually using DTS-HD MA stream. At least in the files i have it is so. DD+ gives just 5.1 channels.
Atmos is from Dolby (the creators of Dolby Digital plus and Dolby TrueHD). DTS (the creators of "DTS" and "DTS-HD-MA") has their own version of "atmos", but they call is DTS:X.

And the old version of Dolby Digital (pre-Plus) maxed out at five channels. DD+ is " lossy", just like Dolby Digital 5.1, but it "features more channels, less compression, and higher data rates" per:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...DIKxwb6wRkjA3w

DD+ can be up to 7 discrete channels, natively, where I believe the older Dolby Digital variety maxed out at 5...
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post #28 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
Regarding the red part, I've been bitstreaming Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD-MA on my NVidia Shield for almost a year now... and the most recent update 3.2 supposedly enabled Atmos, too (although I don't have Atmos, and quite frankly I'm not sure what all the fuss is about, but to each-their-own-with-provolone).

The most recent app update was supposed to enable HDR support for both Netflix and Vudu... (10 bit color, 60 fps, UHD-Alliance compliant, I believe).

TIFWIW
it is quite peculiar, as i still have shield handheld and had briefly nvidia shield tv box - it refused to stream DTS-HD MA sound from .mkv files on my DLNA server. if they have enabled that - it is good to know, i have written it off the list.
while i had it all it could do was old standard DTS stream. i should be able to try to stream from my tablet to see what will happen, i have newest firmware on it.
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post #29 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 12:54 PM
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
Atmos is from Dolby (the creators of Dolby Digital plus and Dolby TrueHD). DTS (the creators of "DTS" and "DTS-HD-MA") has their own version of "atmos", but they call is DTS:X.

And the old version of Dolby Digital (pre-Plus) maxed out at five channels. DD+ is " lossy", just like Dolby Digital 5.1, but it "features more channels, less compression, and higher data rates" per:
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...DIKxwb6wRkjA3w

DD+ can be up to 7 discrete channels, natively, where I believe the older Dolby Digital variety maxed out at 5...
I am lost of how it works, but in all .mkv files i have now they are saying something like '.1080p.BluRay.x264.TrueHD.7.1.Atmos' or '.BluRay.x264.DTS-HD.MA.7.1'.
And when you play it - player says it streams DTS-HD MA audio stream out in its info page, but receiver recognizes Atmos and switches to Atmos mode on either file. And Atmos has 11 channels.
The fuss, i have to say, sound difference from my old 5.1 setup switching to 7.1.2 Atmos is incredible. I ordered 2 more speakers to make it 7.1.4 next week. It is way better sound field and surround quality is of a different level. those upper speakers really make a ton of a difference and a sound model itself is way better, it just sounds way better. I run it from RZ1100 with an external power amp - and very happy about this upgrade.

Last edited by utkinpol; 09-28-2016 at 12:57 PM.
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post #30 of 322 Old 09-28-2016, 03:31 PM
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it is quite peculiar, as i still have shield handheld and had briefly nvidia shield tv box - it refused to stream DTS-HD MA sound from .mkv files on my DLNA server. if they have enabled that - it is good to know, i have written it off the list.
while i had it all it could do was old standard DTS stream. i should be able to try to stream from my tablet to see what will happen, i have newest firmware on it.
I don't use DLNA. Here's what I do:

1) RIP my personal blu ray collection, losslessly (1:1), with the lossless hd audio track (truehd or hd-ma) via MakeMKV. I don't then run my files thru MKVMerge the way some do. They are full-sized (20-30 gigs, on average).

2) Play them back on any one of my three (ethernet connected) NVidia Shields using the app SPMC (a kodi-fork created by former Kodi developer Koying).

On my "main theater" system, that setup absolutely bitstreams both TrueHD and HD-MA, and has for quite sometime... you can check the lengthy Shield over on the HTPC forum for confirmation, if you want... almost everyone over there does it more-or-less that way.

Once SPMC came along, my wdtv ceased to serve a purpose... once someone (plex? Silicon Dust?) gives me a completed DVR alternative to WMC (complete with pause/rewind of live tv), I'll have no need for anything OTHER THAN one android tv box hooked up to each TV in the house...
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