Best Player for LAN playback + Internet Streaming Dec 2018? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 15 Old 12-20-2018, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Best Player for LAN playback + Internet Streaming Dec 2018?

I am in search of best 4k network player that I can get. I am looking for:
  • Very stable, no crashes or force reboot required
  • Fast Interface, responds immediately to clicks
  • Easy to use remote control
  • Plays back any video/audio/image format on network windows (samba) shares
  • Support Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube streaming Video at least
  • Can serve as Chrome-cast client
  • Software Update don't prevent me from playing videos (background / noreboot updates)

I have been already disappointed with few of the following:

Amazon Fire TV - No native Local Network playback. Slow interface. Kodi crashes
Google Chromecast - You must use a smartphone.

I had old Roku before too, but it didn't have local network playback (back then atleast). Also, 11 years ago I had built a windows HPTC. But it couldn't keep up with high bit rate 1080p or 4k videos. Also, that old Windows OS had either too many updates or too many crashes. I am hoping to avoid having build custom HTPC/Raspberry Pi/etc whatever and instead getting something that already has all features I want.

I am thinking there is got be new state of art device that handle my needs.
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post #2 of 15 Old 12-20-2018, 07:45 PM
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Nvidia Shield TV IMO

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post #3 of 15 Old 12-21-2018, 05:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unseen101 View Post
I am in search of best 4k network player that I can get. I am looking for:


  • Very stable, no crashes or force reboot required
  • Fast Interface, responds immediately to clicks
  • Easy to use remote control
  • Plays back any video/audio/image format on network windows (samba) shares
  • Support Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Youtube streaming Video at least
  • Can serve as Chrome-cast client
  • Software Update don't prevent me from playing videos (background / noreboot updates)



I have been already disappointed with few of the following:



Amazon Fire TV - No native Local Network playback. Slow interface. Kodi crashes

Google Chromecast - You must use a smartphone.



I had old Roku before too, but it didn't have local network playback (back then atleast). Also, 11 years ago I had built a windows HPTC. But it couldn't keep up with high bit rate 1080p or 4k videos. Also, that old Windows OS had either too many updates or too many crashes. I am hoping to avoid having build custom HTPC/Raspberry Pi/etc whatever and instead getting something that already has all features I want.



I am thinking there is got be new state of art device that handle my needs.


Apple TV 4K for most of your requirements particularly the stability and speed. I also own a Nvidia Shield which also meets most of your requirements BUT, it’s not as stable, fast or as easy to use plus it’s older technology. It’s a great streamer just the same but I rarely use it anymore since getting the ATV4K a year ago.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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post #4 of 15 Old 12-21-2018, 08:31 AM
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-22-2019, 11:31 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_snow View Post
Apple TV 4K for most of your requirements particularly the stability and speed. I also own a Nvidia Shield which also meets most of your requirements BUT, it’s not as stable, fast or as easy to use plus it’s older technology. It’s a great streamer just the same but I rarely use it anymore since getting the ATV4K a year ago.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Any idea if Apple TV 4K has built in Kodi like function for SMB movies (poster, trailer, subtitle, etc)?

Seems a lot solution you still stuck with putting KODI on it.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-23-2019, 12:57 AM
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No built-in function. But you can use Emby, Plex, MrMc (Kodi fork) or Infuse to get that functionality.

Right now Infuse is the way to go with a super nice interface and the best PQ. However, Emby and Plex are both swithing from Apple's native player to mpv, which significantly better. Once its mature enough I will compare it to Infuse in order to see what App offers best PQ.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-23-2019, 02:52 PM
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- If you rip your blu ray collection losslessly and like to stream them (via Plex/Kodi/etc) to your home theater with lossless audio in-tact for your AVR to decode

and/or

- If you are (or were at one point in your life) much of a gamer (particularly a PC gamer with an NVidia GPU inside a computer somewhere in your house/network, but even if you use/prefer AMD but have a Steam account)

and/or

- If you like to DIY-DVR your own cable-box-solution (either for antenna or cablecard), and like to have a lot of options available for what frontend software you think you want to use (Kodi, for example, has a pretty large library of PVR clients to choose from)

... then I think the NVidia Shield has a lot to offer and is worth considering. It by no means has the market exclusively cornered on any one of the above, but I think it may offer some additional flexability/versatility over other alternatives.

If none of those things apply to you then my guess is you have several perfectly viable options to choose from, all of which will probably result in you being a pretty satisfied customer.
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-23-2019, 06:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sledgehamma View Post
No built-in function. But you can use Emby, Plex, MrMc (Kodi fork) or Infuse to get that functionality.

Right now Infuse is the way to go with a super nice interface and the best PQ. However, Emby and Plex are both swithing from Apple's native player to mpv, which significantly better. Once its mature enough I will compare it to Infuse in order to see what App offers best PQ.
MrMc and Infuse both seem preferred option since all files on SMB (Samba / Windows Shares). That is much preferred since I don't want spend time setting up another server software like Plex / Emby.

Right now I am stuck with VLC, since like mentioned Kodi died on my FireTV. VLC has a bad interface.
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post #9 of 15 Old 02-02-2019, 11:56 PM
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Apple TV with Infuse, hands down.

I'd go with a Roku next. The Shield is in third place, in my experience. Fire TV, which is built on Android, is a UI mess, with ads to boot.

I personally find Kodi to look like something from a decade ago (maybe I should try a few more skins, but...), and MrMC is not much better. Both are functional, but in terms of UI and flow, Infuse is in a whole different class.

I used to use Plex, but since I moved to Infuse, Plex with its server (which I find to be a bit of an unneeded hassle) is gone from my devices.

Apple TV and Fire TV are the only ones to support Dolby Vision.

Good luck.
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Last edited by Ryan1; 02-03-2019 at 12:11 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 02-03-2019, 07:45 AM
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If you have height speaker channels, then Nvidia Shield (no Dolby Vision though). If you don't have height channels, then Apple TV 4K + Infuse (obviously has Airplay instead of google cast functionality).
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post #11 of 15 Old 02-03-2019, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
If you have height speaker channels, then Nvidia Shield (no Dolby Vision though). If you don't have height channels, then Apple TV 4K + Infuse (obviously has Airplay instead of google cast functionality).
Apple TV does Dolby Atmos nowadays, so there is no reason to get the Shield for this reason.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204069

Again, there is nothing available on the Android side which is as seamless and elegant as ATV+Infuse.
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post #12 of 15 Old 02-03-2019, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Ryan1 View Post
Apple TV does Dolby Atmos nowadays, so there is no reason to get the Shield for this reason.
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204069

Again, there is nothing available on the Android side which is as seamless and elegant as ATV+Infuse.
If you only use streaming services, then I agree. The problem is that the Apple TV 4K cannot play Atmos or DTS:X from rips. Infuse/MrMC will convert TrueHD/DTS:X tracks to 7.1 PCM, but you won't get the height channels.
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post #13 of 15 Old 02-03-2019, 05:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
If you only use streaming services, then I agree. The problem is that the Apple TV 4K cannot play Atmos or DTS:X from rips. Infuse/MrMC will convert TrueHD/DTS:X tracks to 7.1 PCM, but you won't get the height channels.
Good point. I pretty much only stream nowadays, so I wasn't paying attention.
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post #14 of 15 Old 02-20-2019, 01:42 PM
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If you have not seen the picture that Ugoos AM3 Android boxes with Amlogic S912 chips do when noise filtering is disabled, check this box out, it rivals MadVR to my eyes for home streaming. I have MadVR HTPC with decent GPU in it and this is a $1600 machine vs. Ugoos. Minix Neo box uses the same chip but Ugoos is $70 vs. $140 for Minix. Install SPMC on it, turn auto framerate on and enjoy the picture that rivals my Oppo 203 with HDR on my JVC projector. Yes, my JVC is now fed by $70 Ugoos AM3 box. You can see that my 203s were all sold.
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post #15 of 15 Old 03-08-2019, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by dvzzz View Post
If you have not seen the picture that Ugoos AM3 Android boxes with Amlogic S912 chips do when noise filtering is disabled, check this box out, it rivals MadVR to my eyes for home streaming. I have MadVR HTPC with decent GPU in it and this is a $1600 machine vs. Ugoos. Minix Neo box uses the same chip but Ugoos is $70 vs. $140 for Minix. Install SPMC on it, turn auto framerate on and enjoy the picture that rivals my Oppo 203 with HDR on my JVC projector. Yes, my JVC is now fed by $70 Ugoos AM3 box. You can see that my 203s were all sold.
Thanks for that input!
This looks very interesting, you confirm the Ugoos AM3 decode HDR10/HDR10+/DolbyVision?
How about the supported audio codecs? (the specification page don't tell all the compatible codecs, there is something incomplete about audio containers >"MP1 | MP2 | MP3 | WMA | WAV | OGG | OGA | APE | FLAC | AAC | M4A | 3GPP | Etc....")
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