Nvidia Shield vs Apple TV 4K - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
View Poll Results: Nvidia Shield vs Apple TV 4K
Nvidia Shield 76 60.32%
Apple TV 4K 50 39.68%
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post #1 of 128 Old 03-08-2019, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Nvidia Shield vs Apple TV 4K

Hi, I'm hesitating between the shield and the apple tv 4k. I've read some little things that the shield has but I do not ... I especially want it to watch 4k and 1080 movies downloaded from nas, iptv and netflix-amazon-hbo.

Someone who has tried the two who can advise me?

Thank you.
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post #2 of 128 Old 03-08-2019, 05:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by david86bcn View Post
Hi, I'm hesitating between the shield and the apple tv 4k. I've read some little things that the shield has but I do not ... I especially want it to watch 4k and 1080 movies downloaded from nas, iptv and netflix-amazon-hbo.



Someone who has tried the two who can advise me?



Thank you.


I prefer the ATV4K for many, many reasons including that it’s more technologically advanced and has Dolby Vision and Atmos for streamed content. BUT if you don’t care about that but do care more about Atmos on your own personal library content, the Shield is capable of bitstreamed TrueHD Atmos which comes into play if your streaming your own ripped content. You can play your own content on the ATV4K too but it doesn’t have Atmos yet.


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post #3 of 128 Old 03-08-2019, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m_snow View Post
I prefer the ATV4K for many, many reasons including that it’s more technologically advanced and has Dolby Vision and Atmos for streamed content. BUT if you don’t care about that but do care more about Atmos on your own personal library content, the Shield is capable of bitstreamed TrueHD Atmos which comes into play if your streaming your own ripped content. You can play your own content on the ATV4K too but it doesn’t have Atmos yet.


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I ended up with both. For streamed content ATV is great, Dolby vision, and audio equal to the streamed quality.

For local content, and anything where you want unmolested, lossless audio, shield.



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post #4 of 128 Old 03-09-2019, 05:07 AM
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I have the ATV4K and haven't ever had a Shield.

But, ... the fact I don't want a shield should tell you how happy I am with the ATV4K.
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post #5 of 128 Old 03-09-2019, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spinningbull View Post
I ended up with both. For streamed content ATV is great, Dolby vision, and audio equal to the streamed quality.

For local content, and anything where you want unmolested, lossless audio, shield.



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+1. I have both. They're both good boxes. They each have their own (minor) Pros and Cons relative to the other. Preference will probably depend on several factors, including but not limited to what your specific wants and use-cases are.

We (mostly) use the AppleTV for Netflix and Amazon Prime because of it's Dolby Vision support. We will probably use it for HBO and Showtime (when we re-subscribe) within the next couple of months because I think it's a little better, PQ-wise, with 1080p content (without manually going in and changing the Shield output to 1080p; it's easier to just flip the inputs to the ATV).

We use the Shield for our MKV Blu Ray and 4K UHD Blu Ray rips for the lossless audio support (bitstreamed to AVR) (Plex client). We also use the Shield for Live TV and DVR via our HDHomeRun Prime's (x2) and my HDHomeRun DVR subscription. I also probably prefer it for Youtube, but it's not a big difference. I like the GUI on Shield better too, but that's no doubt a matter of personal preference. We also use them for gaming, too (Steam, Battle.net, Gamestream, NVidia Lightspeed Studios Android ports, etc). The "new" GeForce Now is free while in Beta, and NVidia's cloud computing works really well....


I rarely use the OPPO to play back actual physical discs, but I do sometimes use it for 1080p MKV Blu Ray rips because it supports lossless audio bitstreaming the same way the Shield does, but it has every-bit-as-good (probably even a little bit better) picture-quality upscaler than the ATV does... so sometimes I'll choose to not enjoy the "nice Plex GUI" available on Shield and just wade through menus to get best PQ and SQ capabilities combined.



And I use my Chromecast Audio and my Oppo for music as Roon endpoints. The OPPO sounds a little better than the CCA, but the CCAs could be bought together in bulk ($35 a pop) and grouped together for an incredibly affordable whole-home-audio, so I like/use both differently...

Unfortunately, as you can see, in order to get all the capability I wanted to have, I ended up having to buy a bunch of different devices....


In My Opinion
If you bought a Dolby Vision capable TV (especially a lower-peak-brightness OLED), you probably want an Apple TV.
If you have a collection of SDR blu rays ripped bit-for-bit with the lossless audio in tact, and you like a "nice" front end GUI (Plex, Emby, Kodi, etc) then I think you probably want a Shield.
If you have/do both... unfortunately, you might end up wanting both like I did.

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post #6 of 128 Old 03-09-2019, 03:54 PM
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I've had both, purchased 2 of the first gen Shields and had them for a few years. A little over a year ago I stopped using both after I got my ATV. The Apple TV just works, and works well for NAS content with Infuse. The streaming services for ATV all look nice and work without having to quit the app and try again on Android. And the ATV screensavers are just icing on the cake. The ATV remote is crap but the Shield remote is even worse. Plus the ATV plays Dolby Vision and Atmos content.
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post #7 of 128 Old 03-10-2019, 06:18 AM
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I have both and have used both extensively. The only compelling reason to get an Nvidia Shield over an Apple TV 4K IMO is if you have ‘height’ speaker channels and need to bitstream TrueHD Atmos and DTS:X from rips. Obviously the Shield has more gaming capabilities as well. Otherwise the Apple TV 4K is superior in almost every way.
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post #8 of 128 Old 03-10-2019, 07:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
I have both and have used both extensively. The only compelling reason to get an Nvidia Shield over an Apple TV 4K IMO is if you have ‘height’ speaker channels and need to bitstream TrueHD Atmos and DTS:X from rips. Obviously the Shield has more gaming capabilities as well. Otherwise the Apple TV 4K is superior in almost every way.
It can't bitstream 5.1 TrueHD or HD-MA either.
It can't be casted to from my phone or tablet (while iPhones and iPads can cast to a Shield).
And it's only suitable/proper ready-for-primetime application to access HDHomeRun TV tuners costs $25 and doesn't have any support (to my knowledge) on my Windows PCs, Shields, or Android mobile devices.

Lots of other devices (including AppleTVs) have some advantages over the Shield, but if you can only have one, Shield is a considerably more capable/compatible all-in-one swiss army knife.

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post #9 of 128 Old 03-10-2019, 07:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
It can't bitstream 5.1 TrueHD or HD-MA either.
It can't be casted to from my phone or tablet (while iPhones and iPads can cast to a Shield).
And it's only suitable/proper ready-for-primetime application to access HDHomeRun TV tuners costs $25 and doesn't have any support (to my knowledge) on my Windows PCs, Shields, or Android mobile devices.

Lots of other devices (including AppleTVs) have some advantages over the Shield, but if you can only have one, Shield is a considerably more capable/compatible all-in-one swiss army knife.
Yes but MrMC and Infuse will losslessly convert 7.1 TrueHD and DTS-MA to PCM.
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post #10 of 128 Old 03-10-2019, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
Yes but MrMC and Infuse will losslessly convert 7.1 TrueHD and DTS-MA to PCM.
Yes, but I've heard other "lossless software conversions" from similar devices (Shield, back before DTS-HD-MA bitstreaming was supported via anything other than the internal player, and when Kodi implemented DTS-HD-MA internal conversion) handle that D-to-A conversion internally, done the A-B comparison for myself, and (occassionally) heard (small/minor) differences in sound quality.

So while I have no experience/input on how the AppleTV with Infuse or MrMC conversion compares to the Shield doing the same conversion within Kodi, I'd rather allow my AVR, which I spent many times the cost of an AppleTV on, and which specializes in audio conversion and amplification, handle that.
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post #11 of 128 Old 03-13-2019, 10:32 AM
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I went with the Shield mainly because I wanted to move my Plex Server off of my PC, with the secondary but notable benefit of it being able to transcode 4K content for 1080p Plex clients (I would have had to upgraded to a 7th-gen Core i PC for that functionality). In the early going it wasn't a smooth implimentation but it turns out at least some of that was likely faulty hardware specific to my unit... a warranty replacement and the upgrade to Oreo has made most everything notably smoother. Since then, I've been future-proof for other upgrades I've made as well (Atmos, mainly from Vudu and Plex) and haven't missed the lack of Dolby Vision because it's driving a 4K front-projector. I considered an ATV4K as a client in the living room, but stuck with a different Android TV box for continuity and cost... I haven't felt like I'm missing out on anything.

All that said, if the ATV4K has a specific feature you need (like DV/Atmos on Netflix) then it's definitely a capable box with its own set of specific limitations.

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post #12 of 128 Old 03-13-2019, 11:02 AM
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I have been very happy with my Shield. I have a Plex Media Server and a 5.1.4 atmos setup, and about 90+ 4k movies on my local NAS drive, and the Shield just checked all the boxes for me, so it was an easy choice. The picture and sound quality are excellent and the box is extremely stable and reliable. Also, it was fairly affordable, so if you're on the fence, maybe start with the Shield and then purchase an ATV if you have media in the Apple ecosystem or need a specific feature/function that ATV provides, or just want to have some variety/flexibility.
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post #13 of 128 Old 03-14-2019, 01:53 PM
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They both have their Pros and Cons. I don't want to use just the Shield TV or just the ATV 4K. Heck I don't even want to just use both of them. I need to throw a Roku and FireTV into the mix as well. Since none of those four devices excel at everything. I need to use all of them, depending on the app and content, to get the best experience.

But if I were to be forced to vote for just one, which I guess I am, I would choose the Shield TV. Since I can get Atmos audio from my UHD BD rips. Which I cannot do with the ATV 4K.

For the last few months I would say my ATV 4Ks are the least used streamer out of those four devices.
Most of the apps and UHD or HD content I watch is a better experience from the other devices. Of course, any netflix content with Atmos audio is watched from my ATV 4Ks. Since the only other devices I have that give me access to Netflix Atmos audio are my Xboxes. And Xboxes are the absolute worst Netflix streamers since they force HDR on all the time.

And I like the Roku interface much better than Apples. So any Dolby Vision content, like from Vudu, I will watch from my Roku TCL TV. Since I will also get the Atmos audio as well as DV. Or Netflix DV content without Atmos, I will use my Philips UHD BD player with DV or my Roku TCL TV or a FireTV 4K stick. Since those give me a better experience than the ATV 4K.

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post #14 of 128 Old 03-14-2019, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post
I've had both, purchased 2 of the first gen Shields and had them for a few years. A little over a year ago I stopped using both after I got my ATV. The Apple TV just works, and works well for NAS content with Infuse. The streaming services for ATV all look nice and work without having to quit the app and try again on Android. And the ATV screensavers are just icing on the cake. The ATV remote is crap but the Shield remote is even worse. Plus the ATV plays Dolby Vision and Atmos content.
And I thought just the opposite about the remotes. When I got my first Shield TV, I thought it was the worst remote I had ever used. That was until I got my first ATV 4K. Then that became the worst remote I had ever used. Fortunately I use Harmony remotes with my Shield TVs and ATV 4Ks. So the only time I touch those remotes is when I do a voice search.

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post #15 of 128 Old 03-14-2019, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by almostinsane View Post
I've had both, purchased 2 of the first gen Shields and had them for a few years. A little over a year ago I stopped using both after I got my ATV. The Apple TV just works, and works well for NAS content with Infuse. The streaming services for ATV all look nice and work without having to quit the app and try again on Android. And the ATV screensavers are just icing on the cake. The ATV remote is crap but the Shield remote is even worse. Plus the ATV plays Dolby Vision and Atmos content.


Couldn’t agree more. I *WAS* an avid Shield user for years (I have two) until the ATV4K came out. Now one is used as a backup Plex Server and the other is gathering dust in a cabinet. As you said “it just works” and other than bit-streaming Atmos on local content it does most everything better than the competition. Shields, while great in their time, are older technology.


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post #16 of 128 Old 03-15-2019, 07:35 AM
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I've never owned a ATV4K so can't comment but reading on the web, it looks like it's great for video.
So in short, I would say, for videophile -> ATV4K, for audiophile -> ShieldTV.
I own the Shield and I love it.
Why? 'cuz it does what I want and it does what ATV4K doesn't, that is streaming lossless audio tracks (TrueHD/DTS-HD MA) locally.
If the ATV4K does offer audio passthrough, I would go for it.
I guess it is just a personal choice.
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post #17 of 128 Old 03-19-2019, 08:07 PM
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The choice depends on the location as well. I went with the ATV even though my preference was Shield solely because the rental services with 4k, HDR and Atmos in Canada is limited and the best option currently is iTunes.
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post #18 of 128 Old 07-03-2019, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by aaronwt View Post
They both have their Pros and Cons. I don't want to use just the Shield TV or just the ATV 4K. Heck I don't even want to just use both of them. I need to throw a Roku and FireTV into the mix as well. Since none of those four devices excel at everything. I need to use all of them, depending on the app and content, to get the best experience.

But if I were to be forced to vote for just one, which I guess I am, I would choose the Shield TV. Since I can get Atmos audio from my UHD BD rips. Which I cannot do with the ATV 4K.

For the last few months I would say my ATV 4Ks are the least used streamer out of those four devices.
Most of the apps and UHD or HD content I watch is a better experience from the other devices. Of course, any netflix content with Atmos audio is watched from my ATV 4Ks. Since the only other devices I have that give me access to Netflix Atmos audio are my Xboxes. And Xboxes are the absolute worst Netflix streamers since they force HDR on all the time.

And I like the Roku interface much better than Apples. So any Dolby Vision content, like from Vudu, I will watch from my Roku TCL TV. Since I will also get the Atmos audio as well as DV. Or Netflix DV content without Atmos, I will use my Philips UHD BD player with DV or my Roku TCL TV or a FireTV 4K stick. Since those give me a better experience than the ATV 4K.

How do you not get Atmos from your rips? I thought Apple TV 4k played Atmos?
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post #19 of 128 Old 07-03-2019, 09:04 PM
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How do you not get Atmos from your rips? I thought Apple TV 4k played Atmos?
It only does lossy Atmos (Dolby digital plus) from streaming services. Dolby TrueHD based Atmos, which is what is on physical discs, is not supported on the ATV4K. Nor is DTS:X. Like others here I use a mix. ATV4K for most streaming and ripped movies that don’t have atmos/dts:x via Plex/infuse. I switch to the shield basically just for ripped media with atmos/dts:x. Also when it’s my family without me they just use infuse on atv. It’s simpler and they don’t notice. I do also make an additional full disc backup of Dolby vision movies so I have option to stream to my Oppo 203 but I basically never do it as it’s clunky and on my calibrated lg OLED the active hdr comes so close to Dolby vision it s hard to tell the difference.
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post #20 of 128 Old 07-22-2019, 02:20 PM
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I Want Your Old Shield

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Couldn’t agree more. I *WAS* an avid Shield user for years (I have two) until the ATV4K came out. Now one is used as a backup Plex Server and the other is gathering dust in a cabinet. As you said “it just works” and other than bit-streaming Atmos on local content it does most everything better than the competition. Shields, while great in their time, are older technology.


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post #21 of 128 Old 07-22-2019, 04:47 PM
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I will buy said dusty Shield TV for my mother n law.


Don’t you like your mother-in-law?


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post #22 of 128 Old 07-22-2019, 07:31 PM
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I do however she is used to using our two Shields and I don't want to have to teach her a whole new interface. She is electronically challenged.
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post #23 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 01:27 AM
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The only thing I can say is either one is miles ahead of a Roku Ultra

I personally prefer the Shield but they both have plusses and minuses. I would say it depends on your needs. Otherwise in general it is too close to call. A 64GB 4K ATV is more money than a 16GB non gaming Shield. However add a 20TB drive to the Shield and now it is much more money than the ATV. However you are not limited to 64GB, or 16GB for that matter. It should take anyone a While to fill up 20 TB. Or just use your NAS with either. On the Shield the local drive should have less "hiccups" though. So go big. Even 64GB, especially with no option to add a drive is just much too small for me. So that kills ATV for me right therfe. Having a Samsung TV I do not have Dolby Vision support so the Shield is my vote.
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post #24 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 06:38 AM
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The only thing I can say is either one is miles ahead of a Roku Ultra

I personally prefer the Shield but they both have plusses and minuses. I would say it depends on your needs. Otherwise in general it is too close to call. A 64GB 4K ATV is more money than a 16GB non gaming Shield. However add a 20TB drive to the Shield and now it is much more money than the ATV. However you are not limited to 64GB, or 16GB for that matter. It should take anyone a While to fill up 20 TB. Or just use your NAS with either. On the Shield the local drive should have less "hiccups" though. So go big. Even 64GB, especially with no option to add a drive is just much too small for me. So that kills ATV for me right therfe. Having a Samsung TV I do not have Dolby Vision support so the Shield is my vote.

Agree with pretty much everything you just said. However, I guess I just take a little bit of a different approach/perspective. I *think* your "average AVS Forums poster" has a lot more skin in the game compared to your average A/V "consumer" who doesn't read/post on AVS, doesn't treat this as a "hobby," and doesn't self-identify as an "A/V enthusiast." A lot of us own OLEDs, large-format FALD LCDs, Projectors... all carefully calibrated. And define "small speakers" as "bookshelves" with 9"x12"x10" footprints, etc, that most everyone else we know in real life could cram ALL of their audio equipment (mono bluetooth speakers, earbuds, etc) inside of a box of equal size... AVRs with 100+ watts, subwoofers with hundreds of watts, lots of SPLs for sound, lots of Nits for peak brightness, etc etc etc...

And after making all that kind of investment into hardware, it seems odd to me to draw a hard line in the sand if a $150ish-$200ish streaming box can add some capability that helps make the most of all that hardware.


I prefer Shield. I use Shield for *almost* everything else other than Netflix. But, purely from a technical standpoint, the audio "advantages" the Shield has over the ATV4k don't apply when watching Netflix, but the video "advantages" the ATV4K has over the Shield do.... so I bought an AppleTV. Pretty much just for Netflix. And I like it. I think it was well worth $160ish or whatever I spent on it.

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post #25 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 10:17 AM
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Originally Posted by psuKinger View Post
Agree with pretty much everything you just said. However, I guess I just take a little bit of a different approach/perspective. I *think* your "average AVS Forums poster" has a lot more skin in the game compared to your average A/V "consumer" who doesn't read/post on AVS, doesn't treat this as a "hobby," and doesn't self-identify as an "A/V enthusiast." A lot of us own OLEDs, large-format FALD LCDs, Projectors... all carefully calibrated. And define "small speakers" as "bookshelves" with 9"x12"x10" footprints, etc, that most everyone else we know in real life could cram ALL of their audio equipment (mono bluetooth speakers, earbuds, etc) inside of a box of equal size... AVRs with 100+ watts, subwoofers with hundreds of watts, lots of SPLs for sound, lots of Nits for peak brightness, etc etc etc...

And after making all that kind of investment into hardware, it seems odd to me to draw a hard line in the sand if a $150ish-$200ish streaming box can add some capability that helps make the most of all that hardware.


I prefer Shield. I use Shield for *almost* everything else other than Netflix. But, purely from a technical standpoint, the audio "advantages" the Shield has over the ATV4k don't apply when watching Netflix, but the video "advantages" the ATV4K has over the Shield do.... so I bought an AppleTV. Pretty much just for Netflix. And I like it. I think it was well worth $160ish or whatever I spent on it.
I'm right there with you... I even added the firetv 4k to the mix.

Hulu works best on the firetv, Netflix on the apple TV, and plex on the shield.

Would love to have all of this in one device, but as you pointed out - just one of my surround speakers cost more than all of the streaming boxes combined! Dont get me started on the Martin Logan center speaker...

With the harmony remote, even the family can use the system! :-)


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post #26 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 12:18 PM
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I'm right there with you... I even added the firetv 4k to the mix.

Hulu works best on the firetv, Netflix on the apple TV, and plex on the shield.

Would love to have all of this in one device, but as you pointed out - just one of my surround speakers cost more than all of the streaming boxes combined! Dont get me started on the Martin Logan center speaker...

With the harmony remote, even the family can use the system! :-)


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I use my ATV 4k for Netflix content with DV and Atmos. If it's DV and just 5.1 DD+, then I use either my FireTv 4K, Phillips UHD BD player or TCL TV. I prefer those over the ATV 4K. But then if it's just HD or just HDR10 content I will use my Sony X800 UHD BD player for Netflix. Or my RO=ku Streaming Stick+ or Ultra.

But I've alwasy been relegated to the fact that I will need multipe devices for my streaming needs. Early on I mainly used my Xbox 360. Back in 2005 to 2007. But then with Vudu and Netflix streaming in 2007/2008, I had to switch to using multiple devices for streaming. And have been doing it ever since to get the best features and best app version, depending on the device and app.

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post #27 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 12:27 PM
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I rarely use the OPPO to play back actual physical discs, but I do sometimes use it for 1080p MKV Blu Ray rips because it supports lossless audio bitstreaming the same way the Shield does, but it has every-bit-as-good (probably even a little bit better) picture-quality upscaler than the ATV does... so sometimes I'll choose to not enjoy the "nice Plex GUI" available on Shield and just wade through menus to get best PQ and SQ capabilities combined.
Can you write something more about quality atv vs shield vs oppo? I have shield and for me colors and quality is bad much better is on xbox one x. I know oppo is the best but how good is atv?
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post #28 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 01:08 PM
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Can you write something more about quality atv vs shield vs oppo? I have shield and for me colors and quality is bad much better is on xbox one x. I know oppo is the best but how good is atv?
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Something must be off with your TV and the colorspacce you have your shield set to? When playing BAck UHD MKV rips, My Shields look the same as as it does from my UHD BD players when playing HDR10. As does my ATV 4Ks, Rokus, and FireTV 4K Sticks when playing them.

Now some titles do look much better in Dolby Vision. I noticed last night when I was watching my Shazam! UHD BD rental, that the DV version looked much better than the HDR10 version, on my UHD BD players. But most titles I've compared don't show a big difference between the two.

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post #29 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 01:16 PM
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I don't know maybe you don't see difference I tested sat tuner vu+ ultimo 4k, shield tv, xbox, pc and all give other quality.
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post #30 of 128 Old 07-23-2019, 02:27 PM
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I just can't get my head around constant device switching to match capabilities and/or marginal differences in SQ/PQ. Those talking about using 3/4/5+ different devices depending on content type just baffle me. I use a Shield for all viewing in my theater as well as Plex Server. I have an XBox One in that location as well but I've been so underwhelmed by the Atmos content available on Netflix that I don't even bother switching inputs for it (even with a Harmony remote). I don't have to deal with DV (front projection) so maybe that would be enough to push me over the edge, but even then I'm not sure I'd go to the trouble for DV from streaming and rips, and would probably prioritize TrueHD/Atmos for rips over DV anyway.
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