Question before buying Apple TV 4k! - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 06:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Question before buying Apple TV 4k!

Hi everyone,
I'm running JRiver as a DLNA server. I also have no plans on buying anything from iTunes =)

I have about 100 movies on my media server, most of which are DTS HD/Dolby TrueHD files (with the core removed).

My TV is Dolby Vision capable, so this seems like an obvious choice to stream Netflix and Prime, but the audio is just holding me back from buying.

I just have some questions, if you all know the answers!

Will the Apple TV 4K allow me to stream my media from JRiver (DLNA)?
Can Apple TV 4K play the lossless audio tracks from DLNA servers?
Will the core track be needed in order to do so? I always remove it from my ripped movies.
Can it play MKV files with subtitles? I rip my movies, and place it in an MKV container, with subtitles.

Thank you in advance!
---------------------------

After posting the above, I read a few reviews on the Apple TV 4K.
It looks like it does not support bitstreaming or any lossless audio codecs.


I guess I'm back to square 1! Find a device that has the following:

1. Dolby Vision.
2. Lossless Audio.
3. DLNA client (that plays MKVs w/ lossless audio).
4. If possible, Netflix and Prime with Dolby Vision.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by cowbodude99; 04-22-2019 at 06:46 AM.
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post #2 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 06:55 AM
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That's also my dream box. I currently have ShieldTV and really happy with it except Dolby Vision support. Hope to see a brand new ShieldTV gen 3 with all of those.

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post #3 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, it looks like it is asking for a lot at this time.

I'll check out the Shield.

I may go the route of a Win 10 Pro Intel Nuc. No Dolby Vision, but it does allow the following:

1. JRiver interface, with HDR and lossless audio/Atmos in MKV format (with subtitles).
2. Netflix app on Windows 10 allows for 4K, HDR, and Atmos.
3. Steam streaming.
4. Web Browsing.

Downsides:
1. Cost
2. Requires a keyboard (to get logged in).
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post #4 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 07:42 AM
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Do you actually have Atmos/DTS:X height speaker channels? If not, the Apple TV 4K is still a good choice (probably the best choice IMO). The Infuse and MrMC apps will take the TrueHD/DTS-MA track and convert it to 7.1 PCM, so you still get lossless audio. You don't need the core track. Subtitles in MKV files will work fine on those apps. I think MrMC will support DLNA, but I've had a lot of issues with DLNA in the past and wouldn't really recommend it. SMB/NFS (or Plex) are better options IMO. Keep in mind no streaming device outside an Oppo 203/205 will play DV from UHD blu-ray rips. For some reason the Prime app on the Apple TV 4K doesn't support DV yet, but there are so few DV titles on Prime currently that it's not a huge deal (DV on Netflix on the ATV4K works great).

If you absolutely need TrueHD Atmos & DTS:X bitstreaming, then I would get an Nvidia Shield (but you lose DV playback and Netflix Atmos).
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Last edited by lockdown571; 04-22-2019 at 07:45 AM.
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post #5 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
Do you actually have Atmos/DTS:X height speaker channels? If not, the Apple TV 4K is still a good choice (probably the best choice IMO). The Infuse and MrMC apps will take the TrueHD/DTS-MA track and convert it to 7.1 PCM, so you still get lossless audio. Subtitles in MKV files will work fine on those apps. I think MrMC will support DLNA, but I've had a lot of issues with DLNA in the past and wouldn't really recommend it. SMB/NFS (or Plex) are better options IMO. Keep in mind no streaming device outside an Oppo 203/205 will play DV from UHD blu-ray rips. For some reason the Prime app on the Apple TV 4K doesn't support DV yet, but there are so few DV titles on Prime currently that it's not a huge deal (DV on Netflix on the ATV4K works great).

If you absolutely need TrueHD Atmos & DTS:X bitstreaming, then I would get an Nvidia Shield (but you lose DV playback and Netflix Atmos).
Atmos/DTSX isn't a requirement.

5.1 TrueHD & DTSHD MA are...

It seems like almost no devices allow this for my existing media library.

Dolby Vision would be nice, but I'd prefer the better audio w/ HDR, than DV with lower quality audio.
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post #6 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
Atmos/DTSX isn't a requirement.

5.1 TrueHD & DTSHD MA are...

It seems like almost no devices allow this for my existing media library.

Dolby Vision would be nice, but I'd prefer the better audio w/ HDR, than DV with lower quality audio.
I would get the Apple TV 4K then. How is your metadata movie posters stored? If DLNA is an issue (and maybe it works fine in MrMC/Infuse, I'm just not sure), then you should just be able to point MrMC/Infuse to your media folders using SMB or NFS.
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post #7 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 07:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
I would get the Apple TV 4K then. How is your metadata movie posters stored? If DLNA is an issue (and maybe it works fine in MrMC/Infuse, I'm just not sure), then you should just be able to point MrMC/Infuse to your media folders using SMB or NFS.
I think I see why you say that now.

The Infuse app for Apple TV 4K allows 4K HDR with HD audio (24-bit Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA audio)

It looks like it requires the PRO license to get the HD audio.

EDIT:
It also allows for Netflix using Dolby Vision. This is looking better!
Currently JRiver stores media information within the folder containing the movie file. I may be able to use my iPhone to do testing. If all goes well, then possibly buy the ATV4K.
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post #8 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
I think I see why you say that now.

The Infuse app for Apple TV 4K allows 4K HDR with HD audio (24-bit Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA audio)

It looks like it requires the PRO license to get the HD audio.

EDIT:
It also allows for Netflix using Dolby Vision. This is looking better!
Currently JRiver stores media information within the folder containing the movie file. I may be able to use my iPhone to do testing. If all goes well, then possibly buy the ATV4K.
Correct. If the metadata & posters are in the movie folder, then Infuse should pick it up assuming proper naming conventions. Infuse is well worth the price of admission. Best player on the market on any device IMO (assuming you don't need Atmos/DTS:X bitstreaming).
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post #9 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
Correct. If the metadata & posters are in the movie folder, then Infuse should pick it up assuming proper naming conventions. Infuse is well worth the price of admission. Best player on the market on any device IMO (assuming you don't need Atmos/DTS:X bitstreaming).
I'm trying to get rid of a 19"x19"x9" gaming PC in my livingroom.

It's only 5.1 there. No Atmos/DTS:X.

The TV is Dolby Vision capable, and with Netflix on the ATV4K it should work nicely.

I'll have Atmos set up in my basement shortly. That PC will go down there, which contains all of the movies and games.

So streaming from my local network using Infuse should meet the requirements for the audio and video =)

Thanks for the suggestion on Infuse... I figured if Apple didn't support the codecs natively, then I was out of luck.
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post #10 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Apple TV 4K arrives tomorrow

Thanks again for your help!
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post #11 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 09:25 AM
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Neat to read along.

I was a JRiver user for years and I still think it's great.

However, what I do now is use a retired HTPC to be a Plex server. On that server all my movies (1000.) are organized by Plex. (The movies are on 4NAS boxes in MKV often with loss less ... I always stripped the core when ripping also.)


I use Infuse on the ATV4K and it's great. I think it's easily as robust as JRiver was (last used V22). If you have it connect to a Plex server it makes it easy to manage elsewhere.

If you've ever redeemed your iTunes codes that came with movies you may be surprised to learn some of them were upgraded to 4K and/or ATMOS at no additional cost.

-Brian
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post #12 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 09:55 AM
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I think you will be pleased. Infuse is far and away the most reliable way I've played full blu-ray rips in MKV format (including UHD blu-rays) on any device. Picture quality is great, the interface is slick, and the Infuse developers are awesome. I still have issues from time to time with playback on my Shield TV, but when I click play in Infuse on my ATV4K, I know it's going to work 100% of the time (hell, I even use the Infuse beta as my daily driver; it's that reliable). Kind of glad I don't have 'height' speakers so I don't have to worry about Atmos/DTS:X yet.
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post #13 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 09:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
Yeah, it looks like it is asking for a lot at this time.



I'll check out the Shield.



I may go the route of a Win 10 Pro Intel Nuc. No Dolby Vision, but it does allow the following:



1. JRiver interface, with HDR and lossless audio/Atmos in MKV format (with subtitles).

2. Netflix app on Windows 10 allows for 4K, HDR, and Atmos.

3. Steam streaming.

4. Web Browsing.



Downsides:

1. Cost

2. Requires a keyboard (to get logged in).
Without Dolby Vision, you can do all that with ShieldTV

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post #14 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 10:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
Neat to read along.

I was a JRiver user for years and I still think it's great.

However, what I do now is use a retired HTPC to be a Plex server. On that server all my movies (1000.) are organized by Plex. (The movies are on 4NAS boxes in MKV often with loss less ... I always stripped the core when ripping also.)


I use Infuse on the ATV4K and it's great. I think it's easily as robust as JRiver was (last used V22). If you have it connect to a Plex server it makes it easy to manage elsewhere.

If you've ever redeemed your iTunes codes that came with movies you may be surprised to learn some of them were upgraded to 4K and/or ATMOS at no additional cost.

-Brian
Thanks, Brian! I'll check that out!
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Originally Posted by lockdown571 View Post
I think you will be pleased. Infuse is far and away the most reliable way I've played full blu-ray rips in MKV format (including UHD blu-rays) on any device. Picture quality is great, the interface is slick, and the Infuse developers are awesome. I still have issues from time to time with playback on my Shield TV, but when I click play in Infuse on my ATV4K, I know it's going to work 100% of the time (hell, I even use the Infuse beta as my daily driver; it's that reliable). Kind of glad I don't have 'height' speakers so I don't have to worry about Atmos/DTS:X yet.
Yeah, Atmos does complicate things a bit...
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post #16 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 10:03 AM - Thread Starter
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Without Dolby Vision, you can do all that with ShieldTV

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The Shield is roughly the same price as the ATV.

It looks like I'd have to choose between lossless audio, natively with the Shield, and Dolby Vision with the ATV...

Using Infuse seems to provide both.
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post #17 of 33 Old 04-22-2019, 10:04 AM
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Without Dolby Vision, you can do all that with ShieldTV

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Netflix on the Shield TV won't do Atmos, just FYI.
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post #18 of 33 Old 04-23-2019, 01:46 PM
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The Shield is roughly the same price as the ATV.

It looks like I'd have to choose between lossless audio, natively with the Shield, and Dolby Vision with the ATV...

Using Infuse seems to provide both.
Unaware of this.

I'm expecting you won't be able to get lossless audio out of the ATV4K, but I maybe behind the curve.
Waiting to hear your feedback.

Just to be clear
Lossless audio track is TrueHD / DTS-HD MA.
Atmos (not sure about DTS:X) is just a surround codec runs on top of the core audio codec. It could be running on top of the lossless (TrueHD) or on top of the lossy (DD+). Therefore, Atmos doesn't represent as lossless track.
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post #19 of 33 Old 04-23-2019, 01:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Unaware of this.

I'm expecting you won't be able to get lossless audio out of the ATV4K, but I maybe behind the curve.
Waiting to hear your feedback.

Just to be clear
Lossless audio track is TrueHD / DTS-HD MA.
Atmos (not sure about DTS:X) is just a surround codec runs on top of the core audio codec. It could be running on top of the lossless (TrueHD) or on top of the lossy (DD+). Therefore, Atmos doesn't represent as lossless track.
I'll be sure to follow-up. I may not get to it today, but if not, definitely this week.

I won't be able to test Atmos, as I won't be using ATV4K in my Atmos set up.
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I'll be sure to follow-up. I may not get to it today, but if not, definitely this week.

I won't be able to test Atmos, as I won't be using ATV4K in my Atmos set up.
Thanks, cowbodude99.
Look forward to it.

You said you have 5.1 system, so yes, Atmos/DTS:X is out of the equation.
I hope you can get TrueHD out of it.
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Thanks, cowbodude99.
Look forward to it.

You said you have 5.1 system, so yes, Atmos/DTS:X is out of the equation.
I hope you can get TrueHD out of it.
I do too. Infuse has a 30 day trial, so I'm looking forward to getting it tested out.
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post #22 of 33 Old 04-23-2019, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok so I was able to test this out.

I installed the infuse app, but I didn’t get very far using the free version.

I opted into the trial and my Jriver library files worked!

The AVR shows Multi In + Nue:X.

According to the posts I read that is expected. The app decides the DTS-HD and Dolby TrueHD tracks and sends it out to the AVR.

My movies contain dts:x and atmos tracks, since I’m not using Atmos, I’d guess the AVR mixes it properly.

For Netflix, both atmos and vision work. The AVR shows Dolby Atmos when detected, however is shows Multi In when there is no Atmos track.

The same is true for Prime, minus vision.

Overall I like it a lot, and may consider getting another one for my Atmos setup. I won’t have a stb in that room, and the ATV has a bunch of channels to add.

Also 4K looks great, really sharp.

Dolby vision looks great too!

I hope that helps!
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post #23 of 33 Old 04-23-2019, 09:31 PM
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Grats. Hopefully we will get ATV atmos update soon .

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post #24 of 33 Old 04-24-2019, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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I just wanted to add some more comments about Infuse w/ ATV4K.

1. The metadata fetcher doesn't really work that well. I have a lot of TV shows ripped to MKV on my media server. The episode metadata is completely incorrect for pretty much every episode and every show. It is way too much work to go in and correct each one. Infuse does not seem to read the JPG or the XML (data file) in the existing folder structure, so it wants to download it for itself. I only tried this using the DLNA set up. I haven't tried SMB, but I think it would work the same way.

I'll do some more research for this, as it is the only negative thing I have to say about this set up so far.

2. If you look at the support docs for Infuse, it shows that there are a lot more options than truly exist. For example, they list an 'audio' option in the support file, but that doesn't exist. So if you're trying to get your AVR to say "DTS-HD" or anything other than LPCM, it won't work as there is no bitstream option. The posts I read must have all been for an older version.

3. It seems to play my movies with DTS:X and Atmos that I removed the core audio from. I have JRiver set to no transcoding - always play original. Haven't had any crashes or drops in my test. This includes 4K full BD rips.

4. If you notice stutter in Netflix, Prime, etc, go into the ATV4K settings. There is a video setting that allows the app to switch the display's refresh rate to match the content. I was playing 24hz video which was stuttering slightly. Once I enabled the option, it was smooth.
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post #25 of 33 Old 04-25-2019, 06:49 PM - Thread Starter
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After switching to SMB, my issues with the metadata is resolved.

Using SMB in Infuse seems to use the existing metadata (XML) and JPG files in my movie folders.

It allowed me to also play an ISO backup. It didn't have menus or anything, but it did play the tracks.

Overall, very happy with the Apple TV 4K + Infuse.

Thanks, for the very helpful advice, Lockdown571 - it is greatly appreciated.
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post #26 of 33 Old 04-26-2019, 03:02 AM
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It's a great way to go. ATV4K is my HTPC replacement.

I went from dedicated HTPC running JRiver to ATV4K as my HTPC. I lost a few nice things. Most significantly the ability to make a 3DLUT for video calibration using MadVR and DisplayCal GUI. Also, Jriver could do Frame packed 3D.

However, in the simplify my system department I gained so much.

I guess maybe Jriver is up to date with 4K now, I don't even know. When I found out my first 60 4K titles were free from iTunes upgrades I jumped to the ATV4K even though at that time nothing else in my system was 4K ready. ... I'm not ripping 4K UHD discs and for the most part I'm not buying them either (I did get a few on Black Friday and they all came with iTunes/Movies Anywhere licenses.) Buying from iTunes eliminated the disc, the backing up of the disc, the storage of the data... it's a bit like flying without a net I suppose because there's really no guarantee the files will be hosted by iTunes forever but so far I haven't had a lot of trouble.

I went on vacation and just put the ATV4K in my backpack. The place I stayed had the router next to the DVR (nice) and I never bothered to learn the 3 remotes sitting there... Just hooked up my ATV4K and had access to everything I have when I'm home. I never checked out the existing system till I left I verified it was still functional and the TV was set to the used input.

One of the best things about ATV4K is it continues to evolve with updates. I don't know what it's future is now that iTunes is going to Roku devices but I'm glad I got one and I hope it lasts a long time.

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post #27 of 33 Old 04-26-2019, 05:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Brian,
The simplicity really is great. It took me all of 5 minutes to get SMB working like I wanted.

JRiver has the DLNA server built in, so I figured that would be worth it, but SMB was the right move for me.

I don't know if we'll get an Atmos update, but if/when we do, I'll most likely buy another unit for my Atmos set up.
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post #28 of 33 Old 04-26-2019, 05:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
Hi everyone,
I'm running JRiver as a DLNA server. I also have no plans on buying anything from iTunes =)

I have about 100 movies on my media server, most of which are DTS HD/Dolby TrueHD files (with the core removed).

My TV is Dolby Vision capable, so this seems like an obvious choice to stream Netflix and Prime, but the audio is just holding me back from buying.

I just have some questions, if you all know the answers!

Will the Apple TV 4K allow me to stream my media from JRiver (DLNA)?
Can Apple TV 4K play the lossless audio tracks from DLNA servers?
Will the core track be needed in order to do so? I always remove it from my ripped movies.
Can it play MKV files with subtitles? I rip my movies, and place it in an MKV container, with subtitles.

Thank you in advance!
---------------------------

After posting the above, I read a few reviews on the Apple TV 4K.
It looks like it does not support bitstreaming or any lossless audio codecs.


I guess I'm back to square 1! Find a device that has the following:

1. Dolby Vision.
2. Lossless Audio.
3. DLNA client (that plays MKVs w/ lossless audio).
4. If possible, Netflix and Prime with Dolby Vision.

Any suggestions?

One device to check all of those boxes is tough/impossible. I (un)fortunately own a Shield, an AppleTV, an OPPO UDP-203, and a Chromecast Audio exactly for the reasons you describe... I couldn't find a "just one box" solution. The Shield comes the closest, IMO (at least for my needs), to being an all-in-one swiss-army-knife. But there are definite advantages to having the other 3 boxes available on my "main rig," and all 4 get use.


On all of the other TVs in my house (none of which do 4k or HDR), I just use a Shield. Because if you take 4K-HDR out of the equation and just use it as a 2k-SDR device, it's near-perfect in a way that none of the others are IMO.



-I like my Shield for my 1:1 Blu Ray (and sometimes 4K UHD Blu Ray) rips, my LiveTV+DVR CableCard player, and I like it better than the ATV for Youtube too... it also integrates better with my mobile devices because we're pretty much exclusively Android for phones+tablets and windows for laptops at this point.
-I use Roon, not JRiver, for FLAC, and the OPPO is a RoonReady endpoint and Disc player. I also sometimes forgo the nice GUI interface of Plex and just use my OPPO for my 4K UHD rips for the Dolby Vision support with lossless audio combo.
-I use my AppleTV for Netflix, Amazon Video, HBO Now, and Showtime Anytime...
-And I use my CCA for whole-home-audio...




Probably not the answer you wanted, but the hodge-podge was required, for me at least, to get the performance/capabilities I wanted...


Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
I think I see why you say that now.

The Infuse app for Apple TV 4K allows 4K HDR with HD audio (24-bit Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD MA audio)

It looks like it requires the PRO license to get the HD audio.

EDIT:
It also allows for Netflix using Dolby Vision. This is looking better!
Currently JRiver stores media information within the folder containing the movie file. I may be able to use my iPhone to do testing. If all goes well, then possibly buy the ATV4K.

I've never used InFuse on the AppleTV, so I have no input/feedback *specifically* on the quality of audio you get when you have that specific combo of hardware+software do the decoding...


But I have done extensive A-B comparing of letting an NVidia Shield (using Kodi) do the internal decoding vs. Bitstreaming to my AVR... I had several different "test scenes" that I used, and for most of them, I found the internal decoding to be indistinguishable between the bitstreamed audio... but that was not true in ALL test-cases, and when it wasn't, I preferred what I was hearing when the AVR did the decoding.

But I'm also someone that believes there are (relatively small/minor) differences in audio quality between different DACs, for music, too... so TIFWIW.


I also think it's preferential, just in terms of convenience and configuration, to have your AVR confirm for you what audio track is being received and what your signal chain is doing... it just seems like "a better way to do things" to me, beyond a blind A-B comparison of sound quality. But that's, again, JMO/preference. Ultimately why I ended up buying both. The PQ on the AppleTV, in general, is a little better than what my Shield does, but I prefer the Shield, in general, audio-wise, so I like having both...

Last edited by psuKinger; 04-26-2019 at 06:02 AM.
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post #29 of 33 Old 04-26-2019, 06:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi psuKinger,
Thanks. I too would prefer bitstreaming from ATV, but that isn't an option.

My ATV is used in a 5.1 setup, with Polk Audio CS1, RTi8s, and Monitor 30 speakers.

I more than likely couldn't tell the difference between bitstreaming and LPCM, and I don't think those speakers would highlight much of a difference if any.

I ended up deciding that since there is no single box to do everything I want, that the Apple TV is the best option for me.

Since I don't need Atmos, Apple TV is fine. The Netflix app has Dolby Vision, so another check for the Apple. I very rarely use Prime, but every now and then I might check out a show. There is no Dolby Vision in the app and again, I don't need Atmos.

For me the Apple TV covered all of my needs in this particular set up.

In my Atmos setup, I don't need Dolby Vision (using a projector). Since the Apple TV can't do Atmos for local movies, I wouldn't use it there, that is where my JRiver PC comes in.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
Hi psuKinger,
For me the Apple TV covered all of my needs in this particular set up.

Excellent! That's the most important part. I didn't "continue reading" and hadn't seen that you'd already purchased/decided when I made that first post...



I think when it comes to Shield-vs-ATV, there's a little bit of "personal preference" and a little bit of "specific use-case" involved. I personally prefer Android over IOS, generically ("ecosystem-ly"), and I'm also a former-gamer who now has a son who is starting to get into video games, so we also are taking advantage of some of the (pretty cool) gaming features of the Shield that often are "N/A" for others...


Just to reiterate, my A-B comparing of the audio quality between internal decoding within the Shield and bitstreaming did not conclude a MAJOR difference at all... it was indistinguishable more often then it wasn't, and when it was distinguishable it was minor. But I also think the PQ differences between the Shield and the ATV are generally nothing more than "minor" when:
- Viewing "normal content from my normal (12-footish) viewing distance" rather than "test patterns from 2 feet away"
AND
- Using a high-peak-brightness FALD LCD (like I have) rather than an OLED (which I would have loved to have gone with if the 77" versions of them weren't price-prohibitive when I was buying), as I believe the "static remapping for brightness" that happens with HDR10 isn't as severe when using a TV that can get up over 1000 nits peak brightness. There are certainly other advantages to Dolby Vision over HDR10, but that's the biggest hitter, in my mind at least... and I think that makes Dolby Vision a really big winner when using an OLED, and a closer-winner when on a higher-end-FALD LCD.


My final thought on the topic is this: I held off on buying the ATV for quite a while, but at some point, if you've invested in a new large (65"+) HDR panel, and all the money it takes to drive a full-sized (bookshelves-or-bigger, not "satellite" speakers) 5.1+ setup, the decision to buy-or-not-buy a sub-$200 peripheral that would add some capabilities that I wanted seemed like the wrong place to draw the line... I felt I had too much skin in the game already, and I might as well splurge on another box just to add a couple more features to my viewing/listening experience.



JMO, and glad you're enjoying your ATV!



Quote:
Originally Posted by cowbodude99 View Post
My ATV is used in a 5.1 setup, with Polk Audio CS1, RTi8s, and Monitor 30 speakers.

I more than likely couldn't tell the difference between bitstreaming and LPCM, and I don't think those speakers would highlight much of a difference if any.

I really like Polk, FWIW. I've been using their stuff for years now... Klipsch and JBL both make good stuff, but I personally prefer the "warmer" sound of a dome over a horn. They just fatigue me a little bit and sound a little bright.


I'm currently using very similar gear (CS10 center, Monitor 70 Series II L-R towers, Monitor 35B rears, SVS PB-1000 sub)... but am budgeting/planning to make a "major upgrade" to Ascend Sierra's (with RAAL) this summer....
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