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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Exclusive: This is Google's Android TV dongle, remote, and new UI


It looks just like a Chromecast, but now has a remote. Apparently supports Dolby Vision and uses an Amlogic SOC. Price will be around $80.

UPDATE Oct 2 2020:
OK, here are a few things crossed off my important list:

1. HDHomeRun live and recorded TV playback: MPEG2, AVC, DRM, 4K broadcasting with HLG all works fine. This app itself is somehow difficult to install (probably my fault) but using the play store web site, I got it installed. So, to be clear, HLG on 4K live TV is supported correctly. However, HLG on YouTube shows up as HDR10 as others reported.

2. My USB-C hub works. I monitored combined power usage never exceed 5 watts. So, I will test with the charger that comes with the box later.

3. Bad news is that the network speed on the gigabit network port on the hub is capped around 320 mbps. So that's USB2.0 speed. Still better than the 100mbps Google offered.

4. More bad news about using the UBS ports for storage extensions: keep up with Google's traddition, it won't support anything that is not formatted as FAT/FAT16/FAT32. That means 32GB or less. Larger sized storage automatically gets rejected/ejected.

5. There is no Dolby Digital processing like the ones on Shield or Apple TV. So, if you connect to a TV that does not show support of DD+ via EDID, you will be limited to 2.0 on most streaming services. In my case, my Vizio does report support of DD+. So I got 5.1 audio in Disney+ as well as Dolby Vision.

Now on to my other testing of local media playback.
UPDATE Oct 1 2020:
It is now available for purchase on Google:
  • By itself: $50, link
  • One Chromecast + 6 months of Netflix: $90, link
  • Two Chromecasts + 6 months of Netflix: $130, link
  • Ethernet adapter, 10Mbps only: link (though you're probably better off buying an after market USB-C hub with Ethernet USB port, and USB-C PD for expandability)
My setup is as follows: Chromecast -> Denon AVR-X4500H -> LG 77C9

First, the good:
  • Dynamic Range Switching works well in most apps (Tested Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Plex, Kodi)
    • Correctly switches between Rec. 709 & Rec. 2020 color spaces
    • Doesn't work in Movies Anywhere for some reason
  • Passes through correct HDR10 metadata, including MaxCLL, and MaxFALL
  • Chroma upsampling is good, the same as other recent Amlogic chipset-based devices I've tested (ODroid N2)
  • Supports CEC and IR remote control
  • Speed is really good, not up to the Shield TV, but it's also 1/3 the price or less
  • Frame rate can be manually set, only 23.976Hz, 25Hz, 29.97Hz, 50Hz, and 59.94Hz supported
    • The UI shows them as whole integer frame rates, but I've confirmed via HDFury Integral 2 that they are not actually integer frame rates
Now, the bad:
  • HDR10 content has raised black levels
  • No passthrough of Lossless Audio Codecs
  • No automatic refresh rate switching
    • Refresh rate app does not work
    • No automatic refresh rate toggle in settings
      • Confused by this one, I thought I saw it reported somewhere else that it does, but nothing exists that I can find
    • Plex & Kodi don't support automatic refresh rate switching
  • MPEG2 Live TV direct plays in Plex, but has pretty bad stuttering issues, whether interlaced or progressive (maybe being software decoded?)
  • Voice search does not support Plex/Kodi
  • 24.00, 60.00 refresh rates are not supported, even when manually setting
HLG does work too. And I can choose 24hz, but no frame rate matching. And the IR remote does turn my TV on and off.

Apps I tested:
HBO Max has 5.1 audio
Peacock is stereo
Hulu is stereo and HD only
Vudu only goes up to HDX
FandangoNow is HD only
Movies Anywhere is HD only
Amazon Prime gives me HDR10 and Atmos
Netflix gives me DV and Atmos (first time I’ve been able to get Atmos from Netflix)
Disney+ gives me DV and 5.1

I also get HDR10, DV and 5.1 from my Google Play library.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
More info below - this thing looks great!

* Amlogic S905X2 SoC
* ARM Mali-G31 MP2 GPU
* 2GB RAM
* HDMI 2.1
* Dolby Vision, HDR, HLG
* ALLM
* Potentially dedicated Netflix and YouTube buttons
* Cadence Tensilica HiFi 4 DSP - does this mean Atmos support?

https://www.xda-developers.com/google-android-tv-dongle-specs-gaming-mode-stadia-support/

https://9to5google.com/2020/06/12/google-android-tv-dongle-shortcut-button-leak/
How does the Mali-G31 MP2 compare to Tegra X1+?

If this allows app installation and works with HD Audio pass through via HDMI then it'll already be better than the shield if all you care about is media playback, since it'll likely support VP9.2 which the Shield doesn't.
 

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How does the Mali-G31 MP2 compare to Tegra X1+?

If this allows app installation and works with HD Audio pass through via HDMI then it'll already be better than the shield if all you care about is media playback, since it'll likely support VP9.2 which the Shield doesn't.
The chipset in Google's "Sabrina" device certainly won't have the amount of sheer horsepower that the Nvidia Shield TV has. But, good news, its Amlogic S905X2 does support VP9 Profile 2, so that means 4K HDR from YouTube (and presumably from Google Play Movies & TV too). It also supports USB 3.0.

It would be really cool if Google ends up swapping out the S905X2 chip (the 2018 model) for the new X905X4, which can decode the new AV1 codec (the successor to VP9) in 4K up to 120 frames per second. But going with that new chip might push the cost of the device higher than Google wants to price it (reportedly under $80). IMO, it's more important for Google to put out a decent quality device that can compete with Roku and Fire TV 4K sticks without being too expensive. The Nvidia Shield TV streamers, at $150 and $200, already fill the spaces for high-end expensive Android TV devices.

Beyond that, the redesigned Android TV user interface on this device looks really nice! Wonder if it'll be rolling out to other Android TV devices too or if Google will aim to keep it exclusive to their own device (kinda like the Pixel launcher on their own Android phones)?
 

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If this is discounted to ~$50 I might pick it up, but I don't see myself going much higher than that.

It would be nice to finally had an all-in-one device that did mostly everything, including frame-rate switching. I'm hoping since this is a Google product it will come close.
 

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The chipset in Google's "Sabrina" device certainly won't have the amount of sheer horsepower that the Nvidia Shield TV has. But, good news, its Amlogic S905X2 does support VP9 Profile 2, so that means 4K HDR from YouTube (and presumably from Google Play Movies & TV too). It also supports USB 3.0.

It would be really cool if Google ends up swapping out the S905X2 chip (the 2018 model) for the new X905X4, which can decode the new AV1 codec (the successor to VP9) in 4K up to 120 frames per second. But going with that new chip might push the cost of the device higher than Google wants to price it (reportedly under $80). IMO, it's more important for Google to put out a decent quality device that can compete with Roku and Fire TV 4K sticks without being too expensive. The Nvidia Shield TV streamers, at $150 and $200, already fill the spaces for high-end expensive Android TV devices.

Beyond that, the redesigned Android TV user interface on this device looks really nice! Wonder if it'll be rolling out to other Android TV devices too or if Google will aim to keep it exclusive to their own device (kinda like the Pixel launcher on their own Android phones)?
I thought the Nvidia Shield doesn’t support google play in 4K hdr or YouTube in 4K hdr? that’s the reason why never bought a Nvidia Shield. I’m actually looking forward to this release cause in Canada all the digital codes are only for the Google Play store and I can’t redeem them in Apple iTunes.
 

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Shield does not support YT HDR. And also lacks HLG support. This Google device will have these two missing features plus the most import native refresh rate matching if it ships with Android TV 11 that is missing from all current Android TV devices.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

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Wow! A remote - what a novel idea? Would Google Home be next?

Simplicity in design is great, up to a certain point.
 

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But the question is, will it run Brutal Doom smoothly via. Delta Touch with maximum gore?
It's pretty demanding for Android devices even if most PCs can handle it like a champ.
 

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Will the remote be integrated w. Google's YTTV service that just increased 30+%? You can give some verbal commands via Google assistant like "pause" FF 3.5 minutes etc. Clunky because you have to say "hey Google" before each command.
 

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Shield does not support YT HDR. And also lacks HLG support. This Google device will have these two missing features plus the most import native refresh rate matching if it ships with Android TV 11 that is missing from all current Android TV devices.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Wait! If this comes with native refresh rate, I'm all in (shame as I have a 4k Firestick, Apple TV, and Roku built in).

Sent from my GM1915 using Tapatalk
 

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Native refresh rate support comes in Android 11 OS. If this guys ships with Android 11 (big if as Android TV 11 is currently only in preview stage), it is the one to wait for.
 

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Depending on price, I will likely replace my Mi Box 4S (bedroom) and add one to my Hisense H8F (livingroom) just for the YTTV and Nest Hello integration teased/leaked in the UI images. I'll probably stick with my Shield Pro 2017 in the theater for now until/unless it's confirmed it won't receive the UI refresh (it's also my Plex server). If the Mi Box 4S and my Hisense TV receive the UI update, I can always sell the Sabrinas on, probably for not much of a loss.
 

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The FCC NDA on the device(s) extends through January... hopefully that's not a marker for the release date. I'm quite excited for the teased/leaked YouTube TV and Nest hello integration... I'm quite likely to pick one up for the Living Room and Bedroom... and possibly even displace my '17 Shield TV Pro for Netflix Atmos, assuming it still outputs 4k24 12-bit 4:2:2 BT.2020 (for my 10gbps HDMI limited Epson projector) like other capable AndroidTV devices.
 

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That looks promising... at $50, I'd probably be in for 3 of them... maybe 4 if the remote has a volume control.
 

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How many of these streaming devices can one person own? I already have several that just sit there because every new device has some special new feature or update that the others don't have. Well no more! I can't see buying any more streaming devices, because I don't want to add to my massive pile of e-waste.
 

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This device would replace my old Nexus Player. Adding a Shield to my bedroom TV would be overkill for me. If the performance of this device is a tad under the Shield, but also better than the performance of my Sony display, then I'll be very happy.

Sent from my One Plus 8 Pro using Tapatalk
 
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