AVS Forum banner

1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just cut the cord with Frontier due to price increases. Long time user of Tivo with current setup including a Tivo Roamio and Tivo Mini Vox. Two features my family has really come to depend on are Instant Replay and IR control of other devices in the same remote.

The Tivo Roamio, however, is not great streaming device. It is a locked environment (apps wise) and is slow and laggy to operate.

In searching for a dedicated streaming device, I have narrowed the choices down to the ROKU Ultra or Nvidia Shield Pro, partly for snappy performance but also as future proofing in the next step to 4K.

The ROKU is the only box that seems to support Instant Replay. Can anyone please shed light on what scenarios the ROKU supports the Instant Replay function? Would it require DVR functionality from the likes of Sling TV? Does the ROKU itself support any buffering when streaming live TV channels, say Pluto, Tubi or ROKU channels? Can it skip back during streamed content from Netflix, Amazon etc?

Tivos support control of two devices via IR. Codes can separately be set for TV and AVR. In my case the power and input buttons control the TV while the volume and mute buttons control the AVR.

My understanding is that neither the Ultra or Shield Pro can support control of two separate devices via IR. Nvidia tells me that the Shield Pro can control one item via IR and another via CEC. My setup however is Tivo >> AVR >> TV. Does CEC control require the streaming box to be connected directly to the TV? Can it be connected temporarily during setup to obtain CEC codes, and then connected back to the AVR?

Others online suggest using a universal remote. Nvidia says Harmony hub remotes are compatible with the Shield Pro. However, the cheapest of these I could find started at $150. Would the voice interface work and let me use the Google Voice Assistant (Android TV) or be forced to use Amazon Alexa? Likewise what are the options with ROKU?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Are there no existing users of Nvidia Shield or ROKU Ultra with insights into the functionality posed in the questions above?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,324 Posts
In theory, HDMI CEC will satisfy all your needs by using TV's remote alone. AVR will pass along those controls just fine. I have the setup that works fine. But In reality, HDMI CEC is a mess. Devices from different brands often fail to work together properly.

So, a Logitech Harmony remote is probably the way to go. The hub based can be found well below $100 from time to time. Of course, there is no voice control possible. Logitech just recalled the only version of it that supports Alexa today.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
613 Posts
The ROKU is the only box that seems to support Instant Replay. Can anyone please shed light on what scenarios the ROKU supports the Instant Replay function? Would it require DVR functionality from the likes of Sling TV? Does the ROKU itself support any buffering when streaming live TV channels, say Pluto, Tubi or ROKU channels? Can it skip back during streamed content from Netflix, Amazon etc?
The Roku Ultra skip back function depends on each different app, some apps don't support it all.
The ones that do seem to be streamed content apps like Amazon prime video, Netflix, etc. not the live channel apps.
I also don't see it supported for DVR functions on Youtube TV for example.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
My previous experiences with CEC-based control had found it to be a mess, but that was years ago. Perhaps things have improved. However, with streaming device manufacturers insisting their devices be plugged directly into the TV, and that control for audio be passed back to the receiver (the very opposite of my setup), it does not instill great confidence of it working for me.

Today, all my sources are fed to my AVR, switched as needed, then fed to an HDMI input on my TV. I can try using the streaming device attached to the AVR with CEC control to the TV as suggested.

However, there's one scenario where we watch OTA TV (using an antenna) in which the TV passes audio back to the receiver via an optical connection. In this case, neither the TV, nor receiver, are actively using an HDMI port, at least for video and audio between them. The HDMI connection is still there and CEC is said to be hubbed across all HDMI ports on a given device, but if neither device on each end is actively using the port for audio/video communication, should we expect the CEC to work regardless?

Maybe I shouldn't lend too much weight to the Instant Replay feature. While Tivo's native DVR provides a phenomenally quick eight second instant replay (which we have grown to love when missing that line of dialogue), the unit itself does not replicate that functionality on any of the numerous streaming apps that the platform already supports. It's a shame as we are strongly considering signing up to Youtube TV once football season starts again.

I would be OK shelling out $100 for a Harmony remote, but losing voice search would be a downer as searching with on-screen keyboards and remote is cumbersome. Yeah we could use a phone app in some cases but that's yet another device. Some people have tried to pair a Tivo Stream 4K peanut remote directly via bluetooth to the Nvidia Shield but have had limited results.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,324 Posts
Voice search only works with native remote of the device.

As for your OTA TV audio, if your TV and AVR supports ARC (another feature of CEC), you can try to make it work without the optical cable. Then, the CEC control will still work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Unfortunately my receiver only supports HDMI version 1.3a which does not include ARC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
With a Harmony remote that supports Button Sequences, you could pretty easily replicate the TiVo's "replay" feature, but for 15 seconds in stead of 8... just program a button sequence for "left, left, ok". Any IR-based Harmony will be able to control any Roku (except Stick and Stick+) via IR, and a Hub-based Harmony will be able to control any Roku via IR (except Stick and Stick+) or WiFi.

Also, Roku has a very limited implementation of CEC, basically only supporting powering on the TV via a Roku remote action and, in some rare cases, TV volume control via the Roku remote (seems very brand-specific and spotty).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Get a Oneforall URC 7880, it can (with the right programming) do everything for $40 that a $100 harmony will do in your scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
A Harmony Smart Control (basic remote with hub) can be had for $60-$65 pretty regularly... I'd gladly pay up for the hub's features (elimination of line-of-site, app integration, smart home integration including Google Home and Alexa, etc). Also, while the URC will connect to the app via Bluetooth, I can't find and documentation indicating it can control devices via Bluetooth... so this would make it a no-go for use with the current model Shield TVs (and the 2017 non-pro model). Still, it can be had for $30 from WalMart, so it is pretty capable for the price if all the Harmony Hub features are of no use/interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
2015 models have IR, 2017 Pro has IR... 2017 non-pro and 2019 models do not have IR (though it can be added to 2017 non-Pro and 2019 Pro via USB using Flirc or similar).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
^^ dang Stephen! my head is spinning after reading that twice real fast!/forum/images/smilies/biggrin.gif
Blame Nvidia, not me!

Basically anything in the larger form factor (both 2015 models and the 2017 Pro) have IR. Anything in the smaller box form factor (2017 non-Pro and 2019 Pro) or stick form factor (2019 non-Pro) lack IR.
 
  • Like
Reactions: beerhunt

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
As you are looking for a way to control your streamer, TV and AVR with one remote, maybe you should have a look at this:

https://www.oneforall.com/universal-remotes/urc7935-streamer-remote?_ga=2.74073361.2065558128.1595267176-1530480451.1586459391

This one can be setup for up to 3 devices, so that some keys will control the streaming device and others will control your TV and/or AVR. It has backlit buttons and supports IR learning from other remotes.

But it’s IR only so it will not work with the current new Shield TV Pro, as it lacks an IR receiver (as mentioned you would also need something like Flirc). But if you will decide for getting a ROKU, this might be a nice addition so you don’t have to rely on HDMI CEC, which can be very unstable in my experience too.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts
Oh wow @Stephen Hopkins !!
Had no idea.. I stand corrected then.. harmony would probably be your best bet, although it personally prefer the flexibility of a flirc wiith a decent remote of personal choice. In my case, I use Oneforall 7880 which controls upto 8 IR devices and has macros and activity keys, etc.. I use one with nvidia shield and one with Apple TV.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
Should also mention that most/all Android TV devices can do basic CEC control as well... so if keeping total cost down is the primary concern, something like a Mi Box S controlled via CEC and the TV's remote might be the cheapest solution. I happily use an eMatic Jetstream in my Girl's room and Nexus Player in my Boys' room, both controlled with the TV remotes via CEC and it gets the job done for basic commands (no home button, though... requires multiple "back" commands to exit most apps). I also happily use the Mi Box S in the master bedroom, but I have a Harmony Smart Control there as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. I ended up buying a Shield TV Pro and so far the experience is pretty good. One thing I would say is if you are a Tivo Roamio user and use its streaming capabilities, its level of performance is no indicator of what other devices can do.

Upon connecting the Shield to my receiver, it immediately discovered my TV and set the appropriate output resolution. The TV turns on/off via CEC every time the Shield does, no setup required. Also, any activation of the Shield immediately switches the TV to the correct HDMI input (say, if watching OTA via antenna).

Using the remote's IR functionality, I was quickly able to set up volume and mute functions for the Yamaha receiver. There's an option to do volume control via CEC. I tried it and it did nothing, so not sure if it can control receiver or only TV via that option... but I'm yet to figure out how to get it to work that way.

Some of the suggestions for remotes are pretty good, though I only have native Bluetooth on my model Shield and I think over time we might become used to using the voice control for searches given the plethora of apps. It's also handy for bringing up things like the local weather quickly. So not sure of there is a third party Bluetooth remote which will support the voice function?

Without a universal remote we are left having to switch inputs on the TV and receiver another way. I usually use a widget on my phone or the front panel knob for the receiver. The Tivo remote has a button for input switching and we previously used that for the TV.

In terms of Instant Replay, it's dependent on the app being used but the buffering is super fast. In one case it skipped back 10 secs instantaly (sorry, can't remember which app) and most times it only requires a mere fraction of a second to restart playing video. More than satisfactory for everyday viewing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,358 Posts
If you want to lean on the Shield voice search but also want to use a universal remote, one solution would be to pick up a Shield Gaming Controller and enable the always-on voice function to supplement the universal remote. You'll want to keep the controller charging most/all the time as always-on voice does greatly diminish battery life. Just make sure you get the 2017 or 2019 version... the 2015 version doesn't support always-on listening.

In the same vein but less expensive, I would say consider adding a Google Home Mini / Nest Mini for an always-listening voice access point... I know it will allow for power/volume/playback/app-launch controls but I don't think it can search on the Shield with onscreen results. That's why my first recommendation was the Shield Gaming Controller.

Either the Shield Controller or Home/Nest Mini will also integrate with a Harmon Hub for launching/ending activities, so the Harmony Smart Control is still my main recommendation for a powerful universal remote that can connect to the Shield via Bluetooth and also control all of your IR devices.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
335 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Stephen, though always-on listening makes me nervous. Given I have cut the cord, I have not switched away from the Shield TV much since getting it - so input switching, for the moment, is not a frequent need.

The volume setup was a bit weird. For the first 3-4 days it let me turn on CEC volume control while still leaving the IR volume control (which I had set up with my Yamaha receiver, and worked) turned on. I thought this strange as I couldn't tell which of the control mechanisms it was defaulting to. Some days later, while testing, I began to see a volume slider bar on the right side of the screen when adjusting the volume; the volume on the receiver stopped responding.

It seems like the Shield TV was adjusting its volume internally. So I went back into settings. Now, every time I turned on CEC volume control, the IR volume control would be disabled, and vice-versa. Only one could be active at a time. Neither option seemed to get rid of the new volume bar and way of working. A couple of reboots later got me back to the previous mode. Turns out my trusty RX-Z7 receiver doesn't support CEC volume commands anyway.

The voice search is somewhat app specific. While on the home screen, the search reverts to Google Assistant and doesn't necessarily pull up results from other apps - say if searching for a movie (even if permissions are turned on in the settings). Doing a voice search within some apps pulls up results available within the app (example, Amazon Prime). Some apps have a microphone icon adjacent their search bar that needs to be selected for this to work, others not. Yet other apps simply ignore any voice search requests or end up having the Google Assistant results (mostly Youtube) overlaid on top.

Voice search is really hit and miss. I don't think I'll invest much into it until Android TV gets this straightened out. For now, I have loaded the Justwatch and Reelgood apps as another way to unify search.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top