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I have a 2019 Roku Ultra, a 2019 FireStick, and a 2019 Shield (the tube, not the Pro, which was out of stock everywhere when I bought mine). All are the 4K versions.

They're all plugged into a Yamaha Aventage RX-A3070 for 7.2.4 Atmos and DTS:X, and from there into a 4K JVC projector.

While the Ultra was my main streamer before, the Shield has displaced it except for Apple TV+, which isn't available on the Shield, and Amazon Music Unlimited HD, which is available only on the FireStick. Getting lossless audio for that app requires setting the FireStick to output stereo PCM, so I don't use it for movies or TV.

I find all three streamers stable. The main differences are in what's available where - Amazon has not made the HD version of Music Unlimited available on the Roku or the Shield, and Apple has not made Apple TV+ available on the Shield.

For TuneIn radio, none of them is perfect. The 4K FireStick and the Shield share a hobbled version that doesn't let you log in, so they don't have your favorites, plus a useless search feature, making it essentially worthless. The Roku's version of the app doesn't have those flaws, but it can't decode the encodings used by all stations.

My solution is to use my Android phone's TuneIn app, which is great, to "cast" to the Shield over wifi, since the Shield is a Chromecast receiver.
 

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I have 2 Shields (a 2017 and 2019 Pro) and 3 ATV4K’s. I prefer my ATV’s for many reasons but if you require bitstreamed passthrough Atmos the Shield does that while the ATV doesn’t. The apps on the ATV4K are more refined and solid than on the Google Play store which feeds my Shields and Sony Android TV OS but I can’t comment on HBO Max as I don’t use that one.

Finally, there’s an issue with Sony’s and DV that requires you to up your gamma setting a notch to compensate for it being slightly dark. Not everyone has this issue though so YMMV.


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Can someone elaborate on the "bitstreamed passthrough atmos?" Does it actually affect the sound quality or amount of data for ATV? Or is it just a different format that not all sound devices can process? (I ordered a new Denon 4700H and I need to decide between a shield pro and an ATV 4k).
 

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There is really no audio quality difference except some ppl like to see the actual format icon shows up on their shiny new receivers. For that, you will need bitstreamed audio.

Apple TV decodes and outputs multi-channel LPCM or Dolby MAT for Atmos. There is no compatibility problem.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

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Just got my HDHomeRun Duo setup. Very nice. I think I prefer the Kodi Addon to the stand-alone app. It has the more traditional program grid and also seems to have more options and an overall better interface. Using an external 1tb drive on my network for DVR storage, will be more than enough for my needs. Very pleased so far.
 

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Edit: @vikes88 since Tapatalk isn't letting me quote you properly.

Lots of variables to consider, but if your setup includes lots of locally hosted 4K remuxes played with Plex (like mine) then it would behoove you to avoid transcoding at all costs. Bitstreaming your audio is one way to do that. Not sure if ATV4K stumbles with such files but Shield TV Pro has been great with everything I've thrown at it.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
 
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Edit: @vikes88 since Tapatalk isn't letting me quote you properly.

Lots of variables to consider, but if your setup includes lots of locally hosted 4K remuxes played with Plex (like mine) then it would behoove you to avoid transcoding at all costs. Bitstreaming your audio is one way to do that. Not sure if ATV4K stumbles with such files but Shield TV Pro has been great with everything I've thrown at it.

Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
Decoding to LPCM is not transcoding, whether it is by stream box or AVR makes very little difference.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

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I don't want to throw gas on the fire of the ATMOS->LPCM discussion, but LPCM doesn't retain the metadata for each channel. Yes, it's outputting the audio to each channel, but ATMOS contains metadata for each of those channels that isn't transferred by LPCM. It's arguable whether you'd miss it or not, depending on what your receiver does with it.
 

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There is really no audio quality difference except some ppl like to see the actual format icon shows up on their shiny new receivers. For that, you will need bitstreamed audio.

Apple TV decodes and outputs multi-channel LPCM or Dolby MAT for Atmos. There is no compatibility problem.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Wait are you really saying there's no difference between lossless and compressed audio?
 

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There is really no audio quality difference except some ppl like to see the actual format icon shows up on their shiny new receivers. For that, you will need bitstreamed audio.

Apple TV decodes and outputs multi-channel LPCM or Dolby MAT for Atmos. There is no compatibility problem.

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
This is only true with traditional streaming apps. If you use Plex or Kodi to access your own Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content, you’re out of luck with the Apple TV.
 

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There is really no audio quality difference except some ppl like to see the actual format icon shows up on their shiny new receivers. For that, you will need bitstreamed audio.
I'm not sure that this is still true for the object-based audio formats such as Atmos and DTS:X. It was/is definitely the case for D TruHD and DTS HD-MA which are discrete channel based.
 

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I don't want to throw gas on the fire of the ATMOS->LPCM discussion, but LPCM doesn't retain the metadata for each channel. Yes, it's outputting the audio to each channel, but ATMOS contains metadata for each of those channels that isn't transferred by LPCM. It's arguable whether you'd miss it or not, depending on what your receiver does with it.

ATV uses Dolby MAT 2.0 which is a form of LPCM that allows carry over of object meta data.

Wait are you really saying there's no difference between lossless and compressed audio?
Tell me which one is compressed and which one is lossless :)

This is only true with traditional streaming apps. If you use Plex or Kodi to access your own Dolby Atmos or DTS:X content, you’re out of luck with the Apple TV.
I'm not sure that this is still true for the object-based audio formats such as Atmos and DTS:X. It was/is definitely the case for D TruHD and DTS HD-MA which are discrete channel based.
If you have a lot of disc based rips to play, it's no doubt that Shield is a better choice for other reasons (like you don't have to pay $$ to purchase an app to play them). But there are maybe only handlull of DTS:X media out there. OP didn't specify what kind of media he wanted to play. So I assume just streaming apps.

ATV has apps that can play / fully decodeTrueHD or DTS-HD tracks but not possible to play Atmos or DTS:X embedded in those tracks. But it can play Dolby Atmos w/o issues from streaming apps.
 

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Looking through my Shield settings again and have a question about Dolby Audio Processing. It's currently on, and my setup is Shield (and all devices) to a Demon 3600H, outputting to a Sony LED. I have a 7.2.2 audio system.

What does this do and should it be on or off? Thanks!

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Looking through my Shield settings again and have a question about Dolby Audio Processing. It's currently on, and my setup is Shield (and all devices) to a Demon 3600H, outputting to a Sony LED. I have a 7.2.2 audio system.

What does this do and should it be on or off? Thanks!

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
Dolby Processing turns DD+ and other HD formats into vanilla DD. If your HT amp can handle the higher resolution formats natively, you can safely turn off Dolby processing on the Shield.
 

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ATV uses Dolby MAT 2.0 which is a form of LPCM that allows carry over of object meta data.



Tell me which one is compressed and which one is lossless :)





If you have a lot of disc based rips to play, it's no doubt that Shield is a better choice for other reasons (like you don't have to pay $$ to purchase an app to play them). But there are maybe only handlull of DTS:X media out there. OP didn't specify what kind of media he wanted to play. So I assume just streaming apps.

ATV has apps that can play / fully decodeTrueHD or DTS-HD tracks but not possible to play Atmos or DTS:X embedded in those tracks. But it can play Dolby Atmos w/o issues from streaming apps.
Thanks for all of the good input guys! I am mainly concerned with streaming netflix, prime, vudu and hulu in that order of importance and getting atmos from them for the time being. I am also going to stream 1080p due to internet bandwith issues for now. However I would like to have the unit do 4k in case my internet improves or in case I want to move the streaming device to one of my other 4k tvs. I am leaning towards the atv 4k right now because I get the feeling it is more stable and possibly will have less handshake issues going through the denon 4700h to my epson 5040ub?
 

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Dolby Processing turns DD+ and other HD formats into vanilla DD. If your HT amp can handle the higher resolution formats natively, you can safely turn off Dolby processing on the Shield.
Great, thanks. Never looked into it after a receiver upgrade a few months back.

Sent from my Pixel 4 XL using Tapatalk
 

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I have a 2019 Roku Ultra, a 2019 FireStick, and a 2019 Shield (the tube, not the Pro, which was out of stock everywhere when I bought mine). All are the 4K versions.

They're all plugged into a Yamaha Aventage RX-A3070 for 7.2.4 Atmos and DTS:X, and from there into a 4K JVC projector.

While the Ultra was my main streamer before, the Shield has displaced it except for Apple TV+, which isn't available on the Shield, and Amazon Music Unlimited HD, which is available only on the FireStick. Getting lossless audio for that app requires setting the FireStick to output stereo PCM, so I don't use it for movies or TV.

I find all three streamers stable. The main differences are in what's available where - Amazon has not made the HD version of Music Unlimited available on the Roku or the Shield, and Apple has not made Apple TV+ available on the Shield.

For TuneIn radio, none of them is perfect. The 4K FireStick and the Shield share a hobbled version that doesn't let you log in, so they don't have your favorites, plus a useless search feature, making it essentially worthless. The Roku's version of the app doesn't have those flaws, but it can't decode the encodings used by all stations.

My solution is to use my Android phone's TuneIn app, which is great, to "cast" to the Shield over wifi, since the Shield is a Chromecast receiver.
It sounds like the Shield may be my one streamer for all things, at least all that I would use. Spotify is the only streaming music app that I use, and only on my phone. All music listening on my home system is my own lossless music streamed via DLNA through my Oppo 203. Apple TV+ doesn't really interest me at this point, especially if it isn't available on the platform I use. HBO Max is more important to me. That and DV are making me lean heavily to the Shield, especially now that I know that it's Android TV implementation is stable.
 

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It sounds like the Shield may be my one streamer for all things, at least all that I would use. Spotify is the only streaming music app that I use, and only on my phone. All music listening on my home system is my own lossless music streamed via DLNA through my Oppo 203. Apple TV+ doesn't really interest me at this point, especially if it isn't available on the platform I use. HBO Max is more important to me. That and DV are making me lean heavily to the Shield, especially now that I know that it's Android TV implementation is stable.
IIRC from the ATV4K thread, not having 5.1 multichannel for Hulu Live TV was a deal breaker for you. Have you confirmed it’s 5.1 on the Shield?


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Thank you for all the responses!!

So to summarize it sounds like the stability issues I've experienced with the Android TV OS are primarily a result of poor implementation and/or SOC on the part of Sony and aren't reflective of the Android TV OS itself. Would it be safe to say that the stability of the Android TV OS is more or less similar to that of the regular Android phone OS on a decently spec'd phone?

As for apps, would it be safe to say they are also comparable in stability to apps on an Android phone? The apps that I would be using most are Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu (with Live TV), Vudu, Disney+, HBO Max.

Thanks!
I love to think of it more like a nice Android that's been rooted like a Galaxy with all the Samsung bloatware/ layering removed so it can perform at it's best. This is why I like LG phones better as well. Not as much bs loaded on them and you can get rid of more of it so it runs better!
 

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5.1 works for some content on Hulu, but not all. Mainly exclusives to that service, or content from FX and Possibly HBO.
 
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