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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
*Official* Nvidia Shield Android TV - HTPC discussion

Edit - Passthrough finally being added to Kodi (Krypton)
Jarvis test builds http://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=252852
Otherwise Krypton alpha builds should have it as well

Looks like the newest contender from Android TV is something to take note of ~ supposed to arrive May 2015

Official specs from http://shield.nvidia.com/console



NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor
256-core Maxwell with 3GB RAM

4K Ultra-HD ready with 4K playback and capture up to 60 fps (VP9, H265, H264)

7.1 and 5.1 surround sound pass through over HDMI
High-resolution audio playback up to 24-bit/192 kHz over HDMI and USB
High-resolution audio up-sample to 24-bit/192 kHz over USB

16 GB

802.11ac 2x2 MIMO 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 4.1/BLE

Gigabit Ethernet
HDMI 2.0
Two USB 3.0 (Type A)
Micro-USB 2.0
MicroSD slot
IR Receiver (compatible with Logitech Harmony)

SHIELD software upgrades directly from NVIDIA
Gaming FeaturesNVIDIA GRID game streaming service
NVIDIA Share
NVIDIA GameStream

40 W power adapter

Weight and SizeWeight: 23 oz / 654 g
Height: 5.1 in / 130 mm
Width: 8.3 in / 210 mm
Depth: 1.0 in / 25 mm

Operating System: Android TV, Google Cast Ready
Included Apps: PLEX

$199 (with game controller)

Remote - http://shield.nvidia.com/store/remote

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Why is this anything more/less exciting than the FireTV, Nexus Player, or other android box?
-the shield console checks a lot of boxes that android hasn't checked previously from a reputable big name company that will support their devices
-specs say hd audio passthrough and up to 24/192 over hdmi/usb
-Google Cast ready (if you live under a rock and haven't heard of this you should, it's stupidly convenient)
-Mediabrowser will soon have an AndroidTV app
-Kodi can be sideloaded in Android TV (and shows up in the leanback launcher)
-4k/hevc
-IR receiver (harmony compatible)
-AndroidTV means remote controllable Netflix and other streaming services are simpler/more manageable
-Both the remote and the controller appear to have a headphone jack (roku style audio through remote???)
-3GB of ram is nice

Of course the catch is these are all paper specs. We won't see how this shakes out with Kodi until people actually have it in their hands. Android 5.0 introduced the potential for refresh rate switching, but the jury is still out as to whether it can be integrated into kodi and whether or not it will ever be 23.976 or just 24.000

On a final, non-htpc note . . . this will be sweet for game streaming. Nvidia gamestream is quite nice. I use it already through limelight on a Nexus Player and a dualshock3 controller. I'd be in for buying this thing and selling off the controller, or buying one without the controller if they offered such a model. It appears from the store that the controller is a $60 value http://shield.nvidia.com/store/console since I have 4 ds3 controller's and sixaxis already works well with androidTV on the Nexus Player, I'd opt for the cheaper price if they offer such a model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Come release date I'm buying one to replace my Nexus Player (which will get sold/recycled/handed down to a family member). That is unless something more awesome comes along before it's released to knock it off it's current pedestal

The only thing I might miss is that the NP idles around 2-4W with the TV switched off, and I'll have to kill-a-watt this thing to see where it goes to. Big companies and the combination of energy star plus the EU 1-watt initiative seems to have taken care of a lot of excess idle power draw that took a lot of careful effort in the DIY world http://ssj3gohan.tweakblogs.net/blog/8217/fluffy2-59-watt-high-end-desktop-computer.html yay for regulation it seems ;) The Fire, Nexus, RPi and others idle so low it's not even worth considering shutting them off
 

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I'm considering buying this, but I really want to see if the other Tegra X1 console - OBox - gets released as it has better specs and allows upgrades.
 

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Tegra X1 "TFLOP" claims are a little exaggerated it would seem. It gets a TFLOP in half-precision operations, in single-precision it's half that, or 512 GFLOP. In otherwords its GPU power is less than that of a GT 730 and around the same as an R7 240. Granted it is impressive for the fact that the entire processor has a TDP of only 10W, but it's not like the CPU has Broadwell-class power either.


Though this isn't x86, and it will have customised games I'd imagine (?) I can't imagine it being all that great of a gaming machine on its own, compared with the likes of PS4, XBONE, and modern PC gaming. With GameStream it should be great, though personally I dunno why you wouldn't just have a gaming HTPC in that case.


Seems like more of a niche device at $200, but then Shield has never been popular anyway. With Sony messing up badly on PSTV though (no 1080p? and there's still no Netflix app despite there always being one for Vita--WTF?!?), there's not much competition.


As for Goo..err, I mean Android TV, this is just essentially Google TV round 2 I take it? Google TV was ill-supported and a flat-out failure so let's just make it run on a newer Android OS and call it Android TV? It's great that it's better but you gotta feel sorry for people that adopted Google TV when it started out. I bet those folks aren't going to be too interested--the ol' "fool me once..." bit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Tegra X1 "TFLOP" claims are a little exaggerated it would seem. It gets a TFLOP in half-precision operations, in single-precision it's half that, or 512 GFLOP. In otherwords its GPU power is less than that of a GT 730 and around the same as an R7 240. Granted it is impressive for the fact that the entire processor has a TDP of only 10W, but it's not like the CPU has Broadwell-class power either
I'm in a much more-is-less mood these days. Peripheral integration, low power, plays everything I need to play, easy to tell the wife just press reset and go click the kodi tile . . . that means a lot for me. However, in terms of pure prowess Nvidia is the most impressive arm SoC maker IMO. Intel has taken ages to move into this arena, but they aren't in trouble by any means. I prefer not DIYing every software aspect of my HTPCs anymore, and intel can do a lot with OE or windows but there's a crap ton more you have to do on your own after that point

Though this isn't x86, and it will have customised games I'd imagine (?) I can't imagine it being all that great of a gaming machine on its own, compared with the likes of PS4, XBONE, and modern PC gaming. With GameStream it should be great, though personally I dunno why you wouldn't just have a gaming HTPC in that case.
I can tell you why for me. Here's a short list
  • My most powerful cpu was in my server (3770k)
  • It made sense to put the GPU in there as well after I found out about game stream
  • I had the 660 in it's own gaming box before
  • (GamingHTPC)-more to setup
  • (GamingHTPC)-software switching is not always straightforward
  • (GamingHTPC)-advanced launcher or the Kodi Steam Launcher will take you "most of the way" but there are still times where you have to deal with Windows and your frontend not being full screen

With AndroidTV and gamestream, the whole interface is remote controllable making it much more robust for the bedroom or living room TV when I'm not home and the wife needs something to reset, etc. The input is handled really well

Seems like more of a niche device at $200, but then Shield has never been popular anyway. With Sony messing up badly on PSTV though (no 1080p? and there's still no Netflix app despite there always being one for Vita--WTF?!?), there's not much competition.
Well, there's remote play for PS4 on the awesome upcoming xperia android devices

Even with the shield not being popular it was a powerful tablet and Nvidia sticks around supporting it much better than other android manufacturers. Manufacturer support is a sticking point on existing 4k capable SoC android sets from the likes of amlogic and rockchip

As for Goo..err, I mean Android TV, this is just essentially Google TV round 2 I take it? Google TV was ill-supported and a flat-out failure so let's just make it run on a newer Android OS and call it Android TV? It's great that it's better but you gotta feel sorry for people that adopted Google TV when it started out. I bet those folks aren't going to be too interested--the ol' "fool me once..." bit.
Not as much. Google TV came at a time when android was just trying to establish itself. It was more a google device than an android device. The focus on android tv vs chromeTV or something similar is that android is supposed to be central. Now that it's the dominant mobile platform that brings a lot to the table

Some sticking points on android as an HTPC have been
  • Poor manufacturer support (after launch)
  • HD audio
  • Refresh rate switching
  • 4k
  • HEVC, HW deinterlace, VC1

Nvidia in the specs is ticking what looks like 4 of those 5 boxes, and Android 5.0 is supposed to have the potential to check the 5th. VC1 and deinterlacing . . . the jury is still out. Even HEVC is not necessarily going to work in 3rd party apps like Kodi until they really get their hands on it

For the benefits of android as an HTPC you get
  • Google Cast
  • Netflix
  • Amazon Video
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • Etc

At first, some might have to be sideloaded. There will likely even be workarounds dedicated to adding the leanback intent to the manifest of popular apps to get them to show up in the TV interface. http://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-player/general/apps-leanback-launcher-code-play-store-t2976754

Mediabrowser is going to have an android tv app as well

Bluetooth is simpler, updates are less intrusive, there are less moving parts between turning the box on and getting to your front end, voice control, headphones audio through your remote :D The list goes on
 

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I can tell you why for me. Here's a short list
  • My most powerful cpu was in my server (3770k)
  • It made sense to put the GPU in there as well after I found out about game stream
  • I had the 660 in it's own gaming box before
  • (GamingHTPC)-more to setup
  • (GamingHTPC)-software switching is not always straightforward
  • (GamingHTPC)-advanced launcher or the Kodi Steam Launcher will take you "most of the way" but there are still times where you have to deal with Windows and your frontend not being full screen
Ah I see. In your case this does actually make a lot of sense.



Well, there's remote play for PS4 on the awesome upcoming xperia android devices
You don't say, eh? Will be funny if their mobile division outdoes the PS division at their own game (pardon the pun). I mean imagine having an Xperia phone or Tablet that remote plays better than Vita and PSTV? Might be time for the PS division (for once) to give their heads a shake. Truth be told they are holding Sony together at the moment but still, the whole PSTV thing seems very poorly done. Seems like they want people to blame Netflix for PSTV not having Netflix but as said I don't see how it makes sense if what is essentially the same hardware can run it fine (the Vita). It's not just Netflix either, they've also borked Netflix and other PS4 content over-remote-play from PS4 to PSTV so you can't even do that anymore (they blocked it in a fw update). It's like, in the words of AVGN, "What were they thinking?!?!"


Take the most simple/basic/standard "internet feature" for consumer electronics akin to BD players, TVs, tablets, etc. (Netflix) and make sure the PSTV specifically can't do it. Then what do you got left? Vita games? Really? That's what they're going with? I even have a Vita myself and I've probably used the thing only a dozen times or so. Sure there's PS4 remote but that limits you to PS4 owners; there's also some other streaming services but not having "the main one" is a sure put-off for most folks I'd imagine. Anyway this is a whole other story, but seriously Sony needs to either get real with the PSTV or just drop the idea entirely.


Some sticking points on android as an HTPC have been
  • Poor manufacturer support (after launch)
  • HD audio
  • Refresh rate switching
  • 4k
  • HEVC, HW deinterlace, VC1
Nvidia in the specs is ticking what looks like 4 of those 5 boxes, and Android 5.0 is supposed to have the potential to check the 5th. VC1 and deinterlacing . . . the jury is still out. Even HEVC is not necessarily going to work in 3rd party apps like Kodi until they really get their hands on it
And, in fairness, some of those things can't even be done by PCs all that well at the moment. There's GTX 960 but nothing else yet.


At first, some might have to be sideloaded. There will likely even be workarounds dedicated to adding the leanback intent to the manifest of popular apps to get them to show up in the TV interface. http://forum.xda-developers.com/nexus-player/general/apps-leanback-launcher-code-play-store-t2976754
Sideloading would require rooting though, correct? Will rooting interfere with native Shield gaming though? I know some apps won't work right on rooted devices because of "security" (aka DRM) issues, but don't know about Shield.

Bluetooth is simpler, updates are less intrusive, there are less moving parts between turning the box on and getting to your front end, voice control, headphones audio through your remote :D The list goes on
Confused about this last part...BT is simpler...than what? How is Bluetooth going to be used here differently than with other devices?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You don't say, eh? Will be funny if their mobile division outdoes the PS division at their own game (pardon the pun). I mean imagine having an Xperia phone or Tablet that remote plays better than Vita and PSTV? Might be time for the PS division (for once) to give their heads a shake. Truth be told they are holding Sony together at the moment but still, the whole PSTV thing seems very poorly done. Seems like they want people to blame Netflix for PSTV not having Netflix but as said I don't see how it makes sense if what is essentially the same hardware can run it fine (the Vita). It's not just Netflix either, they've also borked Netflix and other PS4 content over-remote-play from PS4 to PSTV so you can't even do that anymore (they blocked it in a fw update). It's like, in the words of AVGN, "What were they thinking?!?!"
Well, the PSP concept is kind of around for nostalgia these days. The writing was on the wall when apple and android's foot hold established themselves in a market where people ended up buying $600 and $700 devices on a $100 or $200 contract. Then comparatively (to the consumer) a $250 portable gets pretty difficult to succeed. Specs can't compete, so really it makes the most sense for them to roll everything into the more "adoptable" purchase pricing of a tablet or smartphone (and let their fans get double duty rather than just a portable gaming device)

Sideloading would require rooting though, correct? Will rooting interfere with native Shield gaming though? I know some apps won't work right on rooted devices because of "security" (aka DRM) issues, but don't know about Shield.
No sideloading doesn't require root. Also, rooting doesn't usually interfere with anything other than obscure things most people don't use anyway (like a standard recovery 'download' mode that needs to be exploited to gain root access).

The only reason I have the Nexus player rooted is to run PS3 dualshock controllers over bluetooth and run the root version of the limelight app. The root version of the limelight app will be a total non-factor on the shield since gamestream will be baked in. If the DS3 controllers work without root then I won't even bother. Kodi runs just fine without root

Confused about this last part...BT is simpler...than what? How is Bluetooth going to be used here differently than with other devices?
Well, sometimes it works (mostly on windows) sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't work you definitely have to leave the frontend to toggle with stuff. It's not always straightforward in OpenELEC

Overall I've had far less issues with bluetooth on android, because it's hardware integrated

Not a big deal for an HTPC, which doesn't really need bluetooth. More important to me for a gaming htpc. Bluetooth gamepads are what I like, no stretching wires across my living room :D
 

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Nvidia Shield

Looking forward to this device. I'm an early adopter and have Sony's first 4K TV which doesn't stream Nextflix or Youtube in 4K. This box fixes that problem in a cheaper way than buying Sony's new 4K media box for $700.
 

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Then comparatively (to the consumer) a $250 portable gets pretty difficult to succeed. Specs can't compete, so really it makes the most sense for them to roll everything into the more "adoptable" purchase pricing of a tablet or smartphone (and let their fans get double duty rather than just a portable gaming device)
In the Vita's defense it's not a PSP (though then again at least PSP had TV out on its own, lol) and it's not $250 these days either. The Vita itself actually seems like it would be a better TV device than the PSTV despite the hardware being essentially the same. Just a royal f-up by Sony here, on both fronts. Vita is actually better than PSTV for TV, but has no way to output to a TV; PSTV just becomes a useless product and comes off as a money grab more than anything else.


Because the Vita can do some "tablet stuff" itself, it's actually not that bad a device for uses other than gaming. The problem is it's just not well enough supported by Sony--total shame really. Instead of making a viable "ecosystem" between products, like Crapple does, Sony puts little effort into Vita and just lets PSTV fall flat on its face. :confused: It's nice that the PS4 is doing well for them, but why focus only on one product?


No sideloading doesn't require root.
Oh okay, fair enough then.

Well, sometimes it works (mostly on windows) sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't work you definitely have to leave the frontend to toggle with stuff. It's not always straightforward in OpenELEC
I'm still not understanding what it is that works or doesn't though, lol :p Just general function including streaming, or something else?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm still not understanding what it is that works or doesn't though, lol Just general function including streaming, or something else?
Pairing my Bluetooth ds3 game pads to a USB Bluetooth receiver and using the ds3 as a controller for my games
 

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Without MPEG 2 support, I'm not sure how well Live TV will work via the official Android 'Live TV'/HDHomerun app on this. Currently, unless you have an HDHomerun Extend, TV doesn't work too well (for anything above SD) on the Nexus Player (which doesn't support MPEG 2). On the ADT-1 (which does support MPEG 2), Live TV works fine with any HDHomerun; in SD or HD.

It's possible the Shield is powerful enough to do live transcoding seamlessly on the unit itself, negating the need for MPEG 2 support - but we have no way of knowing that yet.

It's also possible they support MPEG 2, and didn't list it, but I doubt that.
 

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Without MPEG 2 support, I'm not sure how well Live TV will work via the official Android 'Live TV'/HDHomerun app on this. Currently, unless you have an HDHomerun Extend, TV doesn't work too well (for anything above SD) on the Nexus Player (which doesn't support MPEG 2). On the ADT-1 (which does support MPEG 2), Live TV works fine with any HDHomerun; in SD or HD.

It's possible the Shield is powerful enough to do live transcoding seamlessly on the unit itself, negating the need for MPEG 2 support - but we have no way of knowing that yet.

It's also possible they support MPEG 2, and didn't list it, but I doubt that.
This time last year I would have said "Don't worry, SD is coming out with an H.264 transcoding version of the Prime, so it won't be an issue."

Currently I'm skeptical of the release of that device.

That said, it does seem like the pieces to a non-WMC based protected content system are slowly falling into place.
 

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And the 6 tuner Prime!

Has the recording side been figured out yet? I'm not yet convinced that Android TV will bring anything new to the table for recording protected content.
 

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This time last year I would have said "Don't worry, SD is coming out with an H.264 transcoding version of the Prime, so it won't be an issue."

Currently I'm skeptical of the release of that device.

That said, it does seem like the pieces to a non-WMC based protected content system are slowly falling into place.
Luckily I got myself am ADT-1 right when they were announced. It's all I use for Live Tv anymore. I just need the rest of the apps released for it I need/use, and it will be my main box (it already is for the most part). A DVR app, and I can kick WMC to the curb.

ADT-1 is what I would still recommend atm (for Android TV devices, if you need TV), but if you didn't sign up for one initially after Google I/O, you gotta go to eBay now for one.

The Shield's local game streaming you can already do with Limelight on any Android TV device, so that takes that advantage away from it IMO. You can't play the native games or subscribe to it's game streaming service - so if that's what draws anyone to it, then the Shield is for you.

As for its 4k capability, if you currently are looking at buying a new TV and decide to go 4k, then it's worth looking at. If you currently have a 1080p TV, I think it would be dumb to get this for future proofing, as by the time you're ready to upgrade, there will be better and cheaper 4k STB units (even Android TV ones - if it survives, lol) on the market.
 

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Pairing my Bluetooth ds3 game pads to a USB Bluetooth receiver and using the ds3 as a controller for my games
Ahhh that. It all makes sense now! I thought this was possible without rooting at all? I know I'm supposed to be able to do that on my Android tablet (I never tried) but then again it is a Sony tablet (if that makes a difference). I do have to connect it via USB first though (just as with Playstation). I've never actually done it though 'cause I've never played games on Android.
 

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I just use a wireless 360 adapter for pc and wireless 360 controller for gaming on my Google ADT-1 via Limelight. Works natively w/o root.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Without MPEG 2 support, I'm not sure how well Live TV will work via the official Android 'Live TV'/HDHomerun app on this. Currently, unless you have an HDHomerun Extend, TV doesn't work too well (for anything above SD) on the Nexus Player (which doesn't support MPEG 2). On the ADT-1 (which does support MPEG 2), Live TV works fine with any HDHomerun; in SD or HD
Live TV works fine on the Nexus Player (OTA HD). It just doesn't deinterlace. Neither does the adt-1 or firetv. The Shield may or may not, but if puny SoCs like the tegra4 and snapdragon 600 can play mpeg2 up to 1080i then it would be beyond senseless that a much more powerful SoC like the X1 wouldn't be able to. It'll likely have the grunt to software deinterlace

The Shield's local game streaming you can already do with Limelight on any Android TV device, so that takes that advantage away from it IMO
This is correct, but not entirely correct. The advantage of the shield will be the same as the advantage of tegra4 devices and the Nexus Player from XDA's Limelight thread
Tier 1 devices:
Tegra 4 - Nvidia Shield - 5 ms - 1080p60 supported
Intel Atom/Bay Trail/Moorefield - Nexus Player - 8 ms - 1080p60 supported
Tegra K1 - Nexus 9 - 15 ms - 1080p60 supported
Tegra 3 - OUYA and Nexus 7 (2012) - 17 ms - 1080p60 supported
Broadcom VideoCore IV - Fire TV Stick - 20 ms - 720p60/1080p30 supported

Tier 2 devices:
Snapdragon 801 - HTC One M8 GPE - 40 ms - 1080p60 supported
Snapdragon 800 - Nexus 5 - 40 ms - 1080p60 supported

Tier 3 devices:
Snapdragon 600 - Fire TV - 50 ms - 720p60/1080p30 supported
Snapdragon S4 Pro (rebranded 600) - Nexus 7 (2013) - 50 ms 720p60/1080p30 supported
http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2505510

I just use a wireless 360 adapter for pc and wireless 360 controller for gaming on my Google ADT-1 via Limelight. Works natively w/o root.
Does the green ring on the controller ever stop flashing?

Ahhh that. It all makes sense now! I thought this was possible without rooting at all? I know I'm supposed to be able to do that on my Android tablet (I never tried) but then again it is a Sony tablet (if that makes a difference). I do have to connect it via USB first though (just as with Playstation). I've never actually done it though 'cause I've never played games on Android.
You can connect via USB and control it without root, but to use it as a bluetooth gamepad root is required
 
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