This device will replace my 2019 Shield for one reason and one reason only: framerate match built right into Android TV 11 OS. That and YT HDR as well as HLG support which are never possible with Shield.
UPDATE Oct 2 2020:For those of you wanting to add ethernet and external storage, I ordered a bunch of usb hubs off amazon. Here is my list so far. Tested with a 5V 3amp usb c power supply and NOT the stock power brick:
Ones that work
My favorite cause it so cheap! Works great
my second favorite because of the detachable usb c cable
3. Amazon.com: Hauyate USB C Hub Multiport Adapter,MacBook Pro USB C Dongle, 8 in 1 USB C Dock to HDMI Adaptor Compatible for iPad, XPS More Type C Devices-4K HDMI USB3.0 SD/TF Card Reader 60W PD: Electronics
works. ok price
works but pricey for most. got mine free for a review though
Ones that don't work.
UPDATE Oct 1 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.
My setup is as follows: Chromecast -> Denon AVR-X4500H -> LG 77C9
First, the good:
Now, the bad:
- 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
- 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.
I’m afraid we won’t see a global framerate match feature in Android 11 like many of us would be waiting for.This device will replace my 2019 Shield for one reason and one reason only: framerate match built right into Android TV 11 OS. That and YT HDR as well as HLG support which are never possible with Shield.
The other method mentioned here is the one that is already available and used by apps like Kodi. So even if the new calling method would be used on Android TV - for example on a HDMI2.1 capable display that supports the VRR feature - this will still be optional and depend on the app to support it. So as long as streaming providers like Netflix decide to not support frame rate matching with their apps, the addition of this new feature in Android 11 won’t make a difference.The platform will only switch display modes in response to a call to setFrameRate() if the mode switch is lightweight and unlikely to be noticeable to the user. If the app prefers to switch the display refresh rate even if it requires a heavy mode switch (for example, on an Android TV device), use preferredDisplayModeId.
I have the 2017 Shield and I am in the same boat. It's really unfortunate that Shield decided to cheap out on not supporting YouTube HDR and HLG, even though from a computation hardware perspective the chip is more than enough to do so.This device will replace my 2019 Shield for one reason and one reason only: framerate match built right into Android TV 11 OS. That and YT HDR as well as HLG support which are never possible with Shield.
No ethernet port, yikes.