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Fair; it all boils down to your environment and what you have/etc. I have a DV-capable set in my bedroom, so I want DV (I'm currently using a CCwGTV, although sometimes I need to switch to the built in Android TV if I want D+ with DV.) In the main setup downstairs I have a Shield.

I do agree with your "more the merrier" statement. And I do prefer the UI to, say, the Roku. Although if I were picking out something for my parents (seniors, struggle with tech sometimes), I'd go with the Roku, because the interface is dead simple and uncluttered. I could easily see my dad getting lost on the CCwGTV.
Just as an aside FYI, D+ is now DV-enabled for the GCCWGTV.
 

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I had a Roku Express in my system for a little bit just for ATV+ but never found enough content I liked (save for Greyhound) to keep it in place. Unless you're using the Shield for lossless playback in Plex/Kodi, I'd probably just go with a CCGTV and have everything in one place. I caved and replaced my '17 Shield Pro with a '19 Shield Tube about a month before the apps I really needed got fixed on the CCGTV... if I'd waited it out, I'd probably be happily using the CCGTV in my theater now. As it stands, the CCGTV is in the Master Bedroom, but might get moved to the Living Room (since the Hisense H8F is a buggy mess) once the Onn is released.
 

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I do actually do lossless playback in Plex; I also play UHD remuxes. Plus, I love the AI upscaling.
 

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I will say I was pleasantly surprised by the AI Upscaling when I upgraded... I knew it was there but hadn't given it much thought and didn't expect it to be a real value add. When I hooked it up and did the built-in comparison, I really was surprised at the amount of detail it pulled out without any noticeable over-sharpening artifacts.
 
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Just picked up the UHD version from local store. I have to say I'm surprised. Compared to the similarly priced Dynalink unit I have, it has a much better wifi chip. 5GHz speed test constantly in 300+ up/down which is better than my CCwGTV using wired network or WiFi. The unit is not sluggish at all. Somehow, Walmart managed to squeeze out 4.8GB of storage vs typical 4.4GB found in other Android TV boxes.

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I didn't realize until the official announcement that there was a $25 HD stick version... I'm sure they're just trying to compete with the Roku Express and Fire Stick Lite, but I'd gladly pay the $5 extra just for the faster chipset, even if I only had a 1080p display.
 

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The main problem of HD stick is less memory, IIRC 1GB, and less storage, 5GB total. So, it is no brainer pick the UHD version.

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I bought one of these on Saturday just to play with. My primary player is a Shield, and I also have many Roku devices. I was curious to see how this worked with my local ripped media. So after setting it up and letting it update, I installed Kodi and set it up to connect to my Serviio DLNA server.

First the major negative: it puts out an HDR signal constantly, with no way to turn it off. I'm connected through a Yamaha AVR to an LG Nano85 TV. As soon as I switch inputs the HDR flag appears on screen. That's not good for an accurate image. That said, my wife thought it provided a good image.

The good: connected to my Ubiquiti AP about 3 feet away, the WiFi is solid. I've been streaming a UHD rip of The Fifth Element for 39 minutes, and there's been no buffering at all. None of my Roku devices can accomplish that, wired or wireless. It won't bitstream Dolby TrueHD or DTS Master Audio, but it will bitstream DTS HD audio, as well as all lesser audio codecs. I haven't made any changes to my DLNA server, so it's streaming the full bitstream UHD rip. I can change the audio track to an included DD track and it all plays. I'll probably create a Serviio profile to transcode the lossless audio, simply so my family doesn't need to mess with changing the audio track.

In spite of HDR being enabled at all times, SD and HD material also looks good. Captions are displayed from DVD/BD discs without an issue. I have the same issue with OTA recorded TV not showing a caption track available until after the video plays for some time. This is a Kodi issue, as VLC shows the captions without an issue.

I did just discover one additional issue, Kodi is not changing the output resolution, even through I have the only available resolution within the whitelist. But I also noticed the available whitelist resolution is a far cry from what Kodi shows in my Shield players. It only displays 1920x1080p 59.94Hz. Since most HD Blu Rays are mastered at 24Hz, that would explain why it's not switching. It also won't allow the GUI to be set at anything other than that resolution, so that might be a limitation of this player. But I tried Plex as well, and even with all settings enabled (passthrough, framerate and resolution matching) my Yamaha is still reporting a 4K stream with 1080 material.

For $30 it's tough to beat. It's better than my Roku Ultra players in many ways, other than the lack of Dolby Vision for my 4800. It's certainly as good as any Chromecast device (and of course it has Chromecast built in anyway). Still can't touch my Shield, but for well over $100 price difference, who would expect it to?
 
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The forced HDR is a known issue but not as bad as other devices with such limitations. The Kodi resolution problem is also a known Kodi problem that basically on all recent streamers using these Amlogic SoC and modern Android TV OS. Kodi depends on some ancient API to get the resolution list but it is no longer supported by these new devices. The Kodi team isn't interested fixing this issue.

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Thanks @Foxbat121 . I purchased MrMC on my Shields, so perhaps I'll give it a shot on this one as well. Maybe they've worked a bit harder on it.
 

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Thanks @Foxbat121 . I purchased MrMC on my Shields, so perhaps I'll give it a shot on this one as well. Maybe they've worked a bit harder on it.
I believe they all work on the same code base. Last time I tried on my CCwGTV, it didn't work any better than Kodi.

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OK, tried MrMC and going through the settings I remembered one that's needed for the OTA recording captions. So I'll go back in there and change that. But unfortunately you are correct. Even though I've enabled all of the resolution and framerate matching functions (I don't see a whitelist like Kodi has), it's still just outputting 4K. I tried VLC with the same results. Oh well... It's still a good, cheap player for anywhere I need to add such a device.
 

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Just finished some testing of the ONN 4K Streaming Box ($30).

Had some trouble with the setup: after initially updating the firmware and syncing the remote (for the second time), it decided the configured language was Chinese - had to completely factory reset the device and setup again, worked properly after that.

It also had trouble connecting to 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz SSIDs when already connected via USB ethernet.

The Apps UI section is handy for those that prefer an app-centric layout, and the not-hidden-heavily-advertised Google Play Store app is also a huge plus (unlike the GCCWGTV, which hides both the app mode and the Play Store).

App-wise in terms of 4K/HDR10/5.1 support, it has most of the usual AndroidTV limitations/functionality lag (e.g. no Hulu 4K/5.1), though not others (e.g. Paramount+ has DD+/DD 5.1 support).

Like other 4K/HDR-capable Android TV based devices, it also supports HLG output (though not from the YT app - an app update could/should fix this).

It lacks Dolby Vision, and the "HDR always on" is its biggest drawback (and is a problem as with any device) though average users wont care, and with no way to disable it even more so - perhaps a future firmware update will address this, sooner than the 9 months it took the TS4K.

It also lacks Dolby Atmos support, but the inclusion of a Dolby (DD+ level) decoder is a significant plus as well, and it works properly with all apps unlike the TS4K ($30-40), and considering the GCCWGTV ($50) lacks a Dolby decoder, makes it an extremely competitive buy for those with legacy DD 5.1 systems - its only real competition in terms of Dolby decoding with 4K/HDR10 is the FS4K ($40); the Roku Express 4K ($30) and 4K+ ($35), while supporting 4K/HDR10 and Atmos, lack a Dolby decoder, and arent suited for legacy 5.1 configurations.

Those with older 4K and/or HDR10-only TVs and legacy DD5.1 AVRs/soundbars will find it compelling at $30.
 

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I noticed I had to re-pair my remote as well after that first update. But it is nice being a Bluetooth remote. Since is supports Kodi, it's superior to Roku players in many respects with local media, specifically caption support (it plays image-based as well as text captions), and it will bitstream DTS-HD audio. However, it will not bitstream DTS-MA or Dolby TrueHD. I had not tried any Atmos from an online provider, so that's a pity they don't support that. I do hope they get a fix for the constant on HDR soon, as that's really the one significant issue.

It also successfully streams my UHD rips over 5 GHz WiFi, which I could never get to work on any of my Roku players. The Rokus simply don't seem to be able to handle the video bitrate that a ripped UHD movie has.

For $30, this really is a nice player. Using external USB storage and/or network adapters enhance it even more. I don't care for the large ad the UI places in the top of the screen, as the Shield doesn't do that. But then Roku does it on their home screen as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
With certain displays the forced HDR while not accurate could be advantageous.

I guess not with most of them tho.
 

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OK, did some more testing today. Logged into Vudu, where I have some 4K titles with Atmos. Everything was only available in HDX (1080). Even the titles that indicated I owned the UHD version, HDX was the only playback option. I then installed and logged into Movies Anywhere. I tried several of my 4K titles. My AVR actually lit up the Atmos screen, so apparently this player will bitstream DD+ Atmos. However, every 4K title had a black screen. I could pause, and the GUI appeared, along with thumbnails to allow me to FF/Rewind. But when resuming play it would return to a black screen. Playing 1080 titles from MA was no problem.

So there's something in the OS and/or hardware that is limiting 4K playback. Which is strange when I can play my 4K/HDR ripped movies without a problem. I just have to select the DD audio track instead of the lossless audio that is the default. Since it won't bitstream TrueHD there's no way to tell if it would provide Atmos from those tracks. Same with the DTS:X tracks, no sound until I select the secondary DD/DTS track. The fact it will bitstream DTS-HD is helpful, but most of my discs are DTS-MA or TrueHD, even on the 1080 discs.

Note that I'm using the same HDMI cable that is normally connected to my Roku Ultra 4800, and it provides 4K/Dolby Vision without an issue from the Roku, so not the cable or AVR inhibiting the stream.
 
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Did some further testing as well (Kodi/VLC/YT/etc) - it supports HLG output and will actually switch to HLG output mode when playing content and switch back to HDR10 when complete (HDR Always on) - this is identical to other Android TV devices (TS4K/GCCWGTV), without the HDR always on of course.

However, while the YT app supports HLG input streams, it outputs the HLG as HDR10 (the YT app doesnt switch to HLG output mode when playing HLG content). The YT app needs to be updated to support HLG output on Android TV devices with HLG output support - again, this is identical to the TS4K/GCCWGTV.

It remains interesting/odd that Google supports HLG output for HLG input streams from the YT app on other platforms (Roku/Fire TV/WebOS), but not on its own (Android TV) - a simple app update would fix this.

Regardless, the ONN 4KSB supports HLG output.
 

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Can anyone report if 1080p SDR output is correct for a 1080p display on the 4K model? And I know it's an even bigger longshot, but could someone test for 4K SDR output when connected to an SDR-only 4K display?

Having forced HDR output for an HDR display is bad, but having forced HDR output for SDR displays would make it useless. I have an SDR-only 4K Samsung 60" in the bedroom I was strongly considering one of these for... but if 1080p is the only way to get SDR output, I can just put this on the Kuro in the Living Room and move that CCGTV to the bedroom.
 

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I used it only for 1080p TV. No problems.

For 4K TVs, I will need DV, no compromise.

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