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Thread: 4k Streaming box/thing

  1. #1
    Senior Member Smudger's Avatar
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    4k Streaming box/thing

    Hi,

    I've got a Samsung KS7000, which is one of the earliest/oldest Samsung TVs to get the Disney+ app, but the thing is, it's not in 4k. Not sure if it's just a that generation thing, or if it's the same on all Samsungs, but I was thinking of getting a streaming 'thing' to get round that. I know it seems a bit extreme just to get 4k resolution on one app, but my next TV is very likely to be a Panasonic OLED, which doesn't do streaming apps very well at all, so it will be more useful as time goes by.

    My shortlist consist of:

    Amazon Fire stick 4k
    Roku Streaming Stick +
    (at a push) Nvidia Shield TV/Pro
    Now TV 4k box

    Anyone got any of the above, can recommend anything else that may be better?

    I'm leaning towards the Roku, as I'm wary of getting stuck in the Amazon infrastructure...

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    If you're thinking that you'd like to have Plex server in the future, then the NVIDIA Shield Tv Pro will cover your needs now and later, which the others wont. Trying to find one available right now though is tricky.

    I'd avoid the Now TV box. It doesn't support Dolby Vision, which Disney+ uses.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    So I haven't used all but combining me and my friends we have used most of them and I would say the following

    1. Amazon Fire Stick 4K - These are great and I wouldn't worry about getting stuck in their eco-system. I use FireSticks but have Google for other bits as I'm not really bothered about the Alexa functionality. Generally it just works and it's great for Disney+, NetFlix and even other apps such as Plex and Emby. Would definitely recommend as a budget option
    2. Roku Streaming Stick - Probably the best if you are not wanting to get tied into one brand and if you are likely to stray between a variety of streaming services in the future (NowTV etc is not on the Fire TV)
    3. NVidia Shield TV - Same as the Roku but a bit more niche, guy at work has one and he loves it but he's also a tinkerer and not scared of sideloading stuff
    4. NowTV Box 4K - Frankly we have had a few NowTV boxes and I just find them sluggish and generally not very good. My grandma has the newest one and I'm still not enamered with it and it's lack of options to sideload to or develop on.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    Maybe worth considering an Apple TV 4k? I got one to mirror my phone screen so I could watch training vids on my turbo trainer, but it actually works really well. I've installed Plex, Netflix, iPlayer, etc on it and it's very snappy, in fact it's the only thing I have which will stream uncompressed 4K Bluray rips from my NAS without dropping frames (over wired ethernet). It's certainly way snappier than the (increasingly) clunky WebOS built into my 2015 LG OLED.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I got the Amazon Firestick 4k. I was able to put Kodi on it to play my remuxes. Full 4K remuxes streaming wirelessly with no buffering. It's a great wee bit of kit and I got it on Amazon for £29.99. A bargain.

    NowTV can be sideloaded on the Firestick with no issues. I use it daily. (https://www.techymice.com/firestick/...-on-firestick/)
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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    You would expect the shield to be better as it is a lot more expensive. If you already have a plex server on your network, the firestick makes an easy plex player. I use my htpc as a plex server and just use the firestick as a player. Again, for 29 quid, it's near perfect. Sideloading apps means you can put pretty much anything on it, in terms of media playback. I even use it to view my cctv.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I have the Roku Premiere 4K, which was also £29.99. I'm really happy with it on the whole, it supports all the catch-up TV apps in the UK, as well as all the major streaming services (Netflix, Amazon, Apple, Disney, NowTV etc). There's a Plex client app for it too, although I've never used it. The only annoying thing for me is that they no longer support the Twitch app, but I suppose it was a bit of a niche option.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    Having tried all but the Apple TV I settled on Roku. Being provider agnostic means all the major steaming platforms, Plex & Emby without any sideloading at all. The UI is also very easy to use. Like all of these things it phones home with telemetry but at least its simple to block at your Pi-hole/router/firewall by blacklisting *.logs.roku.com which stops it but doesn't affect functionality.

    Bizarrely the only streaming service it won't do is Britbox, but only if you're in the UK. For reasons best known to themselves the US/Global version of Britbox is available but they don't want to offer the UK version. Weird.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    Thanks all for the suggestions. I'm leaning towards the Roku stick, as the FireTV 4k stick is £50 now, and the Roku is £49... But the shield TV Pro would be a nice but expensive thing to have...

    Interestingly, I read yesterday about the new Chromecast UHD. Looks like it's going to have a proper interface, and be more like a roku or a fire stick, but still have casting abilities. I might wait and see what that offers on launch...
    Last edited by Smudger; 14-05-2020 at 01:51 PM.

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    jim
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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I have got the Fire Stick, Nexus Player and the Roku Ultra.

    The Roku is far and away my favourite, just for simplicity and sensible design. The Fire and Nexus feel a bit too much like Android devices for me, and they don't have the reliability that the Roku does.

    As my Roku is a US version, you can't install iPlayer on it, which is a bit frustrating. From what spaceinvader says it sounds like they can sometimes have a bit of a problem with regional locks. But for overall experience I'd happily recommend it.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I have a firestick on the living room TV and Roku upstairs, I'm happy with both but has to be said the firestick feels much more snappy and is alot more versatile and easy to side load apps

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I have 4k firestick but facing many issues

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    +1 for the NVIDIA SHIELD. Expensive but it's a top tier device in terms of hardware and support. If you ever plan on streaming high quality 4k files over something like a local Plex server, it's a godsend for the file/encoding support. AND it has built-in Chromecast so you can play things that don't have a native app.
    They do a tube version of the SHIELD which can be bought for £100-130 on offer and £150 right now.

    UI/UX is smooth, none of that laggy UI you often find on the cheaper devices like Amazon sticks.

    Google TV is also another good option, you get all the advantages of Android TV but at a much lower price (£60).

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    mush-mushroom b0redom's Avatar
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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    Actually I know this is a necro, but I've been very pleasantly surprised by the Roku Streambar which I've used to upgrade the sound on my kitchen TV. It's basically the full Roku experience plus Apple videocast built into a decent quality soundbar. It's not going to rival a much higher end soundbar or a full decent separates system, but it's way better that I was expecting for the price.

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I did go for the Roku in the end, it's done pretty well for what we need it for, which is mainly Disney+

    The young'un is now at an age for having a telly in his playroom with the old PS3 attached. The TV we've got for there is non-smart, so might have to have a look at the Google TV dongle for getting content in there. Then put it on the main TV if it's better than the Roku...

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    Re: 4k Streaming box/thing

    I got one of the Google TV dongles for Christmas. Nice bit of kit (in 1080p at least, my Samsung is too old for 4K), though again it doesn't do Britbox which I still have to cast from my tablet. Probably should cancel that anyway, not watched if for a few weeks.

    For integrating my usual Netflix/Amazon/YouTube content it is pretty easy to use.

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