Best way to stream

Discussion in 'Geek Cave: Computers, Tablets, HT, Phones, Games' started by Cspirou, Oct 17, 2020.

  1. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So I am getting a new TV and I got to thinking what's the best way to stream Netflix, Hulu or a similar service? Here are the options I can see before me

    -App on TV itself
    -external device like Apple TV, Roku or Nvidia shield
    -computer with HDMI port and accessing Netflix through a web browser on full screen mode

    Features I would want (not all required but more is better):
    -least lag possible
    -highest resolution
    -connection to an external DAC (this is SBAF goddamit)
    -wireless audio option to use Bluetooth or AptX to watch when kids are sleeping
    -super bonus. A crossfeed audio option specifically for headphones
     
  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Right off the bat I'm pretty sure the TV itself is the worst. The hardware on a TV should be dedicated to video signal processing primarily. Adding streaming to that would take away resources. I also remember using the in-laws TV and after awhile it ran super slow.

    Plus just read a bunch of stories about SmartTVs collecting user data. While I'm sure other devices mentioned do it as well, just seems extra insidious from the TV.
     
  3. jnak00

    jnak00 Acquaintance

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    I've used Android TV (on the TV itself) and Roku. They both work well, but if the TV already has streaming ability, I would go with that first. Less cost and setup.

    Connecting to a DAC will depend on your TV. Most streaming boxes only have HDMI out these days so the audio output will have to come from your TV. Unless you use an optical splitter, but that's not a real elegant solution.

    Same thing with Bluetooth. I think most modern TVs will allow Bluetooth connection to headphones. No idea on crossfeed though.

    So, start with the TV and then go from there if the TV is insufficient.
     
  4. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    I'll probably end up using a KanexPro to extract SPDIF from the HDMI
     
  5. scblock

    scblock Friend

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    All your ideas are valid options, and I've tried them in the past. Direct streaming on the TV itself has some advantages, like not needing another box, but you're limited to whatever is in the TV, which in my experience (Samsung, Vizio, and TCL/Roku) is less polished than a dedicated box. And you may get limited updates to the built-in software, or just abandoned broken channels. I find the computer option too unwieldy for day to day use, and don't like worrying about fan noise either. Maybe if I could keep the actual machine in another room it would be better.

    My personal preference is an Apple TV. I especially like that it can send audio over AirPlay, which means I can use one of my Raspberry Pi streamers connected to an external DAC and headphone amp when I want.
     
  6. Elnrik

    Elnrik Super Friendly

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    My Panasonic plasma tv no longer receives updates and the Netflix app is too old for Netflix to let it connect. Shield TV to the rescue.

    I tried Roku and Amazon sticks, but Shield has them beat hands down for interface, applications, connections and power. I even have a USB high-def receiver for recording local channels via antenna connected to it. Works perfectly
     
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  7. LetMeBeFrank

    LetMeBeFrank Won't tell anyone my name is actually Francis

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    Nvidia shield is the best streamer, hands down. It supports 4k 60fps, all audio codecs, It has LDAC bluetooth, and supports hi res output via usb to dacs.
     
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  8. Clemmaster

    Clemmaster Friend

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    My LG C7 has great built in streaming. Always the highest quality and the wiimote-like remote is very convenient. 3 years later, it is still responsive (the streaming apps at least).

    I’m sure newer premium LG TVs will be much faster still.

    I owned a Shield TV back in 2015 and didn’t think it was all that great. I’m sure it got better over time.

    We use the Apple TV 4K all the time. It’s always snappy, but I hate the remote so much. The touchpad like surface is just dumb and it doesn’t integrate well with the Logitech Harmony remote (scrolling back/forward in time is only step by step and super slow...)

    And for SPDif output, can’t you use the TV TOSLink?
     
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