Bought a ATV4 and Nvidia shield.

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by mellofello, Feb 28, 2016.

  1. mellofello, Feb 28, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2016

    mellofello macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    Tl dr the atv is going back.

    I had to see for myself and bought both to plug into my 4K tv.

    I had intended to write a huge long synopsis of why I kept the shield over the Atv but I will keep it short

    4K really matters to me. I have OCD when it comes to picture quality, and it bugged me when watching Netflix, and YouTube through the Atv that it was only 1080p. At this point I will concede that there is not a ton of content, but Netflix is consistently putting out content, and watching MKBHD content on you tube in 4K is breathtaking quality. Also the nvidia shield is the smoothest 4K streaming available videos that choke out my high spec Imac are butter on the shield.

    As compared to the very rigid curated Atv 3 experience, the Atv 4 has greatly improved. There are now tons of apps, way more then what is on android tv. They still kept a few doors closed though. As a cord cutter having full access to KODI to fill in some gaps is a god send. I also subscribed to sling TV, and got a HD antenna so I am now able to watch Anything any time for the $14 per month I pay to sling. Another plus to the shield is that You have the ability to side load any android app, so any holes in android tv, like lack of Spotify app are solved easily.

    Also if you want to hack the shield it has a unlocked boot loader so sky is the limit with what you can do. You can change the whole UI if it suits you. Stock both the the Atv and sheild are almost identical, but it is nice to know that I can one day change it to a folder based system, or hide apps is nice.

    Gaming is not even in the same conversation. The shield ships with a controller, and has a subscription service that allows you to play gorgeous PC versions of games. The Atv probably has a much higher quantity, but the shield is capable of playing AAA titles that look on par with my PS4. This is all moot because I am really tied into the PS ecosystem but you could feasibly use this as a REAL gaming system. I intend to throw on a bunch of emulators in the near future as this could be the best retro gaming rig of all time.

    Overall I really think the selling point of the Atv 4 was going to be the streaming service, that never materialized. Without it, it is not the best streaming device on the market. I considered just keeping it in case a killer app rolled out, but after not even turning it on for a few days I decided to send it back. It really had no major innovation IMO.

    Had they put in the ability for 4K60 I would have kept it.
  2. Mac... nificent macrumors 6502

    Nov 20, 2012
    Glad you got the one you want :) When 4K has a fair amount of content I'm sure it will be added to the :apple:TV. Right now, for many reasons, it's just too soon to do so. I don't know of anyone who bought a :apple:TV for mostly gaming. It's a nice add-on, but not the meat of the product. That's what gaming consoles are for. Once :apple:TV is given Siri universal search it will be the best at what it does, especially now that you can also watch and record live TV. Looking forward to the new :apple:TV update coming out soon. Apple TV + Synology NAS = completely happy setup :)
  3. ajforbes20 macrumors regular


    Oct 5, 2011
  4. ukpetey macrumors regular


    Oct 15, 2008
    Durham, England
    I hope you enjoy your choice. I'd say good luck in balancing your " I have OCD when it comes to picture quality" with "having KODI to fill in some gaps is a god send" since in my experience the content available via Kodi is far from 4K - and often far from 1080p too!

    Thanks for a great synopsis of your thoughts. I have an ATV4 and an Android tv box running KODI (to fill in the gaps!) and they are two completely different experiences. One is simple and polished, the other requires copious amounts of google searches, YouTube video how-to's and a qualification in computer science to get the best out of it!

    I guess we are still waiting for the 'perfect' streamer....
  5. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    Yeah even the 1080p content on kodi is not up to snuff. However the world is your oyster if you are willing to hunt for stuff.

    I am a tinkerer by nature and convoluted setup processes are a hobby of mine. I probably won't use it much TBH.
  6. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    How is the Shield for playing video files stored on a local NAS - without use of a Plex server running on the NAS or a computer somewhere?
  7. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Great review OP.

    The shield sounds like a great OTT product. But for me it sounds like too much work on the part of the average user..... Side loading, PC games emulator, open boot loader... Etc. All that unfortunately is gared to a tiny percentage of the market. Great for users like you, but won't be a selling point for Joe Schmo user.
  8. Cnasty macrumors 68030


    Jul 2, 2008
    I have both and the Shield never gets turned on. It only gets turned on when I want to use Kodi to watch live sports and with football season over, thats very rare lately. (cord cutter)

    My ATV4 is my go to device about 99% of the time as Android TV is absolutely terrible and lacking big time compared to the ATV apps and set up.

    The Shield is a beast and has some nice features but AndroidTV is such a bad OS and with the continued improvements of the app store, the ATV is the clear winner for me for daily use.
  9. tanfan macrumors regular

    Oct 2, 2015
    Not really into gaming but I did look at the shield. Did they ever get Vudu? I kinda need that. Until then I still think the Roku blows them all away with content, Apple TV if you need itunes....
  10. Snoopy4, Mar 1, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016

    Snoopy4 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 29, 2014

    Honestly, given the amount of data they allocate in the streaming feed, a 4K stream is definitely an improvement over 1080p streaming. My experience is the 4K stream on our Samsung UHD players is about as close to being on par with 1080p BD at this point in time. There is still a long way to go, but I appreciate the efforts being made by some content providers. Getting Dolby Atmos via Vudu is pretty killer too. A real leap forward on the audio front for streaming.
  11. pirata macrumors member


    Jan 26, 2012
    You forgot to mention that it cost $350 to get the "pro" version with the 500gb hhd and a controller, myself I already have an xbox one and a ps4 for gaming so the atv4 fits my streaming needs in my bedroom. I watch 1080p movies using kodi to stream from my pc and thats great for me. As far as 4k, there isn't much of it and I believe after this last update the xbox one is capable of playing 4k.
  12. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
  13. mellofello, Mar 2, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2016

    mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    With the latest marshmallow update they allow you to extend storage with a sd card. I slapped a extra 64 gb in there, and I am good. Not to mention the 64 gb usb 3.0 flash drive I have plugged in, or the 3 tb NAS drive I have access to over network, or the excellent team viewer integration that lets me easily access any file on my macs.

    As far as games go I just got the mame emulators going. Wow there are literally 1000s upon 1000s of old school arcade games to play. I really have no intention of playing AAA titles on the shield, but compared to my PS4 the streaming video portion is next level. Another cool thing I found out is it does excellent remote play for ps4. If you have a ps4 upstairs you can play most games lag free anywhere in the house through the shield.

    My Logitech k400+ just came in the mail yesterday, and having full keyboard and mouse support is excellent. I side loaded chrome, and now have a fully functional browser.

    Bottom line is the shield is a wayyy more capable device then pretty much anything on the market. Since it runs any android app will run you are only limited by your imagination with what you can do.
  14. fhall1 macrumors 68040


    Dec 18, 2007
    (Central) NY State of mind
    Everybody gushes about it, but no one can answer my question in Post 6?
  15. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    That depends on your configuration. I have mine running a plex server plex, however kodi has extensive NAS abilities, there are many tutorials on the web.

    Even if you have a NAS with proprietary software, as long as there is a android app you will have no problems.
  16. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I own both and the Roku 4. If you need 4K, the Roku has more options, but it falls short if you want games. I still use the Appletv the most since most available content isn't in 4K and I like the podcast app and Apple Music. Also, AirPlay still comes in handy.

    They all have their own lanes, so it comes down to personal preference.
  17. joshwithachance macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2009
    The Shield absolutely SLAUGHTERS the ATV4. 4K support, comes with a game controller, SD card support, a much better YouTube app (not important to most, but very important to me), and lots of gaming options between the app store, GeForce Now, and emulators.
  18. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011

    Curious what 4K options roku has that the shield doesn't? Amazon?
  19. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region

    Now for a cool Antenna app to see your antenna TV on your Apple TV or any SMB capable device!

  20. Uofmtiger macrumors 68020


    Dec 11, 2010
    I haven't used the Nvidia much lately, so I turned it on last night and it had a new firmware update, so maybe some more 4k has been added. However, last time I checked, Amazon and Vudu were still missing. I don' t remember seeing MGo on the Nvidia, either, but I could be wrong. Another advantage to the Roku is that it has an optical output, so even if you have a receiver that is not 4K compatible, you can still get surround sound.

    Personally, I would only go with the Shield now if you wanted the best gaming platform that is also combined with some 4k content. When I bought my Shield, it was the only (name brand) game in town for a 4k streaming box. One advantage to the Shield I didn't mention is the fact that you can install apps to get AirPlay audio streaming to it and it has Chromecast features built in. It is also more geeky with sideloading features that some will like, but others wouldn't bother with.

    If I was starting from scratch right now, I don't know that I would buy it. Although, I do like Kodi for playing my own movies. I did play the Shield games for a while before they started charging a subscription pric and that was fun, but I don't play enough to add another monthly subscription to my monthly entertainment expenses.
  21. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    Good points. The one thing to take into account is that these are still early days. Having access to the full android ecosystem is bound to give you more choices in the long run. You don't even need to be geeky to get apps side loaded it is a very simple process, and provide you myriad options legal or not.
  22. cutienoua macrumors member

    Sep 30, 2012
    I have a 4k tv and at beginning I was trying to find only 4k materials. I give up on that because the tv is doing a great job at upscalling the 1080 signal.
    So for Hbo now I use the apple tv 3. I have the Roku 4 but it has issues with sling tv so now I have yo use the roku 3!
    I am not decided to get the apple tv 4 .unless they would launch a new service !
  23. mellofello thread starter macrumors 65816

    Feb 1, 2011
    In some cases I preferred the implementation on the Atv 3 vs 4. Having the regimented design language made switching apps easy to navigate. Giving developers the chance to do their own UI works well sometimes, but I prefer the older one for certain apps.
  24. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    Enjoy your Shield. I have the Shield Portable and it is literally the best handheld gaming device I've ever had. Unbelievable amount of power for such a small device.
  25. apolloa macrumors G4

    Oct 21, 2008
    Time, because it rules EVERYTHING!
    I got the Shield TV for my B'day in February. I have always been intrigued by it, I did way it up next to the Apple TV first but the games did it. It is an amazing piece of kit, incredibly fast and powerful. It's also whisper quiet so I have been going old school playing Half Life 2 on it, and there is no copious amounts of heat or fan noise when playing, unlike my PS4. Brilliant!

    I have Kodi though as the Play store is lacking in apps, I also have a Fire TV and that has loads of apps. Hopefully Alphabet will push to update the store.

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