BTW, I looked for CTV, and CBC Gem in the Google TV store -- they weren't there. There was a CTV News app only. This could be a regional issue though (I'm in the USA). Or maybe you can sideload the Android TV apps.
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[Update: may have been a bit mistaken on the exact model #. Amazon showing "currently unavailable", but this seems to be the one, still showing as available from NewEgg:
https://www.newegg.com/minix-neo-a3-airmouse-with-voice-input-2-4g-wireless-air-mouse/...173-00YS-00002 -- but I don't think mine had voice input yet. Not a fan of that feature anyway, have it disabled for Shield & Roku.]
I had to pretty much give up on the Rii mini-keyboards, as they were not reliable for long, and all too soon lost the ability to recharge.
Last edited by Seeker47; 9th Nov 2021 at 20:25.
Yes, most Android apps are meant for touchscreen devices and don't work well without a touchscreen. You can use any USB mouse/keyboard with the Shield. I use an old USB mini keyboard/trackpad I had sitting around with my Chromecast/GoogleTV. Like this one:
The trackpad is pretty crappy but I use it mainly for entering text.
Dropping YT will simply be huge, leaving one gigantic void.
No chance for having Kodi, of course. Roku insists on micro-managing everything, down to the tiniest detail.
The erasure of VLC leaves this platform with no video player that is anywhere near as good. And their choice of two supported browsers we never heard of is pathetic. Their very limited app store is quite inferior to the paltry selection found in the Google Play Store -- although the latter can be spoofed for Android devices, much expanding the selection. I can't think of anything that Roku offers which cannot be done as well or better by three of the competing streaming boxes that I own, without being hemmed in at every turn by arbitrarily imposed limitations. So now you can see why several months go by in between the occasions when I might fire up the Roku.
The possibility of any side loading of apps is also going away. (It turns out that Roku OS is some proprietary Linux variant, more related to IOS, and not Android-based, as many had supposed. I didn't realize that until I looked it up)
I'd love to see them getting hammered by the competition . . . but that ain't gonna happen.
Last edited by Seeker47; 19th Nov 2021 at 14:42.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 19th Nov 2021 at 19:36.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
In search of better, more recent info, I'm going to again wonder aloud whether the Skystream Co. is still breathing -- in any meaningful fashion ? My models ONE and TWO stopped receiving any updates quite awhile ago. (Nvidia Shield seems to be the only streamer / player device that kept receiving software updates -- even going back to their original 2015 models ! That is impressive.) The apparent last Skystream model, the SkyStream PRO 8K Streaming Media Player, https://www.skystreamx.com, is listed as Sold Out. That could be a byproduct of the pandemic, either due to demand or to supply chain issues, or maybe not ? There is some model I never heard of, the SKYSTREAM NETWORKS 820400 MICRO EMR-1600, being sold used on eBay. But otherwise, all else is silence. Per a previous report here, the prior model THREE was said to be a a capable, all-formats media player . . . but which had dropped the streaming side.
Just out of curiosity, if anyone reading this had the discontinued and driven-off-the-market Dragon Box, does it still turn on or do anything ?
My Sister's TV konked out so I got her a new TV. It is a TCL 32" 720p Android TV. There is a world of difference between an official Android TV then what I got with the Android TV box I bought. It is working well so far. I could have gotten a 1080p TV that has Roku built in but it had no ethernet slot so I didn't buy that. I prefer ethernet. A warning the TV has a slot where you can plug in an adapter for composite devices like the Nintendo Wii but it doesn't come with that adapter. A thing I don't like about it is the basic remote and no actual buttons on the TV to select your input and a power button to turn the TV on and off.
I continue to favor my Nvidia Shield for most streaming situations and certain local files playback ones. The exceptions are buffering and outright loss of WiFi connection, which could be due to the age or latter day deficiencies of my router, and many local playback examples where my ancient WD Live TV player still wins out. I hardly ever even connect the Roku Ultra or Amazon Fire, and Skystream has pretty much disappeared from the arena. The Roku is a mass market choice that never really impressed me, accept as an option for the relatively clueless who needed simplicity and user-friendliness above all else. And I really did not like key streaming-service support decisions that Roku made.
I'll note again that I was very deliberate in my choice of which Nvidia Shield model, as I clearly preferred an older one having dual USB ports + memory card slot. That configuration was dropped in subsequent models. I have held off on accepting the last major Android firmware update on the Shield, as there were mixed reports on it, and I did not devote the time to vetting that the way I wished to.
Along the way, I've wondered whether I might be missing anything in the Dune or Zidoo camps ? These have been mentioned here in threads from time to time. If anyone has updated observations on the capabilities and performance of these boxes -- and in direct comparison to the other streamer / player boxes -- I'd be interested to hear them. Moreover, which models of them did you prefer, and why ? (There is a Dune Kartina model, and some are saying Dune Solo was better than a later model, for example.) How is the support from those companies, to the extent that may matter ? (Skystream support was pretty decent for awhile, but trailed off markedly in tandem with their declining fortunes.) I'm a hobbyist and something of a completist, when there may be multiple good options to try out, and am generally not deterred by the pricing -- within reason.
Last edited by Seeker47; 30th Jul 2022 at 17:14.
seeker47: Thank you for your post. Some of the information I have read here at Videohelp made me hesitant about buying the Roku TV. I would have liked to have had 1080p instead of 720p as then the TV could have made a good computer monitor as well. But unless a TV or box has ethernet capabilities, I don't want to buy them either.
jagabo: I haven't tried it yet but I may be able to get a mini-usb keyboard working on the TV as well. Just plug the Bluetooth doggle into the USB slot on the TV and set it up. I have wanted to put Solitaire, Wordsearch, Suduko and Jigsaw Puzzle Games on the Android Box but with all the ads and collecting of data I have held off. I hope that this thread stops someone from buying those fake Android Boxes and hold out and make sure they are getting an official Android OS. I don't think even using them as a Kodi Media Player Box is up to snuff either as both the Android Boxes are limited in their function in my experience.
A note for people there is a way to safely "eject" thumb drives and other usb storage devices. It is important to learn what to do on that score because just unplugging a hard drive can corrupt your data. There is a way to "eject" safely on the Android TV and I did a Google search to find out how. It is kind of scary that one line down once you get to that setting is "erase and format this drive" which you wouldn't want to do by accident.
Tom Saurus: A couple points which I hope might be of some use. I have a memory card permanently installed in the Shield, and there is often a thumb drive attached to it also. I turn the Shield off by cutting power to it with an outboard switch. (Like this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O8YNMVI/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Was available in 1, 2, or 3 outlet configurations, although this one is currently showing as out of stock. Probably available elsewhere. I'd check Ace Hardware, Home Depot, eBay.) Have done this practically every day to stream something or other, like MLB during the season. I've never experienced any damage to the media contents by doing so. It's not just with the Shield. I do that with the WD Live TV, and I can't recall which but either the Roku or the Fire TV have no OFF switch, so something else needs to be done to turn them off and that is how I've done it.
Secondly, I have no faith in Bluetooth to speak of. Yes, it does work for linking my cell phone to my car for hands-free usage, but pretty much for anything else the connection has been way too flakey, prone to constant drops. I got a wireless Logitech keyboard for those video stack situations that require or benefit from having a real keyboard available. It cost somewhere between 60 to 80 USD. I expect it must be IR or RF. Could check on the model #, if you're interested. Quite frankly, if I had to I'd rather use even a wired USB keyboard than a Bluetooth-based one. That might be extendable by several additional feet, using a USB extension cable.
Seeker47: Thank you for your post. I put the Bluetooth dongle in the TV's USB slot and the mini-keyboard does work. However what you wrote may be of use as it is good to learn of other ways of doing things.
I have thought of installing some free game apps on the Android TV, but I worry about what data they can glean and use. Like can they discover the login information if we sign into Netflix. I was thinking of purchasing a month of Disney Plus maybe once every six months and I wouldn't want any of that login information to be intercepted. My preference when it comes to game apps is to play them offline and avoid all those adds and such.
At least in terms of things that come to my attention, news of further options on the Android streaming box front has been very scarce, for quite some time now. I did post a couple times, seeking info on the relative merits and reliability of some of the more "exotic" (& pricey) choices, of Dune vs. Zidoo etc., but heard almost nothing in response -- at least here on VH. Now I see there is a bit more stirring in the bushes: well, on eBay, anyway. For example:
Octastream Q1 Pro
StreamDragon By FreeStream/Stream Dragon/MAX Streaming
(seems to be trading somewhat on name reference to the Dragon Box, which got driven off of the market by the powers that be)
BRAND NEW KARTINA-X KARTINA TV 4K MEDIA PLAYER POWERED BY DUNE HD
Zappiti MINI 4K HDR Media Player - SKU#1569465
I'm wary of more gear from China, particularly when I'm not finding any noteworthy advances in spec.s, like for the processor, storage, connectivity, etc. (But then again, even SkyStream, which had a U.S. office in FL., seems to have been just a relative flash in the pan . . . . )
Unless and until something comes along to seriously challenge the Nvidia Shield in significant respects, I think that is going to remain the benchmark for me. And that has a major, stays-the-course company behind it, so you're unlikely to be left high and dry in the event of problems.
Last edited by Seeker47; 3rd Sep 2022 at 16:01.