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  1. 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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  2. Member Seeker47's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    wonder if the dual-sided gyro remote w/ keypad on one side might be a viable choice here as well ?
    I have a remote with a keyboard and gyro mouse so I tried it out on the Chromecast with Google TV (an external a USB C PD hub for this as the Chromecast has only one USB C port that's normally used to power the device). The gyro mouse works but I don't think Google TV is really set up for one. You can move the gyro pointer around the screen and select things with a button click but it doesn't scroll when you move the mouse off the edge of the screen. You have to use the arrow keys for that. (This particular gyro mouse is really crappy. The pointer slowly moves up the screen when you set it down. Motion isn't real consistent, etc., overall pretty useless.)
    Just went to check. The one I have is the Minix AirMouse-1. I think there may have been some copycat knock-offs of this, but the Minix may have been the best of breed -- unless some newer, better model has come along since. It seemed to have been popular, as Amazon was frequently out of stock on it, and that well predated the pandemic.

    [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.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  3. 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:

    https://www.amazon.com/Miritz-Wireless-Keyboard-Touchpad-Control/dp/B01LZIIH24/

    The trackpad is pretty crappy but I use it mainly for entering text.
    As far as control you can download (available for ios android) official android tv remote app which lets you control the box without the remote ( I use it on two boxes one in living room one in bedroom next floor )which changed couple of firmware's from official android tv 7 to 10 to some very nice custom firmware's for s905x/x2) and the best thing is you can use the voice control of your mobile phone to search even without looking at the TV. As far as kodi goes there are some very awesome remote apps like Kore for example with it you can control every file video audio tv channels youtube ets and ets all on your phone without being in the same room with the box and it works on almost any cheep Chinese box. I stopped using the original remotes couple of years back. This method of controlling the box for me is far more convenient than using keyboard or remote( and yes you can turn on/off the box over the WiFi)
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Incidentally, a friend complained to me that recent iterations of the top Roku model will not allow you to install VLC on them (from the Google Play store), severely hampering video file playback options.
    I have a Roku Ultra that I got about 18 months ago. VLC is not available at the Play Store.
    And I just made the huge mistake of updating the native software (firmware ?) on my older Roku, to the current level. It threw up this unfortunate note, and wiped out the installed VLC -- and probably some other stuff from the Play Store that I'm not recalling at the moment. Had I known this would happen, I would not have allowed the update to proceed. But I suppose we'll never know whether they could / would have invalidated the installed Play Store apps regardless. That might have been a possibility. This is far from trivial, because any software video player Roku provides really sucks, in comparison to VLC. I still have VLC on my first gen Amazon Fire TV, and the officially semi-abandoned Skystream boxes -- and of course it remains available on the Nvidia Shield.

    That still leaves open the question of whether the VLC apk could be side-loaded. But if there's any chance of brick-ing the box by so doing, I'd be hesitant.

    Image
    [Attachment 59773 - Click to enlarge]


    [Not sure how that came out upside down from the upload, but if I can edit this to correct that I will. The orientation looks right in my photo viewer program.]
    Google removed its Play Movies and TV app from every Roku and most smart TVs beginning on July 15. Users with Roku, Samsung, LG, or Vizio devices had to switch to the YouTube app to get access to movies or TV shows that they bought or rented through the Google Play Store according to the link below:

    https://www.theverge.com/2021/4/12/22380593/google-play-movies-tv-app-smart-tvs-roku-s...outube-support
    While they apparently happen to be the 1200 lb. gorilla in terms of streaming box market share, and to have the simplest UI for the generally clueless user, I have to say flat out that Roku SUCKS !!! From the very first setup-but-you-MUST-FIRST-Register-a-credit-card-account-with-us if you actually want to use it, to their excessively restrictive lockdown procedures and policies, to withdrawing key items you had previously loaded and were using, and now to this latest affront:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk0Oq8O4HwA

    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.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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    Originally Posted by Seeker47 View Post
    Dropping YT will simply be huge, leaving one gigantic void.
    [Edi]I see now that I missed your YT link that says that Roku made the decision to drop YouTube due to an ongoing spat with Google.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 19th Nov 2021 at 19:36.
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    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 ?
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  7. 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.
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    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.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  9. Originally Posted by Tom Saurus View Post
    There is a world of difference between an official Android TV then what I got with the Android TV box I bought.
    Definitely. The fake Android TV boxes (based on a smartphone or tablet Android OS) are very limited. If all you want to do is run KODI they are OK. But other than that they start running into problems.
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  10. 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.
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    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.
    When in Las Vegas, don't miss the Pinball Hall of Fame Museum http://www.pinballmuseum.org/ -- with over 150 tables from 6+ decades of this quintessentially American art form.
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  12. 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.
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