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jagabo: I just took a look at a website that shows what is on Netflix Canada and not much of anything made me want to watch. My Mom is a big Westerns fan; if they ever get a streaming service here in Canada dedicated to that genre we would definitely subscribe to that.
Hard to say for sure what impact the pandemic is having on all this, but I'm a bit surprised to see developments like Apple shelling out several tens of millions to acquire single items like this latest Tom Hanks WWII movie, for their PPV, now that all the theaters have quickly shut down again. Will these be prestige loss leaders, achieve a break-even, or even prove profitable ? It may help to burnish their streaming brand . . . or maybe they are just awash in spare cash, and don't need to be concerned ?
. . . in a continuing series . . .
A friend just purchased the 2020 edition of the Roku Ultra. I will be rather curious to learn what (if any) changes may have occurred in its hardware | firmware | software, compared to my 2017 model. In particular, any improvements re video file formats it can handle, recognition of some flashdrives, and possible ability to support portable HDDs -- sans the need for a powered hub. That last category was a glaring design flaw in my view, and one that probably would not have cost them any significant amount to accommodate in their design and manufacture.
[Attachment 54229 - Click to enlarge]
One thing I have not really addressed in these device "report cards" are the remotes. The small, stock remotes for most of these streaming / player boxes pretty much SUCK. The ones for the old WD Live TV and for the Roku are generally adequate for essential functions. For a number of the others like the Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Skystream etc., you are well advised to substitute a much more capable remote. That dual-sided Minix gyro remote is probably the best of those I've tested, with the Interset 422 (programmable) apt to be the other best candidate. Their links have appeared here before, but I can repost them if anyone is interested. (The Rii mini-keyboard remotes had some points in their favor, but have not proven to be durable or reliable.)
We have the current Roku Ultra (4670x). We use it primarily for streaming from Netflix, Amazon, etc. But I just ran a few quick tests. It's mostly the same as your report in post #244.
A 4K, 60p 10 bit HEVC MKV file played without problems. 8 bit HEVC in MKV had no problems either. I don't know about HEVC in MP4.
ISO, MPG, VOB, AVI, WMV files don't eve show up in the file browser.
I don't know what you mean by "plays most .MOV files. I don't have many of them but what I have has a variety of codecs. It plays AVC/AAC and AVC/PCM no problem. It doesn't play MJPEG or ProRes in MOV.
This was all with the Roku Media Player app with files on a USB thumb drive. Using a DLNA server and DLNA player pretty much everything played. But basically, I wouldn't recommend a Roku for playing local media unless all your files are MP4 or MKV with AVC/HEVC video and AAC/AC3 audio. Or if you're willing to be tethered to a DLNA server. It's primarily for internet streaming. Local file playback is something of an afterthought.
What does "auto-converts PAL format" mean? It plays 25 fps video on a 60 Hz display, no problem. Does it automatically slow it to 23.976 fps (and the audio)? No.
Also, it's not on your list but the WEBM container with VP9 video and OGG audio plays. This might be important to some people because it's commonly downloaded from YouTube now.
Last edited by jagabo; 24th Jul 2020 at 07:39.
Thanks for that added or updated info.
It had been my impression that .Mov was some Apple thing: I was not that familiar with it -- don't run into it all that often -- and was unaware that it came in various flavors. In regard to PAL, I regularly encounter a fair amount of (downloaded) PAL material. For a long time now, it all just plays fine on my WD Live TV boxes, with no evident issues. (Far from a given, with other devices.) I took that to indicate something going on akin to the way some DVD players I've owned did their own internal auto-convert for our NTSC systems, with no external converter box or PAL tv needed. If that's not the accurate description, I can only judge in terms of the end result.
I'd hoped that there might be even more in the way of improvements for a 3-years-later Roku, but at least that is good news in regard to WEBM and much of the HEVC content. Roku has been "King of the Hill" for streaming, with its only strong challenger being perhaps the costlier Nvidia Shield. (Both of which do seem to receive software updates over the internet, from time to time.) As you said, the local files playback was more of an afterthought. In my usage, the value is weighted more towards the latter . . . but I like to have all bases covered, hence the various boxes I've sampled and collected.
My Mom has expressed interest in getting a tablet. This miserable operating system on her Android Box is depressing in a way. I tried once again the other day to get a word search game onto it by using side loading but nothing works. I have thought of getting a couple of new SD Cards and putting some other OS on the box; perhaps the real android TV OS. We have also been thinking of getting her a Chrome Book for her birthday. I have read that the Chrome Book's now can install Google Play apps also they are getting more Linux friendly.
Well if it is a pirated OS it wasn't my intent as I bought it from Amazon Canada. I thought going in that I would have so many games to chose from and the specs of the box made me think it was a good quality box. Maybe someone can avoid my error. We will just have to make the best of it; but I am sorely disappointed. I was dreaming yesterday of putting Checkers, a jigsaw puzzle game and word search on her box and it just doesn't seem meant to be.
So learn from my mistake buy a Nvidia Shield or whatever else is certified; don't be frustrated by the limits imposed by an inadequate OS that you can't adjust or update to enough of a degree to enhance your enjoyment and make it worth the money you paid for it.
Xaom Mi Box S and the Channel Master Stream+ are the only certified Android TV boxes that I have seen. The Stream+ has an ATSC tuner and can be used for recording OTA TV but the catch is program guide data isn't available for anywhere outside of the US lower 48 states and I'm not sure if TV can be recorded without using the guide. However, even the certified Android TV boxes don't necessarily provide access to all of the same streaming services and apps.
Your mother's T95 Allwinner H616 Android TV box is probably OK for people who want to play video files directly or stream video files from a home server but have no interest in playing games from Google Play or in watching commercial streaming services.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 31st Jul 2020 at 20:12. Reason: clarityIgnore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
My Sister has an older seven inch tablet and I enabled WIFI yesterday for a brief period of time. I was able to install a couple of solitaire games and some word search games, along with bowling and checkers on it. My Sister gave permission for my Mom to use as she herself has a tablet with a ten inch screen. My Mom was able to get the hang of it fairly quickly and she spent a fair bit of time entertaining herself with the device.
When I enabled WIFI my Sister's tablet came online as well and we almost had a defcon five situation for this old tight wad. Somehow my Sister got onto to Google Play Movies, and I heard the words "Frozen 2" and freaked out as the movies are not free. I don't have a credit card, so maybe it wouldn't of went through. My Sister is developmentally delayed so she wouldn't have worried about the cost for ordering movies. She promised though that next time she will just stick to Tubi TV and stay out of that Google Play Movies App. I couldn't disable WIFI fast enough. Offline gaming is the way to go and to stick with.
My Mom though she likes the seven inch tablet she wants a ten inch at some point. She has a birthday coming up, maybe we can pool some money together and get her a nice ten inch screen tablet. I was thinking we could get a chrome book and then I got thinking a lot of games are swipe your fingers, and thus a chrome book even if you got the games installed not are suitable for the mouse click way of doing things.
I was thinking as well it says on the tablet cast your screen, so maybe we can get a special hdmi cable and the tablet could come up on the screen, but happens when you have a game that is set for portrait mode. Hopefully it could be adjusted to go to landscape mode.
Before I get another Android Box I got to make sure it can do what I want it to. I want all its specs including its last colonospy test; might as well be thorough.
I have thought of getting a couple of new SD Cards and putting some other OS on the box; perhaps the real android TV OS.I thought that was the problem with your box -- it has the real (pirated) Android TV OS. You probably won't be able to get a licensed Android TV OS. And even if you do it probably won't work properly on a non-certified box.
There are plenty of pure android os projects for non certified devices like https://www.atvxperience.com/ and it working perfect
jagabo, usually_quiet & mammo1789: Thank you guys for the information you provide and the time you took to provide it.
There seems to be drawbacks and benefits to various versions of OS and various devices. Tablets are nice for portability and the batteries have gotten better over the years and hopefully will make some great leaps forward in terms of safety, durability and capacity to keep the device going even longer and charging faster.
My Sister's older android box one of the nice things is she can install so many games as the plethora of choices are there. But the cavete is that let's say for example Tubi TV you can install it but the interface only allows you to see one episode of a show, and you can't seem to navigate very well to what you may want to select if it an episode further along in that season. But my Mom's Android Box with the Tubi TV app, she can see a gridwork of the whole season or multiple season and fairly quickly get to the episode she wants to watch. The CTV app is a lost cause on my Sister's older Android Box but on Mom's Android Box it functions well enough that we enjoy CTV Throwback shows.
I went on a search for Word Search Apps for Linux and I didn't find one single one which I find strange as there should be some. There are Linux Apps stores with plenty of apps, but no word search but thankfully they have solitaire and sudoku.
It look like Google will soon start selling a new Android TV device (possibly rebranded as Google TV):
The CTV App that I use to watch the commercial supported CTV Throwback shows is becoming quite a pain. You get into watching an episode and all of sudden "you don't have the credentials to watch this". Then you have to start your episode all over again. You can fast forward and it shows you where the ads are. You have to stop fast forwarding before the ad marks, watch the ads and then fast forward some more until you reach the spot you left off. It happened to me about four times last night when I was watching the first episode of "Shark Tank: Australia". "Credentials" probably isn't the word, it was something else but I should have wrote that down as I forgot the exact wording. Thankfully Tubi TV works well still on Mom's Android Box.
I aim to get a Raspberry Pi someday. I sure hope a Raspberry 5 whenever they come out is going to be a leap forward.
Thank you jagabo for the News you posted about a new Android TV device.