I am currently in the process of overhauling my media setup, including pensioning off two WD TV Live unites that, after many years of faithful service, no longer cut the mustard. My budget is also a bit more constrained than usual, as I have just had to fund a house purchase by selling my soul to the bank.

What I have:
  • Ethernet over powerline network, linking the rooms in question with pretty solid throughput - so not changing that.
  • A somewhat underpowered server (48TB of Disk Raw, 36TB usable in RAID6 configuration) with only an atom processor, running Plex server.
  • A Raspberry Pi, running Rasplex, in the spare room.
  • An Android Tablet

What I need - 2 client devices (living room and bedroom) that:
  • MUST be able to run Plex (Plex is the number one use case for my setup)
  • Can ideally cope with Netflix, as well as Lightbox (one of the main services in this country)
  • Can ideally stream TV on demand from the main networs - but this isn't a deal breaker as I have antenna feeds and recorders already in place.
  • MUST have decent Wife Acceptance Factor.
  • MUST have wired ethernet connectivity

I have pretty much narrowed my choices to an Apple TV, a Chromecast Ultra or an nVidia Shield TV. I'm half inclined to rule the Apple TV out as the Plex app on it doesn't look too great. Which means I spend $NZ 109 each for two Ultras, or land 2 Shields at circa $NZ330 each, so about a threefold price difference.

I'm inclining to the shield. I don't want to spend the extra but think it can natively play more, taking some load off my puny server. However, the price difference is 300%, and I know the Ultra should be able to cope with Netflix, Lightbox and TV on demand via my tablet.

Does anyone have experience of a Shield TV and a Chromecast on a relatively underpowered Plex Server, and a view on how they compare?

Comments on options and the optimal choice wanted and welcomed.