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Why One Streaming Device May Not Be Enough

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Todd Erwin, Jun 23, 2019.

  1. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    We may not know the codec (I assume it's PCM like on Roku) but it is a 2-channel stream.
     
  2. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Maybe not, but a power cord is under $8 on Amazon, so it just may make sense to take the better streamer with me instead of messing with any idiosyncrasies that may be involved with the Apple TV app running on Roku.
     
  3. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    The PS4 allegedly does 5.1 for Hulu and my wife has a PS4. Time for me to learn how to turn that thing on.
     
  4. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    As does the PS3. It boggles the mind.
     
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  5. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    And now many Blu-ray player manufacturers are actually removing streaming services from their devices.

    Sony removed Vewd (formerly Opera TV) earlier this year, and will be removing Hulu next month from their smart Blu-ray players.
     
  6. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Another great reason to buy a streaming box and not depend on what’s built into your disc player.
     
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  7. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    Or smart TV.
     
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  8. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I've never understood why anyone would want a "smart" TV or streaming services included in media players as they frequently don't get updated or updated properly. Stand alone streaming devices are relatively inexpensive and *do* get updated. My wife wants a "smart" TV and I'm having trouble convincing her that's *not* what she wants or needs and that a "dumb" TV with a Roku or other streaming device is the better, less expensive, choice. I purchased one TV for her but she refused to allow me to install it (OK... fine... I kept it for myself as it's larger and better than what I currently have).
     
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  9. Todd Erwin

    Todd Erwin Producer
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    It is almost impossible to purchase a TV these days that isn't "smart" unless it is a fairly small size TV (32" and under). Both of my 4K TVs are smart, but I do not use any of the smart features on them and use a Roku, Apple Tv, or Fire stick instead.
     
  10. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    I think most people aren't particularly interested in the nitty gritty of how things work. They know that they want to hook their TV up to their cable box and possibly a disc player. They know that they use Netflix, Prime, Hulu, etc., and just want to be able to use those apps. I don't think most people consider the actual quality of those apps or how differences in software and hardware can affect picture quality.

    I'd consider people posting at HTF to be more advanced that the average viewer, and even here, there are a number of people who post that streaming looks or sounds terrible to them compared to whatever they used to watch previously, but that they're comparing the experience of watching a movie on a $500 beautifully engineered Oppo disc player to a $10 streaming stick or built-in disc player app that hasn't been updated for years. I think the tide is turning there - some of our members are getting really good boxes like the AppleTV 4K and noticing that streaming can be outstanding. Even I'm blown away at just how much better the AppleTV 4K is over the previous AppleTV that I had, even playing just regular HD content.

    Nowadays you can't really get a great TV that doesn't have something built in. I think the trick isn't so much avoiding a "smart TV" since all TVs basically are "smart TVs" now. I think the trick is simply not to be limited by what's on the set, and to go ahead and use that premium AppleTV 4K box (or something similar) and just pretend those apps aren't on the TV at all. Our living room TV is a TCL model that has a built-in Roku interface. But after some testing revealed that the AppleTV produced better results for identical content, we stopped using the built in Roku entirely. It doesn't bother me that it's there and it certainly doesn't hurt to have it as a backup, but it's not the first thing we reach for.
     
  11. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    I do the same thing. My main home theater actually has 5 different devices that can stream -- Apple TV 4K, Roku Ultra 4K, Vizio 4K display, Panasonic UHD player, and Sony UHD player. I ignore the streaming function on 3 of the 5 devices and use just the Apple TV and Roku devices (mostly the Apple).

    Same with our master bedroom setup. We have a Roku Premiere 4K, Samsung 4K display and Sony BD player that can all stream. We just use the Roku, though, for that function.
     
  12. BobO'Link

    BobO'Link Producer

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    I generally agree... they're out there but it really takes some searching and research to find them. There's a "dumb" 65" (I think that's the size - may be a bit larger) set hanging on my office wall with an Apple TV and AirTame connected for device mirroring.

    I've seen a few that require you to connect them to wifi before you can even use them and it doesn't matter that you may not plan to use any of the "smart" features (we purchased a few of those for classrooms, discovered this, removed the wifi card which then rendered the TV inoperable, put the card back, and immediately returned them in favor of one that didn't require a network connection to work). Many of them have horrible wifi radios built-in and can be quite "talky" on your network with some trying to act like a router and handing out IP addresses via a built-in DHCP server that can't be disabled - the bad part is they don't do routing and that's solely for screen mirroring. You'd think if they're on your network they don't need that junk built-in. Some won't allow their wifi to be turned off/disabled. Others won't allow voice commands to be disabled (and that's a major privacy/security risk/issue). I've found a few that don't come with a dedicated remote and expect you to use a "smart phone" as the remote.

    The biggest issue is many of the companies integrating this junk don't have good privacy policies in place. I don't trust any of them. That includes Apple and Amazon. There are some interesting technologies out there but few are thinking about privacy and/or security with the majority designed with user tracking in mind.
     

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