HTPC vs Streaming devices.

Discussion in 'The HTPC, HDTV & Ultra High Definition section' started by anticupidon, Nov 12, 2023.

  1. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    Hello fellow gurus!
    Recently, I started to give a lot of though on the limitations of a HTPC.
    You see, I have a Asrock Mini X300 more than capable of playing media content on a 43" screen.
    Limitations, as in higher than FHD content or anything above 720p/1080. Sometimes I pay no attention, sometimes it's plain as day that the content looks bad.
    Limitations, as in OS, Linux is not welcomed to streaming quality.
    And I started to evaluate the streaming devices available, as in a HTPC replacement.
    Fire Stick, Roku, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield
    Lots if choice, but which one can be the least intrusive and user privacy oriented, to a certain degree?
    I watched a lot of videos about those, but I wondered if any guru here can give a more in depth, more hands on feedback.
    Thank you in advance,
    Cheers
     
  2. tunejunky

    tunejunky Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    GPU:
    7900xtx/7900xt
    imho, it depends on your phone plan (i.e. free content subscriptions like HBO, etc..)
    the overall best is Apple tv 4k - but it's expensive. it integrates w/ iPhone seamlessly.

    however what i recommend is the newest Roku
    it plays everything and it has the best interface that even my mother understands, incl. optional voice command
    i don't recommend Fire Stick as it's the most limited and Prime Video is available on the others.
    Chromecast was pretty much the first streamer but Roku was the first dvr
    and if you plan on using an antenna to be cord-cutting the Roku is far superior.
    however, many of the best TV's run Android TV. if you have an Android TV the Chromecast is typically baked in
    as far as the Shield, deity bless
     
  3. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    Thanks for the reply @tunejunky .
    According to the Roku's website, Spain is not a supported country.
    I assume that I have to circumvent the geographical location limitations by using a spoofing agent or VPN.
    Any tips here?
     
  4. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    NVIDIA Shield Pro looks promising.
    Could it be a proper candidate?
     

  5. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    I'll respond to my own question. Nvidia Shield Pro is the ultimate streaming device, with AI upscaling.
    Now, where is the long awaited refresh?
    Since 2019, Nvidia released a few new GPUs and new architecture.
    No rumor on this matter?
     
    pegasus1 likes this.
  6. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,982
    Likes Received:
    3,391
    GPU:
    TUF 4090
    I usually use my old laptops for my HTPC requirements (remove the screen and case, stick to some cut perspex and attach to the back of my TV) but next time I'm in the UK il go for a proper HTPC, the amount of processing power these tiny pcs have is astounding to be honest.
     
  7. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    The hardware plays a significant role, but I reckon more important is the software. And almost all is closed source
     
  8. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,982
    Likes Received:
    3,391
    GPU:
    TUF 4090
    Thats why il go for a mini PC HTPC, il run stuff like my VPN no issues
     
  9. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    I have an As rock X300 Mini as HTPC, connected to a 43" monitor. Under Linux even with Chrome browser, I can't watch anything higher that 1080p. And I am paying for 4K content...
    Even If I will go with Windows, will not solve too much. And after a few searches, the Nvidia Shield pops out as a winner, for low power consumption, better sound and image processing and ease of use.
    Might I ask what configuration you'll plan to use?
     
    pegasus1 likes this.
  10. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,982
    Likes Received:
    3,391
    GPU:
    TUF 4090
    tunejunky and anticupidon like this.

  11. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    And you'll use W11, right?
     
  12. pegasus1

    pegasus1 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,982
    Likes Received:
    3,391
    GPU:
    TUF 4090
    yip, i use W11 on my gaming rig and gaming lappy, and W10 on two other rigs that dont meet the hardware requirments for 11.
     
  13. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    Found an used Nvidia Shield Pro 2019 for 135€.
    Worth the shot?
     
    pegasus1 and tunejunky like this.
  14. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    Yes, no, wait for the upcoming Shield model?
     
  15. tunejunky

    tunejunky Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    GPU:
    7900xtx/7900xt
    grab it now even though it's expensive. imho there won't be an upcoming model. what's way more likely is a deal with Google/Amazon/Apple etc... even though Nvidia is in the same financial league as those guys their Shield product was a vanity project, that although superior to the others it was designed for game streaming which has proven to be underwhelming. the reason of course is that the ISP's widely vary in quality and wide adoption of broadband is still early days.
    so if it does what you need (and others don't) go for it
     
    anticupidon likes this.

  16. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    Lost the 135€ deal. Worth it for 150€ mint condition?
     
  17. tunejunky

    tunejunky Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    4,215
    Likes Received:
    2,851
    GPU:
    7900xtx/7900xt
    yes.
    if they had Roku in Spain i'd say no. but since they don't and the Shield cost Nvidia about 100 to make it yeah.
     
  18. anticupidon

    anticupidon Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,862
    Likes Received:
    4,115
    GPU:
    Polaris/Vega/Navi
    Bought an open box Shield Pro for 160€.
    Hope that it will be shipped in a timely manner.
    Regarding that AI upscaling.
    I am more than excited to see it in action.
     
    tunejunky likes this.

Share This Page