Chromecast Ultra?

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by Senpuu, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. Senpuu

    Senpuu Member

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    So I've just bought a 4k TV online (Samsung UN50KU6300) and I'm now starting to think about what I will do for a media solution. I've not dealt with 4k video sources at all before and I'm finding the available options to be somewhat overwhelming. In my first few hours of surfing around about this and reading about features, it seems like the Chromecast Ultra might be my best bet at $70, but I feel really out of the loop. I was looking at the Fire TV media player at first, but it seems like there's no HDR support if I go that route. The Xiaomi solution has HDR, but no ethernet port and I'm not sure that 4k streaming through wifi is wise. The Shield sounds like the most capable out-of-the-box option, but is rather more expensive and it sounds like the next iteration is right around the corner, making me reticent to pay out for it now.

    And then it gets more complicated because I know that out of the box features are not the whole story. My friend is rather taken with his 1080p setup with just a jailbroken firestick and has been helping everyone accomplish similar setups back in my hometown. So what advantages are gained compared to the original device? And is this only accomplished on devices running a variant of Android? Chromecast Ultra runs chromeOS, right? But aren't both operating systems based on linux? Shouldn't the hardware in either system be capable of being used to run custom software instead, which is essentially what is being done when you jailbreak the Amazon device, right?

    And then there is going whole hog with a NUC or other small form factor x86 system. I can build a system easily enough, but I don't know what advantage that might confer as compared to say, just buying a package solution like the Shield or Chromecast Ultra. And I've historically pretty hopeless when it comes to home networking, but I suppose I will need to leap on that learning curve no matter what solution I choose.

    Can anyone weigh in on some of this and help me get my head on straight?
     
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  3. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    1. UN50KU6300 does not display HDR (it doesn't actually handle the colors), so I would not worry about HDR at this point in time. source: http://www.rtings.com/tv/reviews/samsung/ku6300
    2. The native app store for that TV should give you a decent selection of sources, but I would recommend a wired internet connection (as opposed to wifi) to the TV for best results.

    If I was spending $70 for an external device for my TV I would lean more towards the Mi Box over a CC Ultra- more functionality.

    A better idea as to what you are looking to accomplish would yield better advice...
     
  4. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    http://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-android-os-and-vs-chrome-os/
    Difference between ANDROID OS and CHROME OS
    • ANDROID OS is a software stack for mobile devices such as phones and tablets. CHROME OS is designed specifically to work with the web applications on notebooks especially.
    • ANDROID OS is used by the different companies on their products. CHROME OS will only be provided for specific hardware provided by Google’s manufacturing partners.
    • ANDROID OS supports conventional applications of mobile devices. CHROME OS will only feature the web applications.
    • Unlike ANDROID OS whose versions are released with additional applications, the CHROME OS is expected to be patched for improvement, so there will be no need to wait for the next version.
    • ANDROID OS applications have to be installed locally on the device whereas as claimed by Google the CHROME OS will not allow the installation of applications locally as it runs only web applications.
     
  5. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    jailbreaking is actually a Apple thing, the thing for Android based devices like the Fire Sticks is "Rooting". This has it's uses, and some potential pitfalls that you should understand before attempting the process... not the least of which is the potential to corrupt the operating system of your device to the point of failure (sometimes in a manner that you cannot recover from)
    http://www.androidcentral.com/root
     
  6. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    NUC vs. Shield: For a living room content consumption device, I would go Shield- cheaper and specifically designed for couch surfing.

    The NUC has other capabilities that it can be much better at, but to make one a perfect couch surfing device requires more effort and more cash.
     
  7. TeeJay1952

    TeeJay1952 Golden Member

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    Dude (or Dudessa) You bought the low end Samsung, on the internet, sight unseen, and are now considering your media sources?
    @Kartajan did way more research than you. You are moving up but not to HDR. Bad move. Stop purchase and look at 8000 or 9000 series. IMHO
     
  8. Senpuu

    Senpuu Member

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    I'm sorry for this much delayed response. With the holiday weekend, I was rather busy and didn't spend much of any time on the internet. My TV just arrived today at the office and I should be setting it up tonight; I haven't owned a TV in about 10 years since my 61" DLP was stolen and I'm a bit excited at the prospect.

    I really appreciate the responses, Kartajan. I'm a bit confused by your first point though as it seems to be in direct opposition to the review you linked. This model of Samsung was advertised as being capable of "displaying HDR content" and meeting the "CTA HDR-compatible requirements." And the tests of the color gamut in the review you linked show that it is capable of displaying ~85% of the DCI-P3 colorspace as compared to ~97% from LG's model 'B6', which appears to be the best available on the market per the same testers. Compared to a typical 1080p HDTV colorspace as defined by the Rec 709, which is capable of 73.6% of the DCI-P3. Whether to term this HDR or not is really quite subjective, considering the actual HDR colorspace standard is Rec 2010 and is significantly larger than anything the market is capable of emulating currently (the previously mentioned 'B6' is only 70% capable); so either everything above the Rec 709 colorspace is HDR or nothing is HDR, and all talk of something being HDR just means that the device in question can accept and make use of an HDR signal to display an image with an expanded colorspace per the limits of said device. It seems to me that people have simply drawn a line in the sand and said, "anything above this is HDR," and all we're talking about is comparatively larger colorspaces. And it seems that many people are drawing that line at 90% of DCI-P3 level (the UHD Alliance's particular line in the sand for their "Ultra HD Premium" badge). In the end, it all seems rather arbitrary and I think I will be satisfied with the capabilities of this Samsung TV in terms of its ability to display an HDR signal. Personally, I think this whole thing is very poorly thought out and implemented (or perhaps very well thought out to be intentionally misleading...), most especially with the names and buzzwords used. If there is going to be an HDR standard that has a defined colorspace then TVs should not use the same term to describe themselves, as that is patently misleading. For instance, LG could nearly justifiably call their model 'B6' OLED TV a DCI-P3 colorspace compliant device and make up some new buzzword for that (say, Movie Projection Quality: MPQ), but they cannot honestly call it HDR -- rather only capable of accepting and using an HDR signal to a limited degree. The marketing teams have taken that particular ball and run with it, confusing a rather straightforward issue. And if I'm wrong about any of that I'd welcome an explanation.

    As to your second point, in what way is the Mi Box more capable than the Chromecast Ultra? You recommended a hardwire connection to the TV for the smart functionality and I tend to agree that a wifi connection would be undesirable, so by that same token the lack of ethernet port on the Mi Box tends to kill my enthusiasm for the device.

    As to what I'm looking for, I'm really just trying to get a capable TV setup that I won't feel hamstrung playing content on. I want to be able to play a video file from my computer or streamed from the internet without hassle.

    I appreciate the quick rundown on the difference between the two OSes. I was aware of the jailbreaking term, but my friend uses that across all devices and I have simply picked up the habit as well. I rooted my Galaxy S2 years ago and played around with that a bit as a toy, but only after I'd upgraded to a new phone and I didn't do much with it. It seems like some models of the v1 chromecast could be rooted at least, but not easily. I'll have to do more google-fu to see if there is anything worth pursuing down that path.

    I'm not afraid of the effort involved in a NUC solution and the idea of having something customized exactly as I want it as well as building a new rig is very appealing, but it just seems like it might be overkill and entirely unnecessary at this point (small apartment with 2 computers and a TV). I wish the new Shield was out now as I think I'd probably buy into that... I just can't see buying the last gen version with the next gen around the corner.

    @TeeJay1952 I don't appreciate the tenor of your post at all. You make a lot of assumptions about me that are unfounded. I did do some research and nothing I read about the TV dissuaded me from the purchase, and I wanted to jump on the deal while I still could. I'd seen the TV in person at a local brick and mortar and had a good impression, so I wasn't overly concerned. Just because you think the upgrade (from nothing, mind you) isn't big enough isn't a reason to condemn my purchase as a bad move. For $500 with no shipping and no taxes, I'm perfectly happy with my decision and don't much care that you're questioning my lack of preparedness on how I plan to stream media to the device. There is nothing that says I need to create a home theater from scratch all at once. With the in-built capabilities of the TV (audio, smart functionality) and my PS4, I'm perfectly happy to add to my setup as I figure things out.
     
  9. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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    The CTA spec is that it accepts HDR and performs processing, but has no bearing on what the display can output. (This does not guarantee what a reasonable person calls a HDR TV)
    This language sucks, since this logic would call a black and white TV "CTA Color-compatible" because it could accept and process the signal, even though no reasonable person would call it a color TV.
    HDR vs non-HDR Display: all accept HDR in, but all are not HDR display OUT.
    I used B3 vs KS8000 vs your KU6300 --->note that the wifi chip in most TV's sucks, so if using the TV's built- in apps wired is best....
    from the HDR section:
    Wide Color Gamut: Yes vs Yes vs No http://www.rtings.com/tv/tests/picture-quality/wide-color-gamut-rec-709-dci-p3-rec-2020

    Mi Box vs. Chromecast Ultra
    Mi has additional functionality, but no onboard ethernet.
    You can get an external adapter for the Mi if you do not have suitable 802.11ac wireless or if you are in a noisy wifi environment

    I recommend (in order of best to worst)
    NVidia Shield, Mi Box, Chromecast. You can "cast" to all three, but the chomecast does nothing else.

    Shield = all around, or if lossless audio matters
    Mi= if lossless audio doesn't matter, especially on "secondary" TV's

    The chromecast just is so limited in what it can do without an external device to cast from in the hand.
     
    #8 Kartajan, Dec 27, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2016
  10. poofyhairguy

    poofyhairguy Lifer

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    Then what you want is a Nvidia Shield.
     
  11. Senpuu

    Senpuu Member

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    @Kartajan Thanks for the reply. I did see that table and that it said no, but I was confused and figured it was a semantics thing because I thought it said it had an 85% in the DCI-P3 xy color space in the individual review. It turns out I had one too many tabs open and didn't notice I was in the wrong review. I see now it's at 76%, which is only marginally higher than the Rec 709 colorspace. Despite that, I got it set up last night and am satisfied with my purchase. I haven't had anything larger than my 24" monitor for a long, long time and this has opened up many new options for me.

    Thanks for the recommendation and the information.

    @poofyhairguy I think I'm definitely leaning that way or building my own. I think I'll read up on htpcs while I wait out news of the next gen shield and make a decision then.
     
  12. poofyhairguy

    poofyhairguy Lifer

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    I honestly feel like HTPCs are dying. None of them are going to get into streaming options (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) easily (as in driven by a remote), and even if you hack it together you aren't getting 4K anything like a Shield can get easily. They only beat a Shield at playing local files, and only then if you drop $500+ on the build (no NUCs need apply) and spend 4+ hours tweaking MadVR.

    It is sad to me, as I am Mr. HTPC. I have built over 20 HTPCs in my time, and I have six in my house working right now.

    I just can't in good conscience recommend one when even I have to combo them with a Roku to give my wife all the content options she wants.

    The Shield has the flexibility of a HTPC (read: can install the best HTPC app ever Kodi), but can also get into almost every streaming options (just not Amazon Prime stuff). It really has conquered this market.
     
  13. Kartajan

    Kartajan Golden Member

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  14. poofyhairguy

    poofyhairguy Lifer

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    Interesting.

    Good point. The meltdown that produced that fork still upsets me so I have a bit of a mental block. SPMC is the way to go for now.
     
  15. 13Gigatons

    13Gigatons Diamond Member

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    Roku Premiere + is a good starting point.

    The Chromecast is bad, keeps your phone or tablet tied up and it breaks cast during the movie several times.
     
  16. joutlaw

    joutlaw Golden Member

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    I have the same TV and have emby. The emby app is pretty good that is available in the Samsung app store. I can direct play a lot of my content, but have hit a few snags. I was rather surprised how well the built-in app worked after using Chromecasts, Amazon FireTV/Fire Stick, and Kodi on a dedicated HTPC rig.

    The only problem is lossless audio since I don't have a 4K receiver. Everything I have read points to the Nvidia Shield, but am holding until Samsung's 2017 UHD Blu-Ray players are available. My understanding is the M9500 will run Tizen like KU6300.

    It seems we are in a bit of a weird time with HDMI 2.0/a/b and HDMI 2.1 around the corner. Only the newest and most expensive NUC has HDMI 2.0, so I think dedicated HTPC rigs are becoming obsolete. That is why I started looking at emby and plex as it seems most of these tailored devices have compatible apps.