Firestick works but whats best choice by far?

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
3,807
24
81
#1
What is the device that everyone just has to have for streaming to the TV. Looking at roku premiere fire Tv maybe a android box? im thinking the best bang for buck would be the roku premiere. Each Tv has Full size pc now but i would rather have less heat in the house so each TV will also be getting a streaming device.

roku ultra? looks like 2017 model better than 2016 (faster or something) and about 70$.
Android box 7.1.2 android 2gb ram 16gb rom ethernet bt wifi memcard slot. 8 core? 40$
firetv not sure on price but should be able to play games better than roku but with out the two features that interest me (remote find and sound normalization oh and remote for tv possibly built in too)

So i guess ill buy one of each but really wonder what other people are using and why.
 
Last edited:

WiseUp216

Platinum Member
Mar 12, 2012
2,247
49
101
#2
Nvidia Shield. All-around the best solution, in my opinion. Better to spend a little bit more up front than to keep trying multiple cheaper options.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
3,807
24
81
#3
Well each TV has a full sized PC for gaming. i have maybe 5 Tv's to add streaming devices to. So.. spending more for a gaming system that wont be used for gaming sounds bit funny unless it has some other feature that will make it so much better. 150$ x 5 tvs?
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
3,807
24
81
#5
pretty disappointed in the responses.

why i would not just buy nuc's for each tv if nvidia shields are necessary for heavy use. (not sure why i kinda wanted explanations instead of just this one is better.. but why? )

The Nuc with 2015 technology i3 5010u /ssd 64gb 2gb ddr3 looks like under 200 looks much more appealing if going to spend 150 on a shield . but then i fall into a spiral of well for 100 more than that can get skylake nuc.
 

UsandThem

Super Moderator
Super Moderator
May 4, 2000
9,665
1,330
136
#6
I use a Roku Premiere, and I have no complaints.

I replaced an older Roku unit, and I actually tried the Amazon Fire TV unit (not the stick), and I liked it's layout and it was nice. I had access to Prime music and my stored music. However, the first one developed problems within a week, and the replacement they sent was DOA. So at that point I just got the Premiere unit, and it's been working great since.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,259
38
91
#7
(not sure why i kinda wanted explanations instead of just this one is better.. but why? )
The short explanation- user experience. The platform is designed for use with a remote from the couch.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
3,807
24
81
#8
Maybe you are joking? but which of the items listed are not intended to be used from couch with remote? (possibly nuc but easily can buy remote). have not considered how the user experience would differ from a nuc to nvidia shield to a roku.
The short explanation- user experience. The platform is designed for use with a remote from the couch.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,259
38
91
#9
The generic "Android TV Box" is just the android PHONE/ TABLET interface in a box. <That $40 Android box referred to in the first post>
Roku, FireTV, & real "AndroidTV" devices were DESIGNED for couch use- the interfaces demonstrate that.
NUC/ PC's CAN be used from the couch with the right accessories, but the interface was not designed for that usage model.

For perspective, imagine using the onscreen keyboard on a tablet to compose a novel, or using a keyboard to play "Candy Crush". Ouch.

The wrong interface can make a simple task painful. This is why UX designers get paid, to ensure the user experience fits the usage model.
 

bbhaag

Diamond Member
Jul 2, 2011
3,944
240
101
#10
We started out with a couple of Fire sticks and they were great at first. One on the downstairs tv and one upstairs in the bedroom. They were initial launch Fire sticks and we have "dumb tvs" so it was awesome to see them turn into smart tvs but eventually the Fires got sluggish and slow.
I replaced them with a couple of Roku sticks that were part of Slings "come back for the football season and get one free" promotion and they are great. Quick and responsive after a couple years of use and good support for apps like Plex, Netflix, Sling, ect. I won't say I will never go back to the Fire sticks but for now the Rokus are perfect.

We use the Rokus to stream music and video only no gaming. The music is anything from low bitrate MP3s to lossless files and the video streaming is usually 720 or 1080 rips via Plex or direct streaming from Netflix, Amazon, or Sling in hd.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
3,807
24
81
#11
So far have purchased 2x2017 ultra roku for 69$ each (nib) have not arrived yet but am excited to turn off those PC's to be able to stream (from local network and from online) i will buy one more streaming device then evaluate them all and decide for last two. Prob lean toward a decent NUC budget in 250 range i guess. Excited to see the roku ultra's features and headphone options (tho i dont wear headphones out of paranoia! Cant hear babies crying or windows breaking etc)
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
#12
Having used them all sans-nvidia shield, I find the roku to be the most appealing. Your channel list is right there, it isn't trying to push you into any non-movie sections or movie libraries you don't already have access too, it doesn't have the over head that android and apple tv both create that can lead to things like app crashing. It does limit you in ways like a client side library management system like Kodi wouldn't work, but in these cases it is just best to have a separate solution like a dedicated server that handles everything. One of the arguments people have for the nvidia shield is its the more powerful streaming box and thus supports more of your local video formats. The thing is it does not support ALL video formats and if dealing with multiple formats is a problem for you, you will eventually encounter issues with the nvidia shield not working with something.

If you want to support all formats you either get a NUC, or you have another computer dedicated to handling the files that you can access with your streamer of choice. Plex is an amazing piece of software that just works (Until you get to remote networking ^^ ) and coupled with my roku I can play anything and everything. And thanks to the power of NUC (I run the j3455 but the new Gemini Lake are just as impressive) you can run a silent and cool running server any where in the house.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,259
38
91
#13
Having used them all sans-nvidia shield...
I will say, having used them all <including the NVidia Shield>, is that the Shield supports all the major streaming services; as far as adding Plex into the mix- that just makes it all even better (with the exception of using the Shield as the server for a large library).

I am not saying the NUC isn't the best solution in some use cases, but with the OP's stated purpose and setup I stand on my recommendation of (1) Shield at the primary location, and one of the lesser AndroidTV devices at all the rest...

I found that the FireTV pushed Amazon too much, the Roku interface was too "old school" for me (Although it is perfection for my mom), and the NUC/ Mini PC solution was too clunky for media consumption purposes.

(I know I sound like an NVidia/ Google shill, but the product fits the use case best in my opinion.)
The NUC does make for a slick Plex Server in low user count conditions (assuming the right storage) though..
 

JeffMD

Platinum Member
Feb 15, 2002
2,026
19
81
#14
You say that like the fire stick and roku's don't support every streaming service. You will see firestick and roku support before you will see shield support.
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,259
38
91
#15
Directv Now: FireTV, Shield(via Chromecast), Select Roku
YoutubeTV: AndroidTV, Select Roku
Sling: FireTV, Shield, Select Roku
Hulu: FireTV, Shield(via Chromecast), Select Roku

Netflix: all of them
Standard Hulu: All of them
 
Apr 6, 2002
28,834
10,864
146
#16
I will say, having used them all <including the NVidia Shield>, is that the Shield supports all the major streaming services; as far as adding Plex into the mix- that just makes it all even better (with the exception of using the Shield as the server for a large library).

I am not saying the NUC isn't the best solution in some use cases, but with the OP's stated purpose and setup I stand on my recommendation of (1) Shield at the primary location, and one of the lesser AndroidTV devices at all the rest...

I found that the FireTV pushed Amazon too much, the Roku interface was too "old school" for me (Although it is perfection for my mom), and the NUC/ Mini PC solution was too clunky for media consumption purposes.

(I know I sound like an NVidia/ Google shill, but the product fits the use case best in my opinion.)
The NUC does make for a slick Plex Server in low user count conditions (assuming the right storage) though..
I have FireTV devices on all my TVs. I sub to Vue and it works well. However, video playback I prefer my HTPC over the FireTV. FireTV is when I'm away from home and then Plex to the rescue. Plex Client is also great for non-techies.
 

hoorah

Senior member
Dec 8, 2005
727
10
81
#17
I run an emby (like plex) server for a bunch of users and I've gotten better feedback from roku users than from firestick users, but the firestick users don't seem unhappy. Emby seems to crash on the firestick more, but that could entirely be based on the app than the device.

Haven't used an nvidia shield yet.

I also have HTPCs connected to each TV that generally sleep most of the time in favor of newer devices, however, my family seems to be more approving of using the HTPCs lately with a small wireless keyboard/mouse as they are generally more stable and you can do more with them.
 

country2

Senior member
May 1, 2001
535
0
76
#18
Directv Now: FireTV, Shield(via Chromecast), Select Roku
YoutubeTV: AndroidTV, Select Roku
Sling: FireTV, Shield, Select Roku
Hulu: FireTV, Shield(via Chromecast), Select Roku

Netflix: all of them
Standard Hulu: All of them
Don't forget Shield does YoutubeTV
 

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,259
38
91
#21
I haven't tested it, but the theory is there...

Their page says "Select Sony TVs, NVIDIA Shield, & more with Android TV built-in"
 

aigomorla

Cases and Cooling Mod PC Gaming Mod Elite Member
Super Moderator
Sep 28, 2005
16,979
466
126
#22
Nvidia Shield. All-around the best solution, in my opinion. Better to spend a little bit more up front than to keep trying multiple cheaper options.
im lost in how a 181 dollar solution is better then a roku ultra unless u want a gaming unit?
https://www.amazon.com/NVIDIA-SHIEL...&qid=1526412634&sr=8-2&keywords=nvidia+shield

at 181 dollars if you say spend a bit more to get an all around solution is the best, then id get a used Hp mini or a Lenovo m93p like this guy add a 38 dollar 128gb SSD + 20 dollar media keyboard+mouse and roll with a windows or linux solution:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-Thi...958?_trksid=p2349526.m4383.l4275.c10#viTabs_0

Here is one with Win10 + 320Gig HD + 8GB of DDR3 for 199 dollars which is 18 more then a shield for a hugh step up in hardware tech.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Lenovo-ThinkCentre-M92p-Tiny-i5-2-9GHz-8GB-320GB-Win-10-Pro/332379682378?_trkparms=aid=555018&algo=PL.SIM&ao=1&asc=44039&meid=0327110e4f9042718d57ddbe1c5c6f00&pid=100010&rk=1&rkt=6&mehot=ag&sd=142748022958&itm=332379682378&_trksid=p2047675.c100010.m2109

Core i5 vs Tegra... hmmm... sorry, I really would like to know what makes the shield so special.

Then again lets just stick with andriod OS and go back to the original question which is, why is it better then a roku ultra or stick + which are priced at $89 / $54 respectively?
 
Last edited:

Kartajan

Golden Member
Feb 26, 2001
1,259
38
91
#23
im lost in how a 181 dollar solution is better then a roku ultra:
More powerful; more polished UI/ UX
..spend a bit more to get an all around solution is the best..:
PC is more powerful/ versitile, but the UI/ UX is not there for "couch use"


3) AndroidTV is NOT regular android. There are significant differences in the interface, as well as proper access to the appropriate streaming apps that can run at the top resolution, vice running a hacked up tablet app at DVD quality or less.

TL; DR: Use the proper tool for the job at hand.
 
Last edited:

paperfist

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2000
5,822
184
106
www.the-teh.com
#24
I have 5 Roku's old to new and no complaints. Well ok, a little more of a robust remote would be better.

Tried NUC, too complicated and already dead in less than a year.
 

killster1

Diamond Member
Mar 15, 2007
3,807
24
81
#25
well i picked up a few more boxes.. android Arm s912 soc with 3gb ddr4 32gb rom, m8s mecool L i think. picked up IR mini keyboard with touch pad. (the touch pad is little small and not exactly flawless to use but def works) i dont mind doing everything with the box and it generates very little heat. Makes me want to upgrade the LCD to something with less energy used as well. See the reason to get the android boxes so i dont have to turn on PC with lots of heat pumping out of it.

Next android boxes will hopefully be nvidia shields the original with the memory card slot, a usb hub solves lack of usb ports i guess. the price is a bit high but if includes controller for 184 would be nice. the s912 boxes are 65-80 it seems (didnt want to wait for china shipping) 3gb ddr4 is speedy. enough i wonder if 4gb ddr3 is better. I use the box for netflix settv surfing web lightly

lulz just surfing web and see alfawise T1.. looks like atom pc with 4gb ram windows 10. Wonder how it would be for my use.
Alfawise T1 full specs 199$
  • CPU: Intel® Celeron® Processor N4100 (1.10 GHz base, 2.40 GHz burst). 4MB cache, 6W TDP
  • GPU: Intel® HD Graphics 600 (200 MHz base, 700 MHz max)
  • RAM: 4GB DDR4 2400MHz
  • ROM: 64GB ROM (eMMC 5.0), M.2 2242 internal slot, 2.5'' SATA (2TB max)
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac,2.4GHz + 5.8GHz, Intel 3165
  • LAN: 10/100/1000
  • USB: 4 x USB 3.0, 1 X USB type-C
  • Audio/Video: HDMI 2.0A (4K @ 60Hz), VGA
  • Other: Bluetooth 4.0, 3.5mm jack, SD Card, Mic, Kensington Lock
  • OS: Windows 10 (licensing status unknown
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS