HT refresh

Discussion in 'Home Theater and Stereo' started by Saurav, Nov 10, 2019 at 1:31 PM.

  1. Saurav

    Saurav Well-Known Member

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    My receiver and projector are 6 years old, Netflix will drop support for my Roku soon, so I'm thinking it's time for some upgrades. The only thing I really want to change is to add 4K/UHD, I don't spend as much time in the HT as I used to, but at this point there's no point getting a 1080p setup. Black Friday is coming, so I thought I should do some research / figure out my options.

    Projector

    LCD vs. DLP, color wheels, sparkles - do these things still matter? A quick look suggests that Epson is still a safe bet. "Pixel shifting" is a new thing for me - should I care?

    Receiver

    I think this is easier, I have a 7.1 setup, I'll want 4K support, it's a small space, I don't need 3D/Atmos/etc. Plenty of choices on Amazon etc. from the usual suspects - Onkyo, Denon, Pioneer, Sony, etc. Not sure I want to step it up into the Marantz range. If there's anything new here / stuff to keep an eye out for, let me know.

    Streamer

    I have an old Roku, works pretty well except it's going out of support. Don't have an Apple ecosystem. Looks like there's a Fire TV Cube now, and of course something from Roku. Lots of 4K capable "sticks" - Amazon Roku, Chromecast. Anything that particularly sets one apart from the rest?

    Remote

    This is where I've been stumped for years. I'm using an old Harmony that you can't buy any more. The newer Harmony remotes all seem to be wifi / hub based. I haven't really researched that enough to know what it will take to make that work. And of course everything and its uncle comes with Alexa integration now. This may all just work if I get the Fire Cube and a modern receiver / projector, or I may need a dedicated remote, really unsure here.

    Player, Speakers

    I have an old BR player that I never use, so this is not a priority right now. Ditto for the speakers, they're fine for the space, I think I have a PSB stack with a Dayton sub, or something like that.

    Pretend I'm a newbie (because I kind of am) and let's hear some completely conflicting opinions :)
     
  2. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    I'm going to be a bit biased towards the Nvidia Shield as a steamer. I've used the Shield since the summer of 2015 and it has been awesome. It has its quirks, but this was one of the first 4k media steamers on the market outside of an HTPC. There are two new models out now. There's a Shield in a Tubular configuration for $149.99 and there's the Shield Pro for $199.99.

    The Shield runs Android TV, and not just a variation of Mobile Android that you will find on Cheap knockoffs.


    The Shield Pro can be used as a Plex Server for distributing content to devices around the house or outside the home. Another different between the two devices is that the Pro supports 64-bit applications and the Tube is limited to 32-bit




    Shield Tube has 2 gigs of RAM
    Shield Pro has 3 gigs of RAM

    Shield Tube has 8 Gigs of storage
    Shield Pro has 16 gigs of storage




    Dolby TrueHD, and DTSMA, Atmos and DTS-X Audio Passthrough (all Lossless)

    ((This is perfect if you plan to stream ripped 1:1 Blu Ray and UHD content)

    HDR 10 for Netflix, Amazon Prime, Vudu, Plex, Kodi, MrMC

    Dolby Vision for Netflix and Amazon Prime, I believe Vudu as well.


    Live TV and DVR with the use of a Network Tuner such as an HD HomeRun.

    Plex and EMBY Media Server support

    AI Upscaling (for use with HD material)
    Built-in Chromecast
    802.11ac wifi
    Gigabit Ethernet
    Bluetooth
    Google Assistant
    Alexa
    USB 3.0
    HDMI 2.0
    HDCP 2.2


    For Bit-perfect Audio (2-channel or multi Channel playback) use apps such as Kodi or MrMC. The Android Audio stack is limited to 48 kHz but those two apps will play hi rez audio when properly configured.

    I have a Harmony Ultimate and have been using it since late 2014. I came from a Harmony 880 IR universal remote and the buttons stopped working as time passed.

    I use an Oppo 203 but this will end up being part of a 2-channel audio rig in the near future. The Panasonic players are highly regarded for UHD playback as well.

    For AVRs, Denon/Marantz and Yamaha Receivers get a lot of praise these days.


    Hope this helps





    Sent from my Pixel 2 using Tapatalk
     
  3. Saurav

    Saurav Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, that is good info. I should have clarified that I don't have any owned content that I care about, 100% of my streaming is either Amazon Prime or Netflix. I'll take a look at the Shield, it came up in a "best streamers" kind of search but I didn't look any closer.
     
  4. Jay Brown

    Jay Brown Well-Known Member Donor Top Poster

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    The Shield may be a bit "overkill" for your needs, but considering what it can do, it can be a dedicated "all in one" box for media consumption.

    The Rokus and Amazon Fire streaming devices have come a long way . The Fire stick has HDR 10+, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support (lossy variant of Dolby Digital Plus).
     
  5. Phil Rose

    Phil Rose Active Member

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    My Sony TV was just dropped by Amazon and they offered a $25 incentive for a Fire TV. No brainer! It works quite well.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019 at 8:13 PM
  6. CJ

    CJ Bronze Member Admin Top Poster

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    You won't regret getting an Epson. The 4K pixel shifters are VERY good from the reviews I've read and unless you're dropping $8k plus that's the best you'll get. But it will handle 4K HDR unlike a 1080p projector so its worth it in my opinion.

    You can get a Marantz for roughly the price of any of the other brands you were looking at I believe. I would spring for that if you can.

    Streamer, eh, I'm all Apple. I don't even own a disk player any more. Haven't spun a disk for probably 5-7 years.

    Are you looking for new speakers or no?
     
  7. Saurav

    Saurav Well-Known Member

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    Not planning to buy, but did I look? :)

    Speakers don't go obsolete like the rest of the chain. Anyway, would be good to know what's out there. I checked out the options from Klipsch and SVS. And I don't really remember where to look any more for the less mass-market options. My HT is in the basement / man cave, which means aesthetics / WAF aren't a concern, and I can turn it up without disturbing the rest of the family, so I have a pretty decent sized florstanding pair + a large center. I think they're Polk or PSB or something along those lines, probably pretty entry level from what I recall, I'd bought it off Craigslist.
     
    CJ likes this.
  8. pillatier

    pillatier Well-Known Member

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  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Well-Known Member Top Poster

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    What are your sources going to be? Like CJ I use an AppleTV as I find it has the best GUI that everyone can use for Netflix, Plex and Amazon Prime.
     
  10. Barry_NJ

    Barry_NJ Well-Known Member

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    I'm very happy with my Roku Sticks. I went with Roku over Amazon as they are just a Hardware provider, as opposed to Amazon that is a Streaming Service provider that also has hardware. I wanted my hardware unbiased. You also didn't mention any budget restrictions, and that can really alter recommendations, the Roku Sticks are far less expensive than a Plex streamer...
     

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