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-   -   Android Tv box suggestion - Can you see PQ difference of 4k on 1080P tv? (https://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/31-home-theatre-personal-computer-htpc-media-extenders/273178-android-tv-box-suggestion-can-you-see-pq-difference-4k-1080p-tv.html)

synmag 2017-04-24 12:28 PM

Android Tv box suggestion - Can you see PQ difference of 4k on 1080P tv?
 
Hello,

I have recently began looking into getting an Android TV box to cut the cord. All though I love Bell fibe, I am sick and tired of their constant price increases and having to call them on a regular basis to renegotiate their prices as they keep adjusting it up even after I just arrived at an acceptable price (that's a whole different post).

Like the other poster of similar subject I am seeing a million options and I am trying to narrow them down. I have several issues to consider which I will try to cram into this one post so please bear with me if it get's a bit lengthy.

First off, I am trying to figure out if I need/want 4k support. I do not currently have a 4k tv however I don't know if it's worth getting just to future proof my purchase.

Also, I watch TSN's coverage of F1 and this year F1 is available in 4k. I can see the PQ is much better even on my 1080p tv. It's not psychological as I noticed the difference as soon as I watched the first session before I saw their ads about 4k availability. Logically I would say the benefits of 4k should not be visible on a 1080 display but I can clearly see the difference. Though the question is whether the difference is 4k or are their new cameras just using a better lens? Or is it just higher bandwidth or some other back end change?

I also require optical/spdif digital audio as I run a fairly high end home theater and my pre-amp does not have hdmi with audio capability. I will be upgrading within the next two years however I'm in no rush as I have managed to work around hdmi using optical/spdif inputs however I do want good quality sound. Using TV speakers is out of the question.

The most recommended box is the nvidia shield however it does not have optical/spdif. I know I can add a usb adapter however they range in price from about $40 to hundreds of $$ (recommendation on this front are welcome as well). I'm not sure if using up a usb port for this is a problem. I have external HDs I use, plus IIRC the micro sd memory extension also works through a usb adapter therefore I might run out of usb ports. My wireless keyboard is also usb but I believe it has bt so that's not a show stopper.

I would like to get a powerful enough box to stream video smoothly which might provide 4k by default.

I'm looking at the Vetek which seems recent enough and has optical output. I find most recent boxes with higher end chips and 4k have dropped optical out.

Another consideration is currently I have Fibe 50. Teksavvy only offers DSL 25 unlimited for $45 + $5 dry loop charge/month (at my postal code) where Fibe regular price for 50 is $89 which I may be able to keep for their promo price of $69. The $20/month may be worth it for the extra speed and reliability.

Thanks for reading if you made it this far. I am open to any suggestions and anecdotal evidence you may have running a similar setup.

Cheers

bev fan 2017-04-24 02:02 PM

So, basically you want to get all the goodies and not pay for any of them. I think that most of your statements and questions are about piracy which if I am correct is not allowed to be discussed on this forum.

synmag 2017-04-24 02:28 PM

Fair enough. I haven't been around for a while (as evidenced by my signature, still had my DLP tv listed..) and wasn't up to date on forum rules. I have removed the one paragraph which may have led you to your conclusion. I take it discussing the technical details surrounding Android TV boxes are allowed.

57 2017-04-24 03:17 PM

Android boxes are discussed plenty in the forum, but Sports coverage like F1 is only available legally via Service Providers, where you pay for the service. Or perhaps via paid streaming services.

When I click on your Vetek link it talks about getting Free Satellite and Cable. There is no such thing. Free Satellite and Cable is called theft or piracy and we don't allow discussions of same on this forum. See also the following thread where piracy/theft is discussed in detail:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/217-...al-canada.html

Edit - I believe only the main events (Practice, Qualifying, Race) are covered in 4k for F1 and then probably only certain cameras, and not the pre/post programming. This would be similar to the early days of HD where there were a few HD cameras at the sporting event but many cameras at that time were still SD. You are not imagining things though as I have also noticed some images of F1 to be superior to previous years, however, this may be due to other factors including superior signals to various "broadcasters" like TSN, etc.

buckycat 2017-04-24 03:47 PM

^ I don't think TSN is offering F1 in 4k, only Sky in the UK.

57 2017-04-24 04:03 PM

^ Agreed, however, the fact that they are using the 4K cameras (and perhaps a better "pipe" or other differences) may have an impact on the 1080i signal we get from TSN (720P on Bell). I should have been clearer in my previous post.

Inglewood 2017-04-24 04:18 PM

I personally don't think 4K is worth it at this time. I can visually tell the difference between 720p and 1080i, but can't between 4K and 1080i.

If you have a 4K TV, and can connect to YouTube with it, there are numerous 4K videos (even a few F1 ones) that you can watch and toggle the resolution to see what you would get.

You can also see if you have any lag watching the 4K videos - you may need to upgrade your ISP or package to watch 4K depending on what you currently have.

synmag 2017-04-24 09:07 PM

Ok, I have had some time to cool off and consider everything. I am going to stick with Bell for now. I called them up to complain about the most recent increases expecting them to go back to my last negotiated price and credit the difference. Shock and horror, they actually lowered my price to below what my last deal was! I have been happy with their service however I must have spent hundreds of hours on the phone with them over the years. And that's not an exaggeration either.

Looking at F1 and tennis TSN is really my best option. Surprisingly F1 doesn't offer a paid streaming service on their site. I was going to stream news for my wife through chrome however it appears now most stations now ask for a user id to watch their streams. I haven't come across this before as I recall being able to stream cp24 for example.

All though Bell has rolled back my fees I still find their TV price expensive for what I watch. Anyway for the quality and ease of use I will stick it out for now.

57 thanks for the link interesting read. As for F1 I don't think Bell has it in 4k but the original Sky recording is in 4k. I am however surprised how much better quality it is than other 1080p programming. WRT to your comment about Bell being in 720p. I remember seeing ads about Bell PVR boxes handling 1080p and while I thought it would be automatic I check my box just now and 1080p option is avaialble in settings I could not see the difference when I switched back and forth.

I recall the day when OTA channels, PBS specifically, switched down to 720p and I could clearly see the difference on my 56" dlp tv at the time. My current tv is only 48" however it has excellent PQ and even if the actual signal is only 720p I'm happy with it. This kind of proves that we don't really need 4k and it's just a market push to get people to buy yet another tv to replace the current ones which in many cases are only a few years old.

Inglewood, I agree. I think 4k will be a consideration for a projector if I ever build a home theater room with a large screen. 1080p was designed for "large" screen tvs back in the day when 27" crt was considered big and I think it's more than adequate for even a 60" or 70" display. On the other hand when it comes to big screens I would only watch movies on that size and I have a friend who has a large screen and 1080p looks just fine for movies. It is about a 12 foot screen.

bev fan 2017-04-24 11:23 PM

If you do not watch much then get starter package and pick and pay, 10 channels for $20 so it would be $45.
You can get ISP like Carrytel unlimited 100Mbps for $40 so it would cost you $85 a month for everything, can't complain that this is too much and no need to call Bell every once in a while.

57 2017-04-25 12:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by synmag (Post 2910650)
WRT to your comment about Bell being in 720p. I remember seeing ads about Bell PVR boxes handling 1080p and while I thought it would be automatic I check my box just now and 1080p option is avaialble in settings I could not see the difference when I switched back and forth.

Bell sends all channels to you as 720P, so 1080i channels are actually "downconverted" before they get to your STB. What you set the output of the STB to has no bearing on what actually comes to you. It's usually best to let the TV do the conversion, so I recommend setting Bell STBs to 720P, unless you view on-demand programming, which can be 1080P. Of course you can also do your own experimenting to see which output format works best for you. Here's the FAQ:

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/30-5...v-formats.html

Allan B 2017-04-25 04:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by buckycat (Post 2910474)
^ I don't think TSN is offering F1 in 4k, only Sky in the UK.

Several other broadcasters in Europe offer F1 in 4K Format, I believe there are 2 that offer it via FTA Satellite as well as more conventional 1080i or 720p.

wprager 2017-04-25 03:24 PM

I wouldn't bother worrying about 4k now because the amount of content is not enough yet. Most likely why you don't yet have a 4k set. And even 2 years later the Android TV box you get now will be likely ready for an upgrade.

There isplenty of non-pirated content for which you might want an android TV box. For example you might prefer the Netflix app over the one that comes with your smart TV; similarly for other paid streaming services (Crave TV?). When I was looking at cord cutting I was concerned about those HDTV shows my wife loves to watch (Netflix Canada doesn't carry them, and very few ever show up OTA -- at least at my location). So that's when I found that you can watch lots of full-episodes at HDTV.ca (you watch 1-2 ads and then watch for free). With an Android TV that's easy, not so with a plain Smart TV.

synmag 2017-04-25 05:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wprager (Post 2910922)
I wouldn't bother worrying about 4k now because the amount of content is not enough yet. Most likely why you don't yet have a 4k set. And even 2 years later the Android TV box you get now will be likely ready for an upgrade.

There isplenty of non-pirated content for which you might want an android TV box. For example you might prefer the Netflix app over the one that comes with your smart TV; similarly for other paid streaming services (Crave TV?). When I was looking at cord cutting I was concerned about those HDTV shows my wife loves to watch (Netflix Canada doesn't carry them, and very few ever show up OTA -- at least at my location). So that's when I found that you can watch lots of full-episodes at HDTV.ca (you watch 1-2 ads and then watch for free). With an Android TV that's easy, not so with a plain Smart TV.

I went to hdtv.ca and it points to graphene.ca which is an unregistered domain. It doesn't sound very legit.

I have an old wdlive tv box which is getting long in the tooth, that's another reason I started looking at the droid boxes.

57 2017-04-25 06:38 PM

I've moved several posts discussing Bell Fibe pricing to the Bell Fibe Pricing thread where they belong. Let's try to stick to the topic of this thread. Thanks.

wprager 2017-04-26 05:26 PM

Oops, my apologies, that was a typo. I meant HGTV.ca not HDTV.ca. Doesn't look like I can edit the post.


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