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IceBoosteR

Best Device for Emby 4K, HDR, Atmos?

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IceBoosteR

Hi everyone,

 

I love Emby and I love 4K, HDR and Dolby Atmos and DTS:X

I have upgraded my complete TV and audio setup. I bought myself a XBOX One S to have a decent 4K Bluray Player.

But I would like use Emby to manage my collection, but unfortunately the XBOX does not allow passthru for the Emby app. So I was looking around for devices which can handle all this formats, to be fute proof (at least some years).

There is a lot going on in the kodi forum fo devices, but I'm with the Emby front end and it would be ideal to use the app as they are able to use the metadata from the server directly.

I have tried the plugin on kodi but I did not like them.

So when I was looking around, the only device who is able to play these formats, but comes with a drawback in image quality, is the Nvidia Shield...

 

Or are there other devices out there which can natively play these formats within the Emby app?

I have learnt that even on the Apple TV 4K it is lossy AC3 sound...

 

Best,

Ice

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Guest asrequested

Well, if the shield isn't enough, then the only other option is an HTPC.

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Jdiesel

So when I was looking around, the only device who is able to play these formats, but comes with a drawback in image quality, is the Nvidia Shield...

 

 

What exactly do you mean by this? If you are watching 2160p content on a 2160p display the IQ will be the same as any other device. With Nvidia Experience 7.2.2 the ability to automatically switch colorspace was added so now the Rec709 <----> Rec2020 conversion is a non issue too. If you mean watching SD/720p/2010p content on a 2160p display then yes the Shield TV doesn't have as good of scalers as the Apple TV 4K or a proper PC running ET or another external player. However the ATV app with the Shield TV has the ability to not only switch framerates but also resolutions meaning the video can be output at its native resolution leaving the scaling up to your display which may or may not be better than your Shield TV depending on the make and model of the display.

 

The Shield TV can also pass HDR metadata to the display which is a major bonus to some unlike Kodi or ET which does tonemapping. Disclaimer: There is currently an issue with HDR metadata and cropped videos. Hopefully this is fixed as it is really the only thing holding the Shield TV back right now.

Edited by Jdiesel
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IceBoosteR

Well, if the shield isn't enough, then the only other option is an HTPC.

I have thought about this, but haven't looked into that. DIY is not a problem, but a ready-to-go-just-put-software-on-device would be preferred

 

What exactly do you mean by this? If you are watching 2160p content on a 2160p display the IQ will be the same as any other device. With Nvidia Experience 7.2.2 the ability to automatically switch colorspace was added so now the Rec709 <----> Rec2020 conversion is a non issue too. If you mean watching SD/720p/2010p content on a 2160p display then yes the Shield TV doesn't have as good of scalers as the Apple TV 4K or a proper PC running ET or another external player. However the ATV app with the Shield TV has the ability to not only switch framerates but also resolutions meaning the video can be output at its native resolution leaving the scaling up to your display which may or may not be better than your Shield TV depending on the make and model of the display.

 

The Shield TV can also pass HDR metadata to the display which is a major bonus to some unlike Kodi or ET which does tonemapping. Disclaimer: There is currently an issue with HDR metadata and cropped videos. Hopefully this is fixed as it is really the only thing holding the Shield TV back right now.

Ehm, I have read on reddit, the nvidia forum and somewhere else that the picutre quality was an issue due to incorrect colorspace mapping. Otherwise the Shield would be a perfect device.

I am just watching 1080p and 2160p content, so hopefully upscaling will not hit me.

From the points you have mentioned, the Shield looks to be a perfect buy.

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Jdiesel

There have been major improvements to color space mapping and switching in the latest release. Knowing Reddit it is likely someone regurgating the same information that always gets posted. 

 

Check out this thread (last few pages) on the Kodi forums which touch on some of the changes to colorspace on the latest 7.x.x builds. There is a user there HDMKV that has equipment and expertise to test the mapping and his results have been very positive so far.

 

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=304226&page=115 

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CBers

the only other option is an HTPC.

Still trying to flog that dead horse :D

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Guest asrequested

Still trying to flog that dead horse :D

 

lol....I only suggested it because he took Shield off the table. And to that point, when my new receiver shows up, I will connect the shield and my HTPC to it. As it will pass the HDR to the display. Just so I can have everything :D

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Jdiesel

Right now there are only two things that are keeping the Shield TV from being perfect for me

 

1. HDR metadata not being passed to the display when watching videos that have been cropped

2. Not supporting network paths to allow for true direct playing

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Guest asrequested

Terrible for playing music, though. If you only watch good quality videos and bitstream surround sound, Shield is great. I don't trust it's scaling, and have you tried listening to stereo through an Atmos audio setup? ...Spoiler....it's stereo. 

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IceBoosteR

lol....I only suggested it because he took Shield off the table. And to that point, when my new receiver shows up, I will connect the shield and my HTPC to it. As it will pass the HDR to the display. Just so I can have everything :D

I have an Intel NUC currently running as a docker-server. It is able to run 4K and audio-passthru. But unfortunately no HDR support, so 4K movies are not watchable...

 

Right now there are only two things that are keeping the Shield TV from being perfect for me

 

1. HDR metadata not being passed to the display when watching videos that have been cropped

2. Not supporting network paths to allow for true direct playing

So that mean that the Shield is not perfect, too.

I might need to look into a HTPC again^^

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Jdiesel

 have you tried listening to stereo through an Atmos audio setup? ...Spoiler....it's stereo. 

 

The way it was meant to be heard  :lol:

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clarkss12

Right now there are only two things that are keeping the Shield TV from being perfect for me

 

1. HDR metadata not being passed to the display when watching videos that have been cropped

2. Not supporting network paths to allow for true direct playing

What is a cropped video??

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Jdiesel

I have an Intel NUC currently running as a docker-server. It is able to run 4K and audio-passthru. But unfortunately no HDR support, so 4K movies are not watchable...

 

So that mean that the Shield is not perfect, too.

I might need to look into a HTPC again^^

 

Just to clarify the network path issue is probably very specific to me and won't affect most users. I have a remote server where my home internet connection can't stream most 4K movies in realtime duplicate that folder on my local NAS and point the network path to my local NAS rather than the remote server. Works like of like the Local Sync feature of the mobile apps.

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Guest asrequested

The way it was meant to be heard  :lol:

 

hehe....only if you're really old. If you were to sit in front of the artist while they sang/played, it isn't in stereo :) But I was more referring to old movies/shows that have never been processed to surround sound. Most of those are mp3 or AAC stereo, so that's all you get. Shield is a great unit but like all the rest of them, have no versatility. 

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Guest asrequested

What is a cropped video??

 

Removal of the black padding that you see at the top and bottom that is on a lot of videos.

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clarkss12

Removal of the black padding that you see at the top and bottom that is on a lot of videos.

What is gained by removing those bars??

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Jdiesel

What is a cropped video??

 

4K resolution is 3840x2160, depending on the aspect ratio the video content was filmed or processed in (16:9, 1.85:1, 2:39:1, etc) the actual vertical resolution may vary. When ripping these movies from the original bluray the person doing it often crops out the empty black borders above and below the video to save space on the final video resulting in a video with a resolution with something like 3840x1600. The Shield TV doesn't like this for some reason. You can avoid this by not cropping the video when you encode it or avoid downloading them if you aren't making your own.

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Guest asrequested

What is gained by removing those bars??

 

Small files and less data to re-encode.

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Guest asrequested

I have an Intel NUC currently running as a docker-server. It is able to run 4K and audio-passthru. But unfortunately no HDR support, so 4K movies are not watchable...

 

You'd need to build or buy something new. And of course that's considerably more expensive than a Shield. And I've said this a thousand times, I will never stop using an HTPC, nothing matches it.....nothing at all!

Edited by Doofus
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Jdiesel

hehe....only if you're really old. If you were to sit in front of the artist while they sang/played, it isn't in stereo :) But I was more referring to old movies/shows that have never been processed to surround sound. Most of those are mp3 or AAC stereo, so that's all you get. Shield is a great unit but like all the rest of them, have no versatility. 

 

That should be the job of the receiver. I'm looking forward to you getting your new one  :lol:

 

 

Neural:X processing has brought life back to my old stereo/5.1 movies 

Edited by Jdiesel

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IceBoosteR

Thanks for your answer guys.

Good point is, that I should not have the "cropped issue". HTPC would be a Ryzen setup because they are supporting HDR, Atmos and 4K, are cheap and quite. But that would be a overkill solution I guess. But if there is no other option, Shield is the way to go, right?

There was a good offer 1 month ago, but I bought a XBOX instead, because I though I was "clever" ( I havent notice that Atmos and DTS:X are only uspported with the Bluray playback...).

Edited by IceBoosteR

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Guest asrequested

That should be the job of the receiver. I'm looking forward to you getting your new one  :lol:

 

 

Neural:X processing has brought life back to my old stereo/5.1 movies 

 

I'm so looking forward to getting that. But I'd rather just have mpv transcode the audio to AC3 on the fly, and let the receiver take if from there. I have much more control over what gets transcoded. But yes, the new receiver should be awesome.

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Jdiesel

Thanks for your answer guys.

Good point is, that I should not have the "cropped issue". HTPC would be a Ryzen setup because they are supporting HDR, Atmos and 4K, are cheap and quite. But that would be a overkill solution I guess. But if there is no other option, Shield is the way to go, right?

There was a good offer 1 month ago, but I bought a XBOX instead, because I though I was "clever" ( I havent notice that Atmos and DTS:X are only uspported with the Bluray playback...).

 

$119 during Amazon's Cyber Monday Sale was a steal.

 

Just to chime in, while Ryzen may support HDR the software also has too. In the case of ET (using mpv as the player) does not passthrough HDR metadata but instead tonemaps the signal to reproduce what is expected. I'm not looking to start a debate on whether this is as good as passing the data to the display but it is worth being aware of. If you want to pass the metadata from ET you will need to use an external player with something like madVR which has its own drawbacks. 

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IceBoosteR

Thank you for the explanation.

The Shield is getting to sound better and better...

Unfortunately the price here is about 200€, so 299$ :o

Not that cheap ;)

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Jdiesel

From the reporting that @ has been doing on the progress of the underlying mpv development it sounds like the tonemapping is getting much better.

 

If you have any needs outside of running Emby it may sway your decision. Other streaming apps, running the server on the same hardware, gaming, power/noise, remote, updates, etc. For me it really came down to not wanting a Windows PC in my setup, I want a simple media device not a full blow computer but other may feel different. 

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