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Android "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle with a new "Google TV" ecosystem and UI
#16
just posted on Avs - 

First, the good:
  • Dynamic Range Switching works well in most apps (Tested Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Plex, Kodi)
  • Correctly switches between Rec. 709 & Rec. 2020 color spaces
  • Doesn't work in Movies Anywhere for some reason
  • Passes through correct HDR10 metadata, including MaxCLL, and MaxFALL
  • Chroma upsampling is good, the same as other recent Amlogic chipset-based devices I've tested (ODroid N2)
  • Supports CEC and IR remote control
  • Speed is really good, not up to the Shield TV, but it's also 1/3 the price or less
  • Frame rate can be manually set, only 23.976Hz, 25Hz, 29.97Hz, 50Hz, and 59.94Hz supported
  • The UI shows them as whole integer frame rates, but I've confirmed via HDFury Integral 2 that they are not actually integer frame rates

Now, the bad:
  • HDR10 content has raised black levels
  • No passthrough of Lossless Audio Codecs
  • No automatic refresh rate switching
  • Refresh rate app does not work
  • No automatic refresh rate toggle in settings
  • Confused by this one, I thought I saw it reported somewhere else that it does, but nothing exists that I can find
  • Plex & Kodi don't support automatic refresh rate switching
  • MPEG2 Live TV direct plays in Plex, but has pretty bad stuttering issues, whether interlaced or progressive (maybe being software decoded?)
  • Voice search does not support Plex/Kodi
  • 24.00, 60.00 refresh rates are not supported, even when manually setting
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#17
(2020-10-01, 02:23)MrCrispy Wrote: just posted on Avs - 

First, the good:
  • Dynamic Range Switching works well in most apps (Tested Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Plex, Kodi)
  • Correctly switches between Rec. 709 & Rec. 2020 color spaces
  • Doesn't work in Movies Anywhere for some reason
  • Passes through correct HDR10 metadata, including MaxCLL, and MaxFALL
  • Chroma upsampling is good, the same as other recent Amlogic chipset-based devices I've tested (ODroid N2)
  • Supports CEC and IR remote control
  • Speed is really good, not up to the Shield TV, but it's also 1/3 the price or less
  • Frame rate can be manually set, only 23.976Hz, 25Hz, 29.97Hz, 50Hz, and 59.94Hz supported
  • The UI shows them as whole integer frame rates, but I've confirmed via HDFury Integral 2 that they are not actually integer frame rates

Now, the bad:
  • HDR10 content has raised black levels
  • No passthrough of Lossless Audio Codecs
  • No automatic refresh rate switching
  • Refresh rate app does not work
  • No automatic refresh rate toggle in settings
  • Confused by this one, I thought I saw it reported somewhere else that it does, but nothing exists that I can find
  • Plex & Kodi don't support automatic refresh rate switching
  • MPEG2 Live TV direct plays in Plex, but has pretty bad stuttering issues, whether interlaced or progressive (maybe being software decoded?)
  • Voice search does not support Plex/Kodi
  • 24.00, 60.00 refresh rates are not supported, even when manually setting
the good is really good, especially for the price. But the lack of automatic refresh rate switch (especially in kodi), lossless audio codec passthrough (the voice search not working in kodi is to be expected though) are killer and that means it still can't replace a vero 4k+. If you want a full home theatre experience, that's probably the best bet still. But for a casual living room thing, this would suffice 95% of users. Thanks...this is a very informative post.
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#18
I'd expect there is a new API that allows apps to add content to home screen, and also work with voice search. And once apps are updated these features will work - e.g this works in Shield's old AndroidTv UI.

The lack of hd passthru, refresh rate, and mpeg2 decoding is a much more serious issue. I do not think Google cares to ever fix these, although I'm 99.9% sure these are fixable via software as the hw is more than capable. Older Amlogic chipsets can do all this.
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#19
Well that's disappointing.
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#20
(2020-10-01, 02:23)MrCrispy Wrote: Now, the bad:
  • HDR10 content has raised black levels

If that happens in Netflix, I suspect Netflix will tackle Google pretty quickly. Does it do it with Dolby Vision content in Netflix too? If so Dolby may well have words as well - as their licensing probably requires decent quality output.
Quote:
  • No automatic refresh rate switching
  • Refresh rate app does not work
  • No automatic refresh rate toggle in settings

I'm not surprised about the frame rate issues.  It seems no Android or Android TV solution currently supports fully automatic refresh rate switching (without the app having to implement it, but instead the OS handling it automatically based on the frame rate of the video being played). The nVidia Shield TV has a kludge solution where their OS/firmware allows you to manually sample the frame rate of video once it has started playing, and Android TV on the Shield TV also implements an app controlled refresh rate switch which Kodi uses (whereby Kodi checks the frame rate and then changes the output refresh rate, rather than the OS doing it, which appears automatic, but is app-based not OS-based).  Netflix and Prime Video apps don't use this on the Shield TV - so they require an external refresh rate change (either using an app or the system-level 'sample the refresh rate and switch to it when you are playing' kludge)

If the current Google Chromecast Android TV firmware doesn't support app controlled switching - that's a shame.  However it's not unexpected. Google's previous Chromecasts haven't supported 23.976/24.000 fps output at all - they've been fixed at 59.94 or 60 (not sure which) with a global settings change option hidden away to switch to a fixed 50Hz (if you live in a 50Hz territory and mainly watch 25/50Hz services). They seemed to think that running at 59.94Hz permanently is 'good enough' for most users...

There seem to be very few platforms that actually do OS-level automatic frame rate switching (and that might actually be a good thing - as it falls over in some use cases).  AIUI the Apple TV 4K doesn't - it uses an app-controlled refresh rate switch too  - but it is implemented in a way that most app developers have embraced so support for it is pretty good.   Roku is the only platform I know that had automatic refresh rate switching - but because it triggered on Netflix's automatic trailers (so as you browsed shows your TV would re-sync between 24, 25 and 30fps content - giving you a blank screen and then your TV's OSD would appear) they disabled refresh rate switching entirely on Netflix (which the Apple TV app didn't do - as the app controlled refresh rate and didn't switch when you were in the menus, only when playing an actual show or movie)...
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#21
What about Multichannel PCM?
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#22
I'm so much interested in this..

I've read that automatic frame rate switching would possibly come with android 11 build in.. (source avs)
So for me the only thing left is hd audio passthrough.

However i'm not sure where to go.

I like the idea of having everything accesible in 1 place... so netflix, kodi movies/series, live tv etc etc..

I have 2 places where i want a new player.
- living room (no hd audio needed)  (4K tv present there)
- home theater (definately hd audio needed)

I was planning on buying 2x shields..
However this sabrina .... argh

If i only looke at the living room for the moment.. Will it compete to the shield? Should i get this new google chromecast or get a shield?

I wonder too if kodi is still needed.. since google tv is taking over....
 no?
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#23
(2020-10-01, 11:39)Skank Wrote: I wonder too if kodi is still needed.. since google tv is taking over....
 no?
I'd say Kodi has a good few years left in it yet. Google after 10 years or so still haven't implemented refresh rate switching, which is something I couldn't live without, together with things like passthrough etc and numerous other features which have previously been mentioned. Maybe for the casual user who doesn't notice glitchy video then things like the Google TV will suffice but I can't see it replacing Kodi just yet, or perhaps ever. These companies just don't seem to care about quality and are more interested in mass market profit from gimmicks like Alexa etc, whilst most people using Kodi would never watch 25 fps content at 60 hz. So for now I think Kodi is still relevant and will be for some time.
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#24
I'd say Kodi forever Big Grin! Google or other big companies won't focus on your local media.
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#25
(2020-10-01, 17:36)hdmkv Wrote: I'd say Kodi forever Big Grin! Google or other big companies won't focus on your local media.

What do you think concerning my question for the living room (no hd audio there) to get shield vs this new one
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#26
(2020-10-01, 19:05)Skank Wrote:
(2020-10-01, 17:36)hdmkv Wrote: I'd say Kodi forever Big Grin! Google or other big companies won't focus on your local media.

What do you think concerning my question for the living room (no hd audio there) to get shield vs this new one
The best advice can usually be found in this thread https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=252916
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#27
Decisions, decisions, decisions....... I am very tempted to purchase this device, so I can toss it in a drawer like all my other devices, after I get done "playing" with it.  I also, HATE dongles.

BUTTTT, now Trebor from Freaktab has an inside scoop about Mecool's newest device based upon the Amlogic S905X4 with AVI support (whatever that means Smile).  I will definitely go with the Mecool IF it is Google Certified like their other boxes....  I already have the Mecool KM 8 and the newer KM1, which are really, really Google Certified....... 

I also, purchased the Tivo 4k dongle, did I say that I hate dongles??  Anyway, I "played" with it for a couple of hours a few times, but still a piece of crap for me, since it does not have a setting to turn off the SDR to HDR setting.  All the colors are washed out because my TV does not support HDR, and with their limited updates, still have not solved that issue for me.......
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#28
https://forum.freaktab.com/forum/tv-play...-supported
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#29
The idea of having a home page filled with content coming from different sources (netflix, hulu, kodi disney+ etc etc), isnt that possible with shield too?
In fact even with kodi?

If so that means many possibilities
- have this google device
- have a shield
- have any kodi mediaplayer that supports netflix and other streaming services in 4K
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#30
Quote:Appears the SoC is Amlogic S905D3.

Read that and other specifications now on CNX Software https://www.cnx-software.com/2020/10/01/...e-control/

Same as Khadas VIM3L https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/08/21/...thusiasts/

CNXSoft blog have Khadas VIM3L (Amlogic S905D3) benchmarks here https://www.cnx-software.com/2019/10/16/...stem-info/

8GB flash in the new Google Chromecast with Google TV is really poor though, I really see that that the biggest limitation for Kodi Game and RetroPlayer gaming (games via emulation). 
(2020-10-01, 11:39)Skank Wrote: I wonder too if kodi is still needed.. since google tv is taking over....

I'm holding my thumbs wishing for the "Media importing and library integration" project by @Montellese making it into Kodi master.

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=224794

IMHO, media importing from third-party streaming video services as well as native game library/database support for RetroPlayer would really take Kodi to the next level in my eyes.

One media center frontend to rule them all; content aggregation for local and streaming video services as well as a gaming frontend with a game library for retro emulators.
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