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Android "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle with a new "Google TV" ecosystem and UI
#31
(2020-10-01, 00:17)noggin Wrote:
(2020-09-30, 23:01)RockerC Wrote: As I understand, the 'older' Amlogic S905X2 SoC/chipset in this dongle does not support AV1 hardware-accelerated video decoding.

YouTube has used AV1 for quite a while now, and Netflix recently started to stream in this format for compatible devices.
Yes - but both Netflix and YouTube also serve content in alternative codecs - and if this devices has been being developed for a while to get kinks knocked out of it etc., then it isn't going to be bleeding edge tech.  SoCs that support AV1 are only just beginning to appear - so it's not unexpected that this device isn't based around them?

I was actually surprised that Google did not choose an SoC that supported AV1 because both Netflix and YouTube not only support it but these companies are also major backers behind that new video codec.

S905X4 SoC is available since Q4 2019 and it's pin-compatible with S905X2, S905X2 and the S905D3. Google could have made up for the extra money it might cost with future internet bandwidth fee savings.

It would not really require any development effort from Google's engineer to replace the S905D3 SoC with an S905X4 SoC since it is pin-compatible and in the same series from the same manufacturer.
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#32
(2020-10-01, 21:05)Skank Wrote: The idea of having a home page filled with content coming from different sources...

(2020-10-01, 21:44)RockerC Wrote: 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.

That's exactly why I use Kodi in the first place - to bring all my content together in one frontend (as far as it's currently possible) Nod
If I have helped you or increased your knowledge please click the 'Thumb Up - Like' button to show me your appreciation :)
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#33
(2020-10-02, 02:09)jmh2002 Wrote:
(2020-10-01, 21:05)Skank Wrote: The idea of having a home page filled with content coming from different sources...
 
(2020-10-01, 21:44)RockerC Wrote: 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.

That's exactly why I use Kodi in the first place - to bring all my content together in one frontend (as far as it's currently possible) Nod

Yeah i want that too, one frontend to rule them all.. isnt that what this chromecast with google tv does? (without apple tv but who needs it :p)
Doesnt shield do that too?


I didnt know about this https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=224794&page=58
Any idea how far away that development is?
Reply
#34
Ah, there is also a wired 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast with Google TV available for $19.99

https://store.google.com/us/product/chro...2?hl=en-US

Basically, this replaces the USB-charger with a combined USB Ethernet adapter and AC to DC 5V 1.5A USB-C type charger. 

They had a similar option for the older Chromecasts with Micro-USB which shipped by default with Chromecast Ultra.

https://store.google.com/us/product/ethe...t?hl=en-US

IMHO, wired Ethernet this is really a must if you plan on using Google's Stadia as a cloud gaming service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Stadia
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#35
(2020-10-02, 11:33)RockerC Wrote: Ah, there is also a wired 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast with Google TV available for $19.99

https://store.google.com/us/product/chro...2?hl=en-US

Basically, this replaces the USB-charger with a combined USB Ethernet adapter and AC to DC 5V 1.5A USB-C type charger. 

They had a similar option for the older Chromecasts with Micro-USB which shipped by default with Chromecast Ultra.

https://store.google.com/us/product/ethe...t?hl=en-US

IMHO, wired Ethernet this is really a must if you plan on using Google's Stadia as a cloud gaming service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Stadia

Be interesting to see if the USB Type C port is USB 2.0 or USB 3.0.  The SoC supports USB 3.0 AIUI.  If so then a power delivery pass-through hub with USB 3.0 ports and a GigE Ethernet adaptor (as sold for small USB Type C laptops and tablets) may be a very neat solution. (If it's USB 2.0 only you'll still get better results than with a 100Mbs USB 2.0 adaptor with a USB 3.0 GigE adaptor in 2.0 mode)
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#36
(2020-10-01, 22:03)RockerC Wrote:
(2020-10-01, 00:17)noggin Wrote:
(2020-09-30, 23:01)RockerC Wrote: As I understand, the 'older' Amlogic S905X2 SoC/chipset in this dongle does not support AV1 hardware-accelerated video decoding.

YouTube has used AV1 for quite a while now, and Netflix recently started to stream in this format for compatible devices.
Yes - but both Netflix and YouTube also serve content in alternative codecs - and if this devices has been being developed for a while to get kinks knocked out of it etc., then it isn't going to be bleeding edge tech.  SoCs that support AV1 are only just beginning to appear - so it's not unexpected that this device isn't based around them?

I was actually surprised that Google did not choose an SoC that supported AV1 because both Netflix and YouTube not only support it but these companies are also major backers behind that new video codec.

S905X4 SoC is available since Q4 2019 and it's pin-compatible with S905X2, S905X2 and the S905D3. Google could have made up for the extra money it might cost with future internet bandwidth fee savings.

It would not really require any development effort from Google's engineer to replace the S905D3 SoC with an S905X4 SoC since it is pin-compatible and in the same series from the same manufacturer.

Has it really been available since Q4 2019?  I've seen reports that it was very delayed - and only now are the first no-name reference board boxes beginning to appear with it on places like AliExpress?  If it's not been shipping in volume for a couple of months, I can see why Google won't have wanted to change SoCs close to product launch, nor base their new product on a SoC that is having problems.  AMLogic SoCs are not always universally reliable in their v1 - either - so I can see why Google would chose one that isn't bleeding edge.
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#37
(2020-10-02, 08:34)Skank Wrote: one frontend to rule them all.. isnt that what this chromecast with google tv does? (without apple tv but who needs it :p)
I would not be entirely surprised if the Apple TV app for the Apple TV+ service gets released soon or later on this "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle as well.

Apple has already ported the Apple TV app to Android TV as it is available on a few Android TV smart tvs from Sony and Vizio as well as some Amazon Fire TV devices (which runs latest Amazon Fire OS that is still a fork of Android TV OS).

https://support.apple.com/guide/tvplus/welcome/web

As far as I know, however, no one has yet hacked the Apple TV app to Android TV to make it run and work on other Android TV hardware that is not officially supported by Apple.
(2020-10-02, 08:34)Skank Wrote: Doesnt shield do that too?
Nvidia Shield TV just has the standard Android TV Launcher (same as all Android TV so not unique to Nvidia Shield TV) and yes its frontend does to some extent present a few recommendations for each app, but it has one row for each app and not videos aggregated from different content providers mixes together.

This new "Google TV" UI takes that to a whole new level, very much similar to the concept UI in the latest tvOS (Apple TV OS) and the Apple TV app.

It seems Google or Apple no longer want you to think about content coming from different apps, instead, they want to directly present all content themselves from all streaming services that you subscribe from, apps will take a backseat as media providers.
(2020-10-02, 08:34)Skank Wrote: I didnt know about this https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=224794&page=58
Any idea how far away that development is?
You better post in that official discussion thread to ask @Montellese  (WIP and I see that testers are wanted):

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

It works with example local storage and local network sources, PVR clients, third-party like UPnP, Emby, and Plex, as well as some add-ons for streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime.
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#38
(2020-10-02, 11:47)noggin Wrote:
(2020-10-02, 11:33)RockerC Wrote: Ah, there is also a wired 10/100 Mbps RJ-45 Ethernet Adapter for Chromecast with Google TV available for $19.99

https://store.google.com/us/product/chro...2?hl=en-US

Basically, this replaces the USB-charger with a combined USB Ethernet adapter and AC to DC 5V 1.5A USB-C type charger. 

They had a similar option for the older Chromecasts with Micro-USB which shipped by default with Chromecast Ultra.

https://store.google.com/us/product/ethe...t?hl=en-US

IMHO, wired Ethernet this is really a must if you plan on using Google's Stadia as a cloud gaming service.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Stadia

Be interesting to see if the USB Type C port is USB 2.0 or USB 3.0.  The SoC supports USB 3.0 AIUI.  If so then a power delivery pass-through hub with USB 3.0 ports and a GigE Ethernet adaptor (as sold for small USB Type C laptops and tablets) may be a very neat solution. (If it's USB 2.0 only you'll still get better results than with a 100Mbs USB 2.0 adaptor with a USB 3.0 GigE adaptor in 2.0 mode)

Why is 1Gbps Ethernet needed on a device type like this?

Isn't 100Mbps is fast enough to stream video services like Netflix and cloud gaming services like Stadia, but for Kodi you might want 1Gbps if using VFS (Virtual File Server) for archives videos and games with RetroPlayer or?

I understand that you want 1Gbps network-switches in your LAN if you want to stream 4K video to multiple devices fastly copying files between devices and networked storage, but why does this media player need more than 100Mbps?

It only has 2GB RAM and 8GB flash for storage (of which only half is available to the user), so 1Gbps should really only be needed if map networked storage and need fast speed for copying complete smaller like games or?

Streaming 4K video should not need faster than 100Mbps interface on side of such type of media player or?

If this "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle supported 8K video then that might be very different.
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#39
(2020-10-02, 08:34)Skank Wrote:
(2020-10-02, 02:09)jmh2002 Wrote:
(2020-10-01, 21:05)Skank Wrote: The idea of having a home page filled with content coming from different sources...
 
(2020-10-01, 21:44)RockerC Wrote: 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.

That's exactly why I use Kodi in the first place - to bring all my content together in one frontend (as far as it's currently possible) Nod

Yeah i want that too, one frontend to rule them all.. isnt that what this chromecast with google tv does? (without apple tv but who needs it :p)
Doesnt shield do that too?


I didnt know about this https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=224794&page=58
Any idea how far away that development is?

Does shield do that one frontend to rule them all? too?
Reply
#40
Surprised to see the new UI/launcher is downloadable on Google Play. Wonder if it would work on other boxes.
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#41
(2020-10-02, 15:12)hdmkv Wrote: Surprised to see the new UI/launcher is downloadable on Google Play. Wonder if it would work on other boxes.

Google, does that mean it could work on all shields?
or other android tv boxes?


@hdmkv can you answer my previous questions too pls
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#42
(2020-10-02, 12:37)Skank Wrote:
(2020-10-02, 08:34)Skank Wrote:
(2020-10-02, 02:09)jmh2002 Wrote:  

That's exactly why I use Kodi in the first place - to bring all my content together in one frontend (as far as it's currently possible) Nod

Yeah i want that too, one frontend to rule them all.. isnt that what this chromecast with google tv does? (without apple tv but who needs it :p)
Doesnt shield do that too?


I didnt know about this https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=224794&page=58
Any idea how far away that development is?

Does shield do that one frontend to rule them all? too?

Nope.

First have to wait until if and when Google releases this new "Google TV" launcher/UI app to third-parties, and then wait until if and when Nvidia upgrade existing Nvidia Sheild TVs to Android 10 and the new "Google TV" launcher/UI app.

Who knows, maybe Google has released Android TV 11 by then as Google released Android 10 for Android TV in December last year but Nvidia has still not released an upgrade of Android TV 10 for Nvidia Sheild TVs.

Still amazed that Nvidia still makes upgrade releases for the original Nvidia Shield TV which is over 5-years old now. Though the last update was still based on Android TV 9, see https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2020/08/26...pgrade-25/

Personally, I'm hoping an update to Android TV 10 for Nvidia Sheild TV will at least bring support for Switch SNES Controller (as well as the Switch Pro Controllers), plus support for PS4 Remote Play with the Nvidia Shield TV Controller.

https://store.nintendo.com/super-nintend...oller.html
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#43
(2020-10-02, 15:12)hdmkv Wrote: Surprised to see the new UI/launcher is downloadable on Google Play. Wonder if it would work on other boxes.
hmm, so that is the new Android TV LauncherX app and not just the "Google Play Movies & TV" mobile companion app for smartphones and tablets which has been revamped and rebranded with the new "Google TV" brand?

https://www.apkmirror.com/apk/google-inc...-download/

"Google TV Home" app name with "com.google.android.apps.tv.launcherx" apk name and that description does indeed make it sound like it might be the actual "Google TV" launcher app for Android TV meant for the "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai....launcherx

"Google TV Home is the basis for all activities on your Google TV entertainment device. Browse thousands of movies, shows, and live TV channels from your subscriptions without having to jump between apps. Discover new things to watch with recommendations based on what you watch and what interests you."

The 'old' Android TV launcher has a similar app name of "Android TV Home" with "com.google.android.tvlauncher" as its apk nam.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/detai...tvlauncher

"Android TV Home is the jumping-off point for starting all activities on your Android TV entertainment device. The channels within the Home screen put your favorite content front and center. So whether you're looking for a new show to binge watch or just want to pick up where you left off, you get what you want, when you want it."

If that is really the new "Google TV" LauncherX app for Android TV then perhaps Google have indeed released it for third-parties to use(?), or it is just to make updates of the app easier on the official "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle via Google Play Store?

Really confusing for sure!

To confuse thing a bit more, along with the launch of the new Chromecast with Google TV, Google is also changing the name of the Google Play Movies & TV app to "Google TV", but that will act more as a companion app for smartphones and tablets, so it is not the same Google TV Launcher that runs on the Android TV based operating system that runs on this new "Google Chromecast with Google TV" dongle. The rename of the Google Play Movies & TV app will happening on Android phones to start, though you can expect it to change on other mobile platforms like iOS eventually as well. 

https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/09/30...movies-tv/

As part of the Google TV hullaballoo, Google is releasing a Google TV app later today, replacing the old Google Play Movies & TV app that some of our readers probably forgot existed. Based on leaks, this change in branding is universal, and Play Movies & TV is being replaced by Google TV everywhere. As before, the new app lets you manage your watchlist, view recommendations, and even watch content, though it also sports a fresh coat of paint to go with the branding change.

https://www.theverge.com/2020/9/30/21492...chromecast
 
Some time ago, Google tried to create a whole ecosystem of content around the “Play” brand. It’s still there: the Google Play Store is Google’s app store, Google Play Books will let you buy books and comics, and despite several years of starvation and neglect Google Play Music still has yet to completely shut down and be replaced by YouTube Music.

What’s clear, though, is that the “Play” branding no longer plays, so Google is simplifying it to just Google TV.

Let’s run down a few of the different TV products Google offers now, as a kind of glossary:

 
  • Google TV (the mobile app for smartphones and tablets). Formerly known as Google Play Movies & TV (and still known as that on phones that don’t run Android). We’ve covered this above, but the key thing to know is that it’s an app for phones. You can use it to rent movies or watch stuff you’ve purchased elsewhere if you’re signed up for Movies Anywhere. I suppose you could also use this app to cast video to...
  • Chromecast with Google TV. This is a new dongle you can use to stream video either directly or via cast. It’s $49.99 and seems quite capable. It runs...
  • Google TV. In the context of running on the Chromecast, Google TV is the interface you left/right/up/down your way through to find something you want to watch. It is, as you might expect, heavily focused on search and the Google Assistant. It’s also going to be offered to other TV makers who’d like to use it. The companies most likely to do so are probably already using...
  • Android TV. Android TV is Google’s main television operating system, a version of Android that’s fully optimized for the TV layout. Google TV runs on top of Android TV, but is distinct from it. Think of it as a formal Google layer on top of the open source Android platform — because that’s what it is. And you know, one of the apps you can run on it is...
  • YouTube TV. YouTube TV is Google’s live television streaming offering. It costs $64.99 per month, which is almost surely as or more expensive than what your local cable TV provider might offer you. Oh, speaking of, Google is also a cable TV provider via...
  • Google Fiber TV. Google once had ambitions to provide gigabit internet to cities around the US, but it’s really dialed those back. When Fiber launched, it often offered a bundled TV package. Google has stopped offering this traditional TV service to new customers, but it still provides it to existing users. It’s one of several ex-products that lie in the Google Graveyard. And there’s another product in that graveyard worth talking about ...
  • Google TV (RIP, 2010-2014). The original Google TV was an ambitious product that had two completely impossible tasks: take on big cable and make web TV a thing. Oops, neither of those things happened, although the interface ideas championed in that first iteration of Google TV were quite good.
It’s been about five years since Google put the final nail in the original Google TV’s coffin (via Google+, but that’s another story). That is probably enough time for most people to have forgotten both Google TV and its very IR-Blaster-centric scheme to take over the living room. But we have not forgotten. How could we, when it gave us a remote control like this?
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#44
(2020-10-02, 15:45)RockerC Wrote:
(2020-10-02, 12:37)Skank Wrote:
(2020-10-02, 08:34)Skank Wrote: Yeah i want that too, one frontend to rule them all.. isnt that what this chromecast with google tv does? (without apple tv but who needs it :p)
Doesnt shield do that too?


I didnt know about this https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=224794&page=58
Any idea how far away that development is?

Does shield do that one frontend to rule them all? too?

Nope.

First have to wait until if and when Google releases this new "Google TV" launcher/UI to third-parties, and then wait until if and when Nvidia upgrade existing Nvidia Sheild TVs to Android 10 and the new "Google TV" launcher/UI.

Who knows, maybe Google has released Android TV 11 by then as Google released Android 10 for Android TV in December last year but Nvidia has still not released an upgrade of Android TV 10 for Nvidia Sheild TVs.

Still amazed that Nvidia still makes upgrade releases for the original Nvidia Shield TV which is over 5-years old now. Though the last update was still based on Android TV 9, see https://blogs.nvidia.com/blog/2020/08/26...pgrade-25/

Personally, I'm hoping an update to Android TV 10 for Nvidia Sheild TV will at least bring support for Switch SNES Controller (as well as the Switch Pro Controllers), plus support for PS4 Remote Play with the Nvidia Shield TV Controller.

https://store.nintendo.com/super-nintend...oller.html
Look at the post from hdmkv
The new ui is downloadable from store..
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#45
(2020-10-02, 15:12)hdmkv Wrote: Surprised to see the new UI/launcher is downloadable on Google Play. Wonder if it would work on other boxes.
https://www.androidpolice.com/2020/10/01...s-for-now/
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