2017 Media Box Streamer Best Buy Comparison Guide

Kotatsu Neko

Well-known Member
I find the media streamer reviews here pretty strange, as they often seem to overlook app availability as if it's a non issue. There are an endless stream of generic Android TV boxes which lack many or all UK streaming apps, but they can still score well. I don't get it.

Unless you're still doing the whole rip your own content and store them on a private server type thing, or you're just a criminal who steals content, then where is the appeal?

Also, why was this list lacking the Roku, Fire TV, and Chromecast? Surely these devices are far more commonly purchased?

From the point of view of convenience and being vehemently opposed to theft, I'd direct people towards the Roku for 1080p displays, and the Apple TV 4K for 4K screens. Whilst the latter is currently short on apps, it will have Amazon, Demand 5, and ITV Hub by the end of the year, and the combination of Netflix 4K Dolby Vision and surprisingly cheap 4K Dolby Vision content on iTunes makes it an obvious choice. The NVidia Shield is a nice bit of hardware but Android TV is even more moribund than TVOS is, and I suspect it will never get the full suite of UK apps.


I have to agree why no Roku or Fire TV? Much more common then the rest.


Distinguished Member
Love my Nvidia Shield but the lack of auto-refresh rate switching for Netflix and Amazon video is a pain.

We're on gen 2 of the device now and they still haven't addressed this.

I don't know if this is Nvidia's fault or if they need some cooperation from Netflix / Amazon.


Distinguished Member
@Kotatsu Neko
Finding a way to play Netflix and Amazon type services is relatively straightforward starting from the inbuilt apps on modern TVs onwards. It’s much harder finding a good box to efficiently play your ripped material and that is the main focus of this forum and hence the review.

As noted in the review there is no single box that does it all and I’ve settled on Zappiti for my ripped material and for services the FireTV plus occasionally the inbuilt TV apps.


Active Member
Love my Nvidia Shield but the lack of auto-refresh rate switching for Netflix and Amazon video is a pain.

We're on gen 2 of the device now and they still haven't addressed this.

I don't know if this is Nvidia's fault or if they need some cooperation from Netflix / Amazon.
Couldn't agree more, fixing this issue with Native apps should have been a priority.
I had a pretty disappointing response from Nvidia with regards to this:

-There are no public plans for 4k UI changes nor auto refresh rate.

Best Regards,

NVIDIA Customer Care L2

I guess they are busy fixing all of the issues the latest update has brought with it.



Well-known Member
I've owned quite a few media players over the years, including the minix, zappiti, osmc,Mede8er600X,Apple TV, Dune HD,Roku and many more!!!
Nothing comes close to the Nvidia Shield for my needs :)

No framerate switching issues with Netflix or Amazon. My LG OLED65B7 plays fine. it was an issue with my previous 6 years old plasma TV.
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Active Member
Nvidia Shield is awesome streamer which needs just the Dolby Vision support to be an ideal one


Well-known Member
Another one who finds the streamer reviews odd. The latest podcast practically rubbished the Apple TV yet the review gave it an 8. I've pre-orderd the Amazon 4k Ultra box, looks good for £70. My Chromecast has been more than adequate up till now.


Well-known Member
Not really, there's a few you can open and navigate by voice, it just depends if the developer has updated it to be compatible with voice commands. I can open Netflix and YouTube for example.


Active Member
It's a little frustrating when you can issue the command 'show me what's on Netflix' and it will show you a list of movies and you can click to launch them, but if you issue 'play X on Netflix' it just brings up a bunch of Youtube videos..


Distinguished Member
You are being way, way too nice about the Nvidia Shield TV. As an owner of one, I am baffled by its popularity. It was a mildly interesting device in 2015, but it simply hasn't kept up.
  • No frame-packed 3D.
  • No Dolby Vision.
  • No refresh-rate switching on Netflix.
  • Apparently no ability to extract DD from DD+ audio (so if your TV doesn't support DD+, Netflix drops to stereo PCM).
  • The latest update has made it slightly less annoying to change refresh rates manually, and also enables 720p output, but it's still stupidly fiddly to use.
  • Very flaky switching of resolutions or refresh rates within apps. SPMC/Kodi, for example, will correctly switch refresh rates for 1080p material, and correctly switch resolutions between 4K and 1080p, but neither of those works for 720p or SD videos.
  • The quality of the upscaling is almost unimaginably bad compared to pretty much any other device in existence, which makes it all the more tiresome that it's such a fiddle to get it to output things at native resolution.
  • Can't play HDR videos on YouTube (and probably never will be able to).
  • No native apps for most UK catch-up services (although, to be fair, you can sort-of cast from the corresponding app on your phone).
  • The latest software update has (probably permanently) disabled the ability to play Netflix in 4K with 24Hz output - you have to choose between 1080p/24 and 4K/60.
  • Other weird bugs in the Netflix app; for example, it memorises the desktop resolution and refresh rate when it launches, so that if you go out of the app, change resolution, then go back in, it changes the resolution back to what it was running in before! You actually have to Force Stop the app to get it to change.
  • Impossible for an app to switch between rec.709 and rec.2020 colour spaces: you have to select one or the other at console level, meaning you quite frequently end up looking at either SDR rec.2020 (which can look a little odd) or HDR rec.709 (which often looks crazy).
  • Every software release seems to introduce more problems than it fixes.
  • Non-existent tech support (other than by other owners and some 3rd party developers)
I could go on.


Distinguished Member
Also, I think the Raspberry Pi 3 should be Mentioned In Dispatches. :) Of course, it has no 4K output, it can't bitstream HD audio formats (it can decode them to multi-channel PCM, but that means no Dolby Atmos) and it can't do HEVC; but, those issues aside, it makes for a quite good (and incredibly cheap) stand-alone Kodi box. I use one to supplement my Nvidia Shield TV - the RPi is used for 3D blu-ray rips, and the Shield for other videos.


Distinguished Member
Fully agree with the above. The Shield is way over rated, on this website in particular.

I tried and tried last year but could not get it to be reliable. It's an ambitious device but at best a 6/10.


One fault with the Nvidia Shield which drove me mad is if its not connected to the net for a while ......
And i try and watch a movie via usb ( still not connected to the net )

It becomes unstable and and constantly reboots
Looking to update / search to update itself etc

So it got binned
It drove me mad

Its a device that has to be connected at all times i found
And for me and my usage it was a no go .

Yes great little box
picture wise ive seen better
Games i dont req

Internal storage fixed

So it got upgraded
And not looked back !

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