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Chromecast / Android TV Box vs. Blu-ray player with multimedia features ...

BDWoody

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#21
So the Shield does the function of digital transport (or transfer) from the wired/wireless LAN to the USB, correct ?
Hmm ... interesting ...
Oui, you need a DAC, who else is going to cover that task ? In your setup, the Auralic Vega ...
If the only outputs your TV has are optical, then yes you'd need an outboard DAC. Are you sure it doesn't have even a miniplug for analog? I don't think I've seen a TV with no way to get analog out...?
 

graz_lag

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#22
That's correct. It's a very slick little box. You can run HiRes through USB, completely bypassing it's internal Android processing... If you choose.
It becomes a proper, quite flexible network endpoint for this use very nicely.
There are three versions that Nvidia has been marketing so far, correct ?

Shield 16 GB (original)
Shield PRO w/500 GB HDD
Shield 2017, which replaces the original 16 GB

Considering we do not need the 500 GB HDD, either the 16 GB original or the 2017 should be OK for us, correct ?
 
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graz_lag

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#23
The problem with the multimedia BDP's are that eventually support just seizes, and you start losing features. I had a near TOTL BDP that this happened to (Marantz UD7007). The android boxes are better in this regard, because even if support stops, you can usually hack their software yourself to keep them working. But these things are usually really limited in hardware, and soon become too slow to work with newer software smoothly.

I personally just re purpose old outdated PCs. I get them often for nothing. Put in a SSD, max out the ram, and add a cheap HDMI video card.
The UD7007 was in my short list when I bought the Oppo 105.
For your PC re-refurbishing re-purposing, I know what you mean, you install a basic Linux distro and then KODI, and you're in business. So this option is an alternative to the solution I mentioned earlier based on SB small PC like the Khadas VIM2.
 

BDWoody

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#24
There are three versions that Nvidia has been marketing so far, correct ?

Shield 16 GB (original)
Shield PRO w/500 GB HDD
Shield 2017, which replaces the original 16 GB

Considering we do not need the 500 GB HDD, either the 16 GB original or the 2017 should OK for us, correct ?
Yep.
 

graz_lag

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#25

BDWoody

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#26
Positive, only digital optical out ...
That's disappointing... Another option would be one of those HDMI audio extractor boxes. No idea how well they work.

Ok, last option is the headphone out from the controller, which you could just not plan to use. You don't really need it other than for games, and it comes with the quite nice smaller controller anyway... 15472430240745216601098982338901.jpg
 

BDWoody

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#27
That's disappointing... Another option would be one of those HDMI audio extractor boxes. No idea how well they work.

Ok, last option is the headphone out from the controller, which you could just not plan to use. You don't really need it other than for games, and it comes with the quite nice smaller controller anyway... View attachment 20239
15472438212197362456339929215401.jpg 15472438212197362456339929215401.jpg
You can also go analog from the little remote. Who knew?! Never tried either with powered speakers or headphones, so can't vouch...
 

graz_lag

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#28
... You can also go analog from the little remote ...
So they have soldered a little DAC chip in every available corner ... Unbelievable !
 

bigx5murf

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#29
That's disappointing... Another option would be one of those HDMI audio extractor boxes. No idea how well they work.
I have a cheapo monoprice one, it works great at 720p, but 1080p lags at times, at times lags unwatchably badly.
 

BDWoody

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#30
So they have soldered a little DAC chip in every available corner ... Unbelievable !
Well, none of them have unicorn hair frequency hyperclock femto modulators, so they can't be any good...
 

graz_lag

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#31
Hi there :

A quick update abt. the solution / material we have retained and installed for the application, which is an A/V media client to feed a 10 years old plasma TV set as well as a pair of amplified speakers. (AudioEngine A5+)

We went the way of the single-board computer, as follows :

#1 Odroid C2 from HardKernel, South Korea; it comes with the PSU (5V 2A), and a nice remote control (https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/odroid-c2/)
#2 The dedicated sound card (HiFi Shield 2), which plugs onto the I2S expansion port of the Odroid C2 (https://www.hardkernel.com/shop/hifi-shield-2/)
#3 The assembly is housed into a polycarbonate-made case (to be assembled, which takes a good two minutes ...)
#4 32GB UHS-1 microSd card (although 16GB would have been enough ...)
#5 Wireless keyboard (Logitech K400r)

The supported OS images (Android, Linux Ubuntu, Debian and many others) are available for download from the HardKernel's Wiki page.
I have downloaded and flashed the microSD with Ubuntu Mate (I prefer Linux over Android ...), inserted the flashed microSD into the board dedicated slot, connected the HDMI cable to the TV, booted, updated/upgraded Ubuntu, installed Kodi ... zero issue !
Very smooth process, indeed !
Installed some utilities as a VNC server so my daughter can share the Ubuntu / Kodi desktop onto her Android phone.

Features & Pros
With the OS Ubuntu Mate + Kodi, the unit can be used either as standalone computer or as a UPnP media client
The Ethernet/LAN port offers a solid network capability up to 1,000Mbps, besides the USB 802.11 WiFi (I have plugged in a module with antenna for my tests)
The OS accepts also a ten years old Bluetooth adapter, so this one plugged in as well !
The OTB USB port is also available
The built-in IR sensor with its remote
The I2S DAC integrates the TI PCM5242 chip, it offers the RCA outputs as well as the Toslink output
HD audio bit-streaming support
Plenty of power to handle the various video codecs
Ubuntu / Kodi ensure ongoing updates and compatibility

Little nice machine, I could not image anything better at this price point !

Odroid C2_a.jpeg Odroid C2_b.jpeg Odroid C2_c.jpeg Odroid C2 Remote.jpeg
 
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