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Which streamer has highest quality audio & video?

xirtam2005

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Which streaming device has the highest quality audio and video, or shall I say passes the highest quality audio and video capable of the streaming service via HDMI to a modern A/V processor? Is it something like a Roku or better, or the built in Samsung apps, or what? Thanks. Main streaming apps include Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, HBO Max, and Paramount Plus.
 

Berwhale

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HDMI is digital, so in theory, whatever the streamer receives will be passed on to the AVR with full fidelity. In practice, there are numerous standards for video and audio encoding and it's the support (or not) of these standards on the streamer (and AVR) that will dictate the eventual quality of the audio and video on your target device.
 

jcadduono

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I'd pick up a nVidia Shield Pro - it also supports USB DACs if you want to. It supports varying sample rates and bit depths, as well as bitstreaming over HDMI so unlike other devices not everything will be resampled to 16/48. The remote is really nice to use, and you can use their gamepad controller if you want as well. Bluetooth keyboard/mouse support is alright. Supports all the major streaming apps and 4K/HDR formats.
 
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xirtam2005

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I'd pick up a nVidia Shield Pro - it also supports USB DACs if you want to. It supports varying sample rates and bit depths, as well as bitstreaming over HDMI so unlike other devices not everything will be resampled to 16/48. The remote is really nice to use, and you can use their gamepad controller if you want as well. Bluetooth keyboard/mouse support is alright. Supports all the major streaming apps and 4K/HDR formats.

Thanks. Does Roku resample everything to 16/48?
 

jcadduono

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Thanks. Does Roku resample everything to 16/48?
No idea, they have so many models it could even be different between each other. It definitely supports bitstreaming audio though so you will get full quality from dolby, dts, etc.
I use the Streaming Stick Plus on many of the TVs around the house, but absolutely prefer the Shield TV Pro when given the option.
 

Berwhale

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+1 for Nvidia Shield. I'm still using the two I bought in 2015 and they're still receiving software updates, although they don't support some of the features on the newest hardware like Dolby Atmos (hence my comment regarding support of new standards above).

There's a good overview of how the Shield has evolved in both software and hardware here: https://androidtvnews.com/nvidia-shield-differences/
 

BDWoody

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+1 for Nvidia Shield. I'm still using the two I bought in 2015 and they're still receiving software updates, although they don't support some of the features on the newest hardware like Dolby Atmos (hence my comment regarding support of new standards above).

There's a good overview of how the Shield has evolved in both software and hardware here: https://androidtvnews.com/nvidia-shield-differences/

I'll add another vote for the Shield. I bought the original pro with the 500gb HD, then got another one a few years ago when I needed another streamer. Until this most recent high power fire cube that just came out, the Shield has been the most powerful streamer out there. It can also run as a plex server if that is anything you use.
 

jester7677

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Just note, I haven't been able to get my Nvidia Shield to pass anything more then PCM 48 kHz when playing Hi-Res Audio FLAC files.
 

spigot

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Late, but for anyone else interested. Zidoo and Dune HD make a wide range of quality media players, some have ESS9038PRO DACs. I think their entire ranges support most audio formats. They tend to be better for local content so you would have to check the full functionality of streaming apps for each model.
https://www.dune-hd.com/collections/frontpage
https://www.zidoo.tv/Product/allProduct.html

This is just out and looks promising: https://www.homatics.com/products/box-r-4k-plus?variant=43212469698796
And an imminent Dune version of the above with their front end. : https://hdnew-vn.translate.goog/cua...tr_sl=vi&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc
 

SoundsGood64

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Update, got it to work using Kodi!
I recently found that Kodi (LibreELEC install on Intel i5 laptop) could playback both .flac (->PCM) and .dsf (->DSD->PCM) files in gapless fashion over the local network, including 2.0ch, 5.0ch, and 5.1ch files. It was surprising enough, at least to me, so I posted last week:


For .flac files that are 2.0, 5.0, and 5.1 channels, those each go from Kodi to AVR over HDMI with proper channel mapping, as well as the particular sampling rate of the audio data (44.1khz, 96khz, or 192khz). Not sure about commercial streaming services though.
 

SoundsGood64

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If you didn't get it in my post #12 above, I probably didn't give enough information there. For details see other post I referenced there.

LibreELEC is a linux distribution for Kodi and is installed on an intel i5 laptop. From that laptop using Kodi, I stream .flac and .dsf files from a music server on the local network. The laptop sends PCM out the mini-display port -> HDMI -> AVR. I don't know what 'renderer' means....but hopefully I answered your question. There is no Nvidia Shield.
 
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di2ger

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mini-display port
Ah, I got it now, thanks. So, in fact, the laptop itself is connected to the AVR.
By renderer (I can't help but say it as reindeer :p), I meant DLNA Digital Media Renderer, which is the device playing the media as opposed to the one sourcing it or controlling it. Not sure if Kody uses DLNA though.
 

SoundsGood64

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Ok I understand. The device that is *playing* the media is Kodi on the laptop, which I can *control* using a Kodi remote control app on a tablet. The *source* of the media is the server on the network. I think this is probably working by DLNA.
 

phoenixdogfan

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I really like the NVidia Shield. I have the most recent vintage of the Shield (not the Pro) and I use it as the source device for the Smyth A16 Realizer because it passes bitstreamed Netflix Atmos streams, as well as rendering both HDR10+ and Dolby Vision Video. My only complaint is the lack of a Qobuz app. Otherwise the Video and Audio is trouble free and flawless. A lot of A16 owners went the ATV route, and they had all sorts of trouble getting Atmos digital streams from the unit. As far as I'm concerned, the NVidia is the best unit out there. Great remote as well.
 

holbob

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No Qobuz app on the shield that you can control on the device, but you can send Qobuz over the cast protocol. I prefer this so the TV can be switched off when listening to music.
 
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