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Old 09-04-2019, 05:27 PM   #1531
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You can use Apple App Store in-app purchase if you have an iOS device.

If not you have to use WeChat Pay and Alipay and that is problematic now. You may have to ask your friend who has proper WeChat Wallet or Alipay Wallet for help. There are 3rd party service as well.

Also take note for TV box you need to pay for 酷喵VIP, not the normal Youku VIP.
ah.. damn unfortunately no iOS for me haha

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Old 09-04-2019, 05:58 PM   #1532
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Hi everyone. Hope you can help me out here. Not sure if I need an android box to achieve what I want to do. I'll be moving to a new place and will be getting a new LG 4K oled TV, which will have Dolby Vision, HDR and Atmos. I plan to use the Netflix app built in on the TV itself to watch 4k. It has the Amazon video app as well I think. I also have an old PC which will be in one of the rooms and I want to be able to play up to 4k Bluray remux files from there to the TV. Playing 4K UHD Bluray discs is also a preference.

Given all this, do I need a HTPC or an Android box is enough? Or can I get away with just hooking up an external HDD to the TV? Would the high def video and audio be able to be played on the TV and sound bar which is Atmos if I just use a HDD? Thanks!
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:40 PM   #1533
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Hi Xiaofan,

I'm a pretty noob user. So i'm not sure how much a review i can help give.

But from a noob user pov.

1. Set up was easy, download apks, install, give permission, plug and play.
I used shafa guanjia mostly.
2. You need a mouse or equivalent to make life simpler. All i had was the remote initially but there was some bug as to switching to google pinyin input, selection issues, so you kinda need a mouse for this.
3. Voice search works, no added accessory needed but accuracy not as good as $1000 smartphones, so don't expect that level. No chinese recognition unfortunately.
4. Happy with the speed of processing and the magnitude of things you could run concurrently. At no period did the box lag, i had several downloads and several installations going on, albeit you could only see 1 thing at a time.

Yet to try out the network cable to see if connection speed increases, but so far for the chinese movies there was zero delay or freezing once it started playing within seconds(app dependent), and sports live stream(stalled twice, but app dependent too)

Purchased price: S$84 on lazada after DBS promo.
Lead time: about 7 days
Nice review. Thanks for the sharing. Good to know that the voice search works.
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Old 09-04-2019, 06:58 PM   #1534
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Hi everyone. Hope you can help me out here. Not sure if I need an android box to achieve what I want to do. I'll be moving to a new place and will be getting a new LG 4K oled TV, which will have Dolby Vision, HDR and Atmos. I plan to use the Netflix app built in on the TV itself to watch 4k. It has the Amazon video app as well I think. I also have an old PC which will be in one of the rooms and I want to be able to play up to 4k Bluray remux files from there to the TV. Playing 4K UHD Bluray discs is also a preference.

Given all this, do I need a HTPC or an Android box is enough? Or can I get away with just hooking up an external HDD to the TV? Would the high def video and audio be able to be played on the TV and sound bar which is Atmos if I just use a HDD? Thanks!
https://sg.lgappstv.com/appspc/main/main/main.lge#
Not so sure if the LG Smart TV comes with good local media player, similar to Kodi or VLC. It runs Web OS so it is not as smart as Android TV OS. You can ask in the LG Smart TV related thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/h...772629-46.html

You seem to have high requirements for local media playing.

Mi Box S will not cut it as it does not support either Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR is okay and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Nvidia Shield TV may meet your requirements it does not support Dolby Vision, only HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos pass through with local media using Kodi. You can ask in the Nvidia Shield TV thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/h...066924-74.html

Other generic brand boxes (from vendors like Beelink, Tanix, etc, or no brand) will support neither Dolby Vision nor Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR and Dolby Digital 5.1 are possible.

Apple TV 4k supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but not for local media playing.

In the end you may need an HTPC.

Last edited by xiaofan; 09-04-2019 at 09:24 PM..
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:29 PM   #1535
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https://sg.lgappstv.com/appspc/main/main/main.lge#
Not so sure if the LG Smart TV comes with good local media player, similar to Kodi or VLC. It runs Web OS so it is not as smart as Android TV OS. You can ask in the LG Smart TV related thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/h...772629-46.html

You seem to have high requirements for local media playing.

Mi Box S will not cut it as it does not support either Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR is okay and Dolby Digital 5.1.

Nvidia Shield TV may meet your requirements it does not support Dolby Vision, only HDR 10 and Dolby Atmos pass through with local media using Kodi. You can ask in the Nvidia Shield TV thread.

https://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/h...066924-74.html

Other generic brand boxes (from vendors like Beelink, Tanix, etc, or no brand) will support neither Dolby Vision nor Dolby Atmos. 4K HDR and Dolby Digital 5.1 are possible.

Apple TV 4k supports Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but not for local media playing.

In the end you may need an HTPC.
Cheap Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is another choice. It supports 4K HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but no Dolby Vision using Kodi for local media player.

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=336151

In summary, you can check how good the video player of the LG Web OS apps before going to the Android TV box or Apple TV 4K route.

As for Android TV box, you can use Kodi effectively for many different types of format and 4K HDR plus DTS/DD5.1 pass through are in general no problems.

If you have higher requirements like Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support for local media playing, I am not so sure if there are such Android TV boxes available.

Last edited by xiaofan; 09-04-2019 at 10:05 PM..
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:08 PM   #1536
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Cheap Amazon Fire TV Stick 4K is another choice. It supports 4K HDR 10+ and Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos on Netflix, but no Dolby Vision using Kodi for local media player.

https://forum.kodi.tv/showthread.php?tid=336151

In summary, you can check how good the video player of the LG Web OS apps before going to the Android TV box or Apple TV 4K route.

As for Android TV box, you can use Kodi effectively for many different types of format and 4K HDR plus DTS/DD5.1 pass through are in general no problems.

If you have higher requirements like Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support for local media playing, I am not so sure if there are such Android TV boxes available.
BTW, do you mean physical blue ray UHD disks? Then that is a different category altogether.

XBox One S can be a good choice.
https://www.techradar.com/sg/news/vi...ht-now-1321481

Kodi is available for Xbox one.

Last edited by xiaofan; 09-04-2019 at 10:10 PM..
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:11 PM   #1537
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Starhub Go Screaming box runs Android TV OS so you can not install Toggle directly on the box, but it supports Chromecast, so you can cast Toggle to TV with the help of Starhub Go Streaming box.

How stable is the built-in Chromecast function of the Starhub Go Streaming box?

BTW, the HW specifications of Go Streaming box are so so compared to TX5 Max and that is why you feel TX5 Max runs more smooth than the Starhub box.
The chromecast function on the Starhub box is very good, much better than anycast. I wonder if I can flash another ROM for the Starhub box but I can't find anything so far.
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Old 09-04-2019, 10:22 PM   #1538
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The chromecast function on the Starhub box is very good, much better than anycast. I wonder if I can flash another ROM for the Starhub box but I can't find anything so far.
I think custom ROM for the Starhub Go Streaming box will be tough. Just leave it as it is. Just treat it as a Mi Box S without Netflix. It is best for Starhub Go content consumption but you can certainly install other apps to make it even more useful. Its Chromecast function can be very useful as well -- for example, to use Netflix.

I will say you are almost covered with this combination of Starhub Go Streaming box and Tanix TX5 Max.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:08 PM   #1539
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A htpc with windows has the best compatibility with all media files... Depending on the age of the computers, most computers in the last 10 years should be able to play all sorts of 4k media (except for some atom cpu in netbooks)

So if you have an old pc, you can also install kodi and add add ons. Netflix can also be stream 4k. There are also many media apps on pc but less Chinese ones.. If u subscribe to the Chinese Web tvs like xiaofan mentioned, then it is no issue as u can watch on browser.
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:37 PM   #1540
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Wow, thanks for all the detailed and researched replies, xiaofan. Definitely some useful information there and I appreciate the time and effort you have taken.

Some clarifications I need to make :

1. I have Bluray remux files on my old PC, both 4K and 1080p ones. I wish to be able to watch these on my TV, either by streaming them through the network(Ethernet), or having a physical device plugged to the TV (whether it be a HDD or media box).
Firstly, will a plugged in HDD be able to pass through the high-def video and audio embedded in these files to the TV and soundbar, so that I can get full 7.1 or Atmos sound,etc? If so, it would be the cheapest option but troublesome if I have to keep unplugging it, transferring files to it and then plugging it back in.
Secondly, will Plex work in this case? Have a Plex media server on my PC, use the Plex app on my TV to use it to direct play? That means, the TV and soundbar handle the decoding etc.

2. I also wish to be able to play the physical Bluray UHD discs. Do I have a better choice other than getting a Bluray player? (besides the Xbox One X/S) Meaning something that would be able to also help in number 1 above. I realise the Xbox One can do that, but I'd rather not have to use the interface. Would the HTPC be better in this regard, since if I have a Bluray drive it can play the discs, and also do everything else that I want?

3. One more thing I didn't mention earlier is that I wish to be able to play apps like HBO Go, Singtel Cast, Starhub Go etc as well. I'm under the impression not all boxes can handle this well. I haven't really decided on whether to subscribe to a full fledged cable tv package, and as such these apps would be more important if I don't actually do it. Between Nvidia Shield, Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku Ultra, which one would you recommend?

Also, are these Android media boxes, Apple TV etc of importance to me only if I want the apps on them, or do they offer me more functionality that I need in these situations? Since they offer a way to stream the files on my PC to my TV, through Kodi or Plex, then they seem to be a viable option. But I'm just wondering if they would be able to serve all the above needs or I would be better off with HTPC.

P.S. One thing I'm confused about. Even if I use these media boxes, and they don't have support for certain things like Dolby Vision etc, if I'm just streaming files from my PC, the TV and soundbar are the ones handling them right? The boxes are just passing through the information.

Last edited by shank118; 09-04-2019 at 11:40 PM..
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:12 AM   #1541
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I am not into Home Theater stuff so you may want to ask in the other forum section.

Here are some of my comments.

1) You may want to get the LG TV first and play with it to see if you are able to achieve what you want. You can invest in an NAS if you do not want to plug in and out of the HDD.

Obviously you can not play physical Blu-ray UHD disks with the LG TV.

2) You may have to settle for HDR10 with an HTPC. It is said that there are no Dolby Vision support under Windows. It is very flexible with Kodi, Plex, etc. You can use the Blu-ray drive as well to play UHD disks.

Ref: good article, still seems to be relevant today.
https://www.anandtech.com/show/12171...ray-and-more/5

3) You can invest in an UHD Blu-ray player as well if you do not go for the HTPC option.

Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support are present in some models.

4) Nvidia Shield TV can be a very relevant add on for the LG smart TV. You have to settle for HDR10 as well. It has good Kodi and Plex support as well. Dolby Atmos support is also there.

It supports Chromecast so you can use Toggle, HBO Go, Starhub Go, Singtel Cast, etc.

BTW LG TV has Toggle already.

5) Audio pass through HDMI/SPDIF may or may not work based on what I read. So even if your sound system support Atmos, you may not get it work.

As for Dolby Vision, I do not think that pass through would work at all. And HTPC does not support Dolby Vision anyway. Only Smart TV and UHD players and a few streaming device support Dolby Vision.

6) Info from Reddit for reference

https://www.reddit.com/r/htpc/commen..._hd_what_am_i/

Last edited by xiaofan; 10-04-2019 at 04:51 PM..
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Old 10-04-2019, 01:49 PM   #1542
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1. You can playback media on your local network, hard disk, stream it over internet using Plex Media Server.

2. Direct Play, Direct Stream, or Transcoded stream depends on your device(player) capabilities.

3. Nvidia Shield TV can play almost anything - no need PMS to transcode. It comes with PMS too, which you can mount (or network) your media (HDD) to it.

4. HTPC is not necessary, if you just need to stream from HDD.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:38 PM   #1543
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1. You can playback media on your local network, hard disk, stream it over internet using Plex Media Server.

2. Direct Play, Direct Stream, or Transcoded stream depends on your device(player) capabilities.

3. Nvidia Shield TV can play almost anything - no need PMS to transcode. It comes with PMS too, which you can mount (or network) your media (HDD) to it.

4. HTPC is not necessary, if you just need to stream from HDD.
When using shield or any other android boxes, you can play video over local network easily. It can be done by file manager, such as es explorer.

Plex and kodi are other methods, but required some setup.
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Old 10-04-2019, 05:18 PM   #1544
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1. You can playback media on your local network, hard disk, stream it over internet using Plex Media Server.
You mean the LG Smart TV can do this right?

I am not familiar with LG TV. But it seems the built-in video player can handle some formats but apparently not as good as Kodi or VLC or MX Player.

https://www.lg.com/ca_en/support/pro...8842789-others

It does support Plex Player though so if there is a Plex Media Server set up on the PC or NAS, you can stream the media. I doubt that the support of Dolby Vision or Dolby Atmos support will be there in this kind of setup. Or even lower grade HDR10 and Dolby Digital /DTS 5.1 will be supported or not.

Edit to add:
Plex under Windows may support better audio format. Not so sure about under Web OS.
https://forums.plex.tv/t/how-to-turn...-player/172470

Last edited by xiaofan; 10-04-2019 at 05:23 PM..
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Old 10-04-2019, 07:41 PM   #1545
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When using shield or any other android boxes, you can play video over local network easily. It can be done by file manager, such as es file explorer.

Plex and kodi are other methods, but required some setup.
File manager like ES Explorer is only good for few media files.

Plex Media Server is good for big collection of media files, it organizes your collection nicely and allows streaming to anywhere on your devices.

Setup is easy (if you know how to add external storage or/and network in ES file explorer, this is the same), then you add to PMS, and PMS will do the rest automatically.

After which, you can access them via a Plex client/player.
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