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4k TV Boxes Compared! Roku, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV



Find all of the boxes here: (affiliate link) – I’ve looked at bunch of 4k television boxes over the last year. Here’s what I think are the best of the bunch. See reviews of each: and subscribe!

02:20 – Roku Streaming Stick Plus
04:17 – Nvidia shield
09:24 – Google chrome cast
11:12 – Apple tv 4K
14:31 –
16:26 – Amazon Fire TV
18:19 – Cheap Android TV Boxes?

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  1. jesus robles

    December 10, 2017 at 2:53 am

    Great video as usual. Really think this is going to help a lot of people with their decision!

  2. Tim Fletcher

    December 10, 2017 at 2:57 am

    I'm waiting on the proper firetv upgrade, the one leaked a bit ago, looks like a cube with a dot integrated.
    I'm pretty sure the new "firetv" is a stick upgrade(with a sneaky name change), and I'm willing to wager the new actual firetv will have a new name where it has the cube shape and dot integration

  3. Jamie Stewart

    December 10, 2017 at 3:08 am

    I'm surprised you didn't include the Xiaomi Mi Box. Seemed like you gave it a pretty favorable review and it's gotten a bit better with updates since then.

  4. Nathan Schimpf

    December 10, 2017 at 3:27 am

    7:12 Thanks for the Google Home trigger. I know it's 42° tomorrow in New York. 🤣

  5. Colton Blumhagen

    December 10, 2017 at 3:30 am

    For Black Friday I jumped from a 32" 720p "dumb" tv, to a 55" 4k led smart tv. Definitely happy with the purchase.

  6. oscar vasquez

    December 10, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Can 4k roku do dobly vison?or any of these do dobly vision with 4 k

  7. ann l

    December 10, 2017 at 3:45 am

    What I want to know is which brand I'm able to get the teranium tv app.have tried the roku and fire stick and no luck.

  8. Martell Tha Cool

    December 10, 2017 at 3:54 am

    Nvidia Shield and Apple TV 4K

  9. Robert Watts

    December 10, 2017 at 3:55 am

    The Shield is AWESOME. I sold mine tho, here's why: 1. you cannot plug in a powered External HDD. You can plug in network like a NAS, but you cannot use a DAS. Will not see the drives. USB plug memory dongle will work – just not one that is powered. 2. The android is locked down to AndroidTV which means the GOOGLE PLAY STORE is very limited. I had one of these shileld in all my room – sold them all now use Minix uh9 which is the best 4k player. BY FAR. Chromecast is lame, not powerful. And apple blows cuz its apple.

  10. Martell Tha Cool

    December 10, 2017 at 3:56 am

    I only got Samsung 1080p 60 FPS tv is good enough for me

  11. madmax2069

    December 10, 2017 at 3:59 am

    Heck I just went for a TCL 4k Roku TV and it's pretty awesome so far.

    Now Roku does have games, not AAA games, they're rather simple but they do have them on the Roku store.

  12. Whoopi Cat

    December 10, 2017 at 4:06 am

    Nvidia Shield hands down.

  13. Troy Leeroy

    December 10, 2017 at 4:14 am

    Picked up 3 roku express plus (9$) , amazon fire stick(25$), Steamlink(11$) on black Friday covered all my needs and paired it up with plex and the Hdhomerun prime but that pesky drm! thanks for the great videos

  14. Scott Lyons

    December 10, 2017 at 7:05 am

    Hey Lon,
    You mentioned accessing your blu-ray collection you have on a disk array. Do you have a video that covers the best way to transfer lots of DVDs and blu-rays to computer in a semi automated way, like it spits out the disk and you put the next one in and so on? And of course that settings are the same for all, and if there is some sort of cataloging of "guide" app for accessing on the TV. Or would that be like plex or kodi?


    December 10, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    Did you plan this based on the Best Buy Sales this week? Most of these are on sale this week.

  16. Danny 310

    December 10, 2017 at 3:13 pm

    Hey Lon I have the Roku Ultra hooked up to a 4k TV with a HDMI 2.0 and it refuses to connect to 4k on my tv.. I feel like I got ripped off.

  17. Lou Lopez

    December 10, 2017 at 3:44 pm

    Excellent review!

  18. ylang ylang

    December 10, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    Not everyone wants to spend over $100 on a simple streamer… Roku stick+ is my choice too, great device

  19. James Jones

    December 10, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    So far streaming services have 4k content and regular TV/cable shows don't, these networks need to step up their game or drop their prices.

  20. James Jones

    December 10, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    I got a Chromecast for Christmas a few years ago, very limited I don't use it as much since I had issues watching a rented movie on it, I just stick with my consoles. I wish it was a fire stick I've gotten hell I should have traded it for one.

  21. kreg37

    December 10, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    I'd like to clear up the situation with the Apple TV 4K and how it plays 4K HDR/Dolby Vision content. I don't think it's the best implementation because it's not on by default and most consumers won't know how to fix it — I wholly agree with your assessment on that. But the 11.2 update resolves every reviewer's chief complaint about the Apple TV 4K before the update.

    You said "it is switching my TV out of HDR, even when content being played supports it." As far as I can tell, this is STRICTLY a licensing issue, not an issue with the device. iTunes Movies only play in HDR/Dolby Vision if they were PURCHASED or REDEEMED as a Digital Copy in iTunes (or, in my experience, Movies Anywhere). When I signed up for Movies Anywhere, I received some free movies that are Dolby Vision in iTunes (Jason Bourne and Lego Movie). The film data displays that these are Dolby Vision movies, but because I did not buy or redeem them through iTunes, it only plays them in 4K SDR, not Dolby Vision.

    I tested this by redeeming my "Digital HD" coupon from a physical copy of The Great Wall on Movies Anywhere, and the Apple TV 4K played that movie in Dolby Vision. So again, this is a licensing issue and how the movies were obtained by me, not a technical issue. Still, it's confusing because Apple TV indicates that all these are "purchased", it just does not indicate that certain ones are only the 4K SDR versions. This was ESPECIALLY confusing before the 11.2 update, because it turns out that what I was watching was not Dolby Vision versions of Jason Bourne and Lego Movie, I was actually watching the SDR versions "up-converted" (poorly) to Dolby Vision by the Apple TV.

    My other test on this is that Dolby Vision shows on Netflix (where there are no licensing issues) always run fine.

    You can read more about this on the Reddit thread "iTunes movies won't play in HDR on 11.2."

    The second major point is that you do not have to have Dolby Vision enabled all the time in order for it to work. As long as you have "Match Dynamic Range" and "Match Frame Rate" set to "On," videos will play at the appropriate dynamic range and frame rate (including Dolby Vision/HDR), even if your Apple TV is set to SDR. So I set my Apple TV to "4K SDR 60 Hz" and it runs in 4K SDR mode all the time, unless I play a Dolby Vision/HDR video, at which point it automatically switches to the correct mode for that video and then back again when it's done.

    One thing you'll want to make sure is that if you have any "Unverified Formats" under the "Match Content" menu, set the Apple TV to those formats temporarily and click "OK" to confirm you can see them so that the Apple TV knows your TV supports those formats.

    Spread the word, hope this helps.

  22. Hugh Dinwiddie

    December 10, 2017 at 6:35 pm

    Nice job, Lon. It's exactly the kind of content you do best. The only problem I have is that you and others seem to make this an either/or kind of decision when in fact for around $100 you can have more than one device and have the best of both. This isn't a decision like buying a computer or a car, but we sometimes agonize over it like it was. I'm not including the ATV or the Nvidia Shield in that bundle of course. I have the Shield on my main TV and as a lifetime Plex Pass subscriber and HDHomeRun owner (you get credit for both) love its features although I find the handheld remote really flaky…I've tried two different ones, but the game controller is solid.

  23. Andy Eddings

    December 10, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    Right on time Lon, just bought a 4k LG TV 3 days ago. the built in webOS is very nice but I'm a subscriber to directv now and its not supported. I have a five tv on my other TV but am always looking for the latest and greatest. Thanks for all the work you do.

  24. Pedro Sandoval

    December 10, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    You failed to mention that the Shield has the least app selection. What's the point of having all that power and no apps you want to stream available.. Until the Shield has native apps for Directv Now, AMC, A&E, CW, SyFy, TLCgo, Discovery, History then we'll talk. even a cheap $29 Roku has all those apps

  25. Dominic Cellini

    December 10, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    I'm still a huge fan of the Fire TV second generation. It actually pulls in some of the best video I've seen on my 720p TV even though it's really meant for a 4K TV. I've already found a workaround for the YouTube removal and it's just as good as Amazon's app. I think the Fire TV Edition smart TVs or the new Fire TV are not worth your time, but the stick or the 2nd gen box are still good if you're willing to do some sideloading.

  26. Derwin Estremera

    December 10, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    Hey Lon your video turned on my google home mini😂

  27. Richard Mewes

    December 11, 2017 at 12:39 am

    My issue with Roku is mostly that every one I have bought doesn't support YouTube 1080p… While the box supports 1080p the YouTube app was limited to 720p

  28. Chrisabled

    December 11, 2017 at 5:43 am

    My Apple TV 4K works flawlessly…

  29. Groovy

    December 11, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    The only downside to Chromecast is like you said, it doesn't have an interface. So you always have to use your phone/tablet as a remote (or use google home). I think a lot of people think the video is streamed from your phone and mirrored on the chromecast. Which is incorrect, the chromecast is streaming it directly from netflix/youtube etc., you're just using your phone as a interface/remote to start the stream.

  30. joe husosky

    December 11, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    Could not agree more, Roku hands down is the best option out there. We have 3 generations using it and everyone loves it.

  31. ALI ESSA

    December 11, 2017 at 10:55 pm

    Can't touch the Shield. Looking at buying a second anyword if we are getting a 2018 version?

  32. Jason Koelling

    December 19, 2017 at 3:24 am

    Iv'e had multiple roku's / roku sticks , fireTV / fireTV sticks over the years and regularly upgrade them.. My one grip with the roku product line is that they havent upgraded the spotify app in like 5 years and it doesnt support spotify connect. Im currently using a roku ultra , fireTV(1st gen) , Fire Stick (second gen). The youtube deal is a deal breaker for me.. im sure getting a nvidia shield would fix both of these problems but I dont want to have to buy 3 to replace on all of my tv's @ ~$200/each ..

  33. neko77025

    December 28, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Ok, So I have had A HD home prime for A few years now .. Truth is it really goes unused because of the lack of DRM support, I have been hearing for over Year they are working on it for Android ….

    Now to my point… Why is the Nvida Shield A better streaming device then the Xbox one /s.

    What does the shield do that the Xbox one cant ? … The Xbox you CAN watch DRM. they cost the same. The xbox one is only 200.00 vs 200/300.

    Anyone ?

  34. JayzBeerz

    December 31, 2017 at 2:57 am

    Roku seems to be the best bang for the price. That’s what I went with.

  35. toobalkain

    January 5, 2018 at 9:58 pm

    Thing with ATV, it does picture processing and tone mapping like no other product, it’s the closest you get to playing a physical 4K Bluray HDR media from a 4K Bluray player.

  36. geotubeocho

    January 14, 2018 at 5:51 am

    Great review. Quick question regarding deinterlasing with nvidia shield and hdhomerun prime. I have a fire tv 4K, but it skips frames and lags a little. My friend tested the Apple TV on my hdhomerun, and it worked better. Does the shield works well with deinterlasing?

  37. oliver mia

    January 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    My tv is old. It has USB slots but it is not a smart tv. Probaly close to 10yrs old. Will these devices make my tv “smart?”

  38. sparten 9999

    February 5, 2018 at 4:20 am

    what devices support deinterlacing for plex live tv?

  39. Marek Szwej

    February 10, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Is there a way to use Skype of any of those?

  40. Sean Gonzalez

    February 15, 2018 at 8:57 pm

    Do you guys really need to be told that the Shield TV is the best TV box? Just google Shield TV specs and you'll know you're not getting that type of power for 200 bucks, anywhere else. How stupid can you guys be?

  41. mkburnett62

    February 26, 2018 at 10:28 am

    Wish someone had told me about roku before I bought the amazon fire stick! 😳

  42. mkburnett62

    February 26, 2018 at 10:51 am

    I need help importing apple iBooks to a dell laptop. My apple iPad 2014, seems to be going out. I don’t want to invest in another iPad.

  43. marksapollo

    March 5, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    Typical buggy Apple software.. if your lucky they MAY fix it..

  44. Rick Strawn

    March 9, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    Lon I have nvidia sheild going to cut the cord.My question we motorhome fulltime and would I be better off using roku or hd homerun?Thanks for your app it is most appreciated.

  45. David Lever

    March 10, 2018 at 9:22 am

    what about the autoswitch framerate that the Nvidia Shield does NOT have, while the ATV does it have!

  46. ThePvps

    March 12, 2018 at 12:40 pm

    This video isint even in 4k D I S S A P O I N T E D

  47. j.e. foster

    March 19, 2018 at 2:32 am

    Great reviews!
    I have about 6TB of content on hard disk and use an android media box hooked to an HDMI switch to play on the TV. Can I plug the Nvidia Shield TV into the switch as well? the switch is the equivalent of unplugging and plugging in devices like the Nvidia Shield TV

  48. body on frame

    March 20, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    Great video, very informative. I have wanted a Roku ultra for quite some time but now I'm thinking spend a little extra for the Nvidia shield. It does look like the best device.

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Home Audio Group Tutorial for Google Home, Mini, Max & Chromecast Audio



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