[mythtv-users] 2021: Good cheap frontends for sports?

Brian S inanimatecrbnrod at hotmail.com
Thu Jan 28 04:23:49 UTC 2021

> From: Tom Harris <thom.j.harris at gmail.com>
> To: Discussion about MythTV <mythtv-users at mythtv.org>
> Cc:
> Bcc:
> Date: Wed, 27 Jan 2021 18:26:03 -0800
> Subject: Re: [mythtv-users] 2021: Good cheap frontends for sports?
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 9:38 AM Josh Rosenberg <mythtv at desh.info> wrote:
>> Hey, all. My Zotac ZBOX-ID84 that I bought used 4 years ago might be
>> biting the dust, so it's time for a new frontend again. Since I watch a
>> fair bit of sports, I don't think Raspberry Pi or the Android-based
>> frontends give quite the oomph I need for 720p/1080i sports, let alone
>> higher quality. (See my previous thread at
>> https://lists.archive.carbon60.com/mythtv/users/626703 .)
>> My instinct is to buy another ZBox and use VDPAU again, but I haven't
>> kept up on the latest developments with VAAPI or NVDEC. From a quick
>> search, it seems like buying hardware with a plan to use VDPAU might not be
>> the best option in 2021. Does anyone have any specific suggestions for
>> something that's Zbox sized or smaller and would make a good frontend for a
>> sports fan in this day and age?
> I also had a Zotac Ion frontend that I used for years with VDPAU.  It was
> very good, but crapped out on me.   I tried a few alternatives, including
> the Pi 3, which was pretty good but had noticeable judder on sports panning
> views.
> I ended up with the Nvidia Shield Pro -- the version that was updated last
> year, and I find it to be excellent.  Using the Mythfrontend app, it's very
> snappy and has excellent video playback.  My perception is that it's as
> good as the Zotac, but without comparing side by side it's hard to say
> 100%.  Much of my viewing is HD sports, and I have no problems with the
> Shield.  Also, the Shield gives you access to all the streaming apps
> (Netflix, Prime Video, HBO, etc.) which makes it the ultimate frontend in
> my opinion.
Very similar story from me as well. I was previously running a frontend on
the Pi 3 and found sports unwatchable. Using Kodi as an FE on the Pi 3
yielded better video quality, but I personally find kodi annoying to
navigate compared to mythfrontend, and my wife also had little interest in
learning a new DVR interface. I switched to the Shield Pro about 6 mos ago
and it's pretty great. I have not noticed any judder or other issues
w/playback, sports or otherwise, and as mentioned the easy inclusion of
other apps sweetens the deal pretty nicely. Another perk, which would
depend upon how you pay to watch your sports, etc, is that I can often
stream live sports through a network's app using my cableco login and don't
have to tie up a tuner.

The only complaint I could come up with is remote-based. The remote itself
is great and easy to program for mythtv and to turn the tv on/off, but as
far as I have been able to figure, it is not able to switch television
inputs. The Shield itself is bluetooth-only, so if you're like me and
previously used an IR universal remote and need to occasionally switch TV
inputs, you're either going to have to use two remotes or pick up a USB IR
receiver for the shield, and IIRC I couldn't get my old MCE IR receiver to
play nice.
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