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

Jay Harbeston jharbestonus at gmail.com
Fri Jan 29 17:45:49 UTC 2021

I was kind of disappointed in the fire stick 4k. When playing 1080p 30fps mp4 movies, There was a lot of tearing/I don’t know what, using mediacodec video but was ugly with mythtv. 
Using OpenGL on the fire stick didn’t help it any. I’m glad the fire stick 4k I bought was only $25.

I went back to using the mini pcs with the intel z8350 processors, and playback was much better.


> On Jan 29, 2021, at 11:46 AM, Paul Gardiner <lists at glidos.net> wrote:
> On 29/01/2021 10:44, John Pilkington wrote:
>> On 29/01/2021 09:21, Paul Gardiner wrote:
>>> On 28/01/2021 02:26, Tom Harris wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Jan 27, 2021 at 9:38 AM Josh Rosenberg <mythtv at desh.info <mailto: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
>>>>     <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.
>>> I'm interested in the Shield, not so much for mythfrontend (I have that covered), but for Amazon Prime, Netflix and iPlayer. I have a fairly new Fire Stick 4K, but it's terrible for frame rate matching. It's shockingly bad. I have to make the "Match original frame rate" setting every time I turn it on, and also if I power cycle just my AVReceiver. Worse, the Netflix and iPlayer apps don't respond to the setting, so I have to use the special engineer's menu to find the right rate before entering the app. It's probably not affecting most people because modern TVs have all sorts of horrible smoothing algorithms that can hide this, although at a price of making some video motion look artificial. I'm wondering how the Shield fares for frame rate matching.
>> My Firestick 4K appears to retain its 'match frame rate' setting, and both leanfront and mythfrontend announce that they are using 50 fps when playing material from my DVB-T/T2 channels.  I haven't used streaming services much.
> Actually, I stated the problem inaccurately. The setting is retained, but Amazon Prime Video ignores it if I power cycle either the AVReceiver or the Fire Stick. To get APV to respect it again, I have to set to a specific display setting other than auto, then back to auto and (which unsets the "Match frame rate" setting) and then reapply the Match setting.
>> The clip that you uploaded recently was mp4 1440x1088 with a video data rate of  9998 kb/s, significantly higher than my old 1920x1080 recordings of similar material.  leanfront on the firestick wasn't as clean as UPnP, but not distressingly so.
> I forgot it was1440x1080. The BBC went through a phase of using that res, but later gave up on it. The higher bit rate must have been my less than ideal choice of parameters for transcoding.
>> Quite a lot of my recent recordings have been from the SkyArts channel, 544x576 progressive mpeg2video.  Some have rapid action scenes, but they still give pleasing playback at a video data rate around an eighth of that in your clip...
>> Now back to framerate matching and the really hawk-eyed watching... :-)
> Sadly I don't have to look for it. If it's not perfectly smooth, it looks terrible to me. Possibly not helped by my TV having no smoothing.
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