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NVIDIA Shield Pro, is it right for me?

SysAdmin121SysAdmin121 Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
edited August 6 in NVIDIA SHIELD

I have a couple of questions for this very knowledgeable community regarding the Nvidia Shield Pro.

I’m currently using a QNAP Nas (Intel i3) with PMS, various clients (2 iPads, 2 iPhones, 4 Intel Sticks, 2 ATV3’s and an ATV4). All clients are local and 2, 3 streams are running at any given moment. Locally everything is on a gigabit.

Obviously the Nas has no problems with direct play clients but when it comes to 1080P 60FPS I start to get delays and the ATV’s (both 3 and 4) can’t really show video… audio only and serious stutter.

But, I start to have 4K material and all of my clients are (of course) forcing the Qnap to transcode…and it’s not powerful enough to serve the media…

So I’m thinking of moving the PMS to a Nvidia Shield Pro. Content will stay on the Qnap.

In doing so I can replace my ATV4 with the Nvidia Shield als a Plex client AND as a PMS at the same time.

But, since I have little Android experience I have a couple of questions:

Question 1: is this a smart solution; is the Nvidia shield capable of serving multiple direct play streams and 1, maybe 2 to-be-transcoded streams?

Question 2: is the Plex client on Android of the same quality as on tvOS or iOS?

Question 3: how good is the Youtube client on Android?

Question 4: should I just wait for the ATV5 and keep PMS on the QNAP?

Hopefully you guys can help me out because the shield isn't exactly cheap and I just want to make the correct decision.

Thanks in advance,

Peter

Best Answers

  • Elijah_BaleyElijah_Baley Posts: 4,441Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    First I do not use my Shield as a Plex client often at all even though it works well, as I much prefer the Roku interface.

    1 - I recently switched my primary server from a PC to a a Shield Pro and it works very well for that. Be aware that if you want to use index files then you should get a Shield Pro (500 gb) not the smaller 16 gb model. I think your transcoding requirements will be well met as the Shied utilizes hardware transcoding.

    2 - As I said I use the Plex client on the Shield rarely but it does seem pretty good. You also can, should you want, use Kodi on the Shield with either Plex for Kodi or Plex Kodi Connect. They are both better clients for many people than the regular Plex app.

    3 - I do not use YouTube at all, except for a very few things and then I use the "Plex It" functionality to play it in Plex without another "app" getting in the way.

    4 - I like my Shied as a Plex server but I have nothing "Apple" in the house except for a "Red Delicious" or three so I cannot say yea or nay on that but I do not really ever think it is a good idea to "wait" for something that "may" show up in the nebulous future.

    I am also generally against using any device as both a server and a client even though the Shield seems to do it pretty well.

    The Shield when through some real growing pains with many bugs on release as a Plex server but they have, finally, fixed most of those but there are a few still outstanding and the developer's interaction about bugs and fixes is even worse than most Plex developers.

    All in all I can recommend the Shield as a Plex server pretty strongly but it is not perfect at all.

    "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." - Mark Twain
    "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them." - Isaac Asimov
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” - Isaac Asimov

  • rouqrouq Posts: 361Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    My Shield pro is my main plex media server. It's also my OTA DVR. I use plex app, Kodi plex plug in and YouTube every day.

    This box does a very good job. Be sure to understand its limitations though. The power of the Shield comes from the hardware decoding/transcoding engine. You must make sure that your medias meet the engine specs otherwise the Shield will have to use the arm processor to transcode and will chock very quickly. Make sure your medias are mpeg2, h264 or h265. Also be careful with subtitles. Some clients don't handle a lot of subtitles formats. In that case, subtitles need to be rendered on the video stream. I did not validate this on latest updates but last time I tried this, the hardware could not handle this process so the job was done by the arm processor. Chock quickly on 1080p medias.

    I can't compare to iOS app, but the Plex app on the Shield is very well done, follows Google rules. Very quick to browse through your libraries and the voice search is amazing.

    YouTube app received a major redesign last week and it works very well. Everything is almost instantaneous. Voice search is amazing.

    Like any products these days, this box has some issues. You can browse nvidia forum to see those issues.

    For the number of direct play streams, like you I'm on gigabit ethernet. The throughput of the Shield, from my experience, is around 350mbps. So depending of your medias you can roughly calculate the number of direct play streams.

    If you buy it, before starting plex server, be sure to update PMS to the latest version. To do that you must go on Google play on your computer browser, log in using the same Google account and push pms on your Shield. That will link pms to your Google account and Google play app will see after that the updates. Don't try to setup the server using the stock pms.

Answers

  • Elijah_BaleyElijah_Baley Posts: 4,441Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    First I do not use my Shield as a Plex client often at all even though it works well, as I much prefer the Roku interface.

    1 - I recently switched my primary server from a PC to a a Shield Pro and it works very well for that. Be aware that if you want to use index files then you should get a Shield Pro (500 gb) not the smaller 16 gb model. I think your transcoding requirements will be well met as the Shied utilizes hardware transcoding.

    2 - As I said I use the Plex client on the Shield rarely but it does seem pretty good. You also can, should you want, use Kodi on the Shield with either Plex for Kodi or Plex Kodi Connect. They are both better clients for many people than the regular Plex app.

    3 - I do not use YouTube at all, except for a very few things and then I use the "Plex It" functionality to play it in Plex without another "app" getting in the way.

    4 - I like my Shied as a Plex server but I have nothing "Apple" in the house except for a "Red Delicious" or three so I cannot say yea or nay on that but I do not really ever think it is a good idea to "wait" for something that "may" show up in the nebulous future.

    I am also generally against using any device as both a server and a client even though the Shield seems to do it pretty well.

    The Shield when through some real growing pains with many bugs on release as a Plex server but they have, finally, fixed most of those but there are a few still outstanding and the developer's interaction about bugs and fixes is even worse than most Plex developers.

    All in all I can recommend the Shield as a Plex server pretty strongly but it is not perfect at all.

    "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." - Mark Twain
    "If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them." - Isaac Asimov
    “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” - Isaac Asimov

  • SysAdmin121SysAdmin121 Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @Elijah_Baley: Thanks a lot for your detailled explanation and yes, I'm looking at buying the Pro (read enough about the 16GB problems) and yes, I intend to use the PMS full blown (video preview thumbnails etc).
    I have a 65" 4K (Samsung) but the Tizen Youtube app is awful, so I don't want to be surprised by having a same kind of YT experience on the shield. Hopefully someone else can answer that. Meantime I'll look into Plex it'

    Thx!

    Regards,

    Peter

  • rouqrouq Posts: 361Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass
    Accepted Answer

    My Shield pro is my main plex media server. It's also my OTA DVR. I use plex app, Kodi plex plug in and YouTube every day.

    This box does a very good job. Be sure to understand its limitations though. The power of the Shield comes from the hardware decoding/transcoding engine. You must make sure that your medias meet the engine specs otherwise the Shield will have to use the arm processor to transcode and will chock very quickly. Make sure your medias are mpeg2, h264 or h265. Also be careful with subtitles. Some clients don't handle a lot of subtitles formats. In that case, subtitles need to be rendered on the video stream. I did not validate this on latest updates but last time I tried this, the hardware could not handle this process so the job was done by the arm processor. Chock quickly on 1080p medias.

    I can't compare to iOS app, but the Plex app on the Shield is very well done, follows Google rules. Very quick to browse through your libraries and the voice search is amazing.

    YouTube app received a major redesign last week and it works very well. Everything is almost instantaneous. Voice search is amazing.

    Like any products these days, this box has some issues. You can browse nvidia forum to see those issues.

    For the number of direct play streams, like you I'm on gigabit ethernet. The throughput of the Shield, from my experience, is around 350mbps. So depending of your medias you can roughly calculate the number of direct play streams.

    If you buy it, before starting plex server, be sure to update PMS to the latest version. To do that you must go on Google play on your computer browser, log in using the same Google account and push pms on your Shield. That will link pms to your Google account and Google play app will see after that the updates. Don't try to setup the server using the stock pms.

  • SysAdmin121SysAdmin121 Posts: 10Members, Plex Pass Plex Pass

    @rouq: thanks for taking the time to give me such a detailled explanation. All my content is either H264 or H265 and if there are subtitles they are rendered into the video stream. Since I’m in an Apple ecosystem all my movie files are mostly either m4v or mp4. Also thanks for pointing out the possible pitfalls when installing PMS. Now I only have to get a shield pro but... suddenly they are all out of stock. Saturday I could get one, today...out of stock. I live in Thailand so my Thai wife is now in charge of finding one for me.

    Keep you all posted on the possible progress.!

    Thx.
    Regards,

    Peter

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