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Author Topic: Bought a Shield TV  (Read 6228 times)

Diadu

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Bought a Shield TV
« on: October 01, 2018, 02:59:50 AM »
And it's pretty sweet.

Originally I just wanted a media player that can play my Gintama episodes without hassle - they've been encoded in *.mkv and caused quite a problem on my Raspberry Pi.

Since that thing came with a controller I figured I might as well use it as my new emulation machine and it works fairly well.

I was hoping that GC/Wii emulation would be a bit further ahead than it currently is because in China, the Shield has an "official" Nintendo emulator available and, as you'd expect, people already dumped it. But I do hope that it will move forward a bit more, Simpsons Hit & Run runs especially choppy (while Mario sunshine runs pretty smooth at 720p). And speaking of Sunshine, that game looks pretty neat even in it's natural resolution.

Dreamcast emulation is still surprisingly messy. Some games look fine, others look like a total mess (like Gut's Rage) while other games won't run at all.

PSX emulation is also a bit weird. While Dolphin lets me use individual settings for each game, ePSXe doesn't. So while a 3D game might look pretty great, a 2D game like Doom or Castlevania will look godawful with graphical errors all over the place.

I originally just wanted to stick to RetroArch - all stuff under one GUI but unfortunately, RetroArch is a bit cumbersome when it comes to organizing and managing ROMs. Or at least it looks like that to me. When it comes to PSX, it refuses to acknowledge PBP files or when scanning for PC Engine games, it refuses to acknowledge CD games. It's a bit of a shame, really because I really did like the whole Emulationstation/RetroArch combo on the Pi.

Jaspaller

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2018, 03:55:14 PM »
How is the button lag/delay on it when playing games? It's using bluetooth for controllers right? And how is it when streaming games from your PC?

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2018, 02:17:30 AM »
I had some initial issues with one emulator. I think it was either Reicast (Dreamcast) or Dolphin but that was a matter of a forced button delay.

But I think it's working fine overall. Man the problem is, it's been forever since I played the originals like Sonic 3 so I think it's very difficult to gauge whether or not the response time is adequate. But, on a personal level, I think it's acceptable. I was able to play King's Field II, some other PSX games and a bunch of SHMUPs on the PC Engine without any issues.

I can't really comment on the latter because I am not much of a PC gamer, sorry. I can tell you that the GTA ports work like a dream.

I actually have one question myself. I wanted to give HL2 a try before spending $10 on it but for some odd reason the game refused to run and instead wanted to download the data. If you pirate it, it comes with the *.apk and the data folder. And it's the second game of this nature that refuses to run even though I did everything as instructed. Any idea what's up with that?

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2018, 04:02:07 AM »
Might as well throw in my 2 cents about media playback.

I originally bought it to watch pirated legally obtained animu. The Gintama episodes I downloaded were mkv encoded in H.256 (I think that's the proper one) and my Pi had issues with it.

The shield came with Plex and that initially refused to play them and now still has quality issues when playing them. Oddly enough, KODI and VLC have absolutely no issues playing any of the files I have so I guess Plex is using some shitty decoder. In the end, I ended up using Plex as a backend to sort and categorize my episodes, while KODI serves as the front - getting information fed by Plex and playing the files.

Kind of weird. Glad I decided to try out VLC and KODI after Plex failed me.

Jaspaller

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2018, 05:02:47 PM »
But I think it's working fine overall. Man the problem is, it's been forever since I played the originals like Sonic 3 so I think it's very difficult to gauge whether or not the response time is adequate. But, on a personal level, I think it's acceptable. I was able to play King's Field II, some other PSX games and a bunch of SHMUPs on the PC Engine without any issues.

I can't really comment on the latter because I am not much of a PC gamer, sorry. I can tell you that the GTA ports work like a dream.
That's good to know. I had been thinking of getting a raspberry Pi for the longest time to use as an emulator box but this sounds like a much better idea.

I actually have one question myself. I wanted to give HL2 a try before spending $10 on it but for some odd reason the game refused to run and instead wanted to download the data. If you pirate it, it comes with the *.apk and the data folder. And it's the second game of this nature that refuses to run even though I did everything as instructed. Any idea what's up with that?
Weird. Maybe it's not in the right folder? To get Jet Set Radio working on my phone I had to do something similiar. Install the APK, then move the folder containing the .obb file into the right spot. Then when you run the installer it would see the file is there and continue the install properly. If it wasn't in the right place, just tell you outright it's missing files and needed to download it. Maybe it's different for Shield TV, but for me I had to put my files into Internal Storage > Android > Obb > (Whatever the jet set radio folder was called) > (File).obb

Might as well throw in my 2 cents about media playback.

I originally bought it to watch pirated legally obtained animu. The Gintama episodes I downloaded were mkv encoded in H.256 (I think that's the proper one) and my Pi had issues with it.

The shield came with Plex and that initially refused to play them and now still has quality issues when playing them. Oddly enough, KODI and VLC have absolutely no issues playing any of the files I have so I guess Plex is using some shitty decoder. In the end, I ended up using Plex as a backend to sort and categorize my episodes, while KODI serves as the front - getting information fed by Plex and playing the files.

Kind of weird. Glad I decided to try out VLC and KODI after Plex failed me.

It might be the same issue I had when I used to watch animu on my old Galaxy S3. Might be a different issue but here's what I know from my understanding. Android devices have a chip that allows them to natively decode certain video codecs/formats/etc. If the chip supports the video codecs/formats or whatever then it's rendered using hardware. If it's not supported then it won't run properly or at all. I use(d) MX Player for my unsupported videos sometimes and it has the option to render by hardware or software (I think this is just CPU). It kinda sucked because if the video was too high quality and running a new format my phone didn't support it would chug and lag alot.

VLC and Kodi are probably rendering them by software, hardware or if it's like MX Player then it can use both together which is pretty cool. It's pretty annoying when subbers decide "Oh hey it's a new format that saves me a few MB and makes the picture look a little more contrasted and realistic so it's a good idea to upgrade!". It breaks compatibility with some devices but hey! It's a New format so New must mean good right?!

Maybe it's not the same issue... in which case I just wasted a lot of time making this big post lol, but I think it's the same idea. New format, broken compatibility with older chips etc.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2018, 05:04:25 PM by Jaspaller »

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2018, 05:19:30 PM »
Quote
That's good to know. I had been thinking of getting a raspberry Pi for the longest time to use as an emulator box but this sounds like a much better idea.
Honestly, I think it depends on what you want to do. If you just want to emulate old stuff (pre PSX) then a Pi is the way to go. I liked the setup of Retropie much better. I just ran into issues when trying to run certain PSX games in a higher resolution (like FFIX)

Quote
Weird. Maybe it's not in the right folder? To get Jet Set Radio working on my phone I had to do something similiar. Install the APK, then move the folder containing the .obb file into the right spot. Then when you run the installer it would see the file is there and continue the install properly. If it wasn't in the right place, just tell you outright it's missing files and needed to download it. Maybe it's different for Shield TV, but for me I had to put my files into Internal Storage > Android > Obb > (Whatever the jet set radio folder was called) > (File).obb
Oh believe me, I did that. It worked well for GTA III and San Andreas but for some odd reason it won't work for HL2. I went over the spelling of the folder multiple times and when I check the App details within the system options, it even acknowledges the existence of the data (it counts towards the size total) but for some odd reason, when I run the game, it wants to download the data which then fails.

Quote
Animu
I think you are pretty much spot on. I read that H.265 allows for a higher compression rate which reduces the file size by roughly 50%. In turn it is a lot more demanding when you want to decode it. I think the hardware itself, or the chip you mention, is just there to enable that format on the device - the Pi lacked hardware for that so I couldn't play my Gintama episodes on the Pi.

After the chip I think it depends on the individual player on how they handle the format or if they can handle the format, which might explain the varying results.

For KODI I had to enable software rendering otherwise I would get a blank screen when I wanted to watch Gintama. PLEX doesn't even give me the option to switch between hardware and software rendering so I guess the fault lies there.

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #6 on: October 04, 2018, 03:00:15 AM »
Another thing that is causing me a bit of trouble are a bunch of PC Engine CD games. The console had a few unofficial games released for it. I was specifically interested in Hi-Leg Fantasy. I mean, I am sure it's trash, but I wanted to give it a go still.

I tried out two different uploads of the game and both refused to work - would get as far as the usual PC Engine splash screen but then it would get stuck in a load error.

It's the only game that does this and it's probably because it's one of the unofficial games.

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #7 on: October 04, 2018, 05:09:12 AM »
I THINK I found the problem and I am going to try it out later. But it seems these unofficial games require the use of a different BIOS file. I'll have to check it out in a bit and see how it works.

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #8 on: October 04, 2018, 01:20:47 PM »
Yup got it to run. But had to use Retroarch because the cores that are bundled with Retroarch allow you to switch BIOS files on the go.


Jaspaller

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2018, 06:02:09 PM »
I'm more or less sold on the idea of the shield TV. I'm probably gonna get myself that 500GB model though (never know what else I could use it for). I looked it up a bit and from the sounds of it the shield TV is discontinued now? I was hoping they would bring out a bit of a newer model but meh, it'll do. I just don't like that price tag... just means I'm gonna have to wait a bit for a better sale or until I have more money.

Getting files/APKs on it easy to do with just a USB stick right?

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 02:10:53 AM »
I'm more or less sold on the idea of the shield TV. I'm probably gonna get myself that 500GB model though (never know what else I could use it for). I looked it up a bit and from the sounds of it the shield TV is discontinued now? I was hoping they would bring out a bit of a newer model but meh, it'll do. I just don't like that price tag... just means I'm gonna have to wait a bit for a better sale or until I have more money.

Getting files/APKs on it easy to do with just a USB stick right?
Just go with the variant with less storage. You can hook up an external drive. I just hooked up my external drive from my raspberry. 500 GB can fill up fast if you load it with CD images and videos/movies.

APKs are no harder to find than for phones.

But you should first check out on the play store if an app is compatible with the Shield. For example, Chrome and Opera are not available for the Shield TV (which is kind of understandable).
« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 03:08:11 AM by Diadu »

Jaspaller

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2018, 08:15:08 AM »
Well I went and bought the streamer edition. I'm hoping to get it setup fully in a week or something. I'm definitely excited to see what I can do with streaming games and such... I'm sure there's gotta be a way to stream emulators on my PC if I wanted to play something like a PS2 (or something completely incompatible with the ShieldTV emulators).

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2018, 01:42:47 PM »
Might want to do that with Dreamcast and Gamecube too then. Both Reicast and Dolphin are far from perfect and results vary from game to game.

Personally, I'm not a huge fan of streaming, but let me know how it works out for you.

Jaspaller

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2018, 09:39:48 PM »
Well I finally got some emulators and roms running. I'm surprised at how well SNES9X Ex+ runs starfox. The button latency is really hard to put my finger on... at times it feels like it's perfect and at times I feel like I'm overthinking it. But either way, it runs well enough to get my seal of approval. I've got an SN30PRO gamepad as well that I had planned on testing with bluetooth and wired. I'm hoping it's good because I got crazy latency when using it on my Switch wirelessly.

I'm pretty happy with how the PSP emulator runs too. Feels great playing Maverick Hunter X in 1080p and fullspeed (maybe I'll try out phantasy star portable as well). I still wish I went with the 500Gb model but oh well. I'll be trying out streaming games on the weekend probably.

Diadu

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Re: Bought a Shield TV
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2018, 03:08:39 AM »
Yeah the SNES and PSP emulators from the Play Store work really well. Been playing Phantasy Star Portable 2. Some Emulators have a latency option for both button presses and audio and in some cases adjusting CPU or display settings can help too.

I can't pinpoint if some games had this latency built in for some odd reason. For example, remember the 3D special stages in Sonic 3? Those always had a slight delay. If you wanted to turn or jump you had to press it a bit early. There are games I haven't played in ages so I can't even tell if a delay is normal or not.

You might also wanna try out the N64 Emulator. It's pretty decent and you can set up different controller profiles for every game. I set up a profile for FPS and TPS games that is only used with games like DOOM or Duke.


If you want to dive even deeper, you can give RetroArch a shot, it has even more options to mess around with button and sound delay but it can be quite the clusterfuck too.