TV operating system question

I will be partially moving into the house I’m rebuilding and I am going to buy a new TV for this. This is actually the very first TV I’m purchasing myself since my dad is a bit of a TV freak and likes to get a new one ever so often. He then passes the old TV on to me. Unfortunately, this time it’s a bit to soon so I actually do need to purchase one myself.

My current TV setup is a 1080p screen where I have attached a RaspberryPi 4 running LibreELEC and I basically stream everything and anything. However, sometimes it does have streaming issues and from time to time an addon stops working and the addon developer has to fix it which usually takes a couple of days. So, the wife acceptance factor is a bit on the lower end which is why I won’t replicate this setup on the new TV.

However, I still intend to stream most of the things I watch and therefore I will probably use a TV with a more proper operating system which allows me to install applications like Netflix.

At first, I thought I would purchase an Android TV and call it a day since every Android app should run on this TV and Android is the operating system with the largest market out there.

That being said, LG apparently does make good panels and Samsung screens aren’t that bad either. But LG uses webOS and Samsung tizenOS and I know that Android applications are not compatible with webOS. Do you have any expierence with those operating systems? In terms of application I’m not only looking the the ususal suspects (Netflix, YouTube, etc.), but also to apps for the various TV channels in my country, which do have Android apps. If would have to research if they provide apps for the other OSes as well.

Do you have any suggestions?

Also, nothing smaller than 50" and I’m looking to spend around 500$.

Lucky bastard…

Have you tried looking into x86 SBCs such as the UDOO Bolt V3? Its Ryzen Embedded w ith Vega 3 graphics SoC. These should fix your app issues but it is a bit on the pricy side starting at 365USD. Plus you need to buy the additional doodads and shipping cost. I am unsure how you would go about actually controlling it though.

The other alternative I had in mind is the Nvidia Shield sans the joypad.

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IMHO, the underlying display is far more important than the OS. You can add a “box” to any display (doesn’t even need to be a TV). Amazon Fire TV, Roku, and Google Chromecast all sell for $30-$100. Or you can roll your own as regulareel suggested. (Black Friday is next month).

Also note that I have had to upgrade the box when (two) otherwise-good TVs became too old to run YouTube. The computers in smart TVs are dirt cheap and not upgradeable, other than buying an addon box.

The best $500 4k TVs I have seen recently are HiSense. They aren’t necessarily the best TVs… but they are most-competitively-priced.


Don’t buy one with a “smart” OS. Android sucks (smart Philips TVs suck, I saw 3 different models that had their WiFi stop working, but non-smart ones are very good IMO), Tizen is even more s*** and LG’s webOS is “passable,” but still s*** compared to what you can do with a separate box that has HDMI output.

If you had problems with Kodi’s add-ons, then change platform (SBC + Android TV) or you can just buy a chromecast. I hate to say it, but chromecasts are great (unless you have an “ultrawide” screen phone like I do and you get black bars on all the edges of the TV).

I don’t know why, but Android TV doesn’t seem to have all the usual Android apps from the play store, which was strange to me. Which is why I think it’s better if, instead of using LibreELEC, you could use normal Android on a SBC and run Kodi on that (Kodi is available in the Play Store and F-Droid). You get the familiar interface, all your add-ons and on the plus side, you get to install your usual apps. Just get a keyboard+touchpad combo (or one with a small trackball if you’re intro that) and you’re good to go.

But again, if you don’t have weird phone resolutions, a chromecast is good enough and very cheap.


thx - :blush:

Then I would still need some kind of TV to have a display.

Yeah, thought about that but as far as I know it is also becoming a bit old, isn’t it?

Ok, this sure sucks…

Thx, I will consider them :+1:

Well, the issue with Kodi and its addon is that there are not directly supported by the content providers and once ever so often DRM comes along and kicks Kodi in the shins…

The whole premise of the chromecast is that you need to stream the content from your smartphone or tablet to the TV right? I absolutely do not want to do this.

No, this would probably not work because this Android device then would not support Widevine L1 which is needed for DRM content. I mean some kind of hack could be available to get it working - like Kodi does - but this could also stop working in the future and also the Kodi’s Widevine runs in software and has no hardware support. Thus, managing 4k will be difficult.

I would maybe be ok with a chromecast if I didn’t have to stream all the content from a secondary device to the TV.

The whole point of the chromecast is to stream from your device and you can use multiple devices. True, it’s not for everyone (for example, if you want to share a netflix account with your family without logging in on their phones).

AFAIK, all Cortex A* cores have TEE (Trusted Execution Environment), which is all that is needed for widevine l1.

I still believe an Android box is better, be it your current one or buying a new one every 6-10 years or so (when Widevine standard changes again or alternatives appear). That way, you can still use your TV. It’s understandable that you can change TVs every few years or so, but you probably shouldn’t bet on your dad changing them and you always getting his old one. Bonus point that you maintain your setup, so no matter what new TV you get and what it runs, you still have “your way” of doing things.

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An external device is the way to go. I have an LG and unless you just want the standard stuff you can’t get a lot of apps on it. If you’re buying a TV for its OS then android is going to give you the most options.


That is only one feature of the Chromecast; not its entire purpose. Chromecast is an Internet TV box, just like Roku and FireTV. It has downloadable apps, as well.

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As I’ve said, I don’t want to stream from a device to my TV. However, since I can actually install applications on the Chromecast I will give it a second look. Thanks!

No, Widevine L1 which is needed for anything beyond 480p on Netflix and such does not only require a TEE but it also requires keys. These keys have to be provided by the manufacturers of the device. For example, my OnePlus 6T has keys on it, but if I decided to install LineageOS those keys would be gone.

I would have preferred to have everything in one box, but it seems there are some major drawbacks from those OSes. Unfortunately, this means that it has to be something official to get support for that abomination that is known as DRM. If only there was an alternative…


Any idea on good Android TV boxes?

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I use a HTPC but everyone recommends the nvidia shield

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The Nvidia Shield only gets my pick (Android-wise) because it upscales 1080p Netflix to 4K using DLSS.

Otherwise, to build something on your own using Kodi, you will always run into the Widevine issue on any Linux OS.

Apple TV is what I’d personally use if it was only the major providers that I would common.


I am a big fan of not getting a TV for the smart functions or built in OS because they tend to be poorly supported.

That said so far the RokuOS based ones we have are getting better support than any MFG designed OS.

I would get the best picture/quality you can and add a Shield or Roku since they have a vested interested in maintaining their OS.


Nvidia Shield is faster and better than any tv I’ve seen in a store or anywhere. It’s a very very good product but does cost more money than something like a fire tv.

Ive had one for 5 years and it has worked flawlessly with kodi, netflix and a bunch of other apps.


Yeah, I’ve heard some good things about Nvidia Shield and its upscaling technique. (Does it use something akin to DLSS for that?) I wIll probably have a look at that.

What I’m wondering though is if the Shield is a good pick in 2021, considering it was released in 2019. How long is it supported with Android OS updates?

Unfortunately, yes. Running Kodi (LibreELEC) has been a mixed bag for me. When it runs it does run smoothly but when it has problems you have to dig a bit deeper. As mentioned above, it doesn’t exactly get above the wife acceptance factor threshold :smiley:
Furthermore, if I buy a new TV I want to have 4k and HDR and I don’t know if Kodi is really ready for that…

I haven’t heard of RokuOS before this thread so I will take a look at that as well.

If you want an easier time and you like their products, Sony TVs come with Google TV on them.
You’ll be good until the OS doesen’t get updated anymore and you’ll get access to all the apps you need without needing dongles, Chromecast, Fire Stick, multimedia PC or anything like that.

I really struggle to think about something better than this all-in-one solution or buying an Nvidia Shield like many other said. Usually all the chinese boxes, beside the one made by “reputable manufacturers” like Xiaomi, struggle with certificates for streaming FHD or 4K content.

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Thanks, Google TV was flying under my radar somehow…

Currently I’m a bit torn between the Nvidia Shield and the Apple TV. Do you have any input that could help me with that decision?

Id probably go for nvidia shield because you can probably put Lineage OS on in in the future or something. Its a bit old though…

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For Kodi/Linux (e.g. libreelec) I’d go with an alternative to shield

The latest one from 2019 has four a57 based cores which is still relatively respectable. Something like a khadas vim3 or an odroid n2+ might be a better choice if you want to run coreelec and don’t care about widevine (they have 4x a73 cores that are about 50% faster each and additional two a53 for lower power).

I have an odroid n2+ running coreelec and hdr10+ and Dolby Vision work wonderfully on it (well not Dolby vision - i get green purple image, but that’s because my 2018 OLED doesn’t support it).

I use the Netflix / Amazon apps built into my TV because of widevine stuff.

Since I use coreelec (amlogic specific libreelec, because of remote control and stuff), I also get to run interesting stuff in containers on the same machine.

On the other hand if you want to use Android, because of widevine, afaik the 2019 shield is the way to go.

However, chances are your new TV will come with Netflix/Prime Video/etc preinstalled regardless of the os.

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