Video streaming apps. Is it best to use TV, Blu ray player or Apple TV box or similar

Just wondering what people generally do? We have a Sony 4K TV, Sony 4K Blu ray player and Apple 4K TV box. We mainly use Netfix and Amazon Prime. We use the Netfix and Amazon apps on the Blu ray player. But would it be better to use apps on the TV or Apple box? We only use the Apple TV for ITV, BBC iPlayer etc.

Sound is routed from TV optical out through the main system.

So I’m really concerned here about what is likely to give the highest quality streaming as far as apps go. My reasoning is that external devices are likely to be better than the TV due to having separate power supplies and not having the display and associated electronics in the same box. But maybe I’m wrong.

I unplugged our Amazon tv stick as it basically became redundant as it’s all in the tv now; iplayer, ITVX, Amazon prime. I can’t say I noticed any sound differences.

I’m eying for years a Nvidia Shield …

Most of the apps on the tv are now outdated, so we need to use external streamers. Fire TV and an old Chromecast. The Fire TV is the fastest device.

The plan is to finally get that Shield so that it gets really fast and reliable.

Somehow surround works well these days. I think the tv downsamples stuff from dd+ to dd and this is understood by the brilliant AV2.

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I would keep cables and associated connections and electronic circuitry in the video chain to a minimum for best picture quality and thus use the Apps from fhe TV.
The audio out of the TV via optical out is good for stereo or Dolby Digital or DTS but you would need eARC on HDMI for surround sound better than that for Movies etc.

I have a couple Amazon Fire 4K devices but the video quality of my nVidia Shield Pro is unparalleled. There are a couple configuration quirks which are annoying until you solve them, after which the experience is smooth sailing.

Especially if you have a lot of old DVDs ripped to MKV, the Shield makes them look brilliant whereas older non HD content on other devices is unwatchable.

The Shield replaced a high end Blu-Ray transport I had that gave sterling service, mostly for local streaming.

Having had several devices and the Amazon sticks still on other TVs, I would say the Amazon sticks are brilliant value for money for general HD/4K streaming. Mine are about 9 years old. But if you take video seriously and have a large local library of content and a serious AV amp, the nVidia has no peer. The picture quality beats a high end Blu-Ray player even.


Apple tv 4k box works very well. Since Amazon Prime and Netflix are available as apps, why not give it a try and decide which you consider suits you better. I simply use my 4k tv as a display and use sat box and more usually the Apple tv or 4k player. Is the sound just two channel, no processor?


Yes the sound is routed through the stereo system - Qutest DAC, Moon 340ix amp, Klipsch Forte III’s. I also just use the TV as a display. Up until now I’ve been using my Sony UBP X800 MK2 Blu ray player for streaming Amazon and Netflix and the Apple Box for everything else. But from what I’ve read it seems better to use the Apple box for everything.

I think it’s personal choice. I guess your player might not have “UK” specific apps, hence Apple tv.
With only 2 channel you have more options. I have my sources go into AV processor first.
New AV processor arriving this week, NAP250DR on front S400 speakers, will add 5 channel amp for remainder, when I have decided on centre and the rest - previous Linn kit all boxed and shipping out.

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We had an LG “Smart” TV, and it was both shocking and disappointing to find that apps started to become unusable starting only about a year after purchase. We abandoned it after about 3-4 years, reinstating an older non-smart Panasonic plasma, and used an Amazon firestick. The main apps we normally use are mainstream TV catchup apps and Netflix. A family member has a Disney TV subscription with us as a nominated user, but we’ve hardly used that. On a few occasions we’ve used the uTube app, and we occasionally use Plex to stream videos from our NAS. As the TV is not in the music room, sound is simply via the TV’s speakers. (We have a projector in the music room for movie watching, on a big screen with surround sound.)


My player is a UK spec - (modified to multi-region) - it has only Netflix, Amazon Prime and YouTube apps.

Just did a bit of serious comparison this afternoon. I noticed that on streaming 4K content there is very slight motion judder apparent on some panning type shots with the BRP. Completely smooth on the Apple box. That’s my answer I guess!

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Both of my Sony TVs had some apps but they never got upgrades from Sony and were unusable almost immediately. In the case of Plex and Netflix, the versions were unsupported within the first month of purchase.

I have seen a Kaleidescape movie server demo and found it compelling, if too expensive for me. If the $10K+ were not an obstacle, it seems an obvious choice for quality and ease of use. Like Roon for movies, I think.


Not available in a lot of countries though. When I emailed Kaleidascope, not only was it not available, there were a lot of restrictions on content.

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As others have said, the problem with Smart TVs is that the smart features get out of date very quickly. App developers would need to develop apps for hundreds of different smart TVs and that’s not viable so they concentrate on a few devices for up to date apps like Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV and Android TV.
The other thing is that a good 4K TV can cost a significant amount of money and isn’t replaced very often so a 7 year old TV probably won’t have the processing power to keep up with new apps and streaming formats whereas you can breathe new life in to an older TV with a replacement Fire TV stick for under £50 that will give access to up to date apps and performance to match. I’d never buy a TV on the basis of its smart features, they simply go out of date too quickly.


Am not sure there is a ‘best’ answer. Sometimes each service’s app can vary in functionality across different platforms, for example the NowTV app on an Apple4k box was not 5.1 native but it was on a LG tv. I have also found that apps on our AppleTV box are often the last to be updated by some services when they roll out changes.

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Thanks to all. It seems that for me personally the Apple TV box offers the best app experience and it means everything is in one place. We only use the major catch-up apps as well as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Just ordered a new one as our current one is a couple of generations old. Also the HDMI and power sockets on the latest box are spaced sufficiently for me to use a modified Chord C Power cable with a Furutech C7 connector instead of using an adapter. A small point but it helps quell my obsessiveness.

Still only using two channel sound through the main system. This does kind of grate on me a little as I feel we’re not getting the full experience possible. However the sound quality is so fantastic that no soundbar solution could ever hope to come close. It would also seem a bit perverse to have the display positioned between the main speakers and not to be using them for TV sound. To build a full surround system of the sort of quality to match the existing kit would just be too costly to even contemplate, and lesser equipment would inevitably drag the quality down. Plus the additional speakers, wiring and complexity is something I really wouldn’t welcome.

So it looks as though we’re stuck in the dark ages with two channel. Fortunately having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s all of my formative cinema experiences were mostly in mono so it’s not as disastrous as someone who is used to multi-channel cinema sound as being the norm. The large horn-loaded Klipsch speakers we use curiously on video sound seem to provide something of the flavour of that old style cinema sound albeit far more dynamic and resolving. I expect most of the cinemas I frequented back then were using JBL horns or similar powered by valve amps so that’s probably why.

More likely Altec Lansing. And surprisingly good they were, too, for their time - considering they were designed in the 1940s

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Have you seen what the Altec Lansing brand makes these days? It is enough to make you cry. “Lowest Common Denominator Crap” doesn’t even come close to describing their slide from legend to loogie. I guess Lansing had some indication that the glory days were over when he went on to form JBL.

Well, 3 channel if you include the Ghost Centre.

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No, but there is a worst answer, which is to use the apps bundled with your “smart” TV.
Apple TV user here, receiving regular app updates. I suspect the fire TV/Stick also gets regular updates.

TV manufacturers are happy to advertise Netflix/Disney+ etc… as features, but are clearly reluctant to fully support those services with updates and optimisations, unlike a dedicated streamer box.

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