Expired Hot Deals

[Staples] Chromecast with Google TV $59.99 (after $10 off coupon)

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Sep 6, 2008
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Tha DraGun wrote: Cinema hd is free. Having real-debrid is better but you don't need it. Just the same as kodi.
I have an alldebrid account so it might be worth a look then. Can you post or PM me a non scammy apk link so I can check it out? Thanks!
Jr. Member
Aug 3, 2014
168 posts
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Surrey, BC
mfmfmf wrote: Thanks for the info on the Pik TV app. That looks interesting.

Unfortunately, I don't have a subscription to Pik TV. The info I would like is on the other app offered by Telus: Optik TV. It's meant for phones & tablets but I have it working on the FTV stick 4k but not on the Cube. So I'm wondering about its status on this CC.
you dont need PikTV for it to work. I only have optik and i can sign in and access all my channels.
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Dec 30, 2006
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hyperactiveme wrote: Yes and I remapped the YouTube button to work with it
Nice, awesome. Have you found that the latest version of "Smart YouTube TV" seems to be unable to cast anymore? Maybe it's because I'm trying to cast with YouTube Vanced on my phone. It was working before the update about a week ago.

Off topic, but do any of you guys have suggestions for a good VPN to use with streaming as well as just in general usage? I only use basic apps but would wanna try learning to use stuff like Kodi and Plex. I have my Firestick 4k currently and am waiting right now for my Chromecast with Google TV from the Google store currently and am looking at how to start maximizing these things.
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Jul 1, 2009
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thesearchfordean wrote: I have a fire TV 4K stick, and a Shield. I have a collection of movies that I used to stream locally, but have now moved to Google drive and access with Kodi to stream (though I'm looking for a better Google drive solution).

On the fire stick, movies in dolby digital sound fine, but there is a huge difference with truehd files, even though the receiver shows "direct" instead of truehd. I guess maybe Kodi is decoding it and sending it as a discrete 6 channel signal? I even compared certain movie scenes side by side with the shield, and despite whatever the receiver shows, truehd/dtsma sounds the same compared to the fire stick playing the same file. I'll say again that there's a giant difference between the uncompressed formats vs. standard Dolby digital or DTS.

I'm considering returning the shield and getting the Chromecast, because the frame rate only seems to change in Kodi, there is no Apple TV+ app, the AI upscaling is no good to me (introduces tons of artifacts) and YouTube doesn't work in HDR. The benefits only seem to be frame rate switching, and HD audio passthrough, but if that's anything like the fire TV, it may sound exactly the same.
A couple things.

AI upscaling works really well, but is highly dependent on your source material. If you playback a low bitrate or poorly encoded file it'll only magnify the artifacts that are inherent in the source material as it upscales to 4K and this can look quite terrible. However, if your source material is encoded properly and at a high enough bitrate where you don't notice the artifacts without AI upscaling but it was encoded at 720 or 1080p then AI upscaling can look excellent upscaling it to 4K. The same goes for any streams you may play back from youtube, Netflix, Amazon Prime, etc. If the source material isn't 4K then AI upscaling can make these streams look so much better at 4K, as long as it was a decent encode with decent bitrate to begin with, just at lower resolutions. One really needs to toggle AI upscaling off during playback of poorly encoded or low bitrate material, which is easy to do by holding the menu button durring playback to toggle it on/off. Its definitely hit or miss for some people, of course.

As for audio: if you are seeing "Direct" then your source device (ie: Shield, Firestick, etc) is decoding the media's audio stream and sending along uncompressed PCM channels already decoded to your pre-processor/receiver/soundbar for playback directly over HDMI or eARC (no ARC support). If you have a traditional 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup this is just fine and is actually a good setup as something like the Shield can decode the audio and video in a way to reduce judder in 23.976 material among other enhancements. The problem comes with Dolby Atmos or DTS:X sources that support object based sound instead of speaker or channel based sound. Previous uncompressed formats such as Dolby TrueHD (without Atmos) and DTS-HD MA support up to 8 channels only of sound with no effects channel support, etc. Dolby TrueHD with Atmos and DTS:X object based formats on the other hand can support up to 13.2 channels (and more) and where the sound comes from is spread all over your room via those multiple speakers, depending on where the sound engineer placed that sound object. This is in contrast to traditional TrueHD or DTS-HD MA where sound is sent to a specific speaker only.

When you have your source device decoding the sound instead of "bitstreaming" it to your pre-processor/receiver/soundbar that supports object based formats (TrueHD with Atmos, DTS:X, etc) then you are *losing* all that object based information and only addressing up to 8 channels of uncompressed sound (and thus seeing "Direct"). If your pre-processor/receiver/soundbar supports Dolby Atmos or DTS:X and you have the speakers setup to take advantage of that (or they're built-in to your soundbar, etc) then you absolutely do *not* want your Shield, Firestick, etc decoding your soundtrack to PCM "direct" channels but instead want to set those devices to "bitstream" or pass through the audio tracks to be processed by the pre-processor/receiver/soundbar itself - if they support that (the Shield does). This will allow you to get the full Atmos effects and, without doing so, these will get wiped out. The following is an example to help make it clearer.

In my home theatre I have five effects channel speakers: one mounted centered high near the ceiling over the projection screen, two mounted left and right in the ceiling in the front half of the room and two mounted left and right in the ceiling in the rear half of the room (between the front and second row of the seated positions). In addition to the effects channels, I have a traditional 9.2 setup of speakers near ear height (front left, center, front right, mid-room left and right, rear seated position left and right as well as rear back left and right in addition to 2 subwoofers). Add them all together and that makes my setup a 9.2.4 system (or 13.2 when written to describe amplified channels). If I were to have the Shield decode a TrueHD: Atmos movie and send along uncompressed PCM channels ("Direct"), I'd have sound *only* come from the ear height speakers and no sound come from the ceiling height effect speakers. When I have the Shield send the unmolested "bitstream" to my pre-processor, it decodes Dolby TrueHD with Atmos or DTS:X (or Auro-3D processed) soundtracks and sends each object based sound to speakers all across the room depending on where the sound engineer placed them... including the 4 or 5 effect channels in/near the ceiling. With the newly released DTS:X Pro one can setup a system with up to 32 speakers (!) and it'll work with all existing DTS:X encoded soundtracks. But again, if you were to allow your source device to decode your DTS:X soundtack (ie: "Direct" mode) then you lose all these channels outside of the standard 8 uncompressed that older TrueHD or DTS-HD MA supports.

Thankfully you don't need 13.2 or 32 channels or speakers to take advantage of TrueHD with Atmos or DTS:X. Thanks to what's called spatial remapping built in to your receiver's TrueHD Atmos or DTS:X decoder, even a more standard 5.1.2 setup can take advantage of those extra effect channels... but only if you allow your pre-processor/receiver/soundbar to decode the soundtrack, instead of your source device such as the Shield.

That was long winded, but hope that helps you understand what your system is doing and what you may want it to do instead, depending on your sound setup. Return your Shield for a Chromecast with Google TV only if you don't care about uncompressed audio or having the Shield set your TV's framerate to match the source material. Don't forget: the Chromecast with Google TV doesn't support *any* uncompressed audio formats and will downmix TrueHD: Atmos and DTS:X soundtracks to standard 5.1 compressed Dolby Digital, thus losing all the effect and other channels.

tl;dr: if you have a standard 2.1, 3.1, 5.1 or 7.1 speaker setup you should allow your source device to decode and send PCM "direct" to your receiver/soundbar (Chromecast with Google TV cannot do this). If you have any effect speakers you should bitstream your soundtracks and have your receiver/soundbar that supports Atmos or DTS:X decode it instead. As well, if you have poorly encoded or low bitrate material, turn off AI upscaling on your Shield Pro, otherwise it can look really good with good source material.
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Oct 27, 2016
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merciscool wrote: source? the old chromecast could be, and I believe the fire tv stick as well


fastboot flashing unlock fails

fastboot flashing unlock_critical doesn't do anything
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Feb 24, 2003
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Feegus wrote: This goes until the 31st according to OP. Why is it now in Expired Hot Deals?
Coupon code no longer works online?
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audit13 wrote: Coupon code no longer works online?
Did it ever? I think most of us had to chat/call to get them to apply it but afaik that still works to get the $10 off.
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Feegus wrote: Did it ever? I think most of us had to chat/call to get them to apply it but afaik that still works to get the $10 off.
I don't know if anyone got it to work on line.

I was thinking of getting the Chromecast but I got the Bell Streamer with Bell Internet and DV isn't that important to me on my bedroom tv. I do like the CC remote though.
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audit13 wrote: I don't know if anyone got it to work on line.

I was thinking of getting the Chromecast but I got the Bell Streamer with Bell Internet and DV isn't that important to me on my bedroom tv. I do like the CC remote though.
tbh the CC remote is probably the worst part. Is slippery like a small bar of soap lol but being able to control TV/receiver volume and power etc as well as the ability to remap the buttons is pretty awesome.
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Aug 19, 2003
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Feegus wrote: I have an alldebrid account so it might be worth a look then. Can you post or PM me a non scammy apk link so I can check it out? Thanks!
It's best to get CinemaHD from a filelinked store. Then you can get the ad free modded version. Otherwise, this site gives instructions how to install the original version.
https://troypoint.com/cinema-apk/

But if you have alldebrid you can use syncler too. Its a TVzion clone. Doesn't cost anything extra.
It Works great but it's a bit tricky for some people to set up.
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Feb 24, 2003
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Feegus wrote: tbh the CC remote is probably the worst part. Is slippery like a small bar of soap lol but being able to control TV/receiver volume and power etc as well as the ability to remap the buttons is pretty awesome.
Oh, I would still take the remote over having to use my phone or tablet with the Chromecast lol
Jr. Member
Aug 19, 2011
101 posts
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VANCOUVER
JayPatelRFD wrote: you dont need PikTV for it to work. I only have optik and i can sign in and access all my channels.
I just tried it...and you are right, it does work! Very interesting...

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