On May 21st, I received the new Apple TV 4K. I want to share my experience so far with Infuse.
Let’s start recapping my setup first:
- LG C8 OLED 65" - professionally calibrated
- Sony HT-ST5000 Soundbar
- ZFS NAS to store all my contents (wired to the mesh wifi system)
- Plex Media Server
- 18Gbps high-quality HDMI cables with Ethernet (ENA 8719632953104)
- The receiver here is the Sony soundbar, which then connects to the TV ARC. ATV, XSX, and anything else always goes through the soundbar first
Infuse works like a charm!
Elaborating a bit more, my original setup (same as above w/ Nvidia Shield) was good, but the combination of Apple TV + Infuse makes it way better.
Most of the issues were due to the Plex (the player, no PMS) and Nvidia Shield. Getting rid of both makes the entire cinematic experience sublime.
- The synchronization with Plex is instantaneous. When something new is added there, a few seconds after is also available on Infuse
- So far, I watched a good variety of old and new contents (from 720p all the way to hand ripped HEVC > 50Mbps), and not only Infuse can manage them all (even the ones that Plex used to transcode), but the amount of configs and stress so far is ZERO (the only default that I changed on the ATV was the always-on HDR and then match content source and frame)
- The Apple TV controls the soundbar volume while on the Shield, no matter what (CEC enabled in TV/Soundbar/Shield) it never worked, and speaking of CEC, finally when the ATV is turned on, the HD-ST5000 correctly switch to the relevant input source (while earlier was a fight)
- Despite all my feelings, the LPCM audio conversion didn’t impact the audio quality at all (but it’s also true that the HT-ST5000 is not immersive at all)
Looking at a few things which I wish will soon be sorted.
- the trailer and additional contents available in Plex are great, especially when friends come over. I hope this gets sorted soon (added my +1 on the trailer feature suggestion)
- No actors face and contextual search is ugly, but this is already planned for 7.1
- last but not least, I miss Spotlight integration with Infuse
In conclusion, after only 2 days with the ATV and Infuse, it reminds me what has been recently said about the Apple Silicon and MacOS. The Nvidia Shield and Plex, on paper, check all the boxes. Still, the user experience is far from perfect. Definitely, ATV + Infuse check fewer boxes, but the experience is IMO far superior.