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  • djc208 - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    My sister just got a Sony BD w/ Google TV, more for the Google TV than the BD, she loves it, but she wants mostly streeming and the keyboard is much more convenient for searching than most remotes.

    I'm hoping Google does something with this. They bought SageTV last year, presumably to help them in this area as Sage had some really good software for recording and serving local media. I'd hate to see them die in a Google basement for nothing. Especially when the Sage community is now on life-support.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Boxee's remote implementation (of the keyboard) is much more CE / consumer friendly than the full fledged one which came with the Revue. The Sony keyboard is somewhat inbetween. Google needs to put some basic guidelines for the manufacturers to get the user input environment / facilities right. Reply
  • ol1bit - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    I have the Sony as well, and works great for me, but the goggle tv part isn't much better than what my wireless Vizo Tv has already.

    Goggle needs to get some content other than no name channels. Some TBS/ABC/HBO options would really help.
    Reply
  • rothnic - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    While I agree with your comments related to the first iteration of the Google TV software, I don't agree with the second part.

    I bought a Revue for $99 when the announcement that HC and market was coming to it. I have a HTPC, but don't want to have to switch over to it, wake it up etc when I just want to stream something. Installing Plex has allowed me to almost never use my HTPC anymore since I can play a great deal of my NAS(running the plex server) content.

    In my opinion the interfacing with the STB is a key integrating feature and extends your STB functionality. With the addition of the market it really will grow to be an amazing capability. There are plenty of streaming devices out there, and Google TV devices are definitely a step forward. They were just sold with alpha software and at a bad price. With both of those fixed, I see no issues with it.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Revue makes sense at $99. So, with the new Marvell SoC, we can get the 'Revue' at $99. But, does the Revue handle all the local media that the WDTV Live SMP is able to at the same price? I am not a fan of running a media server (for transcode purposes) on a NAS or another PC just to make up for the inefficiency / deficiency of the player. The player should just see a network share and stream from that in full quality (no messing up the audio or playing at a lower resolution, sorry!). The Sony BD player running Google TV could have been the perfect media player for playing MKVs, ISOs and all the other requirements that local media enthusiasts have? Unfortunately, Google TV didn't quite work what could have been its magic over there.

    For all the online services that the Revue supports, can it better a lower cost dedicated solution from Roku or NTGR or even the WDTV Live SMP?

    First, Google should get the above two aspects right, and after that, it can go and interface with a STB and a DVR. Also, people should think about whether it is necessary to really record TV.. With content available online (both legal and through 'dubious means'), the necessity to record stuff is going the way of the dodo..
    Reply
  • MSIC - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Sounds to me like Google TV is trying to do what Boxee have been pretty successful at doing - providing a robust and appealing "10 foot UI" that both streams local media and IPTV.
    Given Google's size.... why not buy Boxee??
    (I can see that it repeats the above comment about Sage, and i'm an XBMC user myself due to the flexibility that it gives, but i still think Boxee is the best stab yet at this sort of device for Mr & Mrs Joe Public).
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Yes, I can definitely see the value in Boxee's trifecta model (Free to air broadcast channels, streaming media services (OTT) and personal media collection). Google could learn a thing or two from them for Google TV. Reply
  • owan - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    But everyone out there does this. I agree that GTV tried to do it all and failed to do any of it, but theres no incentive for Google to be Roku or Boxee. They need to be more than that, hence their decision to do STB integration. The problem, at least in part, is that they pushed it out way too early without the market. With no Android market they completely shot themselves in the foot since they became a "me too" player with subpar implementation of both local and network playback and no "killer app". I guess they assumed STB integration would be the differentiating factor, but thats a tough nut to crack properly because the CableCo's are actively trying to fight internet content delivery in order to protect their business. Reply
  • pugster - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Part of the big mistake of Google TV is trying to integrate with a STB. Instead, Google should be making something that could compete with Roku's and WD tv live and go from there. A device with an ARM CPU 512mb of memory and about 2gigs of flash for less than $100 and other manufacturers can probably make it for about $60 range. Who knows, maybe google can lure content providers and make the google TV as the IPTV like. Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Google just marketed it wrong,it was a livingroom PC while for some reason people expected it to deliver content.After that,it seems,that Google just gave up on it (no software updates,no market access) waiting for the Intel contract to expire.

    "Google TV should just provide the users a low powered media streamer device with the perfect hybrid of OTT services and local media playback capability"

    Why would they do that and why would that sell?They have to provide something more,somthing that matters if they want to take over our TVs and it doesn't have to be about content delivery since that industry is ...well,nuts and it's very hard to get a reasonable ,usefull, deal. They will have Motorola soon,they might get Hulu in the end so they do have some more options than before.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    The issue is that there is still no device out there which combines premium OTT services with good local media playback capability. Boxee Box comes close, but imperfect support for Blu-ray ISOs / folder structures and the HD audio dropout fiasco ruined that.

    If there is a GoogleTV box for $100 - $150 and it gives consumers the best of local media and premium OTT services, I wager that people will be lining up to give them a go.
    Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    That might be but Google needs a bigger market and this has to go in all kind of devices so while media playback tasks should be there and done very well ,i would look at other major features that actually define the thing.The use of this SoC does suggest GTV will be more media orientated but a lot more has to be done to make it a must have device. Reply
  • gonzo98x - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    With access to the market and at some point games from the market.

    Google for all intents and purposes has just made its own console. (So to speak). You have to wonder if the big three have noticed this and what they intend to do.

    Granted that most games from iOS and Android are for casual gaming on the go but as the market matures this could easily change.

    Board games like monopoly played on your TV with the whole family for starters.

    Now where did I put that popcorn???
    Reply
  • Southernsharky - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    I wish they would consider having some kind of hardware box that snaps into your tv, rather than hardware built into the tv. I know that NVDIA filed a patent for something similar, with the USB computer concept.

    A TV should last 12-13 years (or longer.... I've had them last over 20 years). But if you have a TV with hardware built in, the hardware will be out of date in one year and virtually useless in 6.

    So what is the point of this:???

    Google should be smarter than this.
    Reply
  • JackF - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    sounds to me like the point is obvious.

    "TV should last 12-13 years (or longer.... I've had them last over 20 years). But if you have a TV with hardware built in, the hardware will be out of date in one year and virtually useless in 6."

    Manufacturer's make and sell more that way.
    Reply
  • jjj - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    You'll have all kinds of devices so that's not a problem.
    And not that it matters but the LCD replacement cycle is 6 years not 2x that, for CRT it was 9.
    Reply
  • Hubb1e - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    You mean a box that snaps into your HDMI port like this?

    http://www.engadget.com/2012/01/04/roku-unveils-st...

    It doesn't need to be some proprietary standard. A normal set top box already plugs into your TV and all you need to provide is power. This stick just takes it one step further and eliminates the power brick. But, IMO they are still "some sort of hardware box that snaps (plugs) into your TV"
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Sounds nice in concept, but that is still Roku trying to take forward its limited model of doing one thing and doing that well. Where is the local media support? I just wish Roku would evolve to support all the needs of the users, rather than just concentrating on the premium OTT aspect. Reply
  • Hubb1e - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    I'm not sure I agree with your take on where Google TV needs to go. Or maybe I am just not understanding your point.

    Google TV should be approached the same way they took over the phone market. Andriod is a universal mobile OS first and foremost and then phone manufacturers customize it from there.

    Google TV should be a set top box OS first. It should handle the basic IO, the filesystem, the basic UI, search, a browser, a jukebox, and a marketplace. They should make it available to all set top box makers who want to stop supporting all the different versions of Apps out there, and settle on one basic standard for all Apps on GoogleTV. BD players, media players, TVs could then take these basic building blocks and build a BD player or a TV based around the GoogleTV OS. App developers could design their App for GoogleTV and not have to support a multitude of other proprietary OS's.

    They need to get the basics down. An easy 10ft UI, input options like remote controls and joysticks, search and navigation, and codec support. Then Sony can run with it and build a very nice BD player with access to the entire suite of Apps in the marketplace, from Netflix to Vudu and Angry Birds, etc. They need to launch the basics of this first, a UI and a marketplace for Apps, and then focus later on the integrated search they tried for with the first version of GoogleTV.

    The other thing they need is a killer App and that for me is DVR functionality. DVR plus GoogleTV would give me access to all my cable shows plus all the streaming plus all my local content. That's the ultimate box that doesn't exist yet. That's why I think Google bought SageTV. One, for their media player firmware expertise, and two for their DVR knowledge. GoogleTV could easily launch a server/client DVR system based on SageTV's backend. Customers would buy a single DVR box with CableCard or Analog recording capabilities and a hard drive. Then, their BD players or TVs in each room could be the clients for that single DVR. This is what I think GoogleTV should and could become. Google has been very active in the Cable Card debate, and with the purchase of SageTV this is where I think GoogleTV is headed.
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    The problem with comparing Google TV (STB OS) to vanilla Android (smartphone OS) is the fact that the Android OS is complete by itself. Anyone purchasing an Android phone has a very usable device without adding HTC Sense or Samsung TouchWiz to it. If Google TV's base OS gives consumers a good out of the box experience, I am perfectly fine with that.

    Now, what is a good out of the box experience? That is what I have tried to cover in the second part. I need support for all premium OTT services as well as full local media compatibility. There is no single device out there which can do this right now (The Boxee Box, and to a lesser extent, the WDTV Live SMP come close). Once this out of the box experience is achieved, Google TV devices can opt to add any extra functionality they want (like support for AACS and Blu-ray drives / interface with DVR and STB etc. etc.)
    Reply
  • Hubb1e - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Yeah, that's basically what I was saying too. Yes GoogleTV would be able to operate as a standalone box. That basic functionality would be basically local media playback, a browser, and the App store. Any other functionality would be provided by the manufacturer like Sony adding BD playback, or Logitech adding whole home control.

    The DVR box would probably be Google branded because they'd have trouble getting a DVR company to support GoogleTV especially after the first failure, but any other GoogleTV box would be able to act as a client to the GoogleTV DVR box.

    I really think that DVR is required for something like this to work. Yes, there are other options out there for content, like streaming and stealing, but those are still big time niche markets. Streaming is really catching on, but it still lacks the full catalog of shows, lacks sports, lacks news shows, and is spotty on availability. DVRs are absolutely essential to get the average person to buy one of these things beyond what they can get in an $80 BD player of today. Most up to date consumers have a BD player with Netflix and Vudu (or equivalent) and a DVR. Combing those boxes makes sense, and Google is poised to jump on that. Other benefits are that a set top box could also benefit their mobile and vice versa.
    Reply
  • syxbit - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    If it can stream better than a Roku, do local playback better than a WDTV, do local streaming (NFS/CIFS), and be fanless, I'm buying it day one.

    If it has a fan, or doesn't do local playback of MKVs, or if it can't read linux filesystems (ext3/ext4) over USB, then I'll stick with my WDTV.
    Reply
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    Well, hard to say about if it is fanless or not, but Aple is not for open format using. Their music devices and their normal aplication customs are guite a lot against it.
    If you are going to stick on all official Apple formats, you will be fine...
    Reply
  • dijuremo - Thursday, January 05, 2012 - link

    So I really wanted to get a Google TV like device for streaming and everything else due to the low $99 price. However, it is missing one very important feature, Media Center Extender or an application that is compatible with the HDHomeRun Prime. Why? I dread paying Comcast ~$20 per month per digital box for each TV. So instead, the solution is to use the Silicon HDHomeRun Prime then with one of these on each TV in the house I can watch 3 channels simultaneously with all the encrypted channels included.

    So far the only reasonable solution is the Xbox 360, but at $199 each, it is a bit too expensive and I also assume they eat way much more power than a small Google TV box (I may be wrong here though).
    Reply
  • starkenator - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    Are the Apps on the current Google TV going to have to be re-written for ARM? Does anyone know? Reply
  • syxbit - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    A few apps (mostly games) are written in native code, and would need to be recompiled, but almost all apps are written in Java, so they'd run on the DalvkVM just fine. Reply
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    Reply
  • doctorpink - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    one thing i dont understand... do you all have unlimited cap or what???
    and quality... is it close to a x264 ~2gig video ?
    Reply
  • BrianTho2010 - Friday, January 06, 2012 - link

    For what its worth, Marvell's Qdeo technology is somewhat of a gold standard in the AV Receiver world when it comes to upscaling. Looks like an interesting chipset. I would certainly like a streaming box with this chipset. It seems better than everything else currently on the market. Reply
  • signorRosso - Saturday, January 07, 2012 - link

    In hardware or software?
    10-bit is mentioned at the bottom of this AT article page...
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4380/discrete-htpc-g...
    Reply
  • ganeshts - Sunday, January 08, 2012 - link

    Unfortunately, Marvell is silent about this aspect.

    I think it doesn't really support 10b decoding.
    Reply
  • JHBoricua - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    My understanding is that the Armada 1000 is capable of decoding 10-bit so the 1500 should too. The Nixeus Fusion XS, which uses the Armada 1000, can do 10-bit decoding. Just google 'Nixeus Fusion XS 10-bit'. Reply
  • ganeshts - Monday, January 09, 2012 - link

    It plays 10b H.264 as good as the Realteks do (lot of blocking and artifacts). In a collection of encodes that I tried out, most played back with very minimal artifacting, but some of them were simply unwatchable.

    I don't think the SoC has inbuilt support for 10b H.264 decoding.
    Reply
  • signorRosso - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the further info! Reply
  • JHBoricua - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    You have a Nixeus Fusion XS? How do you like it? I'm contemplating buying one. 10-bit aside, have you found any other another issues with formats not playing? Can it handle FLAC inside MKVs? Reply
  • medi01 - Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - link

    My 2 year old Samsung TV already plays any format I throw at it (including MKV and SRT subtitles) from USB sticks/HDDs, can go internat and has numerous widgets (youtube, picasa gallery etc)

    Why would I buy small ugly little box with a separate remote pretty please?

    Woudln't it be logical for "google TV" (can't say I'm too excited about it, but one common platform for most manufacturers sounds much more attractive as each manufacturer having to develop their own OS) to actually be part of TV, instead of external boxes?
    Reply

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