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  • tipoo - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Glad to see a TV review here, a lot of more regular TV review sites skip the objective hard numbers. I'm curious though, sRGB was a standard set for computers, was it not? Does it make a good test for TVs, since they were never the target? Is there no separate standard for them? Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    sRGB and HDTV (Rec. 709) have the exact same primaries and white point. The only difference really is that video uses a smaller range of values (16-235) than RGB (0-255) for video, but it should hit the same color points. sRGB also has a gamma standard while HDTV does not, but HDTV and sRGB are very, very close to each other. Reply
  • dagamer34 - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    I feel like unlike with smartphones, it's not a technology problem, it's a business problem, and those are a lot harder to fix. We all know how it SHOULD work. It SHOULD be just like Netflix, but with live, recent television. A show has a "live" broadcast with ads at a certain time, then as soon as the show is over, you can watch it on demand on the same service. You should be able to pick up any device to continue watching right at the same point. We should be getting fewer, far more relevant ads because you can do REAL ad targeting based on who is watching, not what they are watch and do away with this fake Nielson crap. I care about TV shows, not TV channels. I should be able to bring up the IMDB info of an episode as it's happening to find actors, writers, directors, etc... all in real time.

    I want the TV of the future I was promised, not the crap they currently peddle to us now.
    Reply
  • J_Tarasovic - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    Ahem!!! The Ceton Q looked promising but it was announced that it was put on hold today. Too bad. Reply
  • ssj3gohan - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    And this is why the TV in its current, and past, form has never appealed to me. As soon as I got to (our country's equivalent to) college, I haven't really watched TV anymore. You can get the experience you're describing on a PC. I've been able to do that for the last 10ish years. Reply
  • hulawafu77 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Wow, you are truly a hardcore TV watcher. Reading that, almost made me think there was a new profession, TV watching that I was unaware of. Reply
  • ol1bit - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    I have the Sony Google Tv box, and overall I'd say Goggle TV gets a FAIL.

    Using Google Tv, all I get for choices seems to be Netflix or Amazon. It is no where close to MS media center! It can't see or connect to my Silicon Dust dual tuner, can't connect with any media server I have. Can't record shows, can't seem to stream video from the web other than Netflix, amazon, or youtube(yuck). Aka, media center has lots of plug-ins.

    Xbox, XMBC, Plex, MS Media center are better. Sure it has android, but you can't download very much for it.

    I use it for Netflix and Blu-ray, that's it.

    Don't get me wrong I have Android phones, Asus Transformer Prime, and they are wonderful.

    Google seems like they have no, zip, zero ideas what to do for a media device!
    Reply
  • mr_tawan - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I have Sony Google TV, and I don't use those NetFlix or Amazon.

    I mainly use it for Youtube, a lot of clips don't play properly on the box. Next thing I uses is aVia media player for network player (uPNP and some online service) and local media player. And the other thing I use a lot is Slacker Radio, eventhough I'd prefer TuneIn, it's not available.

    I don't really understand why Google choose not to include Music or Video player from the Android into these Google TV. Without these we are drived to 3rd-party app, which is not really many given that GoogleTV does not support NDK (yeah I have to blame those developer for not porting the app entirely to Android).

    Google Play is still need to catchup on what on the Android. Currently it provides only app just like Android's one a few years ago.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    TuneIn is available as a web app. You can find it by heading to the Spotlight app. It's a pretty solid web app, though i would prefer the native app. Cheers.

    Jason
    Reply
  • EnzoFX - Tuesday, October 02, 2012 - link

    No these solutions aren't revolutions, but isn't it all we need?

    A revue seems to be all I need. Skip the provider cable/sat boxes, and all you're left with is a pretty streamlined solution to stream online content. Sure it's all a lot of boxes due, but I like the fact that there's a much more direct support from Google themselves. It works. How often do some other boxes have issues with their own implementations of youtube or netflix, etc.

    Is this not all we need? The app store is the real next hurdle, and it's bound to come, but until then, direct support for the basics, which even a power user must admit is 90% of what they would do with a TV is solid. This with the fact that it will trickle into your tv regardless is a nice icing on the cake for a sweet panel. Which if you think about the market, it's all about getting cheaper panels out.
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    The problem is that Google TV doesn't even seem to meet the existing requirements, let alone define anything revolutionary. Inability to play SD content properly? That's a pretty fundamental flaw. It sounds like, from the review, anything 16:9 should work fine in "full screen" mode, but anything 4:3 would not work with that (don't want it stretched out), so you end up with a tiny little 4:3 standard def window on a big screen... I don't understand how a media player can fail so utterly at something so basic.

    You don't even need an option here. It's video playback. Whatever resolution or aspect ratio it is, stretch it up so that it takes up as much of the screen as possible without cutting anything of. It's what every single video player on the market does, except apparently for this one...
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    To be clear, that flaw, the awkward stretching of non-16:9 content, is only a problem in the "Media Player" app, which plays local content. Content streamed from the internet is almost always handled by the browser, or a provider's app, and those don't exhibit this behavior. Reply
  • jjj - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Weird to see a review for a TV here.
    Anyway, the problem with TVs is that everybody thinks of them as TVs and not just screens. It shouldn't be about how we get media content or the UI or the remote or w/e other minor thing most think is the key,we'll manage when it comes to that and those are the easy things (that was me trying to make a point without giving away very specufic ideas ).
    Google TV is just named wrong and missunderstood,it's about the internet on that screen,not about media content (even Google after a point went with the idea that it's about media).
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    The thing is, if it were just about getting the internet on a TV then we should all have slim PC's hooked up to our TV's with wireless keyboards and mice. It's about changing the way content is found. Jeff provided a good description above of what an ideal for current content would be (instant streaming availability the moment a show airs) but that's only half the equation. For content creators and consumers alike, getting the right content to the right viewer is the holy grail. And if you have new content that appeals to people that like certain old content, or that meet some other demographic measure, then you could really score big by finding a way to connect the two. Google's solution was search as a user behavior and then related content as the connector. I search for content, and whether it's available or not, I am presented with a raft of other content that is available and relatable. Reply
  • Impulses - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    " Too many cooks stir the pot in the US television industry; and until someone manages to pare that down to a scant few, we’re not likely to get the on-demand, always ready, universal experience that this pastime has been aching for. "

    Could say the same for the mobile industry (and even the music industry), although it's greatly magnified with TV. I'm hardly a Jobs or Apple fan, but the impact that they had in wrestling some degree of control away from music studios and mobile carriers was huge, I'm not sure if anyone's ever gonna manage the same for TV & movies (Netflix's probably come closest before facing a ton of push back from studios).

    Ten years from now we might remember those victories as Job's biggest impact, rather than the success of any one device... And we'll probably still be whining about cable/sat companies, studios, etc.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    +1 Reply
  • antef - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Thanks for writing this great review. Too often "reviews" on tech sites nowadays are just a run-down of the features you could get from looking at the product sheet without any real investigation, totally missing obvious pain points that a real user would see after just a few minutes. I want to hear about the actual experience of using a device, in a person's own words, like an Amazon review, and this article was spot-on. I liked hearing about some of the finer details of the platform since I haven't used it myself but have been wondering for some time if it would be a good fit for me. What I'd like to see is Google upgrade this to Jelly Bean and release a Nexus Google TV device for $99. It could have the potential to be the ultimate connected TV experience. Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the feedback.

    We'd heard rumblings of a "Nexus Google TV" for a while, and even the possibility that LG might be a partner in such a device. I think what we'll instead see is the disseminated experience I laid out. No longer will there be a vanilla Google TV experience, simply, the tools that make Google TV good will be made available to partners, and they're responsible for building the UI and fleshing out the experience.
    This is kind of a smart bet. The Samsungs, Sonys and LGs of the world have been building TV's and TV UI's for ages, and love them or hate them, they do have the most experience with them. So, for Google to do all the guess work and try to build a UI themselves is risky, especially when you consider that people have always seen TV's as a long cycle product. Six month UI refreshes work fine on phone's since people swap phones every two years, or less. Same with tablets and other CE products. To a certain extent, even PC's (look at Apple's slow tweaking of OS X). But TV's have glacially moved from dials, to remotes, to on-screen menus, to the Smart TV era. If Google makes a bad bet on a UI and a partner doesn't care to update their product with a newer, better UI, Google ends up with egg on their face (see Android phones). Now, the $99 media box changes that equation pretty radically, but that's not where partners want to be. Margins on TVs and media equipment have gotten crazy thin, and Google TV works best as a content discovery service when it's fully integrated into the experience. So, a $99 box is a compromise for OEMs (super slim margins) and the user (multiple UI's layered atop each other).
    Reply
  • antef - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the response. I would be disappointed if it played out as you predict, with Google TV's core parts just being offered to partners to integrate into products and create their own experiences with. That's essentially how the Android market works, with the exception that Google does provide Nexus "Google experience" devices, which I prefer to use. It's nice that Android exists for OEMs to create their own ecosystems out of, but I personally don't trust most of their work and would rather use the pure experience straight from Google. Imagine if you had no choice but MotoBlur, Sense, or TouchWiz on phones? That would suck.

    You give credit to Samsung's and LG's TV UI experience but I just don't see it. You pointed out yourself all the strangeness with LG's UI on this TV. Samsung just throws everything at the wall to see what sticks. Their TouchWiz UIs are the least elegant Android skin out there, and now with their new TVs they're trying voice, motion sensing, everything. An integrated experience from a company like this will always be a bad experience. Too much ads, and worse, too much of their own content and stores being shoved down our throat. It will never look like a cohesive solution, leaving the door wide open for Apple to come in and do it better.

    The $99 box should be EXTREMELY appealing for Google, for the same reason Android is appealing to them: getting more people searching the web and seeing ads. TV is a huge untapped market with lots of people not currently in the smartphone-owning demographic. Google should get hardware into these people's hands as cheaply as possible to get them searching Google, using Chrome, etc. from their couches. The $99 box is also a win for consumers as it lets them swap it out whenever technology advances independently from their TV.

    If a Nexus Google TV device doesn't happen I will probably seek out the closest to stock experience at the same price point from a partner.
    Reply
  • Mugur - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    XBMC. And if you can launch it with a single button press from the remote, would be even better. :-) Reply
  • JaredC01 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    You can install 'third party' apps on the TV, and I happen to have a beta version of XBMC on my Evo 4G LTE... Might have to give it a try. Reply
  • nathanddrews - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    +1 to this idea.

    The "perfect" HTPC has been with us for a while, I think. A simple, vanilla $350 laptop with SNB (or IVB) inside connected via HDMI and loaded up with XBMC can honestly do just about everything. Toss in a couple XBMC plugins and I'm not sure you can do better. Local, network, or Internet, you've got a single interface to listen to or watch anything you want.

    I can't wait until they get Eden-level stability into the Android app. :)
    Reply
  • JaredC01 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I actually have the 55" version of the G2.

    On 'the panel' page you state the TV has 2x component inputs. That's incorrect. The TV has a single component input and a single composite input. When using component, you must also use the audio from the composite input cable, which removes the ability to use them both at the same time as well.

    Also, you said there's 'no apparent way to change the panel order' which is also incorrect. You cannot REMOVE a panel best I have found, but you can rearrange them. The same is true with the shortcut bar, you can change the arrangement and selection of all the items in the bar side the home, notifications, and apps buttons.

    As for the 'Home' shortcut on the app bar, it toggles between full-screen video and the panel layout.

    I will also say that you CAN download an alternate launcher from the Play Store, though it's the typical tablet / phone UI and not a Google TV enabled launcher.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I've already packaged the unit up for return to LG but if you wouldn't mind filling me in on how to rearrange the panels and the shortcut bar I will add that information in. I dug through the settings and couldn't figure out how.
    I did actually try a few launcher's out, including one designed to replace the Google TV launcher, but there wasn't really any value add, and the LG launcher seemed eager to reinstate itself every now and again.

    As for the component inputs, you are correct, and I'll update that shortly. Thanks.

    Jason
    Reply
  • JaredC01 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    For rearranging the panels and the shortcuts you just have to long click on them (long click on the panel name tab for the panels) and it will give you a drag-and-drop rearrangement menu. As for swapping out the icons, it's as easy as hitting the Menu button on the remote (from the Home screen), and selecting "Customize home items". Reply
  • chavv - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    For 60$ one can buy Android 4 powered "pc-on-flash"
    With hdmi, usb, wifi, sdcard connectivity
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Do you actually own one ? If so, have you used it for months ? Years ?

    At this price, the reliability comes into question, as well as the origins of the device.

    In all honesty I too was thinking the same thing. At the beginning. Then I saw this was a full blown "PC" + screen, in one device. For $60 you're hardly going to get a HDTV along with it.

    Yes, I too have seen these devices you speak of. they are more like $70 + for low end dual core AllWinner A10 ARM based systems that are slightly bigger than a USB thumb drive. Also at $70 they do not come with wifi, or a SD card slot. Just USB, and HDMI out. Also, at these prices, these devices are all no name brand devices. From China, where yours truly has no faith in customer relations. If it were Asus, or someone else who cares about their reputation, then this would be a non issue for me.

    However, I have read a few user reviews on such devices, The best I have found so far some person bought 3 devices, and was happy with 2, because they 3rd powered up for 5 minutes before dying . . . so yeah. Whatever you like.
    Reply
  • yyrkoon - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    As an aside, I would probably not buy a device like that which is reviewed myself. Let alone for $1000+ USD . . .

    Get a rasberry PI, and wait for someone to release a google android TV image for it. Get the proper write tool for given OS, write it to a SD card, Pop in the SD card, viloa. Near instant google TV for $35 USB plus shipping. Plus time invested.
    Reply
  • chavv - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I agree, chinese device...
    Yet, for 60$ one can buy rockchip3066 (real dual-core cpu) based device with mali mp4 gpu. With hdmi, sdcard, usb and wifi.
    If retail sellers want 100$ for such device without these ports, well they take riska and want profit :)
    Reply
  • cjb110 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Having recently bought Sony's standalone box, I'd agree. I think its more powerful and better than SmartTV's. But it needs more focus from Google

    Chrome is good, but its a different version than now on the tablets/phones, and missing useful things like page sync.

    And I know Google/Apple want us to live in clouds, but until they launch all their cloud products worldwide, people need alternatives...so I think Google should have put more effort into allowing people to access content they already have. DLNA/UPNP would have been good.

    Also their Play Store is a little to restrictive, the OS is better at handling apps built for other devices than they give it credit for, allowing apps to be installed with a warning would expand the ecosystem instantly.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I'll agree across the board on this, though some of it isn't Google's fault. Google doesn't want to be on the hook for providing every aspect of the experience, and one piece they've always left to partners is the DLNA/UPNP component. I'm pretty sure all their devices are capable, but they leave it to the partners to provide an app to handle this content, and most do, eagerly, so that they can rebrand it and confuse the market. By calling it AllPlay or some such, they create FUD that their device will only work with similarly branded devices.

    And you're definitely right, the Play Store does have a lot more potential and loosening a few of the filters could go a long way. But then again, look at how many apps these days rely on portrait mode. Or have a very touch centric UI (I'm thinking particularly of touch and drag gestures). It could get really messy. Instead, simply green flagging apps could work, but then you need testers.

    Thanks for the comments.
    Reply
  • GotThumbs - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Even Though this is a break from the norm, it is based on current and upcoming technology. Down the road, I see the TV as the main interface for accessing phone, web, and home digital content. Every house will have its own server and devices will link to it for content or management. Items such as coffee makers will be wireless and link to your server for software updates as well as programming.

    I have an LG 5700 Smart TV. Even Though it does not use the same Google TV skin, I've found it very easy to watch the movies stored on my server. While the web browsing is sluggish and limited, I think this is a good start and look forward to the next generations of smart TV's that will be more powerful. Adding a touch screen capability for smaller tv's in kitchens would be cool as well.

    Overall, I think the concept is good and now it's just a matter of getting up to speed for those of us who will put the technology to use sooner than the general public.
    Reply
  • prophet001 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I know next to nothing about color spaces or monitor calibration.

    However, based on your definition of color gamut shouldn't the screen perform better? It looks to me like barely half of the color space is reproduced by this television.

    How is that a "good" color gamut?
    Reply
  • cheinonen - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    On the CIELUV chart that Jason uses (which is more accurate than the more common CIE xy chart), the goal isn't to cover the entire gamut, but to correctly align the color points of the TV with the points on the inner triangle (the black lines with + symbols on the points that you can see in the chart).

    While the TV might have a larger native color gamut than the HDTV/sRGB target, HDTV content doesn't support that larger gamut, so if it were to use it, you would actually be seeing colors that are incorrect and distorted from the intended targets. This is what you can actually see with some OLED screens on phones, as they produce a much larger gamut than the sRGB standard, but don't have the capability to correctly map sRGB content to their correct locations.

    So in an ideal world, we would cover the entire NTSC gamut (which is what the full CIELUV color area represents), but we don't have content that can use that, or display technology that can display all of it, so we use a subset of it. The important thing is to map to that subset correctly, as otherwise colors appear distorted and unnaturally bright and vivid.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    +1 to Chris, our resident displays expert. Thanks. Reply
  • prophet001 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Great explanation. Thank you very much :) Reply
  • org - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I have despaired of getting a capable, polished local media/streaming box that I just have to plug. I have now an HTPC but it is not satisfactory for all the things I want.
    I preordered the OUYA, that should get close to want I want once I install XBMC on it.A controller will probably not be as good as a good remote control, but it will be definitely better than a bad one. And as an extra, I can play games on it. Not that into Android games, but a SNES emulator would be awesome. I can even play PC games with a desktop streaming solution like Splashtop. Maybe install a tv tuner on my file server and use Plex Server + XBMC...
    I'm actually pretty excited!
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    This, though, is why things like Google TV are such risky ventures. They need to make it truly plug and play so that it gets wide acceptance. But if it requires lots of tweaks on the user's part then it'll never spread. Plex and XBMC and even Windows Media Center are all great products, that require quite a bit from their users to work perfectly. It's the list of necessary user behaviors that has to be pared down for success. Good luck with the OUYA, though; let us know how it works out.

    Jason
    Reply
  • cjs150 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    The end result should be a system (whether standalone or as part of a TV I do not care) which plays everything whether stored on a NAS, streamed from the internet, DVD/Blu-ray or just ordinary TV - ideally you would throw cable into this as well but I have given up on cable companies ever seeing any sense.

    My perfect end result connects through high end AV equipment to deliver 5:1 surround sound and has one remote control for all.

    Google TV is a long, long way from that but I have to accept that what I, as a geek, am willing to accept and what the average person wants are likely to be different. I can put up with separate boxes, funny file naming conventions etc. The average person wants something that just works - if it looks pretty as well that is a bonus.

    Apart from any optical drive, it is already relatively easy to build a system that is completely silent, capable of ripping all CD/DVD and Blu-ray on to storage, will transmit 1 or 2 HD streams that are very nearly identical to watching directly from a Blu-ray player. Sound quality is good, TV capture (apart from cable) has been pretty good for years.

    The problems with such a system are (a) software and (b) remote control.

    The software issue revolve around lack of compatability with file formats, the ability to play blu-rays, file naming conventions to name just the big areas. I like both XBMC and WMC, both have strengths and weaknesses but neither are ideal because neither really take into account how we will consume media in the future. Simple example, I want to watch a movie: it might be on a blu ray disc, it might be stored locally on a hard drive or on NAS or I might stream from Netflix, Amazon or one of several other providers or I might simply want to browse the web. I should be able to effortless move through the various options. Currently that is not easy unless you want to spent some time setting up the system and coding.

    Remote controls are interesting. Both Sony and now LG have come up with something that has a lot of potential to act both as a traditional RC as well as a keyboard for web browsing etc. To really become very useful they need to look at the Logitech Harmony range of RC with the "Activities" where one button starts a macro to do a whole series of things - but improve on the Logitech software so that there is real intelligence (i.e. remember that the TV is on so do not try and switch it on when moving from one activity to another). Ultimately (and this is already in development but still very early days) we need to move to using an Ipad or Android tablet as a remote where lots more information can be presented.

    Long winded post I know. I like what Google and LG are trying to do, but this is barely even a beta product and far too immature to adopt now
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    Great points, though I take issue with the tablet-as-remote concept. That's a lot of baggage and the technology exists to make a smart remote that is aware of device states. If all your components (source, display, receiver) are connected via HDMI 1.4 and use CEC for command and status, and Bluetooth is used as the protocol for communicating with the remote, then you could have a Logitech-like remote with macros that can modify the macro on the fly to reflect current states. Trouble is, not everyone implements CEC.
    I entirely agree that the ideal would be for a single interface to be able to query the full range of possible content options, and I think Google has a great first step towards that. Though it's a clunky affair, their access to EPG's and ability to adjust cable set-top boxes through IR blasters (and someday, hopefully, CEC) means that from their search you can do this with cable content along side streaming video options. That local storage component is still missing, and though it's a big one for those of us that have terabytes of storage devoted to movies, we are the most minor of minorities. The vast television audience mostly watches . . . television. So, for Google to put up the effort to implement a protocol for indexing and searching your media server (and to do so in a the many countless ways that your server may be configured) is not really worth it. Sad, though.

    Jason
    Reply
  • will2 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    The last 2 posts cover what I would like to see in an intelligent Multimedia/computer system, but with 1 major difference: Instead of assuming every home wants a TV with integrated tuner - a fine concept before it was seen screens could be used for other things - but which necessarily dedicates, if not limits, part of the box to a narrow form of media consumption, I would prefer the display to be just a Monitor with just numerous HDMI, USB, & Wireless connections, where the consumer is free to buy either a USB tuner with BT4 Remote for traditional 1 room viewing (cost little different from tradional TV), or next up, a small 'pendroid+WiFi' or HTPC/XBMC where, if the user wants to view TV or compute, from different parts of the home, where only additional Monitrs need be purchased (a great saving over buying a standalone TV for multiple rooms). That way, the owner is not tied to any mode of consumption, (can buy TV Tuner, or Internet feed, or Cable) and where makers can focus developments on providing a UI that allows integration of all of these flexible configurations in an easy to use mannner. A BT4 remote, that improves on the model of the Boxee Box mini-double-sided keyboard, so all you need in the room you are working in is a Wireless Display and the smart keyboard remote. If integration is done right, this should work for non-technical consumers also - so big market potential. Any problems with this idea ? Reply
  • Sureshot324 - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I have a similar remote for my HTPC (Wiimote style with a thumb keyboard) and IMO it's the best system for controlling a PC/media center from the couch. I use keyboard shortcuts for a lot of things like play/pause. Reply
  • zeiker - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    On my wishlist is a device (right now it's an HTPC /HTLT with video playback software) with 5.1 digital sound output, HDMI 1080p output and capabilities to stream internet content as well as BluRay, DVDs and - .iso files of DVDs and BRDs. Trying NAS devices, streaming routers, DLNA devices, it just isn't happening with what I see available.

    Therefore my current optimum solution (for all things video) is a discrete BRD player and HTLT and pull the net content from the laptop and mpgs and .iso files from a NAS through the laptop to the TV via Cyberlink playback software.

    Anyone know of a better implementation out there?
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    I'm actually pretty solidly against consolidation of functions in lots of cases. The best disc player, are just disc players. The best streamers, are mainly just streamers. I think we'd all love to have something that played all of those, and any other content you wanted, and did so well; but I don't see it happening, just as I don't really see it happening without compromises in the tablet space. Want a reader? An e-ink device is your best bet. Want a gaming device? Pretty solid on some SoC's, but with a dedicated handheld you know the games will work, and how well they'll work. Want a productivity device? Tablet's might be good for that, but how much more convenient for writing is a tablet than, say, a MacBook Air?

    Point is, maybe you're living in a good place if you have a good streamer, and a good BR player.
    Reply
  • smartthanyou - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    A few quibbles...

    HD did not require a federal program for the digital tuner box. The box was for the switch to digital signals and to free up the analog spectrum. HD was part of what was being broadcast digitally, but the main reason was to free up the spectrum so the Feds could auction it off. And the program was BS to begin with. Just a waist of money, people should have been forced to buy their own box if they needed it.

    The AppleTV was always meant as device for people buying into the iTunes/Apple universe. It was never meant as the next big thing.

    Finally, it will never matter what hardware and software comes out, the only way we are every going to get a fundamental change in our television viewing is if there is massive change of heart with the content producers. In other words, it won't happen anytime soon.

    With corporate consolidation, the companies involved just want to protect/grow profits. They don't want massive change, just massive piles of cash.

    As consumers, we could force change by simply walking away from their products, but we refuse to do that. We complain, gripe and bitch about the evil media producers and corporations while we hand over our money.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Wednesday, October 03, 2012 - link

    The HD switch did require federal programs to coordinate, and the tuner box was part of it, and a response to the actually flagging rate at which consumers were upgrading equipment. That issue was somewhat isolated to more rural areas that were underserved by big cable, but the tuner program was a part of it. One reason why the tuner program ended being such a flop, though, was that TV companies saw that demand had become rabid for their products and rapidly lowered prices to compete. And that's how we ended up with so much attention being devoted to 3D and now Smart TV's. Set manufacturer's need to be able to raise their margins to be profitable. Adding $50 in compute components to make your TV "smart" and providing some tag along services is cheap, and allows you to add a lot more than $50 to your price tag. Reply
  • Kracer - Thursday, October 04, 2012 - link

    It seems that every technology space is crappy until Apple comes and does what us geeks want in a closed ecosystem so that everyone likes it.
    It happened with PCs, MP3s, Smartphones and tablets.

    And after Apple comes along and moves things to where they should be we have to wait again for a proper open eco-system learns from Apple.
    It happened with PCs, Smartphones and Android tablets just need the apps.

    So until Apple comes along and gives everyone a kick up the back-side, we are stuck with customizing XBMC to kingdom come.
    Reply
  • JasonInofuentes - Friday, October 05, 2012 - link

    I think Apple has a certain undue influence, or perhaps 'undue' is to strong a word there. But there I think PC's should be left out of your list. The greatest innovations were in the openness of the Apple ecosystem and the ability for developers to extend the functionality of the OS through add-ons like Growl. It's only recently that Apple has opted to close their desktop ecosystem, and I think it's to the detriment of developers, even if it is to the benefit of Apple's pocketbooks.

    And note, Apple has thrown in with the Apple TV with just the structure you're talking about. And that has largely been a draw. It sells well, but it isn't a revenue driver. Nor is it, I suspect, a big iTunes revenue driver.
    Reply
  • Kracer - Saturday, October 06, 2012 - link

    On the Apple TV;I was thinking about the all so rumoured iTV or Apple television or whatever. Reply

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