Discussion in 'Asus Qube' started by john30308, Apr 25, 2013.
I'm dying to find a review by a real user.
OK - I just ordered one. Saturday delivery. I'll let you know what I think over the week-end.
Just finished setting mine up. Here's my initial impressions.
Unplugged my Pulse and plugged this in its place. Setup was straightforward, but I noticed that the interface still said Qube, and it didn't prompt me to enter my A/V receiver info. There was no A/V options in the menu as well. As I pondered this, a window popped up saying there was an update, so I updated and lo and behold, the interface now said Cube and was more polished as well. I had to re-setup my video source and the settings now had the choice of setting up the A/V receiver. Everything was straightforward after that.
The Cube interface may be clunky, but it's fast and responsive, with no lag when navigating through the Cube I may test drive it for a bit before trying another launcher. It's seriously faster than the stock launcher, especially considering you're spinning that Cube around. The interface may be faster, but the response when launching apps is still Google TV slow at times; although I would say it's marginally faster than the Pulse and Co-Star.
The remote has good and bad points. First of all, it's nice and slender and feels good in your hand. The keyboard is a full keyboard, with Esc, Tab, Caps Lock, and all of the symbols in the same locations as on a full size computer keyboard. On the other side, the combination D-Pad and Touch Pad actually works pretty well, although it's easy to accidentally push the toggle button on the side of the remote, at least in the beginning. I also accidentally pushed the microphone button on the side as well. I'm sure after a while, I'll learn to watch for those buttons.
On the downside, the keys on the keyboard are way mushy, and in an obvious design flaw, when you're holding it in your hands and typing, you can easily cover up the emitter on the end of the remote, and the key presses may not register. It doesn't happen all the time, but I found I sometimes had to reposition my hands so they didn't cover up the end of the remote. And did I mention the keys were mushy?
Having the mic in the remote is awesome. I'm just tickling the surface as far as what I'm using it for, but saying "DVR" launches the Comcast DVR. Saying a channel name changes it to that channel. Saying "Action Movies" brings up a list of action movies. I'm sure there will be other neat things Voice Search can do that I haven't even begun to think of yet.
And yes, it's bigger than the Pulse and Co-Star, but for now, I actually think it looks pretty cool sitting next to the TV. I always wanted to hide my Co-Star and Pulse, but this almost demands to be displayed in the open.
That's pretty much my first impressions. If I come across anything else, I'll post it, and if you have a specific question, let me know and I'll try to answer it.
EDIT: Oh, and the reports of the IR blaster being weak are true. My cable box and receiver are on top of each other, and with the Pulse, I could dangle it in front of both and control both with no problem. With the Cube, I have to pick one or the other. I control the cable box with it, and control the volume through the box, instead of the receiver. Definitely less than ideal, but it works.
does cube support DTS? Just curious. Do you have a DTS file and Vimu player to test?
I received mine and set it up today. So far I am having trouble with HDCP if I go from my Comcast Motorola cable box to the Cube and then through the receiver to the TV. I'm pretty sure it's a cable box limitation and not the Cube. More reading and and troubleshooting to follow. Besides that issue it seems like a pretty cool device.
I recieved mine on Wednesday and after setup have been testing it out. Good unit with lots of features. The update is definitely better and was the first thing I completed after setup. I did have some trouble with the wireless at first but after a firmware update for my router and assigning a static IP based on the Cube unit's wireless MAC, things seem to be going swimingly.
As for the remote, I had mixed reactions based on first use. It's a nicely manufactured remote but it is a bit clunky to use. The buttons are definitely "mushy" and not ready for speed typing. Also, I have found the touch pad to be VERY sensitive so it's easy to select items by accident. I dropped by my local Compusa and purchased a logitech keyboard: Logitech® Wireless Touch Keyboard k400 It works very well:
arrow keys allow moving through menu items
ESC acts the same as BACK key and HOME key on the top of the keyboard acts as HOME key on remote... nice!
Anytime you use the glidepad/touchpad on the side, the cursor appears onscreen and allows you to operate just like a mouse. It automatically fades off after a few seconds of no mouse movement... again, nice
The keyboards uses two AAA batteries (included). I plugged the small reciever dongle into the side USB port on the Cube and the keyboard started working instantly. BTW - I'm not a shill for Logitech or anything, I just found this to be an excellent solution vs the included remote. I don't hate the remote, just find it a bit awkward to use overall. The only thing the keyboard doesn't support, aside from function keys and such, is no way to power on or off the cube, I still use the remote for that.
I also installed Open Launcher for Google TV as I wanted something more straightforward than the Cube interface. Most apps launch with the expected GTV delay though not a big deal at all. The unit plays all forms of video, including playback through the Chrome browser, without hiccups or stutters.
One thing that really bugs me is the lack of a Hulu+ app for the Cube. I just switch back to my WDTV Live and use it for that but I really hope that GooG and Hulu get this worked out so we can have a legitimate app for Hulu soon. (not holding my breath though... ugggg).
I also found the new "Play button" feature on my android phone for YouTube to work without fail. You pull up a video in the interface of your phone, tablet, etc and simply push the icon at the top of the screen and boom, the video starts playing on your Cube in a few seconds. Works really well.
The array of apps available for the Cube is somewhat limited but not bad. I have found that going out to the Play store and simply searching on the term "Google TV" gives you the most narrowed list of apps to choose from, many optimized for the Cube. Not all of my favorites are there but I have my tablet on the table in front of me so it's not a bother. After all, the Cube is really centered around delivering audio and video content not things like email per se. All the GooG services work great as expected, (Gmovies, Gmusic, etc.)
What would I change? The remote acutally. I think it's a clever design but it needs some refinement from the physical perspective. I would love to be able to adjust the sensitivity of the touchpad for one. Also, I think it may have worked better to have the side buttons located on the top or face instead. They are simply too easy to accidentally hit when picking up, holding and/or turning the remote over in their current location. That being said, the other thing use lose with the keyboard is that awesome voice search but again, no big deal. I just use the remote for that feature whenever I want to. I have found the voice search to work exceedingly well. Even if you speak a website to it, the search offers an on-screen option of seeing the result in Chrome. This is great as I can just hit the voice search and say, "googletvforum dot com" and up pops all the search results, hit the Chrome option and the search is performed in the browser with results, awesome!
For $140 the cube is a great deal IMHO. Hope you all have a great time with yours when it arrives!
If you like the k400, you'll love the k700. You might want to return the k400 and pick up a k700 instead. The k700 is built specifically for Google TV.
Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
Sorry, but I don't have a way to test this for you. Perhaps someone else who gets their cube can check this for tinsnow?
I still have my keyboard from my Revue. Does anyone know if it will work with a Logitech Unifying Receiver? And if so, will it work with the Cube?
I would like to know how the Cube compares to other GTV devices in terms of stability. I have read quite often about black screens, freeze-ups, etc that require the other GTV devices to be unplugged (or reset) to get them going again. IMO some of these "bugs" are probably inherent in the underlying GTV software (and also specifically how it runs on the ARM platform). Which is why I'm still using my Logitech Revue for over 2 years - with no urge to rush out and buy a new device.
IMO this question can't be accurately answered after just 1 day of use - give it at least a week or 2 of constant use before answering about "bugs". Thanks....
I find it interesting that none of the second-generation GTV boxes are rated higher than the Logitech Revue (based on all the customer reviews on Amazon). I would of expected the new second generation GTV devices to be rated higher than the original GTV devices - but not so and this occurrence lends support to my theory that there could be bugs in the GTV software running on the ARM platform.
There will be those that pooh-pooh the Amazon ratings - or claim that this is all due to "user error" (users not knowing what they're doing) - but IMO after hundreds and hundreds of reviews one can gain subtle clues from this information.
*Note: My Revue actually runs fairly well - but this requires me to do certain things to get the best performance out of it. But that discussion is best served for other threads.
Couple of words about cube:
Proud to say, that you actually do not need Vimu on the Cube, cause it already has a Movie Player app based on Vimu code.
Media playback capabilities are similar to NSZ-GS7. So, it WILL not play DTS. Dolby is no problem.
One good thing is native kernel support for SMB in media explorer app. So, it will stream high bitrate videos over smb without issues.
Also, Asus Android remote app is quite cool. You can navigate your music/video collection directly from the phone.
Remote seems to eat batteries very fast...
I believe so.
Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
Give this tip a try (using Logitech Revue Keyboard - model K700)
I think it is likely the only Google TV boxes that will support DTS are going to be Blu-ray/Google TV boxes. Those will have to be priced higher and Blu-ray/DVD requires DTS licensing. High priced displays with Google TV might support DTS but sub $150 boxes generating maybe $5 profit won't include the tiny niche market needs requiring license fees. I think many or all of the Android TV mini PC devices support DTS because as far as I can tell, most or all don't pay DTS licensing. DTS trying to find the companies making the things and getting legal resolution is about like playing the whack a mole game. No company can get Google certification for a box skirting licensing requirements.
Now whether any company will offer a new Blu-ray player with Google TV is an unknown but it is looking like the answer is no.
I am using the Logitech Revue K700 keyboard with the Sony NSZ-GS7 and it works well enough. The only thing I have found I want and can't do is 30 second skip forward with my TiVos, FN >> activates that function using a Revue and Sony NSZ-GT1. I feel certain the Asus Cube can be controlled by the K700 in a similar manner. If the Asus Cube can be powered off by the supplied remote, I doubt if that is possible with the K700. The K700 is far and away my favorite controller for Google TV, regardless of model I have used. I think the Vizio Co-Star is the only model to date that won't work well since that model has IR contol for other devices built into the remote rather than the box, the K700 can not send IR from the keyboard, only RF.
So far, I am disappointed with my ASUS Cube. The remote is quite clunky. It requires some real effort to press the click pad, and the side buttons are way too easily pressed accidentally.
But the deal breaker for me is the anemic IR support. There is only one IR emitter to control external devices, or should I say device. The transmitter is so weak that it will must be attached to the devices IR sensor to operate. Since you can only control one device, you end up using a second remote for turning the TV on and off, or controlling the DVR.
Although it seems to make a good first impression with reviewers, I was not impressed with the Cube interface skin. Not that I am particularly enamored with the standard GTV interface, but the rotating cube doesn't feel like an improvement.
if you have a tablet or a smart phone that will be a much better controller the stock... see at that price point.. something has to give.. i dont think they could have made the revue sell for 100 or 140 bucks with out really eating the loss... and that has the best example of a controller... the cheaper the box the more they cut here and there in form or function.. i would get the smartphone apps and then kick that awful cubic interface. put on home launcher.. from the google play store... and you still have a good unit.. it just will not be having to deal with graphic heavy interfaces or a glumpy control unit...
Actually, I am going back to the Sony NSZ-GS7. I really like the feel of that remote. The phone and tablet apps are fun, but I prefer a physical remote for every day use.
I have the Asus Cube and it is my first Google TV device. I agree with others about the remote. I am always accidentally pressing the side voice search button or trackpad toggle button. I do like the built in movie player as it plays all my DVD rips. It wouldn't play my Tron: Legacy Blu-ray rip, though, which was mkv with DTS track. This was even after going into settings of the Cube and allowing DTS pass-thru. I am now using Handbrake on the file and set audio to AC3 pass-thru. I will post back if that works or not. Does anyone know if the Sony remote will work with the Cube?
Also, the other thing I don't like is its inability to be controlled via IR. I have a universal remote and rather use that for simple features of Primetime or going to apps. I noticed the Cube has an IR receiver so I took a camera to the IR window of the remote. The only button that sends out an IR command from the remote is the Cube's power/standby button.
What a waste. I wonder why would they choose not to blast all IR out through the remote. It would make a huge difference. I fact, I probably would not be retuning my Cube to NewEgg if it had this one feature.
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