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Comparing Cube and Co-Star

Discussion in 'Asus Qube' started by john30308, Apr 29, 2013.

  1. john30308

    john30308 New Member

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    (NOTE: UPDATED AFTER A MONTH OF USE)

    This review compares the Asus Cube to the Vizio Co-Star. I've been a Co-Star user for several months and had the Cube for about a month now. . I bought the Cube hoping it was an upgrade and would overcome my minor frustrations with the Co-Star (freezing up several times a week and somewhat slugish). Here is my experience:

    - The Cube isn't an upgrade for the Co-Star. Its overall performance is very similar. It's not slow, but you do have to be patient. And it still has quirks. Overall, it doesn't operate smoothly like a true, solid consumer device.

    - Both use the same Marvel 1500 processor. I think that is root of the problem. Until a device with an upgraded processor comes out, the GTV STB's aren't ready for mass consumption and are more of a hobby device. They are just too fussy.

    - Several others have pointed out the Cube remote has two design flaws. The buttons on the side are VERY EASY to accidentally push, especially when picking up the remote. It is a major pain! And the blending of the touch pad with the D-controller was not a wise choice. You have to be very conscious of how you are pressing the controller. Even after 3 days of heavy use I find myself having to actually look at the controller to avoid hitting "OK" instead of "UP". UPDATE: a month later, same opinion. Fewer accidental selections, but only because I've grown so deliberate in using the remote.

    - As discussed by others, out of the box, the IR control situation on the Cube is a problem and doesn't provide enough control options. To solve the IR control situation you need to get a dual or tri- IR blaster, as noted by the poster below. It's only a few bucks and totally solves the problem, giving the Cube a big edge over the Co-Star. Still, the Cube should have shipped with at least a dual blaster - most people these days have at least a STB and TV to control. Also, the wording of the IR setup is not clear and led at least me to believe that the IR would control either the STV, TV or AVR, not all of them simultaneously.
    - The Cube interface is "cool" but not helpful and at least for me annoying.

    - Just like my Co-Star, I was having issues with the device failing to shut down properly and getting hung-up/freezing, which results in a need to unplug every 3-4 occasions of use. I now believe that it's not the Cube, it's the Open Launcher app that appears to make my Cube unstable - occasionally failing to shut down and needing to be rebooted. I've made the app developer aware, but a fix isn't on the immediate horizon. Using just the Cube Launcher, my system is much more stable.

    - Voice Search as integrated into the remote is great. It's substantially better than having to use EasyRemote or the GTV remote on your phone.

    So as much as I was hoping for a GTV upgrade, the Cube isn't it. I'm hoping for something better as the year progresses.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2013
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  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    You are stating subjective opinions as if they are facts. I am certainly a non techie, a 61 year old non techie, and use three different Google TV boxes with great results. As far as IR control from the box rather than the remote being a fatal flaw, I think that opinion places you firmly in the minority. I can state with absolute certainty that for my needs, IR from the box is far and away a better solution and as far as I know all manufacturers except Vizio understand that and offer Google TV models with IR control from the box, both directly and by use of an IR blaster. I am so technically incapable, I can't even use the popular little qwerty keypads and must use a full sized keyboard like the Logitech K700, which is an RF control. Of course a good Google TV Bluetooth full sized keyboard would work fine with the Bluetooth Google TV models if I had been able to find one. So far, none exist as far as I can tell so I use the RF keyboard with USB receiver.

    I have noticed the market, at least so far, much prefers very simple like Roku or Apple TV, rather than more complicated and more capable like Google TV but I am not alone in understanding how all popular streaming boxes work and still prefering Google TV by a large margin. Although I am not alone in that group, I am clearly in the minority.
     
  3. 007_shark

    007_shark New Member

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    I think Google TV would catch on more if it was able to be better integrated into a system. I use to design and install home theater systems for 10+ years. This would be a nightmare to integrate into a client's system except a bedroom. I think they need to add the ability to control this with IR for the simple controls of the D-pad, Home, Back, Options, Guide, PIP, Live TV. This would allow other programmable remotes to control this. Even the Roku has this ability with its RF remote. This would allow Google to get their foot into the Living Room even if people only used the PrimeTime feature which I really like.

    Personally, I would like the Google TV search expanded to include local and shared media. I have my movies and music all on shared drives. Currently I use Plex to access this across platforms of PCs, tablets, Roku, and now Google TV.
     
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  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your post. You answered my question about "bugs" (which I had raised in another thread). My assumption appears to be correct.
    See post #10 in the following thread:

    http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/asus-qube/7677-anyone-forum-own-one-yet.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  5. john30308

    john30308 New Member

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    Sorry if I was unclear. I too like the IR from the box - it just needs more than one IR output.
     
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree with this and I think it is something that can be improved upon.

    However as far as better integration being similar to what is currently offered by Dish Network - (which includes deep Google TV DVR integration with Dish, integrated Dish On-Demand programming with GTV etc.) - I don't think it is likely to happen with Comcast and the other major TV providers.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2013
  7. rtalain

    rtalain New Member

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  8. john30308

    john30308 New Member

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    Have you done this? In the set-up it seems like you have to pick which device the IR will control - TV, STB or AV. So if you pick all three (or two), it works? I haven't tried it.
     
  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I don't own the Cube but with the three models I do own, I use dual or triple IR emitters to control three different devices, TV, AVR and TiVo. Certainly all three could be controlled with just a single emitter cable if all three could see the IR signal. I can't imagine the Cube can only control 1 device.
     
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  10. rtalain

    rtalain New Member

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    Yes. In fact, after I sent the post, I remembered I had a dual IR blaster from an old Tivo box I had, so I dug it out and swapped it out for the single IR blaster. Now my Cube controls my cable box and I can change volume with my A/V receiver. Just remember to change your settings so your A/V receiver controls the volume.

    Ron
     
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  11. john30308

    john30308 New Member

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    BTW, I used "Boxfish Live Guide" to control my Cube last night. Works great! The app is fully functional but not quite perfectly solid yet, but a very cool way to control the Cube. As these apps mature and GTV matures, TV watching will never be the same again.
     
  12. WhoDis

    WhoDis New Member

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    I just replaced my Revue with the Cube. My only complaint is, as you said, those dang buttons on the side!!! The voice is the one that really annoys me, why is it there when there's a button on the front? You have to keep clicking back to get out of it, at least with the pointer, it's just one click to get back. Wish there was a way to disable it. Other than that, I like it better than my CoStar, but it's getting to be a big enough annoyance that I'm considering selling it and getting another coStar.
     
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  13. Terry

    Terry New Member

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    Just bought a new Cube at Staples in Canada, and surprise! It came with a dual IR blaster!
     
  14. gtaguy

    gtaguy New Member

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    hey terry when you setup the cube did you have to enter in American area codes or did it allow for canadian Postal codes ??? .. Im super shocked that staples is carrying this unit when its only supposed to be for the american market..
     
  15. Terry

    Terry New Member

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    Took my Cdn Postal Code (IIRC), but it's not integrated with Rogers Cable, so the Guide doesn't work, but I pretty much expected that. Anyways, I decided to return it for a variety of reasons - refer to my other post.
     

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