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First Look at Honeycomb For Google TV

Discussion in 'Google TV News' started by Rickaren, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    [​IMG]

    First Look at Honeycomb For Google TV

    I had a chance to play with the leaked beta version of Honeycomb for the Logitech Revue. Google announced they would be releasing the Honeycomb update this summer, so this could be close to the final version. Aside for a few bugs here and there, it feels pretty final. After using it extensively this past week, I’ve found a few features and improvements that are worth checking out.


    Chrome to Phone
    This is an extension for the Chrome browser that sends links to your Google TV (think of it like AirPlay for links). My boyfriend and I use it when we’re surfing the internet and want to show things to each other. We usually always have the TV on for background noise while we’re both on our computers in the living room. What’s great is that since Google TV uses an HDMI passthrough, one doesn’t have to change the input to use it (unlike Apple TV and AirPlay). The integration is seamless and makes our TV act as a display center piece that friends can view when we have them over.


    [​IMG]
    Apps
    The big update in Honeycomb is the inclusion of Android Market. Right now there are only a few apps that are specifically made for Google TV, but in general I’ve found that other apps still work well anyway. Jumping in and out of apps is super quick and with picture-in-picture, moving through apps doesn’t disturb your TV watching experience.

    [​IMG]

    Notifications
    When you download apps, they act as they would on a Honeycomb tablet, which includes notifications. Notifications pop up on the bottom similar to the way they do on an Xbox 360. Some people may not like the idea of notifications disturbing them while watching television, but if you’re someone who usually has your TV for most of the day/night, the notifications almost act like an informational billboard or stock ticker of your social networks.

    [​IMG]
    What’s On
    The new updates put movies, TV shows and live TV all in one place. It categorizes them in genres and you can organize them by HD and what time they’re on. This app can accompany your cable box guide and is a helpful tool when you just don’t know what to watch. For example, I usually like to watch comedies before bedtime. If I’m browsing Google TV at midnight, it will show me all the comedies on at that time. Each program has a thumbnail image as well as a progress bar that shows the duration of the program and how many minutes are left. With one click, Google TV changes the channel on my cable box. The program guide also includes free TV shows and movies across the web, sending you straight to the website.

    [​IMG]

    Speed
    Google TV with Honeycomb is fairly speedy—I would say it’s at least twice as fast as it was before the update. The search bar pops up instantly without hesitation and makes a huge difference. Before the update, Google TV was slow and laggy—it got to the point where I was barely using it just because of how slow it was. Now it actually feels like it’s part of my television. Things like finding channels, typing in names of shows or looking up YouTube videos are now a far more enjoyable experience. The overall speed of Google TV is a major improvement.


    All in all, this update is what Google TV should have been since the start. What it really comes down to is how you currently watch and use TV. If you want something for Netflix, Hulu and purchasing movies, other set top boxes like Apple TV, Xbox 360 or Roku get the job done perfectly. Google TV, however, approaches internet TV a bit differently, acting as a new way to interact with cable TV, find content and display connected information. Google TV may not have lived up to expectations since launch, but with the Honeycomb update and dramatic price drop ($99), it’s definitely worth a second look.



     
  2. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    Very good report on this one Rick!!
    I enjoyed looking and reading thru it quite well!!
    Thanx...:cool:
     
  3. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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  4. sparkyscott21

    sparkyscott21 Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm really getting peeked reading these for sure ... Keep them coming... [​IMG]
     
  5. Winkle

    Winkle New Member

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    why no news about Sony's Update?? If this is GoogleTV stating the "Revue" is misleading..
    Im thinking the interface between Sony / Logitech is very different..
    - So no customization of GUI> wallpapers ect..
    * download manager?
     
  6. trallyus

    trallyus Active Member

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    I wish the people who put honeycomb on their revue would test it out to see if it will read NFTS formatted hard drives after the update as a lot of folks keep asking about it. I assume the revue has a usb port as I don't own it.

    It would be nice to know so when my Sony Tv gets the official update that I will be able to plug in my big drive to the tv.
     
  7. Jmprnbr1

    Jmprnbr1 New Member

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    Have people tried updating to the latest flash and watching Netflix and hulu through the browser?
     
  8. trallyus

    trallyus Active Member

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    I read elsewhere that Netflix did not work with update and forget if they mentioned Hulu or not.
     
  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    There's no way to download any version of Flash (that'a above 10.1) on our current Google TV operating system. The beta version of the 3.1 update probably has a higher Flash version than 10.1. I read that Netflix and Hulu don't work with the beta 3.1 build. I would expect that by the time the official 3.1 build is released that Netflix will work - however unless Google buys Hulu or unexpectedly strikes a deal with Hulu - I am not expecting Hulu to work.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2011
  10. Chiron16

    Chiron16 New Member

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    True!!!

     
  11. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    Nope, it would not work unless you the change your UserAgent setting on the browser, as well as installed a modified APK for Flash which spoofs its presence as a Windows PC. Through the web browser and flash plug-in Hulu is blocking any platform which doesn't appear to be a Windows or Mac computer. They provide an application to certain platforms for HuluPlus as a seperate subscription service to the free Hulu service available on our PC's and Macs.

    I've come to realize there's multiple ways that platform segregation can be circumvented and recountered. Originally, it was just the User Agent string from the web browser but there's also the flash.system.capabilities class from the Flash plug-in and the navigator object from javascript. These are all valid methods which web programmers can "tailor content for your platform".

    BTW, each method above is linked to the respective web scripts which show your system's public identity.
     
  12. Cygnus

    Cygnus New Member

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    Great that the honeycomb update runs fast on Revue. That was my biggest concern. I hope it is fast enough to play games on. I read that a new version will be released and will have gaming capabilities. I also hope that update netflix app supports 5.1 sound.
     
  13. bfready

    bfready New Member

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    I just hope it comes out! It seems like they push back the date every time we think it's close!
     
  14. alexg213

    alexg213 New Member

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    I was wondering. Have you tried hooking up an Xbox 360 or PS3 to it? The reason why I'm asking is that my sony internet google tv lags a bit when playing games.

    I know you mentioned this update is extremely fast. Just wanted to know your thoughts on this issue.
     
  15. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    The lag you're experiencing is from the Intel CE4100 reprocessing the stream. This allows seamless access to Google TV overlays while using the LiveTV app. Unless Google employs a way to disable this post processing there's no way to remove the lag. However, you could minimize the symptoms by using 720p with component cables from your game console.
     
  16. alexg213

    alexg213 New Member

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    Well if they don't fix it, that's just unacceptable. Obviously, this is something they should have tested before the tv came out. Alternatively, they could have put it somewhere in the product description so that people like me don't have to go through these "workarounds".

    I really hope they fix something in the next update. Again, in this day and age where SO many people play Xbox, PS3, and Onlive, there is no excuse for this to pass their testing.

    GOOGLE/SONY - FIX THIS PLEASE!
     
  17. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    This is one of those cases where they going to feel that it "acceptable" unless they have enough people who call in to their technical support to complain. Here's what it currently says on their support site.

    So, you can't just post on random forums if you irked about it. You'll need to actively be the squeaky wheel, if you really think it is that important.
     
  18. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I have a PS3 and a Revue and have absolutely no idea why anybody would run the game console through Google TV. Is a limited number of HDMI inputs the reason? PIP? I sure have no plans to set it up that way.
     
  19. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    The Sony Internet TVs have four HDMI, one component, one optical audio, and analog stereo stereo connections. All of these connections are tied through Google TV, so the lag is unavoidable. Unlike some other televisions which either have a "Game Mode" setting or a dedicated "HDMI Game" port.
     
  20. alexg213

    alexg213 New Member

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    I wouldn't say this is a "random" forum. When I type in "Google TV Forum" this is the first site. From everything that I have researched, Sony is no help and Google redirects people to Sony. I have also seen postings from Google TV staff so I know they see this.

    Don't get me wrong. I absolutely love my Sony Internet Google TV. It's just that gaming is an important part of what I do with this TV, so it sticks out like a sore thumb. The inexcusable part is that if you have hdmi, there is no way around this. No dedicated "No Google TV" input that prevents this post processing. They have to know that a lot people are going to complain and they let it out the door anyway.

    I just hope that this new update at least lowers the latency significantly.

    Sorry if I'm ranting but I'm a programmer and understand there are going to be bugs in a version 1.0 product like this. But, there are certain base standards that need to be met to release the product. Saying that products like Xbox and PS3 don't work very well on it is not an acceptable compromise even for version 1.0.
     

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