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Google TV - does web browser Google Chrome support Flash 11?

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by jimbo20, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. jimbo20

    jimbo20 New Member

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    Hi. I generally use a PC to browse the itnernet, but there are occasions when I need to access web-only TV channels such as extra coverage of the Olympics and so on.

    I am in the UK, but want to be able to use Google TV to browse the web in the same way as I do on a PC.

    I currently use Firefox 26 but also have an Iomega Boxee box to browse internet on my TV.

    There are issues with the Iomega Boxee though:

    No upgrades available any more. The current spec is

    Firefox 5 for Linux
    Only supports up to and including Flash 10.2.

    What I need is an updated set top box that I can use to browse the web AND to be able to watch internet only TV streams that currently run on Flash that won't play on the Iomega.

    for the Paralympics in March, the UK's Channel 4 will have two internet-exclusive channels covering extended covereage of events which will NOT as far as I know be available in any other form. In order that I can watch this on my tV, I would need a box that enables me to stream my PC's output to my TV such as a slingcatcher with Sling Projector - but that would tie the PC up.

    So my question is

    1 With Google Chrome on the Google TV box, which version of Flash does it support?

    2 What can I not access on this that I can on a PC?

    3 If there is a webcam app, can I delete this? I recently heard about webcams that even when inactive can be hacked into and I would rather have no webcam at all than one I did not know was there.

    Thank you very much and your help is appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  2. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    1) All of the GTV boxes only support Flash 10.2. There is no support for Flash 11 - and Google has stated that Flash won't be updated any further on GTV. In fact GTV devices that get updated to the Jellybean OS have Flash completely removed. All of the GTV boxes currently run the Honeycomb OS.

    2) Anything that requires Microsoft Silverlight doesn't work with GTV. In the USA many TV station web sites block GTV - I'm not sure if any are blocking GTV in the UK. Hulu is also blocked. Some web videos that require special plug-ins won't work with GTV. For instance HD videos on MLB.TV require a special plug-in that GTV doesn't support. The sports web sites such as "FirstRowSports" don't work well with GTV because GTV handles the pop-ups in a different manner than a PC.

    3) GTV doesn't support webcams.

    IMO if your main interest is streaming content from the web - GTV is not a safe bet. There's just too much stuff that doesn't work or doesn't work well. Also all GTV boxes are currently on a very outdated Chrome 11 browser. There is no way for GTV users to update the browser on their own. This can only be done if GTV devices gets an OS update from the Google/GTV manufacturers. On some web sites you will get a message that your browser is outdated instructing you to update the GTV browser (which can't be done).
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. jimbo20

    jimbo20 New Member

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    In that case there is not any point in purchasing a Google TV box if it has outdated browsers and plugins.

    How on earth is it a positive to purchase a TV or STB that browses the web if it doesn't browse the web if you see what I mean? Which version of the OS is the latest version by the way? You said GTV uses v11 of Google Chrome - but is there a later version and if so, what? Why can't this be put on GTV?

    If iPhones can h andle video, why can't sch plugins be used for connecting to TV?

    Is there ANY box that works on the TV that supports later than Flash 10.2 or does it use HTML5?

    If GTV is not what I need, please can someone suggest something that WILL do what I want?

    Thanks very much and for your explanation.
     
  4. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    The current version of Chrome is Chrome 32. No that can't be put on GTV by GTV users. It can only come with an OS update from Google and the OEMs. If the GTV boxes get updated to Jellybean (not a certainty as the GTV manufacturers aren't commenting on the update) the browser will be almost recent. For instance the LG GTV televisions got updated to Jellybean and currently they are running Chrome 29 - however the bugaboo is that the GTV Jellybean update removes Flash altogether from GTV. So there is no Flash support at all for GTV Jellybean devices. Some LG GTV users with the Jellybean update use Splashtop in conjunction with a PC as a workaround to get Flash on their GTV.

    IMO your most versatile solution is connecting a PC to your TV.

    Other than that there are the numerous android TV sticks/dongles available. Most of them come from China and cost less than $100. They are more open than GTV and you can do things such as install custom ROMS. They have more recent software and more powerful hardware compared to GTV - but there tends to be a problem with lack of firmware support from a lot of the manufacturers of these devices. Also some of the android TV devices had Wi-Fi issues. So you must do some research and choose wisely if you decide to go that route.

    Something else that sounds interesting is Asus is coming out with a Chromebox soon. The Chromebox at least has an up to date desktop Chrome browser and supports the current Flash version. It doesn't run android apps but it supports Chrome extensions. However Chrome OS doesn't support plug-ins such as Microsoft Silverlight or JAVA. (You can use a virtualization workaround in conjunction with a PC to get Silverlight or JAVA on Chrome OS devices).
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  5. jimbo20

    jimbo20 New Member

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    Thanks. So would an Asus Chromebox do what I want - ie Flash 11 or 12? And, I would probably be able to watch video that the Iomega and GTV won't let me watch?
     
  6. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Yes. There is also currently a Samsung Chromebox available and also numerous Chromebooks. Just try looking on Amazon. But I think the Asus model will be a better bargain than the Samsung model and it comes with a better Intel chip.

    http://www.googletvforum.org/forum/...-chromebox-tiny-chrome-os-desktop-179-up.html


    *Update: I researched this a bit further and Chromebooks use the Pepper Flash plug-in (not the standard Flash version). I knew that but I wasn't aware of is that the Pepper Flash-plug-in doesn't support a certain kind of DRM. (Or to put it another way - probably not all web sites have figured out how to make their DRM work with Chromeboooks). There might be some web sites that don't work with the Pepper Flash plug-in due to DRM issues. I think the number of web sites that might not work would be small. Amazon videos used to not work with Chromebooks but Amazon fixed that so now they do. (See link below for explanation)

    https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/chromebook-central/8mej6lpUwuk

    Here is a link about a fix that might work for the DRM issue:

    https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/3024219?hl=en

    And here is a good link for learning more about Flash on Chrome (various platforms) and Chromebooks:

    https://support.google.com/chromebook/answer/108086?hl=en
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  7. jimbo20

    jimbo20 New Member

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    The Sumsung one appears to be the eonly one of its type at present - am i right? So long as it comes with a remote that enables you to type the RULs in in text or using arrow keys, that is fine but it is expensive.

    I was hoping the other one you mentioned was already available in Europe. If the Samsung does the job, that is the one I will need - but maybe not yet due to the cost.

    Thanks very much.
     
  8. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    Yes the Samsung Chromebox is the only Chromebox at the moment. You could also connect a Chromebook to your TV - there are several Chromebooks available now also.

    The Chromebox doesn't come with a remote included. You must purchase an optional keyboard.

    Have you considered looking into a small-form factor home theater PC? There are some nice little small PCs that come in small box shape that are available nowadays and they can be used as a decent HTPC- (and they don't use much power).

    *Note: If you're interested in the Chromebox I suggest reading as many reviews as you can on Amazon. Also read the reviews for the Chrombooks. I think it's a good way to learn a lot of information to help make a purchase decision.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    In the US, no single box does everything I need but a combination of a Windows PC and Google TV does. I run Plex and PlayOn servers on the PC and the client apps for both on Google TV. Most things are done without the PC but some like the few sites blocking Google TV and HBOGo are accessed by Google TV through the PC. I have Google TV at each of three HDTVs in house all accessing the same PC.

    I don't know how well the Windows PC and Google TV combination will work in the UK or if you want to spend enough for a good solution if it does. The fact Google TV can control TiVo in addition to accessing the PC content, files and streaming, bringing everything into a single HDMI input makes it appear as if a single box is handling traditional TV and internet TV. The solution works like a dream for my needs but it isn't handled by a single $100 box, in fact no single box regardless of price does what I want and Chromebook and Chromebox fall way short as well. If it must be a single box, a Windows PC, Linux or Android box of some sort probably come closest.

    The Google TV/Windows PC combination also requires effort to use, primarily as a result of the fact Google TV, probably Android in general, doesn't run well with just 1GB of RAM. Running several apps simultaneously or having several web pages open simultaneously always brings GTV to a halt for me requiring a reboot or clearing RAM.
     
  10. callanish

    callanish Member

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    I would recommend the intel nuc with a wireless keyboard /touchpad combination running Windows. Expensive, yes, but versatile as it runs Flash, Silverlight, does web browsing and all done in a compact size. It makes for a very good media player as well running VLC.
     
  11. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    The new NUC is not terribly expensive and accepts standard 2.5" sata drives.

    Philip
     
  12. callanish

    callanish Member

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    In my opinion, it was expensive in comparison to my Sony GS7 GoogleTV box, especially when you add all the necessary pieces together....memory, wireless card and in my case a msata drive. The haswell i5 version with 8gb's of Ram cost me close to $600, so that's a high price to pay when my sole goal was to replace a GoogleTV box because I was eventually going to lose access to U.K flash websites when the Jellybean update comes. The i5 is overkill, I'll admit that, but it's a serious piece of kit and was the solution to any limitations that i was going to come across down the road. The less powerful NUC's are more reasonably priced and will accomplish everything the i5 can do, so keeping costs down are doable.

    I guess what I'm trying to say if i was moving on from Google TV the intel nuc is the direction i'd go in because of its capabilities. I rely heavily on silverlight, flash, and the ability to use a proxy as well as a VPN, so it's the perfect replacement with its size being just a little bit bigger than a wdtv live box, but it can pack a punch.
     
  13. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I hadn't paid any attention to the Intel NUC, it looks like it could be a good single box solution just reading about it, small size being a big plus. In a few years, who knows what I will need so I can start understanding more about that little box between now and then.
     
  14. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    The Mac Mini also makes for a good home theater PC (albeit it's kind of expensive).
     
  15. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    I have both hooked up to the same TV. The Mini is really a quality item. The NUC is very good but it really isn't up to the hardware standards of the Mini. The NUC has an external power supply and Intel doesn't bother to include the cable. The Mac has an internal power supply and is very, very quiet. The NUC I have is an i3 first generation one. I had to have it replaced by Intel because the fan was driving me crazy. I have to say that Intel was really great to deal with and the replacement is virtually silent. The Mini is an i7 and still quieter. The real question is which OS to use. I chose win8 on the NUC as you get XBMC/Plex, Netflix and Hulu Plus all in one box. Soon I gather there will be an Amazon Instant Video app for windows 8 so that makes the NUC even better. The one downside is there does not appear to be a way of having an MCE remote control native windows 8 apps in a reasonable fashion. If you are used to a keyboard then of course that isn't an issue. Perhaps FLIRC would solve that ... ? There is a bit of a schizophrenic feeling to win 8 with desktop and modern apps. I wish desktop apps would just go away but I guess that's unrealistic. With the Mac you have to run Netflix/Hulu from a browser which I personally dislike a lot. But otherwise iTunes, XBMC/Plex can all be handled with a remote especially with an app called remote buddy which pretty well gives you control of everything. Both the NUC and Mac have an app called Air Server which gives you AirPlay and it works well.

    Anyway, you really can't go wrong with either alternative (NUC or Mini). Most media players are somewhat limited compared to either. It's unfortunate Google didn't push Google TV properly and they seem to have alienated quite a few content providers with their various policies. They do seem to be trying to fix that now. GTV should have been a great success by now.

    Philip
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
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  16. callanish

    callanish Member

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    If you go for the mac mini's I7 version with 4GB's of Ram, we're talking another $200 - $300 on top of the price of an I5 fully equipped NUC which has the benefit of an SSD Drive, the ability to quadruple the Ram over the Mac mini and the Nuc runs Intel's HD5000 integrated graphics chip plus the HD5000 can be overclocked unlike the HD4000 which comes with the Mac Mini. Now, I'm not saying the Mac mini isn't a quality product...God knows I've got more Apple products than any one person should have, but to address a couple of your points. My I5 Haswell NUC came with the power cord. I know they are selling them with and without, but through Amazon, mine had the power cord in the box. The second thing is mentioning hardware standards. If it's based on Apple quality, I'll give you that, but not on speed. An Intel NUC with the I5 Haswell, HD5000 graphics card and an SSD drive will outperform the Mac mini for the same price. My only other comment would be to say I don't have a fan noise issue with my I5 NUC, but I do know that the speed of the fan can be adjusted in the BIOS, so your experience is different from mine as I've owned it since the Haswell version was released and have had no problems in which to speak of.

    So, in my opinion, yes the Mac Mini is a good product if you're willing to pay the extra surcharge that you do with Apple products, but with the NUC's ability to add and remove components at will to improve the specs plus dimensionally it's even more compact than the mac mini, I'd still give the NUC the edge because of price, flexibility, and with that SSD drive, Intel's overclocked HD5000 and 8GB's of Ram....speed.

    Either way, two good product to replace a Google TV box, but both requiring a bit of output to get them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014
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  17. pmcd

    pmcd Active Member

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    I bought my NUC when it only used mSata SSD's and they were quite expensive at the time. I then had to buy the power chord, ram, wifi/BT card, Windows 7 and later had to pay again to upgrade to Windows 8. By the time I was finished it was roughly the same price as the base Mac Mini. Now, there is a new generation of the NUC that you are talking about. It takes 2.5" drives I gather and has better graphics. The Mini was last refreshed in 2012 or so. It's not quite a fair comparison to the new NUC! The i7 I got at the time was overkill but I use it for a number of purposes since I prefer a Mini hooked up to a TV to a laptop or desktop.

    It's great to hear that Intel has gotten the fan noise under control. They had a problem with their 1st generation NUC especially if you had a wifi card in it. They did replace mine and it is silent. I had gone into the bios with my original NUC when trying to silence the fan. It was a common complaint at the time on the Intel forums. Of course some people are more sensitive to fan noise than others so it's a tricky subject. I certainly would recommend a NUC as it's a great little computer. As for the Mini, Apple should be coming out with a new one fairly soon since Intel's newer processors use less power, are smaller, etc ... unless they decide there is no place for the Mini. Might depend on what happens to the Apple TV. I've always had Minis. Really like them which is one reason I bought a NUC. I do really like it, especially Windows 8 which is odd as so many traditional PC users seem to find very little good to say about it.

    The new NUC I saw the other day was using some kind of Celeron, had a built in ir receiver and looked very different than the 1st generation NUC. It was also relatively inexpensive. Still had a fan though. Would be nice to have these units passively cooled.

    Philip
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
  18. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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  19. callanish

    callanish Member

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    Looks like Intel are getting serious with the GPU side of things on the NUC. Wonder how close to discrete graphics card benchmarks they can get out this new chip and how much will heat play a factor if a higher level of both CPU and GPU performance is Intel's goal with the next NUC.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
     
  20. Travel

    Travel Active Member

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    Well, you would think that it's all negative if all you have to go by are negatives. If you only have the "cons" and not the "pros." GoogleTV is the only internet-full access-browser in a set top box. Boxee doesn't even remotely compare to the capabilities of a GoogleTV box with the Chrome browser; and it's actually very good on streaming video performance, regardless of the fact that it's on Chrome API level 11.

    The information you're receiving is oriented toward "cherry picked" "site access situations and the restrictions of access are mostly U.S. network television sites. These aren't sites that provide the same live content as if you were watching it on U.S. television, anyway.

    Your concern is accessing U.K. television websites that pick-up on live television coverage and continues that coverage on the web site.

    If you need a browser with a Flash version above 10.2, no, you can't do it with the current Honeycomb OS based GoogleTV.

    However, GoogleTV devices with the Android 4.2.2 (Jellybean) update eliminates Flash entirely, and is strictly on HTML5, where you can access websites with a choice of the full desktop version of HTML5 or the mobile version.

    My recommendation is to look into whether the sites you want to access in the U.K. have HTML5 access versions, at which point you should be good-to-go with a Jellyybean GoogleTV device. Also, try to find out anything along the lines of present/future Android apps for the sites you want, and how well they install/work on GoogleTV.

    Hisense is coming out with the full-Google services, GoogleTV (AndroidTV) ARM enhanced chip, "Pusle Pro" set-top-box, that ships with the Android 4.2.2( Jellybean) update with HTML5.

    What's currently unknown about this box:

    When it will be on sale. Rumors range from March to this summer.

    What Chrome version. It may ship with the latest Chrome 32. It may ship with the Chrome29, but this shouldn't affect your HTML5 site-access interests.

    Cost: Rumors are $150, speculated at maybe a lower price point for attracting a higher level of sales.

    Specs: a superior chip than all the current GoogleTV boxes. Certainly HDMI "IN" and "OUT," USB port and WIfi, and most probably ethernet.

    Full size Keyboards: Almost certainly a Logitech keyboard, BLuetooth or some other wireless keyboard can be configured with USB.

    Promised updates, with no substantive reason to believe it won't happen: Latest Chrome browser API levels on auto-update, and Chromecast installed into the GoogleTV OS. Chromecast comes with HBO GO and Hulu among a growing number of other popular apps.

    No, GoogleTV isn't "over."

    Try getting the Channel1/IceFilms, etc. apps on Roku, as you can on GoogleTV. What Google has given-up on a mere handful of the questionable worth of, say, the NBC website (that isn't even a live feed of the network television station), it gains on it's independence from the "content cabal."

    Oh, and just a general note (not to the original poster):

    Forgive my pro-GoogleTV points n' info on a GoogleTV forum (chortle).
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2014

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