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GS8 + Roku Stick

Discussion in 'Sony's NSZ-GS8 / NSZ-GS7' started by gem_n_eye, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. gem_n_eye

    gem_n_eye New Member

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    Hello, folks. First time poster here with some questions. First off, this site is a great resource for all things GTV and I've been browsing the forums for various ideas on my present situation. So thanks for providing such a forum.

    Now I realize the Sony NSZ-GS8 is a discontinued product. But hear me out first. Here's my potential situation:

    I'm thinking about buying this unit for my 82 yr. old dad. He's old school and modern technology left him back when TV's first went color in the 60s. ;-) I've slowly been nudging him towards learning how to use "smart devices" of all types; phones, tablets, TVs, etc. The thing is, he doesn't care how they work. Just simplify the process to make whatever device work as painlessly as possible. In other words, the less clicks for him to remember, the better.

    So far, I've managed to teach him how to navigate his way into the Google Play Music app on my Android tablet. I've stored all of his mp3's in the Google cloud, so it's quite convenient for him. Basically his clicking habit for Google Play Music goes like this:

    Press the power button on tablet.
    Swipe screen to get to home page.
    Click Google Play Music app.
    Click "I'm Feeling Lucky" box.

    And that's it. That's all he cares about. He likes to listen to his music in shuffle mode.

    So here's my thinking on this situation. I'd like to integrate the GTV platform between his Time Warner Cable box and TV. This way he can have access to both Live TV and Google Play Music with just the click of a button (and voice too). He has absolutely no interest in Netflix, Amazon or anything else from the Android app ecosphere.

    Now I realize GTV has a very limited app selection for their set top boxes. This is where the Roku Stick comes in handy. I bought him the stick as a fallback device. Recently Time Warner Cable experienced an outage in our area and the TV was down for a whole day. During that dilemma, he was missing his baseball games that day. It just so happens that only the TV portion of TWC was down, but Internet and Phone was unaffected and working fine. So I bought him a Roku Stick with the idea that if/when another TV outage happens again, the Roku Stick will give him access to watchESPN, FoxSportsGO as well as the TWCTV app, which are not available for GTV devices.

    So my question is, has anyone here tried a GTV device + Cable box + Roku in their own setup? How is the overall user experience of such a setup? Again, I'm trying to make this as painless as possible for him, so if the Sony remote can be his "one size fits all" remote for controlling both his Live TV, Google Play Music and the Roku, then that'd be great. I realize the Roku remote will have to take over once he hits the input button to switch to it via another HDMI port, but that'll be manageable I think?

    I'm open to any and all suggestions.

    Thanks
     
  2. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I doubt you'd be able to control the Roku stick with the GS8's remote, plus that remote can be intimidating.

    How about finding a way to stream the music from the Roku stick? If you can't access Google Play Music, what about putting his mp3's in a memory device and sticking it in the Roku (if the stick allows that)?
     
  3. gem_n_eye

    gem_n_eye New Member

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    Thanks for the response.

    Sorry if my previous post wasn't clear, but the Roku will not be in regular use for him. The only time he'll fire up the Roku is when TWC experiences a TV outage. But TV outages are not a common occurrence in our area. Overall TWC has been pretty good about that. One outage per year maybe?

    But yeah, the Roku remote will have to be used if and when he ever uses it. I didn't mean that the Sony remote could control the Roku interface. All I meant was the Sony remote would switch the input, at which point the Roku remote comes into play.

    Basically all I want for him with the Sony device is access to Live TV and Google Play Music. So my question is, can the Sony device handle just those two tasks consistently? Because that is all he'll be using it for. He doesn't care about web browsing, Netflix, etc. I just want him to be able to click a couple of buttons to get from Live TV to Google Play Music in a seamless way.

    BTW, out of curiosity, can you mute the sound of Live TV but listen to Google Play Music in the background at the same time? Or does muting live TV effectively mute other applications as well?
     
  4. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    The GS7/GS8 features a video overlay, so when you go to an App, it will shutoff the live TV video & audio (unless you use the PIP feature). It might work for what you want, but like I said, many consider the remote to be intimidating.
     
  5. gem_n_eye

    gem_n_eye New Member

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    From the video reviews on youtube to online customer reviews, it seems like a love/hate type of device. Some people praise the remote while others can't stand it. I'm still debating whether to pick one up or not, but with Best Buy's 30-day return policy, it might be worth giving it a try. Thanks again for your input.
     
  6. ericd

    ericd Active Member

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    I've got a Roku streaming stick that I use in conjuction with my GTV. IMO the GTV remote may be a little intimidating for an 80 year old. If you can set up a Plex server or remote USB server for him, he should be able to easily access his MP3 using either the Roku plex channel or the Media player.

    Navigating around the sticks remote should be a lot easier (though not as snappy) than the GTV device
     
  7. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I am only 62 but I don't use the Sony NSZ-GS8 remote. We use the Logitech K700 full sized keyboard, we like it much better. As far as the NSZ-GS8 and Roku, we have both and rarely use Roku but Roku is an easy box to use and works well. Google TV just does so much more, we rarely switch from the Google TV HDMI input which includes TiVo.

    I don't think the NSZ-GS8 remote is intimidating really, I just like a full sized keyboard better and our first experience with Google TV was with the Logitech Revue which comes with the K700.
     
  8. gem_n_eye

    gem_n_eye New Member

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    I had already considered Plex before even considering this device, but the downside to Plex is that it lacks an official "Shuffle" feature. He prefers listening to his music in Shuffle mode, which is why the Google Play Music app sets up perfectly for him. All it takes is two clicks:

    1. Click Google Play Music app
    2. Click "I'm Feeling Lucky Mix"

    There is a known workaround in Plex that mimics shuffle mode, but it requires way too many clicks and a bit of navigation know-how for a guy like my Dad, so that's not really an option for him at the moment. But thanks for the suggestion anyway.

    Appreciate the suggestion, but my Dad has no desire fumbling around with a keyboard on his lap. Matter of factly it makes me chuckle a bit imagining him trying to navigate his way around a keyboard. Not gonna happen. :p But thanks anyway for your idea.

    I think I'll go ahead and buy this device at Best Buy and mess around with it. I'll have 30 days to help him get a feel for the remote and interface, so we'll see what happens. If all else fails, at least I can say we gave it a fair shot. That's why it's nice to know that we'll have 30 days to decide if it'll work or not?

    Thanks to all for your suggestions.
     
  9. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    Ha, well I can't really say I know a lot of people that have embraced using a full sized keyboard for a smart TV controller but that is exactly what this old couple does in our household. The NSZ-GS8 controller does have backlighting and is pretty nice, the small qwerty keypad is why I use something much bigger.
     
  10. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    Sure.

    As far as these things go, the Remote is pretty good. I use it. I can do searches by voice. The trackpad works well. I like that the keyboard is nice and compact, but I don't write emails on it.

    Your father may very well fall in the other camp.

    fwiw, I'm not a love/hate sort of guy. I'm just interested in functionality which works and makes things easier. Having less buttons doesn't make it easier for me to type.
     
  11. gem_n_eye

    gem_n_eye New Member

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    I hear you. If it were me using this device, then yeah, the Logitech keyboard would probably be my choice. I've already seen the Logitech Revue in action and it looks like a nice GTV unit. The keyboard itself looks impressive.

    I'm hoping he'll take advantage of the voice feature because that's just an added convenience to the overall interface that could make it even easier for him to use. I'm picking up the device on Wednesday, so we'll see how it goes.
     
  12. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    A lot of people simply aren't comfortable talking to a device. IMO, It works pretty well on the Sony, and it's far more versatile than Fire TV in that regard, but it does have an annoying habit of stopping working.

    The reboot sequence is a good thing to know (Ctrl-Shift-Delete).

    Good luck.
     
  13. gem_n_eye

    gem_n_eye New Member

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    Just wanted to leave an update. I ended up not buying this box. Turns out my Dad decided to buy a brand new Samsung TV, specifically the H7150. His older TV was a Sony Bravia 720p (2007 model). I told him I'd give him my ASUS RT-N66U router and hook up a flash drive so he could listen to his music via the router's built-in DLNA server through the new Samsung TV. The cool thing about the H7150 model is that it has a nifty Multi-Screen Link feature, similar to how Google TV works. All in all, everything ended up working out for him and he's loving the new TV and the ability to access his music via DLNA in just a few clicks.
     

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