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It's happened. The Sony GS7 has officially replaced my HTPC.

Discussion in 'Sony's NSZ-GS8 / NSZ-GS7' started by jonw747, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I was redoing my Synergy A/V cabinet this weekend adding a couple of workbench style power strips and realized it was eating a lot of depth from the bottom row of my cabinet and I no longer had room for my Shuttle HTPC. I then realized that I hadn't actually had reason to turn on my HTPC in months - so I just tossed it out of the cabinet.

    The Sony may not have the ability to do anything a PC can do like my Shuttle and there are some audio/video formats that it doesn't support - some web pages it doesn't like, but it's clearly getting the job done and as a bonus is smaller, quieter, better integrated, easier to use, faster starting, etc, etc.
     
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  2. retroben

    retroben Active Member

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    The fact that Sony NSZ-GS7 is backed by Energy Star is the reason why it uses less overall energy.

    To compare my single core Compaq PC to my Sony box,the PC starts WAY faster than the fastest startup on my Sony box.
    Even though my PC is filled with a bunch of various media files and games including 1GB sized flac
    soundtracks,it still runs amazingly because of many different tweaks,hacks ,and proper overclocking.
    I even have extremely smooth bar scrolling in the PC's Chrome Browser.
    In terms of 1080p playback,my PC will never beat the dual-core Sony box's 1080p full speed YouTube playing capability.
     
  3. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    My GS7 starts up in under a second and does so as soon as I click a button my remote. I had to walk over and press the power button on my HTPC, and the BIOS initialization alone took several seconds. I don't let my GS7 completely power off, though, because that would prevent it from passing HDMI through. Fact is it doesn't need fans for cooling because the CPU is very low power and is also clocked slower than that used in most PCs. So, it's not as powerful in terms of raw horsepower, but I'm not claiming the GS7 can replace a PC ... rather an HTPC where the main goal is viewing local and internet media and web browsing.

    Really my only purpose for having an HTPC in the first place was to handle the things that a streaming box could not, and I'm simply not running in to any of those situations.
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013
  4. dexter

    dexter New Member

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    I believe its not fair to compare the Sony GS7 to a Shuttle PC , which normally is made to serve alot of other functions.

    essentially, a WDTV or Popcorn A400 is a better match and yet, media functions limitations, since GTV also do browsing and run quite a few apps (if you sideload).
    but media wise, the WDTV might run a few more container content formats , but if you start using BS Player or similar with networking capabilities, you can almost compare the performance of the Sony GTV with WDTV and do even better, since chrome browser also offers even more functionality.

    Comparing your shuttle pc to GTV, sounds to me like comparing cars with a Engine on a bicycle , you can do so much more with the better part like shuttle pc or a car :)
    you might consider comparing a recent tablet, with the functions offerede here (as GTV cannot run all apps), and when the tablet is attached to TV, and managed by a keyboard or mouse you get to do similar tasks, but a tablet can do more for you and for some even replace a shuttle pc or laptop , as they get used to attaching a keyboard/mouse when they are at home.

    GTV is a SmartTV based solution and its better competition is with LG or Samsung TV's. I got LG SmartTV and GTV still outperform the functions on my LG tv :)
     
  5. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    This isn't about what each device is capable of, but which device actually gets used in my house ... and my Shuttle was no longer getting used, so I pulled it out of my A/V cabinet with no regrets.

    Your mileage may vary, but it's not like comparing a car to a bicycle at all because the only defined purpose for these devices is to do the things you need done and do it well.

    As for a tablet, I consider it a complimentary device - not a competitor for GTV, as I prefer a hard button remote control.
     
  6. dexter

    dexter New Member

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    we got different goals and opinions on what devices fulfill a service in our homes. :)

    anyways, some tablets are sold with remote's and many use XBMC on top combined with a remote, so you get all the goodies of android with apps, and you get the nice full features support of mediastreaming from sites all over the world and live tv + you get local media playback, all in one :)

    I believe many used XBMC on shuttle boxes too as well, android based editions just offered a little on top which makes it even better.

    I personally only find my GTV complimentary to the existing LG tv i got, as for europe we do not have Native GoogleTV products yet.
    It will never replace my WDTV in functions as mediaplayback as WDTV is yet far superior and already have 1080p/24 playback.

    If your HTPC was based on a windows media center, any other product could easily be superior to that. but having a HTPC/XBMC based shuttle you only enhance your box by using a tablet with XBMC, where GTV has yet to run XBMC as its meant to be run. Lets hope the 4.2.2 update fixes it.
     
  7. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    IMO I don't think Google TV will ever officially embrace XBMC. Right or wrong the association with XBMC is often equated with "Piracy" by content providers.

    Google TV is not an "open box" like the android TV boxes from China - which allow rooting and will run anything without concerns for proper licensing.

    Google has too many interests with getting on the good side of content providers for YouTube, Google Play Store, GTV, etc. Google wants officially sanctioned premium aps with the proper DRM for Google TV. An officially approved XBMC app for GTV would run contrary to those goals.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  8. drhill

    drhill Member

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    DRM is for content providers (Netflix, Amazon, Comcast, etc) to make apps for the system and not fear piracy of their streams directly from the device. XBMC isn't on GTV because there isn't NDK support (yet, theoretically, since we know how update track records are). Plex is pre-installed on Sony device now. It is no different then XBMC in what media you use with it.
     
  9. CatfishRivers

    CatfishRivers Well-Known Member

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    The Dark Side of XBMC and Why Its So Popular

    I believe the piracy concerns with Plex are not generally as well recognized as with XBMC. The piracy concerns with Plex would mostly revolve around the "myPlex" service - which didn't officially launch until October 28th, 2011. That was a full year AFTER the GTV launch.

    http://forums.plexapp.com/index.php...d-potenially-big-brother-access-my-files-now/

    I'm not claiming that it will be impossible to run some form of XBMC on GTV after the Jellybean update - just that Google is not likely to officially support it on GTV. For instance the XBMC for Xbox version was never distributed, endorsed, or supported by Microsoft, it meant that XBMC for Xbox always required a modchip or softmod exploit to be able to run on the Xbox game-console.

    Concerning the DRM - the GTV Jellybean update is supposed to add more hardware support for DRM. Wouldn't that mean Netflix (and some others) wouldn't work through XBMC on GTV?
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  10. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    All demos of XBMC I have seen are always shown running a nice list of pirated or illegally copied content. I understand there are legal uses for a crack pipe but if it is primarily used to smoke crack, it is going to be viewed as a device for illegal purposes. Plex or any server can certainly be used to handle pirated content but Plex has been embraced by many companies for legal purposes with their products, including Sony. Perception along with the fact I don't really think Plex can be used with some of the pirate sites like XBMC is makes the products very different in my view.

    I installed XBMC on a PC once, thought it was clunky, nothing I wanted to mess with at all. PlayOn and Plex are much more to my liking, although I don't yet use Plex, I will with my next PC purchase.
     
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  11. drhill

    drhill Member

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    Xbmc wasn't embraced by Microsoft because it was hacked into the system and took over the entire system. No more games, just media. The devs would have had to get the app approved and pay licensing fees and them sell it if you can ignore the whole replace the os part of using it.

    There is a chance we could see it or plex on the new systems if they really do allow self publishing and free apps. Google doesn't have to support xbmc, if and when it gets submitted yo the play store it will get approved. It is no different than plex or diceplayer or any other media player.

    Catfish, hardware DRM has been in gtv since the last major update. Its the only reason we have vudu and amazon on the newer boxes. We are just getting more/better implementations to use. There is no Netflix through xbmc on gtv. The most it would do is have a shortcut to netflix's app.
     
  12. dexter

    dexter New Member

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    XBMC offers alot more features than PlayOn (paidware) and Plex (DLNA type of service) , Problem is that their interface can be somehow more advanced for regular users to actually start using all the plugins available and streaming services it offers.

    If they made the software even more userfriendly it would for sure not be seen as pirate ware, primarily due to the fact it is so easy to develop plugins for and adapt them. It would be similar to saying guns in US is illegal because some use them for other purposes than intended to. XBMC can be used both for good and bad functions seen from different point of views.

    XBMC is not PlayOn which is primarily just streaming content from your PC or android to a client. XBMC offers local playback, streaming, scripting and start applications within with, for android, netflix as example.

    XBMC is not Plex which is a nice frontend, but requires a bigger engine in the back to actually serve your clients, so a plex server require a newer PC, and new NAS (2012+) or more recent cpu power based backend to serve the clients. XBMC is not client/server based and because of that runs perfectly on all platforms when it does support proper graphics, that is.
     
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  13. drhill

    drhill Member

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    dexter, Plex doesn't require a honkying PC. Only if you are transcoding, which I avoid like the plague. My GT1 doesn't transcode anything, but it plays everything I've thrown at it. The NS8 (that I'm probably returning) doesn't support DTS do it is usually transcoding audio.

    What Plex does do, since it requires some server, is pool your media to be available from one place and track watched status. You can currently do that with XBMC if you use a SQL server, but it is no where near as user friendly as Plex. XBMC does support LiveTV though, which is big for me, though the XIOS DS I have isn't great with 1080i which is 90% of what I watch on live tv.
     
  14. dexter

    dexter New Member

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    I got a QNAP418 Pro here, and Plex really does not comply with a smooth experience, and on my QNAP418 transcoding is not possible at all.
     
  15. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I never claimed that GTV was superior to anything, but I've had an HTPC as part of my A/V cabinet for quite a while to handle playing/streaming media that my other devices couldn't handle and I haven't needed it for that purpose in a long time - so I don't need it.

    I still think that's a milestone, but of course everybody's needs are different. For instance, while I have run XBMC on my PC ... I never much saw any use for it other than to test out my DLNA servers from my PC. Lack of 1080p24 play back is disappointing, but not critical for my media library. Plus I also have 3 other devices that can stream media in my A/V cabinet, so the GTV isn't flying solo ... but it's by far the primary device I use.
     
  16. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    I played a bit with PlayOn and Plex recently as they've both been installed on my server for years and I recently brought my Roku back to life in a guest room. I found PlayOn to be behaving much better. Plex did give access to my media on the server, but it's not really presented very well. I assume that's likely a problem with how I organized my folders, but it is what it is. Anyway, Plex was having problems streaming media from some of the media sites it supports while PlayOn was working just fine - albeit sluggishly per usual.

    I don't really like going through an intermediary and avoid it when possible on my GTV box. For instance, I find the fastest way to play my media on my server is to just browse there using an SMB file share with ViMu. If I want to play video from a web site, it's easier to just go to the web site with the browser, or walk over to my PC and download the video for playback on my GTV.
     
  17. Prizm

    Prizm New Member

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    I'm thinking of getting the GS8, but how easy and user-friendly is it with local MKVs? I previously had a Boxee Box and am now using a WDTV Live. Both devices scrape content and download posters for all your local movies and TV shows (like XBMC). Is something like this available on the Sony GS8? I want something that the rest of the family won't have a problem using. Local videos will be the primary use of the player.
    I don't want Plex unless there's a way to have it stream from a USB hard disk connected to the GS8. Having a separate PC on just to stream videos is a waste of money.
     
  18. dexter

    dexter New Member

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    I used the mediaplayer delivered with stock rom, and it works only with DLNA, but its ok, picture is sharp and no stutter issues with 1080p, but it aint a wdtv, but again, it works and my gs7 can do so much more than wdtv. Although i miss subtitle support :)

    you can get used to this box, but use it with a another box so you get the SmartTV feel, having it as mediaplayer alone is no fun.
    I got my Satbox attached to it, and i can use my satbox using the Ir eye and the Sony remote , which is ok too.
     
  19. Prizm

    Prizm New Member

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    So by default, it does not have a player for files on a USB?

    It sounds like I'd have to wait for XBMC for Android or a similar app if I wanted to replace my WDTV with the GS8.
     
  20. jonw747

    jonw747 Well-Known Member

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    There is an App like that, that tries to do exactly what you want. It's called Mizuu. I played with the Beta version some, but I still prefer just navigating my folder structure directly (and quickly) with the ViMu player. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.miz.mizuu&hl=en Depending on the source/encoding, you may run in to some MKV's that won't play.
     

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