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Why buy GoogleTV?

Discussion in 'Google TV General Discussion' started by saeba, Jun 30, 2013.

  1. saeba

    saeba Active Member

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    I, like most of you, have read many reviews of GoogleTV and many posts from users expressing overall dissatisfaction with the product. I confess that I'm a bit mystified by the negative reactions to a product that my wife and I dearly love. I was concerned that someone was really missing something - and perhaps it was me! However, after some consideration, I've noted the following:


    • GoogleTV is not a generalized android platform and if you buy it with that expectation you will be hugely disappointed. There are tons of applications that do run on it, but tons that don't as well. In particular, it is not a good choice for games as these are very limited. Many buyers don't understand this.
    • There are specialized apps that only run on GoogleTV (2nd gen) - Vudu in HD, Amazon Video streaming in HD, Play Movies in HD are examples. Vudu can deliver content in 1080p video and Dolby Digital Plus audio for the highest quality results. I've dropped all my cable OnDemand capabilities so this is a huge plus for me (still have cable, but all TiVo DVRs so no OnDemand) and I use the Vudu app regularly to rent/buy movies.
    • Hulu/HuluPlus does not directly support GoogleTV; however, I prefer to use PlayOn/PlayLater on my PC for this purpose anyway. I've setup the series I want to watch on Hulu as favorites, get notified via email when new episodes are available and then use PlayLater to record them. I can then watch these recordings later via the ViMu app on GoogleTV with the additional ability to fast-forward through the Hulu commercials. Much better than just having Hulu access! PlayOn/PlayLater also provide me with access to many other media sites (ABC, NBC, CBS, ESPN, etc.) Most folks seem unaware of this or unwilling to spend the extra to setup this solution and just complain about being "locked out".
    • GoogleTV won't play all video/audio types. It supports a lot of standard codecs, but not all of them. To workaround this, I have Plex Server on my PC and a Plex app on my GoogleTV and use Plex to transcode the source into something that GoogleTV can play. I've been extremely happy with Plex over the past six months or so as it's delivered a robust set of capabilities in a very stable solution. I now use it to play content on other PCs, my laptop when I'm travelling, my android phone and tablet as well as on my GoogleTV. Again, most don't seem willing to setup a solution like this, but it's really not that difficult if you have a PC or Mac to use as a server and it's minimal cost.
    • Having a highly-capable web browser is extremely useful! I find I use this a lot more than I anticipated - looking up actors in IMDb, checking out products and pricing on web sites, checking out weather forecasts, etc. And GoogleTV has a much better browser than most other products. Try using the PS3 for this purpose - it's awful! It's also very easy to setup GoogleTV to use the Logitech K700 full-size keyboard w/trackpad making web use even better.

    So in the end, I think the primary issues are a general misunderstanding of what GoogleTV can and can't do as well as a lack of some of the additional pieces (Plex, PlayOn/PlayLater) that can really boost GoogleTV into a "must have" solution.

    What capabilities make your GoogleTV a must have solution?
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
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  2. jschall

    jschall Member

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    That's a nice overview, @saeba. It mostly applies to GTV owners in the US, though. In Canada we only have Netflix Canada, no Amazon or Hulu or Vudu. No Primetime, either.

    The reason I like GTV compared to an Android media stick/box is the picture-in-picture ability to continue to watch TV while looking something up on Chrome.
     
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  3. saeba

    saeba Active Member

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    For Canada, do you have M-Go? That can do 1080p and 5.1 PCM. I used this service quite a bit when they offered new users discounted rentals. And Netflix is a good alternative to Amazon.

    I have not made much use of picture-in-picture, but appreciate this tip! I'll utilize it more in future :)!
     
  4. jschall

    jschall Member

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    No. Not outside the US.
     

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