The Sony NSZ-GS7 GTV2 box as a Plex Platform - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-14-2012, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently purchased this player as a Plex client. The reason for the purchase was that LG made the odd decision to not include Plex in their SP820, at least for now, and I wanted to replace the LG ST600. I had previously owned the Logitech Revue which I quite liked, but it had a fan and I wasn't into large keyboards and so it went.

The Sony GTV2, so to speak, box is far, far superior to the Revue. The remote is very neat, although it does require too much flipping around if you want to use the keyboard. The keyboard is backlit which is a welcome change from the Boxee keyboard. The trackpad works well and the remote is able to control our Motorola VIP 1232 PVR and our LG TV. Control of the PVR is via ir signals emitted from the Sony, while the LG is controlled via HDMI-CEC. Very slick compared to the Revue which never worked right for us with the ir blaster. There is an ir blaster included with the Sony in case you want to place the unit far away from some device you need to control via ir signals. You cannot use an ir remote to control the Sony.

Pros:

- built in WiFi, as well as Ethernet
- 2 USB ports for hard drive and other storage support
- attractive hardware
- interaction with our TV and PVR just works
- great remote, though a bit too busy
- no fan
- includes Plex (free download)
- Plex works great, an excellent Plex client. Plex channels work ( those that I tried) well. Will have to try more for this to be meaningful.
- supports quite a few containers and codecs so that Direct Play (no transcoding at all) works from Plex. This means you can have a very low powered Plex server, such as a NAS. I use a Synology 1512+ with it and it works fine. Serving from a fast Mac Mini is of course slightly zippier, but not by much.
- the remote allows for an easy way to flip back and forth between the media player and TV, including picture in picture. It is very friendly ( WAF, which the Revue was not)
- picture quality is very nice, Netflix and YouTube are excellent, the unit works with PlayOn for what that is worth ( also works with other DLNA devices via a couple of inexpensive apps).
- there is an app that supports AirPlay video with audio, photos, but not mirroring. Works great.

Cons:

- Google TV OS (3.2). Just isn't fluid. Commands are not consistent, although Sony did its best to try to improve on that.
- Chrome's bookmarks' interaction is just too complicated. It needs tabs or some place to get at the bookmarks in a simple way. Just too many hoops to go through. But the pages are very nice and easy to read. The keyboard keys are not as easy to press as my Lenovo Multimedia Keyboard, but that may just be a matter of habit.
- not many apps in the Google Play store, though there are a few good ones.
- if it weren't for Sony this would feel like a hacker's tool and not be user friendly.
- some apps don't quit properly. In fact, quitting apps is a hit and miss.
- odd placement of the play/pause at the bottom of the remote.



Is this a good media player? No. Is it a good Plex client? Most definitely yes. Does it have potential? Yes. It's quite neat, fast enough, quality made, not junk.

The Plex client is superior in my opinion to that on a Roku. Videos start immediately, the pictures seem nicer, more direct play support. On the other hand, the Roku is more consistent and simpler. It has its advantages.

philip


Edit: It may be of interest to note that the Sony plays back all the "birds" video only clips up to 90mb/s from its internal drive using the default media player. No stuttering at all. This works both with mkv and m4v containers and the resolution is 1080p. It also plays back the so-called Killa Sample with mp3 stereo audio. I don't have a high end audio system so I did not test its audio capabilities. The Birds samples ranged from 20 to 90 mb/s. To play these from a NAS one needs GTVBox player, or equivalent, in order to smb mount to volumes. It's not clear how to play these using Plex as my setup has a 20 mb/s bitrate upper bound. Even direct play didn't work, but I only tried the mkv versions. The native GTV player doesn't seem to play m2ts files, at least the test files I have.

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post #2 of 11 Old 08-17-2012, 11:41 AM
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I am waiting until this sony device is able to run the XBMC port, if ever, or maybe the uplevel BD player is released.
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-17-2012, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I would be surprised if it were to run XBMC anytime soon. It is more locked down than the Android players such as the Pivos one. It would be nice to have XBMC on there though.

The Blu-Ray version does seem interesting especially if you are going to buy a Blu-Ray player anyway. Might be worth it just for 3D videos.

The current state of Google TV is not great. Sony has tried its best but I have a feeling these are not going to sell well. They won't really appeal to the videophiles as the video limitations seem quit large. Really, if Plex is not your thing then there doesn't seem to be much point in the player. Even from that perspective a Roku is probably a better choice. It's still a very good Plex client though.

Philip
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post #4 of 11 Old 08-17-2012, 09:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmcd View Post

Sony has tried its best but I have a feeling these are not going to sell well. They won't really appeal to the videophiles as the video limitations seem quit large.

What video limitations are you referring to?
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post #5 of 11 Old 08-18-2012, 07:42 AM
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Thanks for the info pmcd very useful.

Wizziwig I'm guessing video limitations are lack of HD audio support, automatic resolution switching etc. the underlying hardware is capable just software/licensing holding it back.

qz3fwd your not going to see XBMC on GoogleTV's without Google's tacit approval as the OS needs to be updated for it, plus Google would have to allow it through the GTV Play store.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-18-2012, 10:38 AM
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XBMC is really only possible if people root/hack this device and/or replace Android with a full Linux distro like Ubuntu. It's a real shame as this hardware is more powerful than any other streamer on the market - especially considering the low price of the Vizio.
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-18-2012, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wizziwig View Post

XBMC is really only possible if people root/hack this device and/or replace Android with a full Linux distro like Ubuntu. It's a real shame as this hardware is more powerful than any other streamer on the market - especially considering the low price of the Vizio.

I am fully comfortable with requiring a rooted system and doing it myself if someone figures out how to do it.
I thought though that android does have the capability of native (non-java) compiled binary code, which I think XBMC is c++?

Knowing Sony though, they have likely schackled it with only executing signed binaries and or crippling native code applications.

I thought there was a youtube video demonstrating this sony device rooted already?

I bet the hardware can playback anything imaginable, including all HD audio codecs and all BD video codecs, but GoogleTV is holding it back?
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-20-2012, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

I am fully comfortable with requiring a rooted system and doing it myself if someone figures out how to do it.
I thought though that android does have the capability of native (non-java) compiled binary code, which I think XBMC is c++?
Knowing Sony though, they have likely schackled it with only executing signed binaries and or crippling native code applications.
I thought there was a youtube video demonstrating this sony device rooted already?
I bet the hardware can playback anything imaginable, including all HD audio codecs and all BD video codecs, but GoogleTV is holding it back?

Android supports the NDK for native apps but the GoogleTV OS does not (even though it is a variant of Android 3).

XBMC would expand the scope of what the GTV could play but the Android OS itself is a blocker on certain things like audio pass-through (the OS must support it for XBMC to pass it to an amp) and automatic resolution switching which Android does not support, there's no way for XBMC to talk to the display settings of Android.
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-19-2013, 12:48 PM
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Great post and I'm seriously looking into this device but I have a Synology 411j and I'm wondering if the streaming quality with the Plex media center installed on it would be powerfull enough to run it to my Aquos Sharp TV.

Speks for my NAS is
CPU Frequency : 1.2GHz with Memory : DDR2 128MB

What are your thoughts on this. Maybe you can offer some advice on which media box to chose. I'm looking for something that would do media scratching since I have an extensive media library and DLNA is just not cutting it right now and my TV doesn't support Video Center from Synology.

Thanks,
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-25-2013, 10:11 AM
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FWIW, GoogleTV should be getting the Android 4.2.2 Jellybean update with support for the NDK. That's from various reports ..supposed to be coming in the 3rd quarter of this year.
This would be huge for GoogleTV devices.
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post #11 of 11 Old 06-26-2013, 12:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JLBENEDICT View Post

FWIW, GoogleTV should be getting the Android 4.2.2 Jellybean update with support for the NDK. That's from various reports ..supposed to be coming in the 3rd quarter of this year.
This would be huge for GoogleTV devices.
Great news-But how long then before the CEM's integrate it into their customized offering of GTV and make it avaliable to consumers? They typically take the opportunity to release a new product and leave the existing/old product without such upgrades. Hopefully Sony quickly pushes out a JB update, hot on the tails of Googles release?

Time will tell.
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