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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.