New Netgear NeoTV Prime Google TV Media Streaming Box Thread - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Netgear at CES announced their new Google TV box the NEO TV Prime. This box will be shipping by the end of the month. Netgear has been working on this product for quite some time. It includes some unique capabilities such as built in Sling Media Player as well the aVia media player for playing back media files from NAS type devices. Add to that the Plex client available in the Google Play Store which the NeoTV Prime uses and you may have a very capable box. If your familiar with the Netgear Neo Max 300SL the Prime product has a similar 2 sides remote / qwerty keyboard that is enabled via Bluetooth. And there are the requisite IOS and Android apps as well. Dont know at this time if it supports IR in but does support IR out for control of set top boxes and TV's. The unit also supports HDMI In and Out to provide the integrated TV experience.

At a $129 price it falls well below the Sony and a bit above the Vizio offerings. I have not had the ability to test one but will follow this announcement up as soon as I do.

Of all the GTV products out this may really fit the bill as an all around Smart TV/Media Playback box. I am looking forward to getting my hands on one.

See the following from SlashGear on it. http://www.slashgear.com/netgear-neotv-prime-with-google-tv-and-neotv-slingplayer-deal-revealed-07263679/

Bob Silver
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post #2 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 01:02 PM
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I can't locate a list of native audio and video codec support for this box. Do you have that info, Bob? I know I can transcode with plex, but my readynas uktra4+ isn't up to the task for 1080p mkvs.
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post #3 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 01:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

I can't locate a list of native audio and video codec support for this box. Do you have that info, Bob?
+1

And the more specific, the better.
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post #4 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 02:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

I can't locate a list of native audio and video codec support for this box. Do you have that info, Bob? I know I can transcode with plex, but my readynas uktra4+ isn't up to the task for 1080p mkvs.

I will speak with the Product Manager next week and can get details. He is at CES now. But my guess is it is not going to be extensive. More likely the usual GTV, DLNA formats. Dealing with the myriad of codecs is a nightmare for companies so with a low price point product I expect they did the lowest common denominator. People buy these boxes generally for online streaming not local. It's the enthusiasts/hobbiest that do local streaming. But again this is just my guess so please dont take it as gospel.

Personally I am a big Plex user. This works for most things I do and I love the UI and portability. I have been after Netgear to do a Plex client and this may be my answer. Because you need to appreciate in these $100 boxes there isnt a lot of horsepower. On board codecs require the compute power locally. That is where Plex shines as it offloads that to the server side not the client side.

They did include aVia media player. I have that on a Logitech Revue. So you can check what it supports. But again for me I will use Plex. The experience is just too nice. In fact my high powered HTPC sits off most of the time since I use Plex on an ATV and Roku (Roku is more stable then ATV and handles AC3 better).

Id like to get to one box for local streaming, online streaming and other compute functions like web cams, web browsing and other tasks. It is my hop this will do it for me. As I use 3 boxes where one should suffice.

More later when I have it.

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post #5 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 02:21 PM
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Thanks Bob,

Looking forward to your updates.
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post #6 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 02:42 PM - Thread Starter
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And yes you are correct the NASs don't have the horsepower to do 1080p Plex streams. In fact my Core2 Duo 2.4 ghz barely cuts it. I believe this is a Plex server issue and have nt found a great solution ther then using 720 as my hd file streaming limit on these boxes. When I truly want 1080 then I fire up the HTPC and play it directly from that bypassing Plex which ironically is exactly the same hardware as my Plex server. . That's why I believe it is a Plex server issue.
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post #7 of 31 Old 01-07-2013, 02:50 PM
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Bob,

Interesting that it seems to be a plex transcoder issue. However, can't we assume that if the Neo TV Prime can accommodate 1080p mkv files (in my case), then the plex server could just used the "direct play" or "direct stream" function? Getting off topic here, but I think Plex can avoid full transcoding if the receiver supports the format/resolution.
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post #8 of 31 Old 01-08-2013, 08:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Bob,
Interesting that it seems to be a plex transcoder issue. However, can't we assume that if the Neo TV Prime can accommodate 1080p mkv files (in my case), then the plex server could just used the "direct play" or "direct stream" function? Getting off topic here, but I think Plex can avoid full transcoding if the receiver supports the format/resolution.

Yes it is off topic but when I have had Plex issues with Roku/ATV 2 I have tried to play these same files through my HTPC running Plex. Same hiccups as with the Roku/ATV. So thats why I assume it is a Plex server issue as it remains the common element.

Bob
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post #9 of 31 Old 02-12-2013, 08:55 AM
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Hey Bob,

Is there any more info available on this box..codecs, etc.?

Thanks!
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post #10 of 31 Old 02-13-2013, 11:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Hey Bob,

Is there any more info available on this box..codecs, etc.?

Thanks!
Here's what Netgear says about that:

http://kb.netgear.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/22228/related/1

I ordered one from Amazon.ca, should arrive in a few days.

Have you seen all the negative reviews on NewEgg and Amazon?
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post #11 of 31 Old 02-13-2013, 11:26 AM
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thanks...I didn't notice they updated their knowledge base. The reviews on Newegg are kind of scary....especially the local playback issues

Let us know how it works out for you, please!
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post #12 of 31 Old 02-14-2013, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for a delayed response to the questions on the Neo Prime. I got a unit and unfortunately after about 4 days of use it developed a problem where by the remote and device unpaired (bluetooth) and would not pair again. Netgear is replacing the unit with a new beta firmware which should be released for all Neo Prime's in March. But let me give you my brief thoughts on the device with what my experience was so far and Ill update later once I have the new unit and reflect on the beta firmware which I have been given an OK to discuss by Netgear.

I have read some of the reviews on Amazon regarding the NEO Prime. Cant say I disagree with most of what has been written but let me put my own spin on it.

First off my experience with GTV and other devices. I own a Logitech Revue which is my GTV experience to date. I also use a mini Android pc with 4.0 installed. Additionally I use a jailbroken ATV 2 with Plex, XBMC and Firecore Media Player installed. And lastly I use a Roku with Plex. And for good measure I have an HTPC. So with this mix I have a pretty good base to share from.

Well first reactions with the Prime are these. The hardware is very nice. Build quality is good and it is a nice package. The remote is the most unique aspect about it. Let me say first it takes some getting used to. And it does require a bit of practice in using the track pad/ direction pad as it is one and the same. In fact when I first was setting the unit up I had great frustration since I didnt understand how the remote switches from track pad and directional pad. Suffice it to say until I read the short manual I didnt like it. Once I understood I had an Aha moment and thought oh this is clever and began to warm to it.

The remote in its own is nice in that is is really flexible and can be used 1 handed unlike the keyboard of the Revue. But truth be told I will also pair my Logitech keyboard with it and use both. There is room for different devices based on what you want to do. Also I did successfully plug in a Lenovo mini usb keyboard and that works fine too. At the end of the day I actually began liking the remote and found myself using the device out of pleasure then need which for me is a good sign.

The unit itself also packs a reasonable amount horsepower as it is relatively speedy. Much better then my Revue and better then my Mini Andriod PC. I was very satisfied with it. And there is also a very workable amount of memory unlike the Revue. I loaded up all the apps I wanted and barely put a dent in it unlike my Revue which I easily maxed out.

So now what was my media experience like. Well I was using the early unit and I can say in that unit it was not great. Plex operated but would not respond to FF or RW commands. Could be Plex but dont think so. The Avia player is painful IMHO. But much of this comes down to the GTV eco system of media apps. What I was going to try before the unit died was XBMC. There is now a side loaded XBMC version that can run on Android. It in itself is very capable. For all the codec questions that arise in an open platform like Android the codecs are often part of the app not the core device. The Prime hardware is up to the task it will take some added SW to make the magic. For GTV to me right now it is Plex or XBMC. I am open to other ideas but that is what I know to date.

I will post back once I get the new unit from Netgear and spend some time with it. The new software I know has a dedicated Amazon video app, Vudu and some other app enhancements. And I expect significant general enhancements. But more on that later.

So should you buy a unit now? When for $129 it is not steep. But I would view it more a hobby device more so then a main media device today. But I know Netgear is committed to the category and the Neo Prime has legs. The hardware is sound but like all these devices the SW needs some more baking. Look for my update in the next week or so.

Bob Silver
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post #13 of 31 Old 02-20-2013, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

I have read some of the reviews on Amazon regarding the NEO Prime. Cant say I disagree with most of what has been written but let me put my own spin on it.
...
I will post back once I get the new unit from Netgear and spend some time with it. The new software I know has a dedicated Amazon video app, Vudu and some other app enhancements. And I expect significant general enhancements. But more on that later. device today. But I know Netgear is committed to the category and the Neo Prime has legs. The hardware is sound but like all these devices the SW needs some more baking. Look for my update in the next week or so.
Looking forward to your further observations on the NeoTV Prime, Bob.

Here is an interesting article on how some reviewers are "gaming" user reviews:

"Can You Trust an Amazon Review?" http://m.spectrum.ieee.org/podcast/geek-life/tools-toys/can-you-trust-an-amazon-review

I am still waiting for mine from amazon.ca. I will stay tuned to this channel!
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post #14 of 31 Old 02-21-2013, 06:15 AM
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If Netgear were willing to partner with XBMC and get that running on their NeoTV Prime that would really be the best thing for all involved. Power users get a best in class media center and XBMC handles all the development and codec issues, also Netgear wouldn't have to pay money for that lame Avia player.

* The problem is the GoogleTV OS does not support native apps like Android 4 does so XBMC wont run on GTV OS. Would Google even allow Netgear to release a modified version of the OS with support for the CrystaX NDK ?
* The second problem is hardware decoding though XBMC team is taking care of that through libstragefright which I've no clue if GoogleTV OS support if it does then problem solved. If not then forget about the whole thing.

If you can pass that along to Netgears product manager maybe they will consider it, maybe not. Scott Davilla is the man to talk to on the XBMC team about development for Android/GoogleTV.
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post #15 of 31 Old 03-11-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Update NeoTV Prime with Beta Software

I have been using a beta version of the NeoTV Prime GTV for a few weeks now. At first glance it appears to be the same as the original unit I had tested which unfortunately developed a hardware issue with the remote pairing. The new unit with the beta software has some definite benefits under the hood and some direct enhancements that will arrive once the beta software is final.

Here is a list of the enhancements from Netgear's Product Manager. Note that not all have been implemented in the version I am using.



Software Update Improvements

Added Amazon Instant Video native android application.

Improves the usability of Amazon Instant Video including navigation.
Supports 1080p playback.
Adds filtering between Prime content (subscription) and VOD (paid).


Added a new Home Page user interface option.

Users can choose between the original Google TV home screen where they can customize up to 8 icons or the new home screen with up to 20 icons.


Added Vudu streaming service application.

One of the first GoogleTV boxes to support Vudu service.


Improved set-top box set-up process.

Updated to a newer set-top box database supporting more boxes.
Streamlined IR pairing set-up process so users do not have to enter model # of the cable box for major cable box providers.


Learn more about remote control during set-up.

Added steps during set-up that explain remote control usage and navigation.


Updated Google TV Search

Updated Google TV Search from text based results to visual content/image driven results.


Updated PrimeTime Guide

PrimeTime guide can now be accessed while watching live TV without exiting the live TV application.




From my experience the top item was the 1080P support and the support of the Amazon native VOD application. Prior to this upgrade I was having to use the web browser based Amazon UI. The new Amazon app is excellent. In fact I think it is the best Amazon app I have used on any platform. The Amazon app will come preloaded on the NeoPrime once the new SW is released. Meantime I downloaded from the Google Play Store. But it will not run on the Prime unless it has this new version of software. Performance wise it was great. Fast and responsive. I really liked it.

Other improvements I have found are 1080P playback. Plex had an issue on the 1st gen SW release. Had many playback issues like no Fast Forward and other inconsistencies. Plex now plays fine on the NeoPrime.

The set top box setup process enhancements were not implemented on my beta so I will need to comment on that later.

And the new home page was also not available. The home page enhancement is a big deal to me. Having more then 8 icons is key. I am always having to scroll to the apps menu which is cumbersome., Having to choose from 20 icons will greatly enhance the usability. That I really look forward to.

I did sideload XBMC for Android. This did not run on the beta unit. So we will need to wait to see if changes to either XBMC or Netgear's SW will fix this. So jury is out on this.

Lastly I attached a Logitech Unified Receiver and paired my Logitech Revue keyboard to the NeoPrime. This works great. All the same GTV keyboard functions work as expected. The Logitech keyboard plus the supplied remote provide a great deal of flexibility. And the IOS or Andriod GTV app work fine too.

So in summary with my beta experience is this. Really really good. The unit has been rock solid and has been performing great. With my UI enhancements such as the Logitech keyboard and the IOS GTV app I have great control over the unit. I have been using it a lot and really like it.

As I stated earlier the hardware appears quite solid, It has plenty of memory and great performance. The responsiveness is excellent. It has not been frustrating at all which is something I faced constantly with my Revue.

I really think that with this release of software coming this month Netgear could have a great GTV product. And at $129 a bargain at that.

Bob Silver
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post #16 of 31 Old 03-11-2013, 05:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If Netgear were willing to partner with XBMC and get that running on their NeoTV Prime that would really be the best thing for all involved. Power users get a best in class media center and XBMC handles all the development and codec issues, also Netgear wouldn't have to pay money for that lame Avia player.

* The problem is the GoogleTV OS does not support native apps like Android 4 does so XBMC wont run on GTV OS. Would Google even allow Netgear to release a modified version of the OS with support for the CrystaX NDK ?
* The second problem is hardware decoding though XBMC team is taking care of that through libstragefright which I've no clue if GoogleTV OS support if it does then problem solved. If not then forget about the whole thing.

If you can pass that along to Netgears product manager maybe they will consider it, maybe not. Scott Davilla is the man to talk to on the XBMC team about development for Android/GoogleTV.

Thanks for the suggestions. I will pass this along. I do think that XBMC would be a nice addition to a GTV box. Right now I wind up using 3 different boxes to get what I need. Having XBMC on the GTV would be great.

As I posted earlier I did sideload it. Now the XBMC is still beta for Andriod so it is early. Plus the GTV Neo SW is beta too where I tried and it was a no go. But I will pass this on.

For me though with Plex working great now (I am a big Plex lover) that fixed much of my media concerns. And with the Amazon native app being as good as it is it a pretty complete media system as it stands today in beta. A few more weeks and we will have final software so look for my updates.

Bob Silver
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post #17 of 31 Old 03-11-2013, 06:55 PM
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Thanks for the updates Bob...remind me, it is possible to get a Plex App installed on (all) GoogleTV boxes, or is it limited to certain systems? I assume that's how you're using Plex on this box.
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post #18 of 31 Old 03-12-2013, 08:02 AM - Thread Starter
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There is a Plex app for GTV. I bought it for the Revue and works same on the NeoPrime. UI is similar to the PC app as opposed to IOS or standard Andriod.
Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Thanks for the updates Bob...remind me, it is possible to get a Plex App installed on (all) GoogleTV boxes, or is it limited to certain systems? I assume that's how you're using Plex on this box.
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post #19 of 31 Old 03-14-2013, 01:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skro View Post

Thanks for the updates Bob...remind me, it is possible to get a Plex App installed on (all) GoogleTV boxes, or is it limited to certain systems? I assume that's how you're using Plex on this box.

As mentioned, there is a Plex app specifically for GTV devices. It works best on the newer ones in terms of direct play and so on. If you are a PlexPass member you can also install the newest Plex for Android on the GTV. It's still in a testing stage but it's very nice and has a different UI to the current Plex for GTV app. Once it is out of testing then anyone can install it from the Google Play store.

Philip
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post #20 of 31 Old 04-01-2013, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
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Update on Firmware Release

Netgear is expecting an early April release of the firmware for the NeoPrime. This will be one of the few GTV boxes that are certified and ship with the Amazon Prime VOD native app installed. On my beta unit it works great. Best look Amazon app I've seen. Much nicer then the Roku version.

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post #21 of 31 Old 04-05-2013, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
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Update on Firmware Release



Netgear is expecting an early April release of the firmware for the NeoPrime. This will be one of the few GTV boxes that are certified and ship with the Amazon Prime VOD native app installed. On my beta unit it works great. Best look Amazon app I've seen. Much nicer then the Roku version.

Bob Silver



I just recently dusted off my revue since my htpc stopped working and I haven't had time to look at it. With what I've discovered I don't think the htpc will get nearly the same use as it did previously. I want to pass on what Ive discovered to all google tv users and non google tv users as I believe these apps im going to share make the gtv platform by far the best streaming box available (not local content) If your i ti tirrents you'll wang to download "mitty" torrent app and upgrade so it downloads with full speed as fast as your internet connection will allow. Its an all in one torrent search engine, dlwnloader, and media player. Then install "tv portal" from the amazon app store" , "1 channel" from the play store and definitly upgrade this app, and "amo navi x for google tv" from the llay store. With these latter apps you can stream or download thousands of old and new movies as well as any tv series you can think of foreign or domestic old or new up until the current episode of the show the night it airs. It pulls its content from mulitiple file share sites I believe, not sure. These three apps are amazing. They differ in content, interface, usability, sources, etc. but are all equally great. Next is the first and only home launcher app I know of specifically for google tv called "open launcher" it makes my revues slugish interface much more responsive and cusomizable by allowing me to add various wallpapers, and different rows of many many apps on the main page instead of the stock 6 or whatever it is, you can name the rows too. You can also add the spotlight web apps to your main app list which is really cool. Lastly is an app called symbaloo taken from the bookmark website, to get this app to install you have to sideload it and also install an orientation control and lock it in lanscape or it wont open. Go to the symabaloo website and make an account and then search for gtv and google tv, there's about 25 pages of widgets and in each page there is about 60 widgets. All of which are video streaming and download content from everything you've heard of to allot you haven't, its pretty great. The maker of all the pages suggests you change your user agent to generic I believe.

Oh also xbmc is not possible to be installed on google tv as google tv is the only android OS that google hasn't released the full NDK, wich is BS.

Now with my new found love for google tv i want to buy some new hardware. I dont have any live tv of any kind so im torn between new google tv hardware and an android box or stick so i can mainly take advantage if xbmc. But i also really like some of the stuff that is natve to google tv, the integration with my setup is nice and the media search features and all that. I just feel like maybe an android box would be like mirroring my phone to the tv. I havent read much on them but i think some are setup preinstalled with apps and interfaces to make them tv friendly. Sorry im so off topic but i figured all google tv users would appreciate some of the info i posted and might also help me decide on what to do. Please keep up to date with this box as it is one i am now considering. Thanks for the great review so far. How is the new Vizio have you heard?

Pioneer Kuro...your time is up...mwahahhahhha
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post #22 of 31 Old 04-06-2013, 11:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting list of apps. Most I hadn't heard of before. I'll check them out. The Vizio hasn't gotten great reviews from what I have read. Check AVS and others for comments. I have never used it so I have no first hand experience.

The Netgear NeoPrime as I outlined in my review isa major step up from the Revue. It s faster and has significantly increased storage. I was always out of space on the Revue. The only thing for me that I wish it had was the ability to control it via infrared. Te Revue did but frankly with te funky Harmony ir odes I never got it working well enough to be useful

And as I mentioned earlier the Revue keyboard with a Unifying receiver works great.

Bob Silver
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post #23 of 31 Old 04-23-2013, 05:21 AM
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Does the NeoTV Prime support HD audio? Has anyone tried playing a video file with DTS HD Master or Dolby TrueHD?

I'm looking for a replacement for my WDTV players that supports DTS HD Master and Dolby TrueHD. The only reason I'm replacing the WDTV, is because of it's lack of support for DTS HD Master.

All of my content will be streamed over CAT6 hardwired gigabit network and served from a central server.
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post #24 of 31 Old 04-23-2013, 07:20 AM - Thread Starter
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There is nothing native on a GTV. Box that supports HD audio. That said the XBMC Frodo app does. There is a version for Android but it is not yet compatible with a GTV. Box. At least when I tried it it would not launch. XBMC. Frodo 12.1 does support it but you need currently to build a device to run it either a HTC or possibly another Android client device. But my understanding is that XBMC will be released for GTV.

Bob Silver
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post #25 of 31 Old 04-24-2013, 04:11 AM
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Thanks Bob.

What chipset is the NEOTV Prime based on?
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post #26 of 31 Old 04-30-2013, 07:57 AM
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Netgear NeoTV GTV100-100NAS PRIME with Google TV $103

Do you guys think is it worth getting this at the listed price? I am in the market for Media player and this seems like good box.
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post #27 of 31 Old 04-30-2013, 08:57 AM - Thread Starter
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It is a great price for the box. I can tell you that it costs almost that much to build it. And as I have stated I like mine very much. Particularly with the beta firmware. The update should be released any day now too so timing is good.

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post #28 of 31 Old 05-22-2013, 10:54 AM
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post #29 of 31 Old 02-07-2014, 08:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobsilver View Post

It is a great price for the box. I can tell you that it costs almost that much to build it. And as I have stated I like mine very much. Particularly with the beta firmware. The update should be released any day now too so timing is good.

Bob Silver

Hi Bob,

Do you know if the NeoTV Prime supports plugging in a large (say 1 TB) USB Hard Drive for media content?

I would like to plug in my HDD for media content. Mostly JPG, AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV files. The videos came off my digital cameras and I am hoping that the streamer will recognize these formats.

Also, I recently found on the Netgear support website that this streamer will no longer support HBO Go because HBO had updated their end to "Flash 11". I wonder if the pre-programmed Buttons on the Remote (HBO Go) can be re-purposed for something else.

Any help is most appreciated! Thanks in advance.
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post #30 of 31 Old 02-07-2014, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by work4mike View Post

Hi Bob,

Do you know if the NeoTV Prime supports plugging in a large (say 1 TB) USB Hard Drive for media content?

I would like to plug in my HDD for media content. Mostly JPG, AVI, MPEG, MP4, MKV files. The videos came off my digital cameras and I am hoping that the streamer will recognize these formats.

Also, I recently found on the Netgear support website that this streamer will no longer support HBO Go because HBO had updated their end to "Flash 11". I wonder if the pre-programmed Buttons on the Remote (HBO Go) can be re-purposed for something else.

Any help is most appreciated! Thanks in advance.

The box is a straight up Google TV so connecting a 1 tb drive should be ok but I havnt tried one. Regarding playback of your files I am certain you will find an app on the Google Play Store to do what you want. It comes with Avia media installed. I use Plex which would handle what you want but Plex is designed for much more then home video. Also you may want to reconisder hooking a drive to it and just sharing a drive from a NAS or networked computer. This is much more flexible and prefered. You can attch your 1TB drive to a computer and share it which the Neo can read from. That is how mine operate.

The remote buttons cannot be re-purposed. But check if there is an update for HBO for GTV. That may be all you need.

Good luck.

Bob
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