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.
Netgear AV Consultant