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Sony GoogleTv + Plex = great solution

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I just setup the following system in about 2 hours -

 

- Install Plex Media server on my pc. It has about 2TB of media (movies, tv, pictures)

- Bought a Sony NSZ-GS8, connected to my tv via hdmi and networked via wifi (N router)

 

If you primarily want to watch local media, this is the best/easiest solution I know of which gives you a nice UI as well. Cost of the Sony was $128.

 

- HTPC costs much more

- Streaming boxes, Roku or Rasperry Pi are really slow and have a much worse UI. Plus the cost adds up since you need a remote etc

- Sony comes with a nice remote with keyboard, very handy for searching

- It plays media with no transcoding (Direct Play in plex), just set the media profile to max. It does need to transcode DTS audio which is very cheap, the earlier gen Sony didn't need to

 

I haven't even bothered to hook it up to my cable box and use PrimeTime etc, which should be a nice bonus. I just wanted a fast, nice media box and Plex gives me a central media server which is easier to setup than XBMC. The Sony GoogleTv is much more powerful and flexible than AppleTv/Roku, but has less 'channels'.

post #2 of 11
Plex on GoogleTV was pretty good but the platform itself overall was not so hot and the chip that powered GoogleTV boxes was actually quite slow, Netflix UI for instance stutters on the NSZ-GS7. It's actually a dual core CPU not too different from the Raspberry Pi Arm CPU but runs at a higher clock speed.

AndroidTV is the replacement for GoogleTV running Android 4.2 and on much faster hardware, hopefully we see a few boxes this year like the Hisense Pulse Pro shown at CES. XBMC 13 should also be in a ready to use state for AndroidTV devices.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alx330 View Post

Plex on GoogleTV was pretty good but the platform itself overall was not so hot and the chip that powered GoogleTV boxes was actually quite slow, Netflix UI for instance stutters on the NSZ-GS7. It's actually a dual core CPU not too different from the Raspberry Pi Arm CPU but runs at a higher clock speed.

AndroidTV is the replacement for GoogleTV running Android 4.2 and on much faster hardware, hopefully we see a few boxes this year like the Hisense Pulse Pro shown at CES. XBMC 13 should also be in a ready to use state for AndroidTV devices.

 

Thanks, good info. If they officially support Plex and XBMC, it will be a worthy upgrade.

post #4 of 11
I have no problems at all with Plex on Roku, and for less than $100 it's a much better solution than GoogleTV.

I'm looking forward to seeing some new AndroidTV boxes as well, but only for XBMC. Sadly, there are better alternatives for just about anything. The Hisense specs and reviews look good, they seem to have addressed most of what's wrong with GoogleTV, but the Nexus TV box should be picking up rumors soon. I'll probably wait this one out for a bit.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nethawk View Post

I have no problems at all with Plex on Roku, and for less than $100 it's a much better solution than GoogleTV.

I'm looking forward to seeing some new AndroidTV boxes as well, but only for XBMC. Sadly, there are better alternatives for just about anything. The Hisense specs and reviews look good, they seem to have addressed most of what's wrong with GoogleTV, but the Nexus TV box should be picking up rumors soon. I'll probably wait this one out for a bit.


I tried the Roku and it had 2 problems -

 

1. Interface is bad. Roku wants all the apps to look the same I guess

2. It does not Direct Play a lot of media and will transcode. The Sony box plays it directly.

post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post

1. Interface is bad. Roku wants all the apps to look the same I guess

A Roku app developer recently explained that the issue is not that channel apps have to use the plain Roku interface - there are in fact some channel apps with fancier screens and controls. It's just that Roku supplies some really easy-to-use basic screens and controls that handle most of the functions that apps need, so it's hard for app developers to justify investing a lot of time and effort creating their own. Personally I don't mind the plain look. It works, and I actually appreciate the consistency.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post


I tried the Roku and it had 2 problems -

1. Interface is bad. Roku wants all the apps to look the same I guess
2. It does not Direct Play a lot of media and will transcode. The Sony box plays it directly.

Interface sentiment is subjective. It's not great, but it's way better than before, and certainly better than other boxes of its type.

That's the purpose of Plex, to transcode for endpoints so that multiple codecs aren't necessary. There are several "DirectPlay" devices without the need to transcode, but this all depends on what formats are necessary. Sony's GS8 media support is mediocre in comparison with many similar players. It all depends on what you need, and the GS8 doesn't have everything that most people need. Aside from this, GoogleTV is dead. Why invest in a box that has no future?

Oh yeah, forgot to mention:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Defcon View Post


- It plays media with no transcoding (Direct Play in plex), just set the media profile to max. It does need to transcode DTS audio which is very cheap, the earlier gen Sony didn't need to

Seriously? While some don't yet support TrueHD or DTS-HD, at least they support DTS, which the Sony does not. Here's their full audio support list:

AAC, MP3, WAV, WMA

Wow, impressive. eek.gif
Edited by Nethawk - 1/21/14 at 8:42am
post #8 of 11
I'd put the Google TV/Plex combo in the "pretty good" category. I think its a great solution for my bedroom, where a 2nd htpc wasn't entirely feasible.

I put this video together to show how I could integrate Windows Media Center an Plex via Google TV (Logitech Revue in my case)

post #9 of 11
I just returned the Roku 3 and there was a SONY rep working in Fry's. I asked him directly why the DLNA wasn't working on my so-called "Smart-TV" and he recommended the GS8. I returned the Roku b/c it kept buffering all the movies off of my Plex server. Now I read that the Google TV according to some ppl isn't doing far better. For $30 more (than the Roku) I think I'll pass on the Google TV as well. Looks like I will permanently have a laptop hooked up to my TV for my streaming purposes. :-(
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emlcombo View Post

I just returned the Roku 3 and there was a SONY rep working in Fry's. I asked him directly why the DLNA wasn't working on my so-called "Smart-TV" and he recommended the GS8. I returned the Roku b/c it kept buffering all the movies off of my Plex server. Now I read that the Google TV according to some ppl isn't doing far better. For $30 more (than the Roku) I think I'll pass on the Google TV as well. Looks like I will permanently have a laptop hooked up to my TV for my streaming purposes. :-(

What kind of server do you have? Roku has very limited file support - I suspect your Plex server was trying to transcode but wasnt powerful enough. You got buffering issues because the server couldn't create the new compatible file quickly enough.
post #11 of 11
Point very well taken. I was sure that I was streaming from my i7 3990k server but can't 100% sure. I've been trying so many different setups to get it working that it may have been streaming directly from my Netgear NAS. I have 5 DLNA servers setup on my network and it seemed that only one was actually pumping to my Roku... when I had it. I am going to research the HiSense and what was the other one?
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