back to article Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV internet player review

Google and hardware BFF Sony will be hoping the second time’s the charm for their latest joint foray into the living room. The first Google television adventure floundered in the States, scuppered by hardware complexity and inadequate software. This time around we have a simpler set top box proposal, the NSZ-GS7, and the Google …

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Anonymous Coward

Great

Another way to watch the all that crap on YouTube through your telly.

That's one reason why I won't be buying it.

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"Slicker than a brylcreemed ferret"

You just know I'm gonna work that one into a conversation now...

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Nice remote

I like the remote. Not so sure about the box. I think these devices would be a lot more popular if they played anything that was thrown at them (mkv, avi, asp, mp3, aac, dts, ac3 etc.) via a native DLNA client AND offered apps to other services. Perhaps you can build it up to be something like that especially when XBMC turns up. At that point it may actually be worth a sniff.

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Re: Nice remote

I'd like the remote for controlling RPi's around the house - but the box is just too expensive for what it seems to offer at the moment.

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Bit pricey

But if these came down to around the £100 mark and the XBMC Android port is finished they could be pretty nice.

Assuming compatible UK catch-up TV of course.

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Re: Bit pricey

Well, if you're looking for a 100 quid XBMC box, as I mentioned elsewhere in this comments thread, a second gen Apple TV works like a charm. It's really easy to jailbreak, the XBMC install is a simple apt-get install sort of affair, and the iPlayer plugin works well, even with iPlayerHD.

Worth considering, as it's small, silent, cheap, comes with a decent remote, and uses 6W tops.

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Re: Bit pricey

You can do better than that. Ebay is filled with gumstick style Android PCs which would do the trick. Even the Raspberry Pi runs XBMC though the experience is a bit borderline since only some hardware codecs are supported and the CPU is too slow to the ones that aren't in software. Bigger issue is these have no remote (and the Pi has no case) so you have to use an XBMC remote app.

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Anonymous Coward

RasPi and MPEG-2

I haven't tried Raspbmc (the RasPi XBMC distro) yet - though it's on my list - but it's worth mentioning on the codec front: a few days ago the Raspberry Pi Foundation announced that Pi-owners can now purchase a licence for MPEG-2 support (and VC-1, a MS-centric codec).

I believe the codec is already baked into the latest firmware, and once you've ponied up for the licence (<£3, as I recall), they email you a licence key which is connected to your Pi's serial number. Once you've added this to the core config, your Pi can then play MPEG-2 vids.

Haven't tried it yet, but I think I will before long...

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Agreed

Far too pricey for what it actually is! Especially since you can buy a more established system with more content and grunt (i.e. PS3, XBox etc) for this price.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Agreed

You can be confident of support in the form of firmware updates or hacks from the mod community with a games console. A box like this will get abandoned pretty quickly.

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Anonymous Coward

Boo

It's a bit of a letdown that there is no dedicated iplayer client (though iplayer for android is in a state of flux right now, due to all the drama over flash).

I will stick with the slightly steam driven interface of the surprisingly functional iPlayer client for XMBC on my jailbroken Apple TV second gen for now- which cost half the price.

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Re: Boo

"iplayer for android is in a state of flux right now, due to all the drama over flash"

Which made me laugh and laugh considering right up until the end the BBC claimed the hacky Flash-infested pile that is (or was) iPlayer on Android was the proper way of implementing it, despite the fact that it wasn't supported by any ARMv6 devices and the iPhone somehow made do without Flash at all.

The BBC should get more stick for not replacing it with a proper solution sooner, rather than coming out with a half-baked hack and then not doing anything before Adobe removed Flash support from Android.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boo

No, dotdavid, the BBC should not "get more stick". It's actually not their choice, they are being bullied by rights owners. The truth is far more complex and annoying than you could imagine. There is an attempt to find a technical solution that the lawyers will be happy with- the lawyers are the hard bit. It's not nice.

Anon, because.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Boo

You're saying that the BBC don't have the clout to stand up to the rights owners? Or that the BBC bosses are just too pusillanimous? Shame on it either way,

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Re: Boo

"There is an attempt to find a technical solution that the lawyers will be happy with- the lawyers are the hard bit. It's not nice."

Any particular reason the lawyers are unhappy with "the same way they do it for the iPhone" as a technical solution, then?

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Re: Boo

That's just plain stupid. All their content has already leaked out, it's widely available on the interwebs. All they are doing is making it harder for legitimate viewers to view the content legally, thus pushing them to get it illegally.....

By doing so, they are reducing future monetization potential and possibly loosing a whole generation of viewers.

Foot, meet gun. But, hey, the lawyers get paid regardless.

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It doesn't sound too bad, its just that there are other offerings that are more mature and cheaper. Not least an Xbox, PS3, SmartTV or even a cheap media pc.

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Potentially very nice but XMBC is needed

There are catchup plugins for XBMC, the Android port is progressing nicely and would make me buy one.

One problem - due to the way Android works platform specific hardware support is needed.

Since Marvell are the chip manufacturer and do the low level software I am going to write to Daniel Yoo (corporate communications manager) at yoo@marvell.com to suggest that focussing 1-2 engineers on this task could increase sales considerably.

Then all that Sony needs to do is add XBMC to the list of accessible apps or even include it by default.

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Anonymous Coward

Burning the £200 would be more entertaining than buying this.

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Google TV is a dumb idea (like most competing solutions). If I want the internet on my tv, I'll hook a pc up to it and play anything I want and have a boat load of storage for all my ripped dvds and cds.

I acknoledge most people won't be inclinded to do the same but I suspect that doesn't meant they want some under powered box that is meant to not do much more than try to force you into paying googlre and film streaming companies.

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I use a HTPC which is total overkill, but mainly because the little boxes like this Sony haven't quite reached the same level yet on certain important features. The thing is that they are now getting very close and where they mainly fall down is lack of apps. With the massive boom in android tablets, I think that the tablet apps will crossover to these TV boxes and fill the gaps.

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Large fan in quiet living room

I have a PC hooked up to my TV right now and I'd love to get rid of the associated large fan AND get a decent keyboard remote. It would also have to be something that the wife can use without a lot of new learning and easily play all of the content that's already on our network.

Unfortunately, there is precious little that fits the bill. I've tried the WD TV, but it was less than ideal, but this new Sony player might do the trick. And, before you ask, I also have a Mele sitting on the shelf, have yet to see if that will be a solution...

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A joint project by Sony the rootkit kings and Google, who will no doubt find some way of tracking your every use of the device.

I don't care how shiny it is or what it does...do not want.

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Anonymous Coward

I bought one when I stumbled across it in John Lewis because they were too incompetent to set it up and demonstrate it. The lack of apps is the killer. Having chrome on the tv is cool though. Keyboard takes a bit of getting used to: if you hold it at the wrong angle it gets confused about whether it's a keyboard or mouse. Performance could've been better. I'd have preferred to see a quad core chip in it. Also, the ability to overlay chrome over the tv picture would've made it perfect IMHO.

It's going back because it's a little flakey and needs hard resetting a bit too frequently. I'll buy one again when it is inevitably half price and the bugs are ironed out.

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