Google TV: My review and the future...
I know this is more of a phone forum but it is Android related, so let's go... Okay, so a few days ago I got way too curious about Google TV and so I figured I would just go to Best Buy and get the Sony Blu-Ray player with Google TV and try it out. I can always return it for a full refund in under 30 days. Here are my thoughts...
My First Impressions:
-Now, remember I just got this thing so if I am missing any unlearned knowledge that is understandable. As far as the design itself, it is a beautiful piece of work: sleek and well built. Especially the remote with its compact yet easy to use shape. I do however have a few deal-breaking design complaints. One is that the remote is not back-lit and for $250 I would think a high end remote would be included. I watch in the dark 90% of the time so it is annoying trying to type without seeing the buttons. You can however use your Droid phone as a remote, and that's awesome (i believe some new models coming out might have a back-lit remote). Secondly, the buttons "click" when pressed which is a picky complaint but in my case a good one. I hate that. Lastly as far as design, the unit only has an HDMI output, which these days is the new standard, but I also like to use an old video projector I have which means I need to get a converter box for another $40 or so just to get the component wires.
-As far as the interface itself, I am very pleased. The 'mouse' control on the keyboard is a little slow sometimes and took some time to get used to, but its second nature now. I love how you can search various apps, tv, youtube, the web and more all in one click (the roots of Google). I also like only needing one single remote to control my TV, BluRay, and Comcast DVR box. Finally! The tv listings in Google is great, showing everything in categories and letting you know how much time is left. I have been trying to find out how to search for a show that is not currently on, which I figure must be do-able. I am disappointed that almost everything costs money. Whether it be Amazon or whatever, if you want to stream it, you probably have to pay for it. Even Hulu is blocked (which can be seen just fine with a work around thanks to PlayOn, however it costs a little $ after the trial period and come on, get real, give us the internet back Hulu!). The last complaint I want to talk about is the Market. The rage is being able to download all kinds of useful apps, however there are not that many. In fact some apps I really wanted (like SubSonic for streaming music and video from my PC) was not on the market. Now, all I had to do was copy the APK files from my rooted Razr to my email, then open them on Google TV and install them, but still. Yes, this works for a lot of phone apps, and yes they look big and strange on the TV but at least they work. Now I can stream music no problem, get facebook notifications, and more because of 'hacking' them onto the system. I know it is new and so more apps will come, but its nothing really special yet.
My Inner Debate:
-I have been asking myself over and over "Should I keep this or return it and wait for something new and better?" - Part of me is thinking I can get my $250 bucks back and buy a $100 blu-ray with internet extras and then wait for the new wave of Google TV boxes to come out this summer... However the other part of me is thinking why not enjoy this box and see how much better it gets with updates, then sell it off to get a new model in summer 2012. The $250 purchase might become only $120 after that time, but who knows. Hell, the new models might be released and cost like $400 which I would never buy with my budget.
So... Who of you have Google TV, this Sony Blu-Ray model or others? What do you think? What is coming? What is not worth it? In my opinion I think I will keep mine because it is lightyears better than any Blu-Ray internet box, but it is lacking what could make it incredible!