Top positive review
6 people found this helpful
Better than average, but still not great
on January 30, 2013
Overall, the concept of an Android based TV is a great one. When I read the description and the other reviews, I imagined the G2 as an Android device with a built-in TV tuner and a huge display. So I assumed I'd have access to all the apps from the Google Play Store, have a full browser with flash support, etc. After buying one and playing with it for a few weeks, it's *almost* what I had imagined but not quite. It does have an OS that is based on Android but it's a different version and MOST apps from the google play store aren't compatible with the Google TV Android OS. As of Jan 2013, on average each category (games, entertainment, etc.) only has 10-20 apps that are listed as compatible, and even then if you install them some of them won't run (so popular games like Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, etc. all DO NOT WORK). So keeping that in mind, I'll go through the pro's and con's as I see them:
- Nice display quality (I have the 55in)
- TV has swivel stand (maybe about 25 a degree turn each way, not much but it helps)
- 3D capability is nice, even though it's only at half of 1080 resolution (540 lines for each eye)
- 3D glasses are passive (no electronics embeded), and you can use the polarized glasses that they hand out at movie theaters
- More apps than you would find on other "smart tv" platforms
- In the future, more apps are sure to come as developers port their apps to the google tv version of android
- Remote control has full qwerty keyboard and "wii-mote" like capability for mouse control
- There are a few apps that give you free tv/movie/sports content (ad supported) - Crackle, TvPortal, Thuzz, YouTube
- Has a browser with flash support, so you can watch streaming video via flash players (although hulu doesn't work)
- Generates a guide of all shows playing on channels your TV receives, which is very nice
- The TV looks nice - it has a small silver bevel and is thin and sleek
- Has both wired ethernet port as well as wifi
- TV's main user interface is poorly designed. You have to drill down into levels of the main menu to do simple things like turn captions on/off, switch inputs, change aspect ratio, last channel recall, see program info, etc.
- Even though the remote has 4 programmable buttons, most functions I would want to program aren't programmable (like turning captions on/off, changing tv input)
- Even though the TV turns on with very little delay, you can't bring up any of the main menu for about 30 seconds. So if you want turn on the tv to run an app, you have to watch live TV for 30 seconds or so before you can bring up the menu to kick off the app.
- Even though you can save favorite channels into a list, you can't seem to change the order in which they appear
- The vast majority (I'm guessing about 99.5%) of apps from the google play store aren't compatible as mentioned above.
- Web browser interface using the remote is klunky, is too inconvenient to use (it's better to just browse on your computer)
- Remote is too klunky for any app that requires precision or rapid movement (ok for word games, not good for action games)
- You can play content from a hard drive that is connected via USB, but you can't play content from a remote network drive (i.e., from my NAS that has directory shared via NFS or samba), although probably someone will create a media player app with that capability at some point
- Only has 1 component input, no S-video (so you're out of luck if you have lots of older devices that don't support HDMI)
In terms of price, compared to similar LG TV's w.o. the GoogleTV feature, you're basically paying a couple of hundred bucks for the addition of an Android OS, which is a bit pricey. Overall my feeling is that the G2 is better than the average smart tv, but still has lots of room for improvement. I would recommend it if you think you'll get a lot of mileage out of downloading and running apps on the TV to get free content or play games. If you mainly watch live tv shows or mainly use your dvr and you don't think you'll be making use of the available android apps, the extra money probably isn't worth it for you.