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Buggy pain, but not all bad
on May 9, 2015
I rarely write reviews online, but I feel compelled to do so for anyone out there thinking that the ForgeTV is awesome. It's not quite awesome.
OVERALL: This device is not ready. It is buggy, key apps are not supported, and the keyboard/mouse won't release until later this year. There isn't even a power button or any menu option I could find to reboot/turn the thing off... bizarre. Owning this device is like being a beta tester.
Netflix is not supported (yes you read that right-- NO NETFLIX "at this time"). Amazon Prime Video is not supported. External storage like a USB drive is not supported (ie for ROMs). There is no web browser supported. Razer's "Game Streaming from PC" does not exist yet (supposed to come out later this year). If you want your Razer to be cool at all, you have to sideload apps designed for tablets and phones.
They do not make this easy to do: To get it done, I had to:
- Install TeamViewer QuickSupport, connect my PC, and transfer .apk files (ie. Netflix, Nesoid, Simple.tv, etc which I downloaded from the internet) to the Razer Forge manually
- Once there, I had to use a file explorer (not on the Razer Forge by default, had to download it from Google Play Store) to install the .apk files after enabling developer mode and allowing unknown sources
- Additionally, since these apps won't natively show up in the ForgeTV UI, I had to install "Sideload launcher", a third-party program that lets me launch these apps
- Considering one of these as a ROM machine? There is a tiny bit of input lag from the wireless Razer Serval controller. It's not too bad, but I know *exactly* how Mario 3 is supposed to feel and trust me, there is a tiny bit of input lag. It isn't driving me crazy, but it just isn't perfect. *** Update: Sometimes (no pattern to it) the controller lag is FAR worse than "a tiny bit", and games are all but unplayable unless you use the controllers wired. ***
For the sideloaded apps:
- All side-loaded apps I've tried are bigger than my screen and therefore you can't see some of the stuff around the edges-- This might just be my TV, I don't know for sure
- Netflix was a pain to sign in to-- screen was half-blank, had to futz around with the Razer Remote (phone app), but once I finally got in it works fine now
- Simple.tv also a pain to sign in to and ALMOST works great-- scrolling through channels there is no cursor so you don't know what channel is selected, and as you scroll downward the listings disappear so you don't know what show is on. It WILL play live TV, but the menus are really messed up to navigate
- Google Chrome doesn't seem to work-- It's such a pain to sideload apps that I haven't tried firefox/etc yet
- Nesoid, SNES9x, ePSXe all work really well-- They required some configuring, tweaking, etc but they're running very well now
Note about the Razer Remote phone app: It's really slow to connect, and it disconnects when your phone's screen turns off. This is just annoying as hell.
All in all, the Razer Forge is pretty cool, but I just wish it did what I wanted it to do natively without having to jump through a dozen flaming hoops: Be a little computer that lets me watch netflix/prime, play ROMs, and browse the web. Oh, and stream games from my PC which was an advertised feature but doesn't launch until Q4...?