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Pros: I read through all of the issues and became worried, but I wanted a better solution then an Xbox in my kitchen because I have 2 months left before my XBG family expires and I end my relationship w/ MSFT. In any case, it took me five minutes to set up the box (update firmware out of the box), and it seemed like I didnt need to add in the Ceton helper app, because it simply works as an extender out of the box. I followed the directions (turn off echo, turn off WMC, install) and it worked. I rebooted the Echo, and the settings came up, I modified a few and on my way. I also turned off transition animations as that caused issues on the Xbox also.
I have kept the Echo on 100% of the time without issue yet, but I also keep my WMC VM up 100% of the time also. The performance is on par or faster than my Xbox.
I have purposely divorced my "media" from my Xbox/Echo and have moved to a Roku solution and PLex for that matter. I put a new Roku streaming stick @ 5GHz and all my media needs are satisfied. Added a Logitech 650 remote ($40 refurb) and it takes care of all my needs.
The Roku and Ceton take about 5W, so I'm not too worried about keeping them going. They are superior solutions.
I have not tried any media viewing outside of WMC (mediaportal,etc) because they never worked correctly and Plex is now my universal solution so the Echo is now my guy.
If they could combine the Echo w/ a Roku now they would have a real winner. In the meantime I can live w/ both and a Refurbed Logitech to switch...
Cons: The remote. I didnt even try to use it, but it definitely goes down as being one of the worst-designed remotes I have ever seen. They should just ship without it and save me $20.
Also a nit but they put a film over the shiny parts and to take it off I nicked it.
Also on/off is slow, so I think that keeping this on all the time is better. A lag of a minute or so, maybe another 20 seconds over an Xbox.
No firmware update in over a year, so that always worries me because people are complaining and not getting fixed. Ceton also hasn't updated their app in a while, so maybe the company is in trouble... However no issues to report from my side yet, and I'm using Windows 7, not trying to hack Win8.
Other Thoughts: Like my SageTV once they got is solid, they sold it. Hopefully they follow through w/ endpoint solutions and not leave them in the lurk, but I know MSFT isn't really developing WMC anymore so this product has a shelf life.
Also the plans to use Linux I hear fumbled due to the wrong choice in Silicon, so Im assuming development for this product rev is dead.
Pros: Lets start by saying that this is amazing hardware except for the fact that the speakers are oddly placed offset in the back of the tablet. When I fold back the case (IVSO) it muffles the sound. However the case is excellent and it was cheap.
The screen is just amazing when flashed, not under the LG bloatware which is about as bad as it gets. Sitting idle the thing is sucking up 3-4% an hour doing nothing. To make matters worse since it is an older drop 4.2.x I'm not sure if the lagfix issue is there. In any case after two days this thing started lagging like crazy. Coupled w/ the batter and lag I was about to send it back, but for $250 I was miffed... The SD slot is key for rooting and ackups.
Cons: This device comes in 2 flavors the V500 (this one) which comes with the incredibly horrible LG vampire battery sucking software or the V510 Google Play edition @ $350 which is for all intensive purposes a huge ripoff except if you buy the V500 and have no rooting skills, you will be highly disappointed. Now some of the LG software is nice and I really like the keyboard, but the rest is serious bloatware and just makes the O/S too complex and useless. I run the O/S for apps, not for the O/S. Also screen responsiveness is reminiscent of Androids circa 2010, BAD! Sometimes 2-3 taps to get something done.
Also the Wall wort is really a wall wort. It's plain ugly and huge. What were they thinking. Take a cue from Apple.
Other Thoughts: OK, there is hope! I have had a dozen or more Android devices and I have learned that factory software is usually junk and bloated. LG is an extreme version, not because the presentation is ad (it is), but because the stock firmware kills the batter in a little over a day.
So you should root this (go to XDA), this took five minutes, and then you need to install recovery (TWRP for me). Once that is done, you can flash CM11 and gapps, and you now have a kitkat experience, with lots of bugs fixed, and a clean OS. I flashed the thing yesterday, and when I pulled it off the charger I thought something was wrong until I saw the tablet went 6+ hours without using a single % of battery life. Lag is GONE, CM11/TWRP has gamma settings and brightness fixes. Not to mention that Cyanogenmod is now commercializing and stability is high. This is kitkat (4.4), so I hear that LG is promising, but it's here today and I couldn't wait.
So you essentially get a clean drop, fully rooted and you can put all of the cool apps on there (adblock, titanium, etc) without worry. I backup the system using titanium to SD rather than fill up the internal (sd card they call it but eMMC)
LG should just ditch their software and pay Cyanogenmod to fix it up and keep current. Not sure why these manufactures need to take great hardware and dumb it down...
Pros: Able to try to get rid or my vampire verizon boxes. SD support on top of things and doing their best to snuff issues. Have had their products for years, and love them.
Network tuner lets me run my W7MC in a VM without issue. Verizon CC activation process seamless.
Cons: Firmware bumpy. I guess the cablecos dont always follow cablelabs rules. Had a few issues with firmware on FIOS. W7MC is buggy and junk compared to my beloved sagetv that google annexed.
Their tuner voting schemes not worked out, and less than 100% network performance can cause tuner availability issues. I'm only going to use this as 3CC -> W7MC only, and not confuse the thing by connecting to it from clients--at least not until they clean up the firmware or MSFT W7MC behaves (mostly MSFT).
Other Thoughts: MSFT makes it hard with their broken Playready DRM scheme. It took me two days to clear registries and flip bits to get DRM working and I have been doing this for years. I can only imagine the average user trying to get this to work. xbox extenders are not uniform in their behavior, and their dependence upon upnp to find MC on every boot is a grave weakness and their laggy RDP hack. Also had certificate (DRM issues again) on xbox and w7mc user account. I solved it w/ login profiles. SageTV was a 9 (media integration was so so, TV 10), W7MC maybe a 4. MSFT could have made this a star by now, and opened it up to TPI like SageTV.
MSFT should sell a barebones xbox 360 for $150 without controller because I dont play games on it. The thing idles at 75W which is a joke... My Sage HD300 - 7 Watts. Gates needs to funnel some of his billions into MSFT green initiatives.
MSFT charging for netflix and other paywall is a crime, not a fault of