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Post Reply Google TV - Problem Starting the App
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Posted 8/1/15 , edited 8/4/15
I never came back to update. After a few days of testing I came up with some observations.

For those looking for an upgrade from the Google TV platform, the Nexus Player is a great little machine. I did not root mine (mainly because I was too excited to play with it and set up too many things before I read that root requires unlocking the bootloader and that process factory resets the machine), and I am finding I can still do a lot of setups, hacky and non-hacky, without much issue. The one thing I suggest to be wary of is the network capabilities.

I'm in the process of upgrading my home network and have a nice running wired net, but wireless is still on G grade standards. The Nexus player does not care for not having a good network at it's disposal (from what I read, it sounds like if you have later generation wireless N or AC, you'll be fine on wireless with a decent internet connection). The effects of a poor network can be seen in a lot of apps. I ended up setting up a USB OTG cable to powered USB 2.0 hub expansion off the micro-USB port on the back of the Nexus Player. I went with powered so I knew some old portable hard drives would work without putting too much power draw on the NP. After plugging in a USB3 to 1Gbps Ethernet adapter to the hub, the NP immediately disabled WiFi and began running off the wired network. That made a lot of improvements for me. The NP is USB 2.0, so I'll never get that full 1Gbps, but it should handle 200Mbps at least. NP is picky about hardware connected to it, so one should check out the XDA Devs forum where they have a compatibility list going.

I have tried three CR access methods. None of them are officially supported. I'm pretty sure you shouldn't expect CR to help you watch on a Nexus Player, at all.

Android Casting:
Turns out, the NP has a Chromecast built in. With an android phone or tablet, you can cast right to your NP from the CR app on the mobile device. If you really want to use this method though, you could maybe save yourself some cash and just get a Chromecast.

Streaming: "A" as this was the best "let me sit and watch without a care" method. Auto network detection and no stuttering.
Stability: "A" as I never saw a crash or hiccup.
Controls: "F" as I don't see a way to use the NP to control the stream. You control it from the mobile device. I use a phone, and maybe it is better on a tablet with a wider stream playback bar, but I can't explain how much I hate this control method.
Extra Setup and Requirements: "B" as you have to have a mobile device... not a huge loss for this as I assume anyone using a streaming service probably has a smartphone of some sort.

Sideloading:
This is pretty much covered by topgee in the above post. I have a couple of things to add.

Streaming: "C" as, for some reason, the network detection didn't seem to work as well when the app was run off the NP. I got a some stuttering on WiFi, but it was mostly fixed on ethernet. If you are on a congested network, you may find some issues with this.
Stability: "A" as I never saw a crash or hiccup.
Controls: "C" as you still get the kinda weird controls, but at least now left and right on the remote will fastforward and rewind. You'll pretty much have to buffer again everytime though.
Extra Setup and Requirements: "C" as you need to sideload the app (though I thought I was able to go to Google Play from a PC browser and click "install", select the NP from my devices and it got silently pushed to my NP), and you need Sideload Launcher. There's nothing really hard about any of this, but it's more work.

Kodi:
This method relies on a plugin to the Kodi app, which is very visually appealing once you get it up and configured. This plugin is some sort of script that seems to sweet talk CR's site into serving up a video to a registered account user, and then the Kodi app grabs and displays it. That being said, I don't exactly know how futureproof this one is.

Streaming: "D" as there is no auto network detection. You have to manually set what level of video quality you want when you set up the plugin. Going for 1080p when your network and internet connection can't handle it will cause stuttering, buffering, and a frustrating experience. That said, if you have an excellent network with a really fast internet connection, QoS, high-end recent equipment, set it to 1080p and forget about it. In fact, if you have that you probably aren't even reading this sentence. You are already laughing to yourself with a sensible chuckle and fake pity for those of us overpaying for sub-par internet service. If that is you, and I'm only sorta glaring at you, I promise, this setup is an "A" for you.
Stability: "B" as I have seen Kodi crash a couple of times while using this plugin. Only from the menu though, and never while mid stream.
Controls: "B" as you will now get some decent streaming controls. Left and right jump 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes depending if you single push, double, triple... (you get the idea) the button on the remote. If you want better controls, you can get a companion remote app for your mobile device to connect to the software (some extra setup required). The application is made for buffering and caching movies playing off a hard drive or NAS storage, so caching is in play here. If the app has that part of the stream, fast forward and rewind does not result in a complete re-buffering from what I've experienced. It does seem to hold on to some specific stream points, so sometimes your fast forward isn't a full 10 seconds, and your rewind may only be 3 seconds instead of 10, but it doesn't bother me to jump back 30 seconds to work around this instead of 10 seconds.
Extra Setup and Requirements: "D" as this is not the most intuitive process. Kodi installs right from the play store. That's easy. Setup of Kodi is a little advanced. You can download the CR plugin right from within Kodi. Once it is downloaded, you have to open the plugin's entry while you are still in the plugins section of settings so that you can set up the plugin configuration (entering your account data, which is very important, and setting the stream quality). After this you can use the plugin, but it helps to go the extra mile and change a lot of the views so as to display the extra info (like descriptions) that the plugin retrieves for you.

Overall, between these three I like the experience with Kodi the best. It is far from perfect, but it works, gives me a pleasant view at a glance of what I want to watch (and supports the 'updated' sort of series, which is about all I use). The controls are really what does it for me as I just can't get myself to like the CR app control setup.

I'm happy with the Nexus Player, and I'm pretty confident that, at the least, the Casting option will stick around for me on this device letting me use it for CR. If CR came out with a real Android TV Leanback application, I would probably switch to it immediately. I really hope the team at CR is considering it. Sling TV is making some waves and has the Nexus Player as one of their main supported devices (they'll even subsidize the cost of one if you pre-pay for their service), so I don't think that the Android TV platform would be a bad investment for CR to put some effort into.

If these methods sound sub-par, too difficult, or too hacky to you though, and if you are not very invested into the Android ecosystem to have a lot of extra benefit by not having an Android set top box, then you may want to look into a Roku instead.
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Posted 8/1/15
Very nice post. Thank you.
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Posted 8/15/15
Thanks for the info.. I thought it was just my device not working. (Google TV) I didn't get the email either. I'm not happy with this decision. I'll have to decide if I want to go buy a new device (Chromecast? idk) or just only watch using my computer.
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