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NETGEAR NeoTV Prime with Google TV Reviewed

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Introduction

NETGEAR NeoTV Prime with Google TV

At a Glance
Product NETGEAR GTV100 NeoTV Prime with Google TV [Website]
Summary Inexpensive Google TV box with some streaming and local media playback features mixed in
Pros • DLNA support
• Built-in Chrome browser supports HTML5 and flash
• Plays content from USB
• Works with USB keyboard/mouse
• Android-based UI will feel familiar for Android smart phone users
Cons • HDMI and Ethernet cables not included
• No instruction manual
• Awkward live TV setup
• Touchpad difficult to use
• No support for local network SMB shares

Introduced at CES this year, the NeoTV Prime with Google TV is the latest entry in NETGEAR's family of media players. But if it's a family member, it's a very distant cousin. The Neo TV prime is first and foremost a Google TV device and secondly, a media streamer. The Prime's user interface and user experience bears scant resemblance to the NeoTV MAX that I reviewed last fall.

Product Tour

Like its NeoTV MAX sibling, the NeoTV Prime comes in a shiny black box with rounded corners. It's slightly larger than the MAX, measuring 4.7" x 4.1" x 1.5". Both devices sport the Neo TV logo on the front panel as well as a power indicator LED. On the side of each device, there's a single USB port that for a USB dirve that contains media files, or for a wired keyboard or mouse. You can also use a Bluetooth wireless keyboard/mouse. A standard keyboard or mouse can simplify typing in passwords as compared to using the Bluetooth remote's touchpad to select letters from the onscreen keyboard.(see image for remote below).

The NeoTV Prime's rear panel is where you'll find some differences shown in the comparison view below and the accompanying table. The Prime's key difference is its two HDMI ports. The Out port connects to your TV, while the In connects to your cable or satellite box.

Rear Panels for NeoTV MAX (left) and NeoTV Prime (right)

Rear Panels for NeoTV MAX (left) and NeoTV Prime (right)

Another key difference is that the Prime lacks the AV output jack that the NeoTV MAX has. So if your TV or cable/satellite box doesn't support HDMI, the Prime is not for you. The table below the images summarizes the rear panel features.

Rear Panel Features for the NeoTV Max and NeoTV Prime

Rear Panel Features for the NeoTV MAX and NeoTV Prime

As with all media players, the included remote control is very important. It is the primary way that you communicate with your device. While the infrared remote control included with the Neo TV MAX edged out its competition by including a QWERTY keyboard, the remote included with the NeoTV Prime improves on its sibling's remote in several ways.

First, the Prime’s remote control is Bluetooth rather than infrared. This makes it ideal for home theater systems where you might place the device out of direct line of sight. Second, on the rear of the remote, there are 57 keys on the Prime's keyboard as compared to only 38 keys on the MAX's keyboard. Like all of the remotes on media streamers I've reviewed, the NeoTV Prime's is not backlit.

The available functions on the front of the Prime's remote are also a notable improvement over those found on the MAX's remote. In addition to a touch pad for navigation, the Prime's remote includes dedicated keys for search, live TV, Guide, PIP (Picture in Picture), info, Mute as well as channel and volume Up/Down keys.

Both remotes (pictured below) include six dedicated keys that will take you directly to content such at Netflix and YouTube. However, based on my personal use of media players, I preferred the choices on the NeoTV MAX's remote as I use Hulu Plus and Pandora.

NeoTV Max remote (left) and NeoTV Prime remote (right)

NeoTV MAX remote (left) and NeoTV Prime remote (right)

As I've mentioned in other reviews, one of my pet peeves is a device without all the necessary cables. Like virtually all media players on the market, the NeoTV Prime does not ship with an HDMI cable. But it also doesn't ship with an Ethernet cable, which usually is included with all devices that have an Ethernet port. There have been some complaints in some of the forums about cables not being included, so I thought it was worth mentioning again in the review. If you order the Prime online, you may as well purchase the cables at the same time. Cables are a lot cheaper online than at a retail outlet.




Related Items:

NETGEAR CES 2013 Announcements
Amazon Launches Prime Video Streaming
WD TV Play Reviewed
Two More $100 Streamers Compared: Roku 2 XS vs. NETGEAR NeoTV MAX
NETGEAR Outs New Streamers and Miracast Display Adapter

User reviews

Average user rating from: 3 user(s)

NOTE! Please post product reviews from actual experience only.
Questions, review comments and opinions about products not based on actual use will not be published.

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Overall: 
 
1.5 Features :
 
1.7 Performance :
 
1.7 Reliability :
 
1.0
 
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It doesn't work

Overall rating: 
 
1.0
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Dennia
October 08, 2013
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After the connect to the internet step does not work, the remote doesn't work properly, I tried on 3 different tvs and also Ethernet and does not work, I wasted $99.99 + tax, I though that I had a good product, and also I've been looking on internet how to set it up and It seems that people had the same experience. And worse, the store will not take it back because it pass the 30 days policy.


 

disappointed - taking it back

Overall rating: 
 
1.7
Features:
 
3.0
Performance:
 
1.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Silver
August 19, 2013
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box runs hot
remote is cheep
mouse function on remote is intermittent
interface not intuitive
slow

 

About this "Review"

Overall rating: 
 
1.7
Features:
 
1.0
Performance:
 
3.0
Reliability:
 
1.0
Reviewed by Dee Baker
April 04, 2013
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The NeoTV Prime's hardware fails to live up to the "PRIME" name it was given. In all other offerings of GTV by partners (LG, Samsung, Sony) NONE of them have an "AV" out so why did the "Reviewer" use in his diagram comparison of the Prime vs. the NeoTV streamer that it's missing? Why not compare it to the Logitech Revue or the Sony NSZ-GS7 which are Google TV set top boxes?
Anyway, the high points would be the keyboard remote but it auto shuts-off and you cannot change it and it's not backlit like Sony's NSG-MR5U remote and the touchpad does not scroll, it becomes non responsive while in use and the touchpad is terrible. Great layout though.
2.) The Chrome web browser is the best offering of any Google TV set-top boxes because of it's HTML5 and FLASH enabled and it works well without crashing. 99% of all mobile browsers don't have that support and they all fail.
3.) This is the big one, no HDMI cable (at least 1) included with the device and the lack of multiple IR blasters to control the TV, Cable box and or the AUX, you literally have to pick which device you want it to control besides the Prime. Maybe NetGear should have build the device with a IR blast inside that could have covered every device on your multimedia shelf, now that would have been innovative.

Sony NSZ-GS7 is better for $20 more.