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1799 posts

Uber Geek
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  Reply # 1670992 14-Nov-2016 20:55
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greenbone:

 

xbmcnut:

 

Best Buy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

the only reason i havent tried bestbuy is because their shipping date is mid-december

 

 

FYI Bestbuy still cancels any/all of my orders made through an NZ card, or paypal account, being sent to a forwarder address, so they clearly don't support international orders all that well...


286 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1671194 15-Nov-2016 10:55
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Mine arrived today from Google US Store via Youshop, and I'm pretty happy with it.

 

I especially like the far reduced number of non-US hoops I have to jump through compared to the Echo.  I did have to change the primary language on my phone to US English for the install, and the powerplug is a US one, but as with the Echo it does 100-240V so just needs an adapter. You have to click an "I understand the device is not from this country" dialogue, as per overseas-sourced chromecasts, and that's about it. My current location appears, and weather forecasts etc are all region appropriate.

 

Sound probably isn't quite as good as the Echo, but fine for kitchen listening, and the chromecasting works well - I've changed the names of a couple of my chromecast devices to work better with the service (ie removed the brackets from some names as it wasn't keen on them, and changed the name of my video chromecast to "TV" so I can simply say "Hey google, play [you tube content] on my TV".

 

Adding items to my google keep shopping list works seamlessly (the Alexa app was awful to open quickly at the supermarket), and all seems to work pretty solidly.

 

I know that it's early days and that the general US consensus is that the Echo is still ahead, but the Home unit is probably a better match to my setup, which is probably helped by me holding off the home-automation stuff until I decided which one to go with.


 
 
 
 


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 1671201 15-Nov-2016 11:06
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tieke:

 

Mine arrived today from Google US Store via Youshop, and I'm pretty happy with it.

 

 

Thanks for the update. I watched a vlog last night that said the Calendar integration is broken and this was also reported by another Geekzoner. What's your experience?


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1671209 15-Nov-2016 11:13
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Haven't really tried the Calendar yet. When I asked about "My Day" it did correctly give the Reminders I had set for today and tomorrow, so at least some part of the integration is working.


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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1671253 15-Nov-2016 12:27
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Looks like we didn't escape the regional issues entirely - my son likes the Muppets Most Wanted soundtrack, and I tried to test a track from that only to be told that it is "Unavailable in my region". As he normally plays it via Google Play Music I knew that that wasn't the case, so I assume that the album isn't present on the US Play Music site. After streaming it to the Chromecast audio using my phone I can however use the Google Home to control it ("Hey Google, play the next track on Speakers" etc,)


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  Reply # 1671501 15-Nov-2016 17:32
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I have had it tell me things are not available on spotify that I can see are because I am looking at them on the desktop app, but the echo does that as well so I guess they just have the US catalog indexed or something.





Richard rich.ms

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1671516 15-Nov-2016 18:38
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It's pretty weird - for instance it will tell me that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is unavailable in my region, but if I ask it to play Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody is the second tune up.

I suspect there will be a few similar teething problems, but luckily all the problems I've heard of so far should be sorted by standard software improvements (assuming the Home device doesn't turn into one of Google's abandonware projects before it's had at least a year under its belt).

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  Reply # 1671652 16-Nov-2016 05:54
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Same problems with asking for songs from play music. Ask for timber by pitbull (sorry) and its not available in my area.

 

Its on google play music in that horrible poor excuse of a web player, and using chrome I can cast it to it.





Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1672239 16-Nov-2016 17:29
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Mine turned up today and wow, pretty awesome. All my home automation devices discovered (through ha-bridge) and casting to music when it works is amazing. A more natural language flow than echo which you'd expect.

 

However...casting is not without its issues. To prelude, I have a free Google Play Music account with some albums uploaded, a Pro Spotify account, a Pandora account (free) and two Chromecast audio's; one in the living room and one in my Son's room.

 

When I started out, I set Pandora as my default music player as that what I use at home as it's baked into my multi-room audio system. Now when I said "Hey Google, play some Dubstep in living room", boom, away it went. Saying "OK Google, volume 50% in living room" adjusts the volume...awesome. If I say "OK Google, play some rock and roll in David's room, away it goes, two different stations in two different rooms. "OK Google, stop living room" or "stop David's room" stops playback but interestingly it does not stop casting if you check with the Google Home app. This is where it turns to custard.

 

I have a zone called "All" and if I say "OK Google, play some pop music on All", again it will start a Pandora station in both zones however saying "OK Google, stop casting in Living Room", stops both zones. Once you've 'broken' it this way, getting it to behave becomes harder and harder.

 

If you cast from your phone first, Google Home gets very confused and does not know what is going on. If you try and initiate another cast from Google Home when you've initiated from your phone first, GH will say "OK" when you request a station but the station does not change. When I tried Spotify, it was worse. Casting from the Spotify app to each of my zones worked flawlessly but casting from GH with Spotify did not work even though GH said it was casting to the zone I asked it to and the app shows it is in fact casting. Casting but no sound coming out. I got to the point where I had to reboot everything to get it back in sync.

 

Google Play Music streaming is possible on a free account but you have to know what albums, artists or playlists you have as you can only stream those by name. Opening the Google Play Music app does not show you your music when you have a free account.

 

So when it works, it works great but as a multi-room audio system it is too unreliable at the moment. The ability to turn on each zone on its own and stream different sources is great. You can adjust the volume of each zone independently and stop each zone but when you enable party mode, it turns to poo. You can still set the volume of each zone individually, but stopping any zone stops all zones which sucks.

 

I'm hopeful that future updates fix some of these issues but as we know, reporting these bugs to Google drops into some never ending bucket somewhere with no response. I'll post to the official channels and cross my fingers.


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  Reply # 1672338 16-Nov-2016 19:51
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I have a whole lot of LG speakers which have google cast in them (which has always been crap) and also spotify connect.

 

The home cannot send anything to them, only to my 2 chromecast audios, and then I have had all sorts of problems. Not played as much as you clearly have but it very clearly is only a fractionally baked part of the product.





Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1672411 16-Nov-2016 21:32
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I suppose I had a rant as I was initially a bit disappointed. Overall, Pandora works very well. Spotify probably does not play anything due to region issues so even though it works on the app, the Google Home is a US device so you probably need a US Spotify account for that to work?

 

I understand the "All" zone thing now too. As far as Googs is concerned, it appears as a whole new device so when you "stop" any group, as much as splitting a group up after it has been started would be awesome, it's probably more a feature request than a bug.

 

After the family talked the ears off GH tonight, my first impression is that the mics are not as sensitive as Echo and that as a speaker, while the bass it great, it's lacking in highs. You can however end up having quite a conversation with it with is fun. It also knows a lot more so as a family tool, well handier an easier than picking up the tablet.

 

The calendar is not working for me at all as she says that the feature is coming. Calculating the time to get somewhere works very well but you have to define the 'from' part first (home or work). She also states that traffic information is not available.

 

It's a lot smaller than it looks on YouTube and is quite unobtrusive. The killer feature is definitely being able to cast music and video with your voice.


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  Reply # 1672433 16-Nov-2016 22:03
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The replacement metal base covers are $40 which seems absurdly expensive for something that cost what these cost. Im hoping some decently priced better looking third party options come out because right now the speaker is very ugly and non-tech looking. The matte finish is already showing a bit of grossness from adjusting the volume and I dont really want to try too hard to clean it with the mic holes where they are. Why couldnt it be a nicer finish instead of this dirt magnet matte texture.





Richard rich.ms

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  Reply # 1674377 20-Nov-2016 08:22
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In case anybody is interested and can take advantage of this Best Buy is selling the Google Home for $99 on Black Friday

 

http://www.droid-life.com/2016/11/18/best-buy-google-home/

 

 

 

Though I have two have Dots I might get one to try it out since I am invested in the Google ecosystem. Plus I am running HABridge.





System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen. Harman Kardon HK AVR 254 7.1 receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast

 


My Google+ page 

 

 

 

https://plus.google.com/+laurencechiu

 

 




133 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1674398 20-Nov-2016 09:28
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The NZ dollar is dropping against the  $US. 




133 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 1674399 20-Nov-2016 09:30
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http://blackfriday.bestbuy.com/?ref=199&loc=TnL5HPStwNw&acampID=1&siteID=TnL5HPStwNw-N3ksS5OQ3rDb71kkxkuyGw&category=doorbusters


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