Google has returned to the set-top box world with a Nexus Player running the Android TV UI powered by its new all-in-one OS, Lollipop.
Made by Asus, Nexus Player is being presented as a platform for streaming music and video and games, controlled via remote control, smartphone and a wireless gamepad.
The compact device will be launched in the US this autumn with pre-orders from October 17, but there are no details yet on price or international launch dates.
Content providers for the US launch will include Google Play, Netflix, Huku Plus, PBS Kids, Travel Channel, Sony Crackle, Dailymotion, Vevo, Food Network, Pandora, Songza, Univision Communications’ Uvideos and TED.
Nexus Player will be powered by a 1.8GHz quad core Intel Atom processor with an 802.11ac 2x2 MIMO WiFi connection, and connects to displays via HDMI.
It will run its own apps from Google Play, as well as supporting the Google Cast technology built into the £30 Chromecast dongle launched a year ago, which allows you to stream entertainment from most mobile and desktop devices to your TV.
The Android TV interface is a big-screen edition of Lollipop (or Android 5.0), the latest version of Google’s operating system for everything except its Chromebook laptops.
Lollipop will be launched across Google’s recent Nexus phones and tablets in the next few weeks, and includes a universal search across all devices, with the ability to pick up media playback from one device on another.
Android TV will also be launched in 2015 across the entire range of new Sony TVs as well as TVs from Sharp and Philips (now produced by TP Vision).
It’s Google’s second attempt at a TV set-top box following Google TV, which launched in 2010 but failed to find enthusiasm amongst users, content providers or manufacturers.
The Chromecast streaming dongle has received a much warmer welcome from content providers and the user community.
DTG Staff | 16.10.2014