Google unveils Nexus Player running Android TV: Here's all you need to know

Google went against the herd by unveiling its devices in a rather low-key fashion - no invites to a flamboyant event to announce the potential launch of the Nexus 6 smartphone and the Nexus 9. Instead, they finally announced the new Nexus devices in a simple blog post, but the company took us all by surprise by unveiling the Nexus Player.

Made by Google and Asus, Nexus Player is the first device running Android TV. The device is basically a streaming media player for movies, music and videos. In a lot of ways, it can be seen as Google's answer to Apple TV. While the Chromecast tried to fulfill the same purpose, the Nexus Player is a more flexible and comprehensive alternative to bringing Google to your TV.

The disc-shaped Nexus Player

The disc-shaped Nexus Player

The box includes 8GB of internal storage, so you can download media and save it for later viewing. It can stream over 802.11ac Wi-Fi, which is the newest standard out there right now. It comes with a tiny remote with buttons for Play/Pause, Back, Start and Search. The Search button allows you to perform voice searches on your TV using the built-in microphone.

It's also a first-of-its-kind Android gaming device. Nexus Player supports a game controller, but it's sold separately. With Nexus Player you can play Android games on your HDTV with a gamepad, then keep playing on your phone while you're on the move. Nexus Player is Google Cast Ready so you can cast your favorite entertainment from almost any Chromebook or Android or iOS phone or tablet to your TV. The player syncs content across Android devices so you can start a movie on your TV and finish it on your tablet in bed.

The game controller is sold separately for $39

The game controller is sold separately for $39

Nexus Player users will have access to Netflix, TuneIn Radio, PBS Kids, Hulu Plus, YouTube, Crackle, iHeartRadio, Pandora, Goggle Games, Google Movies & TV, Google Music and loads more.

The Nexus Player runs on a 1.8GHz quad-core, Intel Atom processor. For tackling high-end games and graphics, there's the Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine, 1GB Ram and 8GB of internal storage. However, there's no microSD slot to expand the storage size. There's also dual-band Wireless AC and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity, an HDMI port (1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz), and a microUSB 2.0 port. The device runs on two AAA batteries, which are supplied in the box.

Android TV is Google's platform for TVs and is a customised version of Android L. The interface lets you plug video content from the Play store and  push content from other devices from the Android and iOS stable too.

Google will sell the Nexus Player for $99 and the game controller for $39. The Nexus Player will be available to pre-order from tomorrow through the Google Play Store.

Published Date: Oct 16, 2014 01:35 pm | Updated Date: Oct 16, 2014 01:35 pm