I hoped to hear something that would pump new life into Google TV, since I’m an owner of a Logitech Revue. I even planned to pull it out of the box and hook it up to my TV again after the keynote. Instead it will stay in the box. Google TV users got nothing and I doubt we will any time soon.
Instead, we learned about the Google Nexus Q, a “social streaming” device shaped like an orb that connects to your TV and the Internet giving users access to the Google Play Store video and audio content. Sound familiar? Aside from the silly shape, it works much like an Apple TV, which also lets people connect their TV to Apple’s media store.
Check out the promotional video for the Nexus Q below:
The device runs on the same architecture as any other Android device, powered by the same chip as the Nexus phone. People can plug their speakers directly into the Google Nexus Q since it pumps sound, thanks to a 25-watt amplifier. It outputs via optical audio and HDMI. It also includes NFC, Bluetooth and Ethernet for connectivity.
Owners of an Android tablet or phone will control the Nexus Q. I can connect my Samsung Galaxy Note and play the movies or music I bought from the Google Play store on any Nexus Q, even if I’m at someone else’s house. That gives it the social feature.
If someone wants to host a party, she can let others access the Q and play their music or videos. The lights that surround the orb will flash to give users a party feel as it responds to the beat.
This sounds pretty cool, but at $299 I can’t see it really taking off. Buyers can pre-order it today, but will they?
Google TV can do much of the above, but also gives users access to apps. Google could build the new features into Google TV going forward.
I wish Google would instead offer a next generation Google TV with the above abilities but at a price competitive with the Apple TV or other small set-top boxes like the Roku, which also sells for $100 at its most expensive price.