Nexus Player: Google’s (Latest) Answer to Apple TV, Roku

/ Oct 15, 2014


Not content with just the Chromecast, Google has launched another streaming device in a bit to compete with the likes of Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon Fire TV.

The Google Nexus Player, a set-top instead of a USB-like stick, is powered by Google’s new Android TV platform, which functions much like most of the connected-TV platforms you’re familiar with.

Users will be able to stream video content ranging from movies and TV shows to short-form clips from a variety of streaming apps. Launch content partners include digital networks like Netflix, Hulu Plus, Google Play and YouTube (of course), Crackle, AOL, Vevo, Dailymotion, and Pluto.TV, as well as TV-content providers like PBS Kids, Food Network, Travel Channel, and Univision’s UVideos.

Features include an app guide, voice search controls, and content recommendations, all of which are unavailable on the Chromecast. That said, users will be able to “cast” videos from other devices, including iPhones and iPads and Android-powered phones and tablets, to the TV screen.

That’s not all, though. Similar with Amazon’s Fire TV product, the Nexus Player and the Android TV platform support gameplay. Google has also developed a $40 PlayStation-style controller, which will be sold separately.

The device was unveiled alongside the new Nexus 6 smartphone from Motorola and the Nexus 9 tablet from HTC, as well as the Android 5.0 operating system.

The Nexus Player is manufactured by Asus, but Google said other Android TV products are being built by partners such as Sony, Sharp, and TP Vision.

Retailing for $99, the device will be available for pre-order on October 17, with a scheduled November 3 release.

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