Nobody ever questioned the simplicity of the Chromecast. It came without any pre-release buzz, and unsurprisingly was able to create all the hype for itself at launch.
In 2014, Google will have some even bigger plans for the Chromecast.
Not only will the device launch in a number of new countries, but the SDK will be opened up so that thousands of apps can be made Chromecast-compatible, as well as a number of other devices as Google plans to partner with a number of electronics companies. The ultimate goal is to make even the most rare apps “castable.”
Google TV may be dead as a brand but Google isn’t leaving your living room just yet. Coinciding with a previous rumor, The Information is reporting that the company has plans to release a set-top box of its own in 2014. The device, which is being dubbed as ‘Nexus TV’ for now, will go head-to-head with Apple TV, Roku, and Amazon’s set-top box that was delayed to next year.
It would unsurprisingly be able to stream services like Netflix, Hulu, WatchESPN, and more while also running Android games. It is believed that games are controlled via a touchscreen controller; however, it is likely that this means Android phones and tablets can be used as a controller. Not on board is live TV, which isn’t too much of a surprise since it was a feature that failed to gain traction with Google TV. The gaming aspect is what could differentiate ‘Nexus TV’ from Chromecast because the $35 dongle has yet to, and likely couldn’t handle, gaming. ‘Nexus TV’ is rumored to stay true to the Nexus brand and deliver respected specifications at an aggressive price.
What would ‘Nexus TV’ need to make you choose it over the current crop of set-top boxes?
Source: The Information
Finally fulfilling a promise made back in May, some of LG’s Google TV devices are receiving the long-awaited Android 4.2.2 update. While updates are always welcome, this one takes away some of the finer treats of a Google TV device. The Chrome browser has been switched from the PC to Android version, leaving users without access to services like Hulu, watchESPN, or Crackle because Adobe Flash is gone. The update is 297.8 MB, so sit tight if you plan on grabbing it right away. Hit the break for the full changelog and another image of the update.
It was recently reported that Google is dropping the “Google TV” branding in favor of “Android TV.” How Android TV is going to differ (if at all) from Google TV remains a question, but it’s obvious Google is serious about the living room with the recent launch of the Chromecast. The latest word out of Korea is that Android 4.4 Kit Kat is going to include more enhancements regarding Android TV rather than smartphone UI.
According to etnews, many industry insiders have said “I heard Google say the next OS has greatly improved its utilization in TV. In particular, there will be many changes in the interface between smart devices and the TV.” Two questions come to mind: What does Google have in store for us and how will they get more TV manufacturers to adopt Android TV? The former will probably be answered soon enough, but the latter is more difficult. Other than set-top boxes from Vizio, Hisense, and ASUS, the only TV manufacturer on board is LG. Samsung has no plans to bring Android TV to their sets, and in fact, they are more likely to utilize Tizen instead. We should hopefully no more by the end of the month.
Out with the old and in with the new. Google is ditching Google TV after three years of struggling to gain traction in the living room. According to GigaOM, a manufacturer explained that Google is opting to rebrand Google TV as Android TV. Although the product has struggled from the start, Google is likely leaning in favor of their new Chromecast, which has been selling out worldwide. The Chromecast functions alongside apps such as Netflix, Google Play Movies/TV/Music, Hulu, and YouTube. Also, the Chromecast shows manufacturers the possibilities of a low-cost media player. Google’s Sundar Pichai did say they would incorporate Chromecast features in an upcoming update to Google TV, but I guess they really meant Android TV.
Remember that Sony Google TV dongle (NSZ-GU1) that hit the FCC last month? Well Sony officially took the wraps off of it today. They aren’t calling it a Google TV device, but it does offer Google services such as Google Search and the Play Store. However, there is one major drawback, and it’s the fact that it appears to be only compatible with 2013 Sony Bravia TVs. It connects to the MHL port on the back of the TV, with a USB cable for power, so I’m not sure why it wouldn’t work any other branded TV or AV receiver that has an MHL port. Sony only mentioned 2013 Bravia TVs in the press release.
It has 8GB of internal storage, HDMI passthrough and an IR blaster. The remote control features a keyboard and a pad for pinch-to-zoom as well as a microphone for voice commands. It will come with Netflix, Pandora, Amazon Instant Video, Google Play, YouTube, the Chrome Browser and more pre-installed. Of course, users can add more apps via the Google Play Store. Chromecast functionality wasn’t mentioned in the presser.
The Bravia Smart Stick is priced at $149 and is already available at Sony Stores and select retailers nationwide. Hit the break for one more image and the full presser.
You remember how we talked about that mysterious Sony model number recently? You know— the NSZ-GU1 model that’s set to revolutionize how we look at the Google TV platform? Well it’s not only the real deal, we finally have our first view of how the cool dongle will look like courtesy of the FCC. The shots show a very unique unit which includes a small terminal that houses the meat of the device like a Marvell DE3108 processor, 8GB of memory, 1GB of RAM, and the heart of the device— the small USB thumb-size dongle that utilizes Chromecast. It even supports MHL, but it also has an integrated IR blaster as well as HDMI in for pass through of your cable or satellite box. If you remember, Google said Chromecast was coming to Google TV, so this could very well be the first such device.
As of now, we know the unit is heading towards American shores, but we don’t know when exactly just yet. We’ll certainly keep our eyes and ears open for any further developments. More images after the break.
Since releasing their Chromecast dongle, Google has insisted the device will live alongside their Google TV platform. Evidence for this surfaced in a recent FCC filing by Sony for a device with the model number NSZ-GU1. The model number is similar enough to previous Sony Google TV boxes, the NSZ-GT1, NSZ-GS7 and the NSZ-GS8, that we can be pretty confident this is part of their Google TV family of devices. Unlike previous models though, the NSZ-GU1 was submitted to the FCC due to some wireless capabilities.
We heard reports that Google was working on a new set-top box, but when the Chromecast was announced, the early assumption was that this was the device. Apparently there is another device in the pipeline, but unfortunately we don’t know if it will ever come out. It was actually referred to as an “over-the-top” set-top box a couple of months ago. The Wall Street Journal is now reporting that Google actually showed the prototype in private back at CES 2013.
It was powered by Android and demoed by Andy Rubin. It even had a video camera and motion sensor for Hangouts. The original plan was to launch this device at Google I/O, but obviously that didn’t happen. Did Google scrap plans for the device in favor of the Chromecast or is there room for the two devices. As expected Google didn’t make a comment on this topic, but one thing they did say was that Google TV isn’t dead. In fact, the plan is to bring the Chromecast feature to Google TVs soon.
The Chromecast seems like an amazing device, but to me it’s not the holy grail. It doesn’t have local media streaming and it doesn’t have HDMI pass through like Google TV boxes. However, at $35 it is a very compelling product for most people. I still think Google is going to come out with yet another product that has more features to satisfy the power hungry users.
source: Wall Street Journal
After Google dropped their Chromecast announcement yesterday, it would be easy to call it the nail in Google TV’s coffin. However, Google doesn’t seem to think so. Sundar Pichai told CNET that Google TV was absolutely going to grow and evolve alongside Chromecast, and neither device would be replacing the other. Considering Google has pledged to update Google TV to Jelly Bean later this year, it makes sense, but with Chromecast preorders sold out within hours, it’s easy to see how much damage Chromecast could potentially do to Google TV’s success.
Pichai also said that Google TV would be getting some newer partners and software updates later in the year, which would go a long way towards helping its popularity. Still, though, it hasn’t had much early success, and it is still possible for Google TV to go the way of Google Reader. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.