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Google may take on Apple TV with a Nexus set-top box

updated 06:00 pm EST, Sun December 8, 2013

Google said to prep set-top box

Google may be preparing to release a Nexus-branded set-top box, according to new reports. This according to The Information, which claims that the search giant is planning to release an Android-powered set-top box in the next year. The move would mark an even stronger move into television for Google, and likely a full rework of its previous efforts to conquer that segment.

Google reportedly will integrate a camera into the set-top box, allowing users to participate in Google Hangouts video chats from the comfort of their couch. According to The Information, though, the box will not support live television broadcast. That will allow Google to avoid going through the process of licensing content for distribution on the "Nexus TV." Instead, users would likely stream content through Google's existing Play Store or through compatible apps such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, and HBO Go.

The newest reports are largely in line with earlier reports from other outlets that Google was planning to enter the set-top segment with a device of its own. Earlier in the year, The Wall Street Journal pointed to a possible Google media player similar to the company's failed Nexus Q device.

Other reports have had Google close to abandoning the Google TV brand, as that effort has consistently underperformed. Instead, Google may rebrand its efforts under the Android TV label, leveraging the brand image of its Android platform.

A launch window for the device is as yet unknown, but some believe Google could release it as early as the first half of 2014. Reportedly, the device would be "aggressively priced," meaning that it might compete with the Apple TV's $99 price point. The Information does note, though, that Google may release it at its next Google I/O event.

by MacNN Staff



  1. nowwhatareyoulookingat

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 07-13-09

    This will be set-top box #3 [after that ball-thing that was cancelled right away for having less functionality than any of the sub $100 boxes while costing $300 then that chrome thingamabob that plugs into your hdmi port].

  1. todd

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 12-29-06

    Adding a camera to a Google-TV box does not really sound game changing.. Their Google TV devices are terrible, light years behind Roku or AppleTV in usability.

    I think they need to do something more aggressive, like integrating a good DVR capability for broadcast TV, to set it apart from the large number of similar devices out there today.

  1. coffeetime

    Senior User

    Joined: 11-15-06

    It's just a failed Google TV re-marketing as Nexus TV. Camera? yeah, right. Probably it comes with a price.... like signing up for the super confusing Google+ that extends all the way to your toaster in joining the ring.

  1. Mr. Strat

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 01-23-02

    Oh yeah! This set-top box thing has worked out well for them in the past.

  1. bleee

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-28-02

    @Mr. Strat Ya worked out great for Google, they don't have to worry about the warehouses of unsold inventory depreciating in value as the days pass. Google is good at coming up with all the ideas and convincing hardware vendors to take the plunge just ask Logitech.

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