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Google Nexus Player and Android TV Worth a Second Look?

Google TV is officially dead and gone. This week the company quietly announced, via a Google+ post, that its Google TV technology is being shut down in lieu of its new Android TV technology.

Google TV

Google TV Out — Android TV In

Existing Google TV products will continue to work, but it will no longer be getting updates, and the developer tools and libraries are no longer available.

If you purchased an actual Google TV set, or other set-top box powered by Google TV – the Vizio Co-star for example – no worries, those devices and apps will continue to work. And don’t throw away your Google TV device yet.

Some of the existing Google TV products will be upgraded to the new Android TV standard, but we don’t know which devices that will cover yet.

In its announcement Google says:

What does this mean for Google TV? Existing Google TV devices and all of the features of these devices will continue to work, and so will the apps you’ve developed for the Google TV platform. A small subset of Google TV devices will be updated to Android TV, but most Google TV devices won’t support the new platform.

You’ll start seeing full Android TV sets sometime this spring. For more on Android TV, and the television manufacturer’s it’s partnering with, check out this Google blog post.

Nexus Player Second Look

Right now the only consumer device you can experience Android TV is the recently released Nexus Player. It does have all of the Googlecast technology that a Chromecast has, plus it works more like a traditional set-top box like the Roku or Amazon Fire TV – including Fire TV’s gaming capability.

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Google says it will bring more and better video content as well as multiplayer gaming into the living room with Android TV.

When I first showed you my first impressions of the Nexus Player, it was obvious the device isn’t ready for prime time compared to other devices in its category. However, since Google is pushing the new Android TV technology it might be time to take a second look at the Nexus Player.

Also, Razer announced a gaming console powered by Android TV called ForgeTV. It allows you to stream PC games to your big screen as well as the Google games you already can play on Nexus Player. This looks like a device that could really demonstrate the power of Android TV along with Googlecast – which is what the Chromecast uses.


What’s your take on this recent development? Are you looking forward to getting a set-top box with Android TV, or are you just fine with your $35 Chromecast?

Leave a comment below and let us know.

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5 Responses to Google Nexus Player and Android TV Worth a Second Look?

  1. static January 8, 2015 at 7:25 am #

    It needs Amazon Prime Instant Video. This is a problem with devices being made by video content store companies. We need Google to be Google for video, allowing you to search all providers, not only their limited google play offerings.

  2. Joe L January 8, 2015 at 12:04 pm #

    Brian, I just received the Verizon 8.1 update yesterday. It didn’t change the windows OS, as it is still showing version ending in 341. So my question is what did the new update, update? What, if any changes are involved?
    Thanks for any input on this.
    Joe L

  3. SteveC January 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm #

    I loved the concept and ease of use with Logitech Revue, with its touch-type keyboard and full internet-on-TV experience. Roku and others are painfully primitive and limited.

  4. Mike January 9, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    I had a bad experience with it and ended up returning.. It is definitely not ready for prime time.. The interface is clunker and puts more emphasis on selling you videos than it does playing yours.. The whole top half of the screen is dedicated to this.. On the hardware side, the wifi had trouble staying connected whee other devices had no trouble. . I will be standing by for version 2 or a new release from Roku

  5. Zach Nelson February 2, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    We created the platform on Google TV hardware and are eagerly awaiting news of Android TV-specific set-top boxes (or buddy boxes in GTV lingo). So far the news has been few and far between although we expect the marketing push for ATV to surpass the mediocre GTV campaign so that should mean better app support.

    It takes a lot of hardware out in the field for vendors to create native applications (such as Amazon Prime Video). Keep in mind that there is no native Facebook or Twitter app available for GTV and there were supposedly ~1M units shipped over 4 years. Here’s hoping ATV takes off!

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