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Mi Box с Android TV 6 — международная версия Android-бокса от Xiaomi / Обзоры / iXBT Live

Недавно я вам рассказал о Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced, мощном Android-боксе, который предназначен для китайского рынка. А вот сегодня пришла очередь рассказать о Xiaomi Mi Box с международной версией Android TV 6. Его я тоже покупал в роли подарка на Новый год (и он уже поселился в новой семье). Но подарить его без написания детального обзора было бы грехом…

Заказывал я его в популярном магазине MOBASE на Aliexpres за 74,99$, т.к. в момент заказа по отзывами на разных форумах в реальном наличии бокс был только у них (сейчас уже есть у многих).

Компания Xiaomi заявляла, что Mi Box создан в партнёрстве с компанией Google. Как минимум, Google участвует в его продвижении. В роли операционной системы выступает стоковая система Andropid TV 6 от Google.

На сайте Google представлены всего три бокса с Android TV, и один из них Mi Box.

В момент написания обзора Mi Box официально продавался на американском рынке, но его без каких-либо проблем можно приобрести и в китайских онлайн-магазинах. Само появление бокса в продаже было для многих неожиданностью. Новости о совместной работе Xiaomi и Google над ТВ-боксом ходили с весны 2016 года. И вот в конце сентября без всякого анонса на полках всех магазинов Walmart появляется Mi Box, вызвав бурное обсуждение этого события в сети. В первых числах октября Xiaomi сделала официальный анонс, расставив все точки по местам.

Содержание
Модельный ряд боксов Xiaomi
Перед тем, как я начну детальный рассказ о Mi Box, кратко расскажу о модельном ряде Android-боксов от Xiaomi, т.к. путаница в названиях вводит некоторых людей в заблуждение.

Xiaomi Mi Box mini / 小米盒子mini版 / MDZ-15-AA

Самый маленький Android-бокс от Xiaomi. Сделан на базе SoC MT8685 от MediaTek (4 ядра Cortex-A7 с частотой до 1,3 ГГц, GPU Mali-450). 1 ГБ ОЗУ и 4 ГБ ПЗУ. Поддержка Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n 2,4 / 5 ГГц (MIMO 1x1) и Bluetooth 4.0. Операционная система на базе Android 4.4.2 полностью на китайском языке и с китайскими сервисами (сервисы Google отсутствуют). Из интерфейсов только HDMI 1.4. Пульт ДУ с поддержкой Bluetooth. Этот бокс предназначен только для китайского рынка.

Xiaomi Mi Box 3c / 小米盒子3c / MDZ-16-AA

Сделан на базе SoC AMLogic S905-H (4 ядра Cortex-A53 с частотой до 2 ГГц, GPU Mali-450). 1 ГБ ОЗУ и 4 ГБ ПЗУ. Поддержка Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2,4 / 5 ГГц (MIMO 1x1) и Bluetooth 4.1. Операционная система на базе Android 5.0 полностью на китайском языке и с китайскими сервисами (сервисы Google отсутствуют). Интерфейсы: HDMI 2.0, USB 2.0, аналоговый аудиовыход, оптический аудиовыход Mini Toslink (совмещён с аналоговым). Пульт ДУ с поддержкой Bluetooth и микрофоном. Этот бокс предназначен только для китайского рынка.

Xiaomi Mi Box 3s / 小米盒子3s / MDZ-19-AA

Сделан на базе SoC AMLogic S905X-H (4 ядра Cortex-A53 с частотой до 2 ГГц, GPU Mali-450). 2 ГБ ОЗУ и 8 ГБ ПЗУ. Поддержка Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2,4 / 5 ГГц (MIMO 1x1) и Bluetooth 4.1. Операционная система на базе Android 6.0 полностью на китайском языке и с китайскими сервисами (сервисы Google отсутствуют). Интерфейсы: HDMI 2.0a, USB 2.0, аналоговый аудиовыход, оптический аудиовыход Mini Toslink (совмещён с аналоговым). Пульт ДУ с сенсорным кольцом MiTouch (не Bluetooth, ИК). Этот бокс предназначен только для китайского рынка.

Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced / 小米盒子3 增强版 / MDZ-18-AA

Самый мощный бокс от Xiaomi и один из самых мощных на рынке. Сделан на базе SoC MT8693 от Mediatek (2 ядра Cortex-A72 + 4 ядра Cortex-A53 2 ГГц, GPU PowerVR GX6250). 2 ГБ ОЗУ и 8 ГБ ПЗУ. Поддержка Wi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2,4 / 5 ГГц (MIMO 2x2) и Bluetooth 4.1. Операционная система на базе Android 5.1 полностью на китайском языке и с китайскими сервисами (сервисы Google отсутствуют). Интерфейсы: HDMI 2.0, 2 x USB 2.0. Пульт ДУ с поддержкой Bluetooth, микрофоном, большим количеством датчиков (акселерометром, гироскопом и пр.). Этот бокс предназначен только для китайского рынка. У этой приставки уже есть официальное международное название — Xiaomi Mi Box Pro, но международная версия до сих пор официально не анонсирована.

Xiaomi Mi Box / MDZ-16-AB

По сути это Xiaomi Mi Box 3s (MDZ-19-AA). Только в роли операционной системы выступает чистая система Android TV 6 с сервисами Google, комплектный пульт без сенсорного кольца MiTouch, но работает по интерфейсу Bluetooth и имеет встроенный микрофон. Вот о об этой приставке сегодня и пойдёт речь.

Технические характеристики
МодельXiaomi Mi Box MDZ-16-AB
SoCSoC AMLogic S905X-H 4 ядра Cortex-A53 с частотой до 2 ГГц, GPU Mali-450
ОЗУ2 ГБ DDR3
ПЗУ8 ГБ
USB1 x USB 2.0
Сетевые интерфейсыWi-Fi 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2,4/5 ГГц, MIMO 1x1
BluetoothBluetooth 4.1+EDR
ВидеовыходHDMI 2.0a (до [email protected] Гц с поддержкой HDR)
АудиовыходыHDMI Аналоговый аудиовыход Оптический Mini Toslink (совмещён с аналоговым)
ПультBluetooth пульт со схемой управлением Android TV и встроенным микрофоном
ДополнительноСистемный декодер Dolby Digital и DTS (декодирование и Pass-Through) Аппаратная поддержка H.265 Main10 до 2160p60
Питание5,2 В / 2,1 А
ОСAndroid TV 6.0.1
Иногда в сети поднимается вопрос, чем отличается AMLogic S905X-H от S905X. Буква H означает, что SoC уже имеет лицензии для декодирования DD 5.1 и DTS, и производителю конечного продукта дополнительно оплачивать их не нужно.
Комплектация и внешний вид
Mi Box поставляется в картонной коробке.

На обратной стороне коробки нанесены технические данные.

Внутри: приставка, блок питания, пульт, HDMI кабель, краткая инструкция на английском языке.

Приставка очень компактная, 101x101x20,5 мм, но увесистая — 178 г, т.к. внутри установлена крупная металлическая пластина для охлаждения. Корпус из черного матового пластика.

На нижней части есть прорезиненная вставка.

Спереди есть небольшое окошко, за которым скрыт белый светодиод. Светит он мягко и в глаза не бросается. За этим же окошком находится незадокументированный ИК-приёмник. Приставкой можно управлять не только Bluetooth-пультом, но ИК-пультом с соответствующим известным набором кодов (это подтвердили несколько владельцев).

Сзади расположены: DC коннектор питания, порт USB 2.0, порт HDMI 2.0a, аудиовыход мини-джек, совмещённый с оптическим Mini Toslink.

Если у вас уже есть кабель с коннекторами Toslink, то достаточно докупить небольшой переходник за 30 центов Mini Toslink.

Пульт управления со схемой Android TV работает по интерфейсу Bluetooth. Кнопки: питание, D-pad с центральной кнопкой действия, Назад, Домашний экран, активация микрофона, регулировка громкости.

Питается пульт от двух ААА батареек. Ремешка в комплекте нет, но в самом пульте есть крепление для ремешка. В пульт встроен микрофон. В отличие от Xiaomi Mi Box Pro, в пульте нет никаких датчиков (акселерометр, гироскоп и пр.).

В оригинальном комплекте идёт блок питания Xiaomi с американо-китайской вилкой. Продавец заменил блок питания на вариант с европейской вилкой. Характеристики блока питания: 5,2 В / 2,1 А. Длина шнура около 1 метра. DC коннектор 4 x 1,7 мм.

Комплектный HDMI кабель имеет длину около 90 см.

Без повреждения приставку разобрать сложно. Я приведу фотографии разобранного бокса из сети Интернет. Внутри установлена массивная железная пластина, которая через термоподложки охлаждает SoC, чипы памяти и контроллер Wi-Fi/Bluetooth. Сам контроллер Wi-Fi реализован на чипе Broadcom BCM4345.

Android TV 6
«Чистая» система Android TV 6 — это лучшее, что есть в этой приставке. Система на русском языке (в настройках присутствуют некоторые непереведенные элементы), поддерживается голосовой поиск на русском языке, который работает просто превосходно. В качестве лаунчера используется Android TV Launcher от Google.

Глобальный поиск работает отлично. Можно смотреть погоду, искать видео на YouTube и пр. Например, если искать какой-либо фильм, то в результатах поиска можно посмотреть его описание, актёров. Сразу можно перейти в Google Play Фильмы. Если у вас установлена другая программа для онлайн-видео, которая полноценно интегрируется в Android TV (например, ATV Videobox), то в результатах поиска можно сразу будет перейти в эту программу, если фильм там есть.

Дети разобрались сами с приставкой за пару минут, быстрый голосовой поиск мультфильмов им понравился.

В настройках Домашнего экрана можно включать рекомендации от разных программ (даже сторонних, если поддерживают эту функцию). Например, на главном экране могут быть рекомендации роликов из YouTube или фильмов и сериалов из ATV Videobox и прочих установленных программ.

Google Play Store здесь отличается от магазина приложений в обычной системе Android. Здесь находятся только те программы, интерфейс которых адаптирован для управления с пульта, в том числе и игры, в которые можно играть с помощью пульта. Также, здесь находятся игры, в которые можно играть с помощью геймпада. Вы их сможете установить, если ваш геймпад подключен к приставке.

Играть с пультом не сложнее, чем на смартфоне.

Весь ассортимент Google Play Store можно изучить за минут 10. Многие популярные программы (например, MX Player, Kodi, VLC, ES Проводник, ivi и пр.) уже тут. Но с каждым днём программ, адаптированных для Android TV, будет больше.

На смартфон можно установить пульт управления Android TV — это программа от Google. Там есть все элементы управления и можно вводить текст, используя клавиатуру смартфона.

При желании вы всегда можете установить и обычные программы для Android. Установить их можно через браузер на компьютере (просто на сайте Google Play выберите установку на приставку) или просто с помощью apk файла. Даже можете через браузер (например, Chrome) на самой приставке. Но для полноценной работы с такими программами вам понадобится, как минимум, подключить мышку или пульт с эмуляцией мышки. Мои устройства (клавиатура с тачпадом Logitech K400r и пульт Rii mini i25 с гироскопической мышкой и клавиатурой) работали без проблем. В настройках Android TV нельзя выбрать дополнительные раскладки для аппаратных клавиатур. Я использовал программу External Keyboard Helper Pro, в ней можно выбрать раскладки для любых языков и сочетание клавиш для переключения между раскладками.

Интерфейс системы и анимация работают быстро и плавно, дискомфорта нет.

Конечно, работает Google Cast. Можно, например, на смартфоне в YouTube открыть ролик и одним нажатием запустить его воспроизведение в Mi Box. Управлять воспроизведением можно со смартфона. При необходимости YouTube на смартфоне можно закрыть, воспроизведение на Mi Box не прервётся. Это же относится к музыке и вообще к любым программам, которые поддерживают Google Cast.

Взаимодействовать с Android TV 6 и программами одно удовольствие — очень просто и эффективно.

Производительность в синтетических тестах
В приставке используется SoC AMLogic S905X. Этот SoC не отличается высокой производительностью, основное его назначение — медиа-контент. 4 ядра Cortex-A53 с частотой до 2 ГГц, GPU Mali-450.

Все тесты я производил с разрешением 1920x1080. Если вы будете использовать 4К разрешение, то производительность в играх катастрофически упадёт.

AnTuTu v6.2.6 Общий индекс: 35591 3D: 2783

GFXBench T-Rex: 9,9 к/с T-Rex offscreen: 10 к/с

Bonsai Общий индекс: 1753 Среднее количество кадров в секунду: 25 к/с

3DMark Ice Storm Extreme: 3917

Geekbench 4 Single-Core: 630 Multi-Core: 1737

Google Octane Общий индекс: 3519

Без нагрузки температура внешнего корпуса бокса около 33 °C. С нагрузкой доходит до 40 °C. Перегрева и троттлинга замечено не было.

Внутренний и внешние накопители
В Xiaomi Mi Box всего 8 ГБ внутренней памяти. Из них около 4 ГБ доступно для установки игр и программ. При подключении USB-флешки можно задать, чтобы программы устанавливались на этот носитель. Но при выборе этого меню система выдаёт ошибку. Аналогичные отзывы есть от других владельцев. Нужно ждать обновления системы для исправления.

Тест скорости работы внутренней памяти в A1 SD Bench:

Приставка поддерживает файловые системы FAT32, exFAT, NTFS на внешних носителях.

Скорость сетевых интерфейсов
В Xiaomi Mi Box установлен Wi-Fi контроллер от Broadcom BCM4345 с поддержкой стандарта 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, 2,4/5 ГГц, MIMO 1x1.

Приставка находится в 5 метра от маршрутизатора через одну железобетонную стену. В этом месте большинство моих устройств 802.11n (MIMO 1x1) демонстрируют скорость до 50/50 Мбит/с. Ноутбук с MIMO 2x2 около 80/80 Мбит/с. Смартфоны с MIMO 2x2 тоже около 80/80 Мбит/с. Стационарный компьютер с MIMO 3x3 при 5 ГГц тут (если его поставить рядом) выжимает около 100/100 Мбит/с. Всё это реальная скорость передачи данных (измеренная iperf), а не скорость подключения. Из последних протестированных устройств: Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced — 150 Мбит/с, стик Morefine M1s — 95 Мбит/с.

Чувствительность у Xiaomi Mi Box достаточно высокая, приставка видела много Wi-Fi сетей. Подключаемся к сети 5 ГГц. Скорость работы с сетью Интернет 80 / 108 Мбит/с.

Реальная скорость передачи данных внутри локальной сети с помощью iperf — 111 Мбит/с.

Скорость находится на очень высоком уровне. Победить рекордсмена Xiaomi Mi Box 3 Enhanced не вышло, но на фоне других устройств результат великолепный.

А вот скорость работы по протоколу Samba немного разочаровала. Без буферизации MX Player тянул потоки только до 40 Мбит/с.

К приставке по USB (напрямую или через хаб) можно подключить USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet адаптер. В этом случае скорость будет чуть выше 200 Мбит/с. Поддерживаются (подтверждено владельцами) адаптеры, которые выполнены на контроллерах ASIX. У меня есть USB 3.0 Gigabit Ethernet адаптер на Realtek, но он не заработал, т.е. драйверов для Realtek в системе нет — это нужно учитывать.

Общая информация о системе декодирования аудио и видео
В Android существует две библиотеки для системного (аппаратного) декодирования видео и аудио контента: Stagefright и MediaCodec. Например, популярный плеер MX Player в режиме HW использует Stagefright, а в HW+ использует MediaCodec. Kodi по умолчанию использует MediaCodec.

В Xiaomi Mi Box творится полная чехарда с декодерами в разных библиотеках. Одни декодеры поддерживаются в одной библиотеке, но не поддерживаются в другой. Например, забегая вперёд, системные звуковые декодеры работают только со Stagefright, а декодирование 4К HEVC Main 10 только с MediaCodec. Но всё это мелочи, которые решатся настройкой и выбором видео плеера. А вот на рендеринг при использовании Stagefright (HW) хочется обратить внимание. Если присмотреться при проигрывании некоторых видео файлов, то в режиме HW качество рендеринга существенно ниже, чем HW+. С таким я встречаюсь впервые. Вот два стоп кадра (снимал на фотокамеру, т.к. в режиме HW скриншоты не захватывают видео).

Могу лишь дать одну небольшую рекомендацию — использовать MX Player с дополнительным набором программных аудиокодеков в режиме HW+ или Kodi / SPMC.

Поддержка звуковых форматов и вывод звука
Приставка умеет выводить звук через HDMI, оптический выход, аналоговый выход. Для теста я буду использовать четыре MKV файла с дорожками: Dolby Digital 5.1, DTS 5.1, Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS-HD MA 7.1. В качестве плееров я буду использовать MX Player (без установки дополнительных кодеков, только системные декодеры) и Kodi (он использует программные декодеры). Вывод Pass-Through для Dolby TrueHD 7.1, DTS-HD MA 7.1 я проверить не могу, т.к. моё оборудование не поддерживает эти форматы, но другие владельцы подтверждают, что в RAW формате вывод HD звука не поддерживается.

Сначала проверим локальное декодирование звука:

 MX Player / Stagefright (HW)MX Player / MediaCodec (HW+)Kodi
DD 5.1ДаДаДа
DTS 5.1ДаНетДа
Dolby TrueHD 7.1НетНетДа
DTS-HD MA 7.1ДаНетДа
Вывод звука по HDMI и оптике (Pass-Through):
 MX Player / Stagefright (HW)MX Player / MediaCodec (HW+)Kodi
DD 5.1ДаДаДа
DTS 5.1НетНетНет
Поддержка видео форматов и вывод видео
Приставка имеет выход HDMI 2.0a и поддерживает вывод изображения с разрешением [email protected] Гц (10 бит на канал) и HDR, если телевизор имеет соответствующую поддержку. Проверить поддержку 4К и HDR режима я не могу. Но реальные владельцы на разных форумах подтверждают, что никаких проблем с этим разрешением и HDR нет. Я буду тестировать на ТВ в режиме [email protected] Гц.

Все видеофайлы из теста вы можете загрузить по ссылке.

Поддержка «автофреймрейт» у приставки отсутствует, т.е. переключения частоты развёртки при воспроизведении видео не происходит.

С помощью файла Judder_test_24p.mp4 проверяем наличие judder-эффекта (неравномерность). Запускаем видео и фотографируем экран с выдержкой 1 сек.

Judder-эффект присутствует. Приставка делает стандартную конвертацию 3:2 pulldown для преобразования 24p > 60p, кадры отображаются разное количество времени.

Включаем функцию HDMI self-adaptation в настройках. И делаем снимок.

Как можно видеть, теперь система не делает 3:2 pulldown, а для каждого кадра изменяет время показа на экране, исходя из какого-то внутреннего алгоритма. Это не motion interpolation (я дополнительно проверил — никаких дополнительных кадров не генерируется), но при этом визуально judder-эффект бросается в глаза существенно меньше. Так что HDMI self-adaptation лучше включить.

С помощью файла 1080p60.mp4 проверяем честность вывода 60p (чтобы не было дублирования кадров). Запускаем видео и фотографируем экран с выдержкой 1 сек.

Честные и равномерные 60 кадров в секунду без дублей.

С помощью файла jellyfish-55-mbps-hd-h364.mkv проверим поддержку кодека H.264. Этот файл имеет битрейт 55 Мбит/с и разрешением 1920x1080. Максимальный битрейт видео на Blu-ray составляет 48 Мбит/с. Если тестовый файл проиграется без дропов и фризов, значит приставка спокойно проиграет абсолютно любой BD Remux (и любой BDRip). Файл проигрывается идеально. К декодеру H.264 нареканий нет. Видео без проблем декодировалось с помощью библиотеки Stagefright (HW) и MediaCodec (HW+).

С помощью файла jellyfish-140-mbps-4k-uhd-hevc-10bit.mkv проверим поддержку кодека HEVC/H.265 Main10. Этот файл имеет битрейт 140 Мбит/с и разрешением 3840x2160. Максимальный битрейт видео на Ultra HD Blu-ray составляет 128 Мбит/с. Если тестовый файл проиграется без дропов и фризов, значит приставка спокойно проиграет абсолютно любой UHD BD Remux (и любой UHD BDRip). Файл проигрывается только с помощью библиотеки MediaCodec (HW+). Видео проигрывается, но визуально видны дропы кадров. При снижении битрейта дропов становится меньше, а полностью они исчезают только с потоком около 70 Мбит/с. Xiaomi Mi Box не справится с идеальным воспроизведением UHD BD Remux и UHD BDRip. Поддержка декодирования 4К относится только к онлайн-контенту (который обычно не имеет высокий битрейт) до 70 Мбит/с.

Обнаружился ещё один баг. Если 4К HEVC Main10 воспроизводится, то с более низким разрешением 1080p декодер HEVC Main10 работает некорректно. Этот баг подтверждают другие владельцы.

С помощью файла 1080p_Hi10P.mkv проверим, хватит ли мощности SoC, чтобы воспроизводить видео H.264 Hi10p (это H.264 10 бит) — формат нестандартизированный, аппаратные декодеры встречаются редко. В программном режиме без дропов этот файл не воспроизводится. С помощью библиотеки MediaCodec (HW+) аппаратный декодер включается, видео проигрывается, но возникает слишком много визуальных артефактов.

В общем, можно констатировать, что видео Xiaomi Mi Box проигрывает хорошо, но 4К контент с высоким битрейтом не для него.

IPTV и Torrent TV
IP-телевидение от провайдера с IPTV + MX Player или Kodi, пиратское телевидение OTT CLUB (программа которого тоже оптимизирована для Android TV), Torrent Stream Controller (Torrent TV) + MX Player — всё это работало без нареканий.

При работе с IPTV выявился один существенный баг работы системных декодеров. На самом деле я о нём уже читал в тематических ветках форумов, но теперь лично подтвердил. В Xiaomi Mi Box на момент написания обзора не работало устранение чересстрочности (deinterlacing) в видео! Это детская болезнь (например, первые прошивки Nvidia Shield тоже ей болели), и как такое могли пропустить перед выходом продукта, я даже ума не приложу. Deinterlacing относится только к чересстрочному видео, а не прогрессивному, но именно такие потоки часто встречаются в IPTV.

В режиме HW (библиотека Stagefright) устранение чересстрочности работало неправильно, создавая неприятные мерцания некоторых частей изображения. В режиме HW+ (библиотека MediaCodec) отображалось лишь одно поле (второе просто отбрасывалось), что снижало реальное разрешение видео. Вот для примера кусочек видео с разрешением 576i, слева — HW+ (одно поле отброшено), справа правильная работа устранения чересстрочности:

YouTube 1080p60
Клиент YouTube, который тоже адаптирован под Android TV, поддерживает 1080p60 на этом боксе.

Но всплыл один неприятный баг при воспроизведении 1080p60 YouTube. В какой-то момент (чаще это происходит после режимов сна) ролики 1080p60 на YouTube начинают кратковременно заедать каждые 5 секунд. Помогает только перезагрузка приставки. При этом 1080p50, 1080p30 и пр. проигрываются нормально. Проблему подтверждают многие владельцы на разных форумах. Т.е. опять же нужно ждать обновления системы для устранения этого бага.

HDMI CEC
Конечно, работа HDMI CEC «плавает» от ТВ к ТВ. Но в моём случае с двумя телевизорами LG поддержка HDMI CEC была очень урезана в этом устройстве (или вообще отсутствует). Приставка умеет только переходить в режим сна при выключении ТВ. Управление пультом от ТВ не работает.
Заключение
В целом Xiaomi Mi Box мне очень понравился. Качественное изготовление, удобный пульт, быстрый Wi-Fi, удобство стоковой системы Android TV 6, отличный голосовой поиск, поддержка Google Cast. Но наличие багов немного портит общее впечатление от приставки. Напомню основные из них: не работает система устранение чересстрочности (критично для тех, кто смотрит IPTV), не работает вывод (Pass-Through) DTS, не работает назначение USB-носителя в роли основной памяти (нельзя установить много игр), периодические проблемы с контентом 1080p60 в YouTube. Хочется верить, что баги будут исправлены при очередном обновлении системы, всё же за спиной бокса стоят именитые компании — Xiaomi и Google.

www.ixbt.com

Google TV - Wikipedia

Google TV was a smart TV platform from Google co-developed by Intel, Sony, and Logitech that was launched in October 2010[1] with official devices initially made by Sony and Logitech.[2] Google TV integrates the Android operating system and the Google Chrome web browser to create an interactive television overlay on top of existing online video sites to add a 10-foot user interface, for a smart TV experience.

Google TV's first generation devices were all based on x86 architecture processors and were created and commercialized by Sony and Logitech. The second generation of devices are all based on ARM architecture processors and with additional partners including LG, Samsung,[3]Vizio and Hisense. In 2013, more second generation Google TV-supported devices were announced by new partners, including Hisense, Netgear, TCL, and Asus, some of which including 3D video support.

Google TV was succeeded in June 2014 by Android TV, a new platform which shares closer ties with the Android platform (in particular, Android 5.0) and has a revamped user experience integrating with Knowledge Graph, and providing casting support from mobile devices.[4] While a "small subset" of Google TV devices will be upgraded to the Android TV platform, the majority will not. In June 2014, the Google TV SDK was pulled, ending any future software development for existing devices and effectively deprecating the platform.[5]

Features[edit]

Google TV leveraged many of Google’s existing products. Google TV’s operating system, a customized version of Android, provided the underlying foundation, allowing developers to create applications that extended the system’s functionality. Google’s Chrome browser provided a gateway to the Internet, allowing consumers to browse web sites and watch television in tandem. Consumers could access HBO, CNBC, and content from other providers through the Chrome browser. Android and Apple smartphones and tablet computers could be used as remote controls for Google TV. Google TV products shipped with wireless remote controls with a full QWERTY keypad. An update in November 2011 allowed access to Google Play and enabled search to find content from live TV, Netflix, YouTube, HBO GO, Amazon, and more.[6]

Apps[edit]

Xyologic has compiled a list of the early Google TV apps with the largest number of installations.[7] As of November 2012, the most installed apps are Napster, Pandora Radio and CNBC.

Partners[edit]

The Google TV platform was provided by Google to OEMs for incorporation into their consumer products. The first generation of consumer devices were produced by Logitech and Sony. The second generation of consumer devices were produced by Sony,[8]LG (see LG L9 SoC), Vizio,[9]Hisense, NetGear and Asus. The third generation of consumer devices was announced by LG at 2013 International CES, with the announcement of their TV models.

Devices[edit]

First Generation[edit]

Brand/Name Model Android version Status Announcement date US release date Discontinued date Sony Internet TV – 24", 32", 40" and 46" Sony Internet TV Blu-ray Disc[13] Logitech Revue
NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1[10][11] 3.2 Discontinued October 12, 2010[12] October 2010 February 2012
NSZ-GT1[14] 3.2 Discontinued October 12, 2010[12] October 2010 February 2012[15]
M/N: D-R0001, Y-R0014 – PN 970-000001[16] 3.2 Discontinued June 18, 2010[17] October 2010[18] November 2011[19][19][20]

Second Generation[edit]

Brand/Name Model Android version Processor[21] RAM[21] Flash[21] USB ports[21] IR Blaster[21] Status Announcement date US release date Discontinued date Sony Internet Player with Google TV[22] LG SmartTV with GoogleTV (47" and 55")[26] Vizio Co-Star[29] Hisense Pulse[33] ASUS Cube[36][37] NETGEAR NeoTV Prime[38]
NSZ-GS7[23] 3.2 Marvell Armada 1500(88de3100) 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, with a 750 MHz GPU 1 GB DDR3 Memory 8 GB Samsung Flash NAND – KLM8G2FEJA-A002 2 Yes Discontinued January 9, 2012[24] July 22, 2012[25]
47G2[27] and 55G2[28] 4.2.2 LG L9 Discontinued May 2012 May 30, 2012
VAP430[30] 3.2 Marvell Armada 1500(88de3100) 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, with a 750 MHz GPU 1 GB DDR3 Memory 4 GB Samsung Flash NAND – K9GBG08U0A-SCBO 1 Yes Discontinued June 26, 2012[31] August 22, 2012[32]
gx1200v 3.2 Marvell Armada 1500(88de3100) 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, with a 750 MHz GPU 1 GB DDR3 Memory 4 GB Flash NAND 1 Yes Discontinued September 2012[34][35] December 20, 2012
Cube[37] 3.2 Marvell Armada 1500(88DE3100) 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, with a 750 MHz GPU 1 GB DDR3 Memory 4 GB Flash NAND 2 Yes Discontinued January 7, 2013[36] April 24, 2013[37]
GTV100[38] 3.2 Marvell Armada 1500(88DE3100) 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, with a 750 MHz GPU 1 GB DDR3 Memory 4 GB Flash NAND 1 Yes Discontinued January 7, 2013[39] January 9, 2013[40]

Reviews[edit]

Date Author Publisher Device Generation Comments
2010 October 29 Nilay Patel Engadget Blog First Generation Remarked, "Google TV feels like an incomplete jumble of good ideas only half-realized, an unoptimized box of possibility that suffers under the weight of its own ambition and seemingly rushed holiday deadline."[41]
2010 November 13 Kevin Sintumuang Wall Street Journal First Generation review that "The potential is as big as, well, the Internet, but right now Google TV is a bit of a tease."[42]
2010 November 17 David Pogue The New York Times First Generation Said "This much is clear: Google TV may be interesting to technophiles, but it's not for average people." Concentrating more on the product's usefulness for finding and watching television shows than on its capabilities as an Internet appliance, he also expressed concern about the inconsistencies throughout the user interface as well as the fragmentation of Google TV.[43]
2011 July 28 Matt Burns TechCrunch First Generation Commentators were saying "Google TV is sinking" and that it was "on its last legs" as launch partner Logitech slashed the price of its Revue (from $249 to $99) to clear unsold inventory.[44]
2011 November 3 Matt Burns Techcrunch First Generation Some of the same commentators praised Google TV 2.0 as having a "brilliant interface" but still lacking "substance." Said "The latest Google TV, referred to as Google TV 2.0 throughout the rest of this review, is a star performer. It runs like a champ and it’s clear that Google engineers paid close attention to criticism of version 1.0."[45]
2011 November 22 Russell Holly Geek.com First Generation [46]
2011 November 22 Brid-Aine Parnell Theregister.co.uk Second Generation [47]
2012 January 9 Jung-ah Lee WSJ Second Generation This article says that Samsung had plans to release Google TV based devices on the second half of 2012. Their target was high-end customers in the U.S. first.[48]
2012 June 26 Ben Drawbaugh Engadget Blog Second Generation [49]
2012 June 27 Marshal Rosenthal Gadget Review Second Generation It says: "The advantage of the Google experience is that much of what is going on is happening online — as you’re accessing video, photos, looking at stuff that is not just locally based." The LG 55G2 product was rated in general as excellent.[50]
2012 August 19 Antony Williams blog.antonywilliams.com Second Generation "Vizio's $99 launch price is a big improvement .... Unfortunately the software, which runs atop the antiquated Android Honeycomb release, is no better than before."[51]
2012 August 21 Dan Rayburn streamingmedia.com Second Generation It says: "Overall, Vizio’s Co-Star device will please most consumers and Vizio’s made a really nice device, considering this is their first entry into the $99 streaming box market."[52]

Competitors and controversies[edit]

Cable providers as well as content providers have been slow to warm to Google TV. NBC, ABC, Fox,[53]CBS and Hulu have blocked Google TV enabled devices from accessing their web content since Google TV's launch.[54] As of November 22, 2010, Google TV devices are blocked from accessing any programs offered by Viacom’s subsidiaries.[55] Of the cable and satellite providers, only Dish Network (formerly Echostar), had embraced Google TV and promoted it by offering customers a discount on the Logitech Revue.[56]

In January 2014, Google filed a UDRP case against the owner of domain names androidtv.com and xbmcandroidtv.com. The domain names were owned Exo Level, Inc. and were registered with GoDaddy in November 2006. In March 2014, Google’s case was denied.[57][58]

Version history[edit]

Google TV version history details

Google TV version history details

Brand Firmware Version Build Your Country Number Release Date Android Version Devices Supported Version Improvements
Sony 2.1 2010-10 2.1 Sony Internet TV devices NSZ-GT1, NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1. Original version.
Sony 2.1 – Update 1 2011102306 2011-10-23 2.1 Sony Internet TV devices NSZ-GT1, NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1.
Logitech 3.1 update[59] 2011-12-12 3.1 Logitech Revue Updated to Android 3.1.[59]
Sony 3.2[60] 2012022201_WWV_ORSC.201202220101419 2012-03-06 3.1 Sony Internet TV devices NSZ-GT1, NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1. Improved stability and performance of the Android operating system. Update the system to Android 3.1 platform. Adds Blu-ray 3D support for the NSZ-GT1 device.[61] Updates in Chrome and Flash.[62]
Sony 3.2 2012052001_WWW_ORSC.2012050140935 2012-06-03 3.2 Sony Internet TV devices NSZ-GT1, NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1. Updated to Android 3.2 level. Chrome updates.
Logitech 3.2 KA2X-20120518.141456.user-b65871-p 2012-06-04 3.2 Logitech Revue. Updated to Android 3.2 level. Netflix fixes, fix for keyboard controller pairing failures, Chrome updates.
Sony 3.2 REL02_NSZGS7_U2_1005_887_3790_20120628_URSC 2012-06-28 3.2 Sony NSZ-GS7 Network Media Player
Sony 3.2 REL03_NSZGS7_U2_1104_4384_20120724_URSC_S67254 2012-08-03 3.2 Sony NSZ-GS7 Network Media Player Added WPS2.0 function and support for the Media player / Socialife application.
Sony 3.2 2012080801_WWV_ORSC.20120808140935 2012-08-16 3.2 Sony Internet TV devices NSZ-GT1, NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1.
Logitech 3.2 KA2X-20121009.114346.user-b70199 2013-01-28 3.2 Logitech Revue. Chrome updates, performance improvements, added Google Play Movies & TV application.
Vizio 4.6.0 2013-02-08 Vizio Costar Performance improvements, voice control, YouTube updates, Primetime quick guide.
Sony 3.2 rel07_NZGGS7_U2_2010_8249_20130219 2013-02-19 3.2 Sony NSZ-GS7 Updates to Google TV OS, Adds "Voice Search", adds "Amazon Video", improves system stability.
Sony 3.2 REL08_NSZGS7_U2_2106_131390_20130406_URSC_S67254 2013-05-02 3.2 Sony NSZ-GS7 Adds the DLNA® feature, adds the 3D video playback function, adds the VUDU™ application.[63]
Vizio 5.3 -- 2013-05-08 Vizio Costar Improved resource manager, support for additional apps.

Development[edit]

  • 2010 March – Media outlets reported that the Google TV project was underway, although the partnering companies did not confirm their involvement in the venture until later.[64][65][66]
  • 2010 May 20 – The Google TV project was officially announced at the 2010 Google I/O conference on May 20.[67][68] Google stated that the new platform would be incorporated directly into new high-definition television sets and Blu-ray Disc players by Sony, although set-top boxes would also be developed by Logitech.[69] The company indicated that the new systems developed by Sony and Logitech would be powered by Intel Atom based CE4100 consumer electronics system-on-chip. It also stated that a "fully optimized" viewer experience would be available through the Dish Network, although the platform would operate through any provider.
  • 2010 May – Sony announced that it would be releasing its Google-enabled Sony Internet TV product lineup in the fall of 2010, including standalone TV models and set-top units with integrated Blu-ray Disc drives.[70][71]
  • 2010 November 10 – Dish Network announced that its Google TV solution[72] was available to customers. Dish Network's Google TV solution, which requires a DVR integration service, includes the Logitech Revue with Google TV, a small set-top box.
  • 2010 December 15 – Google announces the first Google TV update, with some bug fixes and four major improvements: namely Netflix streaming catalog, Dual View, Remote Control App for Android Phones and Movies search results.[73]
  • 2011 May 10 – At Google I/O it is announced that Google TV devices will be updated to Android 3.1 Honeycomb, will have access to the Android Market, and have some application updates.
  • 2011 June 18 – Google acquires SageTV, a home media software developer.
  • 2011 August 26 – Google has announced Google TV would be officially released in Europe in January 2012.[74]
  • 2011 October 28 – Google TV starts the roll-out of Google TV 2.0, with the Android 3.1 operating system and access to the Market.[75][76]
  • 2012 January 8 – It is announced that the new generation of Google TV devices will run on a variety of ARM SoC designs. One of the key suppliers is Marvell with their Armada 1500[77] platform.
  • 2012 January 10 – Sony Corporation plans to bring Google TV to Canada in Summer 2012. No exact released date has been announced.[78] Sony marketing director, Stephane Labrousse has stated that Sony will start selling Google TV based products in Europe in September 2012.[79]
  • 2012 April 19 – Google updates the TV and Movies app to include social features[80]
  • 2012 June 25 – Sony plans to release Google TV in Europe in September 2012 with the network media player NSZ-GS7 and the Google TV-integrated Blu-ray player NSZ-GS9 where it will first be released in the UK.[81]
  • 2012 October 12 – Google video demo of Google TV version 3 is leaked. Version 3 features include an improved Primetime TV guide application, as well as a companion Android application. Voice based TV and web search for models that include a microphone. A Movies & TV Play Store application which will offer, for purchase, streaming video.[82]
  • 2013 January – Google TV version 3 begins to be rolled out to most Google TV devices.
  • 2013 May 15 – Google announces that 2nd generation Google TV devices (using ARM CPUs) will be eligible to receive an update to Android 4.2.2 and the latest version of Android Chrome instead of Desktop Chrome.[83]
  • 2013 October 10 – Report suggests Google will rebrand Google TV to Android TV and that approximately one million Google TV devices are in use.[84]
  • 2013 October 11 – Google confirms Google TV version 4 will eventually receive native Chromecast like functionality.[85]
  • 2013 October 24 – LG televisions with Google TV begin to receive the Android 4.2.2 update.[86]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  4. ^ Opam, Kwame (June 25, 2014). "Google officially unveils Android TV". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 27, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Google TV is finally dead. Long live Android TV". The Verge. Retrieved 6 January 2015. 
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  16. ^ "Logitech Revue With Google TV Support". Logitech.com. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  17. ^ Murph, Darren (June 18, 2010). "Logitech Revue gets official: Google TV companion box coming this Fall". Engadget.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  18. ^ Lawler, Richard (October 6, 2010). "Logitech Revue with Google TV details: $299; free iOS, Android apps, accessories are extra". Engadget.com. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  19. ^ a b "Logitech's new CEO sees the failures of the Revue clearly in hindsight and doesn't plan a sequel". Engadget.com. November 11, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
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  28. ^ "LG SmartTV with GoogleTV 55G2 Support". August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Vizio Co-Star Site". August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  30. ^ "VIZIO CO-STAR SUPPORT". August 18, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  31. ^ "VIZIO LAUNCHES THE VIZIO CO-STAR™ WITH GOOGLE TV GIVING USERS THE POWER TO TURN ANY HDTV INTO THE ULTIMATE SMART TV". June 26, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  32. ^ "Vizio Co-Star orders arriving at doorsteps now". August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  33. ^ "Hisense Pulse Web Site". February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Hisense Pulse Google TV box to arrive in November, cost just $99". August 27, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  35. ^ "Google, Hisense Partner for Sub-$100 Google TV Set-top Box". August 24, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2012. 
  36. ^ a b "ASUS Announces Transformer AiO PC with Detachable Tablet and Qube with Google TV Media Streamer". January 7, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  37. ^ a b c "Asus Qube renamed to Cube, now on pre-order at Newegg for $140". April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 15, 2013. 
  38. ^ a b "NeoTV Prime Webpage". February 8, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  39. ^ "NETGEAR LAUNCHES NEOTV PRIME WITH GOOGLE TV, BRINGING ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT TO YOUR TV". January 7, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  40. ^ "TCL Multimedia Launches Google Super-Smart TV MoVo". January 9, 2013. Retrieved February 8, 2013. 
  41. ^ Patel, Nilay (October 29, 2010). "Google TV review". Engadget. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  42. ^ Sintumuang, Kevin (November 13, 2010). "Testing Google TV: How'd This LOLCat Get on My Flat-Screen". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  43. ^ Pogue, David (November 17, 2010). "Google TV, Usability Not Included". New York Times. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  44. ^ "Logitech Loses Big On Google TV, Revue Price Cut From $250 To $99". TechCrunch.com. July 28, 2011. Retrieved July 28, 2011. 
  45. ^ "Google TV 2.0 Review: A Brillant [sic] Interface, But Still Lacking Substance". TechCrunch.com. November 3, 2011. Retrieved February 28, 2012. 
  46. ^ "Review: Google TV 3.1". geek.com. November 22, 2011. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  47. ^ "Samsung jumps into bed with Google TV". theregsiter.co.uk. November 22, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  48. ^ "Review: Samsung To Sell Google TV". wsj.com. January 9, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  49. ^ "Sony NSZ-GS7 Google TV review". engadget.com. June 26, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2012. 
  50. ^ "LG 55G2 55-inch 3D LED TV Review". gadgetreview.com. June 27, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Vizio Co-Star Google TV review". blog.antonywilliams.com. August 19, 2012. Retrieved August 19, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Vizio Co-Star Review: Hands-On With Vizio's New $99 Streaming Box". streamingmedia.com. August 21, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Fox.com now blocking Google TV devices". GTVHub. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  54. ^ "Big Networks Block Web Shows From Google TV". New York Times. October 21, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  55. ^ "Comedy Central, MTV now blocking Google TV". CNET.com. November 22, 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  56. ^ "Dish Network Google TV Overview". 2010. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  57. ^ Berkens, Michael. "UDRP Panel Punts Google’s UDRP on Androidtv.com." The Domains. March 27, 2014
  58. ^ “Claim Number: FA1402001542794.” National Arbitration Forum decision via UDRP Search
  59. ^ a b "Logitech Revue Update". Archived from the original on April 20, 2012. Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  60. ^ "Sony Internet TV NSZGT1 OGM V3.2_2012022201 Update". Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  61. ^ "Sony Internet TV NSZGT1 Update Imrpovements". Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  62. ^ "Sony Internet TV NSX-24GT1, NSX-32GT1, NSX-40GT1 and NSX-46GT1 Update Improvements". Retrieved May 5, 2012. 
  63. ^ Sony Electronics, Inc. "Sony eSupport - NSZ-GS7 - Support". Esupport.sony.com. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  64. ^ Bilton, Nick (March 17, 2010). "Google and Partners Seek TV Foothold". The New York Times. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  65. ^ "Google TV on the cards in three-way project". The Spy Report. Media Spy. March 20, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  66. ^ Boulton, Clint (March 18, 2010). "Google TV Coming to Make Your TV a Larger Computer". eWeek.com. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  67. ^ Patel, Nilay (May 20, 2010). "Google TV turns on at I/O: runs Android and Flash, partnered with Sony, Logitech, and Intel". Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  68. ^ Kastelein, Richard (May 21, 2010). "Google TV – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly at #io2010 with the Android, Flash and Chrome Show". Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  69. ^ "What we know so far about Google TV". May 24, 2010. Retrieved May 29, 2010. 
  70. ^ "Sony to Introduce 'SONY INTERNET TV' – World's First TV Incorporating 'Google TV' Platform, Delivering Unprecedented TV-Internet Integration". May 20, 2010. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  71. ^ "Sony introduces the world's first HDTV incorporating the Google TV platform". May 20, 2010. Archived from the original on July 10, 2011. Retrieved May 21, 2010. 
  72. ^ "Dish Network Google TV Solution Now Available to Dish Subscribers". theamericandishtv.com. Retrieved November 11, 2010. 
  73. ^ "Google pushes out first Google TV software update with four major improvements". Retrieved December 15, 2010. 
  74. ^ "Google TV to launch in Europe next year". Reuters. August 26, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  75. ^ "The Official Google TV Blog: An Update on Google TV". Googletv.blogspot.com. October 28, 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2012. 
  76. ^ "Google TV 2.0 gains Honeycomb, Android Market". Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. 
  77. ^ [1] Marvell's Armada 1500 reference design for Google TV hands-on
  78. ^ "A video 'Google TV for Canada' from Yahoo". Retrieved April 9, 2012. 
  79. ^ "Google TV is coming to Europe this September". April 2, 2012. Retrieved April 3, 2012. 
  80. ^ Funk, Greg. "Making Google TV more personal with TV & Movies". Google. Retrieved April 19, 2012. 
  81. ^ Robert Briel (June 25, 2012). "Sony brings Google TV to Europe". Bradband TV News. Retrieved June 25, 2012. 
  82. ^ "Google TV V3 from Google – Demo". YouTube. Retrieved June 15, 2013. 
  83. ^ "Google TV will receive Android 4.2.2 update as well as latest version of Chrome". May 15, 2012. Retrieved May 15, 2012. 
  84. ^ "Google to sunset Google TV brand as its smart TV platform merges with Android — Tech News and Analysis". Gigaom.com. 2013-10-10. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  85. ^ Lawler, Richard. "Google TV v4 close to release, hacked 'Android TV' ROM is running in the wild". Engadget.com. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 
  86. ^ "Various LG Google TV Models Get Updated To Android 4.2.2, Finally Kiss Honeycomb Goodbye". Androidpolice.com. October 24, 2013. Retrieved April 21, 2014. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Google TV.

en.wikipedia.org

ТВ-приставка Google Chromecast 2015 2nd edition — Android TV Box & Mini PC

Google в первом квартале 2016 года перегнала Apple, продав в два раза больше своих ТВ-приставок Google Chromecast. Такая популярность не в последнюю очередь связана с ценой устройства — Google Chromecast в несколько раз дешевле, чем Apple TV. Плюс, второе поколение Chromecast работает намного быстрее предыдущего, транслируя на экран телевизора игры, приложения и сайты из браузера Chrome на ноутбуке.

Характеристики Google Chromecast 2:

  • Процессор: Marvell Armada 1500 Mini Plus 88DE3006
  • Оперативная память: 512 MB RAM DDR3L
  • Накопитель: 256 MB
  • Операционная система: Android
  • Поддержка видео высокой четкости: 1080p
  • IPTV: +
  • OTT: +
  • Поддержка интернет-сервисов: +
  • Управление с помощью смартфона: +
  • Wi-Fi : 802.11 ac @ 2.4/5 GHz
  • Ethernet: опция
  • USB: micro-USB для питания
  • HDMI: +
  • Вес: 39.1 г

ЧТО ЭТО?

Chromecast 2 — телеприставка-медиаплеер, который позволяет в потоковом режиме смотреть фильмы, слушать музыку, просматривать страницы и фотографии из Интернета — непосредственно на экране телевизора. Данные также могут поступать с мобильных устройств на Android или IOS, а также из браузера Chrome на любом компьютере.

ДИЗАЙН

Chromecast 2 по сравнению с первой версией устройства имеет более удачную конструкцию, он выполнен в виде небольшого диска (диаметром около 5 см и чуть меньше полутора сантиметров в толщину) с коротким кабелем HDMI (длиной 11 см вместе с разъемом), а не в виде HDMI-стика. Такая конструкция удобнее, позволяет подключаться к телевизорам, расположенным вплотную к стене.

Верхняя сторона корпуса выполнена из глянцевого пластика, на ней нанесен рельефный логотип по центру. Низ и боковая грань выполнены из матового пластика под цвет HDMI кабеля.

Разъем HDMI имеет магнит и может крепиться к корпусу плеера. На боковой грани находится порт micro-USB, рядом с ним — кнопку сброса настроек на заводские установки (кнопка включения у плеера отсутствует).

КАК ЭТО РАБОТАЕТ?

Chromecast подключается к телевизору через HDMI кабель, питание идет через micro-USB порт, в некоторых случаях возможно питание от USB порта телевизора, хотя Google предупреждает, что не каждый телевизор будет обеспечивать надлежащее напряжение, придется подключаться к розетке.

После первого подключения вам предстоит настроить Chromecast, установить с ним связь. Все это занимает пару минут и состоит всего из нескольких шагов, сводится к задаче названия устройства и подключения его к домашней сети Wi-Fi.

После этой операции плеер работает без проблем с вашими устройствами подключенными к домашней сети Wi-Fi.

Теперь вы можете насладиться просмотром контента с таких сервисов, как YouTube, Фильмы на Google Play, Google Play Music, Spotif, и д.р. Простой принцип потоковой передачи. Если вы хотите смотреть по ТВ видео с YouTube или слушать музыку с Spotify, вам достаточно только Chromecast. Устройство получает команду и начинает потоковую передачу выбранного материала непосредственно из Интернета. Важно отметить, что идет не только изображения, но и звук.

Помимо просмотра видео, вы также теперь можете играть в игры со своего мобильного устройства на большом экране телевизора.

Подружив браузер Google Chrome с Chromecast вы сможете стримить изображения с веб-сайтов на ТВ. Просто установите соответствующее расширение в браузере Chrome. Через веб-приложение Plex вы можете передавать фильмы и сериалы прямо с диска вашего компьютера.

В Chromecast 2 также появилась такая функция как «Фон», она активируется, когда плеер включен, но бездействует. На экран телевизора выводится погода, время, слайд-шоу из фотографий.

ЧТО В КОРОБКЕ?

  • ТВ-приставка Google Chromecast 2
  • Блок питания
  • USB-кабель

Цена тв-приставки Google Chromecast 2015 2nd edition — всего 4 990 руб.

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hd-mediaplayers.ru

android for tv box | Free HD Streaming #1 Worldwide

Brilliant Device Allows You To Watch New Movies And TV Without A Monthly Subscription?

With TVBox now for sale worldwide, this is a great solution to watch your favorite movies and shows for free!

We all know how frustrating overpriced cable bills and subscription services can be.

You pay for cable, movies, and sports on demand... it adds up.

And of course there is all this hardware. Your receiver, AppleTV or Firesticks, DVD Player and often expensive Smart TVs.

So it doesn't come as a surprise that more and more people are searching for cheaper, simpler solutions to cut cable bills and get rid of all the hardware.

Thankfully, there is a solution to legally watch anything for free!

A Netherland-based startup company has come up with a new innovative and inexpensive gadget that is changing the way people consume media.

What is it?

It's called TVBox. It is a state-of-the-art Home Theater box that can be easily connected to any TV. It comes with everything already installed and is up and running within minutes. No technical know-how needed.

It is a all-in-one entertainment center that allows you to get rid of all your other hardware and remotes. All the apps we know are already pre-installed like you might know it from products like AppleTV, Amazon Firestick etc. But there is a main difference - it allows you to watch anything for free. With no subscriptions and completely legal.

How Does it Work?

It's easy! Just connect TVBox with any TV or monitor you have. All cables are included in the package. Press the power button and done. No seriously, it literally takes 10 seconds and you are able to watch anything you want.

TVBox has completely reprogrammed and redesigned it so it works even easier. The TVBox technology searches the internet where it will locate and stream, virtually any television show, hollywood movie, or live sports event you want to watch without having to worry about paying rental fees or monthly subscriptions.

"This device has saved me tons of money!"

You can even tune into live television 24/7 including virtually all the channels you get from your local cable company and hundreds more from all over the world. Everything Ultra HD of course.

What sounds to be to good to be true is reality, no strings attached. Of course you need to have internet and that is a few bucks a month. But don't you have it anyway? And concerning loading and buffer times. TVBox automatically adjusts to your internet speed so every kind of content can be watched immediately. If Youtube works TVBox will work also.

With TVBox you'll gain peace of mind, knowing you can watch your favorite shows.

But is it legal?

YES! Definitely. It is completely legal to use as you are not saving the content just streaming. That is the great thing about it.

Of course cable companies are not happy with the situation so they are trying to stop TVBox from selling it to the public. But as soon as you have one you are completely fine and will be able to watch everything for free forever - completely legal.

How Much is it Going To Cost Me?

You're probably thinking that this device is very expensive... False! Amlogic Smart TV M is on sale at the moment for under $100! One time payment - no subscription, no monthly costs.

Where can I buy one?

You can buy it directly from the company's website by clicking here.

NOTE: People started to buy multiple devices at once as they want to resell them at a higher price later. So demand is crazy right now - please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

TVBox even comes with an innovative remote/mouse for a new kind of user experience and a universal power adapter and surge protector. So you can use it in any country of the world. Of course also with all cables you need to connect to any TV.

Start to watch anything for free...

Now that you've been informed about this brilliant invention, let me show you how easy it is to set up. All you need to do is to follow these 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Order TVBox today to take advantage of the 30% OFF sale.
  • Step 2: When you receive it, open the package and connect it to any TV you like with cables included and press the power button. TVBox asks about your wi-fi key. Put it in and you are ready to go.
  • Step 3: Watch anything for free... TVBox will automatically show you blockbuster or popular shows, and you can always search for anything and watch it immediately.

"Here's a tip: TVBox is a great gift because it will save everybody, who receives it, a ton of money!"

Our conclusion

We tested the Streaming Box for 2 Weeks and don’t want to keep our results from you.

First of all we have to say: You can’t wish for more with this Streaming Box. With the T95M TVBox you get a true Carefree-Package. It’s a revolutionary Home-Entertainment-System! Everything about it convinced us. It is one of the – if not THE – best Streaming-Device available. Our Test also showed that there are no problems with the quality of the streaming whatsoever. Even though it’s streamed the 4K Ultra Quality maintains without any difficulties.

The T95M TVBox gets 10/10 Stars from us. We can easily recommend it to everyone who loves movies. Go and buy it of you want to experience a new Level of Streaming.

If you are looking a TV Box, which copes well with play most video files and 4K, like TV Boxes with digital display and do not want to undermine its own budget – T95M is for you.

MAKE ANY TV A SMART HOME THEATREClick To Learn More >>

Awesome Testimonial

vbeautylife.info

best android tv streaming box

Brilliant Device Allows You To Watch New Movies And TV Without A Monthly Subscription?

With TVBox now for sale worldwide, this is a great solution to watch your favorite movies and shows for free!

We all know how frustrating overpriced cable bills and subscription services can be.

You pay for cable, movies, and sports on demand... it adds up.

And of course there is all this hardware. Your receiver, AppleTV or Firesticks, DVD Player and often expensive Smart TVs.

So it doesn't come as a surprise that more and more people are searching for cheaper, simpler solutions to cut cable bills and get rid of all the hardware.

Thankfully, there is a solution to legally watch anything for free!

A Netherland-based startup company has come up with a new innovative and inexpensive gadget that is changing the way people consume media.

What is it?

It's called TVBox. It is a state-of-the-art Home Theater box that can be easily connected to any TV. It comes with everything already installed and is up and running within minutes. No technical know-how needed.

It is a all-in-one entertainment center that allows you to get rid of all your other hardware and remotes. All the apps we know are already pre-installed like you might know it from products like AppleTV, Amazon Firestick etc. But there is a main difference - it allows you to watch anything for free. With no subscriptions and completely legal.

How Does it Work?

It's easy! Just connect TVBox with any TV or monitor you have. All cables are included in the package. Press the power button and done. No seriously, it literally takes 10 seconds and you are able to watch anything you want.

TVBox has completely reprogrammed and redesigned it so it works even easier. The TVBox technology searches the internet where it will locate and stream, virtually any television show, hollywood movie, or live sports event you want to watch without having to worry about paying rental fees or monthly subscriptions.

"This device has saved me tons of money!"

You can even tune into live television 24/7 including virtually all the channels you get from your local cable company and hundreds more from all over the world. Everything Ultra HD of course.

What sounds to be to good to be true is reality, no strings attached. Of course you need to have internet and that is a few bucks a month. But don't you have it anyway? And concerning loading and buffer times. TVBox automatically adjusts to your internet speed so every kind of content can be watched immediately. If Youtube works TVBox will work also.

With TVBox you'll gain peace of mind, knowing you can watch your favorite shows.

But is it legal?

YES! Definitely. It is completely legal to use as you are not saving the content just streaming. That is the great thing about it.

Of course cable companies are not happy with the situation so they are trying to stop TVBox from selling it to the public. But as soon as you have one you are completely fine and will be able to watch everything for free forever - completely legal.

How Much is it Going To Cost Me?

You're probably thinking that this device is very expensive... False! Amlogic Smart TV M is on sale at the moment for under $100! One time payment - no subscription, no monthly costs.

Where can I buy one?

You can buy it directly from the company's website by clicking here.

NOTE: People started to buy multiple devices at once as they want to resell them at a higher price later. So demand is crazy right now - please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

TVBox even comes with an innovative remote/mouse for a new kind of user experience and a universal power adapter and surge protector. So you can use it in any country of the world. Of course also with all cables you need to connect to any TV.

Start to watch anything for free...

Now that you've been informed about this brilliant invention, let me show you how easy it is to set up. All you need to do is to follow these 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Order TVBox today to take advantage of the 30% OFF sale.
  • Step 2: When you receive it, open the package and connect it to any TV you like with cables included and press the power button. TVBox asks about your wi-fi key. Put it in and you are ready to go.
  • Step 3: Watch anything for free... TVBox will automatically show you blockbuster or popular shows, and you can always search for anything and watch it immediately.

"Here's a tip: TVBox is a great gift because it will save everybody, who receives it, a ton of money!"

Our conclusion

We tested the Streaming Box for 2 Weeks and don’t want to keep our results from you.

First of all we have to say: You can’t wish for more with this Streaming Box. With the T95M TVBox you get a true Carefree-Package. It’s a revolutionary Home-Entertainment-System! Everything about it convinced us. It is one of the – if not THE – best Streaming-Device available. Our Test also showed that there are no problems with the quality of the streaming whatsoever. Even though it’s streamed the 4K Ultra Quality maintains without any difficulties.

The T95M TVBox gets 10/10 Stars from us. We can easily recommend it to everyone who loves movies. Go and buy it of you want to experience a new Level of Streaming.

If you are looking a TV Box, which copes well with play most video files and 4K, like TV Boxes with digital display and do not want to undermine its own budget – T95M is for you.

MAKE ANY TV A SMART HOME THEATREClick To Learn More >>

Awesome Testimonial

eztipshealth.info

android tv box | Free HD Streaming #1 Worldwide

Brilliant Device Allows You To Watch New Movies And TV Without A Monthly Subscription?

With TVBox now for sale worldwide, this is a great solution to watch your favorite movies and shows for free!

We all know how frustrating overpriced cable bills and subscription services can be.

You pay for cable, movies, and sports on demand... it adds up.

And of course there is all this hardware. Your receiver, AppleTV or Firesticks, DVD Player and often expensive Smart TVs.

So it doesn't come as a surprise that more and more people are searching for cheaper, simpler solutions to cut cable bills and get rid of all the hardware.

Thankfully, there is a solution to legally watch anything for free!

A Netherland-based startup company has come up with a new innovative and inexpensive gadget that is changing the way people consume media.

What is it?

It's called TVBox. It is a state-of-the-art Home Theater box that can be easily connected to any TV. It comes with everything already installed and is up and running within minutes. No technical know-how needed.

It is a all-in-one entertainment center that allows you to get rid of all your other hardware and remotes. All the apps we know are already pre-installed like you might know it from products like AppleTV, Amazon Firestick etc. But there is a main difference - it allows you to watch anything for free. With no subscriptions and completely legal.

How Does it Work?

It's easy! Just connect TVBox with any TV or monitor you have. All cables are included in the package. Press the power button and done. No seriously, it literally takes 10 seconds and you are able to watch anything you want.

TVBox has completely reprogrammed and redesigned it so it works even easier. The TVBox technology searches the internet where it will locate and stream, virtually any television show, hollywood movie, or live sports event you want to watch without having to worry about paying rental fees or monthly subscriptions.

"This device has saved me tons of money!"

You can even tune into live television 24/7 including virtually all the channels you get from your local cable company and hundreds more from all over the world. Everything Ultra HD of course.

What sounds to be to good to be true is reality, no strings attached. Of course you need to have internet and that is a few bucks a month. But don't you have it anyway? And concerning loading and buffer times. TVBox automatically adjusts to your internet speed so every kind of content can be watched immediately. If Youtube works TVBox will work also.

With TVBox you'll gain peace of mind, knowing you can watch your favorite shows.

But is it legal?

YES! Definitely. It is completely legal to use as you are not saving the content just streaming. That is the great thing about it.

Of course cable companies are not happy with the situation so they are trying to stop TVBox from selling it to the public. But as soon as you have one you are completely fine and will be able to watch everything for free forever - completely legal.

How Much is it Going To Cost Me?

You're probably thinking that this device is very expensive... False! Amlogic Smart TV M is on sale at the moment for under $100! One time payment - no subscription, no monthly costs.

Where can I buy one?

You can buy it directly from the company's website by clicking here.

NOTE: People started to buy multiple devices at once as they want to resell them at a higher price later. So demand is crazy right now - please allow 1-2 weeks for shipping.

TVBox even comes with an innovative remote/mouse for a new kind of user experience and a universal power adapter and surge protector. So you can use it in any country of the world. Of course also with all cables you need to connect to any TV.

Start to watch anything for free...

Now that you've been informed about this brilliant invention, let me show you how easy it is to set up. All you need to do is to follow these 3 steps:

  • Step 1: Order TVBox today to take advantage of the 30% OFF sale.
  • Step 2: When you receive it, open the package and connect it to any TV you like with cables included and press the power button. TVBox asks about your wi-fi key. Put it in and you are ready to go.
  • Step 3: Watch anything for free... TVBox will automatically show you blockbuster or popular shows, and you can always search for anything and watch it immediately.

"Here's a tip: TVBox is a great gift because it will save everybody, who receives it, a ton of money!"

Our conclusion

We tested the Streaming Box for 2 Weeks and don’t want to keep our results from you.

First of all we have to say: You can’t wish for more with this Streaming Box. With the T95M TVBox you get a true Carefree-Package. It’s a revolutionary Home-Entertainment-System! Everything about it convinced us. It is one of the – if not THE – best Streaming-Device available. Our Test also showed that there are no problems with the quality of the streaming whatsoever. Even though it’s streamed the 4K Ultra Quality maintains without any difficulties.

The T95M TVBox gets 10/10 Stars from us. We can easily recommend it to everyone who loves movies. Go and buy it of you want to experience a new Level of Streaming.

If you are looking a TV Box, which copes well with play most video files and 4K, like TV Boxes with digital display and do not want to undermine its own budget – T95M is for you.

MAKE ANY TV A SMART HOME THEATREClick To Learn More >>

Awesome Testimonial

wehealthyfood.info

Google Nexus Player Android TV box review

The Google Nexus Player is a $99 box you connect to a TV to stream movies and music from the internet, play video games, and run other apps on your TV. It’s basically Google’s answer to the Apple TV, Roku, and other devices designed to make your TV “smart.”

It’s also the first device to ship with Google’s new Android TV software. While Google is happy to sell you a set-top-box, what the company’s really hoping is that other manufacturers will load their own Smart TV devices with Android TV much the same way they’ve loaded their phones and tablets with Android.

Android TV isn’t Google’s first play for the living room. A few years ago the company was pushing a software platform called Google TV, but it never really took off. I blame a complicated user interface, limited functionality, and underpowered hardware.

Last year Google took a less-is-more approach and launched the Chromecast. It’s a $35 device that doesn’t even really have a user interface. Instead you use your phone, tablet, or PC to discover videos, music, or other content you want to beam to your TV and the Chromecast lets you do that with the tap of a button.

The Nexus Player and Android TV software show Google’s learned a lot about what works in the living room and what doesn’t: It’s simpler and easier to use than Google TV. But it’s also more versatile than a Chromecast.

In fact, anything you can do with a Chromecast you can also do with the Nexus Player: It includes built-in Google Cast functionality. But the device also comes with a remote control that you can use to search for content, navigate between apps, play and pause videos, and even play casual games.

There’s also an optional $40 Bluetooth gamepad that lets you do some serious gaming (if you consider Android games like Riptide GP2, Asphalt 8, or The Walking Dead to be “serious” games).

Google loaned me an Android TV box to test, and it’s speedy, easy to use, and provides a great way to stream media from YouTube, Google Play Movies, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and a few other online video sites as well as music from Pandora, Google Play, TuneIn, Songa, and other services.

The problem is that as of early November, 2014 there aren’t a lot of third-party apps for Android TV and it’s not all that easy to find the apps that are available.

Right now the Nexus Player and Android TV feel like they’re full of potential… and they could be everything you need… as long as you don’t need a web browser, file browser, XBMC, Amazon Instant Video, or any of the other apps and services that aren’t officially supported.

It is possible to sideload apps, but it’s not exactly easy and there’s no guarantee the apps you install will work.

Hardware

The Nexus Player is a small, circular device which measures about 4.7″ x 4.7″ x 0.8″ and weighs a little over 8 ounces.

Under the hood it has a 1.8 GHz Intel Atom Moorefield quad-core processor with PowerVR Series 6 graphics, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB of eMMC storage. It features 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi dual-band 2×2 MIMO WiFi and Bluetooth 4.0.

If you turn over the device you’ll see a hollow section with 3 ports: a power jack, HDMI port, and a micro USB 2.0 port. There’s no Ethernet, S/PDIF, full-sized USB port, or any other input or output connectors.

There’s also a button on the bottom of the device. You can press this to begin the process of pairing a Bluetooth accessory, although you can also do that from the Settings menu without tapping a button. The only feature you’ll find on the box itself is a small LED light near the front that lets you know the Nexus Player is operating.

There’s no power button: when the Nexus Player is plugged in, it’s turned on. When you don’t use the device for a while it’ll go into sleep mode and use the Daydream feature to display photos or other content. But if you want to turn the box all the way off, you’ll have to pull out the power cable.

Plenty of Chinese companies have produced TV boxes that run Android software over the past few years. Some have faster processors, more RAM or storage, and more ports than the Nexus Player. But they run a lightly modified version of the Android software Google designed for phones and tablets, not the new Android TV software.

 

So while they’re more powerful, they can also be tougher to use: many of the apps you can download and install on boxes like the Probox2 EX, Tronsmart Vega S89, or Rikomagic MK902 can be tough to actually use with a remote control rather than a touchscreen.

The Nexus Player, meanwhile, is not only designed to be used with a remote: it’s designed to be used with a very simple one.

The included remote control has just a few buttons. There’s a back button, home button, and a play/pause button at the bottom. Above it there’s a direction pad which you can use to press up, down, left or right. Press the button in the center to select.

Above that there’s a microphone button. Tap it from any screen to start a voice search. In select apps like Google Play Movies & TV this will let you search for content that’s available within the app itself. From other apps, or from the home screen, voice search lets you search for videos, music, or other content by name and the Nexus Player will show a list of results from multiple sources.

At the moment that largely means YouTube and Google Play Movies. In the future it’s possible that more apps might tap into Google’s voice search functionality. But right now you can’t easily search Netflix with your voice, for example.

The Nexus Player remote doesn’t support air mouse features. It doesn’t have a QWERTY keyboard. But it’s incredibly easy to use… especially compared with the remote control for last year’s Asus CUBE Google TV box which had a touchpad, a mouse cursor button, and a QWERTY keyboard, along with TV buttons, media buttons, and a dedicated Netflix button, among other things.

You can use the Nexus Player remote to navigate menus, play and pause videos, and even enter text using an on-screen keyboard. You’re not going to want to enter a lot of text, but you can use it to enter usernames and passwords… which is about all the text Google really expects you to type on an Android TV device.

The remote can also be used to play some simple games. There’s even a section of the Google Play Store for “TV Remote Games” that you can play with just the arrow and select buttons on the remote. Games like Red Ball 4 aren’t exactly easy to play with just a few buttons. But you can play them.

Want to play some more complex games? Asus makes an optional Bluetooth gamepad for the Nexus Player which you can pick up for $40.

The controller looks a lot like an Xbox-style gamepad, and features analog sticks, shoulder buttons, a D-pad, and X,Y, A, and B buttons.

There are also back and home buttons, and a power button in the center. Pressing this turns on the remote, not the Nexus Player. Unlike the standard remote control, the Gamepad turns off after it hasn’t been used for a while and you need to actively wake it up.

You can pair the Gamepad with the Nexus Player via Bluetooth either by pressing the button on the bottom of the Nexus Player or by choosing the “add accessory” option from the Settings menu.

Once the Gamepad is paired with the Nexus Player you can use it for just about anything you’d use the normal remote for, except instead of hitting Select you hit the A button. One thing you can’t do with the Gamepad is search-by-voice. It doesn’t have a microphone.

But it does have all the buttons you need to play more complicated games including Modern Combat, Asphalt 8, SoulCalibur, Wind Up Knight, or Final Fantasy games.

Finding games that you can actually play can be a bit tricky. But we’ll get into that in the next section.

I’m not a heavy gamer, so I can’t really tell you how the Gamepad compares with an Xbox or Playstation controller. But it feels comfortable, has all the buttons you could need to play games that support said buttons, and I find myself reaching for the Gamepad when I want to enter text because it seems to be a little easier to navigate the on-screen keyboard with the analog stick than with the buttons on the standard remote.

The standard remote runs on two AAA batteries, while the Gamepad takes two AA batteries.

There’s one other way to control an Android TV box. You can download a free Android TV Remote Control app for Android and turn your phone or table into a remote.

It gives you on-screen arrow keys, a select button, home, back, and microphone/search buttons. You can also use switch to a touchpad mode and swipe the screen to navigate rather than tapping.

If you’re wondering what you can do with the Nexus Player’s microUSB port, you can use a USB cable to connect the box to your PC and use the Android SDK tools for debugging (or for pushing software to the Nexus Player… more on that below).

Using a micro USB to full-sized USB OTG adapter, you can also connect a USB flash drive or hard drive, hook up a USB mouse or keyboard, or connect other accessories. The micro USB port works just like a full-sized USB port. It’s just smaller.

Android TV

Android TV is basically Google Android 5.0 designed for TVs instead of phones or tablets. But that doesn’t mean it’s just a smartphone operating system with a custom app launcher.

Instead, the entire operating system has been retooled so that you’ll never encounter a menu, game, or option that you can’t use with just a remote control or gamepad. This is what makes Android TV different than a normal Android device that just happens to be plugged into a TV.

It also means that there’s no web browser, no suite of Office apps, and generally no good support for apps that are designed for touchscreens or for mouse and keyboard input.

When you turn on the device, you’ll see a home screen that Google calls the Leanback Launcher (although you don’t really need to know what it’s called). There’s a search icon at the top, followed by recommended content from apps including Google Play Movies & TV, YouTube, and Hulu Plus.

Hit the down button on your remote and you’ll see a list of installed apps, plus a link to the Google Play Store where you can find more apps.

Below the apps you’ll find games.

And in the bottom row, there’s a settings icon and a dedicated icon for your wireless network so that you can to the internet without digging through a bunch of menus.

Of course, the first time you turn on the Nexus Player, it will walk you through the process of setting up the device, connecting to the internet, and logging into your Google account. But if you need to change any of your settings, you can easily do that from the Settings menus.

You can also disable system sounds, adjust Daydream settings (telling your system how long to way before showing photos and how much longer to wait before going to sleep), factory reset your device, change the language settings, turn on captions or other accessibility settings, or add new Bluetooth devices.

There’s also an option in the Settings menu to remove your Google account. If you do this, a new option to add an account shows up, which allows you to switch from one Google account to another… but you cannot use two accounts at once. While Android 5.0 supports multiple user accounts on phones and tablets, Android TV is tied to a single account at a time… for now. This could change in the future.

When you select an app like Google Play Movies & TV or Netflix from the home screen it will open in full-screen mode. The user interface for Google’s Android TV apps looks a lot like that for Android tablet apps… there’s usually a menu on the left and a grid of icons on the right.

You can scroll up and down the menu in Google Play Movies, or YouTube, for instance, to switch between My Movies, My TV Shows, New Movie Release, and other categories. Once you select a category, you can use the direction buttons to select a video, hit the select button to start playing your video, and use the play/pause button to pause or the arrow buttons to skip ahead or back.

Hitting the home button will return you to the main screen, but it won’t stop the current video from playing unless you then select another app or video.

Google Play Music works much like Play Movies. There’s a menu on the left, and selections on the right.

You can use the arrow keys to find content, switch tracks, or change views. The Play/pause button does what you’d expect, and hitting the Home button takes you back to the main screen but keeps the music playing until you select a different option.

Play Music shows full-screen album art when you’re listening to a song, but you can bring up options to skip tracks, pause, or view your playlist just by tapping a button on your remote.

Other music and video apps might use a different user interface, but if they’re available when you visit the Play store on an Android TV device, they should work with a remote control.

The Netflix app, for example, looks a little different from YouTube or Google Play Movies or Music: there’s no menu on the left, just a grid of videos in your saved list and a series of recommendations.

When using Netflix you can either scroll up to the top and tap the search icon to start a search, or hit the microphone button on your remote control. But there’s no voice search option. You’ll have to enter your search terms using an on-screen keyboard.

As more developers add support for Android TV, expect to see a growing number of different ways to access content. That’s not necessarily a bad thing: there’s not exactly a universal way to find and play content on a smartphone either… but all music and video apps for touchscreen smartphones are at least designed to work on touchscreen displays. And all Android TV apps will be designed for use with a remote control.

Not sure which app you want to open, but have a vague idea of what you want to watch? That’s where the search function comes in. Just tap the microphone icon on the remote, say something like “X-Men,” and a list of matching search results will pop up.

In addition to movies and TV shows, you might find related YouTube clips, actors who have appeared in X-men films, and other information. But you’ll only get results from apps that work with Android TV’s search function. So while a search for “Avengers” brought up options to watch the movie on Google Play Movies or watch a trailer on YouTube, you’d never know that you can tream the Avengers on Netflix unless you opened the Netflix app.

Hopefully app developers will tap into Google’s Android TV search function to make it a truly universal search tool in the future. Right now it’s pretty cool… but pretty limited.

Out of the box, my Nexus Player demo unit had Google Play Movies, YouTube, Google Play Music, Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Songza installed.

I visited the Google Play Store to find additional apps and games, and had no trouble installing Pandora, Crackle, and a few games. But the Play Store experience leaves a bit to be desired.

It’s not just that there aren’t all that many apps available yet (hopefully that’ll change soon, now that Google is allowing developers to submit Android TV apps to the Play Store). It’s that you can’t even be sure you’re finding all the apps that are available.

The Play Store is divided into Entertainment Apps, Music apps (because i guess music is work, not entertainment), TV Remote Games, Casual Gamepad games, and Action games for Gamepads. There’s also a settings menu where you can require a password before users can make purchases and enable content filtering by maturity level.

The Entertainment Apps section is a bit sparse. There’s no Amazon Instant Video, Vudu, or HBO GO app, just to name a few high-profile media apps that aren’t available.

Music apps are equally hard to come by. While there are apps for Vevo, TuneIn, Pandora, and iHeartRadio, there are no Spotify, Rhapsody, or Rdio apps.

You probably can sideload some of these apps… but you might not want to. Android TV is based on Android, so it can run the same apps that are designed for your phone. But you might not actually be able to use them with a remote control. In most cases you’re probably better off waiting (or hoping) for the developers to add Android TV support to their apps.

If you’re feeling adventurous, we have tips for sideloading apps below. Sometimes they do work.

The Game section is a bit weirder. There are a fair number of games that you can play either with the basic remote or a GamePad. But because many game developers already support Xbox-style controllers, there are plenty of games that run on the Nexus Player whether or not they’ve officially been declared as Android TV-ready.

So if you sideload a game that works with a gamepad on your phone, tablet, or other device, it’ll probably work with the Nexus Player and its Gamepad.

Oddly there are a number of games which Google lets you install without sideloading… but they don’t show up when you’re in the Play Store on the device. You can find them instead through trial and error.

One way is to visit the Google Play Store in a web browser on another device, click the Install button for an app, and see if your Nexus Player shows up as a supported device. Usually it won’t. Sometimes it will.

You can also find some extra games while using the Nexus Player itself by opening the Google Play Games app, visiting the Players section, and seeing what games your contacts have been playing recently. Some of the games will say they’re “not available for this device,” but others will have Buy or Install buttons, even if you didn’t see them while browsing the Play Store.

Speaking of Buy or Install buttons… another weird thing is that there’s no way to know whether an app or game in the Google Play Store is paid or free until you open the description. You can’t filter apps by price or view only free apps or games.

All told, Android TV has a simple, attractive user interface. It’s easy to use and you can be pretty sure any apps you install from the Play Store will work on the platform.

This all puts the Nexus Player miles ahead of pretty much every Chinese TV box with Android software I’ve tried over the past few years, since they tend to have powerful hardware, but an inconsistent software experience.

Unfortunately it can be tough to actually find apps that work with the Nexus player. That’s not surprising: the platform is pretty new. Hopefully it’ll take off and more developers will bring their apps to the platform. But on day one, you can probably find more audio and video apps that work with a Roku, Apple TV, or Amazon Fire TV than you can find for a Nexus Player.

On the other hand, the only TV box on that list that has the chops to compete with the Nexus Player as a gaming machine is the Fire TV.

Performance

When I tested the Asus CUBE with Google TV last year, I complained that it had a complicated and inconsistent user interface and sluggish controls. By comparison, the Nexus Player is simple to use and quite zippy.

It takes a minute or two for the system to start up when you first plug it in, but once it’s up and running it takes virtually no time at all to switch between apps, locate content, or start playing a song or video.

Video playback is smooth, and I’ve had no problems with my WiFi connection, even though my router is on the first floor of the house while my office is up on the third floor.

3D games like Riptide GP2 which I downloaded from the Play Store also load quickly and play smoothly.

Other games I’ve installed and played (for at least a little bit) include Wind Up Knight 1 and 2, Final Fantasy IV, and Red Ball 4.

At no point while I was using the Nexus Player did it get particularly warm, and there’s no fan in the case so it never got noisy either.

Looking for some hard numbers? I ran the Antutu benchmark app and found that the Nexus Player scores lower than the Nexus 9 tablet, but much better than last year’s 2nd-generation Nexus 7.

In a slightly more apples-to-apples comparison, the Nexus Player with its Intel Atom Moorefield processor performed almost exactly as well as the Probox2 EX TV box with Google Android software. That’s a box with AMlogic’s AM802-H quad-core processor.

You may be worried that it ships with 1GB of RAM at a time when many Android smartphones have 2GB or more. As far as I can tell, 1GB is more than enough to handle most demanding tasks including 3D gaming or HD video playback. What you don’t get is a lot of support for multitasking.

The only apps that crashed on me were 3rd-party apps that I sideloaded including the 3DMark benchmark utility and the SPMC media center app.

While you can navigate to the home screen while a video or song continues to play in the background, it looks like every time you hit the home button to exit a game, that game will close entirely rather than pause. Next time you go to open that game (even if it’s just a few seconds later), you’ll see the entire start sequence before you can pick up where you left off (assuming you’re playing a game that saves your place).

A few of the games I’ve tested aren’t explicitly designed for Android TV. While I downloaded Wind Up Knight 2 by following a link from a contact in Google Play Games, I had to sideload the original Wind Up Knight. Likewise, I sideloaded Final Fantasy IV, even though Final Fantasy III is available for download.

In both cases, the sideloaded games worked perfectly.

On the other hand, I also sideloaded World of Goo and while I can open the app, I can’t get past the start screen. I also sideloaded Angry Birds Rio and found that I couldn’t play it at all using the Gamepad or standard remote. But when I plugged in an external keyboard I was able to use it to play.

So how did I load those apps that aren’t available through the Play Store?

Living outside the walled garden

The Nexus Player might not have many ports, but one that it does have is a microUSB port. You can run a microUSB cable between the TV box and a PC and use the Android SDK (or just the adb utility) to transfer files to the Nexus Player.

You’ll need to do a few things first though:

  • Enable developer mode by navigating to the About menu in the Settings, scrolling down to Build, and tapping the select button repeatedly until a message tells you that you’re now a developer.
  • Next, you’ll have to reboot your device by unplugging the power cable and then reconnecting it.
  • When the system boots up again, there should be a new “Developer options” section in the Preference area of the Settings menu.
  • From Developer options, scroll down to Debugging and turn on the option for USB debugging.
  • Go back to the main Settings area and scroll down to Security & Restrictions.
  • Turn on the option for “Unkown sources” so that you can install apps from locations other than the Play Store.

That’s pretty much it. Now if you have the latest Android SDK installed on your computer you should be able to connect your Nexus Player to a PC, open a command prompt or terminal window, and type “adb devices” (without the quotes) to see if your Nexus Player is detected.

Setting up the Android SDK can be a bit tricky sometimes and walking you through it is beyond the scope of this review, but you can visit the Android Developers page to get started.

Once your device is connected, you can install just about any Android APK file by typing (without quotes) “adb install package-name.apk” to send the app to your Nexus Player. The first time you do this you may see a prompt on your Nexus Player screen asking if you want to verify apps, so it’s a good idea to make sure your TV is on and your Android TV remote is handy while you’re doing this.

Incidentally, once you’ve installed a file browser app such as ES File Explorer, you may be able to use it to install Android apps without a USB cable.

Just find an APK file, download it to local storage or put it on a flash drive that you can plug into the micro USB port, and use ES File Explorer to find and open install the APK.

I tried loading a handful of Android apps which I’d backed up from my Nexus 5 smartphone and Nexus 7 tablet using Titanium Backup, including some of the games mentioned above, as well as other apps including Amazon MP3, Amazon Instant Video (and Amazon shopping), and a few others.

Most apps you sideload this way won’t add themselves to the Leanback launcher. So if you want to see these apps, you’ll need something like Chainfire’s Sideload Launcher. Just visit the Google Play Store in a web browser and choose to install this app to the Nexus Player. It’ll add an icon to your Apps section which you can tap to open a simple launcher that shows all third-party apps loaded on your Android TV box.

Note that not only is there no guarantee that sideloaded apps will work as promised… they’re no guarantee they’ll work at all.

Here are some of the apps I loaded, and a brief summary of the results:

  • Amazon MP3 – This works perfectly… with a keyboard. You can’t navigate it using the Android TV remote or Gamepad, but if you use a keyboard and mouse it’s easy to access your music library and stream tunes over the internet.
  • Amazon Instant Video/Amazon Shopping – You can access your video library (again it’s easiest with a keyboard and mouse), but every time I tried to play a video I got an error message.
  • Amazon Appstore (or Amazon Shopping) – It’s easiest to navigate with a keyboard and mouse, but you can use these app stores to find and install many third-party apps which the Nexus Player won’t grab from the Google Play Store. Just don’t expect them all to work.
  • Dolphin and Firefox web browsers – I installed them. I opened them. I couldn’t get a single web page to load.
  • ES File Explorer – This might be the first (alphabetically) app on this list that works exactly the way you’d want. Not only can you browse the local files stored on your device, but you can tap-and-hold the select button to bring up copy, cut, paste, and other options so you can move files between folders or even copy files to an external USB flash drive. ES File Explorer also includes its own media player, so you can play supported audio or video files just by tapping on them. This is handy, because Android TV doesn’t seem to have its own built-in video player.
  • Final Fantasy IV – As mentioned above, this game seems to work perfectly with the Gamepad. I only played through the introduction, but arrow keys and buttons all work as you’d expect… which makes sense since this game was originally designed for game consoles before it was ported to Android and iOS.
  • MX Player – This video player installed just fine. But it won’t open. I get an error message saying “unsupported android version” when I try to run the app.
  • SPMC – This fork of XBMC/Kodi media center is available from the Amazon Appstore and I used the Amazon app to install it. SPMC launches quickly, but that’s about all I can say for it at this point. I tried installing a few plugins and the only one that worked was the NPR player which I used to stream some public radio programming. I was unable to get any online video plugins to work. I also couldn’t get SPMC to connect to a shared network drive. When I try playing the same local videos that worked with ES File Explorer, SPMC crashes and the app closes.
  • Wind Up Knight – As I mentioned above, this game works perfectly, even though its description says it’s incompatible.
  • World of Goo – This game opens and then I get stuck at the start screen unless I plug in a mouse.

Update: SPMC does play videos… it just takes a little work to configure that app before it’ll work.

As Mastermind278 points out in the comments below, you need to open the Settings, go to the Video area, enable Expert mode, open Acceleration, and uncheck the box next to MediaCodec.

Once you’ve done that, you should be able to play local video from internal storage, or stream online video. I’ve successfully managed to play H.264 files, but not MKV videos.

Here are some photos of other apps I’ve sideloaded. Click any picture to see a larger version.

So yes… you can install third-party apps even if they’re not available from the Play Store. But if you want a smooth and pleasant experience, you’re probably better off sticking with the walled garden and only installing apps that are confirmed to work with Android TV.

It’d be nice if it was easier to search for those apps though.

What’s that? Sideloading apps isn’t good enough for you? You want to know if you can unlock the bootloader, root the device, or make other system-level changes? Well, maybe you can, but in the brief time I’ve had with the Nexus Player I haven’t been able to.

You can use the “adb reboot bootloader” or “adb reboot fast” commands to get to the bootloader. But once you’re there, the usual “fastboot oem unlock” command that typically unlocks the bootloader on Nexus devices does nothing.

You can also use “adb reboot recovery” to get to the recovery screen. But there’s not much you can do from there at the moment.

In addition to everything mentioned above you can use the Nexus Player like a Google Chromecast. Open Netflix, YouTube, or another compatible app on your phone or tablet, tap the Cast button, and you can send video to the Nexus Player without touching the remote control.

You can also use the Cast Screen option on your Android device to mirror your phone or tablet’s display to your Nexus Player. This lets you stream videos from Amazon or other sites that aren’t normally supported… but since the video streams from the internet to your phone then over your home network to your Nexus Player don’t expect stellar video quality or reliable performance.

Verdict

Google’s latest play for the living room is the company’s best yet… until you consider the Nexus Player’s $99 price tag.

That makes it about 3 times as expensive as a Google Chromecast, although it can certainly do a lot more than a Chromecast.

Just like the Chromecast, the Nexus Player’s strength is its simplicity: it takes seconds to set up an Android TV box and while there are a limited number of apps available for the platform at this point, they all work beautifully.

When the Chromecast launched, it was a nifty device that didn’t do all that much, since it only supported a few online media services. In the months that followed, that number doubled again and again and now there are hundreds of Chromecast-compatible apps. If history repeats itself we could see hundreds or even thousands of Android TV apps in the next year or two. The platform feels full of potential, especially since it’s relatively simple for developers of Android phone and tablet apps to add TV functionality without starting over from scratch.

But Android TV and the Nexus Player are more than just potential. You can use them today and get a lot out of them. Once upon a time, $99 wouldn’t have been too much to pay for a box that only streamed video from Netflix, YouTube, and maybe another service or two.

But these days the Nexus Player faces some serious competition. The Roku 3, Amazon Fire TV, and Apple TV are all also priced at $99.

Roku offers a much wider selection of content at this point, Amazon has a head start attracting app and game developers, and Apple has a lock on iPhone and heavy iTunes users.

Still, Android TV is everything Google TV was not. It’s simple, fast, and potentially versatile. Folks who already have an Android phone or tablet also get access to bonus features including screen mirroring and a remote control app, which could make Android TV a good platform for die-hard Android fans.

And if the $99 price tag seems a bit high, it’s worth noting that if you order a Nexus Player by the holidays, Google will throw in a $20 credit for the Play Store which you can use to buy or rent movies or purchase music or games. That kind of brings the price down to $79 for the next few months (assuming you were planning to spend money on content).

There are still some unanswered questions about the Android TV platform: will anyone other than Google release a box running this software? Will the company license Android TV to the Chinese OEMs who have been cranking out Android box after Android box for the past few years? But the most important question about Android TV is: now that Google has built it, will the developers come? Because right now it’s a powerful platform that only does a few things… although it does them pretty well.

liliputing.com


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