The subject of this review is Google’s latest attempt to get to your television set allowing you to transform your old device into a Smart Tv, giving you the chance to play media content from the web and/or from the different computers connected to your home network.
Google had first entered this field with the Google Chromecast, a device that is plugged into one of the television’s usb ports allowing you to play media content from an android tablet or cell phone.
The Google Nexus Player brings to the table almost the same functions, the difference is that it doesn’t depend on a cell phone since it houses its own processor and memory running an android version known as “Android tv”. The Nexus counterpart in the Apple world would be the “Apple TV”, which in my opinion shares several similarities with Google’s device.
The player I tested was provided by TT Chile, and just like ten years ago when they lent us an ATI Radeon 9600Pro, once again have given us support by letting us review one of the products they bring to our market. TT Chile is Google Nexus Player’s official importer in our country selling it for about $80.000, in our opinion a reasonable price considering that in USA is sold for US$ 99:
The Nexus Player is manufactured by Asus for Google and comes in this colorful box:
Here you can see the content we found in the box: the device itself, a remote control and a power supply with… an American outlet…, and here is where I wonder: When will the Chilean Electricity and Fuels Superintendence finally make it mandatory for stores to sell every single electronic device offered in our country with an outlet that meets the Chilean standard?
The Nexus Player is a round-shaped device of a ten-centimeter diameter and two centimeters tall. The base is covered by a rubber material in order to prevent involuntary movements when placed on a table or similar surface. The round button located in the center is for pairing the device with the Gamepad (optional) via Bluetooth. The connections available from left to right are:
Power supply, micro USB and HDMI:
Since there is no Ethernet port, the connection to the Internet will have to be via Wi-Fi -at least at the beginning- and in this regard the Nexus Player supports the latest 802.11ac. I understand it’s possible to use a micro-USB to Ethernet adapter but I’m not sure whether we can find one in Chile.
Google states that the micro-USB port is not intended for storage devices such as external hard drives or memory sticks, but its main purpose is to work as an access door/ gateway for developers. However, with some extra work and a little effort it may be possible to connect a storage device by following these instructions:
The Nexus Player packs a quad core Intel Atom processor working at 1.8GHz along with an Imagination PowerVR Series 6 GPU and 1 GB of RAM memory, providing plenty of power and speed to play the games available for the Nexus in the store without problems. The full specs are listed below:
Processor: 1.8 GHz Intel Atom SoC (quad-core)
Graphics: PowerVR Series 6 Graphics 2D/3D Engine
Memory: 1 GB LPDDR3
Storage: 8 GB eMMC
Connectivity: 2×2 802.11ac dual-band Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.0
Operating System: Android TV (Android 5.0 Lollipop)
Power supply: 18 Watts.
Dimensions: 120 x 120 x 20 mm
Weight: 235 grams
Unfortunately the Nexus Player is equipped with 8 GB of internal storage and the system also takes its share from that amount, leaving just 5.8 GB for games and applications :
A line of sight between the Nexus player and the remote is not needed since it works via Bluetooth, giving you the chance to “hide” the device behind the TV set.