Although Google has yet to introduce their own "Nexus" Google TV device, the search giant does not want for manufacturers hoping to cash in on the Google brand by making streaming GTV devices. Most recently at CES in Las Vegas a bunch of companies including Netgear, Haier, Hisense, TCL, LG, Sony, Vizio and Asus showed off devices that highlighted their partnership with the guys over at Mountain View. Now it looks like a new company, Western Digital, is about to launch their own Google TV unit in the coming months.
According to a job listing that Western Digital posted they are looking for a:
"Lead SW architecture design and deployment for android based IP set top boxes. Work with internal and external teams to architect, design, develop, and deploy IP set top boxes based on the Android operating system. This would include Android TV and Google TV solutions."
With Job requirements being:
- Architect an interactive, set top box framework on top of the Android platform
- Create an app centric architecture for 10 foot user interfaces
- Develop specifications and APIs for TV platform framework
- Integrate premium services into platform
- Design framework to support playback and management of videos, photos, music over both local and wide area networks
- Design framework to coordinate 2nd screen functionality with other WD teams
Western Digital is no stranger to streaming internet set top boxes as they currently have three products already available to consumers. The first of which, the WD TV Live Hub, was released in 2010, and has a 1TB hard drive in addition to the usual standards like Netflix and Hulu Plus. They also have The WD TV Live which is a scaled back version of the Live Hub and the budget friendly WD TV Play, which is more of a Roku box. There is even an app in the Google Play Store for these devices although it's from a third party, ZappoTV, that allows users to "access additional content, currently not available on the WD TV Live itself as you use your Android to control your WD TV Live over Wi-Fi."
Maybe some of these new devices have what it takes to finally push the Google TV platform further into the average consumer's consciousness. As it stands now Google seems to have almost abandoned the platform, although there is some hope that Google I/O could see a revamped Nexus Q with Google TV. I'm currently still a Logitech Revue holdover because A. It still works for what I need it for, and B. nothing has come out yet to really blow that system out of the water. Kind of sad that even though the Google TV boxes have come down significantly in price since the release of the Revue, there hasn't been much more innovation in the two plus years since it's release.