Google I/O in the summer of 2014 introduced us to several new Google projects they were working on…the biggest of which was Android L, which turned out to be Android 5.0 Lollipop. Google also gave us a taste of Android Auto, which we are beginning to hear more about, especially if you went to any of the big Auto Shows now going on. Another big hopeful was Android TV – Google's third attempt to make their presence known in our living rooms. Android TV does everything Chromecast does, but adds a great search feature, intuitive interface and it brings gaming to your TV with an optional $45 game pad controller.
For now, the Nexus Player is the machine to purchase if you want to experience Android TV…and since November, it was only available in the Google Play Store – until now. This morning in the US, it has become available at Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart and TigerDirect and now it looks like it will be available in Canada at a few brick and mortal stores as well. Right now, Best Buy, Walmart and TigerDirect do not show the device in their online stores, but if you take a look at Staples.ca, they actually have the Nexus Player listed for $109.56 – slightly higher than the Play Store. However, right now, Staples is showing "Currently out of stock," while the Play Store is showing that it will ship in 1 – 2 business days. Currently, Staples is showing no signs of the Game Pad – and what is Android TV with gaming (a Chromecast?) – so you would have to order that from the Play Store.
Android TV requires a device (such as the Nexus Player) that is essentially a set-top box that allows you to run Google apps and services on your TV. Using the 'cast' method from Chromecast, the Android TV box will also allow you to 'cast' YouTube or Netflix shows directly on your big screen TV. It comes with a round 'box' and a remote control that looks like the one used on the Amazon Fire TV…making us wonder if ASUS makes Amazon's system as well. It runs on an Intel Atom 1.8GHz quad-core processor and Imagination PowerVR Series 6 Graphics. It packs 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage. It comes with a HDMI port for 1920 x 1080 @60 Hertz, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac MIMO and Bluetooth 4.0 and runs Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know if you will be looking to pick up the Nexus Player…as always, we would love to hear from you.