Google made a couple of new announcements prior to the I/O conference this week. A new Tablet (Nexus 7) and a new media streaming device called the Nexus Q.
The Nexus Q looks to be an interesting device, allowing you to access all of the Google Play content through your TV. While this sounds really cool, these devices have been around for a while.
Apple has had an AppleTV box for a really long time but they’ve never really seen great success with it. Western Digital is another company that makes a digital media device and while it works well, they don’t have a flashy name or much support other than the people who tried it out and like it.
ROKU is another company without much of a brand to get behind but they seem to have maybe the best option for digital media streaming (they offer the holy trinity of digital streaming Amazon, Netflix and Hulu). ROKU also has an extremely cheap price tag at only $99. admittedly, I’m looking into a ROKU box in the near future primarily for their streaming video and the ridiculously low price.
The one big gap in this list is Amazon. They are arguably the biggest rival to Apple’s iTunes, but they still don’t have a media box to stream the content that you purchase from them. It’s possible that they are relying on the rest of the players to build the actual device and simply add an Amazon app to their product. I highly doubt that Jeff and company will be sitting by idly watching their biggest competitors come out with proprietary streaming devices while they hope to get their app added to the devices. The opportunity to make a streamlined media device that, much like the Kindle Fire, ‘helps’ users buy more content from Amazon would appear to be too much for Amazon to pass up.
Back to the Nexus Q. The device seems to go away from what Google is known for, low design, highly functional devices. Most of the products they release aren’t highly designed to be displayed to the world, they are however usually highly functional devices that allow easy access to the digital world. You would think that if Google launched a media device, they follow suit with the likes of ROKU (and even Apple) and come up with a very low profile device that will ‘enhance’ your living room experience rather than take over.
It’ll be interesting to see where all of this leads. An Apple TV seems more and more like a very real possibility as TV’s start becoming cheaper and devices like these lending TV’s to be less of a cable consumption device and more of a multimedia/digital/internet consumption devices.