Australia has entered the golden age of streaming thanks to the arrival of Netflix, Stan and Presto. Now you Google folk have a better way to watch it all! That’s right: the Nexus Player is finally coming to Australia.
The Nexus Player is a cute little disc you stick under into your home entertainment cabinet that brings Android apps, shows, movies and games to your TV. It’s made by Asus and is powered by a quad-core 1.8GHz Intel Atom processor with PowerVR Series 6 graphics, 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage.
The Asus-built box is the first device with Google’s new Android TV operating system on board. Which, if you haven’t been paying attention, is designed to be everything Google TV was not.
Android TV sports a single flat interface you can scroll up, down, left or right to navigate through all your applications with a dead-simple remote control with just four buttons and a d-pad, though you can also just say what you want — just press the voice search button up top and speak into a mic embedded in the remote.
If Google plays its cards right though, you won’t need to do much scrolling or voice searching: Android TV will supposedly automatically suggest things to watch based on the data Google collects from you across all its services, and present those recommendations front and centre as soon as you turn the box on.
Oh, and the Nexus Player also doubles as a Chromecast, meaning you can start or resume content from any PC, smartphone or tablet (no matter the operating system) by pressing a single button to beam instructions to the set-top. Start watching on your phone, pick up on your TV. Go get a snack and take your show with you. Though unlike the Chromecast, this sucker has faster, more reliable dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
So where can you get it?
The Nexus Player is the first Android TV device into Australia, and goes on sale next week for $129. You’ll be able to pick it up from JB Hi-Fi and Dick Smith.
Sean Hollister contributed to this post.