Seldom content with mediocrity. Google is finally giving TV streaming another go around.
Following the hugely successful Chromecast, Google is setting out to fix what was broken with Google TV, with another iteration of an all around entertainment streaming solution. As you probably know, Google TV didn’t really go so well. In fact, it was a fucking disaster. It was a great idea. But poor implementation, and poor hardware doomed the platform. I owned a Vizio Co-Star. Now that I look back at it, it was probably one of the worst devices I have ever owned. That’s saying a lot. It just didn’t work very well, software and hardware alike. Sure, it had a few things going for it, but for the most part, it was shit.
One of the only things I liked about the Co-star was the fact that it had an HDMI cable receiver pass-through. Which allowed you to bring up Google TV whenever you wanted, without needing to switch HDMI inputs. It allowed for uninterrupted viewing and basically transformed your TV, into a smart TV. This feature is lacking on the Nexus player. There may be multiple reasons for this, so I wont begin to speculate as to why it was omitted. So why do I give a shit about this feature in particular? I’ll tell you why. Two reasons. One, it takes up an extra HDMI slot. Two, because I am a lazy little shit. Switching from HDMI 1(cable/antenna) to HDMI 2(Nexus) is too fucking hard. Non-lazy little shits may disagree, but it can be annoying if you also have cable/satellite TV, a PS4, a Blu Ray player, etc. You may need that extra HDMI slot if your TV only has two or three, and its a pain in the ass to always be going back and forth all of the time.
I can see this being an excellent option for cord cutters, like myself, come this April. This also a great option for those of you that do not yet own a Chromecast, Roku, Amazon’s Fire TV, or smart TV. As far as streaming options goes, it seems like the Nexus Player will offer little to no benefits if you are already using one or more of said streaming devices.
I think the real selling point for those who already own streaming technology is the ability to play games. You can play games on a Chromecast & Roku, but their not all that good, and the game selection sucks balls. Micro consoles have been a thing for a few years now. Ouya, Amazon Fire TV, Game Stick, each have had their own varying degrees of success. I don’t own a micro console, so I can speak for how good/bad they may be. But most people seem to either love them, or curse their very existence. I think a big challenge for Google and their Nexus player will be compatible games, and how well they can transition games from touchscreen to TV & controller. Most Android games are built around touch controls and don’t necessarily take into account the use of a peripheral device to play the game. Most of the big games can do it without issue, but a lot of the smaller games cannot. It will interesting to see how Google handles this situation. I assume they will just limit the library of playable games to those that are tested and working on their new platform. I’m sure there will be a nice selection of games at launch, but I have yet to hear anything official regarding the subject.
It’s great to see Google trying their best to fix something that was so badly broken. Personally, I have high hopes for the Nexus player and Android TV, it cant be any worse than Google TV right? Hopefully Google’s newest venture into our living rooms has a better outcome for everyone.