Battle of the TV Players

Two new innovations were launched a couple of months ago which promise to bring home automation to a new level. Google has announced Nexus Player, an Android TV box ( and Amazon has brought out the Fire TV streaming set-top box.

Nexus Player

Nexus_PlayerSo what are they? Let’s start with Nexus Player, Google’s new living room media box. After the failure of Google TV, this product is expected to put the company back in the running. According to the press company, Nexus Player is a home media player for streaming Netflix and playing games on your TV. In appearance it is a small (120x120x 20mm) round device that plugs into the TV via HDMI. What does it do apart from stream and download video and music from the internet and home network. It works by running a brand new TV-optimised version of Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and has 8GB of internal storage, which means a lot of capacity to download games to playing on screen.

Here’s the techie bit: it was built by computer wizards Asus on top of a 1.8GHz quad core Intel Atom chip with a separate graphics chip to power games and HD videos via an Imagination PowerVR Series 6 GPU. An 802.11ac 2×2 (MIMO) chip promises excellent internet connection. Also, it offers a voice search facility to let you search for apps or for stuff on the internet by speaking into the remote control.

It promises instant access to all purchased Google Play content, apps and games and any content you have on your phone can be instantly beamed towards the Nexus Player and your TV using the cast button so you can use your phone as a remote control when watching with compatible apps.

You can also automatically sync games and other media between the Nexus Player and your other Android devices so you don’t have to start from the beginning.

Amazon Fire TV

Amazon Fire TVAmazon Fire TV has a good look with a minimalist matt black remote control and it uses Bluetooth to communicate. The box itself looks like an external hard drive, and sports a quad-core processor, a discreet GPU and 2GB of RAM. Although you can wire it into a central router via Ethernet, it also has two dual-band Wi-Fi antennas.

Its benefits include a voice recognition feature that uses a microphone on the remote, and certain interesting extras, such as viewing photos stored on Amazon Cloud Drive, and playback for Music purchased through its MP3 store. It also has more and better quality gaming options than other Amazon devices. And it provides full-spectrum access to Amazon’s cloud video services, and Amazon Instant and Amazon Prime Video.

The fact is that the major players in the industry are going all out to entice people to buy innovations, and people will. All you have to do is make sure that your home is geared up to accommodate these products and others that will inevitably come along as competitors.

Check out everything you need for cabling and connection at UK-Automation.

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