Of course, for starters you can remember it failed first (as far ahead of its time) and now a very successful console selling Apple TV . Formally, it can be called set-top box, of course, but in fact, it is little functional media player, now based on the last processor of Apple A5 and allows you to play streaming video in FullHD both from the Internet directly, and with the home devices. The connection may be both wired and wireless networks.
Originally, Apple TV manufactured with hard drives, but now these consoles are really all “cloud” and work only with virtual content (which, however, can be bought for very real money). Perhaps this is why consoles, and costs almost nothing – $ 99 U.S.
However, it is today is not about the device from Apple, but about a more advanced piece of Google. However, overall they also have – for example, control of your smartphone.
What is this?
Google Nexus Q – a media player. One could say, “such as thousands of others,” but he did not like that. First, let’s just look at it: it’s a ball. Big and black ball with the glowing blue LED.
This thing is, no doubt, especially design. Who else could come into his head to make a media player in the form of a large black ball, but to a designer? This item will fit almost any decor and will take its place on many shelves.
And since this is Google, then, of course, we are dealing with the latest operating system Android, because by its very nature, this black ball – computer stuffed smartphone Galaxy Nexus .
Controlled by the computer using any Android-device, but the wireless, of course. And if this is something very modern, then you can use the NFC: a second “kiss” the two devices in places where the chips – and voila, they are connected.
Made in USA
Long ago, almost all the major U.S. manufacturers moved their production facilities in China, Taiwan and other Asian countries. But Google has decided, apparently, to begin to amaze the world with the very start of the project and reported that the device will be fully manufactured in the U.S., welcomed not only patriots States, as many Chinese expansion is tired.
On the other hand (say, at last, good), the variety in the avalanche of cheap and pure Chinese origin – a breath of air. And the jobs again.
Do It Yourself
Those same enthusiasts along the way discovered that magic black ball is so simple in its circuitry that can be connected at home by yourself. Moreover, they even drew a schematic map of the complete device, so that everyone could really do it. The meaning of it all was that she realized it Google: You can sell the device in unassembled with instruction, and then it will be cheaper. Google, of course, did not go to such for obvious reasons.
Accordingly, among the mass of obscure inhabitant of capacitors and ICs can be found quite a standard dual-core processor TI OMAP 4460 on two cores with the Cortex A9 graphics coprocessor PowerVR SGX540, 1 GB of RAM and 16 GB of built-in. This is the main technical characteristics similar to the smartphone Samsung Nexus.
Another important fact can be called that device is initially as low voltage network, and all the rest: in the parameters of Q indicates compatibility with the sockets 85 to 250 volts (and 50/60 Hz). In practice, this means that you can easily bring a piece of the U.S., and it will be quietly working in Russia. If you can not wait for the official delivery. Nexus Q consumes an average of 35 watts. There is an automatic shutdown in the event of a failure to use during the preioda time.
Audiomoschnost small device: reported at 5.12 watts per each of the two channels that are provided with built-in amplifier.
From the physical outputs (which a complete set) is a standard 100-megabit (strangely, not Gigabit) Ethernet, optical output S / PDIF TosLink, microHDMI, microUSB and stereo outputs for connection of conventional speakers – just for those same 25 watts (RMS seems to be but in the official specifications are not specified). All this is located to the rear of the unit, so as not to spoil the look and the interior.
It’s all about the cloud
So said one of the developers of the “ball” that can be roughly translated as “the thing in the cloud.”
Although Nexus Q and has 16 GB of internal memory, given the features it offers, it actually does nothing. Therefore, the main functionality is focused on everything related to streaming and wireless communication protocols.
Of course, wireless and wired protocols for Q is necessary and even more. About the NFC we have already said it all (which, recall, is used from the beginning to connect the ball with your smartphone). In addition, there is a Wi-Fi in 2.4 and 5 GHz (802.11 a / b / g / n) and an unknown version of Bluetooth (hope that the fourth).
It works all that stuff running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and if you remember the recent article published by us on the output of Android 01/04 Jelly Bean , you may well ask: update does not happen already finished a new version of media player? Probably not, since the meaning of the new version on this unit, even under a microscope to be seen.
It looks something like this to work. First, the ball is connected to the appropriate output device – the TV (and the only digital outputs) and / or audio. Stereoaudiosisteme, stress.
Then you connect your Android-smartphone Nexus Q by NFC and Wi-Fi – for this you need to download a program with the same name Marketa (recently renamed Google Play Store). After that you can do so, for what the black ball and is designed: to look at the big-screen video from YouTube, broadcast movies and videos from the internal memory (like a smartphone, and most Q), listen to music and passing it through the air with a smartphone device (streamed or recorded in the memory – all the same) … and this, in fact, everything. Well, or you can just make it into a normal amp with speakers – a lot of inputs.
Something missing? Perhaps the possibility of a game console. For example, connect a pair of joysticks to Q and we can play in the action of the Play Store on the big screen.
Of course, in that action, which need not necessary to have a touch screen.
On the usefulness of this new principle in the exhaust, there was only a trifle.
On it is written all and sundry, but does not say about it would be impossible. Egg is to implement a functional of the famous crystal ball to predict the number 8 right answer. To activate the application you want to run Nexus Q on the phone, press a few times on the image device and a voice to ask a question. Set so that it could be answered “yes” or “no”, “might” or “not sure”.
In fact, given the shape of the device, it would be strange if such a chip is not implemented. Too obvious associations suggest themselves.
So, we have a design thing (and even, in fact, not only did Apple create something beautiful), from which the benefits, in general, not so much. Google Nexus Q was very similar to the idea of long-standing and selling Apple TV (with which we began this material), but the functional design and definitely wins. For example, the internal memory, and, in principle, he Q – more modern and powerful device that is not associated by various licensing patents Apple.
Of course, as a strictly media player, Nexus Q a lot of things missing. And no wonder – in front of us rather than the classical steady-state media player, a device for translating different (very different) from the Internet streaming of audiovisual devices. Therefore, the memory of it for such a case a purely nominal amount of support and dozens of audio and video standards are not observed (if you noticed).
And, of course, price. Apple TV is offered at a retail price of $ 100, while Google Nexus Q filled his own worth as much as three hundred (yes, it costs U.S. $ 300) – and the beginning of shipments for the price promised in mid-July of this year. On the one hand, the money he is clearly not worth it. On the other hand, Google tried to bite off a piece of apple pie and do something really unusual, beautiful and designer – and she did it brilliantly. Therefore, three hundred dollars did you pay more for the interior design element than a functional device, because device functionality is not burdened.