In Detail – Google Nexus Q

8/27/2012 12:52:14 AM

The Nexus Q connects Google Play’s music and movie services to your TV and hi-fi. Hooray! But, wait: Music on Google play isn’t available in the UK, and neither is this – yet. What are we missing?

Google Nexus Q

Price: $300

Description: Google Nexus Q

Google Nexus Q

The Nexus Q is a media streamer similar to the Boxee Box or Apple TV, but all its music and movies come from the cloud – that includes any you upload yourself. It’s exclusively Android-app-controlled – sorry, iUsers.

Set up looks to be pretty simple thanks to contactless NFC skills: just tap your phone/ tablet on top of the Q, and you’ll establish a connection. Sync your iTunes or Windows Media library to Google Play, and it’ll even keep your playlists intact. Boogie on down.

Unlike with Bluetooth or Air Play, you’re not streaming to the Q from your mobile device – you just tell it what to retrieve from the cloud via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. Pick up another Q, and it’s easy to set up simple multi-room audio – and not a Sonos in sight.

The Q’s unusual spherical shape is an eye-pleaser. Above a ring of pulsing LEDs, the top half rotates to control volume and mutes if you tap it. The integrated 25W digital amp will power a pair of hi-fi speakers via standard-issue ‘banana’ jacks.

Most new movies on Google Play are $5.5, compared to Apple’s $70 HD rentals – and the Q streams at 1080p. we’ re hoping that other Android apps will soon be ported to the Q – BBC iPlayer would be a real win, as would OnLive’s cloud gaming service.

It’s always a party round at your house, and the Q’s Guest Mode lets anyone signed into your Wi-Fi network add track to the playlist. Yes, Spotify can do this, but the Q allows you to quickly (and subtly) revert back to your original playlist. Fresh Prince? Not tonight.


Apple TV

Price: $155.5

Cheaper, yes – but without an amp, it’s an exobrain for your TV, not a potential hi-fi replacement. See our cover feature for help with Apple vs Google.

Description: TV

Apple TV

Stuff says

It’s an amazeball, and we want it. Go on, Google – add apps and bring it to the UK

Tech specs

CPU: dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 (SGX540 GPU)

Ram: 1GB

Storage: 16GB

OS: Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)

Connectivity: Micro HSMI, optical audio, Ethernet, micro USB, ‘banana’ speaker jacks, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth, NFC

Amp: 25W (12.5 watt per channel)

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