Media

Nexus Q hands-on: The “Q” stands for “que the heck?”

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We had some time to unbox and set up our Nexus Q from Google I/O, and the results were what they were.

Basically, it allows you to use a Jelly Bean Android device to control videos, movies, music, and images in your home, either on a TV or through speakers, which can be connected through hard wires.

The setup is pretty simple, but once we got to the end of it, we were a bit underwhelmed by the results. This correspondent’s official stance has always been curmudgeonly but consistent: Until home media devices are as easy and intuitive as putting a record on a record player, home media systems (like Sonos and Nexus Q, in particular) aren’t going to see much adoption outside of hardcore nerds like you and me.

Unfortunately, most hardcore nerds like you and me likely already have complex and costly home media solutions in place. Here’s what our go-to media guru Tom Cheredar had to say about that in his initial review:

First of all, a number of competitors already offer this streaming functionality — and as a complimentary feature. The Apple TV’s Airplay enables TV screen sharing in addition to its support for several third-party media services like Netflix, YouTube, Vimeo, MLB, NHL, and more. And with the purchase of cloud-media startup mSpot, Samsung is also planning to offer this kind of functionality on all its devices, complete with a Google Play-like digital media store. It’s worth noting that Samsung is also one of the most popular sellers of Android-based mobile devices. All that said, plenty of other platforms/devices offer far more than the Nexus Q.

We’ll be sending our Q-ball (haha, see what we did there?!) off to Tom shortly for further review, but so far, our conclusion is that this little fella still has a long way to go.

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