August 28, 2012
| by Arlen Schweiger
Just when you’d almost forgotten about Google TV, it comes back. Hisense USA has announced a set-top box that will bring Android-based web streaming functionality to current TVs.
Hisense will be introducing its Hisense Pulse with Google TV box at the IFA show in Germany, which starts Friday, Aug. 31, 2012 and will make it available in mid-November for $99. That’s a familiar price point to fans of Apple TV, Vizio’s Co-Star (also supplying Google TV) and the Roku streaming player that have been among those vying for the set-top box marketshare. Google TV is also currently available in an LG TV and a Sony set-top- box.
Like the Vizio Google TV box, the Pulse offers a dual-sided remote with a keypad, plus a touchpad and dedicated Netflix button.
The 4.5 square x 1.4 inch tall box weighs just 1.5 pounds and includes HDMI, Ethernet and USB ports plus built-in Wi-Fi, so you won’t have to worry about having an Ethernet port near every TV that gets a Hisense Pulse box.
Hisense says the device supports screen resolutions and formats from 480i up to 1080p, as well as H.264, MPEG-4 and AVC.
The unit serves up all the Google TV fixings, like Chrome for web surfing, Google Play, Search, TV and Movies, and YouTube to help viewers sort and surf through the millions of online streaming content, as well as searching across live TV, apps (available through Google Play), and the home network.
Viewers can also employ the picture-in-picture and picture-outside-picture functions to multitask between viewing, surfing and social networking.
“This box effectively bridges the gap to the latest in home entertainment, without the need for expensive hardware upgrades,” says JoAnne Foist, director of marketing at Hisense USA. “Most people have at least one HDTV in their home and with the addition of a Hisense Pulse with Google TV, we offer the liberty of accessing not just TV, but a host of streaming content, web surfing and TV apps (such as Pandora Radio, CNNMoney, Motor Trend, and Thuuz) that are available in Google Play.”
Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.