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Google’s effort to blend Internet entertainment with traditional television programming came to fruition nearly two years ago although first generation devices like the Logitech Revue weren’t a hit with consumers for a number of reasons. The search giant isn’t ready to throw in the towel just yet, however, as a second generation of devices with improved software and lower prices could be the breakthrough that Google has been hoping for.
Hisense is joining the growing list of Google TV partners that already includes LG, Samsung, Sony and Vizio with their own set-top box. Hisense’s box is called the Pulse and at $99, it’s positioned to compete directly with Vizio’s Co-Star box – a product that’s already sold out on Vizio’s website.
The Pulse will ship with a double-sided remote control that includes a QWERTY keyboard on one side and a touchpad with dedicated Netflix button on the reverse. Connectivity options include USB, HDMI, Ethernet and Wi-Fi. The tiny box will support MPEG-4, AVC and H.264 from 480i up to 1080p. The box itself measures 4.5-inches square by 1.4-inches tall and weighs around 1.5 pounds.
Consumers can get their first look at the Pulse at the IFA technology show in Berlin starting later this week. Google also notes that more partners are on the way and that we could see a few other Google devices spring up at the trade show.
Hisense will begin shipping their Google TV set-top box in November.
The Apple TV features a micro-USB for service only, HDMI output, optical audio output, 10/100 Ethernet. It also allows you to sign in to your Wi-Fi account and use the remote (or better yet, the free Remote app on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch) to navigate around. Last but not least, you can purchase TV shows, plus rent or purchase movies and stream in photos from your iCloud Photo Stream and Flickr.
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