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Google reportedly launching a Nexus-branded set-top box

Google is nothing if not persistent. The Information (warning: paywall) reports that Google will be launching a Nexus-branded set-top box as early as the first half of next year.

Citing an unnamed Google employee, the report claims that the device would run the Android operating system and stream video from the Google Play store, and from services like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, to your television set. It could also play games, controlled by a touchpad remote included with the device or an Android smartphone.   

A new Nexus set-top box remains well within the realm of speculation, but it isn’t exactly far-fetched. Google has already made plenty of strides towards the living room—the buggy Nexus Q technically never made it to market, but I’ve loved my time with Google’s Chromecast. And then there’s Google TV, the company’s on-again, off-again push to get its search-driven interactive environment grafted onto our TVs.

Chromecast has seen some traction, but the rest have largely floundered in a market dominated by Rokus and Apple TVs. A reasonably-priced Nexus set-top box that offered more features than the humble Chromecast could be tempting to many consumers.

The living room is considered the last big frontier for many tech companies. Controlling the media that plays in there has been the focus of many products, from Boxee to Apple TV. Recent rumors even have Amazon developing a set-top box of its own. Amazon and Google each could make a legitimate play for living room dominance, because, like Apple, they control massive amounts of video and music content.

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