Google is Building Entertainment Device, Reports Say

The rumored home entertainment device from Google sounds like an Apple TV without video capabilities, although it may grow on us.

The entertainment device will be designed first for streaming music via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, and to connect to other home electronics. Release is expected later this year, and the device would stream music from Google’s online Music service, which was introduced in beta last year.

Word of Google working on a home entertainment device to be sold under its own brand surfaced in reports in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times. The news first emerged last week when Google filed an FCC application for an entertainment device, and now "sources familiar with the plans" shed some light on what’s coming.

Video, Eventually

This streaming box would eventually be able to also handle video, probably through a later software update. The box appears to be linked to the Android@Home project Google announced last year, which allows with tablets and smartphones to control specific speakers in a home within the network.

Other details about availability or retail prices are sketchy at the moment, considering Google has kept quiet on the matter. The two reports speculate that Google might use resources from Motorola Mobility, which it plans to acquire, to build the device. Motorola has experience building home entertainment systems.

It’s hard to get excited over a Google music-streaming box though. The device sounds like a Sonos or an Apple TV, but only with music capabilities, and video added to it later via a software update.

Google already has a couple unsuccessful Google TV initiatives out there, and this one sounds just like them, but with Google’s logo on it. You could call it the Nexus line of Google TVs.

It is clear to see though why Google would want to make its own hardware. Apple has shown that by controlling the hardware and software, it can deliver better-integrated products and make high profits not only from content sales, but also from hardware. Google gives Android away for free to phone manufacturers, but if it controls the hardware, it could command higher profits. So far, Google’s main revenue source remains search advertising.

Follow Daniel Ionescu and Today @ PCWorld on Twitter.

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