/ Android

Why You Shouldn't Buy a Nexus Player

A Quick Forward

It’s not everyday that I get the honor of having multiple things to write about. I’ve started working Soylent into my diet. My ESXi server decided to eat itself due to one of the DIMMs dying. My imaginary cat Felix went on a killing spree.

All of these things are more enjoyable than having to write about my Nexus Player.

The Google Ecosystem

I’ll be frank: I’m a complete Google whore.

My watch is a Moto 360. My phone is a OnePlus One. My email courses through Google Mail and my files ride in a cloud provided by Google. I have a music subscription through Google Play Music, and I use YouTube to watch cat videos.

With all of this in mind, I jumped into the small-devices-that-hook-up-to-television market and picked up a Chromecast.

Google Chromecast

This part is pretty simple. Great little stick that does exactly what you tell it to and nothing more. Want to listen to some music? Throw it at the Chromecast.

Want to watch some YouTube videos? Throw it at the Chromecast.

It was everything it needed to be; it was the perfect device to get things rolling.

Nexus Player: How I Learned to Loathe Google

I bought two Nexus Players. The reviews seemed pretty sturdy, and I wanted something with a bit more umph connected to my televisions. They looked nice, had a decent remote, and was some good, ol’ fashioned Android.

We started off with a few issues, but nothing that a device reset couldn’t take care of. Netflix had taken issue with the Nexus Player and wanted nothing to do with the damnable thing.

I should have listened. I sit here several weeks later watching Netflix on an Amazon Fire Stick because the Nexus Player in the bedroom simply won’t play things.

Playing things should be that device’s specialty. By design, its purpose in life is to take things on the Internet, grab them, and then play them. It shouldn’t decide that three-tenths of a second into a Netflix video that the player should simply give-up and die.

The times that it did actually play things, it did them well. The user interface was very pleasant, and…

…great, it just disconnected from WiFi. Again.

Actually, I’m wrong: it thinks it should and it does.

Advice for Future Purchases

One, skip the Nexus Player. It’s a hockey puck that should play movies or television shows or anything. I can say that the player is better suited as an actual hockey puck.

This leaves the “consumer” in a bit of a quandry: where to go next?

There’s the Roku Stick. I’m not a fan as I believe it’s underpowered and the UI doesn’t do it any favors. Slow and ugly isn’t going to get you any points here.

Then there’s the Amazon FireTV Stick. The keyboard would make the most patient people weep, and it has no Google applications other than this cobbled together version of YouTube.

Either one of those two would work better than the hockey puck that I’m glaring at right now.