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China's Hisense puts out $99 Google TV

By PETER WHITE

Published: 31 August, 2012

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The move to back Google TV by Chinese government supported Hisense, one of the largest Chinese consumer electronic producers, is more than a little significant. The move will be formally announced at this week's IFA show in Berlin.

The move appears to be global, with separate announcements noted in the US and in places like Australia, bringing a US$99 device, called the Hisense Pulse to turn any TV into a Google TV. The real acid test will be whether or not Hisense introduces the product line in China, which is unclear at the minute, but opening a Chinese consumer front is likely to be essential if the Android/Google TV combination is ever going to become the OS of choice for the global TV market.

The device itself comes as a box, not too dissimilar to an Apple TV, and a remote control which has a qwerty keyboard one side and a touchscreen display on the other. (Apple will almost certainly sue for design patent infringement). It comes with a Netflix button, at least in the US, but this means it makes sense for Hisense to follow the Netflix announcements around the world with the provision of this device.

Software includes the Chrome Browser, Play app store and the Google TV app and the US version supports streaming Youtube, Netflix, and Pandora. The box has HDMI and USB ports plus WiFi and can view H264 and MPEG-4 codecs, all the way up to resolutions from 480i up to 1080p. The device will be launched in international markets in November, the company said.The system offers both Picture-In-Picture and Picture-Outside-Picture so viewers can simultaneously watch while searching the web or social networking.

The Hisense Pulse with Google TV is 4.5 inches square x 1.4 inches tall, and weighs in at just 1.5 pounds. Power consumption is 20 watts while operating, and less than 1 watt during standby.

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