Asustek has shipped its Google TV streaming device called Cube, which will become available starting this week for US$139.99.
Originally called the "Qube," the product is shaped like a cube, and attracted attention for its small size when originally announced at the International CES in January this year. Beyond streaming movies from Google Play and Netflix, users can also watch their own stored movies from the 50GB of free cloud storage provided with the device.
An Acer spokeswoman said via email that the product is available through online retailers like Amazon.com, Newegg and others. Newegg has listed the product as shipping on April 25.
The Cube joins a growing market of TVs, set-top boxes and streaming devices trying to unite broadcast and Internet content. Other Google TV products include Vizio's Co-Star, LG's 3D LED smart TV models, Sony's Internet Player, Netgear's NeoTV Prime and Hisense's Pulse. Other TV companion boxes include Roku, Apple's Apple TV and Western Digital's WDTV. Intel is releasing a streaming device later this year that the company claims will get rid of the cable box.
Asus' Cube runs on Google TV software, which is based on Android and provides the underlying code to unite broadcast and Internet content. Asus has incorporated its own interface through which users view social media feeds, surf the Internet, and browse or search for a program.
Included with the Cube is a two-sided remote control with a mini-keyboard on one side and standard buttons like on/off, sound and volume on the other. The remote has motion-sensing capabilities for gaming and a microphone that allows users to search for a program or launch an application through voice commands.