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Making Nexus 7 the home media hub

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by egernant, Aug 22, 2012.

  1. egernant

    egernant Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    I am considering getting a Nexus 7, which would be my first tablet. I'm having a hard time justifying it since I never really use a computer outside of work and I own a Galaxy Nexus, which is essentially a smaller Nexus 7 with more capabilities. Yet I still want one.

    I've decided that it would be very much worth it if I could use it as a media center hub for my apartment. Currently, I have no way of playing music throughout my apartment nor do I have the ability to watch the movies rented via google play on my flatscreen. I realize that a Nexus Q would solve this problem, but it was pulled from the play store and it was way too expensive anyway. I considered Google TV, but the bad reviews have me skeptical.

    For those of you who own a Nexus 7 and work with the Android ecosystem, what setups do you have for streaming your google media stored in the cloud in your home? This has always been something Apple products have been good at and, frankly, I'm getting a bit jealous. Please let me know what options I have and how I can make the Nexus 7 a worthwhile purchase.
     


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  2. adi19956

    adi19956 Android Expert

    Hi egernant, I've only just ordered my Nexus 7 so can't give you specific instructions, but what I would do with my phone is connect to your online service Spotify/ Google Music etc
    and Play via Bluetooth to a Bluetooth music receiver bluetooth music receiver - Google Search which should connect to your Hi Fi system at home, your Nexus 7 will support over one Bluetooth device at once, though whether it can play through 2+ I don't know. If not splitters are your friend.

    Of course your Nexus 7 would need to be connected to the internet through WiFi or ethernet to play the music.

    As to connecting to the TV, your options are limited with no HDMI support (not even through MHL; however, there are some things you can try through AirPlay, your PS3, Xbox 360 or internet TV.
    Advice found on Ekoob here and here

    My advice is to not get jealous of Apple, but work with their software. Remember we bought the Nexus 7 because of its amazing value, don't expect it to do everything. Happy hacking :)
     
  3. jova33

    jova33 Android Expert

    I've read something about raspberry pi. It supports hdmi
     
  4. egernant

    egernant Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks, appreciate the ideas.

    What about Google TV? If I were to get a Visio Co Star, for example, could I use my Nexus 7 as a remote control for that? With Google TV, am I able to play all of my Google Music and Google Play Movies instantly through my TV / surround sound?

    My other thought is to wait and see what happens with the Nexus Q. Google is currently "making it even better", which I hope means it will support third party apps and be cheaper when they re-release it. Anyone have any thoughts on the usefulness of the Nexus Q?
     
  5. jova33

    jova33 Android Expert

    Can't use it for Netflix. Only videos on your device or YouTube/Google play.
    Seems like a $300 paperweight.
    Who's it marketed towards? I bought a nexus 7 because it was the best for the price. If I had more money, I would've bought a better tablet, that I could hdmi out to my tv. I'm definitely not going to spend $300 more on the Q.
    I'm interested to see who would though.
     
  6. tcat007

    tcat007 Android Expert

    Works with Netflix app, most any browser site that streams (EpixHD, USA, Scifi, etc), Dish Remote access, TV.com and many others. Or this link may be useful.
     
  7. jova33

    jova33 Android Expert

    Well you have to hack the Q to get Netflix to work on it. Google search "nexus Q Netflix"

    Still seems a little too pricey.
     
  8. tcat007

    tcat007 Android Expert

  9. adi19956

    adi19956 Android Expert

    Apparently there are a few apps for Google TV remotes this had the highest rating out of the few I found.

    The Nexus Q looks kind of cool and probably useful, but for $300 which probably translates directly to
     
  10. val88

    val88 Android Enthusiast

    For me, the quick simple solution is not with my N7. Its great for a lot of things but as a media hub I have my doubts not because of capabilities which it more than suffice but the integration requires some hassle.

    For me, I use my laptop. It has hdmi out to my tv. That pretty much is all you need and its very hassle free. To stream online films from google play or netflix I'm basically running it from my laptop's browser and projecting that through my tv. One interesting thing is that over time you'll find booting up a laptop to be less convenient than reaching for your N7.

    Music is a different story. If you get a set of bluetooth speakers around your home then its pretty hassle free to stream from the N7 to the speaker(s). I use my N7 and my galaxy nexus to do BT audio streams to my car.

    After one day with my N7 I basically stopped using my Galaxy Nexus when I'm at home other than to pick up the phone. Its really changing the way I use my phone.
     
  11. egernant

    egernant Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter

    Thanks again for all the responses. To be clear, I would never consider buying the feature-light Nexus Q for $300. It's way too much money for the very few niche features it offers. Problem is, I'm trying to recreate those few niche features with other setups. I want to wirelessly play the music that I have on my tablet (well, in the cloud really) through my television and watch movies that I rent on it as well.

    If I can't find a great way to do that, I'm considering buying the transformer prime infinity and using HDMI out, but I don't really have a use for that much computer (have a work computer already that I use for productivity, am rarely home to use it to its potential, value portability so I can use it as an e-reader on my commute). Still, even with the Prime, I have to set my tablet down next to my TV to have it play music / movies through my TV. I can't use it at the same time or change songs from across the room.

    Can anyone confirm that Google TV actually has the functionality I'm looking for? I can't seem to find a straight answer. Criteria again: (1) play my google music from the cloud (2) play rented movies from the play store (3) let my tablet / phone control it 100% without having to look at the TV (in other words, if I'm across the room and want to change to a different artist, can I navigate to it via my tablet or must it be on the TV screen?)

    Thanks!

    EDIT: I'm slowing realizing that the Nexus Q is exactly what I need, though it needs the ability to throw Netflix, HBOGO, Pandora, Spotify, etc. to my TV / surround system as well as my google play media. Ugh why can't they just re-release it with those features at $99? Asking too much?
     
  12. adi19956

    adi19956 Android Expert

    I can confirm that Google TV will play your Play movies and will play your Google music.
    I can also confirm you can change artist/ whatever you're watching from your tablet remotely and probably without looking as Able Remote displays thumbnails.
    As to Nexus Q price... Well it's made in the USA so no slave labour and from supposedly "premium" parts. It also features gimmicks such as the flashy LEDs.
    Fact is, if you want cheap goods, they're not going to be made in the USA
     
  13. jova33

    jova33 Android Expert

    I think the Q would be perfect for you. I just don't see why you would buy a nexus 7. It's not top of the line. For its price class it is. I mean I can't just dish out $200 at random. I'm pretty lower/lower middle class. So obviously the Q wasn't marketed towards my demographic.

    The n7 seemed like an everyday Joe device, the Q seems like a rich kid play you
     
  14. Charlax21

    Charlax21 Newbie

    For music throughout the house I have Sonos speakers systems. They are individual speakers that connect through your wireless network. Then through your phone, PC, or tablet you can control what is played. You have multiple choices of music services to run through. Unfortunately, they do not have Google Music synced up with it just yet.

    I have 3 speakers total and you can control each one of them individually or have them all play as one.

    I have Xfinity and downloaded the App. Its a nice controller to search though the channels. You can set shows to Record as well. The only bad part is that the developer forgot to put a setting button within the app. It only appears when you first open the app.
     
  15. skelms

    skelms Member

    I saw in a different post about Plex - A Complete Media Solution they have an android app and you can stream pretty much anything from your computer to android device. With the $25 credit included with the nexus 7 you can invest in a few apps.
    The main reason I am looking into this app, is that it supports linux!
     
  16. dylo22

    dylo22 Android Enthusiast

    Plex is a great solution (I'm using this now) if you have all your movies and music on a computer that you can turn into a server. However, the OP wants to stream his media from Google Music and Movies which plex doesn't support.
     
  17. trankster

    trankster Well-Known Member

    The OP was asking about the Nexus 7 not Q. Make no mistake, the Nexus 7 is a powerfull full featured tablet with excellent screen and quad processor and good battery life. I can verify that Netflix (and YouTube, NBC) plays on the N7. I watched and streamed a movie last night. If you are looking to stream from the cloud to your TV, you need a device like ROKU or a Blueray player with those features built in.
    I have the Logitech Wireless Speaker Adapter attached to my stereo that allows me to stream audio (music, Pandora etc.) from my N7 to my home stereo system via bluetooth. I have the 16gb model and have 9 videos stored. A new app now allows you to connect an external memory device to either play or import files. The only thing the N7 lacks is a rear camera and HDMI connection, which is not much of a big deal in my opinion.

    Since getting the N7, I have hardly used my Galaxy Tab 10.1 (which may go up on eBay soon) and no longer use my Nook reader.
     
  18. JSchu22

    JSchu22 Android Enthusiast

    I use Able remote to control my GMTV with my 7 and it works great, but it also works with my Galaxy Nexus. This shouldn't be the real to get a table though. I don't have much experience streaming from device to device but I have been interested in the aforementioned Plex. Viewing Google Play movies on Gtv is new to me , has this functionality recently been added? It wasn't this way before.
     
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