The company NanoTech has unveiled what they call the “world’s first 4K streaming media player”. They call it Nuvola NP-1, and it runs Android with a quad-core processor.
Nuvola NP-1 is based on Android
Sony has a 4K media player and RED has released the REDplayer. Both can handle 4K, but only as downloaded files. That is why the NanoTech is calling their box the first 4K streaming player. It comes pre-loaded with a NanoFlix UHD channel that serves 4K content for streaming.
NanoTech says that a “6 Mb/s or greater” internet connection is required for 4K streaming, which means that compression is very, very heavy. The player currently uses mpeg4 H.264 compression for 4K streaming, but it will be able to handle the new HEVC codec with a future update, the company says. HEVC is said to deliver similar picture quality at 50% of the bitrate, compared to the H.264 codec that is used for HD today. However, the box only has a HDMI 1.4 output, meaning that it will only do 4K at maximum 30 Hz.
Nuvola 4K streamer
The player is powered by a quad-core processor and a Nvidia Tegra 4 that takes care of the heavy lifting. Nuvola NP-1 is running Android 4.2. However, 4K output was not officially supported in Android before Android 4.3, so it is unclear how Nanotech has implemented the solution in the streaming box. Because it runs Android it also offers aces to the Google Play store with games and video apps. It comes pre-installed with services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, XBMC, Amazon Instant, and YouTube.
The Nuvola NP-1 4K player will be ready to ship before Christmas for $299 USD. The company says that they will also team up with Seiki and sell it bundled with Seiki’s 39 and 50-inch 4K TVs. NanoTech also sells pro versions of the Nuvola 4K box.