Although Google TV has not been the company’s most successful venture by any means, that hasn’t stopped several other companies from trying-out the concept. At CES 2014, Hisense is showing off its new set top box, the Pulse Pro. From the outside, it looks very similar to any other set-top box, but what’s interesting is that it’s running what Hisense calls “Android TV v4.” It’s not technically Google TV, although it’s built off of the same foundation. It is capable of running Google TV apps and also features the same PrimeTime Guide (via CNET).
One noticeable difference between the Pulse Pro and other Google TV devices is the home screen design. Everything is laid out in a very image-focused design, with the ability to quickly access Netflix, Vudu, Amazon Video, and more.
One of the biggest complaints about Google TV was the need for a complicated remote with a built-in keyboard. Hisense has solved this problem by designing an ultra-simply remote with built-in buttons for Netflix, Vudu, and Amazon. The need for a keyboard is replaced by a built-in microphone. Simply press the microphone button and tell the remote what you want to search. In case you need yet another way to navigate the interface, there’s also a built-in motion sensor that allows you to point at the box and control it with a cursor.
Hisense didn’t have any information on availability or pricing, however, so we’ll have to wait and see how competitively priced the Pulse Pro is. It certainly looks like a solid set-top box, having fixed many of the gripes people had with Google TV. But we’ll withhold final judgement until we know more.