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Google Files FCC Documents for Probable 2017 Launch of Wireless 4K Set-top Box

by on February 22, 2017
 

Stephan Jukic – February 22, 2017

According to some recent filings done by Google with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), Google was seeking and is now being given permission to launch a new “4K wireless TV box” to the market for the latest 4K ultra HD HDR televisions being sold already or slated for near-future release. Interestingly, this is happening just as the digital technology giant also heavily scales back the continuation of its ultra-high speed Fiber internet service.

While the level of detail in the FCC filings is fairly scant, what they do reveal is that Google is developing a wireless 4K set-top type device that comes with WiFi capacity along the 5 GHz and 2.5 GHz bands. According to the documentation, this device comes with a 4×4 5GHz 802.11a/n/c WiFi functionality along with the latest version of Bluetooth 4.1 radio. No consumer-market name is given by Google for their new set-top box and instead the FCC filing refers to the piece of hardware as device A4R-GFHD254 in their formal submittal and application for Equipment Authorization that was given to the agency as part of the Google document package. Users who want to search for the filing itself can do so here on the FCC’s search page by typing in A4R under “Grantee Code” and GFHD254 under “Product Code”. A summary of the filing is also available here.

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These documents now more or less formally establish as fact what was originally only rumored back in November of 2016 by us here and on the website 9to5Google, that Google would be creating a 4K UHD TV box which can deliver wireless Ultra HD video to anywhere in a home from any other point without need for using an HDMI connection to some of the latest 4K UHD TVs.

There is of course no word yet on a release date for this cool new UHD set-top box concept and much less any sort of pricing information (though we personally doubt it’s going to cost much more than some of the best current 4K set-top devices like the Roku Ultra). However, from what we know at this point, the FCC filings do also contain still confidential photos of a physical device and even a user manual, meaning that Google is quite far along in the development of their wireless box. The confidentiality rules on the photos and user manual are going to remain in effect until August of this year, so presumably Google will be doing some sort of public reveal shortly before or right after that date.

We can also presumably expect the wireless set-top box to come with compatibility with the Google Assistant service that’s now being promoted by the company and already available for other Android powered smart TV platforms and set-top boxes, such as the Nvidia SHIELD to name one example.

In what is definitely a related piece of news, Google is also scaling back the further release of its Google Access business, which delivers the “Fiber” high-speed internet service to select regions of the U.S. This is sort of a shame too because Fiber, with its 1Gbps internet connectivity speeds, would be absolutely perfect for a wireless 4K UHD-capable set-top platform like the so-called A4RGFHD254.

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We’ll keep our readers posted on any further developments in this area.

Story by 4k.com

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  • Steve
    February 23, 2017 at 5:16 am

    I have something like this already, its called a Nvidia Shield Android TV and its biggest issue is Android rather than having Linux available. The TV version of android is woeful compare to a normal is, even the woeful mobile version has many times more app and utility support, as well as GUI layout features and settings features. It needs computer like features and support controller emulation to down load all mobile apps supportable.

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