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Asus introduces Qube streaming box with Google TV

The Qube box is Asus' attempt to go after the growing TV market

Asustek is aiming for the TV market with the introduction of an Internet streaming box called Qube, which will run on Google TV software.

The box will enable streaming of movies and TV shows from Google Play, Netflix, Amazon and HBO, Asus said on Monday. The Qube box was announced on Monday at the International CES show being held in Las Vegas this week.

Google TV is software available in set-top boxes and TVs and tries to solve the challenge of bringing classic TV and Internet functionality closer. A number of Google TV products from Hisense, TCL and other companies are expected to shown off at CES this week.

LG, Vizio and Sony are among companies already offering based on the second-generation of Google TV software. The software provides access to 100,000 movies and TV shows via the Google Play store and other sites.

Google TV also provides additional functionality that makes browsing TV content easier. For example, Google TV can show listings of programs from broadcast, DVR and the Internet after a search. A TV set can also be used to surf the Internet, run Android applications, or to play games.

Asus' Qube box adds voice search capabilities, which brings a new dimension to finding multimedia content on multiple sources. The Qube will compete with other streaming products like the popular Roku, Apple's Apple TV and Western Digital's WD TV Live, which has the additional capability to stream video from home media servers over a wireless network. None of those boxes have voice search capabilities.

Asus has developed the Qube interface, and a remote control has motion sensing capabilities for gaming. Asus will offer 50GB of web storage with the Qube.

The Qube will be available in the U.S. later in first quarter, Asus said. Pricing information was not immediately available, but streaming boxes are generally priced between $80 and $150.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

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