The Razer Forge TV is probably the Android TV box you'll want to buy

Android TV and PC games streamed to your living room

Right at the beginning of CES 2015 Razer, known primarily for its PC gaming products, launched its first Android TV device. The Forge TV is headed our way in Q1 for $99 on its own or $149 as part of a bundle with a game controller.

We stopped by the Razer booth to check it out, and one thing becomes pretty clear almost immediately. It's likely this is the Android TV box you're going to want to buy,

For that $99, which is the same price as the Google Nexus Player, remember, you're getting a Snapdragon 805 CPU, 16GB of on-board storage, 2GB of RAM, an Adreno 420 GPU, 802.11ac Wifi and Gigabit Ethernet. So you're getting more storage and Ethernet for the same money.

Razer Forge TV

The box itself is pretty unassuming. It's just a small, square, black box that sits next to your TV. Oh, and it has an awesome green light glowing underneath. But it's essentially a similar size and form factor to Amazon's Fire TV. The Serval game controller is optional, but you get a decent discount by buying it with the box. It's comfortable to use and reminds a lot of the Xbox 360 controller. It's a similar size and a similar shape, so it'll feel familiar instantly to anyone who's ever used the Microsoft console.

The software is Android TV as we've seen on the Nexus Player and more recently introduced by Sony on its line of Bravia televisions. There's more than enough horsepower in the Forge to provide a smooth experience navigating through the UI. If you're not feeling the controller, Razer will be releasing a remote app for Android and iOS to use instead, though obviously you'll not be using it for any gaming.

Razer Turret

Speaking of gaming, Razer will also be allowing PC game streaming to the Forge using its Cortex app for Windows. This will be available for free to Forge owners when it arrives in Q2 and will give you the chance to run PC and Steam games on your TV at 1080p/60fps. Since it isn't ready yet it's not being demonstrated at CES, so we'll reserve judgment until we get some actual hands on time.

In tandem with Cortex is the Turret, a keyboard and mouse combination for the gamer who prefers them as a control method. The keyboard has a fold out magnetic panel that stops the mouse from sliding off if you're resting it on your lap and adds the feeling of a more weighty gaming mouse when in actual fact its sized like a travel mouse. The keyboard also comes with dedicated Android keys alongside the more common Windows PC keys.

The Turret will run for $129 and supports Bluetooth LE or Wireless 2.4GHz. You don't need it to play PC games on the Forge, but it's a great option for those that want it. But even after just a short time with it, it's clear that the Forge TV is going to be one of the top Android TV devices out there as we go into a new year.

  • If this can run my Steam games, its an instant purchase in my book. I'm a Razer Insider and pretty excited about all the rave reviews this unit has been getting at CES. Please do a followup with some gaming hands on when you can!
  • From what I've read it supports all games regardless of store (steam/origin) or GPU. That's a definite win for me. If they get latency really low (
  • You mean latency high.....high latency is what u want ( more reliable ) Posted via the Android Central App
  • No, he was right and you are wrong. Latency (in this case) is the delay between when you press the button and when the action occurs on screen. Higher latency means delayed reaction. Latency is not a good thing.
  • Be aware that latency will be lower using the Razer controller, they've already stated that, also, smart people don't stream shooters or multi-player games yet. "I'm da Blur boys!" - Me with 1200 ping. Yes. My Internet got worse.
  • Controllers don't impact network latency, so the only way that it would perceivably lower latency is if the gamepad is synched with the host PC and not the Forge TV.
  • The controller could affect it, if the controller has it's on wifi connection back to the host PC then it can skip the Forge TV box. Or it might have a lighter/custom bluetooth profile with less processing overhead.
  • Only problem is using this with a PC for On-line Multi-player, this is going to increase the Ping Value in the games you play on-line with another connection being routed through.
  • It doesn't actually "run" your Steam games though, it streams them. You have to have a computer on the local network that's on and that's powerful enough to run the games, and then the Razer will be able to stream them from there. It works very similarly to Steam Home, or whatever it's called, that allows you to do the same thing.
  • On hte game stream side it has to be high frame rate with low latency, if they can pull that off with a software approach then fantastic. Nvidia's game stream is by no means perfect, and same games just wont run, but when they do run the latency and frame rates on my rig are excellent.
  • I want this. I really want to be able to support Razer too. I love what they've been doing the last couple of years.
  • The last wireless razer mouse i bought left a really bad taste in my mouth. Kept losing movements so I'm skeptical how well the Turret pans out, which is the big thing I want out of the Forge. A good, portable, android M+KB for stremaing PC games. Its also the part of the Forge I trust the least. I am interested if the Forge will let my older 560 stream so I can stream from both PC's. That'd be a huge win.
  • Lol right? I hate their keyboards and mice, maybe this will be better? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Tell me about it! I'm convinced they only got popular because of the fancy looks, I've used some of their mice and headphones and they were awful! But this box has potential, assuming that obnoxious green light can be turned off. Posted via who-gives-a-s***
  • Sorry Razer's website states a minimum of a 580 so your 560 appears to not make the cut. Who knows though, maybe you'll luck out and they'll change it.
  • Can you confirm if it will pair with any bluetooth controller, keyboard, and mouse?
  • My question too, I'm not leaving my phone around for my kids to use to control this thing. If they would at least offer a remote as an option it would be great.
  • The controller works as a remote.
  • But can I use a Logitech bluetooth controller or do I need to buy their stuff?
  • From what I saw on Linus's review, you can use any Bluetooth or wireless controller but the one that they sell will give you even lower latency and better results, overall, for PC game streaming. Review: Posted via the Android Central App
  • Yup, didn't think I'd be swapping my chromecast for an android TV, then Razer did this. Just hope we don't have to wait too long for it to hit the UK and we don't get gouged km price... Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • HDMI Passthrough?
  • Nope.
  • I would have bought one of these in a heart bet if it had HDMI passthrough! I'll stick with my Chromecast...
  • None of the Android TV's seem to have HDMI Passthrough. Apparently more new TV's have tons of hdmi ports so it isn't a big deal. I'll stick with my 2 google tv's and a chromecast... Oh and Dish TV. :-)
  • It's has nothing to do with HDMI ports! Even if you don't have enough for some odd reason you could just put a cheap HDMI switch in place. The great thing about HDMI pass-through is that you don't need to change inputs at all for casting or other Android TV functionality. This is really nice if you are watching TV and on a commercial you want to show a quick picture or video, it's not disruptive or a hassle to do so. Furthermore my parents simply don't use their Roku because it requires changing inputs. Not uncommon with older people who are scared to touch things as they can mess it up and end up without TV until one of the kids can stop over to fix it...
  • To be fair, with most TVs and receivers now, you also don't need to change inputs to cast. The Chromecast pushes that automatically.
  • It's still disruptive and does not go back to the STB input when you are done using the Chromecast...
  • Is there anything needed to do this. Mine doesn't seem to want to. Posted via Android Central App
  • So, can you confirm that, unlike the Nexus Player, this will not come with an actual remote control? Because as much as I'm happy with using my phone, which I do with my Chromecast just fine, it's really nice to have a small thing sitting on the coffee table for anyone else to be able to use. The phone as remote has its limits. That's one of the things that intrigued me about an Android TV device at all over my Chromecast and RasPlex boxes. And if it doesn't, do we have any confirmed third-party remotes that would do the job, complete with voice? I'm suspecting this may be why this thing is priced as surprisingly cheap as it is given the specs.
  • Do you have an HTDV? Does your HDTV have a remote? If you were able to say "yes" twice, then you're good. I own a Nexus player. When plugged in VIA HDMI, the TV's remote can also control the Nexus Player. This is done via HDMI-CEC. If my 2008 model HDTV can do it, yours most likely can as well. The only function missing from my HDTV's remote is voice search.
  • That's not universal, actually. Not by a long shot. My last TV had it, but it just died, and we just bought a new receiver and a stopgap HDTV. The receiver has limited CEC support, mostly allowing for things like changing inputs automatically and volume matching with the TV, but it does NOT pass along playback controls to the attached devices, as I learned from trying to control my Raspberry Pi with it as I used to be able to with my old TV. The TV has no CEC support. And the voice search is kind of a big function of Android TV.
  • definitely no bundled or proprietary remote announced, as for 3rd party remotes an IR receiver was not in the list of specs, so it would have to be Bluetooth or perhaps HDMI -CES or whatever that abbreviation is
  • HDMI-CEC, but unfortunately my new receiver doesn't seem to pass those along well. Plus no voice search.
  • No remote for TV app viewing. Best they have so far is the console & controller at a reduced price with the game controller being the remote. Both Android Central and Linus says that a remote will be released but no one knows when. To be fair, when the Xbox 360 came out, it didn't have a remote either. One did arrive rather quickly though. Review: Posted via the Android Central App
  • Sure, but I'd argue that as much as they want to push this for games, the ecosystem isn't there yet for this to be a game console first, media center later. Android TV is primarily the latter, with lots of great flexibility for more. So it seems like a miss to not have it available right away.
  • I'm going to be that guy that says, "Well actually"...
    The launch 360 DID come with a mini remote control which was half the length of the remote that was actually released to retailers later. I had one.
  • See, I could have sworn I remembered that as well, but wasn't in a position to check it out at the time. Yeah, I remember people were really annoyed by how minimalist it was. Which is kind of funny, considering how the trend in remotes seems to be exactly that again.
  • I agree. This needs a remote, not just a game controller. I'll be watching tv more than playing games and I don't really want the Nexus Player 'cuz I want an ethernet port. I just can't win.. Posted via Android Central App on The Nexus 5
  • I agree, and for me it's not even a small thing of having a remote available to quickly grab; my problem is with performance. When using my phone + Chromecast I get way too many disconnects, connecting takes way too long, and is more dependent the network than I would prefer (for reliability). It used to work better, but lately it's been horrible for me. Even when I know exactly what youtube video I want to watch, it still takes me as much as 10 minutes to actually get it playing on the Chromecast due to freezing, videos that "cast" to the screen but don't actually ever play, constant de-syncing between the two devices (ie a movie's still playing on-screen but I've lost all control of it), etc. I mean, 10 minutes?! This is Youtube. We're talking about one of the biggest websites in existence, owned by the same company that makes the Chromecast, and the same company that makes my phone... doesn't work. The Chromecast is just too slow, then add in the unreliability of whether or not a cast will actually take, and it's just been a no-go for me. I know this comment will get nuked, because I know how much this community loves the Chromecast, and it's frustrating for me that my experience hasn't been as amazing as everyone says it is. Either way, I think I'm going to get the Razer Forge, as it has been literally infuriating to me at times that in a room packed with more tech than most families have in their entire home, there is a gap between my pc and my tv that I can't reliably bridge unless I actually run a damn cable right from my gaming tower to the tv. It is an embarrassment when I look at the potential that all of these "smart devices" have (not just Chromecast, I'm talking about my whole entertainment center), and then conclude that they just don't work. /rantover
  • Quick word of warning: I'm not convinced you'll have a better experience with this. I had a lot of the same problems you're describing, and the only thing that resolved ALL of them for me (truly, my Chromecast is flawlessly reliable now) was buying a new router. I went through a few before I was forced to settle on a $200 (less now) Nighthawk. Granted, part of the reason I was willing to do that was I was having other problems as well, but that resolved ALL of my Chromecast issues. I suspect you would have some similar issues with a separate Android TV box. Honestly, my recommendation to you, tough as it is, is that a better investment might be the router. Unless, of course, you already have a really high-end one. I also had trouble with my Raspberry Pi getting terrible wireless and had to buy a wireless bridge and connect it via wire to resolve that. Honestly, getting my Raspberry Pi and Chromecast working flawlessly cost me WAY more than I thought I was saving by buying each of them over more advanced devices, but a lot of that wasted money was in trial and error. Several WiFi adapters, a couple mid-range routers, etc. Now, though, it all works really, really well.
  • It's true a good router will have Chromecast running well, but I'll be darned if getting any of these Android TV whatevers to be able to run Plex content on max resolution over wireless is possible. Talk about annoying. My Chromecasts are flawless but couldn't get a Fire stick or Nexus player to play shit. Sad, really.
  • Will this only support dx9?
  • Why would it only support DX 9? Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Cortex pages says it streams dx9. Why list that version only if it supports all?
  • It says it supports "all directx 9 games and above" which implies it will support DX11 but not DX8. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Thanks missed that line. Was looking at the table
  • Yeah, they really could've made it a little clearer. Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • How does it support Android games? Does Android TV play games that you have on a phone or tablet. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's got a snapdragon 805 and 2 GB of RAM, it runs games itself. No need for a phone or tablet at all (providing you have a controller). Wubba lubba dub dub!
  • Love rick and morty!
  • Looks really nice, but my ADT-1 is just fine. Also, I've had Razer products for my PC's and they weren't very high quality. However, they were priced like they were high quality. Posted via the Android Central App on the 2nd Gen. Moto X
  • IF you can store app data on a usb drive, this is a no brainer. 16 gigs of storage will be filled up by 5 or so sizable games. There needs to be an option to storage apps on external to keep from having space issues. I am not even sure this is a feature of android tv though... Regardless, I will probably get on if nothing better comes along. This is what the nexus player should have been. No ethernet and storage killed the nexus player for me. It is pathetic that a brand like Razer(that has far from cheap products) can provide better hardware at the same price point as the Google reference device.
  • Im giving Nvidia, (and the competition) until this comes to market to at least announce a gamine ATV box or I will get this as it is cheap enough. but without remote support I wont make it the primary family interface it will just be for me as a game system.
  • This right here ^^^^^
  • I'm there, It's possible that Nvidia, at this time of year, would just wait till it's new X1 is ready for something like this. Or I just might bite the bullet on a new Shield Tab if and when it's released. This is intriguing though.
  • Can you turn off that strange green glowing. I don't want to see this.
  • Cannot wait to purchase this!
  • shutupandtakemymoney.jpg
  • Can you find out if the game streaming will support 5.1 or higher audio? All the streaming solutions today (Valve/nVidia) are stereo only...
  • I'm really hoping we see a Tegra K1 or X1? version of Android TV soon. Seems like Nvidia is much more focused on power for gaming so it would be interesting to see what they can do with Android TV.
  • Yes, Nvidia does seem like the company to provide gaming in the form of an Android TV! Posted via the Android Central App
  • Oh Yeah! I see one with an X1 this year, and in the next couple years they should have enough power to run the stuff we want natively. Or close atleast
  • Considering how slow consuls advance I bet nvidia can quickly surpass both Sony and Microsoft. Now we just need game developers to take android seriously.
  • Impressed slightly, but have to remind myself that it will be a while before release. Nabu, case and point, took them almost a year to take pre-orders and they still haven't shipped. Yes there are developer ones and the China release, but their production moves about as fast as a glacier. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't really get it... any gadget that is targeted for media and games should at least have a minimum of 32GB on board memory... or at least have an option for the internal memory. I don't really think it will make a huge difference in cost. However the profit margins do tend to increase unreasonably
  • 1) the focus here is to STREAM games, so storage is mostly irrelevant
    2) realistically, how much OLD game data are you hoarding on your system that you don't REALLY need anymore? (it's probably a lot)
  • I'm interested in this. Can anyone confirm if streaming Steam games can play local multiplayer? i.e. someone on a laptop and the other through the TV? (Can you even play multi-player on the same Steam account?)
  • Anyone (Richard) know if you can side load apps onto it like you can on the Nexus Player (with/without root)?
  • Not really the kind of thing you get to mess around with at a trade show ;-)
  • Touché... dang, can't decide if I should wait on this thing or not!
  • Will they make a version for adults that doesn't have the urine-green belly plate?
  • The first thing I'll do is disable the green light.
  • Where do I send my money?
  • what file formats does it play? dts? 6 channel surround from all audio formats. AC3? Mkv? avi? Are there file size limits on video files?
  • I, for one, am very excited for this. I've used razer mice and (more recently) keyboards for years. I've loved all of their products although synapse 2 has forced me to get different mice recently. Over the years I've owned Diamondback > Copperhead > Lachesis > Orochi > Naga > Taipan & Black Widow. Part of what makes this product exciting is what I've learned of Razer's attention to detail and quality. I fully intend to buy this as soon as it becomes available. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm glad I waited on buying an Android TV. This blows it away, and will be a nice addition to the only TV in my home without a Chromecast. Posted via the Android Central App
  • For me, the biggest issue is OS updates. I'm not buying any 3rd party Android TV, unless I know that Google will be pushing the OS upgrades directly like Android Wear - and that seems very unclear as of now.
  • Wait so could I play h1z1 and hearthstone on this? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Android TV Box | Nâng Cấp TV Thường Thành TV Thông Minh
  • I bought a Razer and it's a very good box. I can easily say I give it a 4/5 rating. The bad thing is that I can not watch Live TV with it. I love to watch soccer games and was looking for a Android box that can do that. I bought some crappy China boxes, at the time of my purchase they promised I can watch Bein sport with it. But after some weeks the channels stopped and they did never come back after this. Now I have bought me an Easybox iptv and have been watching Bein Sport for more than 6 months. I bought it from a shop in Edgware road in London. The guys was so kind so they even come to my place and installed it.
  • can you help me
  • I think this would be very useful for others; Android TV box. For all purposes, Android TV is a new beast. Android TV is a smart TV platform from Google based on the Android 5.0 operating system. I have a GoStreamer G5 Quad Core Android TV Box Kodi Streamer which has 3 USB ports, 100Mbps Ethernet, Flash Support, HD Video Playback. It also provides lots of key features. Thanks for sharing the information.