Android TV

Google is not done in your living room

A bunch of screenshots of a new set-top box by Google have been revealed by The Verge, detailing a new hardware and software system called Android TV. The idea here is to provide a framework for developers to create big-screen experiences in a sensible way. With a properly fleshed-out UI, Android TV looks like it will be aimed to compete squarely against Roku, Apple TV, and the recently-announced Fire TV. Android TV is probably better to look at this as a spiritual successor to Chromecast than the ill-fated Google TV, though Android TV and Chromecast will still require developers to create two distinct interfaces. Unlike Google TV, Android TV will be steering away from trying to be a big-screen computing platform, and be more of a simplified entertainment console.

Apparently developers are being actively approached, and the screenshots shot big hitters like Netflix, Hulu, and Vevo are already involved, as well as Google's own properties like Hangouts, Play Movies, and YouTube. We had an inkling that something like this was in the works, and with any luck, we'll get a closer look at this stuff at Google I/O. Would any of you guys be interested in an Android TV? How many were burned by a Google TV purchase in the past?

We had just this discussion on the last episode of the Android Central podcast. It's almost as if we can see the future! Have a listen:

Source: The Verge


Reader comments

Android TV interface and details leaked


And here I thought I was going to be purchasing an amazon fire TV. I'm glad I waited! I also am looking forward to an apple TV redesign. Let the battle begin!!

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I'm a bit confused on why anyone is excited about the Fire TV... it does nothing new and has even less to offer than anything currently released....

Power is the key. Kindle Fire TV overpower every single TV-box in that price range. Also, Amazon content is a must have for a lot of people. Plus, direct video don't have an android app in the play store, so you can't access properly fromo other tv-boxes.

I never had Google TV and I've been reluctant to pick up Chromecast because I have Netflix built into my TV and I don't really purchase movies or shows in Google Play. However an Android TV would likely win me over if it had Netflix and a decent Amazon Prime app. I would also like to see Android games be compatible and playable with both my phone/tablet and Bluetooth gamepad.

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dont hold your breath for a prime app. With amazon just dropping fire TV, i HIGHLY doubt they will be too eager to put the prime TV on a product aimed at competing directly. would be nice though

I wouldn't be so sure about that. Much like Google, Amazon doesn't make their profits from hardware but from there services. Mo eyes Mo money.

Yea, but if that were entirely the case where is the Amazon Instant Video app for Android?
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These are the two important questions in my mind: 1) Will Amazon support it with an app? 2) Will Amazon sell it?

The coolest thing with the Chromecast will be games. I would really like to see Quizup add Chromecast support.

There is a prime app for Google TV. I have it and it works pretty well considering the the updates for GTV ended long ago.

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My question is will they have it setup this way with the new box? I really like GTV and how its pretty much all intergrated into one...but sadly it doesn't seem like they are going that way. I was really hoping for replace my old sony GTV with something nicer and faster and supported. But it doesn't seem like that will be happening.

I wish there was competition like this when it comes to cell phone and home internet/cable services. We got so many choices in this category....

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I believe he said "phone and home internet/cable SERVICES" ... not hardware, but SERVICES...

Reading is fundamental...

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This is getting too much. Dont Google realize they're battling too many market fronts at once. They can't focus all their best quality at all these devices at the same time.
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I don't agree with you there, Google is a huge company and has the resources to keep as many products as they'd like. Also as they are a service company, not a product company, it doesn't matter if Android TV is the most delightful software for TVs, what matters is that tons of users will be using Google services and spending more money on Google's ecosystem. It would be a complete mistake to ignore this “Living Room Revolution”, so the question is: Why not?

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Lol I hope you're kidding. You do realize that Google has separate departments for each product they offer. Have you seen Google struggle with quality in anything they do? They have massive means you probably can't wrap your head around. The development team for this is more than likely twice the size of what roku has eve had.

Have you seen their previous attempts at the living room? (Google TV and the Nexus Q Orb) I understand what you're saying and yes, Google is a leader in many services but they are far from perfect. They seemed to finally have righted the ship in this area with the Chromecast so here's hoping they build in it with Android TV. Don't like the fact that developers will be required to produce two different version in support of this and Chromecast.

To be fair about the developers thing, they don't have to "write and app" to support chromecast. They just have to add a bit of code to their existing app. And it's entirely possible that getting an app onto Android TV will just require dev's to build in another UI layout, similar to how you build different layouts for a phone/tablet.

Do you disagree with everything Google does, Zig? Most of the comments I read by you are usually criticizing something.

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Google is an ad company. Ads need viewers. Anything they can do to get more eyes to see more ads is part of their core competency.

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I think Google moved on from being an ad company a long time ago, more of a service company amongst many other things now.
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Ad sales are still where they see the majority of their profits though. They have created an entire ecosystem that centers around getting people to use their services, and then they make money on selling ads to reach people using those services.

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Yea so your not Google's customer, they sell you to their real customers the advertisers. Have fun with that suckers! Keep feeding them money!

Google gives me things that I really like using for free in exchange for information that I don't mind they have. This business model also most closely aligns their interests with mine. Take, for example, net neutrality. A wide open Internet is in google's best interest, even as an isp.

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Yup. I don't have a problem being Google's "product" so long as they remain upfront about it and keep offering me great services that I love to use.

I expected they were doing this. It makes sense to leak the interface right now and draw away some attention from the Fire TV or just to get some people to wait and see.

I don't want anything more than the Chromecast interface. That better be built in and rock solid. But I do want a faster processor and more connectivity options than the Chromecast currently offers.

that was my thought too. I love my chromecast, although i find myself using it less and less and using the interface through my TV instead, but still love the chromcast.

Agreed Zig.... Google seems to have it's hand in everything. What happened to the idea of being great at a few things versus being mediocre at many things.
Also would this have a "chromecast" type of device built in or are we going to have two different devices hooked up along with Cable....and Blueray....
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Chrome cast has wifi capability to connect your devices and stream things. This is a service based product like a roku. Similar but different.

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Yes!!! This is what I've been holding out for!! I am a day 1 Logitech revue user.. And I have always loved my Google TV.. I've been wanting to upgrade for the last 6 months but didn't know what device I would get... And now here is my answer!!! Hopefully it debuts at I/O and goes k. Sale quickly after!!

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My only problem is if they attempt to keep it like the Roko or Amazon which seems strictly app based streaming and not have the functionality as the GTV terms of allowing your cable box to run and interface with it. I'm hoping I'm completely wrong. I also enjoy having the option of being able to stream from my computer too with the different apps that GTV can run.

They did acquire that green throttle gaming company. As long as they put the best gaming SoC onboard (tegra k1), this will be a huge success.

via moto x.

game Console with Tv and chromecast feature would be the best. make the remote a game controller ie just like a smartphone

Let's hope google bring this to the UK and not wait like a year. Also come with more apps than chromecast has come with.

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Agreed, this might make me buy an actual TV instead of relying monitors and laptops.

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So they push out Google TV, the Nexus Q, Chromecast and now this? Are they going to rush out a competing product that mostly does the same thing in a few months?

And now we're getting Youtube Music to compete with their Google Music?

U can pretty much already have this for under $90 with the Asus Cube.. Has everything that was mentioned even the same menus.. And very similar UI. I love mine u can just run your DVR right through it via HDMi and the double sided full qwerty keyboard with track pad will control everything.. TV, Caboebox, Cube.. Also don't have to use cable box running through.. Can put any HDMI device and it will stream through when u choose TV app.. So if u have limited HDMI ports.. U just got one more and don't have to switch input to access.. I have 2 Cubes one in main living room with the FiOS DVR running through it, and another in the bedroom with a roku like very cheap Android PC stick $24.99 with 4.0.4 in the pass through hdmi port. which allows me to use that for my FiOS mobile app and any other apps that are not yet compatible with the cube Google/Android tv.. There is full Google app support on cube so has play store maps hangouts chrome etc even chromecast is built in.. For some of the playstore non compatible apps I was able to side load some.. The FiOS app launches and the second I see the channel screen it force closes so I'm guessing that's Verizon wanting me to pay for an additional real cable box because the FiOS mobile app now no longer allows HDMI out on other devices it does work on so the PC stick solved that .. (Very uncool vzw) ohh yeah and the Cube even comes with functional Amazon TV app.. Which has gotten very prime unfriendly and extremely expensive at $1.99+ an episode! And they have taken down sooooo much content that was prime free.. Forshame Amazon! The Cube's remote even has its own Netflix button and its own button to switch to the other HDMI port on remote. Very nice feature. Its the little things that count. When using over your actual cable TV DVR u can bring up the android TV menus that are connected through your gmail for excellent user specific suggested media. So far I give the cube a 9 out of 10 it would be a 10 if the FiOS app worked on it and if developers would get some more apps compatible.. So I could run the Xbox or something else through its pass through port.. I'm sure it will happen soon enough and if u don't have FiOS maybe your cable providers streaming will work on it, if that's the case u have a everything in one small box with 2 wires.. I believe I paid $69 new for mine.. May have been an xmas special but for anyone who wants android TV now with all the bells and whistles check out the ASUS CUBE! Gaming is great on it was able to connect Xbox controller with joystick app. Comes with instagram.. My background: been modding androids professionally since the HTC G1.. I know my android! And I don't know how I could live without the cubes now that I have them! I guess since its not made by Google is why amazon and others allow their apps pre installed.. I did find one app for it that is suppose to be able to do what the FiOS app does as third party.. I havnt set it up yet though.. So may be the solution for the need of the PC stick to be my additional cablebox in other rooms. Hope this helps. Anyone that gets a cube will love it..

I purchased 3 Google TV devices, 2 Logitech Revues and a Vizio CoStar. And while they both weren't terribly great devices and the platform has its own issues, I never felt burned. In fact I'm watching The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty on Google Play Movies on the CoStar right now. I have been a Google TV user since the beginning. I like Google TV in theory but I look forward to what Google does with Android TV.
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Oh, I also have two Chromecasts so go figure. Maybe I'm just a Google fanboy...

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I'm kind of the same way I guess. I have a Sony NSZ-GS7 Gogle TV box as well as a Chromecast. I love them both for what they are. A Chromecast looks more like a match for secondary TVs in the house while my Google TV is for my main, living room TV. I like having the interface and Primetime on the main TV where cable is watched. It's so much better than using the 1990s Verizon FiOS interface.

The more I always think about it though, Google Play Movies is the biggest reason I need these Google devices connected to my TV. No other set-top-box has access to this app....

I don't buy it. They've just released Chromecast to the rest of the world and now bring out another platform?

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Its not another platform. The chromecast is not a set top box, it cant play games or local content, and doesn't have prime support either.

The chromecast is great, but some people want more, so Google is giving it. Plus, this is not a new rumor, there have been android TV reports since last summer.

via moto x.

Definitely interested. It was more wanted before Chromecast, but I'm anxious to see what Google has in store for this.

I own a Google TV and really don't feel burned by it at all... just my own experience, but it's definitely the best experience out of all the offerings available. Granted, I think the HARDWARE has always been the weak link in Google TV, but the software is awesome. Android TV could be just as much an issue for people if the hardware stinks. I always thought that Chromecast could and should be the future of having a living-room experience as long as they added PrimeTime to it and maybe an interface similar to Google TV. I just absolutely love having the Image grid for the TV Guide instead of Verizon's 1990s FiOS interface.

What I want from a Google "Android TV" is a better-quality (hardware and software) version of the generic Chinese devices that you can get on Amazon, that have a camera built-in and let you do Google Hangouts and run other Android apps. Also, some improvements for navigating the interface from the couch are needed, compared to those.

I don't want some stripped-down box that can only run "Android TV"-specific apps, I want full Play Store access, but with a handful of purpose-built apps for TV usage.

The old GoogleTV concept of running your cable/sat box through the device, and letting your GTV control it was a fine idea that just wasn't effective due to the limitations of those other devices. We don't really NEED that anyway - what we need are simple apps to view local (LAN-hosted) and Internet-streamed content, plus communication apps (Hangouts in particular).

It really shouldn't be that hard - other than the remote control functions (replacing the touch-screen), it's just phone components with an external screen.

I could never figure out why GoogleTVs didn't have webcam support for Hangouts.

I got a vizio Google TV box for $20, reg $99, score!! I actually like the platform and UI for the most part, just wish they'd update the OS to kk or at least jb. Too many incompatible apps on Honeycomb. I am interested in this android TV as well as fire TV but won't be jumping in for awhile. With my gtv, chromecast and roku I'm not in any hurry.
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And here I was considering buying one of those older Sony Google TV's, because my chromecast isn't always up to the task, my laptop can't always stay plugged into my TV, and I haven't decided on getting an Intel NUC yet. Great, well at least I know I'm not getting the Samsung HomeSync or the Amazon Fire ThingV.

could this be running a slightly customized version of android 4.4 with a new interface just for tv’s? if so, this could mean that all existing bluetooth peripherals would work with android tv out of the box. imo this gives google a leg up on the competition. play games with my existing playstation and moga controllers? yes. that in itself is a win over the competition for me. we also know that google is building native mirroring into android.. mirror my android device to android tv.. play games that way as well.. win win win win..

No! Don't go away from being an everything entertainment box Google! I don't want just another Roku or Apple TV. I don't even want to switch between HDMI ports. It needs to be an all in one entertainment solution like Google TV started out to be but better like Microsoft did with the Xbox One. It needs better hardware, Google Now, better app compatibility, Chromecast built in, and a web cam. Google is going backwards if this thing is a totally stand alone device. If it has at least HDMI pass through, I might consider it.

I've always wanted an Android TV box adapter but I could never figure out if they do everything you'd expect like turning your tv into a full functioning android device, running different types of apps from your tv without bugs or looking laggy, or if they're mainly for streaming movies and songs.

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I must be the only person in the world that till this Day can say I still love my Logitech google TV yes it has its issues from time to time but patient with it and in general its flawless and the picture quality is stupendous plus the DLNA support is a major plus I haven't decided to purchase anything else since because most don't provide DLNA support. bottom line is if the android tv is the next level up with DLNA support its a done deal.

I was burned by a Google Tv purchase. My device remained unsupported and abandoned by google and his partner. Thanks but no thanks Google.

me too but i gotta a feeling its not going to happen.......we were suppose to have an update last year and it never happened so i think we're all out of luck......shame i wouldnt buy another box from google....

It would be awesome if this had Amazon Instant Video as well, but that would be competing against Amazon's own device, and I'm sure they wouldn't let that happen. But, I think a device that has everything this has plus Amazon's service would take over the market.

Pulled my Revue out of my man cave setup last month. Liked it, but just wasn't using it very much since it wasn't getting the latest app changes in Netflix and my Chromecast has taken up the streaming duties the Revue used to cover.