What you need to know
- The first smart TVs running Google TV will reportedly come with a "Basic TV" feature.
- It will allow users to turn their new smart TV into a dumb TV by getting rid of features such as access to apps, content recommendations, and Google Assistant.
- Sony and TCL are currently the only smart TV makers that have added Google TV to their 2021 lineup.
While the first smart TVs running Google TV are still a few weeks away, a report from 9to5Google has revealed that they will come with a feature called "Basic TV," which will allow users to get rid of nearly all smart features from their new TV.
Unlike the "apps-only" mode on Google's new Chromecast, the "Basic TV" option won't just ditch content recommendations. When users choose the option, they will only be able to access two core features on their smart TV: Live TV and external input (HDM). Supports for apps, Google Assistant, as well as casting, will be dropped.
The Basic TV experience will give you a clutter-free homescreen with just a few icons for HDMI inputs, live channels, the "Dashboard," and a shortcut to ambient mode. While users will be allowed to switch back to the full Google TV experience, it will not be possible without a full reset. Google has also confirmed to the folks over at 9to5Google that the feature isn't tied to Android TV 12.
As per a Google spokesperson, the feature was designed for users who do not have internet access. It should also help make TVs with Google TV more enticing to users who aren't keen on getting a smart TV. What remains unclear at this point, however, is if the option willl also made available to existing Android TV devices.