25
Jun
1

At this point, it's no secret that Google was going to unveil Android TV. We've already seen several leaks, and last night Vector Unit prematurely published a changelog with the words "AndroidTV" all over it. So yeah, we knew it was coming. And now it's here.

First things first – Android TV looks fantastic. It's a new take on Android, designed from the ground up with a specific experience in mind (just like Android Wear), only this one's for the big screen. Google wants to take Chromecast a step further with AndroidTV, all while stomping its massive foot directly into the center of a market dominated by Roku and, more recently, Amazon.

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ATV is built for your living room, and designed to be an integral part of your TV-watching experience. The interface is intuitive and simple, but still elegant and classy. It's all based on Android's L release, and is slightly reminiscent of Fire TV, complete with voice search; at the same time, it integrates with the phone, much like Roku and the Roku App. It's like the best of both worlds...and more. And since it's a Google product, it has search built into its core.

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And then there's gaming. Yes, Android TV will play games. So it's Fire TV, plus Roku, plus OUYA (or MOJO), only directly from Google. It supports Play Games, has multiplayer support, and should work with all controller-supported games at release.

It also works like a Chromecast, with support for all cast-supported applications out of the box (plus more).

Now let's talk about hardware. Android TV will support all 2015 smart TV models from Sharp and Sony (among others), along with a slew of upcoming set-top boxes form Razer, ASUS, and others. Starting today, Google is also launching a developer preview box, which is powered by NVIDIA's Tegra 4 processor. All the ATV demos shown today at Google I/O were done using this development box.

There's a lot to look forward to with Android TV when it becomes available publicly alongside Android's L release later this year.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, and musician. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6- or 7-string, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • Levi Wilcox

    I hope I can flash ATV on an OUYA... may actually use it then

    • Sergii Pylypenko

      It's totally possible that OUYA will upgrade it's firmware to Google TV, it's open-source after all. On the other hand, they will have a hell of competition now, so I doubt that will save them, and I don't see them even trying lately.

      RIP OUYA, you will not be missed much.

    • Rich Nahra

      Exactly what i'm hoping for. +1

  • Byock

    I hope it will support playing mkv's from the LAN, then I can replace my aging WDTV.

    • Sean

      Plex was showing, so you should be able to run a plex server. No doubt other media browsers will be up there too. Whether or not if they support the container file is a different matter though (can be transcoded using plex server, which can alleviate that issue).

      • Byock

        Plex is all well and good, until you have 4+ connections at once, then you need a really powerful server to transcode. It's not really cost effective for me. I guess streaming local is becoming more rare.

  • http://www.kylepetzinger.com/ Kyle Petzinger

    I'm assuming that some set tops will have DVR functionality? Wasn't specifically mentioned but I hope so.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I sort of doubt that.

      • http://www.kylepetzinger.com/ Kyle Petzinger

        Sad face.

      • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Cameron Summerson

        I dunno, he did say something about live TV.

      • http://www.kylepetzinger.com/ Kyle Petzinger

        I mean, he was demoing using "live tv". Obviously the angle here is to get people to consume content from apps (read: pay for it), but recording shows is still a huge part of lots of people's interaction with their TV. If it doesn't have this, I don't really see how it's any different from Google TV.

        • http://halljake.com Jake Hall

          It passes through HDMI video from your cable box, they specifically said this...

  • Fiorta

    So is this a set top box for use with any TV?

    • Onitsoga

      It will be built in some TVs as well as sold as a set top box by other OEMs

  • duse

    People keep saying Google TV flopped and this will be great, but this is really the exact same thing, only Android L instead of Android H and an interface actually made for TV. GTV was such a wasted effort, I'm not sure why they even tried before getting the UI right. It took a bunch of other competitors getting it right first before they circled back and fixed it.

    • Justin W

      Holy shit why do I see the number of downvotes you have?

    • Brian Koppe

      You're kind of right, but then you explain exactly why this is different from Google TV later in your own comment.

      • duse

        The point I'm making is the press seems to be implying that GTV was doomed forever and nothing could save it, even though that's all this is at the end of the day. If Google released a new "Google TV" with this interface everyone would be saying too late, GTV has already failed. But call it "Android TV" and it's suddenly Google's brand new foray into the market. Even the hardware partners and mixed TV/STB situation is exactly the same.

        • http://mrmcpowned.com mrmcpowned

          It's all about psychology. You can't say a "pile of shit" is now better and should be given a second chance, because in the consumer world, once a product has left a bad taste in your mouth, it's hard to bring back brand reputability. To simply fix this, you rebrand and distribute under a new facade.

          Now, I'm not saying GTV was a "pile of shit" but the brand reputability was ruined beyond repair by numerous factors.

          • duse

            Yeah, you're completely right. Android TV and Google TV are probably 90% similar at their core, just better UI and remote design now, but it had to be called something different for anyone to notice it. This really is though just the full GTV reboot we've been waiting for all this time.

  • Dee Norbert

    bullshit.I want hangouts,DVR function,skype,

  • Christian Cebrian

    The important question to me and a lot of people is this:

    Will we be able to flash AndroidTv Boxes like sony nsz-gs7 (GTV 2)? Certainly the hardware is there, (with the possible exception of game playing/tegra 4) But the software sde seems to be an improvement and we could benefit from that in our devices...

  • Daniel Collins

    YES. Now if only we could root it...

  • Google_Is_The_Higgs_Boson

    Still have my Sony Blu-ray GoogleTV... I'll be getting one of the AndroidTV set top-boxes for the living room, and taking the GoogleTV to the bed room... :) I still don't see Hulu+ on this... Anyone know if it will have Hulu+?... A lot of people didn't like it that the GoogleTV didn't have Hulu+...

  • Zimmerman

    What's the big difference from Android TV and Google TV? Also, what's the difference between Android TV and AppleTV/FireTV?

    • naysayer

      The big difference is that they're trying to get the TV makers on board.

      • Zimmerman

        And why hasn't that happened yet?

  • Zimmerman

    I think this will flop

  • http://adonisk.com Adonis K.

    Will we be able to connect an external HDD device and play content from there?

  • Tomáš Petrík

    Kinda sad Samsung did not hop on as well.

    • Mr E

      I'm sure the S TV is coming

    • Dead Mason

      I'm happy. I don't wanna ever see a Touchwiz TV.

  • https://google.com/+RenaudLepage Renaud Lepage

    I thought it was powered by the TK1?

  • Citizen7

    GoogleTV was and still is incredibly amazing. Anyone that says otherwise is "doing it wrong." I've been using the Sony NSZGS8 for over a year. ONE remote was able to replace my tv, cable, and stereo remote. The GUI and remote are both incredibly fast, near instant performance. home screen is customizable with widgets (add your ip cameras/clock/weather/etc.) "Live TV" app brings you to your cable box, change channel/dvr/pip. Plex app has zero problems with 3d/1080/avi/mkv/etc (home videos.) I suspect the real purpose of "AndroidTV" is to reinvigorate interest in a google tv product, and increase user-base. (p.s. I have also used Samsungs and Vizio's OS/App system - they are both utter and complete trash.)

  • Dead Mason

    The real question is, will it be open source?

    • tdurden64111

      Could that be exploited and cause some large corporations profit losses? If "Yes", then "No."

  • Sootie

    Will they be selling a nexflix style subscription with it? With google play they now have access to heaps of content and licencing with a subscription service (and availability in Australia (I can dream dammit)) this could be epic

  • George

    The question is will it support all major video services? That includes: Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Vudu and the networks' assorted streaming apps. Personally, I'm tired of petty fighting among these companies. The only streaming hardware that suits all my freakin' needs is Roku, but their audio specs on their devices SUCK.