When Android TV launched, it did so to an attitude that, at best, could be described as lukewarm. Google has attempted to corner the living room for years now, and its most successful attempt - the Chromecast - has essentially undercut Google's own more ambitious TV products.
Google TV never really had a chance - it was slow, the hardware was never particularly powerful, and the remotes were a nightmare. Google eventually let GTV die by slowly letting it fade into uselessness piece by piece.
Chromecast actually launched before Google TV was really "dead" in any official sense, and its success was immediate. Google has sold millions (if not tens of millions) of the stripped-down streaming dongles that work intelligently with your smartphone or tablet acting as the "interface" for finding content, and it so happened the economics of this solution worked out very well for all parties. At $35, the Chromecast is a hell of a cheap way to smarten up a dumb television.
But then Android TV came along late last year with Lollipop and the Intel-powered Nexus Player. While we're a couple months yet from Android TV's one-year anniversary, it really doesn't seem like the platform is taking off in a big way. Sure, you've got partner hardware from Razer, NVIDIA, Sony (built into UHD TVs), and Sharp, but there's been a vacuum of major new devices announced with Android TV in 2015.
Some of that, of course, is the simple fact that it's pretty hard to differentiate one box that runs Android TV from another box that runs Android TV. NVIDIA is trying to make its own niche with Android TV, upselling an exclusive cloud game streaming service and its device's increased graphics performance, but it remains unclear if there's actually significant demand for a "gaming-focused" box that isn't one of the big three consoles. Of note: NVIDIA has once again extended the "trial" period of its GRID game streaming platform by a month, and that's on the heels of a "temporary" price drop of the bundled version of the Shield system. Neither move suggests Shield is what you'd call a resounding sales success. Probably only Black Friday sales will tell, though, just how bad the big black and green box is doing.
The Nexus Player hasn't exactly received much love, either, even priced at an entirely reasonable $80 for the moment.
So, this weekend's poll and discussion is all about Android TV. First, the poll: do you have an Android TV device? Next, the discussion: do you like it? Do you use it? Which one do you have? Any issues? Do you think Google's just retreading old ground, and that the Chromecast model is the only real way forward? Let's talk TV!