Google Formally Launches Android TV. Android TV Set-Top Boxes and TVs to be Available in H2 2014

Orange Pi Development Boards

After Android L for mobile devices, and Android Wear for wearables, Google also announced Android for your television at Google I/O 2014, and after definitely killing “Google TV”, renaming it to “Google Services for Smart TV”, the company went for the obvious and called it “Android TV”, which will get messy with all the Chinese “Android TV” boxes that do not run “Android TV” but simply “Android”…

Android TV User's Interface
Android TV User’s Interface

Google apparently used an Android TV reference platform (ADT-1) based on Nvidia Tegra 4 K1 at I/O to showcase their latest implementation of Android the the living room. I’ve embedded the video of the demo below, but the key part of the demo can be summarized as follows:

  • Android TV’s “TV Input Framework” can overlay notifications and other data on top of various video sources such as HDMI, TV tuners, and IP TV receivers
  • Voice control demo (with smartphone) with requests such as:
    • “Breaking Bad” to return the video, link to actors description, and their film / series history.
    • “Oscar nominated movie 2002” will indeed return the relevant list of movies for you to play or download.
    • “Who plays xxx in yyy movie” will return the actor or actress who played a specific character in yyy movie.
  • Google Play Movie TV app adapted from tablet app
  • Android Wear smartatch can control an Android TV box
  • Quick game demo of Leo’s Fortune.
  • Multiplayer / device demo with one player using Android TV with a Gamepad, and another in an Android tablet playing NBA Jam
  • Android TV embeds the functionality of ChromeCast streaming stick which has been enhanced with WebAudio & WebGL support, enhanced Closed Caption support, improvements for the Media Player Library for easier integration with MPEG-DASH Smooth Streaming, and HLS.

Android TV will find its way in Sharp, Sony TV, TP Vision and Philips HDTVs, and well as streaming boxes by companies such as Asus and Razer. Razer has already announced their Android TV micro-console (pictured below), but did not disclose any details, except it will be available in the fall.
Razer_Android_TV

Beside Nvidia, Qualcomm, MediaTek, Marvell, Intel, and other silicon vendors are also actively involved in Android TV.

More details about Android TV for developers will eventually show up at developer.android.com/tv

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Android TV Overview – Linaro Connect US 2014ADT-1 Google’s Android TV Developer’s Kit DetailscnxsoftDanAndrew Recent comment authors
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Andrew
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Andrew

Amazon is a few steps ahead of Google in the HTPC / set-top box market with the Fire TV; and they have a game controller available. But consumers always benefit from some competition, so this is a good move for Google.

Dan
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Dan

Hardware partners mentioned were Qualcomm, Intel, Nvidia, MediaTek, ST Micro, Broadcomm and Marvell.

No Amlogic or Rockchip ? I hope they are not excluded as the bulk of android boxes to date come from them.

By the sounds of it Google has been waiting for Android L as the glue the combines it altogether with a single app but multiple UI’s depending upon the Android platform.

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