Android TV is a version of the Android operating system by Google designed for digital media players, set-top boxes, soundbars, and TVs. Serving as a replacement for Google TV, it features a user interface designed around content discovery and voice search, surfacing content aggregated from various media apps and services, and integration with other recent Google technologies such as Assistant, Cast, and Knowledge Graph.
Android TV 9.0 home screen
|Initial release||June 25, 2014|
|Latest release||Android TV 10.0 / December 2019|
|Marketing target||Smart TVs, set-top boxes|
|Package manager||APK via Google Play|
The platform was first unveiled in June 2014, with its Nexus Player launch device unveiled that October. The platform has also been adopted as smart TV middleware by companies such as Sony and Sharp, while Android TV products have also been adopted as set-top boxes by a number of IPTV television providers.
A special edition called Android TV Operator Tier is provided to service operators that implement Android TV on the device they provide to their subscribers to access media content. In this edition, the operator can customize the home screen and services on the device.
Android TV was first announced at Google I/O in June 2014, as a successor to the commercially unsuccessful Google TV. The Verge characterized it as being more in line with other digital media player platforms, but leveraging Google's Knowledge Graph project, Chromecast compatibility, a larger emphasis on search, closer ties to the Android ecosystem (including Google Play Store and integration with other Android families such as Android Wear), and focusing on supporting video games on the platform with support for Bluetooth gamepads and the Google Play Games framework. Some attendees received the platform's development kit, the ADT-1; The Information reported that the ADT-1 was based on a scrapped "Nexus TV" launch device that was being developed internally by Google.
An ADT-2 was released before the release of Android TV 9.0.
The Android TV platform is an adaptation of the Android OS for set-top boxes and as integrated software on smart TV hardware. Its home screen uses a vertically-scrolling, row-based interface, including a "content discovery" area populated by suggested content, followed by "Watch Now" rows that surface media content from installed apps. Android TV supports voice input for commands and universal search across multiple services; selected devices also support Google Assistant. All Android TV devices support Google Cast, allowing media to be queued to them from supported apps on other devices in an identical manner to Chromecast. Android TV supports software from Google Play Store, including media apps and games (although not all Google Play apps are compatible with Android TV and thus available). Some Android TV devices, such as the Nvidia Shield and Razer Forge TV, are also marketed as microconsoles and bundled with a Bluetooth wireless gamepad.
List of devicesEdit
Digital media playersEdit
- Nexus Player (discontinued)
- Nvidia Shield TV
- Razer Forge TV (discontinued)
- Xiaomi Mi Box and Mi Box S
- Now TV
- Verizon Stream TV
- TiVo Stream 4K
- Vodafone TV (AU)
- Airtel Xstream Box (India)
During Google I/O 2014, Google announced that Sharp, Sony, and TP Vision would release smart TVs with Android TV integrated in 2015. It was noted that support for handling TV-specific functions, such as input switching and tuning, were natively integrated into the Android platform.
Sony unveiled a range of Bravia smart TVs running Android TV at CES 2015. Sharp released two TV models on June 10, 2015. Philips announced that 80% of their 2015 TVs will run Android TV, the first two models of which were released in June 2015.
Several television providers have released IPTV services using Android TV-based hardware as opposed to a proprietary set-top box, including LG UPlus's U+ tvG Woofer and U+ tvG 4K UHD, French ISP Free's Freebox Mini 4K, and Bouygues Telecom's BBox Miami. Dish Network released an Android TV device in 2017 known as the AirTV Player, marketed as a companion to its Sling TV service, and supporting an optional adapter for attaching an antenna to receive over-the-air television. In 2020, AT&T launched AT&T TV as its new flagship pay television service, which is based on an Android TV set-top box and the infrastructure of its OTT service DirecTV Now.
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