Google takes second stab at set-top boxes with Android TV

Android TV is the follow-up to the ill-fated Google TV. Image: The Verge



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7 April 2014 | 0

Remember Google TV, Google’s initial attempt to jump into the smart TV and set-top box market? It may not have gotten very far, but now it appears its failure isn’t stopping Google from trying again.

Meet Android TV. As reported on Saturday by The Verge, Android TV is Google’s second try at a smart TV interface. It won’t be primarily focused on smartphone-style apps as Google TV was, and it won’t be solely about streaming media as other set-top boxes are, The Verge notes. It will, however, bring games into the mix, not unlike the recently announced Amazon Fire TV.

According to leaked documents obtained by The Verge, Google writes, “Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform… It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.”

Artwork published by The Verge show a grid-based interface that’s similar to what you’ll find on other set-top box UIs. You’ll also find apps for Google services such as Google Music, YouTube, and Hangouts, as well as for other streaming services like Netflix, Vevo, Hulu, and Pandora.

The presence of a Store icon indicates that you’ll be able to add apps for other services as they become available.

It’s the latest entry in an increasingly crowded field of contenders that want a piece of the living room action. As of now, it’s impossible to tell based on a few hundred words and a handful of screenshots if Android TV is necessarily any better than – or significantly different from – existing consoles or set-top boxes. So on some level, this is at the very least an attempt at remaining relevant in an emerging market.


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