Update: Android TV is quickly rising. Google stated it has 1 million new system activations each two months and doubled the variety of customers since final yr.
Android TV is the identify of the TV working system that’s developed in-house at Google. It’s totally different than Google TV (a defunct moniker for Google’s play into the lounge house) and it undoubtedly isn’t associated to Chrome in any means.
The finest description for Android TV is that it’s a sensible leisure platform. It comes constructed into plenty of TVs (primarily from Sony, Sharp and LeEco) but in addition in plenty of streaming video gamers like the Nvidia Shield.
To that finish, consider Android TV like iOS or Android – it’s an working system for all your favourite apps, video games, motion pictures, music and TV reveals that you navigate with a distant as an alternative of your finger … and you already know, in your TV.
Of course, there are a half-dozen different good TV platforms on the market as of late: LG has webOS three.5, Samsung has Tizen and Roku has, properly, Roku. All of those platforms have one thing particular that makes them distinctive and probably a greater match for you and your leisure wants.
So what units Android TV aside from the competitors? Why would you like a TV with Android in any respect? Let’s dive into Android TV’s key options.
Android TV key options
Look, it’s not exhausting to discover a participant or TV that streams Netflix. It’s not. But Android TV doesn’t simply function a static homebase for apps. It’s a dynamic solution to discover new content material and might work like a Chromecast to stream content material out of your cell system to the large display. That being stated, listed below are Android TV’s finest options, with descriptions positioned additional down beneath:
- Curated content material on the prime row
- Universal search utilizing prime apps
- Actor and actress bios
- Voice search through distant
- Native Google Cast help
- Tons of video games through Google Play Store
- Google Assistant integration
Curated content material: One of Android TV’s most admirable expertise is its skill to investigate the sort of content material you often watch, play and take heed to, and suggest related content material. You can discover suggestions in the prime row of the Android TV interface, the place you’ll often discover a mixture of content material from YouTube, Google Play Movies and TV and the Google Play Store.
Universal search: Of course, if you happen to don’t see what you’re searching for in the curated content material row, you can even seek for content material both utilizing the search bar at the prime of the Android TV interface or the voice search button in your distant. Android TV crawls plenty of companies together with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Google Play Movies and TV to seek out what you’re searching for, and often lists the lowest worth first.
Actor/Actress bios and filmographies: Say you simply noticed Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and also you need to see what different movies Chris Pratt was in. Search Chris Pratt on Android TV and also you’ll discover each title the actor has ever been in. Click a TV present and also you’ll discover a synopsis, the place you’ll be able to watch the present and the remainder of the present’s solid. It’s a reasonably useful characteristic.
Voice search through the distant: Instead of scrolling all the means as much as the prime of the interface and painfully typing out the identify of the present, film or actor you’re searching for, you’ll be able to merely converse the identify into the Android TV distant. It’s an enormous time-saver.
Native Google Cast help: All Android TV gamers and TVs have Google Cast built-in. That means you’ll be able to stream content material out of your system to your TV everytime you see the Google Cast icon. This is typically known as Chromecast built-in.
Games through the Google Play Store: Fancy your self a recreation of Pong between seasons of Breaking Bad? Android TV has extra video games on its retailer than every other TV working system. Like Android on telephones, some video games are free and others price cash.
Google Assistant integration: Near the finish of 2017, Google’s good assistant made its means into Android TV. Google Assistant on Android TV is the identical one that’s constructed into the Google Home and a few higher-end Android telephones. For the most half, it’s loads like Siri or Cortana – Google Assistant could make calendar appointments, examine your to-do listing and reply inquiries about common subjects, however what makes it distinctive is that it can also management your good residence products like thermometers, mild bulbs and good locks, too.
Which products use Android TV?
Android TV is accessible on two varieties of units: TVs and streaming video containers. While the interface and performance is almost an identical throughout units, there will be some small variations between them.
Why? Well every producer has the skill to switch the base Android TV code to tailor it for his or her system. For a brief time period, Nvidia Shield was the solely system that had entry to Amazon, for instance. One system may need PlayStation Now, whereas others may use a spot on the Android TV interface for a first-party app. (LeEco, for instance, has an area for its LeTV on the Android TV homepage, for instance.)
These are usually minor variations and never ones to lose sleep over.
So which units really use Android TV? Let’s discover.
Nvidia Shield (2017)
Our favourite Android TV streaming field
4K HDR streaming
Google Assistant/Home integration
Amazon Instant Video on Android
A bit expensive for a 4K streamer
The Nvidia Shield is the finest field for wannabe Android TV house owners. Not solely does it stream content material in 4K HDR, however it performs a complete host of video games you will not discover on every other streaming system because of Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service. On prime of the video games and 4K content material, you may discover Amazon Instant Video right here (the Shield is the solely Android TV system with Amazon) and Google Assistant integration. It’s a bit expensive, however it’s properly value it.
Read our full assessment: Nvidia Shield
Sony Bravia X900E Series TVs
The Android TV HDR flatscreen we’ve all been ready for
Unfussy however elegant design
Great for 4K HDR streaming
One of the finest TVs in 2017
It’s fairly costly
If you are trying to purchase a brand new display with Android TV built-in, there’s none higher than Sony’s 2017 X900E Series. Headline apps for this glorious TV include Amazon Video, Netflix and YouTube. Both Netflix and Amazon help 4K and HDR streams. If you want extra there’s Google Play, Wuaki, PlayStation Video, Spotify and different stuff you’ll by no means discover in a month of Sundays. Of course you may additionally discover video games and music blended amongst the video channels whenever you’re achieved binge-watching the newest season of your favourite present.
Read our full assessment: Sony Bravia XBR-55X900E
An getting old Android TV participant that you’ll be able to snag on the low cost
Decent Android TV participant
A bit older than the Shield
Therefore, slower too
We reviewed the Nexus Player when it got here out again in 2014 and thought it was a good participant. It did not have many options that Roku had at the time, however because of some stellar enhancements on Android TV has grown right into a aggressive streaming video field. We would not suggest it over the Nvidia Shield however, that stated, you could find the Nexus Player for a lot, less expensive.
Read our full assessment: Nexus Player
Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV (XBR-55A1E)
Sony’s premium OLED does justice to Android TV
Gorgeous image high quality
Fast and responsive UI
Wide viewing angles
It’s comparatively costly
If the worth hasn’t scared you off but, the Sony A1E OLED is a completely phenomenal tv. It has a few of the finest distinction anyplace, and handles sound in a very modern means that immerses you in the content material. All issues thought-about the A1E is one among the finest portals to Android TV – though, it is in all probability one among the costliest too. Still, if you happen to’re searching for 4K HDR streaming TV with the deepest blacks and crazy-high distinction ratios, that is it.
Read our full assessment: Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV
That’s it for now. We’ll proceed to replace this listing as extra Android TV units come out and as the system continues to realize new performance.
- Looking for a less expensive entry to good TV performance? Check out Chromecast