Android TV

Android TV is a version of the Android operating system designed for digital media players. 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.

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.

Android TV
Android tv logo
Android TV
The ADT-1 digital media player, part of the official development kit for Android TV
DeveloperGoogle
ManufacturerGoogle
TypeSmart TV platform
Release dateJune 25, 2014 (4 years ago)
Operating systemAndroid
Graphics1280 × 720, 1920 × 1080, 2560 × 1440, 3840 × 2160
Online servicesGoogle Play
PredecessorGoogle TV
Websitewww.android.com/tv

History

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.[1][2] 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.[3][4]

Google unveiled the first Android TV device, the Nexus Player developed by Asus, at a hardware event in October 2014.[5]

Features

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. 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.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

Android TV Operator Tier

This version of Android TV is provided to service operators that implement Android TV on the device they provide to their subscribers to access and consume media content. The operator can customize the home screen and some embedded services onto the device running Android TV.

List of devices

Digital media players

Televisions

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.[12][13]

Sony unveiled a range of Bravia smart TVs running Android TV at CES 2015.[14] Sharp's television sets became available June 10, 2015,[15] beginning with the release of two models.[16] Philips announced that 80% of their 2015 TVs will run Android TV,[17] the first two models of which were released in June 2015.[17]

Google announced other television hardware partners in January 2016, including Arcelik, Bang & Olufsen, Hisense, RCA, TCL Corporation, and Vestel.[18][19]

Set-top boxes

Several television providers have released set-top boxes based on Android TV, including LG UPlus's U+ tvG Woofer and U+ tvG 4K UHD,[20] French ISP Free's Freebox Mini 4K,[21] and Bouygues Telecom's BBox Miami.[22] Dish Network released an Android TV device in 2017 known as the AirTV Player. It is marketed as being a companion to its Sling TV service and supports an optional adapter for attaching an antenna to receive over-the-air television.[23] Ericsson added Android TV support to its MediaFirst IPTV platform, which is used as the basis for services such as Telus Pik TV in Canada.[24][25]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Google launches Android TV -- and here's what it looks like". PCWorld. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  2. ^ Opam, Kwame (June 25, 2014). "Google officially unveils Android TV". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  3. ^ "The Information: ADT-1 Is Actually A Cancelled 'Nexus TV' Project, Head Of Android@Home Has Left Google". Android Police.
  4. ^ "Here's Google's Android TV developer kit, the ADT-1". Geek.com. 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  5. ^ "Nexus Player is Google's first Android TV device". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  6. ^ "Hands On With the Razer Forge TV and Cortex Stream". PC Magazine. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  7. ^ "Redesigned Razer Forge TV Harnesses Power of Ouya". Tom's Guide. 2016-01-09. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  8. ^ Smith, Ryan. "NVIDIA Announces SHIELD Console: Tegra X1 Android TV Box Shipping In May". Anandtech. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  9. ^ "The new Android TV home screen has the right ideas, but it's probably not enough". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  10. ^ "What is Android TV, how does it work, and which devices offer it?". Pocket-lint. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  11. ^ Newman, Jared (June 26, 2014). "The Promises and Perils of Android TV". Time.com. Time, Inc. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  12. ^ "Android TV will be in Sony, Sharp and Philips TVs next year". Engadget. AOL.
  13. ^ "Google announces Android TV hardware from Sony and Sharp at I/O". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  14. ^ "All of Sony's new smart TVs run on Android TV". The Verge. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  15. ^ Jacob Kastrenakes (10 June 2015). "Sharp's first 4K Android TVs are now available". The Verge. Vox Media.
  16. ^ "Sharp introduces two new series of Smart TVs with Android TV on-board". Android Central.
  17. ^ a b "80% of Philips TVs for 2015 will be Android TV". Android Central.
  18. ^ "CES 2016: Android TV Spreads its Wings". Multichannel. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  19. ^ Lardinois, Frederic. "Google Announces New Chromecast Audio And Android TV Hardware Partners". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  20. ^ The Korea Herald. "LG Uplus launches new Android TV services".
  21. ^ "Freebox mini 4K brings Android TV international". SlashGear. 2015-03-11. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  22. ^ "Bouygues Telecom dévoile Miami, son futur décodeur Android TV". Clubic.com.
  23. ^ "AirTV Player + Adapter review: An imperfect marriage of Sling TV and broadcast televsion (sic)". TechHive. Retrieved 2017-12-18.
  24. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff. "Bell Canada Rings Up Ericsson for Upgraded TV Platform". Multichannel. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  25. ^ Baumgartner, Jeff. "Telus Soft-Launches Skinny Bundle IPTV Service". Multichannel. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
10-foot user interface

In computing, 10-foot user interface ("10-foot UI") is a graphical user interface designed for televisions. Compared to desktop computer and smartphone user interfaces, it uses text and other interface elements which are much larger in order to accommodate a typical television viewing distance of 10 feet (3 meters). Additionally, the limitations of a television's remote control necessitate extra user experience considerations to minimize user effort.

7plus

7plus is a video on demand, catch-up TV service run by the Seven Network. The service became available on 27 November 2017. 7plus also offers online live streaming of Channel Seven, 7TWO, 7mate, 7flix, 7food network and Racing.com.

7plus is available across several platforms including Web, iOS and Android apps, FreeviewPlus certified TVs, Apple TV 4th Gen+, Fetch TV, Telstra TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Samsung TV, Sony Linux TV and PlayStation 4.

Amlogic

Amlogic (sometimes stylized AMLogic) is an American technology company that was founded in the US as Amlogic Inc. and is predominantly focused on designing and selling SoC (System on Chip) integrated circuits. Like most fabless companies in the industry, the company outsources the actual manufacturing of its chips to third-party independent chip manufacturers such as TSMC. Its main target applications as of 2014 are entertainment devices such as Android-based TV and IPTV/OTT set-top boxes, media dongles, smart TVs and tablets. It has offices in Shanghai, Beijing, Shenzhen, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Santa Clara, California.The company was founded in 1995 in Silicon Valley. It developed Video CD player chips and later chips for DVD players and other applications involving MPEG2 decoding. Amlogic was involved in the creation of the HVD (High-Definition Versatile Disc) standard promoted in China as an alternative to DVD video disks used in DVD players. The company was a player in the developing Chinese tablet processor market since 2010-2013.Amlogic is an ARM licensee and uses the ARM architecture in the majority of its products as of 2014. According to a joint press release with ARM in 2013, it was the first company to use ARM's Mali-450 GPU in a configuration with six cores or more.

Bravia (brand)

BRAVIA is a brand of Sony Visual Products Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sony Corporation, and used for its television products. Its backronym is "Best Resolution Audio Visual Integrated Architecture". All Sony high-definition flat-panel LCD televisions in North America have carried the logo for BRAVIA since 2005. BRAVIA replaces the "LCD WEGA" which Sony used for their LCD TVs until Summer 2005 (early promotional photos exist of the first BRAVIA TVs still bearing the WEGA moniker). Bravia televisions and their components are manufactured in Sony's plants in Mexico, Japan, and Slovakia for their respective regions and are also assembled from imported parts in Brazil, Spain, China, Malaysia and Ecuador. Principal design work for BRAVIA products is performed at Sony's research facilities in Japan, at the research and development department at the Sony de Mexico facility in Baja California, Mexico and at the Sony Europe facility in Nitra, Slovakia.

The brand is also used on mobile phones in North American, Japanese and European markets.In 2014, in part of Hirai's plans to turn Sony around, BRAVIA was made into an subsidiary rather than just a brand of products.

In May 2015 Sony launched their first lineup of Android television Bravia models, which allows users to easily access content from services like YouTube, Netflix and Hulu as well as install apps and games from the Google Play Store. Noteworthy for being the first Android TV available. Android TV on Sony televisions are now integrated with the Google Assistant for controlling your home automation and voice commands.In September 2016, Sony announced that TVs older than 2012 will lose access to YouTube.Sony introduced their OLED TV under the BRAVIA brand, named as the A1E in January 2017 with a X1 Extreme processor. The AF8 was the next OLED TV introduced by SONY at CES 2018. At IFA 2018, the A9F was unveiled. Like other TVs from SONY, their OLED TVs also have Android TV.

Corona (software)

Corona is a software development kit developed by Corona Labs Inc. in mid 2009, which allows software programmers to build 2D mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Kindle, desktop applications for Windows and OS X, and connected TV applications for Apple TV, Fire TV and Android TV.

Corona uses integrated Lua layered on top of C++/OpenGL to build graphic applications. The software has two operational modes: the Corona Simulator and Corona Native. With the Corona Simulator, app are built directly from the Corona Simulator. Corona Native allows to integrate your Lua code and assets with an Xcode or Android Studio project to build your app and include native features.

Gboard

Gboard is a virtual keyboard app developed by Google for Android and iOS devices. It was first released on iOS in May 2016, followed by a release on Android in December 2016, debuting as a major update to the already-established Google Keyboard app on Android.

Gboard features Google Search, including web results and predictive answers, easy searching and sharing of GIF and emoji content, a predictive typing engine suggesting the next word depending on context, and multilingual language support. Updates to the keyboard have enabled additional functionality, including GIF suggestions, options for a dark color theme or adding a personal image as the keyboard background, support for voice dictation, next-phrase prediction, and hand-drawn emoji recognition. At the time of its launch on iOS, the keyboard only offered support for the English language, with more languages being gradually added in the following months, whereas on Android, the keyboard supported more than 100 languages at the time of release.

In August 2018 Gboard passed 1 billion installs on the Google Play Store, making it one of the most popular Android apps.

Google Cast

Google Cast, branded for consumer devices as Chromecast built-in, is a proprietary protocol developed by Google that enables mobile devices and personal computers to initiate and control playback of Internet-streamed audio/video content on a compatible device, such as a digital media player connected to a high-definition television or home audio system. The protocol was first launched on July 24, 2013, to support Google's first-generation Chromecast player. The Google Cast SDK was released on February 3, 2014, allowing third parties to modify their software to support the protocol. According to Google, over 20,000 Google Cast-ready apps were available as of May 2015. Google Cast would later be built into the Nexus Player and other Android TV devices (such as televisions), as well as soundbars, speakers, and subsequent Chromecast players. As of October 2017, over 55 million Chromecasts and Chromecast built-in devices have been sold.

Google Play Games

Google Play Games is an online gaming service and software development kit operated by Google for the Android operating system. It features gamer profiles, cloud saves, social and public leaderboards, achievements, and real-time multiplayer gaming capabilities.The Play Games service allows developers to incorporate the above features into their games without having to develop those features from scratch themselves.

The Google Play Games service was introduced at the Google I/O 2013 Developer Conference, and the standalone Google Play Games mobile app was launched for Android on July 24, 2013.Andrew Webster of The Verge compared Google Play Games to Game Center, a similar gaming network for users of Apple Inc.'s own iOS operating system.Google Play Games has received updates over the years since its launch, including a screen-recording feature, custom gamer IDs, built-in games, and an arcade for game discovery.

Google Play Services

Google Play Services is a proprietary background service and API package for Android devices from Google. When first introduced in 2012, it provided simple access to the Google+ APIs and OAuth 2.0, but since then it has expanded to cover a large variety of Google's services, allowing applications to easily communicate with the services through common means. As of April 2018, it has been installed more than five billion times on Android devices.

Google TV

Google TV is a discontinued smart TV platform from Google co-developed by Intel, Sony, and Logitech that was launched in October 2010 with official devices initially made by Sony and Logitech. Google TV integrates the Android operating system and the Google Chrome web browser to create an interactive television overlay on top of existing online video sites to add a 10-foot user interface, for a smart TV experience.

Google TV's first generation devices were all based on x86 architecture processors and were created and commercialized by Sony and Logitech. The second generation of devices are all based on ARM architecture processors and with additional partners including LG, Samsung, Vizio and Hisense. In 2013, more second generation Google TV-supported devices were announced by new partners, including Hisense, Netgear, TCL, and Asus, some of which including 3D video support.

Google TV was succeeded in June 2014 by Android TV, a newer platform which shares closer ties with the Android platform and has a revamped user experience integrating with Knowledge Graph, and providing casting support from mobile devices. While a "small subset" of Google TV devices will be upgraded to the Android TV platform, the majority will not. In June 2014, the Google TV SDK was no longer available, ending any future software development for existing devices and effectively deprecating the platform.

List of Google apps for Android

The list of Google apps for Android lists the mobile apps developed by Google for its Android operating system. All of these apps are available for free from the Google Play Store, although some may not show up in search results if they are listed as incompatible with your device (even though they may still function from an *.apk). Some of Google's apps may be pre-installed on some devices, depending upon the device manufacturer and the version of Android. A few of these apps, such as Gboard, are not supported on older versions of Android.

List of smart TV platforms and middleware software

The following list encompasses notable smart TV platforms and application software that are used as software framework and middleware platforms used by more than just one manufacturer.

Nexus Player

The Nexus Player is a digital media player co-developed by Google, Intel and Asus. It is the second media player in the Google Nexus family of consumer devices. Originally running the Android 5.0 ("Lollipop") operating system, it is the first device to employ the Android TV platform. The Nexus player supports Google Cast, the feature for selecting and controlling media playback on a television that was first introduced by Chromecast. Sales of the Nexus Player were discontinued in May 2016, and product support ended in March 2018.

NordVPN

NordVPN is a personal virtual private network (VPN) service provider. It has desktop applications for Windows, macOS, and Linux, mobile apps for Android and iOS, as well as an application for Android TV. Manual setup is available for wireless routers, NAS devices and other platforms. In 2017, PC Magazine rated NordVPN as the year's best VPN service.NordVPN is based in Panama, as the country has no mandatory data retention laws and does not participate in the Five Eyes or Fourteen Eyes alliances. An independent audit by PricewaterhouseCoopers has described the company's claims of not logging users' data as accurate.In 2018, NordVPN became the first official cybersecurity partner of Liverpool F.C.

Nvidia

Nvidia Corporation ( en-VID-ee-ə; more commonly referred to as Nvidia, stylized as NVIDIA, or, due to their logo, nVIDIA) is an American technology company incorporated in Delaware and based in Santa Clara, California. It designs graphics processing units (GPUs) for the gaming and professional markets, as well as system on a chip units (SoCs) for the mobile computing and automotive market. Its primary GPU product line, labeled "GeForce", is in direct competition with Advanced Micro Devices' (AMD) "Radeon" products. Nvidia expanded its presence in the gaming industry with its handheld Shield Portable, Shield Tablet and Shield Android TV.

Since 2014, Nvidia has shifted to become a platform company focused on four markets – gaming, professional visualization, data centers and auto. Nvidia is also now focused on artificial intelligence.In addition to GPU manufacturing, Nvidia provides parallel processing capabilities to researchers and scientists that allow them to efficiently run high-performance applications. They are deployed in supercomputing sites around the world. More recently, it has moved into the mobile computing market, where it produces Tegra mobile processors for smartphones and tablets as well as vehicle navigation and entertainment systems. In addition to AMD, its competitors include Intel, Qualcomm and Arm (e.g., because of Denver, while Nvidia also licenses Arm's designs).

Nvidia Shield (set-top box)

The Nvidia Shield (stylized SHIELD), also known as the Shield Android TV or Shield Console, is an Android TV-based digital media player produced by Nvidia as part of its Shield brand of Android devices. First released in May 2015, the Shield is marketed by Nvidia as a microconsole, emphasizing its ability to play downloaded games and stream games from a compatible PC on a local network, or via the GeForce Now subscription service. As with all other Android TV devices, it can also stream content from various sources using apps, and also supports 4K resolution video. It has been distributed in models with either 16 GB of flash storage, or a 500 GB hard drive, the latter branded as Shield Pro.

In 2017, Nvidia released a refreshed version of the 16 GB Shield, which has a smaller form factor that drops MicroSD and infrared support, comes with an updated controller, and is otherwise identical in hardware to the original model.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV is an Internet-based TV platform owned by Viacom. The company was founded in 2013 and is based in Los Angeles, California. Pluto TV runs as an app on 14 platforms, including Apple TV, Android TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Roku, and PlayStation consoles. The company currently has more than 75 content partners, over 100 free channels, and reaches over 12 million monthly active users. Pluto TV generates revenue from video advertisements between programming, with plans to remain a free television provider. Pluto TV licenses its content directly from providers.

War Thunder

War Thunder is a cross platform vehicular combat multiplayer game developed by the Russian company Gaijin Entertainment for Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, and Shield Android TV. It was released on June 19, 2018 for the Xbox One.

YouTube Kids

YouTube Kids is a video app developed by YouTube. The app provides a version of the service oriented towards children, with curated selections of content, parental control features, and filtering of videos not deemed to be appropriate to the target audience. First released on February 23, 2015 as an Android and iOS mobile app, the app has since been released for LG, Samsung, and Sony smart TVs, as well as for Android TV. As of February 2019, the app is available in 60 countries.YouTube Kids has faced criticism from advocacy groups, particularly the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, for concerns surrounding the app's use of commercial advertising, as well as algorithmic suggestions of videos that may be inappropriate for the app's target audience (including disturbing and/or violent videos depicting characters from children's media franchises). Criticism over the videos led YouTube to announce that it would take more stringent actions to review and filter such videos when reported by the community, and prevent them from being accessible from within the YouTube Kids app.

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