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Google adds Ultra HD and HEVC support to Android 5.0

20 Oct 2014 | Rasmus Larsen |

The next version of Android - called 5.0 or Lollipop – will not only power mobile devices. It will also power Android TV; Google’s plan to enter your living room. Google confirms that it will support Ultra HD resolution and HEVC from the beginning.

Android TV takes form

Google is bringing Android to the living room with Android TV. In spring 2015, Sony, Philips and Sharp will launch TVs based on Android TV, and the operating system will start rolling out on media players and game consoles later this year.

Google Nexus Player

Android TV will offer apps and games wrapped in a simple user interface than can be controlled with a small remote with voice search. Only apps developed specifically for the big screen will work, but Google says that it is easy to do. Android TV will also support Ultra HD resolution and HEVC decoding from the beginning, Google has confirmed.

- ”State of the art video technology with support for HEVC to allow for UHD 4K video playback, tunneled video for high quality video playback on Android TV and improved HLS support for streaming”

Ultra HD has four times more pixels than Full HD. HEVC is a new compression format that promises to deliver the same picture quality at half the bitrate compared to MPEG4 (H.264). This means that a movie from a streaming service could be reduced from 2GB to 1GB without compromising picture quality.

Google previously referred to 10-bit color support on its Android website, but the reference has later been removed from the official list.

Later this year, Google will launch the small black Nexus Player, which will be the first media player with Android TV. It will not support Ultra HD. The TVs with Android TV are expected to launch in March or April of 2015. Learn more about Android TV here.

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