Google will once again try to conquer TVs in 2015. After the company gave us a sneak-peak at what to expect from Android TV with the Nexus Player, the new TV platform will start appearing in Smart TVs from spring 2015. And we now know how Google wants to integrate TV channels.
TV channels on Android TV
Think of Android TV as a Smart TV platform. After TV manufacturers have found it difficult to find common ground, Google comes to the rescue with a cross-device platform where app and game creators can publish apps that will work on several different brands.
But Android TV is not intended only for streaming services such as Netflix, YouTube and Google Play Movies. When Sony, Sharp, and Philips release Smart TVs built on Android TV in spring 2015, buyers will expect TV channels, too. And now we know how Google will enable that.
The app is called "Live Channels for Android TV", and despite the generic name it will be able to mix TV channels from built-in tuners as well as IP tuners. Or in other words; no matter how you receive your TV channels you should be able to do so without the set-top box – if TV broadcasters will allow it.
The app is not visible for most Nexus Player owners, but it is available from the Google Play store (and is apparently already installed on our Nexus Player). The app reveals that TV viewers will be able to turn subtitles on and off, activate “picture-in-picture” and “side-by-side” views, and you also get a full channel guide. There are parental controls, too, and it is even possible to create your own channel lists.
Android TV shows promise and we expect to hear much more about Google’s plans at CES 2015 in Las Vegas in January. FlatpanelsHD is on the spot. Read our Android TV review if you want to know what to expect.