Amazon and Roku already offer their respective TV operating system on a stick. Google’s Android TV platform now also runs on the stick form factor (via Android Police).
But only in Japan
The good news is that the Android TV stick seems quite capable. The bad news is that it is only available in Japan for the time being. It has been released as the ’CCC Air Stick TV’.
Despite the small format, the stick is capable of outputting 4K and HDR10 video. It has 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage, which is comparable to the hardware built into far more expensive Android TV displays.
Amazon and Roku have already seen some success with similar approaches. Amazon’s Fire TV and Roku’s RokuOS both started their respective career inside a box but were later adapted to fit on a stick. They connect to the TV via HDMI and draw power with a separate cable.
As we all know, Google already offers a stick in the form of the Chromecast but it is a fairly simple and ”dumb” receiver. Android TV is more advanced and has a full user interface. It also includes Chromecast functionality.
Fingers crossed that Android TV sticks will make it to the US and Europe at some point in the near future. In Japan, the stick costs approximately 100 dollars.