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Android TV vs. Google TV: Differences and TV models

17 May 2022 | Rasmus Larsen |

Google and partners are transitioning from Android TV to Google TV in both TVs and media players, but what exactly is the difference? Here is a guide along with an updated list of TV models.

Android TV is the TV version of Google's Android operating system. It has a user interface designed for the big screen and operation with a remote control.

Google TV is what the company refers to as "experience" on top of Android TV. It still runs Android (typically Android 10 or 11) but you get a redesigned user interface with a focus on content curation and personal recommendations directly on the homescreen. You also get navigation tabs at the top.

The same apps and games, including Amazon, Apple TV app, Disney+, HBO Max, Netflix and YouTube, are available on Android TV and Google TV since both are linked to the same TV version of the Google Play store – mobile apps can only be side-loaded. However, some new OS-level features are exclusive to Google TV such as user profiles and personal watchlists.

New Android TV (left) and Google TV (right)

Android TV with Google TV elements

While some TV manufacturers such as Sony and TCL have already transitioned to Google TV in new TVs, other manufacturers such as Philips and Xiaomi still offer Android TVs in 2022. Android TV devices will not necessarily be updated to the Google TV user interface but here is the confusing part: Most existing Android TVs are getting a Google TV-like user interface refresh with a reduced feature set (see left picture above). Google has said that Google TV will eventually replace Android TV as the official name and branding. Google TV shows more ads than Android TV.
Android TVGoogle TV
Operating systemAndroidAndroid
User interfaceApp rowsTabs & personal recommendations
App storeGoogle Play Store (TV)Google Play Store (TV)
Chromecast built-in
Google Assistant
User profiles(coming soon)
Kids profiles(coming soon)
Personal watchlists
Google Stadia
Ambient Mode(more features in the US)
Match frame rate supportComing with Android 12Coming with Android 12
Live TVSupportedDedicated Live tab
Smartphone controlGoogle Home appGoogle Home & Google TV app
4K HDR support(device-specific)(device-specific)
Dolby Vision & Atmos support(device-specific)(device-specific)

List: TV models

Here is an updated list of TV models running either Android TV or Google TV. It pulls data from FlatpanelsHD's TV Database and will update automatically as new TVs launch so bookmark it for future reference. Click on any TV model to open the product page in the TV Database for more information and specifications, or to compare TV models side-by-side. Besides the TV models below, Android TV and Google TV can also be found in media players such as the latest Chromecast, Nvidia Shield and set-top boxes from TV distributors (different UI).
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