With so many streaming services and live TV platforms, keeping up with the latest shows and films can be a challenge. Google TV aims to make the process of finding and enjoying entertaining content easier than ever.
But what exactly is Google TV? How does it compare to Android TV and what kind of devices work with Google TV? This guide will answer all of those questions and provide you with all the info you need on Google TV for 2022.
What Is Google TV?
Let’s begin with a definition of Google TV and an explanation of what Google TV actually is. There is a little bit of confusion surrounding this particular brand name, as “Google TV” was also the name of a smart TV operating system released by Google back in 2010.
However, that old version of Google TV is long gone now. In 2022, Google TV means something very different: it’s a new, exciting entertainment experience designed to help users access and enjoy the shows and films they love across all of their favorite streaming services.
Building on the success of Android TV, Google TV is essentially a re-brand of the former system. It takes the foundation of Android TV, a smart TV system for TV sets, digital media players, and other devices, and builds on it with more features and functions.
Users of Google TV can use the system to browse, find, and watch content from various streaming platforms and services. It’s essentially one big streaming interface, letting you find and watch shows, films, and other content from the likes of Peacock, Apple TV+, Disney+, Hulu, MTV, and more.
Designed to compete with other streaming operating systems like Roku, Amazon FireTV, and Apple TV, and fully compatible with more than 6,500 different apps that were initially created for Android TV, Google TV is capable of the following functions and features:
- Personalized Recommendations – A big part of the Google TV experience is a focus on customized content recommendations. Essentially, this means that each user of Google TV will see different recommendations of TV shows, movies, and other content to watch, based on their viewing habits and streaming subscriptions.
- Content-Oriented Interface – The interface of Google TV is also entirely content-oriented, with users seeing large images and promos of different films and shows to watch. The Home Page is filled with the latest recommended content, while other tabs allow users to watch Live TV content or make their own watchlists.
- Live TV Streaming – Google TV isn’t just focused on on-demand streaming services. Live TV streaming is also available via the interface’s Live tab. Users can use this section of Google TV to find and watch a variety of live shows, news reports, sports broadcasts, and other content from cable alternative services like YouTube TV.
- Mobile Controls – With Google TV, you can use your own Android phone or tablet just like a remote control. You can tap directly onto the screen of your device to control what happens on the TV. You can also use your phone’s on-screen keyboard to type in search requests or even create your own watchlists.
- Multiple User Accounts – Families, friends, and members of the same household can all share the Google TV experience, while still having their own unique profiles and accurate recommendations. The system allows each user to set up their own account and get film and TV recommendations based on their specific viewing habits.
There’s plenty more that can be done on Google TV, too. Parents, for example, can set up kid-accounts for their little ones to filter out inappropriate content. You can also set up Google TV to connect with smart home devices around your home, like your smart speakers or even your smart video doorbell. Plus, there’s a “Basic TV” mode that lets you turn off the smart features and connectivity options and revert to a more traditional TV experience.
What Kind of Devices Run Google TV?
In order to use Google TV, you’ll need to purchase a device that is compatible with the system. Google TV debuted on the Chromecast with Google TV streaming device, released in 2020, which is one of the best options for people who want to give Google TV a try.
In the years ahead, we can expect Google TV to be included and compatible with many of the same devices that have hosted Android TV over the years, including:
- Smart TVs from brands such as Sony, Sharp, Hisense, and Philips
- Set-top boxes like the NVIDIA Shield and Xiaomi Mi Box S
- Digital video recorder devices like TiVo
In the future, it’s possible that Google TV will be implemented into an even wider range of devices, giving users even new ways to engage with their favorite streaming apps and services.
What Happened to Android TV?
So, since Google TV is essentially the next evolution of Android TV, what has happened to Android TV? Well, Android TV still exists and can still be used on many devices, from smart TVs to set-top boxes. However, Google TV is basically the “latest version” of Android TV.
In essence, Android TV has been rebranded. From now on, it will be known as Google TV, and new devices that are released in the months and years ahead will come with Google TV included, as opposed to Android TV.
The technology of Android TV still exists and still makes up a large part of what Google TV has to offer. However, the re-branding has been carried out in order to signify the system’s evolution and movement towards more of a content-driven platform.
With this upgrade, Google TV is now more in line with the family of other Google-branded services. And Google plans to have fully phased out the stock Android TV interface by the end of 2022, replacing it completely with the new Google TV branding and design.