Replace: Android TV has a brand new member becoming a member of its ranks in 2018: the JBL Link Bar. Introduced at some point forward of this 12 months’s Google IO developer convention, the Hyperlink Bar is a soundbar from JBL that provides Android TV, 4K passthrough and Google Assistant in a single handy package deal. Read more about the JBL Link Bar.
Android TV is the identify of the TV working system that’s developed in-house at Google. It’s completely different than Google TV (a defunct moniker for Google’s play into the lounge house) and it undoubtedly isn’t associated to Chrome in any means.
The perfect description for Android TV is that it’s a wise leisure platform. It comes constructed into quite a lot of TVs (primarily from Sony, Sharp and LeEco) but in addition in quite a lot of streaming video gamers just like the Nvidia Defend.
To that finish, consider Android TV like iOS or Android – it’s an working system for your whole favourite apps, video games, motion pictures, music and TV exhibits that you simply navigate with a distant as an alternative of your finger … and , in your TV.
In fact, there are a half-dozen different good TV platforms on the market nowadays: LG has webOS three.5, Samsung has Tizen and Roku has, effectively, Roku. All of those platforms have one thing particular that makes them distinctive and doubtlessly a greater match for you and your leisure wants.
So what units Android TV other than the competitors? Why would you like a TV with Android in any respect? Let’s dive into Android TV’s key options.
Android TV key options
Look, it’s not onerous to discover a participant or TV that streams Netflix. It’s not. However Android TV doesn’t simply function a static homebase for apps. It’s a dynamic method to discover new content material and might work like a Chromecast to stream content material out of your cellular system to the large display. That being stated, listed below are Android TV’s greatest options, with descriptions situated additional down beneath:
- Curated content material on the highest row
- Common search utilizing high apps
- Actor and actress bios
- Voice search by way of distant
- Native Google Forged help
- Tons of video games by way of Google Play Retailer
- Google Assistant integration
Curated content material: Considered one of Android TV’s most admirable abilities is its skill to research the form of content material you often watch, play and hearken to, and suggest related content material. Yow will discover suggestions within the high row of the Android TV interface, the place you’ll often discover a mixture of content material from YouTube, Google Play Motion pictures and TV and the Google Play Retailer.
Common search: In fact, in the event you don’t see what you’re in search of within the curated content material row, you too can seek for content material both utilizing the search bar on the high of the Android TV interface or the voice search button in your distant. Android TV crawls quite a lot of providers together with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Google Play Motion pictures and TV to seek out what you’re in search of, and often lists the bottom worth first.
Actor/Actress bios and filmographies: Say you simply noticed Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and also you need to see what different movies Chris Pratt was in. Search Chris Pratt on Android TV and also you’ll discover each title the actor has ever been in. Click on a TV present and also you’ll discover a synopsis, the place you’ll be able to watch the present and the remainder of the present’s forged. It’s a fairly useful function.
Voice search by way of the distant: As a substitute of scrolling all the way in which as much as the highest of the interface and painfully typing out the identify of the present, film or actor you’re in search of, you’ll be able to merely communicate the identify into the Android TV distant. It’s an enormous time-saver.
Native Google Forged help: All Android TV gamers and TVs have Google Forged built-in. Meaning you’ll be able to stream content material out of your system to your TV everytime you see the Google Forged icon. That is generally known as Chromecast built-in.
Video games by way of the Google Play Retailer: Fancy your self a sport of Pong between seasons of Breaking Unhealthy? Android TV has extra video games on its retailer than another TV working system. Like Android on telephones, some video games are free and others price cash.
Google Assistant integration: Close to the top of 2017, Google’s good assistant made its means into Android TV. Google Assistant on Android TV is identical one which’s constructed into the Google Dwelling and a few higher-end Android telephones. For essentially the most half, it’s loads like Siri or Cortana – Google Assistant could make calendar appointments, test your to-do checklist and reply inquiries about standard matters, however what makes it distinctive is that it can also management your good dwelling merchandise like thermometers, gentle bulbs and good locks, too.
Which merchandise use Android TV?
Android TV is offered on two forms of units: TVs and streaming video packing containers. Whereas the interface and performance is sort of an identical throughout units, there could be some small variations between them.
Why? Nicely every producer has the power to switch the bottom Android TV code to tailor it for his or her system. For a brief time period, Nvidia Defend was the one system that had entry to Amazon, for instance. One system might need PlayStation Now, whereas others would possibly use a spot on the Android TV interface for a first-party app. (LeEco, for instance, has an area for its LeTV on the Android TV homepage, for instance.)
These are usually minor variations and never ones to lose sleep over.
So which units really use Android TV? Let’s discover.
Nvidia Defend (2017)
Our favourite Android TV streaming field
4K HDR streaming
Google Assistant/Dwelling integration
Amazon Immediate Video on Android
A bit dear for a 4K streamer
The Nvidia Defend is the very best field for wannabe Android TV house owners. Not solely does it stream content material in 4K HDR, but it surely performs a complete host of video games you will not discover on another streaming system because of Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service. On high of the video games and 4K content material, you may discover Amazon Immediate Video right here (the Defend is the one Android TV system with Amazon) and Google Assistant integration. It is a bit dear, but it surely’s effectively value it.
Learn our full evaluate: Nvidia Shield
Sony Bravia Sensible TVs
The Sony X900F TV is the primary new big-brand TV in 2018 to help Android TV
Unfussy however elegant design
Nice for 4K HDR streaming
The most effective TVs in 2017
Restricted efficient viewing angle
Sony is constant to make use of the Android TV platform to offer good options on its mid-range and premium TVs. This implies quite a lot of issues. First, having Android TV means you get a number of content material: a whole lot of video games, data, music and video streaming apps – together with the important thing Netflix, Amazon and YouTube platforms. For 2018, it additionally means getting Google Assistant inbuilt, too. All in all, in the event you’re in search of essentially the most complete Android TV package deal, you are going to discover it in a Sony TV.
Learn our full evaluate: Sony Bravia X900F review
Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV (XBR-55A1E)
Sony’s premium OLED does justice to Android TV
Attractive image high quality
Quick and responsive UI
Broad viewing angles
It’s comparatively costly
If the value hasn’t scared you off but, the Sony A1E OLED is a completely phenomenal tv. It has a number of the greatest distinction anyplace, and handles sound in a totally progressive means that immerses you within the content material. All issues thought of the A1E is among the greatest portals to Android TV – though, it is most likely some of the costly too. Nonetheless, in the event you’re in search of 4K HDR streaming TV with the deepest blacks and crazy-high distinction ratios, that is it.
Learn our full evaluate: Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV
That is it for now. We’ll proceed to replace this checklist as extra Android TV units come out and because the system continues to achieve new performance.
- In search of a less expensive entry to good TV performance? Try Chromecast