Replace: Android TV has a brand new member becoming a member of its ranks in 2018: the JBL Link Bar. Introduced in the future 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 totally 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 a variety of TVs (primarily from Sony, Sharp and LeEco) but in addition in a variety of streaming video gamers just like the Nvidia Protect.
To that finish, consider Android TV like iOS or Android – it’s an working system for your entire favourite apps, video games, films, music and TV reveals that you just navigate with a distant as a substitute of your finger … and you recognize, in your TV.
In fact, there are a half-dozen different sensible 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 laborious 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 solution to discover new content material and may work like a Chromecast to stream content material out of your cellular machine to the massive display. That being mentioned, listed below are Android TV’s finest options, with descriptions positioned additional down beneath:
- Curated content material on the highest row
- Common search utilizing prime apps
- Actor and actress bios
- Voice search through distant
- Native Google Solid assist
- Tons of video games through Google Play Retailer
- Google Assistant integration
Curated content material: One in all Android TV’s most admirable abilities is its skill to investigate the form of content material you often watch, play and take heed to, and suggest comparable content material. You could find suggestions within the prime 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 case you don’t see what you’re in search of within the curated content material row, it’s also possible to seek for content material both utilizing the search bar on the prime of the Android TV interface or the voice search button in your distant. Android TV crawls a variety of companies together with Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Google Play Motion pictures and TV to search out what you’re in search of, and often lists the bottom value 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 possibly can watch the present and the remainder of the present’s forged. It’s a reasonably useful function.
Voice search through the distant: As a substitute of scrolling all the best way 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 possibly can merely communicate the identify into the Android TV distant. It’s an enormous time-saver.
Native Google Solid assist: All Android TV gamers and TVs have Google Solid built-in. Meaning you possibly can stream content material out of your machine to your TV everytime you see the Google Solid icon. That is generally known as Chromecast built-in.
Video games through the Google Play Retailer: Fancy your self a recreation of Pong between seasons of Breaking Dangerous? Android TV has extra video games on its retailer than some other TV working system. Like Android on telephones, some video games are free and others value cash.
Google Assistant integration: Close to the top of 2017, Google’s sensible assistant made its means into Android TV. Google Assistant on Android TV is similar one which’s constructed into the Google Residence and a few higher-end Android telephones. For essentially the most half, it’s lots like Siri or Cortana – Google Assistant could make calendar appointments, test your to-do listing and reply inquiries about common subjects, however what makes it distinctive is that it can also management your sensible house merchandise like thermometers, gentle bulbs and sensible locks, too.
Which merchandise use Android TV?
Android TV is offered on two sorts of units: TVs and streaming video packing containers. Whereas the interface and performance is almost equivalent throughout units, there might be some small variations between them.
Why? Effectively every producer has the power to switch the bottom Android TV code to tailor it for his or her system. For a brief time frame, Nvidia Protect was the one machine that had entry to Amazon, for instance. One machine might need PlayStation Now, whereas others may 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 typically minor variations and never ones to lose sleep over.
So which units truly use Android TV? Let’s discover.
Nvidia Protect (2017)
Our favourite Android TV streaming field
4K HDR streaming
Google Assistant/Residence integration
Amazon Immediate Video on Android
A bit expensive for a 4K streamer
The Nvidia Protect is the most effective field for wannabe Android TV house owners. Not solely does it stream content material in 4K HDR, nevertheless it performs an entire host of video games you will not discover on some other streaming machine due to Nvidia’s GeForce Now streaming service. On prime of the video games and 4K content material, you may discover Amazon Immediate Video right here (the Protect is the one Android TV machine with Amazon) and Google Assistant integration. It’s kind of expensive, nevertheless it’s effectively price it.
Learn our full evaluation: Nvidia Shield
Sony Bravia Sensible TVs
The Sony X900F TV is the primary new big-brand TV in 2018 to assist Android TV
Unfussy however elegant design
Nice for 4K HDR streaming
Among the finest TVs in 2017
Restricted efficient viewing angle
Sony is continuous to make use of the Android TV platform to supply sensible options on its mid-range and premium TVs. This implies a variety of issues. First, having Android TV means you get a lot of content material: lots of of video games, info, 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 case 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 evaluation: 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
Large viewing angles
It’s comparatively costly
If the worth hasn’t scared you off but, the Sony A1E OLED is a fully phenomenal tv. It has among the finest distinction wherever, and handles sound in a totally revolutionary means that immerses you within the content material. All issues thought-about the A1E is among the finest portals to Android TV – though, it is in all probability one of the vital costly too. Nonetheless, in case you’re in search of 4K HDR streaming TV with the deepest blacks and crazy-high distinction ratios, that is it.
Learn our full evaluation: Sony Bravia A1E OLED TV
That is it for now. We’ll proceed to replace this listing as extra Android TV units come out and because the system continues to achieve new performance.
- On the lookout for a less expensive entry to sensible TV performance? Try Chromecast