Android TV screenshots reportedly leak, show off simplified card-based interface

For years now companies have been claiming to that they make the perfect set-top box, with Amazon being the most recent to do so with its FireTV. Notably missing from this arm’s race, however, has been Google. The company was one of the first to offer a set-top box OS with Google TV, but the idea quickly failed and was never widely adopted. Over the past year, reports have started to emerge claiming that Google is plaining a reentrance into the set-top box market with an Android-powered set-top box. The Verge has now published an extensive report on Android TV, with screenshots of the actual interface and much more.

The report, which cites internal Google documents, claims that the idea is far along in development with major app providers already building for the platform as we speak. While Google TV was also based off of Android, this new revision is entirely rebuilt and is something very different. “Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform,” writes Google. “It’s all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction.” It will be “cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast.”

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Now you don’t even need to spend 35 bucks to start Chromecasting …

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We thought $35 was pretty cheap for Chromecast, but if you don’t even want to lay out that much (or, more likely, can’t get your hands on one at the moment), there’s an app for that.

XDAdevelopers (via Phandroid) pointed us to CheapCast, a free app in the Play Store that enables any Android device to emulate a Chromecast stick. Install it in two devices, one of which could be an Android TV or OUYA, and you can broadcast from one to the other. Don’t, however, expect full functionality at this stage …  Read more

Google prepares for living-room push as 4k support added to Android 4.3

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Google is clearly serious about its intentions to make a sizeable push into the living-room market, as Android Police spotted a small clue revealing that Android 4.3 has added support for 4k displays.

Google has added a new DPI category to Android: XXXHDPI. This is for screens with an approximate DPI of six hundred and forty. Did you think we were stopping at 1080p?

Android engineer Dianne Hackborn is quoted as confirming the intent behind this:

A typical use of this density would be 4K television screens — 3840×2160 …  Read more

CES 2013: Hands-on with the Archos TV Connect Android 4.1 set-top box (Video)

9to5Google gave you a demo yesterday of the Archos Android-powered GamePad coming to the United States market in the next couple of months. While at the Archos booth on the show floor at the Las Vegas Convention Center for CES this week, we also got the rundown on its new “TV Connect” Android 4.1.1-powered TV product. The set-top box packs a 1.5GHz “Smart Multi Core” CPU, 8GB of storage (microSD card slot up to 32GB), and 1GB of RAM, and it comes with a hybrid game controller/QWERTY keyboard that also includes Wiimote-like gesture support. The TV Connect will retail for $130 this February.
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