Google, without any sort of announcement or waning, has released a new app to the Play Store this evening called “Live Channels for Android TV.” The app isn’t compatible with any current phone or tablet running Android, but rather with Android TV powered devices. The app is meant to offer an interface with which users can navigate live TV channels. It is currently only compatible with the Nexus Player.
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Google says in the app’s description that it will work with devices with a built-in tuner or with IP based-tuners. Once you obtain some sort of signal, the app allows you to view a channel guide and offers the same set of features you’d expect from a TV, including parental controls, picture-in-picture, and closed captioning. Judging by the screenshots of the app, it also supports a split view mode that allows you to watch two channels at once.
Google will presumably reveal more about the app as time progresses, so right now we’re left with just the short description and screenshots available on the Play Store.
Live Channels app is for watching Live TV. Watch your favorite news, sports, movies and TV shows from various channel sources such as built-in tuner, IP-based tuners, and more and show them instantly on your Android TV.
The main use case for Live Channels for Android TV is obviously going to be for devices with a built-in tuner. This includes televisions that are powered by Android TV out of the box , which we should expect to see more of as we head into 2015. The app is available on the Play Store now, though it serves little purpose for most right now.