Android TV Overview Updated November 27, 2020

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May 2011 - November 2020


Android TV is a version of the Android platform which has been modified by Google to run on televisions with native applications. The platform was first launched at Google I/O 2014 and has since been updated several times, receiving a complete redesign in 2017.


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Google has also built its Chromecast platform into Android TV, helping to bring more apps to the platform. As of 2019, though, over 5,000 apps have been brought to the platform with more arriving on a regular basis. Big names such as YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and many others all have native applications. Most recently, Amazon Prime Video joined the ranks with wider availability of its app.

android tv link bar

The Android TV homescreen running on a JBL Link Bar

Google Assistant is also integrated into Android TV with visual responses, tie-ins with certain apps, and control over playback. Some devices such as the JBL Link Bar even support Assistant as a traditional speaker or with always listening options on devices such as the Nvidia Shield TV.

On the consumer level, this platform can often be found in set-top boxes and built into full-size TVs. Popular set-top boxes include the Nvidia Shield TV and Xiaomi Mi Box S, while major TV makers such as Sony and Hisense often release models using it. These devices differ wildly in price and quality, but the software experience is largely the same on all of them.


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google assistant on android tv

Google Assistant integration on Android TV

Another major source of growth for Android TV is the platform’s Operator Tier. While this won’t be found on the majority of consumer devices, Pay TV operators such as TiVo, AT&T, and others have used this option to create customized experiences for their customers, further extending the reach of the platform.

Google is expected to debut its own Android TV device in 2020 with a refreshed version of the Chromecast Ultra. 9to5Google exclusively first reported on the device which has yet to debut. Further reporting on the subject also revealed that the platform might be due for another redesign alongside the new hardware.

You can learn about the latest from Google’s platform in our continued coverage below.

Android TV Stories November 27

Review: Mecool’s KM3 Android TV box is only for the power user on a budget

Media platforms have existed for your TV for years, but Android TV is perhaps one of the most powerful. It has more potential you can unlock compared to a Roku or an Apple TV, but a lot of that depends on the hardware available. “Power users” demand a lot of ports and capable specs, and the Mecool KM3 Android TV box delivers exactly that.

Android TV Stories November 26

While there are a number of 8K TVs with Android TV support, standard Android TV boxes were capped at 4K when streaming YouTube content — even if higher resolution videos are available on the platform.

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Android TV Stories November 18

Over a year ago, Google added an Android TV Data Saver mode in India which helps cut down on internet usage. Now, after hitting the Play Store a few weeks back, Android TV Data Saver works in more countries.

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Android TV Stories November 17

Verizon is today launching a new set-top box for its customers based on Google’s Android TV. The Verizon Stream TV, second-generation, is available starting today with new software, an updated design, and a slick feature.

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Android TV Stories November 16

Latest Nvidia Shield TV update delivers IR enhancements, other tweaks

The Nvidia Shield TV is perhaps the best-supported Android device of all time, and now the lineup is getting another upgrade. Rolling out today, Nvidia Shield TV is getting upgrade 8.2.1 with IR enhancements and tons of bug fixes.

Android TV unofficially ported to x86 systems, works on old Windows PCs

Old computers can be repurposed as media streamers pretty easily, but the interface of Windows or Linux isn’t exactly ideal for surfing for content from your sofa. Now, developers have successfully ported Google’s Android TV platform over to x86-based machines.

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