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Google takes another shot at invading the living room with Android TV

Android TV will be made available on both set-top boxes as well as on HD and 4K display TVs from companies like Sony and Sharp.

David Burke, director of engineering at Android, unveils Android TV.
David Burke, director of engineering at Android, unveils Android TV.
Image: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

GOOGLE IS HOPING its latest attempt to break into the set-top box market will be more successful as it unveiled its latest smart TV offering.

Android TV, the rebranded version of Google TV, will run on both smart TVs, mainly those with HD and 4K displays, and set-top boxes similar to Apple TV.

The service is focused entirely on entertainment, bringing forward content from Google Play as well as content from other services like Netflix and Hulu, and recommending shows based on what you watch.

Voice search is also included in the experience, with the service using Google’s Knowledge Graph to provide contextual information for any programmes you watch. Searching for a show will bring up relevant information such as description, episodes, YouTube videos and other relevant content is displayed in a grid-based system.

Google Conference Source: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Should you require it, you can control your TV using an Android Wear smartwatch and content can be sent to a separate device to your TV, similar to how Chromecast works.

The company is also bringing Google Play games to the TV. Similar to Amazon’s Fire TV, devices will come with a controller and multiplayer games can be played with an accompanying Android smartphone or tablet.

The first devices featuring Android TV will arrive in Autumn, while HD and 4K TVs from Sony, Sharp, and Philips will run on Android TV. Other companies like Asus and Razer will develop the set-top boxes with a focus on gaming.

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Quinton O'Reilly

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