The ADT-1 digital media player, part of the official development kit for Android TV
|Type||Smart TV platform|
|Operating system||Android 5.0 ("Lollipop")|
|Online services||Google Play|
Android TV is a smart TV platform developed by Google. Running the Android 5.0 ("Lollipop") operating system, it creates an interactive television experience through a 10-foot user interface. It was announced on June 25, 2014, at Google I/O 2014 as a successor to Google's earlier attempt at smart TV, Google TV.
Android TV can be built into both TVs and stand-alone digital media players. Users have access to the Google Play Store to download Android apps, including media streaming services Netflix and Hulu, as well as games. The platform emphasizes voice search to quickly find content or answer queries (such as which movies were nominated for an Academy Award in a specific year). The TV interface is divided vertically into three sections: recommendations on top (which update based on viewing habits), media apps in the middle, and games on the bottom. The interface can be navigated using a game controller, remote control, or the Android TV mobile app. Android TV also supports Google Cast, the technology behind Google's media player Chromecast that allows a mobile device to be used to select and control media playback on a TV.
Google has partnered with Sony, Sharp, and TP Vision to offer the platform in TVs, while Razer and Asus plan to release media players with a focus on gaming. The first device to employ Android TV is the Nexus Player, co-developed by Google and Asus, and released in November 2014. Software developers will be able to use the Android SDK to optimize their apps for use on Android TV.
The ADT-1 Developer Kit was released by Google before any commercial Android TV devices were released. The hardware was given to some Google I/O 2014 attendees and later mailed to other developers. The device uses a Tegra 4 chipset and has 16 GB of flash memory.
Freebox Player Mini
Offered by the French ISP Free, this is a 4K capable Android TV set-top-box and combined Fibre modem.
The Forge TV, by Razer, was announced at CES on January 6, 2015. Featuring a Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset, 2 GB of RAM, 16 GB of flash storage, a USB 3 port and a gigabit Ethernet port, the Forge TV was marketed as a micro-console rather than a multimedia device. Pre-orders began on April 23, 2015 at a price of US$100 with shipment by April 29, 2015.
Shield Android TV
The Shield Android TV by Nvidia was announced on March 3, 2015, and initially marketed as the Shield Console. The branding was changed because Nvidia did not want to appear to be competing with eighth generation consoles. Unlike the Nexus Player and the Forge TV, the Shield Android TV has a higher price point of US$200. A primary selling point of the device is the Tegra X1 chipset which is far more powerful than that of any previous Android TV device. The set-top box also has 3 GB of RAM, 16 GB of internal storage, USB 3.0 ports, gigabit Ethernet and dual-band WiFi ac. The device ships with an Nvidia-branded Wi-Fi game controller. Other features include integration with Nvidia GameStream and Nvidia GRID. As with previous Nvidia Shield branded devices, a small selection of Nvidia-exclusive android-ported AAA video games are optimised for the Tegra X1 chipset.
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