- Google TV is a new interface for Android devices like the newest Chromecast and Sony Android TVs.
- The software combines all content from multiple streaming channels into one searchable interface, and makes viewing recommendations based on your history and searches.
- It’s currently available in just a few devices, like the new Chromecast with Google TV and Android phones via the Google TV app, but will grow over time.
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Google has recently introduced a new service called Google TV. And while you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s a new streaming video device or set-top video product like Roku or Chromecast, in reality it’s software that you’ll find in a variety of places, such as Android phones and Android TVs.
What is Google TV?
You can think of Google TV as a software component that runs on top of a number of Android TV devices. It’s an interface that aggregates all the content from within Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Peacock, Disney+, and dozens of other popular streaming services. Instead of searching for Netflix content on the Netflix app and Hulu content on the Hulu app, Google TV mixes all the content together in one interface so you can search across all streaming services at once.
In addition, it’s a smart recommendation engine that suggests content you might want to watch based on your viewing habits and searches. The bottom line is that Google TV is the interface you use to interact with Android TV.
Can you buy Google TV?
Not exactly. You can think of Google TV as a software component of the newest Chromecast device, called Chromecast with Google TV, which in fact can be purchased for $50. It’s also being used as the interface for some Android TV set-top systems. Currently, Google has only mentioned Sony TVs by name for the Google TV upgrade, but it is reasonable to assume that the software will arrive on other Android TVs and devices in the future. You can read Google’s announcement about Google TV for more details.
Google TV itself isn’t something you can purchase or install on its own; it comes as the interface with specific, supported devices. With one exception: The Google Play Movies & TV app, which is found on most Android phones and tablets, was recently renamed Google TV and contains a version of the full streaming service aggregation and recommendation engine found in other streaming media devices.
What devices will Google TV run on?
Currently, there is no complete list of Google TV devices, but here are the devices and services we know are running, or will soon run, Google TV:
- Chromecast with Google TV ($50)
- Google Stadia, a $10 per month cloud-based streaming service for games
- Sony Android TVs and other Android TVs
- Android phones and tablets can use the Google TV app, which was formerly known as Google Play Movies & TV