With the current launch of latest TCL Google TV fashions in addition to the newest Google Chromecast with Google TV, there isn’t any query the Google TV is right here in an enormous means. As a successor to Android TV, the brand new Google TV platform is greater than only a new identify. It is a slicker, extra intuitive, extra succesful working system to your good TV, bringing extra functionality to TVs and seating good TVs extra firmly on the heart of the Google ecosystem.
With each Google TV fashions and Android TV units in the marketplace this 12 months, it is value asking, what is the distinction? Google TV brings with it quite a lot of new options and capabilities, so let’s run down the specifics.
What’s Google TV?
Beginning with the Chromecast with Google TV in 2020, Google TV has emerged as the brand new TV working system from Google, and has since proven up on good TVs and different Android streaming units. By 2022, we anticipate all new Google-based units to be utilizing Google TV as an alternative of Android TV.
Calling Google TV the alternative for Android TV is a bit imprecise, although. Google TV is extra of a rebranding, for the reason that underlying software program continues to be Android. The truth is, it will be correct to say that Google TV is the brand new identify for Android TV.
That additionally signifies that loads of the core performance you loved with Android TV continues to be obtainable on Google TV merchandise. The broad number of apps obtainable by means of the Google Play Retailer continues to be supplied for Google TV units. And the distinctive performance of built-in Google Chromecast hasn’t gone wherever both, making it lifeless easy to share content material from telephones, tablets and laptops to your good TV.
Google TV vs. Android TV: The most important modifications
What has modified? Google has refined the Android TV expertise with a higher emphasis on personalised content material, tailor-made suggestions, and performance that extends past the TV and lounge, letting you utilize the good TV as a hub to your total home filled with related units.
The modifications between Android TV and Google TV are obvious the second you activate a Sony or TCL good TV operating the newer Google TV software program.
The most important change is the interface, beginning with the house display screen. As an alternative of an expertise targeted on apps — akin to Android TV’s older interface which use row upon row of apps and content material strategies — the brand new Google TV interface places content material first.
A big picture on the house display screen showcases highlighted suggestions, biking by means of films and exhibits with massive, lovely proportional pictures. These suggestions are drawn from your individual preferences, pulled from the streaming companies you utilize, the exhibits you watch, and a few predictive magic from Google.
In comparison with the older Android interface, which supplied the scrolling menu of row after row of apps and app particular content material suggestions, the brand new Google TV interface seems a lot cleaner, and simpler for locating one thing to observe with out having to browse app by app.
A few of these variations might not be lengthy lived, nevertheless. Android TVs are getting updates that tweak the looks to look and performance a little bit extra like Google TV. These variations could not roll out suddenly, and the timing could fluctuate by producer and even mannequin. Regardless, the evolution of Android TV continues, with Google TV being the subsequent main step.
The biggest purposeful modifications introduced with Google TV is an emphasis on stay TV programming, with a complete tab devoted to stay TV. Pulling from stay content material sources akin to YouTube TV and Sling TV, you get a big on-screen channel information exhibiting you reside content material that’s in progress, versus on-demand streaming choices that may be seen at any time.
With each YouTube TV and Sling TV — two of one of the best cable TV replacements — providing dozens of stay channels, this information provides you a good way of scanning by means of the stay sports activities, information, exhibits, films which might be being “broadcast” for the time being.
It is a method to spotlight YouTube TV’s cable-like companies, but additionally an enchancment in shopping and fascinating with content material as stay TV takes a spot on the desk in right this moment’s related TV surroundings. Different stay TV companies will possible be added to this channel information over time.
Benefiting from Google’s giant ecosystem of units and related apps, you should use an Android telephone as a distant management to your Google TV.
The addition of a touchscreen and onscreen keyboards as a part of the distant additionally make navigating the TV so much simpler. Coming into passwords turns into smoother than having to navigate a “keyboard” on the TV display screen, and typing a fancy film title could also be preferable to having to repeat a complicated phrase to the voice search time and again.
App-based remotes will not be new, as we have seen comparable performance supplied by Roku, Vizio and others, however Google TV additionally combines this with content material shopping and personalised watchlists in your telephone throughout the identical app. We’ll discuss extra about these options in a minute, however combining all of that functionality with a distant management, within the gadget that you simply carry in your pocket always helps break down the limitations between the good TV and your smartphone. It is a transfer away from the TV as a stationary gadget to the TV being one part in your bigger media viewing world.
The entire above options embrace personalization, whether or not that is by means of suggestions, listings of subscribed companies, or just letting you utilize a private gadget to regulate the TV. Google takes this a step additional by introducing particular person consumer profiles on Google TV, although that function has been delayed till someday in 2022.
This lets members of the family get suggestions tailor-made to them, constructed round their very own viewing habits and pursuits. That is an enormous enchancment if you wish to maintain one individual’s interval drama suggestions separate from one other’s kung-fu film strategies, and wish to get pleasure from a sequence or streaming subscription with out sharing it with the entire household.
Watchlist from cellular
That personalization additionally means that you can curate content material if you’re away from the TV. Watchlists allow you to spotlight films, exhibits, and occasions that you simply wish to watch, and allow you to add that to your personalised watch checklist from any gadget that makes use of your Google profile. Whether or not it is your telephone, your laptop computer, or the good speaker within the different room, all of those Google related units can be utilized so as to add a present to your watch checklist.
See a present talked about on Twitter? Add it to your watchlist proper there in your telephone.
Noticing some digital watercooler discuss an unfamiliar film on Slack? You may put it in your watchlist out of your laptop computer or desktop laptop.
Did you simply bear in mind the identify of that film you’d forgotten whilst you make the mattress? Use your Google House good speaker to queue it up for you later.
Sensible house integration
This integration of the good TV with different units throughout the Google ecosystem goes means past profiles and watchlists although. Google is benefiting from its deep bench of good house units to allow you to benefit from the “good” elements promised by good TVs.
You may view digicam feeds from one of the best video doorbells and residential safety cameras proper on the TV. You may management the good lights within the your lounge to set the temper for film night time with out getting up from the sofa. You may even bounce on a Google Duo video name by connecting a webcam to your good TV, supplying you with an even bigger, higher display screen for these digital get togethers which have turn out to be so necessary nowadays.
And, since Google Assistant is tied into all of those units and constructed into the TV – full with hands-free voice management – you may entry any of those options simply by saying “OK Google.”
Parental controls and child profiles
Along with utilizing consumer profiles for personalised content material strategies, you may as well arrange profiles for teenagers, full with content material filters and parental controls.
These child profiles supply age-appropriate content material suggestions, a kid-friendly house menu, and filters for apps, films and exhibits that may be adjusted by dad and mom. Mothers and Dads can block particular person apps and particular titles, all from their telephone – no wrestling the distant away from a misbehaving baby earlier than you may change issues. It even enables you to restrict viewing to particular quantities of time, and shuts the whole lot off at designated bedtimes.
“Fundamental TV” Mode
One extra function added to the brand new Google TV fashions is primary TV mode. This mode successfully turns off the entire good capabilities and connectivity that is wanted for normal good TV use, whereas nonetheless supporting stay TV through antenna or cable, and exterior units like media gamers and recreation consoles.
However with the web connection turned off, you get rid of among the privateness considerations raised by monitoring for content material suggestions and advertisements, and primary mode additionally turns off Google Assistant on the TV.
In a world the place almost all TVs are good TVs, it is form of cool to have the choice to show all of that off.
The Google TV app
Serving to to tie this entire expertise collectively is the Google TV app, which replaces the older Google Play Motion pictures & TV app.
Although it’s confusingly named merely Google TV, the identical identify because the good TV software program, it is much less complicated if you understand that the app and the TV software program are designed for use in tandem. The brand new Google TV app is not a lot an additional that is obtainable, it is a core piece of the Google TV expertise.
The app enables you to browse content material from your whole favourite companies, add exhibits to your watchlist, purchase or lease content material, management the TV from the built-in distant over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and extra.
For the second, the Google TV app is barely obtainable on Android units, however we anticipate it to return to Apple merchandise as effectively. No timeline has been given for an iOS model of the Google TV app.
Ought to I nonetheless purchase an Android TV?
Whereas Google is shifting all of its good TVs and streaming units over to Google TV, there will likely be a lag over the subsequent 12 months or in order present Android TVs proceed to be offered alongside the most recent Google TV fashions. So which do you have to get?
For our cash, Google TV is the best way to go, because it gives the whole lot that made Android TV nice, however with extra functionality, higher content material discovery and all kinds of latest usability enhancements.
That stated, Android TVs nonetheless have the entire core capabilities that Google TV gives, from a large app choice to in-built Chromecast and Google Assistant, and even loads of the identical good house options (simply with some further steps to set them up). Android TVs will likely be an particularly engaging alternative as producers and retailers drop costs to filter out previous stock, making them a wise alternative for discount customers.
The underside line right here appears to be that, in both case, you may be getting the most effective good TV experiences obtainable. For the newest and best, Google TV is the winner, however you are secure shopping for both one.