Android TV is a version of the Android operating system designed for digital media players. A replacement for Google TV, it features a user interface designed around content discovery and voice search, surfacing content aggregated from various media apps and services, and integration with other recent Google technologies such as Assistant, Cast, and Knowledge Graph.
The platform was first unveiled in June 2014, with its Nexus Player launch device unveiled that October. The platform has also been adopted as smart TV middleware by a number of display companies including Sony and Sharp.
Android TV was first announced at Google I/O in June 2014, as a successor to the commercially-unsuccessful Google TV. The Verge characterized it as being more in line with other digital media player platforms, but leveraging Google's Knowledge Graph project, Chromecast compatibility, a larger emphasis on search, closer ties to the Android ecosystem (including Google Play Store and integration with other Android families such as Android Wear), and focusing on supporting video games on the platform with support for Bluetooth gamepads and the Google Play Games framework. Some attendees received the platform's development kit, the ADT-1; The Information reported that the ADT-1 was based on a scrapped "Nexus TV" launch device that was being developed internally by Google.
The Android TV platform is an adaptation of the Android OS for set-top boxes and as integrated software on smart TV hardware. Its home screen uses a vertically-scrolling, row-based interface, including a "content discovery" area populated by suggested content, followed by "Watch Now" rows that surface media content from installed apps. Android TV supports voice input for commands and universal search across multiple services; selected devices also support Google Assistant. All Android TV devices support Google Cast, allowing media to be queued to them from supported apps on either devices in an identical manner to Chromecast. Android TV supports software from Google Play Store, including media apps and games. Some Android TV devices, such as the Nvidia Shield and Razer Forge TV, are also marketed as microconsoles and bundled with a Bluetooth wireless gamepad.
During Google I/O 2014, Google announced that Sharp, Sony, and TP Vision would release smart TVs with Android TV integrated in 2015. It was noted that support for handling TV-specific functions, such as input switching and tuning, were natively integrated into the Android platform.
Sony unveiled a range of Bravia smart TVs running Android TV at CES 2015. Sharp's television sets became available June 10, 2015, beginning with the release of two models. Philips announced that 80% of their 2015 TVs will run Android TV, the first two models of which were released in June 2015.
Several television providers have released set-top boxes based on Android TV, including LG UPlus's U+ tvG Woofer and U+ tvG 4K UHD, French ISP Free's Freebox Mini 4K, and Bouygues Telecom's BBox Miami.
Airtel Digital TV released an Android TV STB, The Internet TV, in 2017. It Features 2 GHz dual-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, 8 GB ROM, Supports up to 128 GB via SD card, Dolby ATMOS pass-through, 4K P60 Video, Google Voice Search enabled Bluetooth remote, Supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Multiple USB slots (USB 3.0 and USB 2.0), Ethernet port, Supports external game controller, or the smartphone as a gaming pad, Record live content to an external storage device of up to 2TB memory.
Dish Network released an Android TV device in 2017, the AirTV Player. It is marketed as being a companion to its Sling TV service and supports an optional adapter for attaching an antenna to receive over-the-air television.