Google TV Root: First Signs & Possibilities


Android Market is expected on Google TVs like the Sony Internet TV in the first part of 2011 which should take the capability of your television to new levels with access to thousands of apps and games. But since Google TV is android-based, one would think that what you can do with your phone you should (at least eventually) be able to do with your TV. And by rooting your phone, you can gain access to a new level of customization not offered in default handset builds. So what if you could root your Google TV?

One member of AndroidForums – Apeman – has gained access to Recovery Mode on Sony Internet TV and has recorded video on how to do it:

Could this be the first hint at how to gain root access on Google TV? Hopefully all the modders, rooters, hackers and Software Engineers in the Android Community will head over to our Google TV forum and start comparing notes. While Google TV is cool as is, adding the ability to install apps and games prior to the expected arrival of Android Market in 2011 would be a major victory.

One of the options on the Recovery Menu is “System Update with USB” which sounds pretty promising to me. Aside from installing apps and games on your Google TV prior to launch of Android Market… what other awesome endeavors would you pursue if you could root your Google TV?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. They better root the glacier/mytouch 4g cause expresso blows

  2. 1. Set user agent to Flash player to Generic, so Hulu, ABC, NBC etc can’t block it.

    2. Install BitTorrent client, though this might probably not even need to be done on root hack. I expect BitTorrent to be added using native code and legal apps.

  3. And phandroid needs to stop supporting the competition (bing/microsoft/wp7). That bing ad is pissing me off

  4. Those Bing ads that Phandroid has added are extremely annoying.

  5. Lol @ the bing comment

  6. aww cmon. it’s kind of ironic and hilarious if you think about it. (re: bing)

  7. Seriously, WTFXUP with Bing all over all of a sudden?
    Oh yeah, GTV root, woot.

  8. If sony was smart, they would add android to the ps3.

    Then I would buy one.

  9. I second the ps3 getting Google!

  10. Power up my Google TV
    Open Cable Channel
    Download Sharing App
    Share what I watch with my Friend.

    Throw Apple TV in the toilet.


  11. my thought of the reason for the “system update via usb” is because it is still a blu-ray player.. say the player has shut down and not responding to wifi or hardwire updates you can update via usb like every other… i dont know im probably wrong but that was my idea…

  12. Maybe PhanDroid is secretly swinging on Microsoft’s sack? I know it’s just business, but they have been losing my support for years now…

  13. The #1 feature I’d want is a DVR hack…use any external hard drive, any be able to share across the network…

    The irony of Microsoft supporting an android Phan site through ads isn’t lost on me, but it is annoying…and a little ungoogly. Show people the ads they want to see! But if that’s what you need to keep improving the site….it’s not like I’m going anywhere :)

  14. @Jeff J – I think Bing ads on an Android site is VERY Googly. Isn’t that the nature of open source? To allow anybody access to do what they want? If we were blocking the competition… that would probably be very Apple-ish of us. Am I wrong?

  15. @Rob
    Touché…depends on if it was your decision to add the ads or Bing’s. To deny Bing the option would not be open, and I agree you shouldn’t block them. However, if YOU had decided to place the ad over something your readers would be more interested in, it would be, in my opinion, ungoogly. It seems, from what you said, that isn’t the case. Forgive my knee-jerk accusation…
    It DOES make me smile that you are getting money from Bing :)

  16. What Bing ads? Flash/script/ad blocks installed on Chrome/Firefox.

  17. While Bing is highly offensive, my offense is offset by my amusement that Microsoft is paying to help an Android fan site.
    Don’t just LOOK at the Bing ad — click it!

  18. I’m confused, if Android is open, why do you need to root it?

  19. I thought Android was an open platform. Why do you need to root a Google TV?

  20. If you have to root it, then it’s really not open.
    Just like it’s been said, it’s fragmented rather than integrated.
    Since weve established its not open then it follows they are really evil.

    Plug in your brains Droidheads.
    You’re working for the man.

  21. Obviously, Android in GoogleTV is not open. Thus the need to root it. Interestingly, why not just download the source code to GoogleTV from Google? That should give you an idea how to root it.

  22. Android = Open Platform = Myth

    It’s open for OEMs and that is about it. For consumers it’s about as open as Apple.

  23. I stand by my assessment (on a post here several days ago) that the key issue is ‘open’ as a term is no longer clearly defined. Android’s ‘open’ inasmuch as anyone can get access to the source code of much of the software, but the actual /hardware/ may not be open (Droid X, anything AT&T’s disabled sideloading on, etc.) from the viewpoint of an end-user. The issue becomes what definition of ‘open’ we’re going with; from the viewpoint of the overall platform (i.e., the OS), or individual devices.

  24. This should be all you need: “mkdir android ; cd android ; repo init -u git:// ; repo sync ; make”

  25. I’m feeling sorry for anyone who feels its worth rooting a Sony Blu-Ray Player with Google TV considering Google won’t be making ANY source code available until sometime next year. If you MUST flirt with total loss, better to attempt rooting a Logitech Revue, when it becomes available. Read up on what Sony thought of people hacking their AIBOs (read: didn’t like it).

    Considering that the two systems don’t talk to each other (Blu-Ray and Google Tv), people are putting their Blu-Ray player functionality at risk… for what? Running a terminal emulator on their TV? You might as well connect your PC or grab an Apple TV if that’s all you want to add ($99). Apple is already distributing disk images so you have a clear shot at restoring the miserable thing if things go wrong. People are already installing apps on it too.

    Just saying. Unix is as Unix does. It’s all based on Open Source until someone loses an eye.

    iOS community already has Flash running. We already see how fast the content websites are shutting off Google TV access. Either this will be a master stroke for Google to open up content distribution practices, or it will all implode.

    Content publishers would be pretty foolish to think that once Google releases the Google TV source code and they make content available to Android (and not Google TV) that their would be much difference. Plays on Android phone but not Google TV? Doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  26. Hey, geniuses! The more you talk about Bing, the more it shows up. Google ads are targeted to site content.

  27. Note to Bing bashing phandroids:

    Bing is the default—and only—search engine on the Samsung Fascinate from Verizon. A Google Android phone.

  28. @Rachel

    It was never clearly defined. There is no “open” that consumers do not open for themselves. Liability requires control. At the end of the day, Google is more “collaborative”, not “open”. Google doesn’t choose to share many, many, many things. Collaboration can be far more relatively measured than “open” implies. Apple had a fall out with the KHTML folks from which it forks Webkit and with the open source community over its Darwin kernel and Google has had numerous falling outs with both open source communities on selective releases of Android OS source and Linux kernel teams over changes to the Linux kernel Google felt were needed. Both corporations work together on Webkit progress. For consumers, no corporation can afford to be completely “open”, because “open” is the enemy of predictability, and predictability is the nature of business planning.

    We now have three major corporations embracing open source initiatives: IBM, Google, Apple… and no one said they were all going to be superheroes. Google is the MOST collaborative company of all of them, but even they have their limits. Microsoft is also pretty impressive in its own right on its love/hate relationship with open source. It’s open sourcing of the .NET framework should probably be more embraced than it is.

  29. If Android were really open, Google would have released under GPL 3.0 (or at least LGPL or GPL 2.0).

    “Open” has just become another marketing catch phrase, much like “Don’t Be Evil”.

  30. @dogboy Tried that doesn’t work. Funny.

  31. Anyone who successfully roots this tv should look into freeing up the internet connection restrictions. For some reason, the Sony Internet TV will not tether to Android phones for internet access. The TV will not even display the wireless signal of my Android phone. I have a 32 inch integrated tv set but cannot use it because I can’t access the internet. I hope someone out there is smart enough to find a way around this restriction so I don’t have to return my tv. If anyone out there has any ideas, please post!

  32. Not bad at all. But does anyone have a link to download the Google TV source code if already available?

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