Report: Google to unveil Android TV at Google I/O, new details revealed

Android TV Movies

It’s been a fair amount of time since we last heard talk of “Android TV.” Back in early April we saw things pick up steam after receiving a few leaked screenshots from the upcoming OS, another effort by Google to bring Android to the living room. There weren’t very many details, but today the folks at GigaOM have obtained new information on Google’s Android TV project, giving us a better idea of what to expect when it’s finally unveiled at this year’s Google I/O 2014.

Once again, Google is banking on creating a platform for television manufacturers to bake into their wares, just like Google’s first effort with Google TV. But aside from pay-TV services and applications, Android TV’s killer feature will be gaming — something the Chromecast simply isn’t equipped for.

Google is calling the user interface “Pano,” and it allows users to scroll horizontally through movies and shows which are linked to apps and services. This means instead of opening an app like Netflix for something to watch, the content from all these apps is already displayed as soon as you turn on the TV. A recently leaked changelog for Android 4.4.3 revealed a ton of references to Pano, so it’s entirely possible we’ll see the new firmware update launch during I/O as well.

There’s a lot of questions that pop up with Android TV and one is why Google is even bothering creating another platform, one that in some ways competes with Chromecast. Apparently, Google wants to cover all their bases, and by offering a more robust platform — one that also includes video gaming — television manufacturers will have a product they can rally behind. But it might be a tough sell considering all those that were burned by Google’s initial Google TV offering.

In the end, exactly who is willing to give Google another chance will likely be revealed at Google I/O, and we’re excited to see Pichai and the Android team put a little heat on Amazon and their newly launched Fire TV.

[GigaOM]

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  • Chimphappyhour

    I bought into Google TV. I bought into Chromecast. I’m not really feeling like buying into yet another TV based platform.

    • jstew182

      I agree…but I probably will though

    • spicymeatball

      One hurdle that stopped GTV in its tracks is no hulu. If it had hulu and netflix along with a decent movie rental place it would have been far more successful.

  • JosephLagalla

    Just a thought, but what if they introduced an all access to google play movies as a rival to hulu, netflix, etc.? Would make this a very interesting platform indeed.

    • wollac11

      That would be great! Why not also take on PlayStation and Xbox at the time with an offer for Google All Access Prime with Unlimited Music, TV & Video and a couple of free games each month. Would unite games, music and video under a single subscription (but still offer individual subscriptions too). Could even later throw in some free books or magazines as well.

      • Dwight

        That sounds a lot like amazon prime too. As long as google advertises more than 2 day shipping, they should be fine :P

    • AbbyZFresh

      That would cost a lot of money. And TV labels are much more resistant to lending content than Music labels.

  • Devon Warren

    Build in the chromecast functionality to Android TV and allow me to run XBMC on it and you got yourself a sale.

    • Robb Nunya

      I’m pretty sure the Chromecast functionality will be there.

    • http://twitter.com/gamercore Chris Chavez

      Google TV added Chromecast functionality in Jelly Bean, so yeah. Android TV will definitely have it baked in.

    • idongacha

      Same thing I. Was thinking. I like the sports devil add on so much I canceled my cable.

  • Martin Lane

    This could be pretty awesome if they do it right.

    Standard Google game controller would be a step forward, if they can use something like Snapdragon 805 or even Tegra K1 it would be a great little gaming system.

    • JointhePredacons

      Gaming will be part of it, not the whole shebang. its an addition to GTV, not the whole purpose of Android TV, otherwise why call it TV.

      • Martin Lane

        Well done, you can state the obvious.

  • Medion

    “why Google is even bothering creating another platform, one that in some ways competes with Chromecast.”

    It’s not competing with Chromecast. Chromecast was a technology demo that sold far beyond Google’s expectations. Google stated during or shortly after the announcement that they wanted devices to have “cast” functionality built in. I would be shocked if these new Android TV devices didn’t function as a Chromecast as well as the devices local capabilities.

    I’m keeping my eye on Android TV. I want a device with the Chromecast ability, streaming capabilities of a Roku or Fire TV, and local media playback of the WDTV Live. Right now we have a WDTV in one room and a Roku in the other. If Android TV doesn’t meet my needs, we’ll likely just put 2xWDTV and 2xChromecast in the house.

    • JointhePredacons

      Chromecast might have been a demo of what Android TV could offer and it succeeded in spades. If they sell Android TV as a sequel or expansion of Chromecast it will sell alot. Im gonna be one of the first ones to have it. Been waiting for something to rival my Revue, which died, and my Asus Cube which cant even recognize my cable box, but is nice regardless.

  • Jay

    Let’s be real. Google isn’t trying to cover all their bases. They’re trying to compete with the new Apple TV (rumored) and all the other plethora of do-it-all boxes.

    • Martin Lane

      Yeah, mainly to compete with Apple TV and Amazon TV.

      With Apples restrictions and Amazon devices lacking the Play Store they could take the lead here if they really wanted too.

      • AbbyZFresh

        That’s ONLY if they actually market Android TV well.

    • JBrowne1012

      Apple is nothing to compete with lol the competition is Roku if anything.

    • Durin123

      I have a do-it-all box. It’s a gaming laptop connected to my HDTV combined with torrents. Free, reliable TV, music and gaming. ‘Nuff said.

  • Chris Weber

    I’ve been waiting for something like this. Google TV had so much potential. Including gaming features are a no-brainer.

    Another no-brainer is to not rely on hardware vendors to set the destiny of the device. Create a Nexus level device and demonstrate the potential of the platform. Google is getting pretty good at creating hardware so that not a stretch.

    My ideal device would allow me to:

    - Play my current android games
    - Access HBO, Netflix, and Google Play
    - support standard USB based video cams for Hangouts
    - and be based on the evergreen Android platform (not a specialized platform that needs to be maintained separately and therefor will quickly fall out of date).

    If Google can accomplish that while keeping the cost down they should do OK.

  • Len Waugh

    I love google but I cant justify buying a product with this over a raspberry pi with xmbc. 30 bucks in hardware and you can stream all the major services or if you prefer… stream right off piratebay, assuming you own the product and its legal in your area ofcourse.

  • http://ENERDROID.COM IAN

    I love everything Google but unfortunately Roku just does this far too good already. Nobody has even come close so far.

  • Gus70

    It better have HDMI pass through. Just saying, otherwise this product is useless to me because if I have to switch HDMI inputs I’ll keep my HTPC.

  • Itchy_Robot

    I imagine that Google TV will just be an extension of the chromecast. Such as having the ability to play games, like the author mentioned. But also being able to be hard wire the Ethernet. Google would be pretty dumb to change the phone interface that worked so well with the Chromecast. after owning a chromecast since it launched, I’m done with the old school remote controls.

  • steveb944

    I still have my Google TV device (Vizio Co-Star), it’s sitting in my drawer as my Wii U pretty much covers my big screen browser needs as well as Amazon Prime support. If Google can do gaming well I’ll bite, cuz Amazon’s ‘exclusives’ aren’t worth it.

  • Aaron Kentch

    What they need to do is use this as a Trojan horse into the home as a hub to control home automation, to take advantage of their nest acquisition

    • Durin123

      Do it! It’s super effective (and illegal)!

  • PhoenixP3K

    All I need is for it to have HDMI pass-through because I’m out of ports, and I’m not getting a hub or new TV.
    Can’t jump on the Chromecast fun for now, but an Android TV with Chromecast and HDMI pass-trough would be my ideal product.