What is Android TV and How Does It Work – Explained!

With over 40% market share, Android TV is one of the leading smart TV platforms out there. As internet adoption is accelerating across the world, users are looking for smart TVs to play content over the internet and Android TV is filling the need. That said, there are users who are still stuck with cable television and they are looking to understand this new Android TV landscape. So if you want to learn what is Android TV and how it works then you have come to the right place. Here, we explain everything about Android TV, its pros, cons, and the future. With that in mind, let’s begin.

Everything You Need to Know About Android TV

Right from the basics of Android TV to features and hardware requirements, we have covered everything in this article. You can click on the link below to move to the relevant section easily.

What is Android TV?

Android TV is a smart TV platform developed by Google. When I say smart TV, it means a TV that can deliver content from the internet (called IPTV). So to use Android TV, internet connectivity is a must. Talking a bit about its development history, the platform was announced back in 2014 against the rising need for more IPTV solutions. Now, not just traditional TV sets, but set-top boxes, digital players, and even soundbars run Android TV.

What is Android TV?

Even before 2014, the company had released Google TV which was announced in 2010. It was based on Chrome with an overlay of video sites to play content through the browser. However, the project failed to take off and Google brought Android TV in 2014 which was based on the Android operating system.

Unlike Android that we run on our smartphones, the TV interface is quite different. It has a top-to-down scrollable interface with row-based menus. Android TV emphasizes more on content discovery by aggregating content from multiple apps. So that was all about the basics of Android TV. Let’s now find the best features of Android TV.

Android TV Features

Since Android TV is based on Android OS, it has Play Store support which means you can access thousands of Android apps optimized for the TV platform. It has been six years since Android TV was announced so now you have a variety of quality apps that work fluidly on the TV platform. You no longer have to use a web browser as almost all the streaming and live TV services have an app for Android TV.

Apart from that, the headline feature of Android TV is Chromecast integration. On all Android TVs, you can play content right from your smartphone and desktop (through Chrome browser). You can cast the smartphone screen on your Android TV seamlessly. In fact, some Android TVs also support casting from Windows 10.

Chromecast uses screen mirroring technology, but Google and several major developers have optimized many of their apps to work flawlessly with support for sound output, background play, quality streaming of content, and full-resolution display output. Basically, if you have got an Android TV and Android smartphone, you will not need a separate Chromecast dongle to cast your smartphone screen.

Besides that, all Android TVs now come with a dedicated “Google Assistant” button. It’s not one of those gimmicky features, but one that works superbly well. Leveraging Google’s Knowledge Graph, Google Assistant can show precise results of your queries. For instance, if you ask Google Assistant to “play the crown”, it will show you all the streaming options available from different sources. You can even purchase a movie right on your Android TV seamlessly.

Finally, we have Android TV remotes. Unlike remotes of traditional TVs and set-top boxes, it’s quite minimalist with just a few buttons in place. The reason behind this design approach is Google Assistant that can largely understand any query you throw at it, even in your local language. I would say if you are going to get an Android TV, be ready to use the voice assistant frequently. For the old-school users, there is an on-screen keyboard, but chances are you are not going to use it.

Hardware Need

Android TVs generally don’t need beefy hardware as it’s a lightweight OS. Most Android TVs in the market come with a modest Amlogic or a Mediatek processor coupled with 4/8GB of storage and 2/4GB of RAM. That said, some Android TVs do feel slow to navigate and the response is slightly delayed due to the low-end chip. So I would recommend you to get an Android TV that comes with a decent processor, has higher RAM capacity, and can play 4K content smoothly.

Nvidia Shield TV is one of the popular media players that run on Android TV and it comes with powerful specs under the hood. For instance, it has got Nvidia’s in-house Tegra X1 processor with a dedicated 256-core Nvidia GPU. There are also Android TVs that come with HDR, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and Dolby Atmos support. All these feature add-ons depend on the TV manufacturer so before buying an Android TV, do look for these perks.

What About Android TV Updates?

Yearly update on Android TV does not have a fixed number as it depends on the TV manufacturer. Most companies offer 2-3 years of updates, but frankly, it’s not enough. TVs last much longer than smartphones so Google should up the game and address the update issue directly.

For instance, Android 11 is the latest Android TV version, but most TVs, including mine (Mi TV in India) are still running Android 9. On the updates front, I think you are going to be disappointed after a few years.

Gaming on Android TV

As we went through the hardware requirements, it’s clear that Android TVs are not meant for gaming since it comes with modest specs. You can however play non-intensive Android games from the Play Store. Apart from that, with game streaming services on the rise like Stadia, GeForce Now, and xCloud, it’s now possible that you can play high-end titles on your budget Android TV.

Google has already committed support for Stadia and it’s coming to the successor of Android TV (called Google TV, again) in the first half of 2021. Talking about Google TV, let’s find out how Google TV is different from Android TV.

Android TV vs Google TV

Google’s rebranding of its smart TV platform has come a full circle. Starting with Google TV in 2010 and moving to Android TV in 2014, Google has decided to rebrand Android TV with Google TV again in 2020. Unlike earlier drastic changes, this time Google TV keeps the same Android base but improves personalized recommendations and on the curation front.

As Google knows too much about us, it plans to offer highly-curated content on Google TV. It also offers a “Watchlist” menu where you can find all the movies that you have saved on the web. Next, you can get your smartphone notifications on your Google TV and control IoT devices right from your TV. Basically, with Google TV, Google wants to streamline your viewing experience and offer you a more personal dashboard.

If you want to try out Google TV on your Android TV then you can do so by following our guide. It works for the most part, but some features are still broken. Google aims to replace all Android TVs with Google TV by the end of 2022, but it will depend on TV manufacturers if they want to pass the update to you.

Currently, you can use Google TV officially in the US if you choose to buy the new “Chromecast with Google TV” dongle. The company has stated that Chromecast with Google TV will be coming to more countries in 2021. In addition, smart TVs, set-top boxes, and dongles will ship with Google TV out of the box in 2021.

So the bottom line is that next year, you will hear more and more about Google TV rather than Android TV, but bear in mind, it’s a difference in the user interface with the fundamentals remaining almost the same.

List of Popular Android TVs (Continually Updated)

BRANDModel NameSize
Marq (flipkart)Marq 43AAUHDM43
Marq 43AAFHDM43
Marq 32AAHDM32
Marq 65SAUHD65
Marq 49SAUHD48.5
Marq 32VNSSHDM32
Marq 49SAUHD/49SAHD-Black49
AconaticAconatic 32HS521AN32
Aconatic 43HS521AN43
Aconatic 55RS543AN55
Aconatic 55US300AN55
Aconati c65RS543AN65
iFFALCON 65K7165
iFFALCON 55H7155
iFFALCON 65H7165
iFFALCON 43K3143
iFFALCON 50K3150
iFFALCON 55K3155
LLoydLLoyd 32HS301B32
LLoyd 43FS301B43
LLoyd 43US900B43
LLoyd 55US900B55
LLoyd GL32H0B0ZS32
LLoyd L32HS670A32
MicromaxMicromax L32CANVAS432
Micromax L32TA6445HD32
Micromax L40TA6445FHD40
Micromax L43TA7000UHD43
Micromax L55TA7001UHD55
MI L32M5-AL32
MI L43M5-AN43
MI L43M4-4AIN43
MI L50M5-5AIN50
MI L55M6-EQG55
MI L32M6-EI32
MI L55M4-4XINA55
MI L65M5-5SIN65
MI L49M5-AN49
MI L32M5-AN32
MI L43M5-AI43
MI L32M5-AI32
MI L40M6-EI40
MI L75M6-ESG75
PanasonicPanasonic TH-65HX700DX65
Panasonic TH-55HX700DX55
Panasonic TH-43HX700DX43
Panasonic TH-55HX635DX55
Panasonic TH-43HX635DX43
Panasonic TH-43HX625DX43
Panasonic TH-58HX45058
Panasonic TH-50HX45050
Panasonic TH-65GX655DX65
Panasonic TH-55GX655DX55
Panasonic TH-49GX655DX49
Panasonic TH-43GX655DX43
SanyoSanyo XT-43A081U43
Sanyo XT-49A081U49
Sanyo XT-55A081U55
Sanyo XT-65A081U65
Sanyo XT-43UHD4S43
Sanyo XT-50UHD4S50
Sanyo XT-55UHD4S55
Sanyo XT-65UHD4S65
Sanyo XT-43FHD4S43
Sanyo XT-32RHD4S32
SonySony KD-55X7400H55
Sony KDL-49W800G49
Sony KDL-43W800G43
Sony KD-55X9500G55
Sony KD-49X8000H49
Sony KD-55X8000H55
Sony KD-43X8000G43
Sony KD-49X7500H49
Sony KD-65A8F65
Sony KD-55A8G55
Sony KD-55X8000G55
Sony KD-65X9300E65
Sony KD-65A8G65
Sony KD-55X9300E55
Sony KD-65X8000H65
Sony KD-65A9F65
Sony KD-65X9500E65
Sony KD-55A8F55
Sony KD-75X8500F75
Sony KD-65A9G65
Sony KDL-43W800F43
Sony KD-49X8000G49
Sony KD-55X8500G55
Sony KD-43X7500F43
Sony KD-65X8000G65
Sony KD-49X8500F49
Sony KD-43X8500F43
Sony KDL-49W800F49
Sony KD-43X8200E43
Sony KDL-43W800D43
Sony KD-65X9500G65
Sony KD-75X8000H75
Sony KD-55X9000E55
Sony KD-49X9000E49
Sony KD-55X9500E55
Sony KD-65X9000E65
Sony KD-55X9000F55
Sony KD-65X7500F65
Sony KD-49X8200E49
Sony KD-65X9000F65
Sony KD-55X8500F55
Sony KD-55A9F55
Sony KD-55A155
Sony KD-65A165
Sony KD-49X7500F49
Sony KD-55A9G55
Sony KD-85X8000H85
Sony 43X7400H43
Sony 55X7500H55
Sony 43X7500H43
Sony 65X7400H65
TCLTCL 50C71550
TCL 32S65A32
TCL 55C71555
TCL 55P71555
TCL 65P865
TCL 43P843
TCL 43S6500FS43
TCL 85P8M85
TCL 32S6500S32
TCL 65P71565
TCL 43P8B43
TCL 43P71543
TCL 55C81555
TCL 50P71550
TCL 55P8E55
TCL 55P855
TCL 49S6500S49
TCL 65P8E65
TCL 65C665
TCL 75P71575
TCL 55P8S55
TCL 65X4US65
TCL 50P8E50
TCL 65C71565
TCL 50P850
TCL 75C81575
TCL 55C855
TCL 40S650040
TCL 43P8E43
iFFALCON 50K6150
iFFALCON 55K6155
iFFALCON 43K3143
iFFALCON 55K3155
iFFALCON 55H7155
iFFALCON 55K7155
iFFALCON 43K7143
iFFALCON 65K3165
iFFALCON 65K7165
iFFALCON 50K3150
iFFALCON 65H7165
VU 32US32
VU 55PM55
VU 50PM50
VU 43GA43
VU 55UT55
VU 85QPX85
VU 65PM65
VU 50UT50
VU 32GA32
VU 43PM43
VU 43CA43
VU 43UA43
VU 43UT43
VU 55-OA55
VU 43-OA43
VU 65UT65
VU 50-OA50
VU 43 OA43
VU 43 OA -V143
VU 55-OA55
VU 55-OA V155
VU 50CA50
VU 55CA55
HisenseHisense 43A71F43
Hisense 55A71F55
Hisense 55A73F55
Hisense 40A56E40
Hisense 32A56E32
Hisense 50A71F50
Hisense 65U7QF65
HaierHaier LE43K6600UGA43
Haier LE40K6600GA40
Haier LE43K6600GA43
Haier LE50K6600HQGA50
Haier LE32K6600GA32
Haier LE55U6900HQGA55
Haier LE65S8000EGA65
Haier LE50U6900HQGA50
Haier LE32W200032
Haier LE55U6500UAG55
Haier LE50F9000UAP50
Haier LE55K6600HQGA55
Haier LE65U6500UAG65
Haier LE65U6900HQGA65
InfinixInfinix 43X143
Infinix 32X132
KodakKodak 50CA707750
Kodak 65CA010165
Kodak 32HDX7XPRO32
Kodak 43CA202243
Kodak 55CA090955
Kodak 43UHDX7XPRO43
Kodak 55UHDX7XPRO55
Kodak 40FHDX7XPRO40
Kodak 43FHDX7XPRO43
Kodak 32HDXSMART32
Kodak 32HDXSMART V132
Kodak 32HDXSMART32
Kodak 40FHDXSMART V140
MotorolaMotorola 55SAUHDMQ55
Motorola 55SAUHDMG55
Motorola 43SAUHDMQ43
Motorola 43SAFHDM43
Motorola 43SAUHDMG43
Motorola 65SAUHDM65
Motorola 40SAFHDME40
Motorola 55SAUHDM55
Motorola 32SAHDME32
Motorola 32SAFHDM32
Motorola 50SAUHDM50
Motorola 43SAUHDM43
Motorola 50SAUHDMQ50
Motorola 75SAUHDM75
NokiaNokia 43TAFHDN43
Nokia 32TAHDN32
Nokia 43TAUHDN43
Nokia 50TAUHDN50
Nokia 55TAUHDN55
Nokia 65TAUHDN65
Nokia 43CAUHDN43
Nokia 55CAUHDN55
Nokia 65CAUHDN65
OnePlusOnePlus 43FA0A0043
OnePlus 32HA0A0032
OnePlus 55Q1IN-155
OnePlus 55Q1IN55
OnePlus 55UA0A0055
PhilipsPhilips 58PUT660458
Philips 50PUT660450
Philips 43PUT779143
RealmeRealme RMV200443
Realme RMV200550
RedmiRedmi L50M6-RA50
Redmi L55M6-RA55
Redmi L65M6-RA65
ThomsonThomson 43TH600043
Thomson 50TH100050
Thomson 40M409940
Thomson 40M4099 PRO40
Thomson 32M3277 PRO32
Thomson 43TH009943
Thomson 43TH6000_UD943
Thomson 32PATH001132
Thomson 50OATHPRO121250
Thomson 55 OATHPRO 010155
Thomson 43 OATHPRO 200043
Thomson 43PATH454543
Thomson 55PATH505055
Thomson 65 OATHPRO 202065
Thomson 40PATH777740
Thomson 32PATH0011BL32
Thomson 50PATH101050
Thomson 43PATH000943
Thomson 75 OATHPRO212175
Thomson 43 OATH 100043
Thomson 49 OATH 900049
Thomson 32M327732
Thomson 55TH100055
ToshibaToshiba 32L505032
Toshiba 55U505055
Toshiba 43L505043

Android TV and Google TV Explained For You

So that was all about the Android TV platform and what it offers. We have also discussed Google TV and how the company intends to phase out Android TV with a brand new UI, personalized curation, improved voice assistant, and more. So just go through all the points of the article and I am sure you will find all the necessary information. If you think I have missed out on anything then do comment down below and let me know. I will surely try to help you out.

Comments 1
  • Anonymous says:

    I will never buy an android tv. I prefer web OS or Tizen OS over this OS. The lg and samsung tv are so convenient to use, starting from boot time to adjusting settings, everything is snappy.

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