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What is Android TV? A Full Explanation of Google’s Platform

what is Android TV

When Google TV was discontinued previously, the system was substituted by an entirely new platform: Android TV.

The system gained positive feedback from both manufacturers and developers. Google TV lacked games, yet Android TV has connections to the Play Store; therefore, producers who already have a smartphone app can conveniently adapt it to work on Android TV. Google Cast is also supported on Android TV. In summary, Android TV is Android optimized for large screen viewing.

It is simple to use, can be managed with your voice using Google Assistant, and comes with a few useful apps. Keep reading if you want to know everything about Android TV, as well as how it operates, when one may utilize it, and the gadgets that support it.

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What is Android TV?

To make it as simple as possible, Android TV is intended to offer the same experiences you have on your mobile device to your television. That does not mean you are going to be making phone calls or checking your texts on your television; rather, it is about easy navigation, entertainment, basic engagement, and providing an excellent user experience. Android TV is all about getting smart television and doing so with a familiar and simple design.

It includes voice commands thanks to Google Assistant compatibility, as well as control over other gadgets such as your Android cellphone and WearOS watch. The advanced system has a familiar feel to it, which makes it simpler to do what you want without having to navigate a complicated menu interface.

Crucial entertainment applications are accessible, and Android app producers can switch apps for large-screen experiences. It could be anything from climate details to sports. Android TV allows you to easily tailor the material on your TV to your preferences.

It offers a unique edge for television manufacturers: why build your individual smart TV system when Google developed it for you? Why create your own applications when the Android TV group is already working on them? Why develop your own application store when Google Play is available on Android TV? It also has a unique benefit for Google: it places Android on your bigger screen at home, and it gives Google another way to provide you the data.

How Android TV Operates

There are various factors to consider when determining how Android TV works. Let us look at the following components:


Android TV is easy to pick up and operate. The primary screen or home screen appears when you turn on your TV or set-top box. It is loaded with a vertical flow of rows that you can move between. The Content Discovery bar is in the first row, and it highlights recommended material from common applications you utilize. Tutorials are available on YouTube, and your favorite series is available on Google Play TV and Movies.

Voice Search

The Google Assistant-powered search tool is located in the upper area of the system. Voice commands are supported by Android TV if you contain the appropriate equipment to enable Android TV to hear you. The complete system is designed around noise-activated browsing, which people may access via one remote with built-in microphones. To begin your quest, you just need to click it.

Simple voice functions like stating what show or movie you want to watch is supported.  When you express a search phrase into Android TV, it does not only bring you all relevant results from Google Play, but from Netflix, Hulu, and other services. You find helpful cards beneath as you shuffle through the data. They provide details such as who stars in the film you want to view, other famous content from the gaming maker you are looking at, YouTube videos showcasing the actress or actor you are looking at, and so on.


The final row on the home screen is not really a row; it is a dedication zone where you can control settings, timers, and support guides by clicking on them. You can find smart TV settings like Channel Setup, Display, External Inputs, Network and Accessories menus for Google Cast, System Preferences, Bluetooth, Sounds, and other options if you go to the Settings tab.


A compilation of every item you have downloaded appears underneath the Apps row. Single-player, multiplayer, web and offline apps and games are all supported on Android TV. When playing against rivals, people may use up to four gamepads, Android phones, or tablets. Since Google Play Games stores your advancement, you can also complete a stage on your cellphone and continue on your television.

Apps and Content

Returning to the home screen’s vertical rows. A selection of featured applications, such as Netflix, BBC iPlayer, Amazon Instant Video, and others, appears in the following row. You can also see the developer’s software on some television sets and tablets.

You can also see a vertical panel for TV inputs, such as HDMI 1 and HDMI 2, which allows you to conveniently monitor and move between them, and a vertical row underneath that for applications you have downloaded or have access on your computers, such as the Google Play Store, Albums, Movies, Music, and TV Google Play. To search and discover more content, click on any of these applications.


This may be one of Android TV’s most exciting elements is the opportunity to use it for casting. Chromecast is pre-installed on Android TV.

If you do not have an Android TV-compatible TV yet would like to cast media from your smartphone or laptop to your TV, you have to purchase a Chromecast HDMI dongle from Google and connect it to your TV. However, if you have an Android TV-enabled TV or set-top box, this is not the case. When you purchase this, you can submit everything to your TV, including songs, movies, series, and even web tabs.

There is no need for a Chromecast HDMI dongle. To start using this feature on your TV, click the Cast option on the application on your phone.

Are There any Alternatives to Android TV?

There are various alternatives to Android TV, and the market continues to expand. LG chose WebOS for its television software on the top TVs in 2014, and the outcomes were fantastic. Samsung, alternatively, has been promoting Tizen, a project in which it has deeply invested. If you are looking for an advanced smart TV, most companies offer their own user interfaces.

Set-top boxes from Apple, Amazon, and Roku are another threat to Android TV. While Roku gadgets aim to be impartial by providing availability to Google and Amazon’s web stores, Apple TV mainly promotes Apple’s own products and Amazon Fire TV items primarily promote Amazon Prime Video and Amazon’s specific utilities.

How Do You Get Android TV?

When you select TVs from Sony, Sharp, Hisense, OnePlus, and Phillips, Android TV is pre-installed as the default smart television user interface.

TCL revealed in June 2020 that it was going to begin selling its low-cost 3 Series smart TVs with Android TV built specifically via BestBuy. TCL is the first brand to sell the same television model with the option of using Android TV or Roku as the software.

With an Android TV television set-top box from organizations like Nvidia, AirTV, and Xiaomi, you can connect Android TV to any current television with an HDMI port. These systems cost between $60 and $200.

The JBL Link Bar, a $400 soundbar that combines Google Assistant and Android TV in a unified home theater speaker, is another choice.

If you have an AT&T TV subscription, you may already have an Android TV unit. On its set-top boxes, the organization uses a modified variation of Android TV; hence, it operates with the Google Play Store and contains voice access to Google Assistant from the controller.

Do not be fooled by Amazon’s Fire TV being mentioned as an Android TV unit. Amazon’s Fire TV OS is based on the open-source version of Android, but it differs significantly from Google’s Android TV.

Additionally, be wary of so-called Android TV boxes from unfamiliar manufacturers. You can find these on Amazon and other places, but they are not real Android TV players. Instead, they use Android’s non-TV edition and do not come with voice remotes. Google’s product page has an up-to-date collection of all approved Android TV products.

You may be curious about why Google does not offer an Android TV system for purchase. The now-defunct Nexus Player device gave it a shot; however, since its downfall in 2016, there has been a gap in Google’s Android TV footprint that the Chromecast players do not fill. 

Is Android TV Worth it?

Android TV is not designed for everyone; however, others may find it is their dream come true. This platform is extremely convenient and ideal for those who want to interact with Google Assistant, for example. For people who want to integrate the system with their Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5, Android TV would not be the most compatible option. If you are looking for a modern system with simple controls, smart television with Android TV may be ideal for you.

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