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The New Android TV App - Coming Soon

ebr

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Google announced Android TV at their annual Google I/O conference last year and we immediately saw it as a huge opportunity not only for Media Browser but also for the industry as a whole.

 

The smart TV market is thriving but the use of the actual smart features are greatly limited because each manufacturer, for the most part, chose to implement their own environment which makes it very difficult for app developers to support them all. This, in turn, makes it hard for users to find the apps they want.

 

We saw Google's new platform as a potential common platform for not only stand alone devices, but also smart TVs and, it appears, we were right.

 

At CES a couple of weeks ago Sony, Sharp and Philips all announced that their 2015 models would be using Google's Android TV as their smart platform.

Despite a noticeable improvement in Smart TV interfaces last year, 2015 marks a turning point, with many brands abandoning their own interfaces in favour of more-widely compatible ones.

 

The biggest winner of this move is, of course, Android TV, now used by Sony, Sharp and Philips. The system offers plenty of friendly apps and a responsive and well-designed interface. It'll be very familiar to you if you're used to Android phones. It also includes all of Google's connected services, as well as Google Cast compatibility, which allows you to share the screen of another device (e.g. smartphone) with the television via Wi-Fi.

 

Of course, the Nexus Player is available now as a set top box solution and there will undoubtedly also be other new boxes sporting Android TV, but the TVs themselves will really make this platform a winner.

 

And we will be ready for them. Here is a sneak peek at our upcoming Android TV App:

 

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20 Comments


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Wow, the interface looks pretty neat! Nice job guys!

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thefirstofthe300

Posted

*Drool* Oooooooooooooooooo.......................................I want it!

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dark_slayer

Posted

Nice looking. Did you get a chance to enable 100Mbps max bitrates instead of the previous android limitation of 21?

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Holly hell that looks sharp.

It looks like the pricks over at Samsung still aren't onboard with android TV!

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reluctantflux

Posted

Looks very slick.  I'm extremely hoping for Live TV functionality!  

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dark_slayer

Posted

Also, if we add some displays to empty rooms in the future they'll likely just have android TV embedded running mediabrowser! Won't replace the full HTPC experience on the main display for a few years probably, but I'm hoping they'll put decent enough SoCs in the embedded Android TV sets for direct playback of at least 1080p blu-ray

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dark_slayer

Posted

And you made me go double check that I hadn't missed the first episode of GoT with your Season5 picture above :D

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e123enitan

Posted

I want this, I want this, can't wait, Holy Grain, this App look wala

 

what is the eta for beta release or stable 

would this replace Andriod for Living Room?

or it's an alternative?

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Does android TV platform support changing of Hz according to media ? Seeing as the Chromecast and Nexus Player does not it wouldn't surprise me if this is a limitation in Android TV aswell. Google is known for only having the US in mind when releasing new products.

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The Nexus Player is Android TV but when it gets embedded in TV sets then I imagine those manufacturers will do their best to make it work with the set's hardware capabilities.

 

As for the question about "Android for Living Room" - that is a part of the current Android App that supports multiple devices.  This app will only target specific "Android TV" devices which are large format devices running Android 5.0.  Right now, only the Nexus Player.

 

If you have something like a Fire TV, you would need to use the other app.

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hifiaudio2

Posted

Very very cool!  Do we already know what types of files will be natively played by Android TV?  Say the new Razer unit?   I would want to avoid transcoding.

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would love to drop plex completely and test this out on my NP!! the screen shots look good!!!

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dark_slayer

Posted

Very very cool!  Do we already know what types of files will be natively played by Android TV?  Say the new Razer unit?   I would want to avoid transcoding.

The razer forge is kind of a puzzle that the ended up with qualcomm over the nvidia K1

 

In any case, natively by Android TV is kind of a variable question

  • The FireTV runs the same SoC as the Razer (I believe, both qualcomm and I believe the same GPU)
  • The Nexus Player runs an Intel low power quad core with PowerVR graphics
  • The ADT-1 runs a Tegra 4

I've been playing with and enjoying the Nexus Player a lot. I've sideloaded the MB android app for now as well as Kodi (formerly XBMC). As to what it *can* play theoretically Kodi gives a pretty good idea of it's limitations I think

  • Prometheus and other high bitrate h264 blu-rays play back just fine (all of mine are in MKV containers with HD audio) -- full 1:1 rips no encoding
  • Dark Knight and the few straggling VC1 rips will not play back without stuttering

Kodi has both mediacodec and libstagefright as hardware acceleration options. For Dark Knight playback I tried with both on, either on, and both off (software decode) to no success. Those will need to be transcoded

 

Also, android 5 did introduce the option for apps to set refresh rates, but no word that it can be seamlessly done on the fly just yet, or if 23.976 is even supported

 

Finally, to continue what Redshirt had to remind us of a few times before, external apps like Kodi and MPlayer can do more than the native video player app can as far as which codecs can direct play without issue, etc. However, working resume points and watched status info into that may be difficult (never has been supported, not just on android but windows as well)

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