Over the past few weeks, there have been a few noteworthy new announcements and devices for Android TV and Google TV. Nvidia’s Android TV 11 update for the shield TV seems imminent. There are several new budget 4K streaming sticks and dongles, all using basically identical specs, about to be released. Google will be making Bluetooth headphone pairing a lot easier for a subset of streamers and headphones. Read on for a quick roundup of notable news regarding Google’s streaming platform. Read more ›
In the past week, there have been a few noteworthy pieces of news regarding Android TV and Google TV devices. Google’s Chromecast with Google TV and Walmart’s Onn 4K Streaming Box have both received minor software updates. Nvidia’s Shield TV has dropped a hint that it may be getting updated to Android 11 in the future. TCL and Best Buy have pulled TCL 6-Series TVs running Google TV off of shelves due to performance issues. Read on for more details about all of these things and more. Read more ›
Last week, Google announced that user profiles were finally coming to Google TV devices next month. TW Electronics, the manufacturer of the Google-designed G10 remote that many Android TV devices have been shipping with, has revealed in a tweet that manufacturers can actually select whether they want to include a user profile button in place of the bookmark button that has been on all G10 remotes so far. Read more ›
While there have been several smart TVs that have adopted Google TV, the version of Android TV that uses Google’s newer interface, the only stand-alone streaming media player running Google TV has been the 2020 Chromecast with Google TV. That changes with the release of a new streaming stick from Realme in India this week. Additionally, there are a couple of new features coming to Google TV next month. Here’s an overview of the new streaming device and those new Google TV features. Read more ›
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A new Nintendo Switch game console was announced this morning that swaps the 6.2-inch LCD screen on the existing model for a 7-inch OLED screen, among other upgrades. If you’re unaware, Nintendo Switch models are closely tied to Nividia Shield TV models because they are the two primary consumer devices that use Nvidia Tegra X1 processors. When Nintendo announced new Switch models in 2019, it was only a short time later that new Shield TV models appeared. Here’s what today’s announcement of a new top-end Nintendo Switch model might mean for future Nvidia Shield TV models. Read more ›
Nvidia Shield TV owners are upset at the recent addition of ads on their home screen but, while owners of the Chromecast with Google TV have always had ads, they too have reason to be upset. Google TV on the home screen of the 2020 Chromecast has switched from a slideshow of static image ads to autoplaying video ads, according to 9To5Google. Thankfully, you still have to pause for a bit on the banner ad before videos begin to play, but highlighting the ad banner happens often since it sits between the navigation menu and the app row. This behavior of autoplaying video ads, when highlighted, has been the norm on Fire TV devices, but unlike on Fire TV devices where you can completely turn off all video ads, there is no way to stop the new video ads from autoplaying on Google TV.
The Nvidia Shield TV has received an update that changes its classic Android TV interface to the new Google TV interface with ads. The Shield TV’s new interface isn’t the full-fledged Google TV interface found on the 2020 Chromecast, but, rather, it’s the partial Google TV interface with only some aspects of Google’s revamped interface for Android TV devices. One of the few aspects the new interface carries over from the Chromecast to the Shield TV are large ads at the top of the home screen which have upset Shield TV owners enough to flood the Google Play Store with negative reviews that have plummeted the Android TV Home app down to a 1-star rating. Read more ›
Walmart has released the Onn UHD Streaming Device, which is their first 4K Android TV streamer using their Onn house brand of electronics. The most impressive thing about it is its price, which is $29.88, making it the least expensive 4K streaming box from a well-known company. Even more impressive, considering the price, is that it comes with the Google-designed “G10” remote that has voice capabilities and TV controls. Check out my unboxing video above, where I compare the remote to numerous other popular remotes from Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and more. Then read on for a full overview of Walmart’s first attempt at streaming hardware.Read more ›
Just like all major streaming platforms, Android TV has had a remote app for some time. At today’s Google I/O conference, Google announced that those remote control capabilities will now be built directly into Android phones. The new built-in version gains some improvements over the existing stand-alone app, such as a Google Assistant button and TV control buttons. The new remote will roll out to Android devices “later this year.” Even though the Fire TV is based on Android, it is highly unlikely that this new built-in Android remote will be able to control Fire TV devices, so you’ll need to stick with the Fire TV’s Remote App if you want to control Amazon’s streaming devices with your phone.
Earlier this week, the future for streaming devices from Tivo running Android TV seemed bleak. CEO Jon Kirchner revealed in an earnings call that the release of the Chromecast with Google TV has caused the company to shift its focus towards embedding their software into TVs. While some priorities may have changed, Tivo has told Jared Newman over at TechHive that it’s not done with streaming hardware and that we should expect new Android TV dongles from TiVo. Additionally, Tivo says they will continue to improve their current Tivo Stream 4K dongle.