Android TV, developed by Google, offers various features that enhance the user experience in terms of entertainment, connectivity, and customization options. Android TV is a popular smart TV platform that offers a wide range of features and benefits to its users. Android TV can come preloaded as your default TV OS like Sony Bravia TVs or in TV boxes like Xiaomi Mi Box S. In this article, we will explore some of the key aspects of Android TV, including its user interface, app ecosystem, voice control, casting and screen mirroring, gaming capabilities, setting up and troubleshooting common issues, tips and tricks for an optimal experience, and future developments and upcoming features.
1. User Interface (UI)
Android TV has a simple yet visually appealing interface designed to provide easy access to content from different sources like streaming services, apps, live television channels, and personal media files stored on the device or connected devices. To navigate through it, use your remote control’s directional buttons to browse categories such as Home, Apps, Live Channels (if available), Movies & TV Shows, and My Library.
2. Google Assistant
Android TV comes with built-in support for the Google Assistant, allowing you to perform tasks like searching for content, controlling your smart home devices, setting alarms or reminders, getting information, and asking questions by pressing the microphone button on the remote control or using voice commands.
3. Voice Search
To initiate a search, press the microphone button on the remote or say “OK Google” followed by your query to find movies, TV shows, actors, directors, genres, channels, and more. You can also use this feature for controlling playback controls like pause/play, fast-forwarding, rewinding, etc., while watching content.
4. Chromecast Built-in
Many Android TV devices have built-in support for Google’s Cast technology, enabling you to cast media from your smartphone or laptop directly onto the big screen using the Google Home app or compatible apps like YouTube and Netflix. To cast, open a supported video on your mobile device, tap the Cast icon, select your Android TV as the destination, and start playing content. You can actually cast VLC Media Player to your Android TV using the Chromecast that is built-in provided your computer and the TV are on the same local area network.
5. Google Play Store
The built-in store provides access to numerous applications, games, and services that can be installed directly onto your Android TV. Browse through the store by pressing the Apps button on the remote or visiting “Play Store” from the home screen, then use directional buttons for navigation and select an app of interest.
6. Google Play Movies & TV
This service offers a vast collection of movies and television shows to rent or purchase directly within Android TV. To access it, go to Home > Apps > Google Play Movies & TV on the remote control.
7. Live Channels (if available)
Some devices support live channels through integrated tuners or external set-top boxes like YouTube TV, Sling TV, and other streaming services. Press the Live Channels button from the home screen to browse available options for your preferred content.
8. YouTube Music
Stream music on Android TV by accessing “YouTube Music” under Home > Apps or using voice commands to play specific songs, albums, artists, or create custom radio stations.
9. YouTube and other streaming services
Popular apps like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, Disney+, Apple TV+, etc., are available on Android TV for enjoying a wide range of content. Find them through the Apps section from Home screen and install/sign in to access your subscriptions or create new accounts if needed.
In conclusion, Android TV offers a wide range of features and benefits that make it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a smart TV platform. With its intuitive user interface, robust app ecosystem, voice control capabilities, casting and screen mirroring options, gaming capabilities, customization options, troubleshooting solutions, and upcoming developments, Android TV is sure to continue to be a popular choice for users around the world.