What Makes Android TV and Google TV Different?


Google TV and Android TV
Image source: Rangs

Considering Google created both Android and Android TV, it’s natural to wonder: are Android TV and Google TV the same thing? The answer? Not quite.

While they share some DNA, these two platforms offer distinct experiences for your smart TV. Let’s dive in and explore the key differences between Android TV and Google TV, helping you decide which one reigns supreme for your home entertainment needs.

Google TV Is Basically a New Version of Android TV

Google TV vs Android TV

Android TV has been the go-to operating system for many smart TVs and streaming devices. Think of popular options like Nvidia Shield and Razer Forge TV. But in September 2020, Google introduced Google TV. Is this a whole new system?

Nope! Google TV isn’t a complete overhaul. It’s actually a fresh, more streamlined interface built on top of the existing Android TV. Imagine it like a phone manufacturer putting their own unique look on the Android operating system.

So, to simplify things, picture Google TV as a stylish new skin for Android TV. The core system remains the same, but Google TV gives it a whole new visual makeover.

What’s New in the New Version?

Google TV

So, what exactly does this new Google TV skin bring to the table? The biggest shift is on the home screen. Gone are the days of simply seeing rows of apps. Google TV curates a personalized experience, surfacing recommendations from all your subscribed streaming services like Disney+ or Netflix. This means you’ll see top picks right there on your home screen, making it easier to discover your next marathon watch.

Another key change is the focus on content, not just apps. Unlike Android TV, Google TV prioritizes showing you specific movies and shows you might enjoy, rather than just displaying app icons.

But wait, there’s more! Google TV boasts a fantastic feature called Watchlist. This allows you to add movies and shows you stumble upon to your watchlist, even if you’re not in front of your TV. Using your phone, tablet, or computer, you can easily add content from a simple Google search. This is a game-changer, especially for those who struggle to remember show names or want to jot down recommendations from friends. Plus, with so many streaming services out there, keeping track of what to watch can be overwhelming. Watchlist helps you stay organized and eliminates decision fatigue!

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Google TV Is Also More Convenient Than the Other

Google TV

Google TV isn’t just about a fancy new look. It offers a suite of features designed to streamline your viewing experience.

First up is the handy companion app. Previously known as Play Movies & TV, it’s now simply called Google TV and works seamlessly with your smart TV. Browse content, buy or rent movies, and even use your phone as a remote control – all from the comfort of your couch.

Speaking of convenience, Google TV introduces new tabs to help you navigate content effortlessly. The “Live” tab keeps you up-to-date with live broadcasts, while the “For You” tab personalizes your experience with curated recommendations based on your viewing habits.

Thinking about the family? Google TV offers robust parental controls, allowing you to set up multiple user profiles just like you can on Netflix. This ensures everyone in the house has a safe and age-appropriate viewing experience.

Finally, setting up Google TV is a breeze. Gone are the days of fiddling with menus on your TV. Simply use the Google Home app to configure your preferences, including selecting the streaming services you subscribe to. This way, Google TV personalizes your recommendations right from the start, ensuring you see the content you’ll love.

How Do You Get the New Version?

Android TV

So, you’re sold on the benefits of Google TV’s sleek interface and personalized recommendations. But how do you get it on your existing setup?

There are several paths to take. Firstly, if you’re in the market for a new device, many smart TVs, streaming dongles, and set-top boxes now come equipped with Google TV built-in.

For those with existing TVs, a budget-friendly option is the Chromecast with Google TV (available in both 4K and HD versions). Both are incredibly affordable, offering the easiest way to experience Google TV without needing a whole new TV.

Of course, you could always upgrade your television entirely and choose a model with Google TV pre-installed.

Now, for the tech-savvy individuals out there, there are methods to make your current Android TV resemble Google TV visually. However, it’s important to remember that these methods alter the interface only. The core functionality remains rooted in Android TV.

The key takeaway? Google TV offers a visually distinct and personalized experience built upon the foundation of Android TV. Choosing the right option depends on your budget and comfort level with tinkering.

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