Google TV goes live on Sony and TCL TVs

Android TV layer spreads its wings beyond Chromecast

Google TV goes live on Sony and TCL TVs
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Google’s new smart TV system system is taking center stage at CES 2021, with both Sony and TCL announcing that Google TV will power TVs in their 2021 line-ups.

When Google TV went live on the 2020 Chromecast, the tech giant did say that the Android TV layer would hit third-party TVs and set top boxes and we're now seeing that happen.

Google announced its new smart TV user interface last year, positioning it as a lighter, more user-friendly version of Android TV.

After six years of using Android TV on its TVs, Sony confirmed that its latest TVs will instead use Google TV. It used the all-digital CES 2021 tech conference to announce its 2021 Bravia XR TVs, which all boast Google TV.

Guide: What is Google TV?

Like the user interface seen on Amazon Fire TV, Google TV displays TV shows and movies from various sources on a single page. By going into settings on Google TV, you can select the services you want to receive content suggestions from.

When you’ve selected a range of sources, you’ll see custom TV show and movie recommendations in the “For You” tab. There’s also a “Watchlist” feature that allows you to save content to stream at a more convenient time.

Of course, it also supports Google Assistant, meaning you can use your voice to quickly find TV shows and movies to watch.

Because Google TV runs on top of Android TV, it offers over 6,500 smart TV apps and 400,000 films and TV shows. If you live in the US and use Google TV, you can also watch live television via YouTube TV.

With Sony’s new Bravia XR TVs sporting Google TV, users should find it more intuitive to find TV shows and movies to watch.

Read this: The best streaming sticks / The best smart TV platforms

On top of a shiny new UI, the Bravia XR range also sports features like a Cognitive Processor XR that will refine the image and audio quality, 120Hz 4K displays, eARC, HDMI 2.1, an auto low latency mode, and more. The new sets are all AirPlay 2 devices, as well.

But it’s not just Sony hedging a bet on Google’s new TV operating system. At CES 2021, Chinese TV maker TCL also unveiled plans to launch a range of new TVs that sport Google TV.

tcl ces 2021 keynote - google tv

Just like Sony, TCL has previously used Android TV on a variety of its models. However, that will change when its new 8K, QLED, and Mini LED TVs arrive with Google TV aboard later this year.

As of yet, no other brands have unveiled televisions powered by Google TV. But given that Sony and TCL have put their support behind the new UI, expect this to change pretty soon.

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