Story 2014-09-08 2S5V First Android TVs are out

First Android TVs are out

in google on (#2S5V)
story imagePhilips has beaten the competition to market with the first batch of Android-based televisions. Philips and kind are all hoping to sell you a television to which you have no need to attach any other devices, but that's no guarantee.
Previous Philips TVs lagged behind the competition in terms of streaming services, but that won't be an issue with the Android sets. You should be able to download all your favourite on demand and catch up services directly from the Google Play store, including BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Demand 5 and Netflix. 4K streaming content is supported, as the Android TVs all have HEVC codec support.

With access to Google Play, there are other possibilities too. One enterprising journalist installed a torrent downloader, found a 4K film trailer online and downloaded it to the TV, without having to jump on a computer or transfer the file from another device first.
Spotify Connect and OnLive Gaming are also on board the Philips 4K package. How the market reacts to this latest round of "innovation" will determine the future for more than one gadget-maker out there.
Reply 8 comments

Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-08 20:33 (#2S5Y)

This smells like another move to try and make TVs have a short lifespan. Is plugging another box into a HDMI port that difficult?

Re: Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-08 21:27 (#2S5Z)

I plugged my DESKTOP into my TV via HDMI. I do everything I could ever want on my TV that I did on a PC monitor without restriction of functionality or ability to update software. I will NEVER buy a Smart** TV...EVAR!!!

** Smart TV is not actually smart. It is dumb, lacks security, and software updates are not at your discretion.

Re: Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2014-09-08 23:20 (#2S64)

I've seen some people get extremely confused when given more than one box under their TV. Try to explain the following1 to a technophobe without pulling out your hair:
  1. First turn on the receiver with the power button on the receiver remote.
  2. Select the "Bluray" input button on the receiver remote.
  3. Next turn on the TV with the power button on the TV remote.
  4. Make sure the TV input source is set to "HDMI 1"
  5. Now turn on the Bluray player.
  6. Insert your Bluray disc that you want to play.
  7. Navigate the Bluray menu using the Bluray remote and find the "Play Movie" button.
1 In my case, the HT setup was much more complex with 2 projectors (one for inside zone, one for outside zone), 2 receivers (one for inside zone, one for outside zone), 1 HDTV flat screen, 1 computer monitor (mirrored with the TV and inside projector), 2 cable boxes (!), 1 Bluray player, 1 iPhone dock, 1 HTPC (xubuntu), 1 NAS (thankfully headless now)

After such a setup, I'm sure having a single "Android TV" with a single remote that does nearly all of the same functions, but all in one device, would be a welcome change indeed.

Re: Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-09 02:44 (#2S67)

I'm not quite sure how a smart TV would help here. From the materials I've seen it doesn't have a built in bluray player, so you still need that. And if you want to try and stream it, I think a technophobe would have just as much trouble typing a title with a remote. A receiver's functionality is also not really replaced by a smart TV.

Really, if they stop making apps for the TV and have it be able to orchestrate all the connected devices, I would be much more on board.

Re: Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-09 08:10 (#2S6K)

You can make it simpler by cutting the cord and having absolutely everything go through XBMC or equivalent. I'm down to a DVD player and XBMC/Roku feeding content from the NAS. My wife has some trouble with it, but my six year old has figured it out. :)

Re: Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-09 11:22 (#2S6P)

Likewise, I'm down to a Linux box and a Blu-ray player, both of which run Netflix just fine. I set up a Roku for some friends of mine, and they love it. I almost bought one because I found the near unlimited free channels intriguing.

Re: Hope it doesn't catch on (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-09 13:53 (#2S70)

My in-laws just cut their satellite to save money. I finally managed to talk them into getting a SmartTV, which I ended up paying for because my wife owes them money for something I'm a little bitter about. I digress, I set it up for them over the weekend, Netflix built into the TV.

1) Press Red button on remote labeled Netflix
2) Pick movie/TV show
3) Stop calling me to ask why there's only static on the TV because you put it on channel 5 and the satellite box needs to be on channel 4, or why the VCR isn't playing because you've set the input to the DVD player... Seriously, you were doing this stuff for decades without my help before I married your daughter.

Even if the TV is off, pressing the Netflix button turns the TV on and goes right to Netflix.

For more technically inclined people I recommend getting a "dumb" TV, if you can, with an HDMI port and just plug a PC with wireless keyboard and mouse. I have that setup in my bedroom and it works great, also my wife can't figure out how to use it so I don't have fight with her over the remote. It's getting harder to find good quality TVs that don't have a smart feature now. The new TV in our living room, we just got a month ago, does have a smart TV feature, but when I replace my wife's laptop next year I'll be plugging that in instead. It'll make it a lot easier to watch our downloaded TV shows. The built-in media server client for SmartTVs is really hit or miss and takes a lot of fiddling with to get working. Media Server/Client from PC to PC is a snap, as long as you don't mind using a keyboard and/or mouse instead of a remote to control it. Plus built-in DVD/BlueRay, Netflix and internet. Internet is a nice feature because you can watch a lot of shows, or news in some cases, right from a networks website, which you can't do easily with a SmartTV's crappy built-in basic browser, at least not that I've found.

No (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-09 14:09 (#2S72)

I have been using an android tv box for a few months. It sucks. Get a small pc and use windows or linux.