Android TV could do well in the UK if…
I cut the cord years ago, so long ago I have very little idea what is actually available on UK terrestrial TV. My TV watching revolves around Plex, YouTube, Netflix and Amazon Videos.
I've a TV with apps for the BBC iPlayer as well as the above. However being a TV the apps doesn’t get updated that often and some videos don’t play.
I've also got ChromeCast throughout the house with the Music only Chromecasts plugged into speakers in each room creating a poor mans Sonos and the Video variant on the Living room TV and an HDMI Flatscreen monitor in the bedroom.
In the living room however I'm a sucker for a TV box
This all started about 10 years ago with an XBOX running XBMC through small PC’s running variants of XBMC to the Amazon TV box running apps and this week Android TV provided by an Nvidia Shield TV.
So I'm not coming into this without a little bit of experience…
As platforms go Android TV on the Nvidia Shield is not a bad platform. The homescreen needs a bit or work having come from the better layout of the Amazon TV. Both platforms however are all about getting content to me and one feature Android TV does better than the Amazon TV is its voice search. The Nvidia Shield searches not just the content provided by Google be it TV, Movies, Youtube or Music it also digs into Plex and searches for content in the Plex and other apps.. This makes finding not just content, but related content very easy to find.
Something however letting this platform down isn't in Google’s direct control, however if it were it could make this THE Internet TV platform in the UK.
Currently only the BBC are offering an app for the Android TV platform, and its a well polished great example of an app. As usual on most platforms however ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 are lagging far far behind when it comes to streaming app content.
ITV do have an android app, however on TV platforms like Plex, Kodi, Amazon TV and Android TV the closest you may get is a catchup app providing old episodes.
Channel 4 and Channel 5 are just not anywhere to be seen..
While there is plenty of alternative content available on this and may other platforms whats missing is the ability to handle Live event’s with my current example being the 6 Nations Rugby.
In order to get the 6 Nations on my TV I have the following options as it’s being broadcast live on ITV.
Chromecast the FilmonTV, TV Catchup app from my phone using the Cast the whole screen feature of the phone and hope the screen saver doesn't kick in.
Install the unsupported apps into Plex and run the FilmOnTV app
Go to the pub..
The TV companies other than the BBC seem to have zero interest in internet streaming their content on anything other than a mobile/tablet device.
Google have a great idea with its cast technology, making it cross platform as well we a stroke of genius. Unlike Apples similar system which is iPhone only Googles Cast works on iPhone and Android and can be easily built into TV’s, Set top boxes and Stereo systems and provides good quality WiFi streaming on each of those platforms.
If Google were to do the same thing as Microsoft and provide some cash incentives for ITV, C4 and Channel5 to both Integrate chrome cast into their Android Apps and provide an App for Android TV which played like BBC iPlayer both Live TV and Catchup with hooks into the Google voice search they could own the Internet set top box platform in the UK overnight.
Providing a box like the Nvidia Shield TV which provided Android apps, Live TV, Catch up TV, voice search is a game changer.. Moving forward the platform looks set to provide things like picture in picture and maybe even TV recording saved (encrypted or DRM’ed of course) to Google Drive or local media watchable from any Android device..
Until this happens I accept the challenge of solving such issues myself..
As i watch Ireland vs Italy on my TV…