Google announces new Android TV and Google Cast partners

Igor Bonifacic

January 6, 2016 2:34pm

While it hasn’t exactly set the world on fire, Google is continuing to iterate and improve upon Android TV, its smart television platform.

The company today announced that Android TV will come pre-installed on upcoming TVs from Sony, Sharp and Philips. Later in the year, manufacturers like Arcelik, Vestel, RCA, HiSense, TCL and Bang & Olufsen will also start selling television sets with Android TV built-in.

Similarly, Google Cast, tech that allows audio devices to stream music from Google Chrome and a variety of other mobile apps, will make its way to a greater number of speakers and sound bars this year. Throughout 2016, manufacturers like B&O Play, Harman Kardon, Onkyo, Philips, Pioneer, and Raumfeld will release Google Cast-enabled speakers, sound bars, and A/V receivers. Sony and LG, which launched started supporting the platform in 2015, will launch additional devices that support the format.

Multi-room synchronization, which made its way to Chromecast Audio late last year, will also make its way to Google Cast speakers in 2016. The feature allows users connect the various audio devices in their home to make them play the same track in unison.

  • alexb88

    I’m still waiting for a new Nexus Player with 4K!

    • That would be the SHIELD AndroidTV

    • alexb88

      I thought about it, but I prefer sticking to the Nexus line. Plus the Shield is fairly expensive IMO.

    • Karl Dagenais

      Can’t really put 4k and inexpensive together at this point…

    • alexb88

      Not true. Those no-name Android boxes do 4K, like the Matricom G-Box Q and a ton of other ones you can find on Amazon. A lot of them are under $100. If those boxes ran Android TV and doubled as a Chromecast, I’d get one.

      The Shield is expensive because it’s intended for gaming and has the hardware for that purpose. All I use my Nexus Player for is watching movies and TV shows, listening to music over my home theatre and as a Chromecast. I wouldn’t pay 3x what I paid for my Nexus Player just for 4K.

    • Karl Dagenais

      Sure, but considering those boxes never get updates and require a mouse/keyboard combo, I don’t see them as viable options in my living room (wife and kids acceptance factor < 0).

      That said, if it works for you, that's awesome.

    • Adderbox76

      No keyboard and mouse required. There are USB air-remotes loose in the wild that work flawlessly in combination with the Kodi onscreen keyboard. I’ve set up more than a few for friends and family. With the right apps (Kodi and xbmc-launcher), and some set up, those cheap boxes look better and work better dollar-for-dollar than more expensive options.

  • Craig M.

    I just want an affordable Android TV box with ethernet

    • Karl Dagenais

      The razer forge tv is a good choice, as long as you don’t need netflix…

    • Craig M.

      Definitely need Netflix. Forge TV is still ~200 CAD.
      Waiting for Nexus Player 2.0 I guess…

    • Am read one Google+ that the Razer Froga should have got Netflix alredy you need to downloads it frome play store only.

  • danbob333

    I wonder if Samsung will be the Nokia/Blackberry of smart TV makers, relying on an outdated proprietary OS while the competition moves onto a new platform that will end up dominating.

  • GJ

    I bought a smaller 43 inch Sony 4k and I freaking love it. Its IPS making it a perfect computer monitor at 4k low input lag from the mouse. It has built in android TV so I installed kodi with spinztv. Its also an amazing gaming monitor I can scale down to 1080p and bump the hertz to 120 for counter strike.