Android TV is here and in 2015 you’ll only find it on new Sony TVs (W800C and up). Android TV is essentially a whole new operating system for your TV. The look and functionality is similar to any Android powered smart phone or tablet so for most people it’s instantly familiar – and it really is very smart.
Aside from the EPG, the main screen is filled with icons in different groups – recommended content, physical inputs, apps and online content, settings, etc. A feature we love is the voice search (Google Now) and it’s super easy to use, either with the One-Flick remote or with your smart phone. You can ask it to change channels, swap inputs, search for content by genre, series, actor/actress, information about the weather and you can even get it to solve maths questions for you.
There are a bunch of other really cool features, like auto naming HDMI inputs and the fact that you can use third party game pads as well as PS4 controllers with games from the Google Play Store. One of the most helpful things though, is Google Cast. Using the app either on your Android or iOS device, you can easily bounce movies and photos to the TV. This works for several apps and the list is expanding. With the YouTube app for example, when you choose to send it to the TV, it will open the app and continue playing there so you’re free to continue using your phone – very cool.
Sony hasn’t specified details for the processors in their 2015 TVs but we haven’t been able to break them so far. Everything is quick and smooth – from games, to loading video, switching channels and even turning the TV on and off. Overall it’s a solid operating system and a breeze to use. If you want a smart TV that has plenty of power but doesn’t take an IT degree to get your head around, Android TV is the one you want.