Android TV has one advantage over most other media set-top boxes in that manufacturers can install the software directly on TVs without the need for additional equipment. Manufacturers like Sony, Sharp, and Philips are already offering TVs with Android TV built in, but more options are coming soon.
Arcelik, Vestel, RCA, Hisense, TCL, and Bang & Olufsen will begin offering Android TV models later this year. Google also announced that Linknet already has an Android TV available in Indonesia.
Not in the market for a new TV? You can still opt for the Nexus Player or the Nvidia Shield TV, which are standalone set-top boxes that you can connect to your current TV. With Android TV, you can install most media and gaming apps such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, MLB.TV, and so much more.
Google’s announcement also included new partners for Google Cast. Google Cast is similar to the Chromecast, but it’s for audio only. Manufacturers can embed Google Cast in speakers, sound bars and A/V receivers, which makes it easier to cast music from your favorite smartphone or tablet apps.
Google Cast shouldn’t be mistaken for Chromecast Audio. Both products are strictly for audio, but Chromecast Audio is a standalone dongle. The one advantage that it has is that it can be connected to virtually any speaker or A/V receiver. In addition, multiple Chromecast Audio dongles can be synced so you can listen to the same song in multiple rooms.
This leads us to Google’s final announcement, which is that multiroom sync is coming soon to Google Cast speakers. Not only can Google Cast speakers sync together, they can also sync with other speakers connected to Chromecast Audio.
- Become a master caster with these Google Chromecast tips and tricks
- Google’s Chromecast gets a minor update and bundle options, but not much else
- Google Chromecast and Chromecast Ultra: Everything you need to know
- HDMI ARC and eARC: What they are and why you should care
- Google Assistant displays will soon get multiroom audio, Home View, and more