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Android TV ‘Channels’ will align web content with linear TV

The television software platform will now contain a hybrid model to accommodate channel surfing and on-demand content.
May 29, 2015

Google may have found a way to combine linear television and VOD.

During the first day of the Google I/O keynote on May 28, Android development leads announced the introduction of the Android TV “Channels” feature — a bid to create a hybrid model of online content and traditional TV.

The feature will allow users to “surf” between their linear TV content and digital apps, but will also have libraries of VOD content available for browsing.

For example, users on a smart TV or a traditional set equipped with a streaming box can channel flip from CBS to ABC to the TED “channel,” where they will find content already in progress.

“You don’t want to think about it,” said Chris McKillop, engineering manager at Android TV, at the keynote, which was broadcast via livestream from San Francisco. “You don’t want your TV to be a computer. You want it to entertain you.”

If users already have an idea of what they want to watch, they can access the TED app (or others) through the main menu and select a talk from the library.

Android TV was announced at least year’s Google I/O and has seen partnerships with the Huffington Post, Vevo, TED and AOL, which included originals such as True Trans with Laura Jane Grace (pictured).

Now, with an eye on creating more choices for users, Google also announced upcoming partnerships with Buzzfeed, WWE, Vimeo and Twitch, among others.

“We wanted to bring Android to TV and to keep those content-centric immersive qualities that make TV so great,” said Leo Baghdassarian, senior designer at Google.

Since Android TV is a software platform, cost of the platform is dependent on the TV manufacturers.

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