Google TV vs Android TV: which is better for you?

by Dangbei Official on December 29, 2023

GTV VS ATV

In the ever-evolving landscape of smart entertainment, the battle between Google TV and Android TV has captured the attention of tech enthusiasts and casual users alike. These platforms, both born out of the tech giant Google, offer a glimpse into the future of how we consume content on our screens.


In this comprehensive blog, we'll delve into what Android TV and Google TV are, explore their similarities, highlight their key differences, touch upon the intersection of Google TV and smart projectors, and help you determine which smart TV experience aligns best with your personal viewing preferences.

What is Android TV?

Android TV debuted in 2014 as a version of the Android operating system optimized for TVs. It powers many smart TVs from Sony, Hisense, TCL, and others, as well as set-top boxes like the Nvidia Shield. The interface is organized around rows of app icons and recommendations from Google Play. There is also Google Assistant built-in for voice controls.

Android TV Interface

Some of the key features of Android TV include:
- Access to the Google Play Store for apps like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Spotify, and more.
- Voice controls with the Google Assistant built-in. You can search for content, get recommendations, and control your smart home devices with just your voice.
- Casting capabilities to stream content from your mobile device or computer to your TV. This works through Chromecast technology.
- Gaming through the Google Play Store with titles optimized for Android TV. You can also pair Bluetooth gaming controllers.

What is Google TV?

Google TV is Google's newer smart TV platform that launched in 2020. Google TV has a personalized home screen that makes recommendations based on your viewing history and subscriptions. It also has a content-first interface that surfaces movies and shows from across various apps and services. The first device to utilize Google TV was the Chromecast with Google TV streaming stick. It has since expanded to smart TVs from Sony and TCL.

Google TV UI

Some key features of Google TV include:
- A personalized home screen with curated recommendations for shows and movies. It learns your preferences over time.
- An easy-to-navigate interface with tabs for Movies, Shows, Live TV, Apps, Library, and more.
- Robust search and voice capabilities through Google Assistant.
- Support for streaming apps like Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, and more.
- Chromecast built-in for easy casting from mobile devices.

Similarities between Android TV and Google TV

Selection of apps

Both Android TV and Google TV provide access to the Google Play Store, offering a vast array of apps, games, and streaming services. This common ground ensures that users have a wide selection of content at their fingertips.

Google Assistant

The integration of Google Assistant is a shared feature between the two platforms. Users can use voice commands to search for content, control playback, and even control smart home devices, enhancing the overall user experience.

Chromecast built-in

Chromecast functionality is present in both Android TV and Google TV. This feature allows users to cast content from their mobile devices or computers directly to their TV screens, fostering a seamless transition between devices.

Play games

Android games that are optimized for TV can be played on both Android TV and Google TV devices.

So in many ways, the core experience of finding entertainment to watch or interact with is very similar between the two platforms, thanks to shared Google apps and services.

Main Differences between Android TV and Google TV

Home screen

One of the biggest differences between Google TV and Android TV is the home screen layout. While Android TV typically features a more traditional app-centric home screen, Google TV offers a content-centric interface, showcasing personalized recommendations and trending content.

This makes Google TV better for discovering new shows and movies to watch from different streaming services. You can quickly browse recommendations and new releases without having to open different apps. With Android TV, the experience is more app-driven, but there is less aggregation of content.

Live TV tab

In comparison to Android TV, Google TV has a dedicated Live tab for accessing live TV channels and programming guides when using providers like YouTube TV and Sling TV. The Live tab shows your available channels and what is currently playing on each channel. You can quickly flip through and start watching live TV with just a couple clicks.

User profile

Google TV supports multiple user profiles, so each person can have their own customized space, making the viewing experience truly individualized. With separate profiles, every user can customize their home screen, get personalized recommendations and watchlists tailored specifically to their viewing history and interests, access their own individual Google account and linked services, and even set parental controls for children's profiles. Android TV lacks native multi-user support - profiles need to be implemented in each app separately.

Watchlist

Google TV lets you add titles to a cross-app universal watchlist for tracking what you want to watch later. The watchlist is centralized and synced across devices. So you can add something to your watchlist on your phone, and it will show up on your Google TV device as well. This makes it easy to keep track of what you want to watch, no matter which device you're on. Android TV has no equivalent unified watchlist, only individual app watchlists.

So, in summary, Google TV offers a more advanced, personalized, and unified smart TV experience compared to the Android TV platform.

First Google TV™ Laser Projector Designed by Dangbei

With its advanced smart TV capabilities, Google TV is also being utilized beyond traditional televisions. Notably, it is now being incorporated into smart projectors like the Dangbei Atom.

The Dangbei Atom represents an exciting innovation as Dangbei’s first model to seamlessly integrate a high-quality laser projection with the smart functionality of Google TV in one sleek device. This powerful combination provides users with a portal to a vast world of entertainment, including Netflix, YouTube, Disney+, and many others, all accessible through voice commands. With Google TV's intuitive and personalized recommendations, viewers can easily discover new movies, shows, sports, music, and more from leading apps and subscriptions.

Atom Dolby Audio

Key features include:
- 1200 ISO lumens with advanced ALPD laser technology
- Only 1.87 inches thick. Thinnest model to achieve such brightness
- Integrated Google TV for smart TV functionality
- 1080p picture quality up to 180 inches. HDR10 and HLG
- 3 color temperature presets. 3D supported
- Dual 5W built-in speakers enhanced by Dolby Audio
- Upgraded smart image adjustment with dToF and CMOS module

It is worth mentioning that when many Android TV projectors struggle with choppy Netflix streaming due to underpowered hardware, Google TV projectors like the Atom deliver a top-notch streaming experience and make it easy to access and enjoy all the great content Netflix has to offer.

Conclusion

In the dynamic landscape of smart entertainment, the choice between Google TV and Android TV ultimately depends on individual preferences and use cases. Google TV's emphasis on personalized recommendations and content curation sets it apart, while Android TV continues to offer a robust and familiar experience.

Google TV brings a true smart TV experience to the big screen, whether you're using a streaming stick like the Chromecast with Google TV, smart TVs from the likes of Sony and TCL, or innovative projectors such as the Dangbei Atom.

FAQ

Q: Do I need a streaming device with Google TV?
A: If you purchase a smart TV or projector that comes with Google TV built-in, like Sony or TCL's latest TVs or the new Dangbei Atom, you do not need any additional streaming devices.

Q: Can you install apps on Google TV?
A: Yes, Google TV gives you access to download and install apps from the Google Play store, similar to Android smartphones. Media apps like Netflix and game apps are available.

Q: Does Google TV support live TV channels?
A: Yes, Google TV introduces a Live TV tab that aggregates live content from various sources, providing users with a convenient way to access live TV channels.

Q: Does Google TV have voice search?
A: Yes, Google TV supports voice search and commands through the Google Assistant. You can use the remote or pair your smartphone to control the TV with your voice.

Q: How much does Google TV cost?
A: Google TV software is free. It comes pre-installed on supported smart TVs and streaming devices.

Q: Is Google TV worth it over Android TV?
A: For most users, Google TV represents the better choice if you're buying a new smart TV or projector. The personalized recommendations, voice search, content aggregation, and slick interface make for a superior smart TV experience. But Android TV provides wider hardware options if you want to compare across brands.

Q: Is Android TV being phased out?
A: Google has not announced plans to phase out Android TV entirely. However, it is clear that Google TV represents the future of the company's smart TV efforts.

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