Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 5th Apr 2014 19:53 UTC

According to documents obtained exclusively by The Verge, Google is about to launch a renewed assault on your television set called Android TV. Major video app providers are building for the platform right now. Android TV may sound like a semantic difference - after all, Google TV was based on Android - but it's something very different. Android TV is no longer a crazy attempt to turn your TV into a bigger, more powerful smartphone. "Android TV is an entertainment interface, not a computing platform," writes Google. "It's all about finding and enjoying content with the least amount of friction." It will be "cinematic, fun, fluid, and fast."

What does that all mean? It means that Android TV will look and feel a lot more like the rest of the set top boxes on the market, including Apple TV, Amazon's Fire TV, and Roku.

All these devices look the same. It's going to be very hard to stand out if they all have the same services. On top of that - I'm not putting a separate box next to my TV. Why can't my tablet or PC act as the box? This is 2014, is it not?

If you see a separate box, they blew it.

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Hard disk recorder first and foremost
by rklrkl on Sun 6th Apr 2014 16:57 UTC
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The first thing that I've always attached to my TV is some form of hard disk recorder (yes, it's a box, sorry about that). Whether it's a dedicated unit or some sort of HTPC with tuner cards, it's the #1 priority for me and I suspect most people who actually want to watch TV programmes on, you know, your *TV*.

After that, other ways of displaying (non-broadcast-TV) content on my TV are icing on the cake and *definitely* shouldn't be another box with another remote (I've just added those with the hard disk recorder, remember?). This is why I didn't go for Apple TV (never mind the abhorrent Apple ecosystem lock-in with it) or any of the Roku products and just settled on a cheap and cheerful Chromecast as a second HDMI-based device hooked into my TV.

With the right apps (Plex, LocalCast etc.), you can then stream content from your network or local device, though sadly Google have dropped the ball with the lack of AC3 audio support). Plus there's BBC iPlayer if I forget/fail to record a BBC show on my hard disk recorder (the hard disk recorder is still a superior solution by *far* compared to Chromecast TV channel streaming apps and anyone who says otherwise needs their head examined).

More of my (UK-centric) thoughts at my TL:DR-inducing Chromecast page at

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