At CES this week, three electronics giants – Sony, Sharp, and Philips, to be precise – announced that they would be making new smart television sets powered by Google’s Android TV OS. Let the war of the smart TVs officially commence.
According to a post on the Official Android Blog, the three manufacturers will be shipping the Android TV-powered sets this spring. Chances are pretty good, of course, that more manufacturers will follow suit shortly thereafter, since Android TV has (somewhat limited) access to the Play Store’s suite of Android Apps, plus all of the Play Store’s content offerings, not to mention the usual Netflix and Hulu Plus goodness. On top of that, Android TV includes Chromecast capabilities, and can even allow for gaming via remotes or Bluetooth controllers.
A couple manufacturers that probably won’t be going with Android TV: Samsung and LG, each of which have their own smart TV operating systems. Samsung built its own out of Tizen, and has included PlayStation Now functionality (which is interesting, since Sony is making Android TV sets…will they also include PlayStation Now?). LG has repurposed webOS for its smart TVs, which it resurrected from our dear departed Palm Pre and Pixi smartphones.
Who will win? How many smart TV operating systems can coexist? We’re about to find out.