Google Android invades Philips' new TVs

Google’s mobile operating system gets friendly with huge displays, bringing a truckload of apps to your living room

There are smart TVs. And there’s Android-powered TVs, which Philips unveiled at CES 2014.

Philips’ new range of Android TVs, however, will be fitted with its own user interface (UI), rather than the stock Android UI. That said, Philips gave its assurance that the UI is fluent and intuitive, and our sister site What Hi-Fi agreed with that when it got some hands-on with an early unit.

The only similarity you’ll find is in the Play Store, which is laid identical to what you’ll see on your smartphone or tablet. And yes, that means access to Google’s inventory of apps and games on the Play Store will be granted to TV addicts worldwide. Subscribed to Spotify’s premium service? Install the app and stream your Justin Bieber playlist on the Android TV. Want to catch up on the latest episodes of House of Cards in 4K resolution when it’s available? You got it.

Gesture control is included with Philips’ remote control, and plans to integrate Google Voice with the clicker are in the pipeline.

A quad-core processor powers the TV, and the smooth gameplay from What Hi-Fi’s hands-on certainly shows its prowess. That said, playing Android games would require a wireless gaming control and there’s plenty out there that can connect to this TV via Bluetooth.

The Android-powered TVs will be available from March 2014 in selected European markets and Russia, and will be rolled out to the UK later in the year. There’s still no word on Asia availability yet, so cross your fingers for its arrival in Singapore and Malaysia.

Via What Hi-Fi

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