Google TV’s main home page will feature titles pulled from all your integrated streaming services like Netflix, Hulu and HBO Max. It’ll also show options from other channels that you haven’t used, like Tubi TV or Crackle perhaps, just to show you what you could watch from them. The top two thirds or so of the page is dedicated to a carousel of featured shows based on what the system thinks you’ll want to watch next.
Tabs at the top let you view suggestions for you, movies, TV shows, apps and your content library. The rest of the main page presents several rows of content, including genres Google thinks you like, as well as titles from specific services like Netflix and YouTube. Like Play Movies and TV already do, Google TV will canvas all available streaming providers to make it easier to find a show you like rather than search each channel for a show.
Google said it updated the search knowledge graph it used in previous offerings like Play Movies & TV to help Google TV better understand what you’re looking for. You’ll also be able to continue to use the Cast system to stream your photos or phone screen to your TV, and those who liked Ambient mode for displaying art on their television sets will still find it here. Google also said Stadia support will be available in the first half of 2021.
Importantly, Google TV will also be available as a mobile app for Android devices starting today, so you can already experience the new interface on your phone. Start adding shows to your watchlist and they’ll carry over to the big screen, too.
It might be confusing, but it doesn’t appear as if Android TV is going away with the introduction of Google TV. The latter is more of an interface that runs on the Android TV operating system, and both names will continue to exist. The new Chromecast is the only device to use Google TV so far, with the company saying that Sony and other Android TV OS partners will be able to offer televisions with the interface next year.