July 27th 2017
TV streaming platforms are right at the center of the content consumption experience in 2017. With so many turning away from the cable box and moving to the modern OS in their streaming box, the competition is fierce. While Google has a clear winner in the Chromecast platform, I think Android TV has just as much potential. And I think there’s a great opportunity here for Google to launch a great product and give it the push it needs.
The current state of Android TV is unfortunately bleak. There’s not a single Android TV box on the Google Store, and the only notable ones that are available in the market in general are the Xiaomi Mi Box and the Nvidia Shield TV. While I have absolutely nothing negative to say about the latter, the Mi Box is a mixed bag. It’s cheap, works great, and is able to push 4K, but it hasn’t been officially updated to Nougat, will likely never see Android O, and is only sold in one store.
Rewind a couple of years, and Android TV was a bit more prevalent and seemed it might have a bright future. We had the original Nvidia Shield, the Razer Forge, and the Nexus Player. While the Forge failed miserably, the Shield and Nexus Player proved their worth, both of which are still updated over two years later and are generally good products. They’ve aged for sure, but they run Android TV sufficiently and then some.