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Can someone write or link to a clear comparison of all of Google's TV products?

I have the original Logitech Revue, I have a Chromecast dongle, and now there is Android TV.

What are the use-cases of each? Why 3?

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Google TV is an old set-top box (STB) product line, conceived as a competitor with Apple TV, using Intel-based hardware and initially without access to Google Play. After a rushed launch and a series of bad product reviews, Google TV had been pretty much abandoned as a product line, and is now replaced by Android TV.

In addition, other manufacturers have brought out some Android-based STBs which are just normal Android devices in a different form factor. These support normal Android apps but have often been a bit awkward to use because each manufacturer has their own big-screen user interface, and because many apps don't work well without a touch screen.

Android TV is basically a new version of Android for STBs and smart TVs. It adds features to Android to provide more commonality between different TV products, and to make it easier for app authors to support this form factor. Like the earlier Android STBs, it's a stand-alone device (it could be the only Android device you own) providing a full Android experience controlled directly through the TV interface (e.g. with a D-pad on a remote). You can use it to read and write email on the TV screen, to play games, to watch videos from YouTube, &c.

In contrast, Chromecast is an entirely passive device. Chromecast is just a cable for plugging your Android device (or another computer with Google Chrome) into your TV's display, but as it's a wireless device there's no physical cable. Even so, it's only useful for using your TV as the display for another device. You can't control it with your TV, only with the device that's connected to the Chromecast. With Chromecast, anything you can do on your phone is visible on the TV screen, so you can use it to watch videos from YouTube or to see a game on the big screen (useful in combination with a wireless game controller), but there's no TV-based user interface.

  • So you would basically remove GoogleTV from the comparison. What you are saying is that AndroidTV is the successor to GoogleTV. You wrote "pretty much abandoned", I wonder what the official word is... – Nathan H Jun 28 '14 at 18:40

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