WHAT EVERY TV OPERATOR SHOULD KNOW!
What’s Android TV?
- Android TV is designed to bring the sorts of things you enjoy on your phone to your TV. That doesn’t mean you’ll be taking calls through your TV or trawling through emails, but it’s about ease of navigation, access to entertainment, and simple interactivity. It’s about making your TV smart and doing it with an interface that’s recognizable and easy to use.
- Android TV is a special version of the core Android OS, designed for TV’s and stand-alone digital media players, like set-top boxes and related streaming devices.
- Actively supported by Google that gives all devices some of the same features: cast support, the normal launcher, and voice search. With the Google Play Store, users can find apps and games that are completely optimized for a TV.
What’s the Android Open Source Project (AOSP)?
- The Android Open Source Project(AOSP) — It is a free open-source operating system. It means that everyone can download Android sources and create their own customized versions of an operating system.
Are you a TV operator?
Then Read on…
PROS of AOSP for Operators
- No requirement to meet Google’s licensing requirements;
- Control over every single element of the user experience;
- The possibility to keep a ‘walled garden’ environment, that disallows the installation of additional apps;
- Regular updates of the core codebase by Google.
CONS of AOSP for Operators
- No access to the Google Play AppStore and its ecosystem of thousands of apps.
- No Netflix and other third-party OTT services without certification.
- No Widevine DRM without additional implementation efforts.
- Android updates often require a great amount of additional time and resources to implement.
PROS of Android TV for Operators
- Netflix and other OTT services with a Google Play app out of the box.
- Reference UI and TV Launcher.
- Rapid innovations of features and functionality.
- Unrestricted access to the Android app ecosystem, which allows you to offer end-users access to third-party services while keeping them in your environment.
CONS of Android TV- for Operators
- Unrestricted access to the Android app ecosystem, which allows third parties to pop up in your EPG or global search.
- Google certification required, whose requirements can be expected to change over time.
- Compliance with CDD requires regular upgrades to new versions.
- Higher hardware requirements, even though these have started to come down.
- Control of innovation cycle largely in Google’s hands.
The difference between Android TV and AOSP lies in the operating system itself.
- LAUNCHER — Android TV has a special user interface and services that are designed specifically for a TV. Operators can customize their own launchers.
- APPS — Android TV allows access to an increasing number of third-party apps and services through the Google Play Store.
- CONTROL — By using AOSP, you keep total control of the user experience and can close off your environment to the apps of competing for third-party services.
- TTM — Google has done most of the work. Development time is minimal, as DRM support, search, recommendation, and more all work ’out of the box ’, greatly speeding up your time-to-market.
- CAPEX — Even though traditionally, Android TV has had higher hardware requirements than AOSP, those requirements have lowered over time. Additionally, Android TV requires fewer development resources.
- OPEX — To run Android TV, you need to run regular and timely upgrades.
- SEARCH & RECOMMENDATION — Recommendations, Search, and Assistant work ‘out of the box’ within Android TV.
- FEATURES — The Android TV feature-set is difficult and expensive to emulate on AOSP. On Android TV, most features ‘just work’ and are constantly enhanced.
- CUSTOMIZATION — The Operator Tier Certification allows customizing Android TV launchers
AOSP or Android TV: Which is right for you?
If you choose to jump on the Android train, you’ll need to choose whether to go with the ‘full’ Android TV experience or go with AOSP-based middleware.
Below, we have listed which of both scores best on several different characteristics
- APPS — Android tv allows access to an increasing number of third-party apps and services through the google play store
- CONTROL — By using AOSP, you keep total control of the user experience and can close off your environment o apps of competing third party service
- FEATURES — The Android Tv feature set is difficult and most of all it's very expensive to emulate on AOSP. On Android TV, most features ‘just work’ and are constantly enhanced
- SEARCH AND RECOMM — Recommendations, search, and assistant work’ out of the box within android tv
- CUSTOMIZATION — Even though the operator’s tier certification allows the use of custom android tv launchers, there are still limits to the amount android tv can be tweaked and changed, AOSP has no such limitations
The future of AOSP
- The Android Open Source Project continues to be the foundation of Android’s success, thanks to countless hours of developer input from around the world. While Android devices aren’t going anywhere soon, Google is already looking to a future operating system.
- Google Fuchsia first popped up on GitHub in August 2016. We still don’t know too much about Fuchsia and if or when it will appear for consumers. It appears to be designed for an even wider range of devices than Android. Fuchsia also features Google’s own non-Linux kernel and supports Google’s Dart scripting language. At the moment, Fuchsia is an open-source and free software just like Android. Let’s hope any future plans stay that way.