Google paying to have Android installed on TVs [Update]

Neowin has learned that Google has struck a deal with multiple vendors to include Android as part of their TVs. We have already started to see this transition as Lenovo will be including Android 4.0, with a new line of televisions that it will be launching in the coming year.

What we did not know -- until now -- is that Google is actually paying vendors to include Android. While vendors could have chosen to include Android on their own, with Google chipping in a few extra dollars for them to do so, it means that we're very likely see tons of Android television sets to be introduced in the next few days (and weeks).

While the exact pricing of what Google will pay vendors to include Android on their television sets is unknown, the additional payments will go a long way for vendors who have been seeing diminishing margins over the past few years.

An interesting side note is that if you remember when Google TV was first launched, Intel was a key partner of the project. If you take a look at where Google TV is being deployed, it's apparent that Intel no longer plays a part of Googles plan. Why this transition occured, we do not know. 

Google paying to have Android included in upcoming televisions should not come as a major surprise, but understanding that Google is attempting to motivate vendors by paying them to have its product included may make you think twice about if this is truly the platform of the future.

[Update] The Google PR team has contacted us to say that these allegations are false, our source still seems to disagree. Take it with a grain of salt, from either source.

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TV Interfaces are ugly enough without adding Android into the equation!

I have a smart 3DTV already and tbh I never use the features on it because it is ugly to use! I stick with Apple TV, PS3 and Xbox for all of my media!

If TV's had an Apple TV included or similar then I would be thinking about a new purchase but Android OS would turn me off it immediately!

I have to wonder how many people who actually buy a "smart TV" use any of this stuff or just end up using it like the same old TV they have been all this time? I guess we'll never get any user stats from the tv makers about this anytime soon though.

It's fine for people who are already using services like Netflix since now it'll be in the TV, so that's one nice thing, but, ya, netflix and maybe hulu plus but come on, you're going to do FB or twitter on the tv to?

GP007 said,
I have to wonder how many people who actually buy a "smart TV" use any of this stuff or just end up using it like the same old TV they have been all this time? I guess we'll never get any user stats from the tv makers about this anytime soon though.

It's fine for people who are already using services like Netflix since now it'll be in the TV, so that's one nice thing, but, ya, netflix and maybe hulu plus but come on, you're going to do FB or twitter on the tv to?

Agreed.

When I looked to buy a new TV this Christmas I saved myself over £100 by going with a dumb TV. As others have said, I use my TV for watching TV shows. I have a PS3 hooked up that can do all the catch up services if I require them. I don't see the insistence of adding more and more features to a TV set.

I still don't understand the push to integrate more and more into TVs. I want my TV to be nothing more than a display! TVs are typically long-term purchases, and Netflix, YouTube and Vudu may all disappear in a few years, and then all the extras in my TV would be useless...

I just love how google are paying to put the os onto hardware now! Not only is it free but we will pay you to put it on. To me it sounds like google has gone bad? They not happy with how they make progress. Guess this means that only the big boys can play in yet another market. Suppose it's a Robin Hood type company:)

Pete G said,
I just love how google are paying to put the os onto hardware now! Not only is it free but we will pay you to put it on. To me it sounds like google has gone bad? They not happy with how they make progress. Guess this means that only the big boys can play in yet another market. Suppose it's a Robin Hood type company:)

Google has taken a turn for the worst YEARS ago. It's a company I no longer like. They've become a company that does evil simply for the sake of doing so...

I hope this pushes other OS's forward into the space, but that's about it. I would never buy a tv with Android on it.

Heck no! I am guessing only Samsung will make something nice out of it but still.
I can't understand what is the need for any OS on the TV. Not to mention costs shooting up because of this. I am guessing Apple is cooking something similar. I am happy with the XBOX 360 to be fair while keeping my TV simple (no I don't want to watch the weather on my TV... when I am not watching it??)

Riva said,
Heck no! I am guessing only Samsung will make something nice out of it but still.
I can't understand what is the need for any OS on the TV. Not to mention costs shooting up because of this. I am guessing Apple is cooking something similar. I am happy with the XBOX 360 to be fair while keeping my TV simple (no I don't want to watch the weather on my TV... when I am not watching it??)

People could also just flip to the actually weatherchannel on their tv if they need to. Or hell, here in the EU most people just use the teletext option. Sure it's not pretty but if you know the teletext channel, it's quick and gets the job done.

I'd rather my TV run Android than some lousy OS developed by the TV manufacturer. I'd rather however have a TV running software built by Apple or Microsoft.

virtorio said,
I'd rather my TV run Android than some lousy OS developed by the TV manufacturer. I'd rather however have a TV running software built by Apple or Microsoft.

Why? Is your current TV freezing or slow? Need an HTML5 menu? lol

Riva said,

Why? Is your current TV freezing or slow?
I'm talking about the extra functions TV's come with. My TV is perfectly fine as a TV, but the YouTube, Weather, and various other apps are all terrible, slow and often lock up the TV making them valueless.

If they're going to include that stuff on the TV they may as well make it decent, and I don't trust TV companies to build software themselves.

Edited by virtorio, Jan 9 2012, 7:22am :

virtorio said,
I'm talking about the extra functions TV's come with. My TV is perfectly fine as a TV, but the YouTube, Weather, and various other apps are all terrible, slow and often lock up the TV making them valueless.

If they're going to include that stuff on the TV they may as well make it decent, and I don't trust TV companies to build software themselves.

Their software is horrible... I am all for them putting something on there. I would just much prefer something from Microsoft that can leverage my PC and XBox... I'm hoping they get more into this market.

Zedox said,
If Microsoft wanted to go at this...include Xbox inside of TVs...boom. win.

Then you get an onscreen message, your Xbox Live subscription has expired, to continue watching TV please pay us! lol

dead.cell said,
Oh god... I can see it now...

*bleep bloop!*

"Achievement Unlocked! - Sit through an entire episode of Sex in the City"

That should be an achievement.

Zedox said,
If Microsoft wanted to go at this...include Xbox inside of TVs...boom. win.

Nah, not the Xbox, but I can see kinect 2.0 built in with a custom version of Windows 8 (running on ARM ofc) using the metro UI. But MS isn't going to pay people to use it, that's now how they make money. THey'll probably give the software side of the tech to them for free while they charge for using the kinect technology which makes the most sense.

GP007 said,

Nah, not the Xbox, but I can see kinect 2.0 built in with a custom version of Windows 8 (running on ARM ofc) using the metro UI. But MS isn't going to pay people to use it, that's now how they make money. THey'll probably give the software side of the tech to them for free while they charge for using the kinect technology which makes the most sense.

Yeah. I don't think that it would be Windows 8 though. I think they would put something more along the lines of the XBox Dashboard on there honestly. They don't want the TV's to replace a computer after all, just to accompany it.

Mikee4fun said,

Then you get an onscreen message, your Xbox Live subscription has expired, to continue watching TV please pay us! lol


Whatever. It's not like the cable companies don't do this already. Only they take the topset box, too.

Am I going to need to jailbreak/root my tv so I can install my own personal apps or rum software from completing tv manufacturers? Will they be putting a god awful skin on it that will need to be removed? Will Cyanogenmod need to branch out so those of us with abandons TV's get updates?

I can't see a clear success here.

Einlander said,
Am I going to need to jailbreak/root my tv so I can install my own personal apps or rum software from completing tv manufacturers? Will they be putting a god awful skin on it that will need to be removed? Will Cyanogenmod need to branch out so those of us with abandons TV's get updates?

Yes, two times a week at least. Or you can buy one where you don't even have that option. lol

Sad isn't it?

I can't see a clear success here.

What people don't realize is this is really awesome!!

Look at it this way, android is open source ( I am assuming Android TV is open too ) and we have heaps of Tv's running it so sooner or later people like Cyanogen are gonna make some mean as custom firmware! Think of the possibilities man!

Auzeras said,
What people don't realize is this is really awesome!!

Look at it this way, android is open source ( I am assuming Android TV is open too ) and we have heaps of Tv's running it so sooner or later people like Cyanogen are gonna make some mean as custom firmware! Think of the possibilities man!

Wrong forum bro..

I hope the remote for all these TVs has a button for a "Hard Reset". What can you say about an OS that went from free on cell phones to being paid to put on TVs. I bet the lobbyist serving the Goog are going to have a "very good year".

And everyone cries fowl when Microsoft want to give incentives to retailers to sell WP7 Phones, but it's OK for Google to do the same thing, just to manufacturers instead? I think it's ok across the board, just make sure you know EVERYONE does it.

Invizibleyez said,
And everyone cries fowl when Microsoft want to give incentives to retailers to sell WP7 Phones, but it's OK for Google to do the same thing, just to manufacturers instead? I think it's ok across the board, just make sure you know EVERYONE does it.

Can't believe it took this many comments for someone to say it.

Invizibleyez said,
And everyone cries fowl when Microsoft want to give incentives to retailers to sell WP7 Phones, but it's OK for Google to do the same thing, just to manufacturers instead? I think it's ok across the board, just make sure you know EVERYONE does it.

What Google is doing is Business to Business. What MS is doing is Business to Consumer. Google pays another company to have its product installed in their product. Microsoft pays to get their product into the hands of consumers.

In other words, your argument is valid if Microsoft pay Samsung or some other company to have WP7 installed in the phones they make (which is what they did by the way with Nokia). Or if Google paid BestBuy to sell TVs that come with Google TV.

Who care...dont like it, then dont get a TV installed with Android or use Android on the TV. TVs already come with Windows/computer integrated in it, netflix, yahoo, picasa....and a lot more other programs. This is just another one.

techbeck said,
Who care...dont like it, then dont get a TV installed with Android or use Android on the TV. TVs already come with Windows/computer integrated in it, netflix, yahoo, picasa....and a lot more other programs. This is just another one.

Yeh but this is different because google are paying them to put it on. That's why people care..

techbeck said,
Who care...dont like it, then dont get a TV installed with Android or use Android on the TV. TVs already come with Windows/computer integrated in it, netflix, yahoo, picasa....and a lot more other programs. This is just another one.

Yeah, but I think this will push things further in that direction though. I personally like this and hope this pushes more Windows TV's, but I can understand why some people might not like this...

DomZ said,

Yeh but this is different because google are paying them to put it on. That's why people care..

Why would people care? They dont have to use it.

You know what I do on my T.V? I watch T.V. I do not browse the internet, I do not watch YouTube videos, post my recent twitter or Facebook status, or install apps where as to, get a virus on my T.V.

If I wanted to do any of these extra things, I would just use my Xbox (which I already do anyways) to watch videos, post a message, etc.

Why the hell does a T.V need a bloody OS? Yeah, HD and 3D is awesome, but I do not want to get a bloody virus on my T.V. That is just mental.

What is next? Will Google want android installed on my toaster, microwave, or even my house?

~rubs head~ I really do hate google.

itylernallen said,
You know what I do on my T.V? I watch T.V. I do not browse the internet, I do not watch YouTube videos, post my recent twitter or Facebook status, or install apps where as to, get a virus on my T.V.

If I wanted to do any of these extra things, I would just use my Xbox (which I already do anyways) to watch videos, post a message, etc.

Why the hell does a T.V need a bloody OS? Yeah, HD and 3D is awesome, but I do not want to get a bloody virus on my T.V. That is just mental.

What is next? Will Google want android installed on my toaster, microwave, or even my house?

~rubs head~ I really do hate google.

Haha I guess you'll really dislike the Google@Home thing then. lol

SharpGreen said,

Haha I guess you'll really dislike the Google@Home thing then. lol

I'm also getting tired of them calling everything "Google(Something here)." It is so annoying, Google Car, GoogleHome, Google+, Google Search, Google Google. I swear their marketing team is either hyped up on meth and the first word one spits out when an idea is placed in front of them, they just add "Google" in front of it.

Recently they have just been copying the hell out of everyone (Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, FireFox, etc) or just making another bodacious claim.

Someone needs to really slap them.

itylernallen said,

I'm also getting tired of them calling everything "Google(Something here)." It is so annoying, Google Car, GoogleHome, Google+, Google Search, Google Google. I swear their marketing team is either hyped up on meth and the first word one spits out when an idea is placed in front of them, they just add "Google" in front of it.

Kinda like another well known company putting "i" infront of anything. Yea, real annoying. And what about Microsoft putting Microsoft infront of all their products. Again, annoying..../s Its called branding and advertising. Get used to it.


Recently they have just been copying the hell out of everyone (Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, FireFox, etc) or just making another bodacious claim.

FireFox copied IE/Netscape...Facebook copied MySpace...if you want to look at it that way. I look at it as competition and each is different and brings something different.

itylernallen said,
You know what I do on my T.V? I watch T.V. I do not browse the internet, I do not watch YouTube videos, post my recent twitter or Facebook status, or install apps where as to, get a virus on my T.V.

If I wanted to do any of these extra things, I would just use my Xbox (which I already do anyways) to watch videos, post a message, etc.

Why the hell does a T.V need a bloody OS? Yeah, HD and 3D is awesome, but I do not want to get a bloody virus on my T.V. That is just mental.

What is next? Will Google want android installed on my toaster, microwave, or even my house?

~rubs head~ I really do hate google.


what about streaming app (DLNA , web content) , games etc

[quote=techbeck said,]
Kinda like another well known company putting "i" infront of anything. Yea, real annoying. And what about Microsoft putting Microsoft infront of all their products. Again, annoying..../s Its called branding and advertising. Get used to it.
[/quote]

What products besides the Microsoft hardware has the "Microsoft" in front of it. You can technically say "Microsoft Office" or "Microsoft Windows" or whatever, but we usually just say "Office 2010", "Windows 7(Vista,XP), VisualStudio, Silverlight. Rarely any of their products have the full name MS in them on the actual branding.

And it is a bit different from Apple to Google. Apple is using a letter branding while Google is using their full corporate name as branding for their products. It is a bit different. Secondly, not everything from Apple as an "i" in front of it.
[/quote]

[quote=techbeck said,]
FireFox copied IE/Netscape...Facebook copied MySpace...if you want to look at it that way. I look at it as competition and each is different and brings something different.
[/quote]

Actually Facebook did not copy MySpace, MySpace was actually copying Facebook during the end because it was dying. Facebook and MySpace are two totally different social networking sites. Facebook is all about connecting with friends, MySpace is more about entertainment. If you knew anything about the development of Facebook you would not even relate the two in the sense that you did.

itylernallen said,

What products besides the Microsoft hardware has the "Microsoft" in front of it. You can technically say "Microsoft Office" or "Microsoft Windows" or whatever, but we usually just say "Office 2010", "Windows 7(Vista,XP), VisualStudio, Silverlight. Rarely any of their products have the full name MS in them on the actual branding.

And it is a bit different from Apple to Google. Apple is using a letter branding while Google is using their full corporate name as branding for their products. It is a bit different. Secondly, not everything from Apple as an "i" in front of it.

Are you really annoyed that Google puts their name infront of all their products? Its no different than anyone else. LG, Nokia, Samsung, Adobe...the lists goes on and on. It makes no difference if that is how it is mentioned, its on the products and labeled as such. And lets go on with car makers. Ford, Chevy, Toyota, Dodge...they all have their name infront of their products as well.

And go to Amazon.com, or other sites, and search for Office 2010, publisher, and several other MS products. They are listed as Microsoft Office, Microsoft Publisher, and yes, even Microsoft Windows. More often they have Microsoft in the name. So are you annoyed at Amazon and the dozens of other resale sites for doing this?

If this is something you feel the need to be annoyed about, I feel sorry for you. The more companies use their product name in their advertising, the more exposure the name gets and more familiar people become to it. Again, its basic advertising/marketing and many MANY companies do it...not just Google.


Actually Facebook did not copy MySpace, MySpace was actually copying Facebook during the end because it was dying. Facebook and MySpace are two totally different social networking sites. Facebook is all about connecting with friends, MySpace is more about entertainment. If you knew anything about the development of Facebook you would not even relate the two in the sense that you did.

MySpace more about entertainment? I guess all those games/activities on FaceBook are not entertaining to all the people who use them. Facebook improved on the concept and which is what Google is trying to do.

I'm with techbeck here. I don't understand your argument. Unless I'm somehow mistaken, aren't other companies attempting to make a move towards TV as well? And seriously, are you really slamming Google for putting their name on their products? Maybe you should go attack McDonald's for adding "Mc" on every food item they sell...

Sometimes I think I need to stop reading the comments here. Trolls aside, I'm seriously becoming saddened by the failure in basic logic and understanding...

Open Minded said,
It's totally different when it's "iEverything". Very original.

No, the iProducts are just as bad.

I never thought I'd see the day where the "Microsoft Windows 8 Tablet Home Premium Edition for Arm CPU edition" would be welcome.

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.

greenwizard88 said,

No, the iProducts are just as bad.

I never thought I'd see the day where the "Microsoft Windows 8 Tablet Home Premium Edition for Arm CPU edition" would be welcome.

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.


Me too... D:

Regardless of what any of us thinks about this, its going to happen. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if we see a new round of Apple TVs, Android TVs, and wait for it.... Windows 8 TVs with Kinect built in as a method of control and Skype for video conferencing. Now I'll be the first to say that Kinect has a way to go, but its clear that all of the major players see this convergence as the future and are moving towards it.

Drewidian said,
Regardless of what any of us thinks about this, its going to happen. In fact I wouldn't be surprised if we see a new round of Apple TVs, Android TVs, and wait for it.... Windows 8 TVs with Kinect built in as a method of control and Skype for video conferencing. Now I'll be the first to say that Kinect has a way to go, but its clear that all of the major players see this convergence as the future and are moving towards it.

Absolutely. I fully expect Microsoft to push this further in the near future.

Something tells me Microsoft will start to go after TV manufactures who have Android built-in. I'm sure they'll have a lot television related patents as well.

wixostrix said,
Something tells me Microsoft will start to go after TV manufactures who have Android built-in. I'm sure they'll have a lot television related patents as well.

Microsoft has that fancy android patent they have been scaring developers with. All they need to do is just pull it out and go, "suck it." They win.

itylernallen said,

Microsoft has that fancy android patent they have been scaring developers with. All they need to do is just pull it out and go, "suck it." They win.

I just looked further into Microsoft Mediaroom and I had no idea how extensive and widely deployed it actually is. They definitely are going to have something to say if there is any DVR functionality or features built-in to Android for these TV. Even some of the IPTV stuff. Again, Google stepping into territory Microsoft has already been in (not they don't have the right to) but this time instead of giving it away, they're paying people to use it.

wixostrix said,
......

Did your mediaroom searching tell you that most of the 'set top boxes' used by North American providers at least are made by Motorola Mobility?

This could definitely hurt down the road.

itylernallen said,

Microsoft has that fancy android patent they have been scaring developers with. All they need to do is just pull it out and go, "suck it." They win.

Slight Addtion, their patent 'black box' doesn't just target Android, it also covers Linux itself extensively. This is why Red Hat and anyone that 'sells' Linux in corporate markets, has patent agreements with Microsoft.

In the late 80s and early 90s, Microsoft paid a TON of money for access to basic patents from the big UNIX makers for access to simple things like implementing TCP/IP and DNS just to adopt to the commercial access of the internet that standardized these technologies.

Ironically, most of these patents and licenses were dissolved and open sourced a few years later after they got their paychecks from Microsoft.

So Microsoft pushing back against Linux and Android is not surprising. However, they only push the patents against profit motive products and companies. Free users and free distributions are left alone.

dotf said,

Did your mediaroom searching tell you that most of the 'set top boxes' used by North American providers at least are made by Motorola Mobility?

This could definitely hurt down the road.

Show me where it says Motorola Mobility makes set-top-boxes? Moto was split into two companies, spinning off their mobile device division. Google is only acquiring the Mobility, not the entirety of Moto.

I am aware that Moto probably has the most STBs deployed, but Microsoft isn't providing STBs, they're providing a platform for those boxes.

thenetavenger said,

Slight Addtion, their patent 'black box' doesn't just target Android, it also covers Linux itself extensively. This is why Red Hat and anyone that 'sells' Linux in corporate markets, has patent agreements with Microsoft.

In the late 80s and early 90s, Microsoft paid a TON of money for access to basic patents from the big UNIX makers for access to simple things like implementing TCP/IP and DNS just to adopt to the commercial access of the internet that standardized these technologies.

Ironically, most of these patents and licenses were dissolved and open sourced a few years later after they got their paychecks from Microsoft.

So Microsoft pushing back against Linux and Android is not surprising. However, they only push the patents against profit motive products and companies. Free users and free distributions are left alone.

You are so far off base on this. I can reasonably assume you are under the age of 30 or you would have a memory of this not happening.

Here is an article from five years ago when Microsoft first started rattling the patent saber. The quote from Bill Gates in the second paragraph should clear up any delusions you had about this.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/09/opinion/09lee.html

Dot Matrix said,
Ugh. No thanks!

microsoft should start paying to have the Bing Bar at the top of the TV... wouldnt that be horrible.

Lachlan said,

microsoft should start paying to have the Bing Bar at the top of the TV... wouldnt that be horrible.

WTF is up with the stupid trolling?

Lachlan said,

microsoft should start paying to have the Bing Bar at the top of the TV... wouldnt that be horrible.

Fail troll is fail.