How Google’s New Android Plans Further Blur Lines Between Digital Signage And TV

June 27, 2014 by Dave Haynes

Android TVGoogle had its big annual I/O conference this week, and one of the big announcements was around expanding Android to TV platforms. Google now sees TV as just another display and communications, like smartphones and tablets.

Android TV will be part of Android L, the new operating system Google previewed at its conference.

Consumers will  start to see new TV devices powered by Android by the end of the year. There will be an Android TV version of the Google Play store, where you’d grab apps. And most interestingly to the digital signage space, perhaps, TV makers like Sharp, Sony, and LG will have have product with Android TV built in, and manufacturers like Razer and Asus will have set-top boxes.

Bryan Mongeau, VP Technology at Broadsign, sent me his thoughts on the implications:

Android TV is about the battle for the living room, and digital signage wouldn’t have really been much of a consideration in product planning. But apart from the engineering and reliability arguments around TVs versus commercial panels, there is less and less to distinguish between a smart TV and a smart digital sign. If you can develop a retail shelf-edge program around Android tablets, and push that same program (or a variation of it, to much larger panels, without having to really do much or any new development, THAT”S a big deal.

Right or wrong, there are going to be interactive companies developing stuff for mobile, tablet and larger screens off of their own preferred content management tools, and not even really think about doing the big screens with a dedicated CMS.

What Google is up to in digital signage, and how Chrome For Business and other Google cloud services are evolving, will be the subject of one of the featured talks on Sept. 17th at DSrupted. Vidya Nagarajan, from Google, is one of our highlighted speakers. You can find out more about DSrupted, and register, here.


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  1. Stuart James says:

    Live Tv –

    Interestingly there have a been a handful of devices on the market that have already done the in tv mapping which TargetR has supported for the last 2 years, unfortunately the hardware has not been adequate to use it in a reliable manner alongside other DS content.

    There are a couple of devices that have done this with the Marvell Armada 1500 chipset and the HDMI in port is accessible using the standard Android Mediaplayer. The best device that can do this we are currently aware of is the now legacy Logitech Revue (years ahead of its time) but it was not based on ARM which is probably why it could do the overlays to the HDMI zone that other devices struggled with.

    The new ADT-1 is based on the Tegra 4 and appears to handle what we could just not make work in a reliable manner with the existing ARM hardwarewhich is HDMI IN feed mapped to zone with other content around side it in other zones (nevermind overlays..)

    What is nice about the new Android L with unified input will be the ability to have two way control with the existing satellite/cable with the ability to change the channel and the simplification for DVB built directly into Android accessible using one common API.

    TargetR already supports the HDMI IN mapping functionality and will look to add support to change channels of the cable/satellite/built in DVB via the Unified input using the new Android API that will support this. Lets see what other Android DS providers can do it before we do…

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