Chromecast with Google TV is the official new name for the setup, which marks the end of the Android TV brand name, which had been in use since 2014.
The new connected device was a key part of the introduction Wednesday of new Pixel phones and Nest speakers, among other products. Google TV is available now in the U.S., and it will be available October 15 in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK.
In a blog post, Shalini Govilpai, Senior Director of Google TV, said the purpose of the new initiative was to help viewers navigate a mushrooming array of programming choices and TV packages. “With more choices than ever, it can take a long time just to find something to watch,” she wrote. “That’s why we made Google TV—a new entertainment experience designed to help you easily browse and discover” both live and on-demand fare.
“To build this, we studied the different ways people discover media—from searching for a specific title to browsing by genre—and created an experience that helps you find what to watch,” Govilpai wrote. “We also made improvements to Google’s Knowledge Graph, which is part of how we better understand and organize your media into topics and genres, from movies about space travel to reality shows about cooking. You’ll also see titles that are trending on Google Search, so you can always find something timely and relevant.”
As it has done in other categories, especially leisure ones like restaurants and hotels, Google is tying TV and streaming offerings more directly into search results and aiming to fortify the link between hand-held devices and larger TV screens.
Results of searches will feature platforms like Disney+, france.tv, HBO Max, Netflix, Rakuten Viki and YouTube. Search functionality for NBCUniversal’s Peacock, which launched earlier this year, will be added to Google TV in the coming months.
Google TV is compatible with more than 6,500 apps built for Android TV’s operating system, across genres like gaming, fitness, education and music.
Starting in 2021, Google TV will also be available on smart TVs by Sony and other Android TV OS partners.