CES 2014, like every yearly Consumer Electronics Show, has had a couple of overarching themes running through its veins. Wearable tech is among the highlights, as well as Ultra HD TVs and the resurgence of Smart TVs. In the past every manufacturer of Smart TVs has had their own operating system, own app ecosystem, and this generally hasn’t worked all that well. Different brands have different apps, most Smart TVs are woefully underpowered and generally slow as molasses, and the end-user experience just hasn’t been that great overall. Thankfully it seems that we’re in for a new era of Smart TVs, and Philips will be among the elite to usher that era in if their newest lineup of TVs proves to be as good as they sound.
“In 2014, we will start the roll-out of Philips TVs featuring Android in the higher end of our product portfolio. We expect that consumer appreciation and take-up will rapidly grow. By 2015 already the majority of our smart TVs will be Android powered,” said Maarten de Vries, CEO TP Vision.
This definitely changes things in the Smart TV race, and it matches up with what RCA announced earlier today. This is a big deal for the industry, as it means that these Android TV powered Smart TVs will have full access to the Google Play Store, giving you access to all sorts of apps, games and other media right on your TV. It also means easy remote control via your phone or tablet too, which is always super convenient. Philips promises to give us a powerful processor inside, citing that it will pack a “new powerful quad-core” processor inside each new Smart TV it ships. More than likely this is the new Snapdragon 802 processor that was just announced yesterday at CES, which should prove to handle any media or game you throw at it, including 4K Ultra HD content.
While there aren’t any specific models, pricing or release dates announced, we know that this new series of Smart TVs is part of Philips’ Ambilight brand, meaning it lights up your room based on what colors are dominant on the screen. Google’s move to rebrand Google TV as Android TV appears to be working, although not every manufacturer is on board quite yet. If this proves to be as big of a hit as we think it will be, you better believe the Smart TV world will mirror what happened in the world of smart phones, and Android will become the dominant OS.