The Android TV platform is one which is often criticized for having the appearance of a platform which lacks development. This is most often understood in terms of a lack of available hardware options, as well as the general number of compatible apps. Two areas where consumers would like to see much greater improvement and variance. However, Android TV is expanding and the latest of those developments was noted last week when rather quietly Ericsson and Google announced a partnership to expand the number of options consumers have to access Pay-TV.
This will be achieved by Ericsson and Google joining their respective cloud-based MediaFirst service and Android TV. Much of the deal was not actually disclosed, so there are no details on how an agreement was made or even in what way the two products will ultimately come together. However, what has been made clear from the announcement by Ericsson is there are a number of benefits which will emerge as a result of the partnering. The first is that the integration of the MediaFirst TV platform and Android TV will lead to a greater number of options for Pay-TV operators to include their services on – without having to worry about the cost of additional hardware, thanks to the number of Android TV boxes and built-in options that are now available. The second is somewhat of an extension of the first, as in addition to saving on costs for Pay-TV operators, the integration will allow those same operators to identify and make use of additional streams of revenue through Android TV.
From the consumer perspective, the announcement detailed that consumers will see a greater selection of Pay-TV and over-the-top (OTT) options becoming available. Some of the examples given as content which consumers can expect to see from the partnership, include a greater selection of 4K-UHD live TV channels, additional video-on-demand (VOD) content and catch-up TV. In addition to the improved content, the announcement also explained that Android TV device manufacturers and operators will be able to work together to introduce additional "hardware-based functionality". To sum up what consumers can expect from the MediaFirst and Android TV integration, Ericsson stated, "the collaboration will allow consumers to enjoy a more seamless and integrated experience with a one-stop-shop for OTT content."